Thursday, August 24, 2017

PREPARING FOR FALL SWIMMING

JUST KEEP SWIMMING....

Let's face it, New England summers are short.  Plagued with a horrible spring full of rain and cold weather, the season was even shorter this year; so, do you throw in the towel and call it a year?  No one wants to see summer end so if you want to spend a few more weeks enjoying the big investment in your backyard, here are some tips on how to do it.

Splurge on a Heater

We know they are expensive but heaters in New England are almost a must have if you really want to get your money's worth, it is definitely the way to go.   Heaters can provide you with an earlier start in the spring and later swimming in the fall.  Today's heaters are energy efficient and heat water quickly allowing for less down time.  In those hot summer months, conserve by leaving it off.  It is your best bet to keeping the water warm well into October.  Another bonus to heaters, use it just when you need it so if weekdays are busy, then turn that heater on Friday night and jump on in on Saturday morning.  

Solar covers

Not able to splurge on a heater?  Leaving a solar cover on when the pool is not in use during the day will allow the heat from the sun to be trapped allowing for a subtle increase in the pool temp.  While you may not have 80 degree water from a solar cover, it can surely take the edge off when taking that plunge.  Another bonus to solar covers is that it reduces evaporation.  With cold nights and warm days, water evaporation increases causing your pool to lose more water.  Solar covers prevent that evaporation reducing the amount of water you have to add to your pool and less water added means less balancing of chemicals and reduction in pool expenses.

Smart Shield by Bioguard

Heard the expression, "strike while the iron is hot"?  Well, this is one you want to use while the warm temps are still upon us.  Want to keep swimming the month of September?   Add Smart Shield to your water at the end of August.  Smart Shield's special formula creates an invisible coating on the water's surface that creates a barrier which maintains pool temps and reduces evaporation for up to 30 days after application. Throw another bottle in toward the end of September to keep the effect lasting.  


At the end of the day, if you are the original pool owner, you have gone through the expense of putting in the pool, why not make the season last as long as possible and enjoy!  When you are ready to close up, give us a call.  





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: MOTHER NATURE, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND

Aquaknot Pools, Inc.: MOTHER NATURE, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND: MOTHER NATURE, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND! Mother nature seems to be a little confused with the seasons this spring.  From cold and ra...

MOTHER NATURE, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND

MOTHER NATURE, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND!


Mother nature seems to be a little confused with the seasons this spring.  From cold and rainy for over a month (who has blue prints for the arch ready to go?) to blistering heat and humidity, this New England spring is giving all of us a run for our money.  I bet I am not the only one who hesitates putting the snow gear away.  Pool owners have been especially hit hard this spring with this crazy weather.  Rain that won't quit is causing balancing issues while the heavy pollen and hot sun is eating up chlorine as fast as it can be added.  Are you frustrated?  Of course.  90 + degree days after lots of rain = green green green and we have all had it.  

Does your pool remind you of this?  






Sooo... what can we do?

Well, if putting your pool indoors isn't an option, then let us give you our top four nuggets of advice for surviving the spring...

1.  When in doubt, chlorinate

Whether you are a salt pool or a straight chlorine pool, it doesn't matter on this one.  You need chlorine and you need a lot of it.  Why?  Because it kills algae which is the main cause of spring time problems with pools.  Regular shocking, add an extra stick to the basket, do whatever you can to keep the chlorine level ideal (1 - 3 ppm).  

A subset to this discussion on chlorinating is that not all chlorine is created equal.  We aren't naming names here but consider the sources and know that you get what you paid for.  Don't believe us?  Get small jug of cheap chlorine and get a small jug of a quality chlorine ahem Bioguard would be a good one, the first thing you are likely to notice is consistency.  Cheap chlorine will feel softer, maybe even crumble a bit in your hands.  What that means?  It will also likely disintegrate faster than its higher end counter part.  End of the day, you will spend just as much, if not more, for the cheap chlorine than the higher end because you will have to buy more.   

2.  Keep up with filter cleanings

Think of backwashing being the quick fix to clearing your filter on a daily basis.  The problem is that backwashing doesn't necessarily get all that gunky algae that sticks to the guts of your filter.  As time goes on that gunk gets thicker and covers the grids of your filter.  Before you know it, you are backwashing multiple times a day, the pool looks cloudy, and your returns are barely pumping out water.  What is happening is that your grids have so much algae and "gunk" that they are not filtering water through any more.  This can reduce your heater's efficiency, raise your filter pressure, cause water balancing issues, and make you pull out your hair when it comes to keeping your pool clear.  If this sounds like your situation, get out there and clean those grids.  Usually just hosing them off can work wonders.  If it is really caked on, see your local pool chemical dealer for cleaning solutions to get those grids good as new.  

3.  Brush, skim, empty, repeat

Tedious is a good word for this time of year with pool care.  Even if you are on a weekly service cleaning plan with a company, you are probably finding that you need to still do some work.  Maintaining the pool in the New England spring is NOT, I repeat NOT, a weekly job.  It is an everyday, maybe morning and night, job at this time of year.  At this time of year, pollen falls into the pool as fast as it can be scooped out.  Springtime flowers come with lots of extra debris, especially if you are a fan of the flowering trees.  Skimmers filled with pollen and flower petals block the chlorine from working and overload the system.   Algae grows on pool walls before you even see it and multiplies by the millions.  How many times have you gone to bed with a clear pool and woken to a green one?  Pollen, petals and leaves clog filters quickly, the more you can skim out before it goes into the skimmer the longer you will have between the filter cleanings.  

4.  Have you tried our Pool Complete?

Ok, so we are a pool company so we need to plug a few of our products :)  Pool Complete came out last year with a guaranteed satisfaction.  Not only does it pull phosphates (you know the chemicals often found in suntan lotions, lawn chemicals, etc), but has clarifying properties that leave your pool unbelievably crystal clear.  Don't believe us?  Check out this Pool Complete Drone Video

The good news

- The good news is that we are almost past the worst of it.  Soon the pollen will be gone, the trees all will have bloomed and pools will become more manageable every day.  As the old saying goes, "this too shall pass."   


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.