Replacing Your Pool Tile – Why and How

One of the most abused areas of your pool is the tile that frames it. Year after year, the water beats against it, leaving behind hard water stains, dulling the surface, and eating away at the grout until finally it starts to break off and fall into the pool, possibly causing problems with your cleaning system. It can be an expensive choice to replace the pool tile, so you may be reluctant, and we understand, but there may come a day when you have no choice. Keep reading for more information.

Resurfacing Your Pool

This is the most common time for making the decision to change the tile and is also the least expensive time to do it. Your old pool tiles may clash with your new pool surface, may be damaged, or maybe you just want a change. Whatever your reasons, when you resurface the pool, the costs get added into the resurfacing price, raising your payment only slightly.

The Tiles Are Breaking Off and Falling into the Pool

At this point it is imperative that at the very least, you repair the loose tiles, or just go ahead and replace the entire frame. Small pieces that get swept into your cleaner can possibly cause damage to your equipment, while larger pieces can block the cleaner, keeping your pool from being cleaned. The sharp edges can also cut into the tender toes and feet of your loved ones if they aren’t paying attention. Your family’s safety is of utmost importance.

The Pool Tile Looks Outdated

Older pools have a certain look about them; they are generally shaped in one of a few standard layouts and the tiles resemble old Mexican tiles from the 70s. There may not be anything wrong with them, but you are ready for a more modern change, so just do it! Pool tile options available today are vastly improved and are more varied than in the past. Our favorites are the new glass tiles that come in almost any shade you can imagine and spice up your pool nicely, but you may be happier with a more subdued, yet modern porcelain tile.

New Image Landscape and Pools

At the end of the day, you want to be able to walk into your backyard and find an oasis of beauty and peace, something that will not happen if your pool looks dated and in disrepair, with tiles missing and stained. Book a consultation with New Image Landscape and Pools and let’s start discussing your options; your satisfaction and happiness is what we strive for!

5 Tips for Building the Best Pool at Your Home with the Help of Arizona’s Best Pool Builders

In the Phoenix area, pools are a fantastic investment, useable at least six months out of the year. The benefits are many: exercise that puts little stress on the joints, a refreshing way to get some vitamin D in summer, a playground for kids, and an excuse for social events. Not all pools are created equal, though—how can you make the best pool possible?

While there are some obvious issues to avoid—don’t build a pool beneath a powerline, for instance—here are some tips about placement and features that you might not have thought of to make the best pool.

Avoid Evaporation by Protecting the Pool from Wind

If you’ve got some planters or a row of tall cacti, try keeping them between the pool and wherever the most wind comes from. Wind increases the rate of evaporation, meaning the water will need to be refilled more frequently.

Let the Pool Get Plenty of Sun

While trees make excellent wind-blockers, they’re not the best options for features adjacent to a pool. A pool should get as much sunlight as possible—while this may increase evaporation, it makes up for it by heating the pool, and also helping to keep leaves out.

Leave Room for Accessories!

There are quite a few accessories that people like to add to pools, whether at the time of their construction or after they are built. This means that pools take up quite a bit more space than the pool itself. A shed for the pool skimmers and cleaning chemicals, space for a slide or diving board, a volleyball net—the list goes on, but the point is you may need extra room to set these up. If you’re trying to “squeeze” the pool in, you may want to reconsider its size.

Adjacent Pools Can Be the Best Pools!

If you’re going to put in all this plumbing and clean it every week, then why not add an extra aquatic feature to it? Most commonly this is a spa or hot tub made not for swimming, but relaxing. Tanning decks, however, are also popular—these elevated shallow pools are cooler places to relax, and can double as kiddie pools.

Visual Ornaments

If you’re installing a pool, you might try to make it adapt to your current landscape—or you can make it improve it! There are a few visual additions you can make to pools to make the entire yard more impressive and appealing. Sheer descents are waterfalls that flow straight into the pool, and serve as eye-catching focal points for the yard. Deck jets gracefully shoot water into the pool, letting it double as a fountain. If the rest of your yard is all about class and beauty, then these additions might be for you.

5 Reasons to Get a Pool Bar in Your Pool

You have probably had a few experiences with a swim-up bar within a pool, whether it was at a fancy resort or at a friend’s house. You probably thought it was cool, but never dreamed you would have your own. But designing and installing your very own pool bar is certainly easier than you thought! Here are some of the reasons that you should consider building your own pool bar today!

Enhances the Relaxing Environment

Having your own pool is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors, even in the heat of Phoenix. There is perhaps no better way to increase the enjoyment of this experience than installing a pool bar. One thing is for sure, you will have a lot more reason to spend time by the pool this summer after you install your poolside bar!

Convenience

You have never had a pool party as convenient as you will with your very own swim-up bar. You can order/prepare drinks, snack, and much more all without leaving the comfort of the cool waters. Perhaps the best part: No tracking water into the house to freshen your drink or grab something to eat!

Adds A Cool Dimension to Your Next Pool Party

Any seasoned pool partyer will tell you that a swim-up bar is not something that you see at every poolside event. Your pool will be your friends’ favorite place to relax when you have your very own swim-up bar, which could be a good or bad thing depending on your friends.

They Look Great

There are many ways to enhance the aesthetics of your landscape and your pool. A swim-up bar is one of the most unique and significant ways of making your pool look amazing like the ones at the resorts. There is so much opportunity to customize your swim-up bar, especially when you work with professionals like those at New Image Landscape and Pools.

A Place to Get Away from the Sun

Depending on the design, you will have a great place to escape the sun for a spell at your poolside bar. This is an incredible luxury, especially for those who have pools in the Phoenix area, where the sun can begin to seem like more of a nuisance than a blessing. One moment you can be floating under the sun enjoying a cool drink, and the next you could be retreating to your underwater bar stools.

Install A Swim-Up Bar Today

Between the wonderful benefits and the relative ease of installation of one of these beautiful features, there is no reason not to consider your own swim-up bar. Check in with the experts at New Image Landscape and Pools to find out how easily you can create your own oasis by the pool!

Summer Tips for Pool Maintenance

Taking care of your pool during the summer can be a completely different ballgame than doing the same during the winter, especially in Phoenix, Arizona. The hotter it gets, the more difficult it gets to ensure that you have a safe and healthy swimming pool for you and your family. It requires a bit more work, but this slightly increased workload is a lot less of a hassle than it will be if the health of your pool gets out of hand. Here are some pool maintenance tips for keeping your pool safe throughout the hotter months.

How to Make Your Pool Look Beautiful All Summer Long

It is important to remember that shocking your pool becomes a more frequent necessity during the summer. You shock the pool by purchasing the “shock” from any number of retail outlets, diluting this substance in water, and dispersing this solution in the deep end of your pool, letting the pump run for about five minutes after its addition. After each application, you test the pool’s pH levels to ensure an optimal balance. Make sure to not re-enter the pool after shocking until chlorine levels fall back down to one to three parts per million in your pool. To keep the best eye on your pool possible and prevent potentially huge problems, you should check the chemical levels of your pool up to twice a week.

For a couple of different reasons, it is typical for more debris to be introduced into your pool during the summer. In order to mitigate the effect of this increased amount of debris, you should take a few steps to ensure the health of your pool. Firstly, you should be running your pool pump a bit more during these months. It is a good rule of thumb to run the pump one hour every day for every 10 degrees it is outside. So if it is 90 degrees outside, you should be running the pump for up to nine hours. You should also get into the habit of cleaning your pool at least once a week. This includes skimming the top for debris as well as brushing the sides to prevent dirt and algae buildup.

Surviving the Summer with Your Pool

The summer months in Arizona can bring some unpleasantness with them. This certainly falls under that category, but doing these things will keep your pool from becoming dirty and unsafe and will prevent much bigger problems and investments down the road. For additional pool care tips and landscaping services, contact New Image today!

5 Tips to Keep Your Pool Pump Working Year-Round

Backyard swimming pools supply homeowners and their guests with exercise, entertainment, and some much-needed relief from the Arizona heat. However, without routine maintenance, a pool can quickly start to show signs of decline. Adequate upkeep of a pool requires more than skimming leaves and debris off the water’s surface and involves taking proper care of all its parts and pieces.

One component that’s especially important to pay attention to is the pool pump. This piece of equipment is at the core of a pool’s plumbing system, propelling thousands of gallons of water a week into the pipes and playing an essential role in helping to keep pools debris-free and unclogged. Because of their continual hard work, it’s easy for pumps to become vulnerable to deterioration if not protected. By performing the following pool pump maintenance tasks on a regular basis throughout the year, homeowners can avoid unsavory swimming conditions and costly pump repairs.

Clean It

Algae can easily begin to grow in and around a pump, causing clogs to occur. Making sure to turn the motor off first so as not to stir up dirt, clean the pump and remove buildup with a few light sweeps of a dust broom to prevent the accumulation of debris.

Inspect for Leaks

After the pump has been cleaned, it’s a good time to inspect it for evidence of leaks or ripped seals. If any problems are found, the seals will need immediate replacement.

Check the Pressure Gauge

Though there is a recommended level of pressure that comes in the owner’s manual for every pool, what’s truly appropriate will be determined by the pool’s specific size, the pump’s horsepower, and a variety of other considerations. What’s important is that the pressure gauge doesn’t read 10 psi or more above the suggested marker. If it does, filters will need to be cleaned out or backwashed so too much pressure isn’t put on the pipes.

Provide Shelter

There are several box and cover options when it comes to sheltering a pump to keep it safe from outside elements. This will help to keep the inside free and clear of debris, as well as pool chemicals that can cause corrosion inside the motor. The key when picking something out is to make sure the motor will not be sealed in an airtight space.

Make Sure There is Air Circulation

Sufficient air circulation around the pump is crucial for keeping the motor cool. Air inlets should be cleaned periodically with the power off to ensure moisture is not trapped in the motor, which can damage bearings and insulation.

The average time a pool pump should be running a day is eight hours, meaning it’s putting in a lot of work. For optimal performance and water quality, it’s best for homeowners to implement a weekly maintenance schedule for their pool pumps.

How to Choose the Perfect Pool Surface Material & the Benefits of Each

Whether you’re having a new swimming pool installed or renovating the one you already have, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is what kind of material to use for the pool surface. It’s vital to choose wisely, as this will have a major impact on the overall look of the pool once it’s complete. There are several different options available for Arizona pool surfacing, each catering to different needs when it comes to cost, quality, comfort, and appeal.

Popular Arizona Pool Surfacing Options

The most popular pool surface materials are plaster, tile, and aggregate. Within each surface category, there are additional options in a wide range of colors and composition. When picking which of these will best achieve the aesthetic goal you have for your pool, you must consider the water color you desire, how important durability and longevity are to you, and what kind of texture you want to feel on the bottom of your feet.

Benefits & Differences of Each Surface Type

Plaster – Being one of the most affordable materials, plaster remains a top choice for pool surfaces. It offers a smooth and simple finish, though it can be dyed other colors to change up the typical white appearance and produce a different effect. Though favored by many, plaster is known to crack and erode quicker than the other choices, and it doesn’t support activities where traction is needed.

Tile – With a level of durability that’s in a league all its own, tile is the longest lasting material and gives pool owners an endless number of elegant design possibilities. Tile finishes come in ceramic, glass, stone, and porcelain and can be laid in numerous patterns. It also has plenty of traction to keep swimmers from slipping all over.

Aggregate – Aggregate finishes are the newest type of surface on the market. They are created by blending pieces of quartz, glass beads, pebbles, or granite in with plaster, guaranteeing a look that’s one-of-a-kind. This allows for a more decorative presentation than just plaster, and they aren’t as susceptible to stains or chemical damage.

To ensure you’re going to be satisfied with your choice, it’s best to consider each of these pool surface materials carefully and weigh their benefits against one another to see what’s most significant to you in the long term. The experts at New Image Landscape and Pools can help you select the perfect finish to complement your pool and property.

 

Artificial Turf: Pros and Cons, and Why It May Be a Better Option in Arizona

In Arizona, many people are considering installing artificial turf or grass as part of their landscaping. Because of the arid conditions of the Arizona environment, there are many good reasons to install artificial turf in all or part of your overall landscaping. Artificial turf is generally made up of polyethylene plastic grass on top of a base constructed of recycled, ground up tires. There are many pros to installing artificial grass including:

Lower Maintenance Costs

Green lawns come at a high price. Lush green lawns can account for up to a third of all residential water use. Also, since artificial turf does not require mowing, trimming, or blowing, there is less gas or electric use for the tools. In addition to not having to be mowed or watered, artificial lawns do not need to be re-seeded or replanted. They do not become brown and will stay green all year round for a great looking lawn.

Environmentally Friendly

Because artificial turf/grass is made of recycled materials, it is a good use of materials that might otherwise be in the landfills. Additionally, since an artificial lawn can have a lifespan of up to 25 years, it can be less expensive than real grass.

Stands Up to High Traffic

Because of the durability of artificial turf, it is a great option for high traffic areas such as kids’ play areas. If you’ve ever wanted a putting green in your yard, artificial turf is the way to go!

Highly Customizable

Also, artificial lawns are available in different textures, colors, and blade lengths. The newest generations of artificial grass have been known to fool a lot of people, making them very attractive.

Cons

Some of the negative points about artificial grass include:

  • It may act as a heat source, as it absorbs heat and can feel hot to the touch when in direct sun.
  • Pet owners say that there are pros and cons. Artificial turf does not absorb animal waste; however, it does allow liquids to pass to the ground underneath the turf.

Learn More About Artificial Turf

At New Image Landscape and Pools, we are very knowledgeable about both live and artificial lawns. We would be happy to sit down and discuss the pros and cons of each. We can also discuss your individual needs to determine which type of lawn will be best for your individual lifestyle and home.

5 Reasons You Need A New Pool In AZ

It’s no secret that the Arizona summers can be a little too hot to handle sometimes, often reaching temperatures over 100 degrees, which means that outside activities are often kept to a minimum. Other than the obvious reason to have a pool in Arizona, there are many other ways that a new pool can benefit you. Here are five reasons, as recommended by New Image Landscape and Pools, for getting a new pool.

Arizona summers are HOT!

This is, of course, the most common and obvious reason to have a pool in Arizona. Reaching high temperatures well above 100 degrees throughout the summer months, many consider it a MUST HAVE in any home. It had been surveyed, and nearly one-third of all homeowners in the Phoenix-Metro area (including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert) own a pool. So, it may be time to build your new backyard oasis and keep cool this summer.

Increase home value

Professionals in the real estate industry have always argued whether adding a pool will increase the value of your home or be seen as more of a liability. Lucky for Arizona home-owners, having a pool is practically seen as a necessity and can increase your home’s value by nearly 8 percent.

Encourage family time

Summertime also means summer break for kids and what better way to spend time with your family than having pool party? This will encourage your brood to hang out at home where you can know their whereabouts and, if you’re practicing proper pool safety, rest assured that they are in a safe environment as they enjoy their break from school.

Fitness

Forget about spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on the latest home gym equipment that you will only use for a few months. Aquatic exercise and fitness is just as effective and can double as a form of massage therapy for achy bones and muscles. By having your own pool at home, you don’t necessarily have to purchase any additional equipment or expensive gym memberships. The best part, is that you get to work out in the privacy of your own home – the true judgment free zone.

Saves you from the having to go to public pools

Let’s face it, just the thought of going to a public pool gives you an uneasy feeling, but it’s just so dang hot outside and you’re just dying to cool off. By having your own pool, you don’t have to worry about over-crowded public pools and all of the germs that come along with it. You can find comfort in knowing exactly how clean your pool is because you have complete control over it.

If you are considering adding a new pool to your home, hopefully, these five reasons will help make your decision a little bit easier. Start building your new pool today, because there is never any room for the summertime blues in sunny Arizona!

The Pros and Cons of Vinyl Pools

January is the time of year when people start thinking about having a pool installed; the hot summer days of last year aren’t so far behind them that they are forgotten, and the new summer is still far enough away that the new pool will be completed and ready for frolicking in.  Like any good homeowner you have been doing your research and have been reading about – or if you are from back east – have heard about the popularity of vinyl lined pools.   You won’t see many vinyl pools in the Phoenix area, but they have become better known in recent years.  Below is a list of pros and cons to help you determine if vinyl is the direction you want to go.

Pros of Vinyl Pools

  • Cheaper Initial Cost – Of all pool types (fiberglass, concrete or vinyl) vinyl has the lowest startup costs. The materials are cheaper, installation costs are lower, and once the pool is filled, chemical start up is cheaper.
  • Versatility of shape, depth, color and pattern – Easily moldable, a vinyl liner can be stretched to form almost any shape you can imagine…L shaped, Grecian; if the structure can be built, vinyl can be formed to it. Vinyl also comes in many different colors and patterns, allowing you to be creative with your pool design.
  • Retards algae growth – the non-porous surface of the vinyl liner retards the growth of algae, causing less maintenance overall. Very little chlorine is needed for upkeep, keeping maintenance costs down.
  • Smooth on tender feet – Anyone who has spent any amount of time in a pool understands how sensitive feet get the longer you’re in the pool; concrete pools can rub your feet raw after prolonged exposure – the soft vinyl surface will not.

Cons

  • Long term costs are higher – Vinyl pool liners need to be replaced every 7-15 years, costing you as little as $2000 to as much as $4000 each time. This can add up rather quickly and tends to negate the savings of initial installation.
  • More care needed – Vinyl is very thin and tears rather easily; dogs, kids, roofing material that comes that lands in your pool after a big monsoon storm – any or all debris could damage the liner causing you to have to replace it sooner than you originally calculated, again adding to and negating the original cost savings.
  • Discoloration – chlorine can bleach the liner leading to unattractive discoloration. The only remedy is replacing the liner.
  • Resale value – Installing a pool only adds around 10 percent to the price of resale value and a vinyl lined pool adds even less. The industry tends not to respect the value of a vinyl and prospective sellers anticipate problems and shy away from homes with vinyl lined pools.

Decision making

Now you’ve read some of the pros and cons of vinyl pools all that is left is making the final decision.  You may have to spend a lot of time researching and talking to people to help you pick the perfect pool, but in the end, it will be time well spent.  Summer days in the desert can be brutal but when you are floating in your own beautifully designed pool we can almost guarantee you won’t even notice the heat!

If you want more information, please feel free to contact us, we appreciate it!

5 Backyard Amenities You Never Knew you Needed

Until relatively recently, a well-appointed backyard might have a swing set for the children, a pool and spa for everyone, and maybe – if you felt like walking on the wild side – a Tiki Bar for the adults.  The neighbors would ooh and ah and go back to their own homes feeling jealous and disgruntled over their own boring backyard and start saving their pennies to invest in improvements while life continued at a slow and orderly pace with few surprises and even fewer excitements.

Then our people at New Image Landscape and Pools came into the picture and life as you have always known it changed forever.  Today, people have swim-up bars, pagodas, waterfalls in their pools – even greenhouses in their their backyards, creating a luxurious and spa-like atmosphere that makes you feel as if you never want to leave home.  Below is a list of what we consider the top 5 backyard improvements.

  • Waterfalls – Nothing is more soothing than the sound of running water…why not add a waterfall feature to your pool?  They come in a variety of sizes and styles, from simple rock formations, to concrete scupper bowls that allow the water to pour over wide edges, and everything in between.  Add fire for drama, LED lighting for beauty and for the practical purposes of being able to see when swimming at night.  A waterfall, no matter how simple or how elaborate you make it, also keeps the water circulating, keeping it cleaner and keeping it cooler on the hottest of summer days.
  • Pergolas –The Arizona sun can be scorching, but you still want to dine outdoors? A pergola built on a raised deck adds a stunning design element to your yard, while protecting you from the sun’s searing rays.  Train plants and flowers to grow up and over the wooden frame to add that extra touch of artistic beauty and hang long curtains for a touch of romance and privacy.
  • Fire Pits –We live in the desert, but locals know that once the sun drops behind the mountains, the nights can be practically frigid. Building a fire pit can ward off the chills, creating warmth with style – and a great place to relax with family and friends.  Turn on your newly installed waterfall,  pour some refreshing beverages and pull up a few chairs around the fire pit for a tranquil night with friends and family.
  • Swim-Up Bars –You’ve seen them in fine resorts, but did you know you could have one in your own private backyard pool? Your backyard barbecue will really be hopping once you install a swim up bar in your pool.  Choose the material that excites you the most – even stained wood can be made into a pool bar.  We can install electricity, water, gas and lighting…you just need to provide the alcohol.
  • Negative Edge Swimming Pools –Your home is nestled into the side of a mountain, or built upon a plateau and you are planning to build a pool that adds to the beauty of the panoramic vista that surrounds you? A negative edge pool, more colloquially known as an infinity pool, is something you could consider.  Built to look as if it has no boundaries, the water just drops off into nothingness, creating a vision of beauty that doesn’t compete with its surroundings.

Just a sample

This is just a sample of what we at New Image Landscape and Pools  can do for you…isn’t it time to stop dreaming and start doing?  Give us a call and see what our over 30 years of experience can do to help you create a backyard Shangri-La!