The backyard is the homeowner’s retreat. It is the place where children play and adults can relax with a book while enjoying the outdoors. This area can be enhanced by homebuilders with the right kind of patio set up. Including a pool with automation functions will make it a straight up oasis.
Here are some ideas on creating the pool, patio and spa area that most homeowners only dream of.
Just Keep Swimming
Imagine doing laps to the sound of your favorite music or television show. Olympian swimmers do it, so why not you? Lubell Labs has obviously made a name for itself since its LL916C underwater speakers were used in the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Games. Now homeowners can listen to “Finding Nemo” as they just keep swimming with the Lubell 9484 model.
The portable and in-wall underwater speaker is flush mount for large home pools. It is designed for installation up to 6’ depth during new concrete and gunite pool construction. It has audio output circuitry determined by UL to be below the voltage limits for electric shock hazard as established by the 813 Standard. Amplifiers are not included, but Lubell recommends ones manufactured by Peavey.
Lubell recommends using one 9484 kit for pools up to 12' x 20', two for 20' x 40 pools, three for 25'/30' x 50/60' pools, four for 25 yard lap pools, six for 82'/115' x 48'/64 pools and three to eight for personal lap pools.
LED lights inside pool
Waterproof LED lighting can transform the atmosphere from a relaxing night swim to partymode. For new construction, ColorLogic 4.0 lighting from provides bright, vivid colors and light shows that are energy efficient. It has seven light shows and five fixed colors along with synchronized lighting. Five fixed colors can be customized to 101 different colors. The life expectancy for a Colorlogic light is 50,000 hours. The light will perform for over 10,000 hours without any noticeable loss of brightness.
Users can control the speed, motion and brightness of the light shows with a stand-alone switch or with Pro Logic, a do it yourself automation and chlorination system. Hawayrd says that automating the backyard can save homeowners up to 70 percent of their pool’s energy costs. Automating the variable-speed pump can save up to $1,200 a year by maximizing water flow while minimizing energy consumption.
Homeowners don’t need to go to a water park to enjoy the wave pool. Believe it or not, there are companies that exist who do this for home pools. Ocean Innovations and Cloward H2o have partnered together as Backyard H2O Innovations to provide clients this water feature. Using their WaveMaster System, which is designed and installed underground or out of site, users can choose from small waves to surfable waves.
Water features always catch the eyes of potential homebuyers. Wateralls, fountains and jet streams that can be turned on and off are great examples. Enhance these with colored lighting for that extra pop. Install a waterslide like this one from Cipriano Landscape Design, and you even have the kids’ vote.
Automatic pool cover
Pool covers, especially for inground pools are a must. Not only do they keep debris like leaves and bugs out, they are also important for safety reasons. The last thing you want is for someone who cannot swim to fall in. According to the Center for Disease Control, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning everyday. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States and is the second leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4.
Automatic covers that are ASTM certified like this one from Pool Cover Specialists are safest. An ASTM certified automatic swimming pool cover can typically withstand hundreds of pounds of weight per square foot.
“Good audio completely surrounding the pool area configured to provide multiple sweet spots as you move around within the pool is a must,” says Derek R. Flickinger, vice president of research and development for Interactive Homes, Inc.
While speakers in the pool itself is a pretty neat idea, audio for the patio itself is a good idea for hosting a barbecue or pool party. Whole home automation often includes outdoor spaces. Control4, for example, recommends B&W, SpeakerCraft and Klipsch weatherproof speakers for their offerings. Some of these speakers can even be disguised as landscape items like rocks or planters like this AWR-650-SM speaker from Klipsch.
Patio heaters can be used in the cooler months to stay warm while entertaining outdoors and during the summer to dry off after a swim in the pool. Plus they look cool! This 2G patio heater from Lava Heat Italia is 8 feet tall. The fully-adjustable, 4-foot flame is encased in a shatter-proof Borosilicate glass tube and puts out a heat value of 66,000 British Thermal Units. The Lava Heat 2G can be started with the electric ignition on the unit or a universal infrared remote which can be used to turn multiple units on at the same time. The built-in Safety Tilt switch shuts the unit off if it tilts or falls over. The unit can be used for up to 12 hours with a 20 lb. propane tank. It has a suggested retail price of $1,599 and comes in black, bronze or steel.
Whether you want to soak up the sun or get shaded protection from those UVs, Somfy has you covered – or not! The company manufactures motorized retractable awnings that can be turned on or off from anywhere in the house with a remote control or via wall switch. It can also come with an optional Sunis WireFree RTS solar powered sun sensor to automatically extend when the programmed sunlight threshold is reached. Very cool, indeed.
Let’s say you only have room for one…a pool or a patio. Hidden Water Pools has the solution.
This hybrid is a patio when the family wants to do some grilling and entertain people outside, and turns into a pool when they want to cool off. It’s almost like a magic trick. It has prank potential written all over it as well.
To activate the patio, the owner presses a button on the pool control panel which causes a hydraulic lift to raise the floor while draining the water through the edges.
It comes in multiple sizes and the depth settings. It can also come with features like swim jets, therapy jets, a table that can be used in both pool and patio mode and customized lighting. Hidden Water Pools also claims that it is more environmentally friendly since it requires less chemicals.
Other pool and patio enhancements to consider:
- Tricked out grille and cooking area
- Swim up bar
- Outdoor rated refrigerator
- Fire pit
- Outdoor theater/projection screen
Keep an eye out for our June 2 edition on outdoor entertainment to talk about some of these.