What Is It Like to Own a Pool in Central Pennsylvania?

The region in which you live will have a large impact on your
pool ownership experience. The temperature, seasonality, and terrain of where
you call “home” will all play a role in various things you should consider when
exploring your options to build a swimming pool.

Specifically for Central Pennsylvania, there are some key
details that will make owning a pool in this region different from other
locations. Let’s take a look at a few unique aspects you should consider.

In the
dead of summer, you won’t want to leave your pool.

In Pennsylvania, we are fortunate to experience all four
seasons. That also means that in the summertime it can get very hot and stay
hot for quite some time. Typically about mid-July there is a week or two of
extreme heat moving into the triple digits! This is the time of year when
Central Pennsylvania pool owners are very grateful to have convenient access to
cooler waters. It becomes almost necessary to be in or near a pool in order to
enjoy the outdoors during this season.

Even when it’s not stifling hot, the months of late May
through early October are ideal weather conditions to enjoy a pool. This gives
us a pretty hearty swim season which quickly validates investing in your own
pool.

A custom
design can help with challenging terrain.

Particularly in Central Pennsylvania, there can be hilly and
uneven terrain. If you backyard is not perfectly level, it can create
challenges when designing your pool. One option is to excavate; however, rock
is also common in this area and can be hidden underground until you encounter
it when you’re digging up the land. These are great reasons to steer toward a
custom pool design that can be tailored to your property and allow you to solve
these challenges in creative and cost-effective ways.

If your backyard slopes and you don’t want to, or can’t level
it out, a custom pool with an exposed rock façade or infinity edge could be
great solutions. Additionally, features like a tanning ledge or built in bench
seating can reduce the amount you need to excavate.

Mind your
filters.

While Central Pennsylvania is known for its lush greenery, this also means debris from trees and bushes can wind up in your pool and ultimately in your filtration system. Pools with automatic cleaning and filtration systems are a great help for keeping your pool clean even when leaves are actively falling into it daily. However, you want to be sure to empty your skimmer baskets frequently so your pool can function properly and to avoid any damage to your filtration system.

A heating
system helps extend your swim season.

Incorporating some form of heating system into your swimming
pool will give you a longer length of time to enjoy your pool each year. With
the ability to heat your pool, you can open your pool sooner and close your
pool later, while maintaining a comfortable water temperature your whole family
can enjoy. When it comes to heating your pool, you have the option of gas,
solar, or electric heat, so be sure to talk to a trusted pool professional
about which one is right for your pool design and lifestyle.

Proper
winterization is key.

Finally, properly closing or “winterizing” your pool at the
end of the season is very important for Central Pennsylvania pool owners in
order to preserve the beauty and quality of their pool. Proper winterization
also helps to ensure that when you go to open your pool at the start of a new
season, there are fewer possibly surprises like damage to the pool’s structure
or contaminated water. For pools with a more complex heating or filtration
system, or a custom cover, it may be wise to hire a professional pool company
to close your pool for you so you can rest assured that it is done thoroughly
and correctly.

Are you curious to learn more about what it could be like to have your
own swimming pool?
Contact us today for a no-obligation conversation!


A Creative Way to Make an Infinity Edge Beautiful and Functional

You may think that the infinity edge feature is reserved for the pools you see sitting atop a fancy hotel in Los Angeles where the water appears to run right over the edge. Or maybe you’ve enjoyed a pool with this feature while on vacation where the infinity edge appeared to drop off into another body of water like a lake or the ocean. While these are all excellent uses for an infinity edge, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not limited to using this feature only when you have a steep drop off near another body of water. 

In this unique project, we want to showcase how we built a custom pool to include not only an infinity edge, but one that includes a second lower pool all its own. There were several reasons why this became the dream design for our client. Foremost, they wanted to find a way to work with a challenging slope in their backyard while enhancing the aesthetics of their pool. They also desired a separate pool space that felt more intimate and secluded. Finally, their property is along the Yellow Breeches, and they wanted to find a way to incorporate the sound of running water to reflect the sound of the creek. 

Take a look at how we were able to accommodate all of these wishes by incorporating an infinity edge feature into their pool design. 

Working with the grade of the landscape.

This particular project presented the challenge of a sloped landscape that would require some substantial excavation and regrading to make it level for a swimming pool. The property was known to have limestone underground, so there would be the risk of hitting rock if we did any major excavating. It would also add to the cost of the project, more so than starting on fairly level land. 

The alternate option we recommended to this client was designing the pool with an infinity edge to work with the existing grade of the property as much as possible. The infinity edge accommodates a slope by allowing for an exposed wall and for the water to run over the edge into a catch basin. The end result is not just a solution to the grading challenge, it’s an outstanding feature that greatly enhances the aesthetics and wow factor of the pool.

Enhanced aesthetics. 

To dive a little deeper into the enhance aesthetics of this pool, the infinity edge and the lower catch base, as well as various areas of exposed sides of the pool were all finished with natural limestone. We recommended using natural stone over a veneer to ensure that as water runs over the edge of the pool, deterioration or a buildup of salt residue would not be an issue. Natural stone is far better at holding up to this daily wear and tear. 

The stone was selected to perfectly blend with the house’s existing stone finishes, and gave a nod back to the area that is known for its limestone. When standing at the lower end of the pool, you can see how the many layers of stone and hardscaping create a stunning backyard scape that certainly grabs your attention. 

Filtration and Function. 

Many people don’t fully understand how the hydraulics and filtration systems for these magnificent looking features work.  And they shouldn’t really need to! It is the job of the pool professional to understand and design the system to meet all pool and spa codes along with meeting expectations from the client on how things look and will operate. 

Keeping the correct amount of water moving and circulating between the main pool and the catch pool below can be tricky depending on what you are trying to accomplish. As the water from the “upper” pool spills over the edge to the “lower” catch pool, leaves and debris will spill over with it.  A well designed hydraulic system will incorporate a pump and filter for this lower pool to ensure that it stays clean. In this particular job, we installed variable speed pumps, cartridge filters and tied the plumbing system into a pool heater so that the water is sanitized and crystal clear as well as heated!  The water then returns to the main “upper” pool via fittings in the pool floor to create the overflowing edge. By returning the heated water to the floor of the pool we ensure efficient heating as well as a water surface that doesn’t show “ripples”, giving the glass like appearance that clients find desirable in vanishing edge designs.

Two separate and functional swimming areas.

What’s most unique about this particular pool is that the client wanted to make the lower basin, which is typically a slender catch basin, into a fully functional second swimming area. Because we custom design each and every one of our pools, we were happy to accommodate this special request. More than just an additional swimming area, the lower basin includes several jets to give it a spa-like feel. The end result was two pools in one, each with a very different feel and view. For a family with small children, this is an ideal setup where the kids can enjoy splashing in the upper pool while the adults enjoy calmer waters in the lower pool, along with the soothing sound of the infinity edge’s waterfall. 

Have you ever envisioned building a swimming pool that includes an infinity edge feature? We can help you explore all the possibilities! Contact us today so we can start a conversation


Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

Project Highlight: Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

It takes time to create a masterpiece. In fact, the concept for this Central Pennsylvania custom gunite pool was about seven years in the making! But as you can see, the end result was well worth the wait. The story behind this particular pool is quite interesting. By how natural the pool and hardscaping fit the backyard, you would likely never guess the various troubleshooting we had to do to make this space possible.

Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

We first met this client when Aquavisions was contracted to complete some renovations on an extremely large pool that had been installed at the client’s residence at the time. During the planning process for the renovation project, the client had quickly mentioned that if they ever decided to move and “downsize,” they would want to build a very small pool - even just a large spa - that the family could enjoy year round. “Would you be able to do something like that?” was the question. “Of course. We can do anything you want!” was our answer.

The Inspiration

Fast forward to 2016. The renovation client had decided it was time for a change. They purchased a new home and called Aquavisions in to design the backyard oasis of their dreams. The idea was to create a small pool or spa and also incorporate outdoor living spaces. As we do with all clients, we listened carefully and helped to compile a “wish list” of features that were important to include in the final design.

On the list was a pool or spa that could be used year round, an outdoor fireplace, multiple components of a functional outdoor kitchen, as well as various seating and dining areas. Additionally, it was important to the client to have patios around the pool for lounging and a television and sound system to entertain. The list was pretty extensive!

Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

The Challenge

Believe it or not, incorporating all of the features from the client’s wish list into the final design wasn’t the greatest challenge we faced. Rather, it was the size and shape of the lot that proved to be our biggest hurdle. Additionally, the grading in the backyard had quite a bit of sloping elevations. There were not many “flat” spots in the yard to make designing the project easy. Fortunately, we tend to look at things a little differently and view tricky yards as opportunities instead of challenges.

To our advantage, the client desired a small pool/large spa, which was conducive to the lot size. We were able to develop a multi-tiered design that incorporated all of their desired features into one comprehensive structure that worked with, not against, the grading of the yard.

After a few tweaks and changes to some of the details on the design, the client signed off and we were ready to get started. The design phase of this project alone took approximately 6 months. While this is not typical of all of our projects, it’s a testament to our commitment to put in as much time as it takes to get the job done right. We pride ourselves on giving clients exactly what they envision, even if it’s more challenging and time-intensive.

Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

The Result

To achieve this end result, it took a village! There were multiple trades and craftsmen involved in this project to make it truly magnificent. We worked together with the client to coordinate, and in turn work beside all contractors that were selected for this project to ensure a seamless process. In about 6 months, what was once a bare backyard was transformed into the exact design we promised our client.

The finished product is a luxuriously oversized spa that can be used well beyond the typical open and close dates for pools in Central Pennsylvania. The spa has 8 jets and an automatic pool cover so that it can be used year round. There is a granite bar top that is shared by the spa and the living space. There are also heaters mounted under the roof of the structure to extend the useable season well into the fall. We checked off every item on the wish list, resulting another very happy client and another award winning pool. This project went on to receive NESPA's Gold Award/Judge's Best of Competition!

Aquavisions Creates Custom Gunite Spa with Outdoor Living Area

What’s your favorite feature of this pool? Better yet, what does your vision of a “dream pool” look like? If you’re ready to upgrade your backyard space to an outdoor oasis, let’s start a conversation. Every one of our designs is unique to our clients’ property and lifestyle. Let us help you envision the potential in your backyard!