We provide gunite pool remodels for your swimming pool. Take a tired looking pool and refresh it with a remodel at a much lower cost than installing a new pool.
- Gunite repair and pool resurfacing
- Tile repair and replacement
- Coping repair and replacement
- Stained/stamped concrete
- Equipment upgrades
- V.G.B. compliant retrofits
- Water feature additions
Contact Crystal Pools Inc. to schedule an appointment for an estimate or answers to any questions you have
Backyard shade is hardly new; umbrellas and awnings have been around for decades. But today they have been modernized, much like the kitchen fridge or the American automobile. Current cover-ups have gone high tech providing motorized and remote operation, sturdier fabrics that last longer, greater selections and a whole bunch of new options for comfort and durability.
Finding the Right Shade
When entertaining poolside, you may want to offer swimmers a chance to cool off under the span of a large market umbrella placed tableside or under a telescoping umbrella set over a chaise. An awning may be a better option if you want to move guests who desire shade to a patio or porch area closer to the house.
Most patio umbrellas range in size from a standard 7.5 feet to custom-made models that span up to 13 feet in diameter. Awnings can cover a wide gamut: small enough to shade a bathroom window or large enough to cover the entire rear of a home. With this in mind, also consider factors such as fabric, UV protection, durability, size and price in your buying decision.
Spot Shade: Umbrellas
Just about as much selection and variety can be found in outdoor umbrella choices as in furnishing selections for the interior of your home. Options include:
- Drape umbrellas
- Market umbrellas
- Single- or double-tiered
- Wooden or aluminum poles
- Single or double poles
- Push-ups or crank-lifts
- Automated or pulley and rope types
While there are some variations in quality and durability, according to Charlie Emmons, vice president of sales and marketing for Dayva International, it comes down to a matter “of highly personal preference.”
For Emmons, important factors to consider in purchasing an umbrella are sun blockage, craftsmanship of the frame and finishing work.
The traditional aluminum frame patio umbrella has undergone a transformation from a simple push-up operation to the more sophisticated crank and, presently, to an even smoother rope-and-pulley system with remote. The advent of woven acrylic fabrics that endure the elements and provide protection from the sun has produced products that last longer, says Emmons. “Now you can have an aluminum market umbrella without the wood pole, using a simulated overlay. You can even add a tilt or crank feature.”
- If coordinating with chair frames is essential, you can also select from a variety of pole colors.
- If keeping your balance while tilting your umbrella sounds like a good idea, the crank-tilt or column-tilt option will let you change angles a little lower down the pole while your feet stay planted firmly on the ground.
Accessorizing market umbrellas with clip-on lighting adds a soft glow and a luxurious atmosphere. The solution for those in windy environs might be a two-tiered umbrella or vented top umbrella.
According to Emmons, “Two-tiered umbrellas are phenomenal for wind resistance.” For poolside lounging, there is, of course, the telescoping umbrella, with offset pole, which can protect an entire chaise or two. Remote-controlled umbrellas can be operated much like car remotes and include options like wind sensors. At the touch of a button, you can close them when unexpected weather arrives.
Super Shade: Awnings
If it’s an awning that you’re after, there are fixed and retractable awnings, awnings with woven acrylic fabric or solid vinyl. Solid vinyl can provide strong protection from the elements and wear well, especially since most are treated against sun-fading and UV degradation.
However, “One of the biggest complaints about awnings,” says Jerry Barrette of Patio Sunshades, Buena Park, CA, “is that they darken too much. Vinyl-coated polyester will last twice as long, but it does not protect from rain.” Patio Sunshades is introducing a roll-up window shade fabric that will protect from the elements as well as provide a filter for light.
New fabric styling with clean and updated takes on traditional shades, like blue, green and neutrals with an added touch of red and black, provides unusual combinations of stripes.
The question of quality in awnings comes down to not only the fabric, but also to the craftsmanship. Mary Ann Mays, advertising/marketing manager for Anchor Industries, believes that in the past, retractable awnings may have had problems with cumbersome cable and noise. Anchor Industries has recently introduced the latest in European craftsmanship which operates the awning through a resin-covered cable system that is encased in flexible ribbon. The resulting operation is smooth and noiseless, increasing the life of the awning.
Of course, the top-of-the-line model is always great, but even if you were to choose a traditional retractable awning, it will only take a minute or so to set it up. There are, as expected, remote control options and ways to accessorize your awning, with products such as sunshades that clip onto the awning frame and roll down for protection from particularly tricky sun angles.
Maintain Your Shade
Pay as much attention to the care of your purchase as you would to the quality of your purchase. Manufacturers do what technology and cost permit to make products carefree, but they still will need proper care, like storage in bad weather or an occasional cleaning. Traditional warranties on umbrellas are one year; awning warranties are generally longer, depending on the type that you buy.
To add a fresh look to your backyard, poolscape or spascape, don’t worry about tackling the entire outdoor space or spending big bucks. Think mini-makeover and get ready to accessorize.
These days pretty much everything indoors has worked its way outdoors, and that does mean everything, including:
- wall hangings
- draperies and throws.
Woven designs, colored fabrics and innovative textures have been technologically developed and improved through the years. They are extremely durable, weather-resistant and functional, and now come in enough style choices to complement any existing décor.
“Design is not a product of trends or rules, but an expression of individuality, whim and delight,” says interior designer Celerie Kemble.
To update an area quickly, the first thing that comes to mind for Kemble is to create a special nook — a place for one to read or two to cuddle. Cuddle chairs are more comfortable than most indoor furniture, Kemble assures. “They are so cushy, it is hard to believe they are made for outdoors.” Some oversized chairs have a canopy, which can be adjusted or removed for sunning or shading.
In the great outdoors, Kemble suggests that you can “go wild and be daring with décor. If you like chocolate brown, for example, go with a vibrant contrast of turquoise, pale yellows or white.”
Kemble prefers to start with a relaxing solid, what she refers to as “base cloth,” and then add “selective accents, using little blasts of color wherever you can afford.” Mixed subtly around the property or tucked away in complementary pillow stripes, flowers, lava stones or table décor, coordinating tones provide the finishing touch.
On outdoor products, Kemble is comfortable in attesting that today’s offerings work so well, you can just “stick them outside and forget about them.” Indeed, these materials can get wet, will dry, will not rot and will withstand the test of time, in all climates. Faux leather is spectacular, Kemble points out, referring to how much she loves her white faux-leather outdoor set at her Florida home.
“Lighting is extremely important in transforming an area,” notes seasoned designer Richard Frinier. “For some people, seeing floor and table lamps outside may take some getting used to,” Frinier continues, “but they are functional and offer an upscale panache.”
Crafted with 100-percent solution-dyed acrylic fiber, it is hard to believe that some of these styles were designed for the outdoors, as they look perfectly at home when placed in an indoor setting. Even the brass framework will not rust or need painting with exposure to the elements. It weathers beautifully with age and exposure, resulting in a soft patina.
In addition to traditional lamp styles, attractive lanterns, path lighting, uplights, downlights and appropriately placed spotlights illuminate the way to an updated area.
An Accessory or Two
A trendy accent piece looms large in the right spot. Here are some ideas:
- Hang a multicolored twirly mobile from an overhang on the corner of your home, and it becomes a conversation-starter.
- Choose accents such as an outdoor tapestry, sundial or rain gauge to you’re your space a spark.
- An unusual and attractive centerpiece makes a tired and worn outdoor table come alive.
- Layers of sand, shells, stones or jewels placed in the middle of a serving tray or filled vases of varying heights do the trick.
- Pillar candles and coordinating paperware help set a table that guests will remember.
- An old tire-turned-planter or scattered work boots filled with begonias step up to add remarkable flair to an otherwise familiar patio.
- Find a large pottery urn or planter and use white, instead of color. Display it brimming over with all sizes and varieties of pristine white and/or colorful flowers.
- A swing, settee, bench, hammock or bistro set positioned off to the side, diagonally or tucked away in a corner sets its own quiet boundary.
- Placed in front of a newly-pillowed loveseat, fire pits warm the chilly evening air and serve to toast marshmallows safely.
- When topped with lots of tiny potted flowers and placed against the house, a garden cart is both attractive and functional.
- Create a floor design by laying pieces of stone in a framed outlined pattern. Similarly, gravel can produce a carpet-like effect. It is amazingly secure, comfy to walk on, inexpensive and comes in a selection of colors.
Thinking of swimming pool construction?
What if we don’t know what we want?
The first thing you will need is a copy of your platted survey. This would be included in your closing documents from the home purchase. During our first meeting at your site, we will have some questions about how you intend to use the swimming pool, what available options you might prefer, things you like and things you don’t like. From this meeting, we will be able to provide you with a starting design and price.
How much will our swimming pool cost?
Numerous variables will affect the price of your new swimming pool. A base pool will start in the $30,000 range and an elaborate pool could be in the $100,000 range.
How long will it take to build our new swimming pool?
The size of the project and weather are key factors in the time line. A base pool with good weather will take approximately 6-8 weeks after permitting your project.
What is I don’t know how to take care of a swimming pool?
Crystal Pools, Inc. is a one stop shop. If you wish to have someone take care of your new swimming pool, Crystal Pools, Inc. has a complete service department able to satisfy all your swimming pool maintenance needs. If you are a do-it-yourself person, you can take advantage of our fully equipped pool store. Crystal Pools, Inc. provides in-store technical support, a complete line of maintenance equipment and chemicals, and an excellent selection of toys and accessories.
Excellent quality and care is taken into each project with your needs in mind.
For answers to any questions or to schedule an appointment with our design team call 918.299.8228 or email email@example.com