7 Tips to Prepare Your Pool For a Hurricane
1. Do Not Empty
Drainage is almost always in the design of the pool. Water in the pool provides weight to keep the pool in the ground. An empty pool can float or pop out of the ground due to pressure from excessive ground water caused by heavy rains.
2. Turn Off Power
Circuit breakers at the main electrical panel should be turned off. Pump motors, lighting, chlorinators, and heaters should not operate in the storm.
3. Protect Electric Pool Equipment
Wrap the pump motor, time clock, light transformers and electric heaters with waterproof plastic. Tie securely in place to prevent sand and water from entering. If flooding is expected, disconnect these devices and store them in a dry place.
4. Remove Loose Items
Chairs, tables, toys, pool tools or other loose items can become dangerous projectiles in high winds. It’s best to store them inside away from storm. Avoid throwing furniture into pool, unless it is a last resort. If so, gently place objects in pool to avoid damage and staining.
5. Add Extra Chlorine to the Pool
To prevent contamination from debris and excessive storm water, add a Leslie’s granular shock, preferably Power Powder Plus or Chlor Brite.
6. Do Not Cover Pool
Storms can cause falling branches and other debris that can damage pool covers. It’s easier to remove debris from the pool than it is to replace a cover.
7. Protect Screen Enclosure if You Have One
Providing a vent for wind to flow through can help prevent damage. Possibly remove screen panels on opposite sides of the enclosure.
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Holland Pools and Spas was voted the #1 and Best Pool Builder in Orlando!
The Power of 3D Pool and Spa Design
By: Brett D. Holland
Due to the constant advancement in technology, pool builders now have design tools made available to them that they did not once have in the past. Although there are a few designers that still design on graph paper, the majority of the industry is now taking full advantage of the 3D software tools available today. With 3D replicated products from pool industry vendors, landscape options, and the ability to fully customize the pool/spa, deck, house stages, designers now have the opportunity to present a presentation to the client like never before! Being that 65% of all people are visual learners this approach is extremely powerful. We now can “visually” show the client just how tremendous their outdoor living environment can truly be from a click of a button.
Over the years, a few friends/co-workers have been a little hesitant to take the plunge into this new idea of design. Either due to the fact that they weren’t too tech-savvy or were just complacent in the way they have been designing for years. However over time I was finally able to persuade them into dedicating a few hours a week to get familiar with the work flow of 3D design. The software I use is Pool Studio by Structure Studios (www.structurestudios.com) which has a great tutorial library to assist with this transition. The way the work flow works is in “stages”. There are house, pool, spa, fences/walls, terrain, steps/benches, planter, and custom shape stages. Each stage has their own parameters where you can fully customize your project. This gives the designer and endless amount of options to where the only limitation is their imagination. Over the course of about 2 months giving several hours/per week my co-workers started to finally become comfortable with designing in 3D. I remember one colleague telling me “I wish I had started using this program years ago. It would have been a totally different experience for my customers”.
Besides the sales benefits, another major benefit of having your project digitized is the ability to seamlessly convert it into a detailed construction plan. If you have an engineer do your drawings you have the ability to send them an AutoCAD file (.dxf) of your project which allows them to import it into their software program. If the plan is done in house, templates are available within Pool Studio for you to use or customize to meet your specific needs. By creating your own templates as you go, the work-flow begins to get faster while you are in the construction stage. This comes in general as you utilize the program more frequently, to where eventually you feel comfortable designing in front of the customer rather than at home.
So whether you are already using 3D software or if you just haven’t got the courage to make the plunge yet, have faith in yourself, continue to invest time and expand your knowledge. Take advantage of this powerful tool and leave it up to your imagination to do the rest!
Scope of Work
By: Brett D. Holland and Tony Caruso
Spring has arrived and the demand for swimming pools has been steadily increasing, especially over the last several years. Financial institutions seem to be loosening up giving homeowners an opportunity to get financed where in the previous years it almost seemed impossible. Homebuilders are finally unloading their inventory homes which has allowed them to create new starts (w/pools). With this new demand comes new opportunity. Every month new and old pool contractors are surfacing to cash in on the "Florida Dream". Two common questions that come up between contractors and their customers are: What are the pool builder's responsibilites? and What are the customer's responsibilities?
It is common for an "agreement" to include a contract, drawing and a list of options. Unfortunately the contract at times consist no more than the customer's information, the construction lien law and a payment schedule. This potentially leads to obstacles during construction, due to the "gray area" of who is responsible for doing what.
A "scope of work" should be either implemented into the contract portion of the agreement, or it should be done on a project specific basis as its own document. This should include any site specifics but not limited to: tree/stump removal, fence removal/install, irrigation, sod, landscaping, concrete removal, hauling/delivering fill, de-watering, access letter if required, etc. Supply of labor and materials should also be clearly spelled out, as sometimes either the home builder or the homeowner opts to perform and/or contract certain aspects of the project themselves or by other contractors they hire. In construction water and power is a must, and the answer to, who is supplying them can also be implemented into the "scope of work", especially for home builder projects. If overlooked the potential cost of a water truck and/or generators could sneak up quickly, not to mention the liability of leaving a generator on an unsecured job site overnight.
By having "full disclosure", you minimize the chance of misinterpretation with your customers. This will hopefully pave the way for a positive building experience for your client, which will ultimately lead to a referral and more business for your company!