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July, 2015

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How to Make Your View the Main Attraction


Does your property have an amazing view? Perhaps you are fortunate to live right on the water where you can watch the sun go down every evening from the privacy of your backyard. Or maybe you are in a lush green spot where nature takes center stage and you want to keep it that way. But you also want to enjoy the benefits of a swimming pool.

Good news! You can still have the beautiful and enjoyable pool you've always dreamed of without sacrificing your amazing view. With thoughtful design from an experienced company like Tampa Bay Pools, you view can remain the main attraction.


Keep it Simple

To accomplish this, we primarily advise the simple approach. Keep tile, coping, and decking simple and, for best results, monochromatic. Avoid eye catching details like raised walls or columns, planters, or water features in your pool design. These things create visual breaks, resting places for the eye to gravitate to, and keep the focus in the foreground. If you do choose to incorporate these items, keep them away from the edge of the pool that backs up to the view you wish to make the star.

Consider keeping the shape of the pool itself linear. Straight lines create a visual pathway for the eyes to follow out into the distance. This "lane-ing" tactic can be further enhanced by using vertical landscaping and other design features along the left and right sides of the pool. This creates a frame of sorts for your vista.


Discover an Infinity Pool

Perhaps the best method of leading the eye toward a desired view is to build an infinity pool. An infinity pool is an elegant design in which at least one edge of the pool is unbounded by both coping and decking, allowing water to rise to the top of the pool wall. It creates the illusion of water stretching on into infinity, hence the name. We use this infinity edge, also known as a vanishing edge, to lead the viewer's focus to the desired perspective. This open edge has a basin that is invisible from most angles and collects spill-over water and returns it into the pool's filtration system.


Beloved for their vista-enhancing nature as well as for their sophisticated, minimalist aesthetic, infinity pools have continued to grow in popularity in recent years. They are frequently seen gracing the rooftops of high-end hotels as well as oceanfront, lakefront, or mountain-view resorts worldwide. The experienced professionals at Tampa Bay Pools make the grace and beauty of an infinity pool accessible to you in your own backyard! Call us today for a free design consultation.

Awesome Options for Poolside Dining


Here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, we are fortunate to be able to make the most of the outdoors year-round. What better way to enjoy time spent outside on an everyday basis than by taking a meal beside the pool? At Tampa Bay Pools, our experienced design team can suggest the perfect outdoor living set-up to suit your style aesthetic and your lifestyle. Following are several great options.

Traditional Dining

Perhaps the most comfortable and familiar method of outdoor dining is the traditional patio table and chairs. In a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles, there is a set to suit every taste and every space. And with the availability of super-plush cushions in the new breed of weather-resistant outdoor fabrics, you can dine in perfect, luxurious comfort!

Take that luxury to the next level by having us install a custom, fully-roofed patio cover. Either attached to your home or free-standing, a patio cover gives your family and friends a place of shelter from the sun's rays, as well as a haven from rain showers. We can also easily add such amenities as lighting and ceiling fans for extra comfort day or night.

For those who prefer to let a little sunshine in, an open-air pergola may be the way to go. Often seen trailing flowering vines, this is a great way to tie your outdoor dining area seamlessly into the natural surroundings.


Bar Seating

Another popular choice is bar seating. Usually built into the back side of an outdoor kitchen counter, bar seating is a more casual, come-and-go style of outdoor dining. This may be perfect for the family that enjoys grilling or smoking, and provides a perfect environment for friends and family to interact with the chef or help with preparations.

An outdoor kitchen can be built in just about any setting. From a simple built-in grill with a bit of countertop space beside to a full-service kitchen complete with sink, refrigerator, kegerator, and pizza oven, the possibilities are limited only by your space and preference.


Swim-Up Seating

For those who simply can't bear to be pulled away from the water, swim-up dining is the way to go! The best of both worlds, this allows diners to be served in the casual comfort of cool water. Nothing says "lounging in luxury" like sipping your favorite beverage from a table built right into the pool. The Tampa Bay pool above even has an umbrella sleeve installed in the center of the table so swimmers can sip in the shade!

Whichever style of outdoor dining represents your idea of perfection, the professionals at Tampa Bay Pools have the knowledge and experience to tailor a design specifically to your liking. Give us a call today for your free design consultation, and find yourself dining in style outside in no time! 

A Family Affair: Age Appropriate Pool Cleaning Tasks for Kids

Once children reach school age, they are ready to start helping out around the pool. Summer is the perfect time to assess kids' abilities and establish a new pool maintenance routine. Just like indoor chores, this helps children develop an appreciation for their material advantages as well as responsibility and an understanding of how to take care of their things.

Start by creating the habit of having family members of all ages pick up after themselves. Scan the pool and surrounding area at the end of every swim. Remove and stow all toys and floats, and put away towels, sunscreen and other items. In addition to keeping the pool area tidy and attractive, this will greatly extend the life of your pool accessories, as well as prevent these items from causing damaging filter blockages.

Ages 5-8

Children of this age can empty skimmer baskets every other day. Be sure to schedule this task at a time of day when filters are not running to ensure that debris does not get sucked into the filter. Teach kids to carefully inspect the contents of baskets for creepy crawlies before reaching hands in. Special hooks for pulling out baskets can also be purchased to lessen the risk of unwelcome surprises.

Small kids often get a kick out of turning on automatic pool cleaners and watching them get started sucking up debris!

Ages 9-12

Bigger kids are typically able to begin handling cleaning poles and can assist with such maintenance items as skimming the water surface and even brushing steps and benches. Be sure to do an introductory training session on keeping poles safely away from power lines, windows, and any other nearby dangers.


The 13 and up crowd is able to begin testing water pH and chlorine levels. Gauge responsibility levels and go through warning labels and safe handling procedures thoroughly before entrusting teens with the addition of chlorine and other chemicals. Supervise closely for the first several weeks, and it is always a good rule of thumb that no one handles chemicals while home alone.

This age group can also be schooled in the appropriate method of setting up and cleaning out automatic pool cleaners, as well as periodically emptying filter baskets and even assisting in filter cleanings or backwashing.

Perhaps the best thing about having teens help with pool duties is they are usually capable of doing the weekly brushing of the pools' interior! Essential for disrupting the growth of algae and dislodging dirt, this is many pool owners' most hated task. Hint: You may consider offering teens monetary compensation for this one!

Swimming pools are a wonderful backyard asset enjoyed by the whole family. Appreciation for them can be increased and the work load lightened by getting everyone involved in pool maintenance. When you build a pool with Tampa Bay Pools, we walk you through a comprehensive Pool School and are happy to have the whole team sit in. But we don't just stop there! We are always available to answer questions you may have about caring for your pool, operating your equipment, or any repairs, replacements, or remodels that you desire. Give us a call anytime!

Simple Tips for Keeping a Cleaner Pool

Most pool owners will go through a basic "Pool School" when their new pool and spa are completed. At that time, your pool builder should teach you how to operate your pool equipment, do basic clean-up, and check and adjust your pool water's chemical levels. But beyond that, there are some common sense ways to keep a cleaner pool and prevent messes from occurring in the first place.

Plan Pool-Friendly Surroundings

For starters, carefully consider the materials used to border your pool. We've all seen breathtaking photos of pools surrounded by a lush carpet of green lawn, or with beautiful tropical flora enclosing the pool like a hidden island paradise. For many pool owners though, kids, pets, or environmental factors such as gulf breezes or the terrain's run-off patterns can too easily introduce sand, mud, mulch, rock or plant material into the pool. In addition to being unsightly, these materials require extra time and effort to remove, and can also clog drains and filters and damage pool equipment.

If your family lifestyle is likely to include lots of clambering little feet or heavy traffic, consider enclosing your pool in at least three-foot deep-decking on all sides. Installing wind-breaking fencing or corralling nearby plant-life in raised or other thoughtfully designed planters can also help mitigate the intrusion of natural debris. Of course, use a mower with a bagging attachment to collect clippings or at the very least, remember to mow in the direction that blows grass clippings away from the pool!

Install an Outdoor Shower

It is easy and inexpensive to add a shower head and faucet to most pool plumbing configurations, and a simple drain can be tied into yard drainage or sewers in most residential environments. In addition to showering in nature being a very pleasant experience, an outdoor shower near the pool can help ensure that dirty feet and sweaty bodies don't carry contaminants into the pool and spa. Bonus: Saturating hair in an outdoor shower prior to swimming can help protect it from damage caused by chlorine and other pool chemicals. It also provides a super-convenient place to wash the family dog!

What particular factors may be contributing to unnecessary mess in your pool and spa area? Perhaps a common-sense approach can help resolve your problem as well. If you are just getting started designing a new pool and spa, be sure to address your lifestyle considerations and concerns to your Tampa Bay Pools design professional. We've been there and done that, and we pride ourselves on putting our extensive experience to work for you! Call today for your free consultation.

A Roundup of Basic Pool Accessories for a Season Full of Fun!


The long, lazy days of summer are here, and what better way to spend them than in your Tampa Bay swimming pool? Get maximum enjoyment from your pool time this season with these awesome pool accessories.

Pool Noodles

First and foremost, let's give a shout out to the basic pool noodle! Easy to find just about anywhere, these may be the least expensive but most useful item in your accessory arsenal, so be sure to pick up several. Noodles may be the most versatile of floats. Ladies, try sitting on one to keep the body submerged but hair above water!

Their slim design takes up little space, making them great options to keep in the pool as emergency assists for little swimmers. Host a family jousting tournament! Give each contestant a noodle to straddle and another to use as their "joust". The first to cause their opponent to fall off their "horse" wins!

A Place for Everything

Banish slimy, sodden pool towels forever! Search Pinterest for do-it-yourself poolside towel rack ideas to keep everyone's towels corralled and dry. From simple hooks mounted on a wall or fence to an antique ladder, the possibilities are endless. You can also purchase metal towel stands with a weighted base and multi-directional arms for hanging. Some even come equipped with trays or buckets on top for holding sunscreen and other essentials!

Water Sport Equipment

Beat the heat of summer days by taking your favorite sports into the water! Purchase specially designed water footballs, basketballs with weighted poolside hoops, or even water volleyball sets that stretch across the pool from special grommets installed in the decking. For even more fun with your volleyball net, purchase an inexpensive plastic badminton set to play with in the pool. Don't forget the Sploosh balls! These soft, fabric covered balls make for wonderfully intense games of catch-at-any-cost!

Music Makes it a Party

No pool party can get really rocking without music! Today's Bluetooth technology has spawned a host of water-resistant outdoor speakers of many shapes, sizes and colors. The best part is they can wirelessly play music from smartphone docks or stereo systems safely kept indoors! So put together a playlist of your favorite party tunes or a relaxation mix for peaceful evening lounging in the spa. Everything is better set to music!

Just getting started on a new pool and spa? Plan ahead to make your backyard resort both beautiful and enjoyable for you, your family and friends. The design experts at Tampa Bay Pools can offer a wealth of ideas you may never have thought of for how you can incorporate form with function. Give us a call today!

Think You Can’t Afford to Build a Pool? Think Again!

Your Dream Pool

With summer already upon us, you have no doubt already been spending more time outdoors enjoying our beautiful Florida spring. If you're like most people, you've been looking around your outdoor environment and daydreaming about the perfect backyard. Likely, your perfect backyard includes a beautiful new pool.

You can see it in your mind's eye: The crystal-clear water framed by graceful tile and natural stone coping. Generous decking with plenty of space for lounge chairs and outdoor dining. Elegant water features enhancing the view with the soothing sound of chuckling water. And for added drama, perhaps a couple of fire bowls or an outdoor fireplace. Maybe even a custom designed enclosure to keep it all private and protected from the elements.

But then you may be telling yourself, "But I can't afford to build a pool!"

You've Got Options!

Not so fast! Did you know that Tampa Bay Pools offers financing options for building your dream outdoor escape? We have partnered with Lyon Financial and Paramount to better serve your individual needs. While many pool builders are struggling to offer financing right now, Tampa Bay Pools has a team of lenders with money available now for your special project. Even with little or no equity, you could qualify for very competitive rates from our pool financing specialists.

If you think you can't afford a pool- even if you've been told "No" by other builders or lenders, give us a call or stop by Tampa Bay Pools today! After hours? You can even start the process through our simple Contact Us form. We have helped hundreds of families build the pool and spa of their dreams. Maybe it's your turn

Five Favorite Homemade Planters to Accent Your Tampa Bay Pool Area

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Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! As you spend more of your time outdoors, you may find yourself thinking of ways to add a little more life and color to your Tampa Bay pool area. Here we have compiled a few of our favorite ideas for homemade planter options from around the web. Often inspired by objects they already had on hand, these imaginative folks turned trash into treasure to show us that there is no limit to what can be turned into eye-catching plant homes!

Turn Trash Into Treasure!

Take our first example above. A rusty old wheelbarrow with a flat tire and an improvised replacement handle was destined for the junk yard before a few drilled holes and a cute, stenciled monogram transformed it into an interesting and colorful focal point for the garden!

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While recycling is great, repurposing is just as awesome. Check out what this crafter did with #10 cans and some craft paint! We love how the bright colors accented by metallic gold really made a simple seating area pop! (Just remember to punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage.)

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You will never guess what this next homemade planter is made of. It's nothing more than some cheap burlap, a length of rope and... a broken plastic laundry basket! Yes, you read that right! With the help of a little duct tape and hot glue, a piece of junk set out on the curb was turned into a chic and simple outdoor accent, proving once again that you don't have to spend a lot to get a lot. All that is required is a little creativity!

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Think Outside the Box

With a little practice, anyone can start to see the possibilities in unconventional materials. For instance, who knew that seashells, long appreciated for their complex and beautiful natural structures, could also make such excellent planters for succulents? Succulents are fascinating, hardy plants that require little water and can root in just about anything. Bring a laidback, beachy element to your Florida pool with this easy idea.

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Got any cinder blocks lying around? Then you've got the makings of an intriguing and infinitely configurable backyard planter! From just a few, to several dozen, cinder blocks can be used in a variety of ways to create clean, geometric designs that perfectly compliment a contemporary pool or outdoor living space. What is more, their open interiors seem made to order for tucking in plants! Mix in some cedar or teak wood elements for an ultra-sophisticated Zen garden look.

Browse through our Galleries to help identify your personal style. For more great ideas and food for thought while designing your outdoor spaces, download Tampa Bay Pools' free ebook How to Plan the Perfect Backyard!

Should Your Tampa Bay Pool Include a Deep End? The Pros and Cons

You have many decisions to make when designing a new swimming pool in Tampa and the surrounding area. With all of the features, finishes, accessories and technology available today, it helps to have an experienced professional in your corner. At Tampa Bay Pools, our expert design team has made a name for itself navigating customers just like you through the ins and outs of the pool design process to the backyard destination of their dreams.

One of the issues clients frequently have questions about is whether or not to include a deep end in their pool design. Though offering several distinct advantages, there are both pros and cons to building a deep end that should be carefully weighed before your pool is designed. Let's examine some of the most important.


Typically five feet or more, deep areas are usually found at an end of the pool and are desired by customers for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, a family wishes to incorporate a diving board or other structure such as a jumping rock or wall or a water slide for recreation, and understands the importance of water deep enough to allow for safe usage.

Often, deep areas are requested by customers with taller family members. Adult men and those of above average height often find it difficult to enjoy themselves in water that only reaches their chest or stomach. Many are more comfortable in water deep enough to submerge most of their bodies, and fun activities such as water polo for example, require deeper water to enjoy.

Another advantage, though one less often thought of by most homeowners, is the tendency of deeper water to stay cooler throughout the Tampa Bay area's long, hot season. Who doesn't love a cool, refreshing dip on a hot summer day?!


With the pros in mind, let's take a look at a few cons. First, and most notable is the amount of pool real estate that a deep end consumes. Remember that a pool's floor doesn't suddenly drop to deep end depths, but gradually slopes. This prevents the unsafe condition of a harsh underwater corner that swimmers risk falling off of or swimming into, but the transition also eats up a lot of valuable space- area that may not be quite deep enough to accommodate diving, but is too deep for children or even shorter adults to stand in, and is therefore not very conducive to play.

The space hogging nature of a deep end also means that less area is available for typical play purposes. Most customers are limited in the size of pool they can build not only by the size of a conventional backyard but also by the fact that in pools, as in most construction, size is in direct proportion to expense. In other words, a bigger pool usually costs more money. The size of an average pool, if it has a deep end, will not also have enough space with shallow to moderate depths suitable for, say, a game of water volleyball!

Finally, the deeper a pool, the more it costs to build. Pools with a deep end require more excavation, and deeper depths mean more surface area which requires more materials such as steel, gunite and plaster to cover. This also equates to more water required to fill a deep pool, which then requires higher horsepower pumps and/or demands longer pump run-time to ensure proper water circulation and filtration. Not to mention that more water means more chemicals needed to maintain proper ph levels! All of these "mores" cost more money to build and maintain.

Whether you know exactly what you want in your backyard retreat, or are just getting started collecting ideas, you have come to the right place. Browse through our galleries of award-winning pools, spas, and outdoor living areas. Then, for further advice on all of your pool design considerations, call the experts at Tampa Bay Pools and schedule your free design consultation today!