Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Raleigh, North Carolina Swimming Pool Renovation - Frank Bowman Designs

Is your concrete swimming pool starting to show it's age? Does your once stunning backyard oasis no longer receive compliments from your friends and family? Then it's probably time for a swimming pool renovation.

Let's break down the most common items addressed during a swimming pool renovation:

1. Interior Surface: The interior surface of your concrete swimming pool is either coated with plaster / marcite or paint. Plaster and Marcite are interchangeable terms for the same product. If the surface is rough, discolored, pitted, chipping, delaminating or just outdated it's time to replace it. The process involves removing the existing surface by manually chipping it off down to the concrete or if it's still structurally sound they can just cut out around all the fittings and tiles. Next the surface is acid washed to make the surface as rough as possible for the new surface to adhere to. Finally the new surface is installed. Your choices are practically endless and include: White Plaster, Colored Plaster, Quartz Aggregate, Pebble Tec, Beadecrete or an all tile pool. Basically the White and colored plaster are the most economical but carry the shortest warranty (usually 1 year) and are the most affected by poor water chemistry. Quartz aggregate finishes are more durable and fall in the mid-range price matrix and usually carry a 1-5 year warranty depending on the product. Pebble Tec,Beadcrete and all pebble finishes are by far the most durable most carrying a 5 - 15 warranty but are typically twice as expensive as a standard white plaster. If you are looking for the Rolls Royce of pool finishes then you are in the market for an all glass tile swimming pool. These are highly custom finishes and start around $50,000 for the finish alone and we have installed some in excess of $300,000. You must be able to appreciate your pool as a piece of artwork and no longer a utilitarian object.

2. Tile and Coping: This is the portion of the pool along the edge and where the waterline meets the wall. Tile and coping is generally replaced every 8-10 years due either to maintenance requirements oraesthetic purposes. The days of "pool blue" water line tile and brick coping are gone. Pool owners are now looking for a more dynamic look with mosaic and glass tile waterlines with natural stone coping. Generally pool owners complete the tile and coping at the same time as the pool resurfacing. This minimizes redundant costs associated with both items.

3. Deck and Patio: After time your deck or patio will start to show the signs of age. Due to freeze / thaw conditions your deck can start to heave, crack, discolor and spall. Or maybe you just have additional space needs. The easiest and least expensive way is to have an overlay system applied to the existing concrete. This could involve an acid stain, Kool Deck, acrylic deck stain, etc. These topical coatings can refresh the look of you pool but will not fix structural issues or cracks. Realistically, it doesn't cost that much to have your existing deck removed and a new one installed. Once the deck is removed you can choose any material you want. Plain Concrete, Colored Concrete, Stamped Concrete, Pavers and Natural Stone are a few of the options to choose from.

4. Equipment Upgrades: If your equipment is more than 5 years old than most of the components are outdated and energy hogs. I recommend that EVERYONE replace their current pump with a Variable Frequency Drive Pump. We recommend the Pentair Intelliflow Pump. This pump will save you about 60% on energy consumption and they run about 80% quieter than a standard pump. Heaters are another energy hog that have had large efficiency upgrades in the past 5 years.

5. Outdoor Kitchens & Fireplaces: These are the two items that we are installing with almost almost every renovation we complete. Complete outdoor living is the goal of most of our clients. By installing an outdoor kitchen and fireplace you have extended your outdoor living season by at least four months. There's nothing better than cooking out and then sitting around a fire in your backyard with friends when the temperature starts to fall to the Lower 50's at night.

6. Landscaping: Most new pool owners spend their entire budget on the pool and hardscaping but generally neglect the landscaping portion of the project. Get a professional landscape plan and stick to it. Don't let the landscaper fool you...a one gallon plant will not grow 5 feet in one year. Spend a little more up front and get larger plants so you won't have to spend 5 years nurturing your landscape to get the look you were hoping for.

Submitted By: Frank Bowman Designs

Frank Bowman Designs serves all of North Carolina and Southern Virginia including Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel hill, Wake Forest, Clayton, Apex, Pittsboro, Holly Springs, Blowing Rock, Greensboro, Charlotte, Outer Banks, Lake Gaston and more. We specialize in the design and installation Complete Concrete Swimming Pools and Renovations including Tile and Coping, Natural Stone and Paver Decking, Pool Resurfacing with Pebble Tec, Landscaping and more. Visit Frank Bowman Designs at or Contact us at or (919) 291-8354.

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