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Pool & Spa Facts from Joe Vassallo, CBP

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Zodiac Polaris 9550 Sport robotic pool cleaner test drive

Posted by paragonpools on July 20, 2015 at 6:45 PM

I test drive the latest robotic cleaner, Zodiac’s Polaris 9550 Sport. The Polaris 9550 Sport comes complete with a lightweight, handy transport caddy and remote control.

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A test run of the unit found it to be very easy to assemble and operate. 4-wheel drive capability allows the unit to climb pool walls and clean waterline tile. If the 9550 Sport flips over and lands upside down on the bottom of the pool- it rights itself and continues to clean.

Advantages of a robotic cleaner: 

• It is an independent system not connected to the pool equipment

• It has its own motor and does not draw power away from the pool pump or cause resistance in water flow

• It runs on low voltage power minimizing energy use

• It can be operated when the pool system is in the off mode

• It can be programed or steered by remote control

• The in-canister debris filter removes easily for cleaning

 #poolcleaners #swimmingpools #Polarispoolproducts


Top 5 Swimming Pool Trends for 2015 Focus on AquaTekture©

Posted by paragonpools on March 12, 2015 at 7:35 PM

 

The Top 5 swimming pools trends for 2015 focus on AquaTekture© with an emphasis on artistic elements in and around the pool. AquaTekture© is the discipline of designing, engineering and erecting of water environments and ancillary components in a harmonious nature with consideration to function, space and aesthetics. Whether you are considering building a new pool or renovating an existing one, keep these Top 5 AquaTekture© design trends in mind when meeting with your designer.

1. Fire: Fire elements are definitely a “hot” design feature in backyards across the country. I suggest looking for ways to incorporate them as accent elements around the pool, not just as a source of warmth.

2. Glass tile: Glass tile resources have become more prevalent, thus the variety of colors and dimensions provide designers with an artist’s pallet of versatility. Although, glass tile is still considered a luxury amenity in pool construction, one can incorporate spot use of glass tile to enhance focal points; such as columns, spillways, and raised areas.

3. Natural stone: The art of using natural stone in AquaTekture© dates back to the first pools and baths constructed centuries ago with large stone blocks. Today, natural stone is used as an accent providing definition, color and texture both inside and around the pool.

4. Spouts: Accent spouts are the new “must have” when it comes to designing water elements into the pool. Accent spouts have a more soothing and gentle sound as compared to a long linear water feature. In addition, the shape and size of the spouts adds an artistic, ornamental element to the pool.

5. Beadcrete®: Beadcrete® an aggregate interior finish with tiny glass beads is the newest product by PebbleTec. Available in 2 dozen different mixes, Beadcrete® gives the pool a richer look that’s similar to an all-tiled pool. The blends of glass colored beads produce an opulent, mosaic appearance.

#swimmingpooltrends #swimmingpooldesign


 


Poolside Thanksgiving Feast

Posted by paragonpools on November 13, 2014 at 9:45 PM


In my book, The Al Fresco Lifestyle: Pools, Spas, Bars & Kitchens (available at Schiffer books) I discuss the joys of entertaining outdoors, especially for special occasions. Utilizing the pool and spa as a backdrop one can place holiday themed décor to embellish the festivities. Create a #Thanksgiving setting by adding some bales of hay, pumpkins, scarecrows, Indian corn cobs, autumn leaves and a cornucopia.


Defining style with Color,Texture and Patterns!

Posted by paragonpools on October 26, 2014 at 1:30 PM

One of the fulfilling elements of designing custom #pool and #spa projects is guiding clients in selecting the finishing materials to define their style. We achieve this by the harmonious use of Color, Texture and Patterns in the interior and exterior components.



PRIVACY WALLS Function. Form. Focal-Point

Posted by paragonpools on October 11, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Privacy Walls - Function, Form & Focal Point


Privacy Walls can be more than a barrier between your property and the neighbors; it can be functional, create form and/or become a focal point. A talented designer can take an otherwise lifeless and unattractive background and transform it into an inspiring and attention-grabbing work of art. #aquatekture

 

FUNCTION

 

• It can be a sound barrier, silencing offensive noises from ac compressors, pool equipment, or traffic.

 

• It can hide unsightly equipment or unattractive vistas.

 

FORM

 

• It can add elevation and dimension to an otherwise bland landscape.

 

• It can enhance the existing architecture of the home and exterior design by incorporating complimentary colors and textured finishes.

 

FOCAL-POINT

 

• It can be the structure to house accent features such as fire and water, or my signature WetFlame© (combination water and fire element).


 

National Drowning Prevention Month - PSA

Posted by paragonpools on May 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM

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May is National Drowning Prevention Month.  Duckie and I refer to it as Water SafetyMonth. Per request from School Teacher Mrs. Stark we produced a PSA forRoosevelt Elementary School in Lakewood Ohio.

An alternative to GOOD, FAST, CHEAP

Posted by paragonpools on March 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM

 


The traditional project model GOOD, FAST & CHEAP states one can only achieve two of the three! The dilemma with this model is to select which two you prefer- because achieving all three are impossible.  In business, this has become an acceptable standard.    

However, I don’t recommend this model when building a pool, but rather suggest an alternate version; QUALITY, TIMELY & VALUE.

This is a more optimum triad when it comes to custom design and construction, one where it is possible to achieve all three components; a model where each element complements and preserves the others… rather than excludes one.


QUALITY – Quality construction, equipment, and service can only be achieved thru builders who are trained professionals, incorporating the proper products & services at a competitive price. While, Quality maybe subjective to each individual. You maybe giving up long-term quality when you sign with a builder who prices a project below the market standard- you open yourself up to be a victim!

TIMELY – A Timely construction project is one that is performed within an optimal time frame to ensure each phase is completed properly. The professional builder’s goal is to complete a project that they are proud to showcase.  Timeline schedules can change for any number of reasons, many of which the builder has no control of including delays from inspections, product shipments and weather. Delays of a few weeks are irrelevant compared to the years of enjoyment from a well-built project. Don’t rush the process!

VALUE – The Value proposition is receiving a well-built pool from a professional builder that meets the highest construction standards for a fair price.  A pool of Value will provide years and yearsof enjoyment. If you are looking to purchase a cheap pool; that is exactly what you will get- cheap quality, cheap construction, and cheap service with lots of headaches down the road.  

Why settle for only two!  Look for a professional builder to achieve the Quality, Timely & Value model!

 


 


Design Tip #3 - Automatic Fill Lines a Must Have!

Posted by paragonpools on February 5, 2014 at 6:40 PM

The AUTOMATIC FILL LINE is a MUST HAVE for any pool. 

The automatic fill line (auto-fill) ensures the water level stays constant in the pool, an essential maintenance function to keep the equipment operating properly.


Recently, a client came in to get a pool for their new residence. As we were reviewing the contract line- by-line, I pointed out that Paragon Pools includes an automatic fill line as part of the standard components of the project.  To my surprise, the couple stated the pool in their prior home did not have an auto-fill.  They would have to frequently add water manually using the water hose. 


How inconvenient to drag a water hose to the side of the pool to refill it with water.  In the desert with high evaporation rates, the water hose would essentially become a permanent fixture laid across the decking.


I could not believe that any contractor in the last 20 years would list the auto-fill as an option on a contract or simply omit it just to keep the construction costs down.


And worse, to add an auto-fill after the pool is built will incur significant costs.  There are aftermarket devices that rest on the edge of the pool but it will require a connection to a water hose.


Not every contractor handles the auto-fill in the same manner, be sure to thoroughly review the contract before signing and make certain the auto-fill is included.  The same should be considered when building a fountain, separatespa, or other vessels of water. 

Design Tip #2 - Grout Color

Posted by paragonpools on January 24, 2014 at 9:05 PM

#2 - Often overlooked in the design color palette is the shade of the grout for the tile or stone.

Be mindful of the color so that it complements the look you are trying to achieve rather than distract from it.

Each of these examples shows how the grout adds an ideal finishing touch to each application.

There is a wide variety of colors to choose from.

Consult with your pool designer and the tile installer for direction to achieve the effect you are looking for.

 

Swimming Pool Design Tips Series

Posted by paragonpools on January 18, 2014 at 2:10 PM

#1 - If you’re looking to build a new swimming pool or remodel an existing one, nothing is more helpful than reviewing photos for ideas on style, shapes, color schemes and special features. There is lots of information and images on the internet but don’t forget that your local library and bookstore will also have resources.

 

The public library system in Las Vegas houses numerous copies of my design books including The Al Fresco Life: Pools, Spas, Bars & Kitchens and the International Award Winning Pools, Spas, & Water Environments - 4 edition series.

 

 

Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers

Posted by paragonpools on November 27, 2013 at 12:55 AM

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You don’t need a pool or spa to enjoy this new product showcased at the recent International Pool and Spa Show in Las Vegas. Soundcasts’ array of portable, weather-resistant, high-performance wireless speakers and accessories lets you enjoy rich, multi-directional stereo sound throughout your house, in your yard, on your patio and even on your boat.  The speakers are great for tailgating, an outing at the park, beach or any outdoor gathering. For more information about the product or contact my office 702-251-0500 and my team will be delighted to assist you.

New pool friendly lounger!

Posted by paragonpools on November 21, 2013 at 6:15 PM

 

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One of the new products showcased at the recent Pool and Spa Show here in Vegas, the Ledgelounger an outdoor lounger made specifically to enjoy while relaxing on the wetdeck of a pool. Pool friendly, body contouring comfort, durable, light weight, stackable and comes in a variety of colors to match your outdoor decor.   For more information on the Ledgelounger contact my office 702-251-0500.

Backyard pools make any holiday more fun!

Posted by paragonpools on May 27, 2013 at 8:15 PM

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Hawaii AquaTekture part 6

Posted by paragonpools on May 19, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Well, here is the last of the Grand Wailea Hawaii AquaTekture blogs!  I finish with something that is incredibly innovative-for kids and the young-at-heart (or adults after one too many Pina Coladas), theFishpipe Hawaii is a water themed experience like no other.

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Invented in Australia in 2009, the clear orb that looks like a giant hamster ball, rotates while water shoots from hundreds of spouts.  Fishpipe Hawaii is one of 12 worldwide where riders can tumble, flip, run, surf and slide while 15 gallons of clean, filtered water sprays them.   

My 10 year old granddaughter Sophia tried it and just loved it, riding it 4 times.  So I thought what the heck- let’s see what all the fun is about.  Climbing into the orb I wasn’t certain what to expect.  At first there is a bit of disorientation with the circular rotation and water rushing at you, but I quickly became used to the activity and found myself enjoying it.  You can watch Dave’s ride in the video!  Aloha!

 

Hawaii AquaTekture part 5

Posted by paragonpools on April 7, 2013 at 5:15 PM

 

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As mentioned previously, the Grand Wailea , has many AquaTekture elements, most impressive is the details the designers incorporated to ensure an authentic setting when creating nature waterfalls and ponds.  When considering a rock waterfall or pond I always recommend using natural rock and boulders.

 

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Hawaii AquaTekture part 4

Posted by paragonpools on March 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

The Grand Wailea property opened in 1991, and while it has changed management over the years the setting has stayed true to its original concept- a homage to the islands, its nature and culture.

This is achieved with AquaTekture, foliage, fish and art.   From a restaurant floating above a salt-water lagoon filled with sea creatures, waterfalls, streams, koi ponds, gardens and sculptures, to pools with intricate tile mosaics and a chapel surrounded by a pond, the property is a celebration of the Hawaiian lifestyle.  (http://www.grandwailea.com)


 

Hawaii AquaTekture Part 3

Posted by paragonpools on February 20, 2013 at 7:50 PM

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Another great example of fabulous of AquaTekture is the formal fountain at the Grand Wailea  in Maui. The fountain features an all-tile interior with mosaics, deck jets, and a fountain bubbler surrounded by dancing dolphin sculptures. The fountain cascades down to the formal adult pool.

Dining in the open air Grand Dining Room or relaxing in the Spa veranda lounge gives one a spectacular view of the fountain.

Does the fountain look familiar? The resort was the striking backdrop of the 2011 romantic comedy “Just Go With It” starring Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler and Nicole Kidman.

Hawaii AquaTekture part 2

Posted by paragonpools on February 4, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Hawaii AquaTekture #2

The large open air lobby is just one of the impressive design elements of the Grand Wailea in Maui, with native tropical fauna, art sculptures, water features and a sunken bar.  Guests are greeted with a series of blue tiled, water channels that lead to a large reflection pond where a bronze mermaid statue lures them to toss coins into her shell bowl. 

The sculpture is by acclaimed artist Jan Fisher.


 

Freezing temperatures turn Water features into Ice Sculptures

Posted by paragonpools on January 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

This courtyard water fountain may be a beautiful ice sculpture now, but in reality it could turn into a big problem for the owner. Leaving fountains and water features running during freeze conditions will cause cracks and flooding when the weather warms up and ice thaws.

Avoid this scenario by leaving fountains off and wrapping the pipes and valves with insulated tape. When possible remove pump lids and plugs to drain water out of the pumps. Depending on the set-up, it may be advantageous to contact a professional for further advice.


 

ADA Compliance for Public Pools and Spas - More than just adding a chair lift!

Posted by paragonpools on January 12, 2013 at 10:10 PM

As the ADA deadline approaches (January 31, 2013), public pool owners are scrambling to bring their properties into compliance.  However, what we are finding is that many properties require a more in-depth plan than just adding a chair lift. We have had to improvise and become very creative in finding ways for our clients to meet the new requirements.

What I have found in inspecting existing projects,especially with the smaller facilities is that the pool and spa areas are rather limited in space to readily be able to just drop a chair lift in place. It’s not just a matter of adding a chair lift for access into the body of water; the ADA compliance law also requires adequate wheel chair access to reach the lift.

Poolside chair lifts require approximately a seven foot radius of operating space, in many cases that space is not available without violating other health department or building codes.  Other obstacles we have run across is avoiding blocking exit doors, fire extinguishers, and other structural confines where the chair lift cannot function properly.

In other instances, the spa is located on a different level than the pool with only stair access. The spa will not only require a lift but will also require modifications to construct a ramp to make the spa and chair lift accessible to individuals with disabilities. Achieving the space necessary for a ramp is not always available- ADA ramp slope requirements are 1 foot (in height) to 12 feet (in length);therefore other resolutions must be found.

An alternative to a chair lift would be to construct a ramp inside the pool. Following the specific guidelines outlined by the ADA, thisoption is not always viable due to space limitations especially with existing projects.

The ADA pool and spa compliance act not only affects the numerous resort pools up and down the tourism corridor of the Las Vegas strip, the mandate also relates to the all public pools throughout the city and across the nation.

Those who can’t meet the deadline because of circumstances that require major or extreme modifications must provide a detailed plan and timetable for executing the ADA compliance strategy.

ADA compliance is not a simple issue, and non-compliance could open an entity to a law suit.  I recommend for facility owners to contact an APSP pool professional to assist in determining if the facility requires ADA compliance and to provide a barrier removal analysis.  For additional information contact me at Joseph M. Vassallo, CBP, President of Paragon Pools at 702.400.0679 or go to ADA.gov.



 


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