A New Spin on Swim

by Daniel Sean Kaye | Jul 3, 2015
A New Spin on Swim …From the pages of House & Home…

Features to make your pool truly special

Having a pool can be great fun, but how can you really make it your own? Do you want a sun shelf for staying cool while enjoying the rays, special mosaic stonework along the edges or maybe a design on the bottom of the pool? Or perhaps you want to go beyond just the looks of the pool, going with time- and money-saving options like automated cleaning systems that save you from having to do the exhausting maintenance associated with having a pool. Whatever your interest, there is much to find in today’s swimming pool world.

Popular features
As for emerging trends, David Eichfeld, retail manager of Seahorse Discount Pools names several, including solar heating, salt system, walk-in steps for the deep end and heated areas.

Other features are more aesthetic. “The most popular are pool waterfalls, sun decks, dive rocks, grottos, custom slides and retractable covers—though they only work well on rectangular pools,” says Rich Cording Sr., owner and licensed landscape architect of CLC Landscape Design Inc. “Fiber optic lighting is a new special feature that people are asking us about. Another one would be water features, especially fountains in the pool.”

Tom Lobrow, owner of Lobrow Custom Pool Pros, agrees that sun shelves, waterfalls and lit-up features are common, adding that he also gets a lot of requests for slides, fireplaces, firepits, barbecues, bars and pavilions. “People are requesting tiles that glow in the dark and glass tile a lot, too,” he says, adding aspects that extend the pool season are popular. “All pools and spas are heated and use remote controls today, so that [lengthens the time they can be used],” he says. You can see much of this in action in Lobrow’s Custom Pool Pros new showroom in Freehold, N.J. Kid-friendly features are also in demand.

“Sundecks and splash pads are used as lounging or play areas. They are small 2-foot shallow areas that are attached to the end of the pool,” says Theodora Sergiou, vice president of Nicholas Pools Inc. She says people like these because they allow them to sit and watch the kids play or put a lounge chair in the water to keep cool while tanning.

She also mentions liner-covered benches or buddy seats, and something called the “mini” or “cocktail” pool. Because some summer homes have small backyards or some older consumers with retirement homes don’t want the maintenance of a large pool, these smaller swimming pools offer a fun option. “We have shrunk down some of our most popular shapes … to fit every backyard and every budget. People want something to cool down and to enhance their backyard and lifestyle. The cocktail pool is the perfect solution,” she says.

Chris McMahon, founder of Architectural Concrete Design, has a different kind of special feature in mind—a seamless texture for concrete deck pool areas that looks like rock. By cutting it up into smaller pieces, the item’s surface strength is increased. It also comes in almost any color, although McMahon mentions the lighter colors keep the surface cooler under foot. Its flexibility allows the company to install sun dials and compasses in the decks. And while McMahon’s product looks expensive, at just $10 per square foot, it is very reasonable. “Natural stone can be $35-$50 per square foot,” he says.

Save time and money
One popular trend when it comes to pools is to find ways to do it smarter. For efficiency, Eichfeld mentions robotic cleaners for swimming pools. “The Aquabot gears you up to have less maintenance. An automatic cleaner, it’s as maintenance-free as possible,” he says.

Sergiou says that some variable speed pumps help homeowners save money. “By running the pool on low speed to circulate and clean the water throughout the day, it offers up to 80 percent energy cost savings over single-speed alternatives,” she says.

For reduced maintenance and a cleaner swimming experience, salt is the way to go. Saltwater systems don’t need chlorine, which means less chemical odors and less damage to your skin and hair.

By removing the need for chlorine, Cording says saltwater filters allow you “[to] swim with your eyes open and [the water] won’t ever stain clothing. Also, the water has a nice fresh smell to it,” says Cording.

Salt chlorinators have become very popular, says Sergiou. “They eliminate itchy skin, red eyes, and harsh odors, leading many consumers to add them.” It also means less money coming out of your pocket for chemicals.


Architectural Concrete Design
Levittown, Pa.
(877) 843-4373

Carlton Pools
Warminster, Pa.
(888) 372-0102

Clark’s Pools
New Castle, Del.
(302) 834-0200

CLC Landscape Design
Ringwood, N.J.
(973) 839-6026

Country Club Pools
Hatboro, Pa.
(215) 675-7550

Lobrow’s Custom Pool Pros
Freehold, N.J. (showroom)
Linden, N.J.
(732) 866-8667

Nicholas Pools Inc.
Toms River, N.J.
(732) 505-0404

Seahorse Discount Pools
Deptford, N.J.
(856) 227-8899

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 15, Issue 12 (June, 2015).
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Author: Daniel Sean Kaye


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