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An Expert's View on Designing the Swimming Pool of Your Dreams: An Interview with Jodi Goike of Crystal Clear Pools of Port "A"

By Jodi Goike

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer

We have been in business since 1999 and offer weekly maintenance, repairs, sales & installation of new equipment including spas, heaters, pumps, motors, filters, chlorinators, etc. We also have a store and offer parts and chemicals, along with free delivery to Port Aransas commercial accounts.

We are an authorized warranty service center for Pentair, Raypak, Jandy (including Polaris) and Hayward. We have factory-trained technicians and CPOs (Certified Pool & Spa Operator) on staff.

We take pride in our great reputation!

What are the latest trends on swimming pools for homes in the Texas area?

Lots of stone around the pool (be careful, though as some are not very suitable around pools, especially so if you have a "salt pool"), glass tiles, tanning ledges, special effects lighting and water features add beauty and ambiance.

Slides and games such as basketball and volleyball make for lots of good family fun.

Salt chlorine generators ("salt pools") are popular too.

Automatic covers are becoming more common and will decrease evaporation, keep water warmer during off-season and significantly increase safety for families.

What do you normally advise clients who wish to have their own swimming pools built at their homes?

Do not skimp on the size of plumbing (2" gives optimal circulation), pump or filter. Sand filters are easiest to keep clean and best suited for our coastal region. Pay a little extra for an automatic water fill device. We have lots of evaporation and who wants a hose running across the deck each week?

Variable speed pumps are more expensive up-front, but will save significantly on electricity costs. Pentair has an online savings calculator for current pool owners at www.pentairpool.com/support/calculators/pool-pump-calc/index.htm

What are the factors that need to be greatly considered before finally starting on the process of building their dream swimming pool?

Check your local and state codes to be sure you will be in compliance. If your property will rent short-term, it is considered commercial and the law is much more stringent on commercial pools.

Here is a link for the Texas State Health Department codes for commercial pools < a href="http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=25&pt=1&ch=265&sch=L&rl=Y" rel="nofollow"> "http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=5&ti=25&pt=1&ch=265&sch=L&rl=Y

Be sure your pool builder has liability insurance, a good reputation and ideally is an IPSSA membe- ask him for recent referrals and call/visit those referrals to see first-hand the quality of work. Ask them if they had any problems and if the builder resolved them promptly.

Find out what is/is not included. Builders should include common cleaning tools (pole, net, brush, vacuum head abd vacuum hose). Some will include start-up to balance the water and brush the pool for a few days, while others will not. Some will include operation instructions, and others won't. It's best to know what to expect.

Consider extra layers of protection for youngsters, such as self-latching gate, childproof locks, barrier fencing, alarms.

Be sure all youngsters in your household or those who visit frequently have had swimming lessons. They could save a life! But remember that children need constant supervision in and around pools.

Is it possible to come up with the swimming pool of your dreams without having to hurt your budget much?

Pools are expensive to build and maintain. However, many firms (ours included) offer third-party financing with quick and easy qualifying. Financing is available not just for new pools but also for major renovations and new or replacement equipment. Also consider that vacationing poolside at home will save you on travel costs!

What tips can you give people to make sure they end up with a swimming pool that they'll love?

Ask friends or neighbors with pools what they like/dislike about their pools. Consider what budget you have monthly. You will have ongoing costs for chemicals and for cleaning if you plan to hire a firm for weekly care. You must also budget for repair and replacement of equipment. Our coastal environment is very corrosive, so outdoor equipment here has a much shorter life expectancy than in inland regions.

Take into account your environment when planning the pool. Ideal location should be in full sun with not much vegetation (especially trees) surrounding the pool. Trees not only drop leaves and pollen into your pool, but roots can destroy a pool as your trees grow. Flowering plants and shrubs can make a mess of your pool- bougainvillea, hibiscus and bamboo are particularly bad!

Consider adding an outdoor shower and restroom to your pool area. Swimmers are more likely to rinse off and not pee in the pool if the proper facilities are close at hand!

Shade cover nearby is a good idea to keep your family and guests outside enjoying your pool However, be sure you have room to easily maneuver the pole when cleaning your pool!

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Give us a call at 361-749-4853 or check out our website < a href="http://www.crystalclearpoolsofporta.com/" rel="nofollow"> www.crystalclearpoolsofporta.com and send us a message online.We do not build pools, but can refer you to reputable builders.

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