Blue Haven Pools – USA: Tips & Ideas for Buyers/Owners

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Create backyard drama with an infinity swimming pool

  No longer limited to high-end hotels and exclusive properties, an infinity swimming pool has become an option available to private homeowners who desire an extra level of “wow factor” in their backyards. Also known as a zero-, vanishing-, or negative-edge pool, an infinity pool features one or more sides over which the water cascades—virtually merging with the horizon beyond.  Even spas can be built in this fashion. Infinity pools provide an even bigger visual impact when they are built in a yard overlooking a body of water such as a bay, lake, or ocean.  Locations on a hill or cliff above a valley or canyon also deliver incredible views. Depending on the setting, an

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Color-changing LEDs Outshine Other Pool Lights

  When the sun goes down in your backyard, a good lighting system will illuminate your pool & spa and create dazzling evening scenery.  Today, the lighting system of choice for swimming pools is LED (Light Emitting Diodes).  LED illumination will bath your pool, spa, water features, and other decorative elements in stunning jewel-tone colors. The revolutionary technology controls intensity to deliver sensational lighting results.  The colors can remain fixed, or you can set them to rotate for even greater visual drama. A good LED system will also provide the ability to alternate or synchronize two or more colors.  This way, you can change the spa—say to magenta—while the pool is set to blue.  Or,

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The sound & beauty of cascade water features in your pool

  Because it enhances both the sights and sounds of a swimming pool, one of today’s biggest design trends in backyard resorts is a type of waterfall known as a cascade feature. One kind of cascade comes from a specially designed overflow from an attached spa.  However, an independent cascade feature is possible in any pool with a raised section of wall or other structure—no spa required. The stand-alone feature comes as a manufactured vessel.  Available in several models, straight and arched, it can be installed on either straight or curved pool walls. Another model option is the pattern of water flow.  The original style flows as a sleek, smooth sheet.  A newer style has

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Custom In-ground Spas

  Part 2 of 2: Popular design ideas for your new spa From simple to elaborate, a spa provides a terrific opportunity to accentuate the style of your new backyard pool.  Decorative features can range from a basic mosaic—such as a sea creature or sports-team logo—in the spa bench, to a high-end infinity design with a 360-degree perimeter overflow.  One design consideration is the spa shape.  A full circle is the most popular, but you can also have a related form like an oval, horseshoe, or semi-circle.  For a contemporary look, go for a square, rectangle, triangle, or hexagon.  To create a softer, swimmer-friendly shape, pool designers will often modify these shapes—rounding or cutting off

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Custom In-ground Spas

  Part 1 of 2: Get more value from your new pool by including a spa When planning a new swimming pool, it’s smart to make an attached custom spa part of the design. Providing a setting unique from the one inside the pool, a spa is a smart, versatile addition that will pay off in a variety of ways. While inclusion of a spa with your new pool will increase the amount of your initial purchase, your family’s health and enjoyment will go up even more! Relaxation is one reason why. With swooshing water, hydrotherapy jets, and a setting separated from the pool, a spa offers the perfect respite after a long day at

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Planning your new pool

  Part 1 of 2: Elements of the construction plan With so many decisions to make when buying a pool—including choices about design, materials, features, equipment, location in your yard, decking, and other additions such as fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, or landscaping—there may be times when you want to change your mind about an earlier selection. Before any dirt is turned in your backyard, your pool designer will develop a construction plan and give you a copy to review.  Typically, a plan will outline elements such as, but not limited to: >  Backyard measurements >  Pool position in the yard >  Footprint of the house >  Property lines, fences, and other barriers (e.g., overhead power lines)

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15 great ways to update your aging pool, deck & equipment

  Bring new life to your dated backyard resort today—and save time and money tomorrow.  A pool modernization and style makeover can deliver a variety of benefits, including: – enhanced beauty & enjoyment – reduction of water & energy consumption – greater operating ease and time savings related to maintenance – prevention of more labor- & cost-intensive repairs in the future. When planning your pool and backyard makeover, consider these smart options for your renovation: Note: Some options & materials listed here may not be available in all areas of the U.S. or may not be appropriate for your particular pool or backyard. Your local pool builder will advise which choices are best suited for

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Beach Entry Swimming Pools

Part 2 of 2:  Is a beach entry right for your pool? When considering a beach entry for your backyard resort, there are several factors to consider and discuss with your pool builder. One is the size of your pool.  That’s because this special design element will gobble up a significant amount of length in order to reach the pool bottom.  Certain factors—such as the shape of your pool and the width of the beach entry—can influence the final amount of length that is required. Another consideration is your pool’s desired functionality.  For example, if sunbathing is a key reason for wanting a beach entry, a better—and more affordable—alternative exists: A tanning ledge (also called

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Beach Entry Swimming Pools

Part 1 of 2:  Overview & Benefits Also called a zero entry, a beach entry mimics the natural access found at the beach. (See beach entry photo gallery here.) Positioned at the shallow end, the entry point is constructed to be virtually even with the deck. Sloping from the deck—like a ramp—into the pool water, the entry becomes progressively deeper with each step you take, providing a gentle transition into deeper water. Typically, a beach entry replaces the regular steps into a pool.  In some cases, accent boulders are placed on the sides of the entry or within in it—partially submerged—to visually distinguish the area and create a visual cue that the area is sloped.

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Pool photos provide inspiration for your backyard resort—and help you prepare for your pool designer

Part 2 of 2: Being open to modifying your choices when meeting with pool designers While it’s wise to view pool photos (see part 1 of this article) and collect examples of your preferences ahead of time, it’s also helpful to remain flexible about your final choices. That’s because in the beginning, what you believe you want…in the end, may not be after you consider what’s best for your pool, backyard, family, or budget.  Here are some examples of why you want to be flexible with your dream list. Example 1:   You enjoy the look of natural flagstone coping for your pool’s perimeter.   When you meet with your designer, he explains that while

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