Posts Tagged ‘swimming pools’

NJ Swimming Pool Construction – How Long Is The Process?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

NJ Swimming Pool Construction – How Long Is The Process?

What’s Involved and How Long is the Swimming Pool Construction Process? Outlined by NJ Pool Builder Cipriano Landscape Design

Luxury pool construction often takes a backseat to suggestions about pool design ideas and amazing pool features, but knowing what to expect during the  pool building process can be very helpful when it comes to feeling comfortable about your swimming pool investment. In this blog, I would like to outline how our staff here takes our detailed pool designs and makes them a reality. Swimming pools, especially concrete inground pools, involve efficiency, consistency, skill, and precision. Understanding the swimming pool building process can help you make the right decision about whom you will choose to build your pool. Let’s begin:

Mark Out

First, we locate and map out utility lines to avoid damaging them during construction of the swimming pool. Once all of the utilities are flagged, we draw the outline of the pool layout where it will be located in the landscape design. If the pool is near any setbacks, we will have the surveyor install offsets to ensure we are within the building envelope.

Excavate

Next, it takes about a day to excavate the swimming pool. Our machines and our crew will dig the pool to proper specifications outlined by the design and the engineering layout. While the pool is dug, we have our soils engineer visit the site and inspect the structural integrity of the soil beneath the swimming pool. Meanwhile, the crew sets up the distinct shape with form boards. In the end, the distinct shape and contours of the pool will be created.

Inner Workings

The inner workings of the pool structure, steel, plumbing, and rough electric, come after excavation. Steel rebar will provide strength to the concrete, and plumbing will efficiently recirculate pool water. Expect 3 inspections at this point. The plumbing inspector will review the main drains; the electrical inspector will inspect the light niches and the pool grounding wire; the building inspector will review the steel reinforcement.

Gunite

The gunite process is crucial for building a solid pool structure. This is where the concrete is pneumatically applied, or shot, to create the actual pool. For more details about gunite, view a recent blog about the advantages of gunite swimming pools or an old swimming pool contractors blog.

Electrical

Now the electrical work can be completed for the pool equipment. A licensed NJ electrician is required to complete all of the wiring work for an inground pool project. The electrical includes complex lighting features, communications, and any additional components.

Coping & Tile

Waterline tile and coping completes the area between the pool water and the patio. These two elements offer a durable surface that looks great and meets the style of the swimming pool. Experience with masonry and patios will benefit the coping and tile work. Waterline tiles can be glass tile for a long lasting, luxury finish or a more affordable ceramic tile.

Patios

Surrounding pool patios are among the finishing touches for inground pools. Pool designs may feature many different types of pool patios. We often install natural stone patios around the swimming pool. Other possible materials include brick, pavers, or decorative stamped concrete. Prior to pouring concrete or installing pavers there will be an inspection for the equipotential bonding.

Finish

Finally, you can finish the pool with plasters that will complete the pool structure with a look that lasts anywhere from 5 to 25+ years. They can be smooth or pebbly, and they come in a wide range of colors. A long lasting alternative to plaster is glass tile that looks stunning and lasts up to 50 years if installed and maintained properly. View our glass tile pool designs for a closer look. Expect a light inspection prior to plastering the pool and a final plumbing, building, electrical and fire inspection prior to swimming.

That’s a general outline of the pool building process. Under normal conditions, you can expect a 6 to 12 week construction time, depending on pool complexity and material choices. Pool construction relies heavily on a good design, extensive experience, and solid leadership. Our landscape architecture services, pool and landscaping services, and experienced masons help to ensure each of these elements. For more information about our luxury pool construction process and to learn about some of our more unique and challenging projects, please give us a call!

NJ Pool Plaster–Hydrazzo, Pebble Tec or Glass Tile, Which is Best for You?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Hydrazzo Pool Plaster – Pebble Tec Plaster or Glass Tile Which is Best for You?

Pool plaster options and other pool finishes offer a pretty standard formula for determining durability. The more aggregate in the finish, the longer it will last. In terms of lifestyle and aesthetics, there are plenty of options. Smooth, polished plasters, like Hydrazzo, are great for active families. These plasters are reasonably priced, last 10-20 years, and look great.

Textured, pebble finishes, such as Pebble Tec or Pebble Sheen, cost more, but they last 20+ years (under optimal conditions). They also have a unique, sparkling look. Because the pebbles can be rough in texture if  too much aggregate is exposed (which is when this plaster looks its best), I normally don’t recommend this finish to active families with young children. For those young, active families who insist on a pebble-like finish, I would recommend a glass bead finish like Beadcrete as a better alternative. Glass tile is another popular pool finish. It’s the most expensive, but it lasts 50 years if installed correctly. It is also, without a doubt, the most aesthetically appealing, offering a brilliant shimmer of varying colors across the entire surface of the pool. Glass tiles can also produce beautiful mosaic designs that give the pool additional character. Outside of these options there is the standard, white Marcite finish. This is the cheapest plaster option. It will last 5 to 15 years and is very limited in appearance. Overall, proper pool maintenance will extend the life of any finish; however, the better plasters tend to be more forgiving. If you’re planning a NJ pool renovation and need more information, call us to discuss which pool finish would be best for you. (Information based on Properly Balanced Pool Chemicals)

New Jersey Swimming Pool Solar Heating, Solar Pool Heat Systems Save Big $$$

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

New Jersey swimming pool company explains how heating your vinyl lined pool, fiberglass pool or gunite pool with a solar heating system can reduce  monthly heating costs by 95%.

Solar heating is one of the simplest and most cost-efficient methods for heating your pool. If lowering your carbon footprint is important to you, or you just want to greatly reduce your monthly heating bills, there is no better source of energy than the sun.

Solar heating works by installing solar collectors onto the roof of your house or cabana which connect through pipes to your pool’s existing pump system. The pool water is pumped through the existing filter. Then, depending on which solar heating system you choose, it is pumped through a heat exchanger or up through the solar panels on the roof. Once the pool reaches a desired temperature, the system automatically switches off and the pool water simply bypasses the solar heating system on its route back to the pool. The system automatically switches back on as needed to maintain a constant, comfortable temperature. On a sunny day, a solar heating system will raise the temperature of the pool about 1 to 2 degrees a day (under optimal conditions), which is significant when you remember that it’s free heat.

It is important to know that there are two main types of solar collectors, simply referred to as glazed and unglazed. An unglazed solar collector does not include a glass cover (glazing) and is generally made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic treated with an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor to extend the life of the panels. With the unglazed collectors, water is physically pumped through the solar collectors, warmed by the sun, and then pumped back into your pool. Due to their inexpensive parts, unglazed systems are usually 20 to 30% less expensive than glazed panels and more common than the glazed. The unglazed panels, which come in many different designs, require a substantial amount of area; usually 65% of the total pool area if you’re facing due south, and an additional 5% for more easterly or westerly exposures. Glazed solar collectors are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron-tempered glass covering. Glazed systems, which utilize a heat exchanger, capture heat more efficiently than unglazed systems and thus require less roof space, usually between 15 and 20% of the total pool area to be effective. However, the glazed system is quite noticeable due to the high reflective qualities of the panels, and it does not blend in with the roofing as well as the non glazed systems. If you are planning on building a cabana in conjunction with the pool, the glazed system will also allow you to heat your domestic water on the solar system because it runs on a heat exchange and the water does not pass directly through the solar panels like an unglazed system. Both systems have been weather tested against snow, wind and hail and have proven to last for up to 20 years. There is also little to no maintenance required as long as your pool’s filtration system is checked and maintained on an annual basis.

Either type of solar collector will serve you well by significantly reducing your operating costs; depending on your roof size, aesthetic concerns, and budget, you can determine which system better suits your needs. On a 900 sq. ft. pool with spa and waterfall, a natural gas heater has an operating cost ranging from $800 to $1200 a month depending on the usage habits and weather conditions. Given this same pool, to operate a solar system would have negligible operating costs. Add in the operating cost of the backup gas heater which would be $100 to $300 per month (depending on ambient temperature and usage habits). The average consumer could expect a $700 to $1100 per month savings. Depending on the solar model and usage habits a consumer could recoup the cost of the solar system in just 2 to 4 years. After that, you can find comfort knowing that you’ll be in the green every year you spend enjoying your beautiful custom inground pool!

It is our recommendation that a solar heating system should always be supplemented with a natural gas system. Solar heating is great for maintaining a constant temperature but is not intended to quickly raise the temperature of your pool. A solar heating system will also typically struggle to produce heat in extended periods of cool, shady or rainy days. For pool designs with spas, a natural gas system is essential to quickly heat up the spa and maintain a temperature over 100 degrees.

Solar heating will not be the best solution for everyone. The benefits should certainly be evaluated by a trusted contractor and then compared to the costs of other options. Having a trusted contractor with years of experience in custom swimming pool design and build can aid you in the process of figuring out what system will work best for your particular property. It is always important to know the real facts behind all of your options so that you can make the best decision when it comes to making such an important investment.

Pool Heat Pump VS Gas Heater, New Jersey Pool Company Says Pool Heat Pumps Save Thousands

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

New Jersey pool company explains how pool heat pumps reduce the monthly heating costs of inground swimming pools by up to75%. So if you are an inground swimming pool owner who is looking for an efficient way to heat your vinyl lined pool, fiberglass pool or gunite pool a heat pump may be the best heating option for you!

Heat pumps are a very popular and cost efficient way to heat your  pool and reduce heating costs. Heat pumps are installed just as effortlessly as any other pool heater and the new advanced controls make operating the heat pump easier than ever. The heat pump is a great benefit because it allows you to significantly reduce your operating cost and extend your pool season without breaking the bank. NJ pool design ideas that move towards energy efficiency prove to be a worthwhile investment.

heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another; usually by pulling heat out of the air or ground to heat a home or pool. It works much like a refrigerator in reverse by extracting the heat from the air, intensifying it with a compressor, and delivering the heat to the water as it passes through the system. The process is clean, efficient and most importantly cost effective. On average the heat pump operates at about ¼ the cost of your typical natural gas heater.

The heat pump is designed to maintain a constant higher temperature for the pool at a lower cost, but it is not intended for quick heating. Heat pumps are greatly affected by ambient temperature so if there are successive days of  bad weather the heat pump will take significantly more time to heat the pool. A standard gas heater normally raises the pool temperature 1 degree per hour. A heat pump may take 3 to 5 times longer depending on the ambient temperature. It is our recommendation that the heat pump be installed as the primary heat source with a natural gas heater as a backup. If you have a spa attached to the pool a natural gas heater is essential to raise the spa to a desired temperature in a short amount of time. What the heat pump effectively does is demote the expensive natural gas heater to secondary usage. With the dual system you can run the much more cost efficient heat pump constantly and only use the natural gas system when you want to raise the temperature to use the spa, when you’re planning for company that night or after extended bad weather.

What is the real life costs associated with this product? Let’s look at the additional costs involved with the heat pump and determine the time it will take to get a return on the investment. A +120,000 BTU heat pump, the minimal plumbing and wiring associated with installation could range from $4500 to $6500 depending on the manufacturer. A 900 sq. ft. pool with spa and waterfall on a natural gas system has an operating cost that ranges from $800 to $1200 a month depending on the usage habits and weather conditions. Operating the same pool on an electric heat pump system would cost about $250 to $450 per month. Now add in the operating cost of the back up gas heater which would be $100 to $300 per month (depending on ambient temperature and usage habits). The average consumer could expect a $400 to $450 per month savings and could recoup the cost of the heat pump in 2.5 to 4.5 years. Pool owners can find comfort knowing that going green will save them green!

By: Cipriano Custom Swimming Pools & Landscaping

A 5X International Design Winning Pool Company

Mahwah, New Jersey

Bill Moore, Certified New Jersey Landscape Architect of Cipriano Landscape Design Goes Four for Four in Zoning Approvals for Custom Landscaping & Swimming Pool Projects.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

RIDGEWOOD, NJ: The design = a modest-sized swimming pool for a small suburban lot.

The property = Special Flood Hazard Area (flood plain) in Ridgewood, NJ.

Cipriano Landscape Design is working within the New Jersey DEP guidelines to create a project with no additional fill in the flood plain. According to owner Chris Cipriano, “Re-vegetation of the disturbance area is also required while municipal guidelines dictate the design. Our team studied setbacks, percentage of impervious area on the lot and total percentage of above grade structures. We found that the percentage of above-grade structures seeking variance relief was over the maximum limit. Our lot was actually undersized for the zone it was in so if the lot actually met the minimum size, there would be no variance.”

Bill Moore, a Certified New Jersey Landscape Architect on the Cipriano Landscape Design team, created the design. A comprehensive site plan was devised by Cipriano Landscape Design’s site engineer. An application was presented to the DEP and a well-crafted and persuasive introduction by an attorney was part of the plan that was approved by the Ridgewood zoning board of adjustment.

Furthermore, Bill Moore received an approval for a variance from the Borough of Franklin Lakes to construct a temporary access road through a non-disturbance buffer. Moore worked with the site engineer to address the site drainage in formulating a cohesive plan. Cipriano Landscape Design also worked with the Borough of Franklin Lakes’ municipal engineer, municipal shade tree commission, neighbors and health officer.

In November 2008, Moore received approvals from the Borough of Saddle River for a soil moving plan for a newly constructed estate with a resort-like swimming pool complete with waterfalls and a grotto, multi-tiered patios, outdoor kitchen, and a full service cabana. The NJ landscape architecture firm’s biggest design challenge faced in this approval was getting an 8 foot waterfall within the 4 foot grade change limit.

Bill also contributed a landscape master plan for the Allendale Plaza “C” variance application granted in September 2008. The project started as an expansion to existing retail space. The Allendale zoning required a minimum number of parking stalls per square footage of retail space which the site could not accommodate. As part of seeking relief for the parking ordinance, the applicant proposed to make additional improvements to the property to benefit the neighboring businesses and residents. The role of Cipriano Landscape Design was to supplement the additional improvements portion of the application. Various parking island plant beds and perimeter plantings were carefully designed to create year ‘round interest with seasonal flower displays. Planting also included shade and flowering trees within the parking areas.