Before you can realize your dreams of an in ground pool in your backyard there is an important first step you must take.  Locate and take a good look at your plat of survey to determine just how much usable space you really have in your backyard.  The vastness of your lawn can be deciving, and space may be more limited than you think.  Make sure to keep the following things in mind when planning your in ground pool project:

Rear Easements:  In many cases the rear portion of a property has an easement that runs along the back of the lot.  This easement can be anywhere from 5 to 20 feet, and no permanent structures can be built in this area.  Various utilities such as electric, telephone, and cable companies can use this easement to run underground wires for services.  Take a look at your plat of survey to identify and locate the rear easement line.

Side Easements:  Similar to rear easements, side easements can be used by utility companies to run wiring through your backyard.  Your plat of survey will typically indicate these easements with a dashed line running parallel to the property lines and may be labeled with the abbreviation U.E. (utility easement).

Floodplain:  This is a flat area near a river, stream, pond, or lake that provides water retention in the case of a flood.  Although not always indicated on a plat of survey,  this is an important area to be aware of when planning your swimming pool design and placement.  As a general rule, no permanent structures can be built within a floodplain without significant engineering work to redirect any flood water that might otherwise accumulate in the area.

Distance from Residence:  Many people don’t realize that your pool needs to be located a minimum distance from your home.  Some municipalities require a specfic distance to the house- others specify a minimum amount of decking around the pool area.  Either way, keep in mind that the pool placement will need to conform to local building codes and minimum distances.  Contact your local building department for specifics on where the pool can and can’t be located in relation to your home.

As you can see there are many factors to consider when planning a pool.  The first and most important thing to do is locate a scaled copy of your plat of survey.  It is important that the plat is to scale so that new structures such as the pool, decking and patio can be shown with the same proportions as the rest of the property.  When meeting with a pool designer it will be extremely helpful to have this document available and the sales person can help determine the best location for your new in ground pool.  If you have any questions about specific pool location, plat of survey, or to schedule a sales appointment, please contact us or call us directly at 630.845.1145.

Moroccan 38 inground fiberglass pool

Every year around this time customers all over the Midwest prepare to have their swimming pools opened for the season.  And, inevitably, every year we receive calls from customers asking questions on how to successfully prepare their pool for the coming summer.  From proper water level to auto-cover and chemical questions, people sometime need a ‘refresher’ on the in’s and out’s of opening and maintaining a beautiful swimming pool from year to year.  Here are a few pointers to get you started on the right foot:

1. Remove all standing water and debris from your pool cover.  As obvious as this might sound, we can’t count the number of times a customer has asked us to open their pool….and the cover is FILLED with standing water and leaves from the fall and winter months.  Before a pool cover can be removed (or retracted, in the case of auto-covers) it is imperative that all water and debris is first removed.  Our winter covers come with a permeable mesh that allows rainwater and melted snow and ice to drain through.  Leaves and branched need to be cleared before removing the cover.  Auto-covers do not have a permeable membrane.  These covers need to be pumped clear of all water before the cover will operate.  Leaves and branches must also be removed before the cover is operated.  If not, this debris will collect in the cover box and can damage the cover system.

2.  Bring the water level in the pool half way up the skimmer.  This is not a critical step but something to keep in mind, especially if you have an auto-cover.  The cover is designed to be supported by the pool water underneth it.  By having the water at the appropriate level, the cover can operate smoothly and easily as the pool is being started up for  the season.

3.  Even under perfect conditions there will be some sort of dirt or debris in the bottom of your pool.  If you have a winter cover, the snow and ice that collected over the winter has now melted into the pool, bringing with it a fair amount of dirt.  If you have an auto-cover with your pool, a few leaves may have blown into the pool through a small gap between the cover and pool wall.  In either case be prepared to spend a little time removing or vacuuming this debris once the water is circulating.

4. Initial chemical balancing for the season is not a particularly difficult process, especially with a fiberglass pool.  When your pool is first started up for the season you will most likely need to ‘shock’ the water in order to kill off any algae that has collected over the winter.  Once the first round of shock wears off, test your pool chemicals to see where everything is starting at for the year.  If you have specific questions about chemicals feel free to contact us or take a sample of water to a local pool store for analysis.

5.  If you have a salt water chlorine generator on your pool make sure to heat the water to 77 degrees before testing the salt level of the water.  The ideal level is 3500ppm (parts per million).  The sensor in your pool equipment is calibrated to read the salt level most accurately while at this water temperature.  A lower temperature will produce a false low reading and a higher water temperature will produce an inaccurately high reading.  For every 5 degree change from the 77 degree point, the salt level will read 200ppm different from actual levels.

For those fiberglass pool owners in the Illinois and greater Chicago land area, you can download a copy of the Signature Pools 2011 opening letter directly on our website at http://www.signaturepoolschicago.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Letter-for-openings-2011-Computer-Version.pdf

This is a great question we get from time to time!  The short answer is yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind when installing an in-ground pool if you have an existing septic system  or private well on your property.

1.  Location, Location, Location:

Before you can determine where an in-ground pool can go, you will first need to determine where the existing septic tank and field is located, along with the well head (if applicable).  Your local municipality or county health department may be able to help by looking up the building records for your property.  They may find a septic survey, which will show the septic and well locations as build with the home.  If not, a local septic service company can be contacted to survey and locate the system on your property.

2. Septic Tank and Lines:

Many times customers will peer into the vastness of their yard and think “I’ve got PLENTY of room for a pool!”  While this can be the case, there are many instances when a septic field or tank will limit the available space and exact location of your new swimming pool.  As a general rule, (at least in Illinois)  the closest portion of the water’s edge cannot be any closer than 25′ to an existing septic line and 25′ to the septic tank.

2. Well Water:

In many cases a home with a septic system also has a private well on the property.  Generally speaking, in Illinois the swimming pool must be located a minimum distance to the well head.  This is usually not a problem, as most well heads are located in front yards, far away from the septic field or potential pool location, but keep this in mind when planning out your swimming pool project.  Contact your local health department for specific regulations in your area.

3. Relocating or Eliminating a Line:

Occasionally a customer will need a line to their septic field moved in order to accommodate the desired location of the pool.  Although this is not as common, it IS a possibility.  Alternatively, a line may be able to be eliminated all together, giving enough room to maintain the required distance from the septic field.  Contact your local septic installer for further information about this process.

With a little careful planning and consideration, there is no problem with installing an in-ground swimming pool if you have a septic system or private well on your property.  Many of our existing customers have wrestled and won this battle, and the proof is now in their beautiful backyard swimming pool!  If you have further questions about septic tanks, lines, private wells and how they all relate to your swimming pool, please feel free to contact us directly at 630.845.1145

Riviera style fiberglass swimming poolNew Brunfels, TX–

Leisure Pools of New Brunfels, Texas has announced a  $650.00 homeowner direct rebate for their Riviera 30 model fiberglass pool.  This rebate is available for a limited time only.  Consumers who purchase the 30′ Riviera style fiberglass pool shell through an authorized Leisure Pool distributer will be eligible for the rebate, which will be mailed direct from the manufacturer upon final payment of the swimming pool contract.

The Riviera style pool, with its free-form curves and family play bench in the shallow end, is one of the most popular pool shapes on the market.  This pool is perfect for the entire family.  In fact, due to its overwhelming popularity, Leisure Pools has completed a second, duplicate Riviera 30 mold in order to keep up with the rise in consumer demand.

If you are considering the purchase of an inground swimming pool this season, please take a serious look at the Riviera 30 style pool.  Not often does Leisure Pools offer rebates or sales on their products so make sure to take advantage while the offer is still available.  If you have further questions about this manufacturer rebate, or to schedule a consultation with our sales and design manager, please contact Signature Pools directly at 630.845.1145.

We at Signature Pools have recently returned from the Leisure Pools Dealer Conference in San Antonio, Texas.  The weekend was filled with fantastic educational programs and was a wonderful opportunity to network with other fiberglass pool builders from all over the country.  From an up-close tour of the Leisure Pools factory and manufacturing process, to sales and marketing seminars presented by Marcus Sheridan and our friends at River Pools and Spas- the weekend was packed with useful industry information.

The conference concluded with a Cowboy Themed awards dinner that honored some of the country’s best swimming pool builders and design firms. We at Signature Pools were honored to be awarded the prestigious ‘Best Overall Design’ for 2010 along with two other awards: Best Riviera Style and Best Elegance Style pools of 2010.  Pictures of these jobs will be available on our website soon. We would also like to congratulate Earl’s Pools of Pelham, Alabama for Best Moroccan Style, Pools Now of Del Rio, Texas for Best Tuscany Style, and Enchanted Pools of Albuquerque, New Mexico for Best Roman Style.  Not only were we impressed by the other award-winning pools that were recognized that evening, but by the overall outstanding quality of the builders that comprises the Leisure Pools dealer network.  The room was filled with some of the most talented and experienced individuals in the industry.

The weekend was also a great opportunity for Signature Pools to get some ‘face time’ with other swimming pool builders, designers and installers from the Leisure Pools dealer network.  Meeting in person with such a large group of like-minded industry professionals provided us with a platform to brainstorm, dream and grow as a company.  We at Signature Pools certainly look forward to next year’s dealer conference as well!

Leisure Pools, one of the largest and most respected fiberglass pool builders in the US, has expanded its distribution yards to locations throughout the Midwest, Northeast and Canada. This move is in response to growing demand for their superior products and a need for a more efficient distribution process.  In years past, Leisure Pools had just one yard in Indiana serving the Midwest, Northeast and Canadian dealerships.  However, due to recent explosive  and sustained growth in these markets, the decision was made to expand its distribution base to 4 new locations in the Midwest and Canada to better serve these regions.  One of the distribution locations, Artistic Pools of New Jersey, had previously been one of the largest suppliers and installers of San Juan fiberglass pools and in 2008 they won the San Juan Pools dealer of the year award. After seeing first hand the quality that Leisure Fiberglass Pools offer they are transitioning to sell and distribute Leisure Pools.  Signature Pools and Spas of Illinois (us), American Pools of Missouri, and Leisure Pools of Canada are the other yards that have been added to Leisure Pools distribution network.

Signature Pools and Spas is honored to be selected as one of these distribution yards.  With a centralized location in Illinois, we are excited to provide Leisure Pool products to dealers throughout the Midwest and to offer other dealers our knowledge of the installation process and the fiberglass pool industry. Having a multi-acre lot to store inventory and the trucking capabilities to deliver pools all over the Midwest, Signature Pools is on point to grow the Leisure Pools name even further.  If you live in Illinois, or the surrounding area, and are buying a fiberglass pool from Leisure Pools, the pool shell will most likely be shipping from our distribution yard.

One advantage to this exciting development for our own customers  is the ability to see your pool shell before it is installed and to view many of the different pool shapes, sizes and colors offered by Leisure Pools all in one place.    Our customers have always been able to see previous jobs we have installed but now you can see many different pool styles at once.  Although these viewings are by appointment only, we would be happy to schedule a time for you to see a fiberglass pool up close.  Please contact us or call us at 630.845.1145 to set up an appointment or consultation.

It’s easy for a swimming pool builder to say that their product or type of pool is the best in the market, but rare to hear definitive and concrete reasons why.  We at Signature Pools strive to back up our statements with facts and the below list represents just a few of the great reasons a fiberglass swimming pool is the right choice for you, your family and your backyard.  Take a look at some of the reasons our customers choose to install a fiberglass pool over any other type of swimming pool for their backyard.

1. Latest Technology- The fiberglass swimming pool industry has an established and competitive manufacturing base that strives to bring the best materials and manufacturing techniques to customers.  This competitive environment pushes manufacturers to be the most innovative and bring the highest quality to the swimming pool market.  With over a dozen fiberglass pool manufacturers in the United States, the best products and manufacturers naturally rise to the top.

2. Innovative Designs- With hundreds of shapes, sizes and colors to choose from, fiberglass pools offer an astounding array of stylish designs for homeowners at many price points.  Whether you are looking for a simple place to cool off in the summer, a backyard oasis or a family fun pool, there is a fiberglass pool for you.

3. Warranty- Fiberglass pool manufacturers offer some of the best structural warranties in the industry. As we all know by now, the liner of a vinyl pool needs to be replaced over time and concrete pools have to be re-plastered and will eventually crack. In ground fiberglass pool manufacturers can offer such a great warranty because they know their product never needs resurfacing or replacing.

4. Low Maintenance- The last thing a pool owner wants to do is spend their weekends cleaning and balancing the water chemistry of their new pool. Spend more time enjoying your in ground pool when you choose a fiberglass swimming pool. The non-porous surface of the pool does not allow algae to stick to the walls and floor, and chemical balancing is a breeze with an inert surface that does not affect water chemistry.

5. Faster Installation- Fiberglass pools are a fantastic choice if you are concerned about construction time in your backyard. Because the pool shell is pre-manufactured in an environmentally controlled setting, you not only get a quality product but spend less time looking at a construction mess and more time enjoying your beautiful backyard.  Typical fiberglass pool installation takes between 2-4 weeks compared to vinyl and concrete  pool construction that can last months!

6. Pool Surface- No more skinned knees, torn or stained bathing suits when you choose a fiberglass pool. The surface of the pool is smooth to the touch and won’t scuff your feet or hands as you swim. Additionally, you will never have to deal with a wrinkled pool liner.

7. Beautiful Finishes- Not only is the pool surface smooth, but the color finishes are fantastic! Gone are the days of plain white pool finishes. With a fiberglass pool finish you can choose a color that fits the overall design of your yard. From a refreshing bright blue to a deep, calming aqua color, there is a pool finish for you.

8. Lowest Maintenance Cost- As we have mentioned, maintaining a fiberglass pool is the easiest option available today, and chemical costs are significantly less than a vinyl or concrete pool. But the most significant savings is the long-term renovation costs associated with replacing a vinyl liner, or re-plastering a concrete pool surface. Choosing a fiberglass pool eliminates the need for any of this work and gives you the best cost savings over time.

9. Water Features- Fiberglass pools are compatible with a countless number of water features including slides, jets, fountains, and waterfalls. These options can be added to almost any fiberglass pool, allowing you to truly customize the look, design and feel of your backyard.

10. Longevity- Since fiberglass pools don’t need to be re-surfaced, you can be assured that the finish of your pool will look the same in 5, 10, or 20 years as it does today. The finish of the pool is stain and fade resistant from the sun and will look beautiful for years to come. Vinyl and concrete pools are susceptible to staining, fading, wrinkles in vinyl and etching in concrete. These materials will fade over time and start to deteriorate as right away. Fiberglass pools have a proven record of maintaining their look and feel for years.

Are you thinking about building an in ground pool in your backyard?  Are you planning on purchasing a new home and would like a new in ground pool when you move in?  Unfortunately, every season we meet prospective clients who are unable to put an in ground swimming pool in their yard due to a number of restrictions.  Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your backyard project:

 

 

1.  Property Lines-  Many municipalities require a swimming pool to be located a certain distance from a side or rear property line.  Make sure you mark out the property lines at your home to make sure a pool will fit. 

2. Utility and Drainage Easements-  Similar to property lines, easements are areas of your yard that you cannot build permanent structures within.  Utility companies can use this part of your yard to run underground electrical, phone, gas, and telephone lines for your home and the neighborhood.  Check your plat of survey to see where the easements are located on your property.  A swimming pool, deck, patio or equipment cannot be located in this area.  Contact your local municipality for more information on building restrictions and easements.

3. Impervious Lot Coverage-  Another restriction to consider is impervious lot coverage of your property.  Several cities, towns and counties in the Chicago land area and across the Midwest are imposing restrictions on the buildable area of your lot.  This restriction is in place to ensure rainwater and natural drainage is not disturbed or adversely effected by a construction project.  Contact your local building department to find out if impervious lot coverage is an issue in your town.

As you can see, there are a few things to consider when planning out the design and location of your swimming pool.  We at Signature Pools have helped hundreds of clients build their very own backyard escape, and we’ve see yards of all shapes and sizes.  Many customers are surprised to see what can fit in even the most limited space.  If you have questions about your specific property please feel free to contact us or give us a call at 630.845.1145