Remodeling Your Home with a Pool, Hot Tub or Spa

For a little rest, relaxation and quality time with their partner or loved ones, Americans need not venture farther than their home, sweet, home. A cool, crisp dip in the swimming pool or a warm, bubbling whirlpool sending forth pulsating jets of water- better known as a Jacuzzi- are offering an increasing number of homeowners a time-out from the fast lane and evoking soothing sensations akin to a mini-vacation. According to numerous studies, individuals who soak in swimming pools and hot tubs for at least fifteen minutes benefit from a deeper, more tranquil sleep and are spared the adverse side effects of sleeping pills.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are a luxury that is becoming more popular in housing developments. With the rising popularity, there are more ways to have a creative swimming pool designed to fit your needs. Remember that although you can go to a discount swimming pool store to purchase pool cleaning supplies and other accessories, it is important to go to a pool company with a high reputation to design and place in your pool.

Before you start contacting a company to put a pool in your backyard, you need to decide what type of pool you want. Keep in mind if you want it to be in-ground or above-ground, how much room you have for a pool, and what you plan to use the swimming pool for. Once you have a generally idea of what you want, you can also consider features to include to make the swimming pool unique to you and your family.

  • Swimming Pool Types - The first thing to decide when considering the type of swimming pool you want is the key style: in-ground or above-ground. In-ground pools are made from concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. When concrete swimming pools are created, dirt is dug in the desired shape of the pool and concrete is poured to set the shape. Since the concrete needs to set completely, this can be a time-consuming process. Concrete swimming pools need to be resurfaced every 7 to 10 years.
  • In-ground fiberglass swimming pools consist of a single fiberglass shell fitted into a pre-dug hole. With these pools being stronger than concrete, they can withstand pressure from the surrounding soil better. In-ground vinyl pools are the lowest cost option for an in-ground pool, but are also fragile and easy to puncture. The vinyl liner needs to be replaced every 10 years since it can become brittle from pool water and sunlight and roots from vegetation can grow through the liner. The slick surface of both of these pools repels algae.
  • Above-ground swimming pools are more economical for homeowners than in-ground pools are. Although the cost can increase if you choose to surround the pool by an elaborate raised deck, the initial price of the pool is usually inexpensive. The above-ground swimming pool package typically includes filters, a safety cover, the pump, and steps.

  • Swimming Pool Designs - The design of your swimming pool generally follows one of three basic shapes: rectangle, L-shape, and freeform. Several companies allow you to create a customized swimming pool design based off of these basic shapes. Rectangle shapes consist of straight lines in a rectilinear shape. This pool design is often the best for swimming laps and works well with an automatic pool cover.
  • L-shaped swimming pools accommodate both the recreational and athletic swimmers. The shallow end is generally the shorter side of the pool, approximately 3’ deep, and is typically used for fun activities. The longer side tends to be the deeper side ranging from 5’ to 8’ deep and can be used for lap swimmers. The freeform swimming pool is formed in a natural shape, providing a lagoon style. These pools usually have rock features and are built to mimic an oasis.

  • Swimming Pool Features - To truly customize your swimming pool, you can add various features to the design of your pool. The negative edge is designed to look like the pool extends to the horizon and has no border. This pool is ideal for backyards with scenic views, including city views, valleys, woodlands, and lakes. If you are planning on having the addition of a spa, consider making it a spillover spa. This will create smooth flowing water from the spa into the swimming pool.
  • If you are older or have young children, you may consider making the entry of your pool a beach entry. The entry point of this style is even with the pool deck and gently slopes into the pool’s water. It is ideal if you are older since there are no stairs or ladders needed for stair entry. A beach entry also provides a very shallow area for young children to play in.

Purchasing a swimming pool can be a costly decision, so it is important to keep in mind what you are planning to use it for and how often you will use it. The various features offered by swimming pool companies can help make your swimming pool unique. Make sure your swimming pool design will be one that will be enjoyable for years to come.

Hot Tubs

Significant advances in spa manufacturing and technology over the last twenty years have made portable tubs accessible to the majority of U.S. households. While this popular home improvement accessory feels like a luxury from the leisure point of view, it is no longer one from the financial vantage point due to its affordability.

Alternatively referred to as a Jacuzzi or home spa, a hot tub boasts numerous health and therapeutic benefits including the following:

  • Helps athletes recuperate
  • Relieves joint, muscular and arthritic pain (i.e. tendonitis)
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves sleep
  • Aids in preventing headaches
  • Provides help to individuals suffering from depression, bursitis, scoliosis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy, chronic back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • Enhances circulation
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Helps control diabetes
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Loosens tight muscles

The healing benefits often translate into lower medical expenses, and the addition of a Jacuzzi boosts property value. When shopping for hot tubs, consumers should focus on features that best correspond to their own preferences and needs. Hot tubs typically consist of the following components:

  • Hot Tub Shells - One of the most visible aspects of a Jacuzzi is the shell, which can contain cup holders, lights, pillows, and seats. Some premium-quality shells contain anti-bacterial elements and special coatings to protect against stains. Through proper maintenance, homeowners can ensure that the shell remains free of leaks and intact.
  • Hot Tub Cabinets - The hot tub's exterior is known as the cabinet, and it is usually made of wood (i.e. cedar, redwood) or synthetic material. Periodic maintenance is required for wooden spa cabinets, particularly in regions subjected to a lot of snow, rain, wind, and extreme heat. To protect the wood, homeowners can stain it once a year and ensure that water does not pool or remain in contact with the wood. Gaining in popularity are synthetic materials, which tend to be low on maintenance or even maintenance-free.
  • Hot Tub Seating and Jets - For most purchasers of hot tubs, the style of seating chosen depends on the use they intend to make of the spa. Types of seats include therapy seats, bench seats, and lounge seats. Therapy seats and jets configured for the body area are ideal when hydrotherapy is the priority. The more jets, the greater the hot tub's massaging intensity and coverage. Bench seats and standard jets tend to be well-suited for entertaining groups of people and socializing.
  • Hot Tub Heaters and Pumps - The type and number of pumps used in a hot tub depend on the latter's type of jets and size. A multi-pump system gushes out the water more effectively and efficiently than a single pump system. To maintain the temperature at the desired level and heat the water in an efficient manner, homeowners should ensure that their hot tubs contain a quality heater.

Hot tubs may be either permanent or portable. Permanent Jacuzzis are built in the ground and are usually constructed out of steel. Portable spas, on the other hand, are pre-assembled and situated above the ground. Different-sized and shaped hot tubs are available in the marketplace. Round tubs are more conducive for socializing since guests can better communicate with one another while sitting in a circle. Hot tubs can seat anywhere from two to ten individuals. Consumers may also choose to protect their investment from debris or bugs by purchasing an enclosure such as a screen, gazebo, wooden roof, or fence for their hot tub. Generally, hot tubs run from $3,000 to $20,000 depending on their features, type of fabrication, and size. Ongoing costs include repairs, water, electricity, filters, and chemicals. The shell and the spa cabinet should be stained and cleaned regularly.

Homeowners can find enticing online deals on hot tubs; they can also shop at a spa showroom. Since hot tub unit are self-contained, installation is quite simple and straightforward, requiring only that the consumer fill up the spa. Homeowners who prefer to have their hot tubs installed by a professional may request the retailer to send a technician for the job.

Home Improvement Essentials
Before you selected a home improvement contractor or repair handyman, compare free estimates and online quotes to find the most affordable rates for any home improvement projects.

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