Thursday, January 26, 2017

So, what do pool builders do in the winter?

SO, WHAT DO YOU ALL DO IN THE WINTERTIME?


So, what do you all do in the wintertime?  That may be the most asked question from about mid-December through early March.  It is also a valid question when one works in a swimming pool business in Massachusetts.  I am sure that some pool companies shut down and head south, but we have other ideas.  

First and foremost, we continue to work five days a week (barring holidays of course).  We continue to get phone calls for service for spas and indoor pools and we continue to meet with new customers to discuss new construction and renovations.  With the exception of the week after Christmas, you can count on Aquaknot to answer the phones.  In fact, we encourage you to call us to schedule your openings as spring is just around the corner.

Secondly, we are working on bettering ourselves.  The winter is the time to learn about new products, what is working, what isn't working, and what does the future hold.  Many of our team members attend seminars and schools to help move our company forward, providing our customers with the latest in pool technology and products.  

Thirdly, prepare.  Right now, we are beginning the hiring process for the opening season.  Some of our employees have been with us for over a decade, but each year, we also welcome new people to our team as our company grows. 


Lastly, we plan.  As we wait out the winter, we know that as soon as a shovel can sink into the dirt, we will be out there in backyards working against weather conditions and deadlines.  Our goal for the spring is to have as many people swimming as soon as possible without compromising quality.  As we start to book openings and take on weekly service clients, we will begin putting together our "master plan" to be sure that our customers' needs are 100% satisfied.  We will also be looking for ways to improve our customer service as we feel that as a business, there is always room to improve.  

So, yes, we are not digging pools and our service is limited from December through March, but we continue our goal to grow and improve throughout the winter months to remain one of Massachusetts leading swimming pool companies.  


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Trust the Professionals





INTERNET RESEARCH IS A GREAT WAY TO START BUT...

It is a running joke around here that if someone has a question, I will be the first to jump on google to get the answer.  This works when trying to find out if Brad Pitt is really reconciling with Angelina, or for how long to cook a 5 pound roast; however, when looking into building a custom gunite pool, internet research should only be your starting point.  

If I googled right now, "are chlorine pools better than salt," I would get a million and one answers.  I use this as an example because this is a very often asked question.  The irony of this example is that with a million and one answers online to this question, the answer from a professional is that salt water pools are chlorine pools.  The salt generates chlorine.  Why am I telling you this?  To prove my point.  You cannot just rely on what the internet tells you, but you already probably know that.


When we go out to your home and discuss a pool installation, we are always happy to hear that people have done some legwork, researched things they may want, and have an idea of what their goal is.  The problem is, that sometimes what you want and what will work are two very different things.  This is why you call in a professional.  Oftentimes, people want various extras or amenities when building a swimming pool but, as is the case with most electronics, the products have to be compatible.  Our salesperson has vast knowledge on the products on the market today.  She knows what works and how well it works.  As a family-owned business that has been installing custom gunite pools for thirty years, we have seen it all and we make a conscious effort to remain at the forefront of trends but to also know what is worth the cost and what is not.  Our business is built on trust and we are honest with our customers.  Other companies may push a high end product simply because it is popular and creates income.  We prefer that customers choose their products based on their wants of course, but also based on what will work properly with their overall project.   A lot of times we will come to a meeting and hear about the promises from another company about a "great product" or something that a potential customer's friend has or something someone found on the internet.  We believe it is our job to provide truthful information and to steer customers toward products that work and are compatible with what their overall desire is.  

So, please, continue to do your research, talk to friends, and present these ideas when meeting with our sales and design person but know that we will do our best to give you the pros and cons of these ideas as we feel it is our job to ensure not only that you receive the pool/spa that you so desire but one that will provide joy not extra money or headaches.  


Considering a project in the future, we continue to meet the needs of our current customers and future customers by maintaining operations all winter.  Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss a future product!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

SALE SALE SALE



You didn't think we would end the year too quiet, did you?  We know we know, it is only November and I promise you, we respect the Turkey but with the season winding down, we hope you will forgive us for giving you a push on some early Christmas Shopping.   So... Beginning Monday, November 7, 2016, take 20% off all of our pool floats and toys.  So what if it is November and you aren't swimming, this is a perfect gift to remind everyone when the weather is cold and dark that there is sunshine around the corner, or perhaps a great gift to someone down south, or maybe someone heading on vacation to someplace warm.  Whatever the reason, come in between November 7th and November 30th to take advantage of this special end of season promotion.

Offer applies to our Lakeville Store only - 54 Main Street, Lakeville, MA.  

Here is a glimpse of what is in store!



Friday, October 14, 2016


ARE YOU THINKING OF A SWIMMING POOL?



The average homeowner waits well over a
year from first considering a swimming pool to actually taking the proverbial plunge.  This is due to the many options and considerations when deciding if a swimming pool is right for you and your family.  If you are thinking that you may want to dive in (Ok, I promise I will stop), now is a great time to start thinking about it.  I always think of Clark Griswold in the movie Christmas Vacation when I think about the time and effort it takes just to get to signing the dotted line.  Like most big decisions in life, adding a swimming pool to your back yard is a process involving many steps.

1.  Research types and price ranges

Pool installation prices range greatly between areas of the United States.  A gunite swimming pool will triple (or more) in price when you build it in the Northeast region verses the south.  This is in part because of the climate and the need to use heartier materials that can withstand a cold New England winter.  

When looking at what type of pool you want to get, it is good to have a general sense of what you can afford.  Pools range in price from a few thousand dollars for an above-ground to skies the limit when you go in-ground and start customizing.  

Also, consider your future.  Are you in your forever home?  If so, it may be worth it to go higher end if you are going to spend many years enjoying the pool.  If this is your "for the time being home," you want to consider whether your investment will be worth it at the end of the day.  In speaking with a local realtor, a swimming pool in a higher end eighborhood is considered more of a must have.  There are also buyers that would like a home with a pool already so that they do not have to put the time and effort into building one.  

In the northeast, you really have four choices:  aboveground, inground vinyl, inground fiberglass, and inground gunite.

Above grounds are ideal for someone who is maybe on the fence, wants something for while the kids are young, or does not have the means or the yard to go inground.  They can be up and running in a day and while some can cost you $15,000+, the majority are quite cost efficient. The downfall?  In our harsh winters, many above ground owners find themselves having to replace their pools or the liners when the weather gets extreme.  

Inground Vinyl Liners have come a long way over the last decade.  With the ability to provide more options than ever before, they are a more cost effective way to get the luxury of an inground pool without the larger price tag.  That being said, as with many updates in the 21st century, vinyl liners have a much shorter life expectancy than liners installed 10 years ago.  A homeowner should expect to have to replace the liner ever 7 to 9 years, more if a small animal or pet decides to go swimming.  Vinyl liner pools also require some caution when it comes to vacuuming equipment and chemicals so as to not accelerate the decaying process.  Additionally, while a vinyl liner can look great in your back yard, the options for what can be put into it are limited, but if you are looking for a simple pool, a discount in the price (although here in the northeast, vinyl liner pool installation costs have substantially increased) or maybe you just aren't in your forever home, then this is absolutely the way to go.

Fiberglass pools have started to pop up more in the northeast in the last few years.  I heard a great comment about fiberglass pools the other day.  It was during a discussion about water tables and the lack of a hydrostatic valve in a fiberglass pool and the person said to me "you are basically putting a boat in your backyard."  So for those of you who may be new to pool lingo, click on water table to learn more about what it is.  Basically, if a pool is installed and there is a high water table, there is no where for water to go.  This ultimately causes the water to go under the pool and lift it from where it sets.  In both vinyl liner inground pools and gunite pools, a hydrostatic valve is placed inside the main drain of a pool and it opens and shuts to allow water in and out to allow the natural water table under your pool to remain level at all times.  A fiberglass pool has no hydrostatic valve so if you are living in an area with a high water table, a fiberglass pool has a higher chance of lifting out of place.  Fiberglass pools are generally a "faster" installation than other types of inground pools.  The price tag is akin to a custom gunite pool; however, homeowners are limited in their imagination as the pools are generally made in specific shapes and sizes so not a lot of customizing. 

2.  So you have reached the stage where you know what you want, but how are you paying?

We all know that the housing bubble didn't just burst, it exploded.  Years ago, people were able to use equity in their homes as an extra bank account.  Some people may still be able to do this, but if you are not in this group, then you may be trying to think outside the box.  The short answer is, there are options if you cannot take a home equity line.  Aquaknot Pools has an exclusive agreement with Paramount financing to offer financing options to our customers.  A preapproval can be completed with a few clicks of the button and you will soon be on your way to designing.  Beyond our financing, we would recommend you speak with your, or a, financial advisor to determine the best way for you and your family to get the pool you have been waiting for.

3.  Know your limitations and your hurdles

So many site issues can arise when looking at building a swimming pool, from zoning to conservation to septic placement, it is always important to do your homework.  Oftentimes, our sales and design department's first meeting will be spent going over many of the hurdles and all pool talk will cease until such hurdles are overcome.  This may mean seeking permission from your local conservation department, moving septic, or bringing in an engineer.  Depending on your yard, a pool may also require a structural wall be created to maintain the integrity of the site.  All of this is good to know in advance so that you can be prepared for what extra hurdles, and maybe more importantly, what extra costs you need to think about.  

4.  You have your money, you know what you want, you know what you need to get it, so what then?

Here comes the fun part...really, I mean it.  Now comes the design phase.  Any pool company can give you a rough estimate of what a pool will cost but it isn't until a design has been finalized that you can have the true number.  If you are doing a vinyl or a fiberglass pool, this part will be less cumbersome to you as your options are somewhat limited.  If you are going for a custom gunite pool, then it is time to let your imagination lead the way (well, so long as you know your limitations).  Custom gunite pools come with so many options, it can be over whelming.  From general shape, to entries (stairs, beach walkin), to attached spas or waterfalls, there are so many ways to make your pool suit your needs. Today's pool customer can add in water tables, fire bowls, LED lighting, floor cleaning systems and so much more.  

Then, just like building a house, you will get the options of surfaces, tiles, decking, and coping.  A somewhat overwhelming task but one we are with you for every step of the way.

Other options to consider are whether you want a heater to extend the time you get to use the pool, do you want an automatic cover as added safety, what about salt?  There are so many decisions and it is crucial to get real answers so that you know what is worth the money and what you may want to leave by the wayside.  If you aren't getting the pros and cons from your pool designer, then you may want to seek second opinions.  


If you are an Aquaknot customer, by the time you sign to start work you have 3-D photos of your pool and how it will look in your backyard, you have a detailed proposal, and you have a price.  You are ready to sign and start moving on your dream swimming pool.  

Considering a swimming pool?  Call us today for a free on-site consultation and free estimate.






Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: Were You One of the Pool Owners Cursing This Sprin...

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: Were You One of the Pool Owners Cursing This Sprin...: We all jumped for joy over the dry, almost snow free winter, we had here in the Northeast last winter; however, if you are a pool owner,...

Were You One of the Pool Owners Cursing This Spring?



We all jumped for joy over the dry, almost snow free winter, we had here in the Northeast last winter; however, if you are a pool owner, then you learned that it is not always good to have such a mild winter.  

Mild temps, little snow, and little rain meant swimming pools that could pass for a swamp.  Our beloved customers came into the store in droves threatening to fill in the pool if they had to clean the filter one more time.   Gallons and bags of shock passed through our doors at record speeds.  We sympathized with all of you during this time and we hated to give you the answer you didn't want to hear which is that you just had to let it filter, keep shocking and adding chlorine, and keep clearing the filter.  

Then, you finally got it perfect, right?  It was beautiful without a spec of algae in sight when mother nature struck again with one of the hottest summers on record.  Again, the battle ensued of shocking, brushing, and backwashing.  Let's face it, being a pool owner this summer was hard work.  Well, unless you used our weekly pool service and let us do the dirty work.

So, here we are now.  You are at the end of your season.  Whether you handle the closing the pool
on your own or you use a company, there are things you can and should be doing to maybe avoid what you went through last spring.  Here are the top ways to make spring 2017 a happy start to your pool season:


1.  OPEN EARLY

We are already booking openings for many of our customers for 2017.  It can take one to three weeks easily to clear your pool up following the opening.  Those customers that open early are often up and running faster.  The openings book up fast and so those that have already booked know they are getting opened early and will be swimming sooner.

Don't want to spend the extra money opening sooner?  Think of it this way, if you open later, then your pool equipment has to run longer and harder to keep up with the amount of algae growth that occurs as the result of a later opening.  All of this equals more chemicals, higher electric bills, and more man hours.  The difference between an April opening and a May opening can be drastic. Consider that most winter shocks and algae inhibitors last about 90 days, prolonging your opening another month means dirtier, greener water.  Of course if you do want to wait til May, there are things you can still do to "save yourself" and we will talk about those things soon, if you have the ability to open early, we say call us now!

2.  USE RELIABLE, QUALITY WINTERIZING CHEMICALS

We all know that it can be very appealing to hit the local discount store to buy chemicals for your pool but for off season pool care, now is not the time to tighten the wallet.  Winter chemicals are put into your pool at or about the time that the water stops circulating.  That means the chemicals will remain mostly stagnant in the water from about October through April (because you are going to take my advice).  There are so many reasons why it is important to buy quality products for wintertime, just like during the season.  Let's start with the fact you paid a lot of money for this pool and you don't want to have to resurface it or replace a vinyl liner due to poor water quality.  

But wait, there are more reasons.  Many of the discount brands are diluted, have less active ingredients, or can even be expired.  This means they are likely not going to do their job and if you are a true New Englander, you know our new motto is "DO YOUR JOB" so why buy a product that is not likely to work to its true potential.  You need a product that is going to last the maximum amount of time or it is not worth buying so while you may have to pull out a few more dollars, we promise it will be worth it in the long run.  

3.  CLOSE A POOL DIRTY, OPEN A POOL DIRTY


It is never advisable to close your pool without a good vacuum.  The best openings start with a clean closing.  Leaves and debris left at the bottom of the pool can cause staining over the winter.  While there are products that can lighten and erase those stains, the purpose of this article is to help you save time and avoid common problems, so heed our warnings, get the vacuum out and give the pool one last cleaning before the cover goes on.  


4.  A LITTLE LATE WINTER LOVE DOESN'T HURT

So, you know that you don't want the pool opened early or perhaps we get another warm winter.  Schedule a reminder for yourself to pull back the cover and add another bottle of algaecide and a gallon of liquid chlorine to your pool about a month before you are scheduled to open.  This will cover that final month when the winter chemicals have stopped working and it will get you ready for opening.  If you have a solid cover, this is also a great time to pump the water off the cover and clear the leaves that have accumulated.  


While we cannot guarantee that all of this will mean you will be opening up to a crystal clear pool, we can tell you that it will sure give you a great start to next season.  Remember, to call early for your opening as we start to book up in early March.  






Click here or call us today: 781-335-7705

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why it is Best to Leave Closing Your Pool to the Professionals

Whether you are a long time pool owner or fairly new to the process, one of the most important parts of your pool care is the care in properly winterizing your pool.  In Massachusetts especially, the harsh winters can cause serious damage to your pool, if not properly winterized.  Two years ago, in one of the harshest winters on record, I had our town water company at the home explaining to me that the underground pipes leading to my home were frozen solid and that even though I run my water throughout the day, when temps get as low as they currently were, there is not much you can do.  At that comment, I couldn't help but thinking of all those swimming pools out there.  Maybe if you are a pool owner, you thought about this a lot during that winter as well.  Well, when you weren't out searching for your shovel under six feet of snow.  So... reasons why it is best to leave pool closings for the professionals:

1.  Protecting those pipes

Winterizing a pool involves blowing any water out of the pipes filling the pipes with antifreeze and plugging them up after.  If not done properly, those pipes can freeze and crack and those cracks can be costly to repair.  Just consider the cost of a cracked pipe under your pool deck.  Not only will you have to pay to repair the pipe, but you will likely need to rip up a portion of your deck to get to it.  Aquaknot closes over 600 pools each year.  Our team is skilled in winterizing swimming pool lines and many of our team members have been doing it for over a decade.  It is in their blood, so to say.  While you or your spouse may be handy around the house, why not leave this job to the professionals. 

2.  Warranties!!!

A reputable  pool company (and I stress the reputable part) will warranty their closing.  That means if a pipe bursts because it wasn't properly winterized, the company will take responsibility for the repair. This is important to ask before hiring a person/company to close your pool.  There are a lot of people out there that will claim to have the knowledge to properly close your pool, but if something happens, are those same people going to stand by his/her work?  As mentioned above, an error in winterizing can be expensive, time consuming, and delay the start of your swimming pool season the following year.  Not only does hiring a professional take the stress and time off your hands in closing the pool, but it will give you peace of mind that if something does go wrong (not that anything should so long as you hire the right person),  you are covered.  

3.  It's the total package

I cannot vouch for other companies but when you hire us to 
complete a full (meaning we also put the cover on) closing, then you hire us to do it all.  Our closing includes removing baskets, breakdown and cleaning the filter, blow out your lines and winterize with antifreeze, secure your cover and put everything away for the winter.  Our regular customers also enjoy the knowledge that if there is an issue that will need to be resolved before or at the time of their opening, we will be ready to move forward with little disruption to our customer's pool opening.  

4.  Why do the work when you can pay someone to do it for you

There are better ways to spend your weekends in the fall months.  Why spend a morning winterizing and closing your pool when you can enjoy going to your child's soccer game, leaf peaking, or apple picking?  Let someone else close up shop for the winter and go enjoy yourself!