Five Reasons to Consider a Spool

If you’ve lived in Austin long, you know that the dog days of summer can extend long into the fall. So even though school has started, it’s likely we still have plenty of swimming days left in the year!

You may be dreaming of backyard water feature to get you through the heat and a spa to enjoy when the weather finally cools – but either don’t have the space for both, or don’t have the budget. Have you considered a spool – the hot trend in small pool/oversized spa combos?

Here are five reasons a spool might be just the answer to your backyard oasis dreams:

  1. Limited backyard space. At an average size of only 10-15 feet long and 6-8 feet wide, a spool is a great option for smaller yards. We have recently broken ground on a spool in the Hills of Lakeway that is a slightly larger than the average, at about 20×10 feet. Like pools, your spool can be as creative in size, shape and style as your vision can imagine.
  2. Limited budget. If you can’t decide between a pool or a spa, and can’t afford both, a spool may be the perfect solution. Because they are smaller than a typical backyard pool, spool excavation is less costly as are the building materials – gunite, rock, plumbing, lighting and electrical.
  3. Less maintenance costs. In addition, spools require fewer chemicals and are fast and easy to maintain. No pool service needed!
  4. Lower heating costs. It has been estimated that heating a spool is 75% less than heating a typical backyard pool, and spool water temperatures can increase about 30 degrees in two hours.
  5. Year-Round Enjoyment. Because it is so cost-efficient to heat and maintain, your spool can be cool […]
By |2016-02-01T01:43:03+00:00September 2nd, 2015|blog, pools|Comments Off on Five Reasons to Consider a Spool

Spools the Hottest/Coolest New Trend in Backyards  

If you thought the word “spool” only had something to do with thread, think again.

JKD Builder’s latest pool project is actually a ‘spool’ – a combo pool and spa ideal for smaller spaces. Forms are being set for this lovely Hills of Lakeway project. JKD Builder’s latest pool project is actually a ‘spool’ – a combo pool and spa ideal for smaller spaces. Forms are being set for this lovely Hills of Lakeway project.

Spools are one of the hottest trends in backyard pool and spa design. What is this spool, you ask? It’s basically a combination of small pool and large spa – creating a singular water feature ideal for getting cool on hot Austin days, and enjoying warm relaxing soaks on cool evenings.

Spools come in all shapes and designs, from contemporary angular looks to tropical free-form retreats. In general, spools run around 10-15 feet long and no more than 6-8 feet wide. As such, they are ideal for smaller spaces and smaller budgets. This 20x10 spool will feature a native rock waterfall on the back side, which also will serves to hide the pool equipment from view. This 20×10 spool will feature a native rock waterfall on the back side, which also will serves to hide the pool equipment from view.

We have just broken ground on a lovely spool in the Hills of Lakeway. The clients, busy empty-nest professionals, wanted a backyard water oasis to complement the outdoor living area, fireplace and putting green they had added previously. While their yard is ample size to accommodate a larger pool, their vision was for a free-form spool that […]

By |2017-12-20T17:19:30+00:00August 30th, 2015|blog, pools|Comments Off on Spools the Hottest/Coolest New Trend in Backyards  

The Prescription for Pool Project Procrastination – Part III

Investing in a Pool – What you should know.

If you want to be swimming in your own pool this summer, now is the time to start planning. In this third in our Prescription for Pool Procrastination posts, we offer guidance on managing the cost of your pool.

Just as with a home construction project, many factors impact a pool project’s costs. Understanding these can help guide you in making informed design decisions for a dream pool that meets your budget parameters.

  1. Size and depth. Excavation can account for as much as 10 percent of the total pool project – so the bigger and deeper the hole, the more the dollars add up. The rocky soils in Austin often necessitate hoe-ramming, and typically the deeper the backhoe digs, the more likely it is to encounter rock. Most pool contracts in this area include a rock clause for unanticipated rock encountered in the excavation process. That’s why a well-conceived design is so important at the outset – if you aren’t planning a diving board or ledge that requires deeper water, save money by keeping your excavation more shallow.

    In addition, the larger the size, the more it will require in gunite, tile, steel, lights, and so on. Not to mention the water that will be required to fill it. Build a design that is appropriate for your goals – overbuilding just adds costs you could put to use on outdoor furnishings or landscaping.

  2. excavation

     

  3. Special features. The options for cool water features are seemingly endless and you’ve probably pinned or saved some ideas in your planning process (see blog post: Choosing a Pool Design). Popular […]
By |2017-12-20T17:19:30+00:00March 17th, 2014|blog, pools|Comments Off on The Prescription for Pool Project Procrastination – Part III

The Prescription for Pool Project Procrastination, pt.II

Choosing a Pool Builder – What you should know.

If you want to be swimming in your own pool this summer, now is the time to start planning. In this second in our Prescription for Pool Procrastination posts, we share some tips on choosing the right builder.

We know how scary it can be to choose a pool builder. When we decided to add a pool to our home many years ago, we had heard horror stories about unethical contractors, rip offs, and fly by night installers who took their customers’ money and never completed the work. We were young, and first-time pool owners – and we learned a lot about what to do and not to do through that experience. In fact, that is what led us to expand our JKD Builder services to pools – and we built our first pool in 2006.

Here are some tips as you begin your pool journey:

  1. Big isn’t necessarily better. A large regional or national pool company has deep pockets to advertise, and invest in beautiful (and expensive) marketing materials. But once the project is underway, the real test is service and quality. A smaller company with a good, solid track record and local references should not be discounted.
  2. Local experience is critical. Look for a pool builder who has demonstrated experience in central Texas. You want a pool builder who knows the local soil composition, weather considerations, regulations and permitting issues.
  3. Expect face time. A good pool builder will be on site from start to finish. While most of the work is subcontracted (excavation, gunite, plumbing, for instance), a good pool builder will keep close oversight with frequent job site visits – daily, in the key construction phases. Over […]
By |2017-12-20T17:19:30+00:00February 3rd, 2014|blog, pools|Comments Off on The Prescription for Pool Project Procrastination, pt.II

The Prescription for Pool Project Procrastination

Choosing a Pool Design – Tips to get started on your dream pool in Austin

It may still be winter cedar season in Austin, but the warm temps of spring and summer aren’t far behind. If you’re looking to beat the summer heat with a new pool and outdoor living space, now is the time to start planning.

Many people make the mistake of waiting until the temperatures heat up to start thinking about adding a pool. But with pool design, permit approvals and construction taking from eight weeks to a few months, waiting until summer is here to start that process will mean missing out on enjoying your pool through a big part of the season.

Pool project procrastination is common and for many reasons—difficulty envisioning the project and identifying what you want, fear of making a mistake both in design and in choice of contractor, and of course, committing to the investment. In the next three blogs, we’ll address each of these.

Creating a pool design.

Before meeting with a contractor, think about how you plan to use you pool and outdoor space? Do you want something that can accommodate large pool parties, or do you just want to swim laps? Are you working in limited space, in which only a small pool or large spa may be the ticket? Do you want to play pool volleyball or basketball? Thinking ahead to the end uses of your pool is critical in making smart decisions on the size, design and depth of your pool.

Think too about what additional features you’ll want with your pool. It’s much easier to include things like spas, outdoor kitchens and bars, outdoor fireplaces and decks now, as part of your pool project. Not only […]

By |2017-12-20T17:19:30+00:00January 27th, 2014|blog, pools|Comments Off on The Prescription for Pool Project Procrastination