Pro Tips with Jamie Snyder

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What is the most durable retaining wall?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sat, Aug 11, 2012 @ 00:09 PM

Retaining_Wall_westbrookvilleRetaining walls are supposed to hold back soil or rock from a building, structure or area. Since they have to prevent downslope movement or erosion, they have to be made from strong and durable material. Materials, which are generally used, are masonry, stone, brick, vinyl, concrete, steel or timber.

Since backyard projects are not only supposed to be durable, but also aesthetically attractive, many people choose natural stone for their project. But natural stone is expensive. Single stones might get loose, the wall is prone to deteriorate and begin to collapse within a few years. Concrete walls usually are pretty durable, but don’t look great and will crack over time. That is why Albert Group Landscaping uses StoneMakers hardscape.

Advantages of StoneMakers Hardscape
“Concrete block has long been a reliable method for constructing home beautification projects. Done correctly, a project using this method can be solid and durable. However, StoneMakers has created a proprietary concrete mix that trumps concrete block in several ways, most importantly, in durability, cost effectiveness and aesthetics”, says James Snyder of Albert Group Landscaping.

Due to a special mixing process, StoneMakers increased the strength of it’s concrete from 3000 to 4000 PSI to over 7000 PSI. On top of that

What about Cracks?
Every concrete might crack and there is no guarantee that your project might not develop a crack over time when frost occurs in the area. However, with StoneMakers, a crack will not destroy the project. All structures are reinforced with rebar or wire mash and natural control joints to increase stability and durability. And if a crack occurs, we can recarve and touch up the area the area.

Are StoneMakers Retaining Walls Maintenance-free?
StoneMakers hardscape is one of the most durable products available. It mainly can be left alone, but there are a few things you can do, to keep your retaining wall looking good. You should keep the wall free from accumulating leaves over the winter, which might discolor the surface over time. Salts and chemicals should be washed of the surface. And if the finish begins to wear, you should seal it again.

Is there a Warranty?
Yes, while the warranty associated with a concrete paver system normally runs anywhere from one to three years, a StoneMakers system is guaranteed for three to five years depending on the service package purchased.


What Water Features Can Be Installed With Fiberglass Pools?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Wed, Aug 01, 2012 @ 00:09 PM

fiberglass_pool_dealer_westbrookvilleToday’s fiberglass pools are (almost) as customizable as a concrete pool. Already the shell can be ordered with a variety of features such as vanishing edges, attached spas, and water jets. Waterfalls or water walls, deck jets or water archs can be included in the design around the pool.

Spa Jets
With the Fiberglass Pools by Leisure Pools USA you always have the option to install spa-jets. Other possible features include a whole spa seat area, in pool table and a swim jet system so that you can even exercise in smaller size pools. Go to our Swimming Pools section or contact Albert Group Landscaping to find the best style and options for your needs.

Today waterfalls are one of the most popular water features. While waterfalls used to be extremely expensive, time-consuming projects, the revolutionary concrete additive pioneered by StoneMakers makes it possible, to build amazing projects at a fraction of the cost - and much faster. While you can build a whole grotto with a big waterfall streaming down into the pool, you can also choose a smaller version or install some water jets in your retaining wall. No matter, which size you choose: a waterfall is one of those features, which gives your backyard oasis that special touch.

Water Walls or Weeping Walls
This is a less dramatic option than a waterfall. Water Walls require the construction of a raised wall next to the pool. Instead of sheets of water, there is just a trickle coming down the side of the wall: a nice alternative to built-in jets.

Deck Jets
You can add a lot of fun to your pool by including a few deck jets. Many jets are easily adjustable. You can change the heights or the entry point, let the streams overlap or create multi-stream archways. The jets can be installed on the deck or inside a retaining wall. Add some LED or fiber optic lights and you can create your own night-time spectacular.


How to Beautify your Swimming Pool

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sat, Jul 28, 2012 @ 30:09 AM

swimming_pool_for_your_weekend_homeThe water is sparkling blue. Comfortable deck chairs invite you to take a rest. Fragrant flowers bloom close to the swimming pool area and a beautiful waterfall adds to the atmosphere. The sun is setting; your children happily play in the water while your husband fires up the grill in the BBQ-area.

No question: You will get the most out of your swimming pool if you plan and design the whole area according to your dreams. Nobody wants to jump in a grey looking square filled with water or rest on a plain concrete-dessert or a muddy grass spot. Here are some simple ideas you should consider when planning your swimming pool and backyard oasis

Sparkling Blue Water
First of all you should choose a high quality finish for the surface of your pool. The color of the water is determined by the color of the surface – and this is, what makes the water look sparkling blue. All our fiberglass pools are equipped with Leisure Pools exclusive Aquaguard® Gel Coat finishes. These finishes come in different colors, look stunning and also exhibit outstanding performance, when it comes to weathering, chemical and UV resistance.

Clean Surroundings
Beautiful decks do not have to be expensive: With stamped concrete you can replicate materials such as stone or slate. The design choices are plenty and will give your pool a unique look. Ask Jamie Snyder of Albert Group Landscaping about the best options for your swimming pool project.

Invitation to Relax and Enjoy
Patio furniture should complement the style of your home, pool and deck. If you want a Tiki-Bar your might include wood and bamboo furniture, hammocks, and torches. A waterfall calls for a cleaner style. Talking about clean design: It is always a good idea to purchase a storage-box for toys and pillows with your furniture. This way everything will fit together.

Fire and Lighting
If you want to use your swimming pool not only during the day, you should consider building a fireplace. Seating options can be implemented while building the fireplace and can be a beautiful design-element. Otherwise you can add comfy lounge-chairs or even rocking chairs. Add some string lights or paper lanterns for sparkling party-magic. For more weather-resistant and durable lighting options consider LED pool lights.

Perfect Arrangement
Whichever elements you choose to increase the enjoyment of your backyard swimming pool, think of the right location. A barbeque pit should be close to the kitchen, while it is nice to design a relaxing lounge area in a more secret and hidden spot. Jamie Snyder from Albert Group Landscaping can help you to plan and build the perfect backyard oasis for your needs.


What you always wanted to know about Swimming Pools

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 00:09 AM

fiberglass_pool_westbrookvilleHave you ever wondered, how many swimming pools there are in the US? How many are public and how many are private? Do you think there are more above ground pools or more in-ground swimming pools in America’s backyards? And what is the average cost to build a pool?

In a recent info-graphic of Swim University, which was republished by our colleagues of Riverpool and Spas, you can find the answers to the above questions and many more facts about pools and swimming. Here is a little preview.

History of Swimming
The first drawing depicting people swimming dates back to ancient Egypt, 2500 BCE - since than swimming became the 4th most popular sport or activity in the U.S. In the age group of seven to seventeen years of children and teens it is even the most popular recreational activity. What amazed us is, that despite those numbers 65 percent of all Americans do not know how to swim.

10.6 Million Swimming Pools in the US
All in all, American’s spend $1,000,000 per hour on their swimming pools, well no wonder with 10.6 million swimming pools all in all. Just 2.9 percent of all pools are public pools. 50.6 percent of all backyard pools are in ground, 47.1 percent are above ground pools. With 3,000,000 swimming pools California has the most pools. President Gerald Ford built the outdoor swimming pool at the White House in 1975.

Average Cost of a Swimming Pool
We do not know, how he entered his pool, but according to the info graphic, most Americans prefer the canon ball. The most popular swimming pool game is Marco Polo. While swimming you can burn up to 650 calories per hour.

On an average it costs about $ 21,919 to build an in ground pool in your backyard. Ask Jamie Snyder of Albert Group Landscaping for an estimate of your backyard swimming pool project. To download our free Guide to Swimming in Quality and Style please click on the image below.


How to Have the best Swimming Pool Party

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Wed, Jul 11, 2012 @ 30:09 PM

upstate_swimming_poolsSummer is here. No better time to throw a fabulous pool party. The best thing is that the biggest part is already done – your swimming pool. Now you just have to decide if you want to invite to an exquisite cocktail party, or just have some friends and family over for an afternoon of splash and fun.

The first thing to consider when throwing a party is: How much work do you want to have yourself? No party can be fun, if you just have to tend to your guest. Get some help, ask the teenage children of your friend to take care of food and drinks. Maybe there is even somebody who would like to organize games for the kids?

Party Helpers
While it is certainly fun to create and send out personal invitations, it is so much easier, to use Evite. The online invitation service still gives you some freedom to create your invite, and also lets you check on the state of the RSVPs. Don’t forget to remind your guests to bring towels, if you do not want to have to do loads of laundry the next day. It even is okay to ask your guest to bring a dish or their favorite drink. It all depends on how much you want to spend and how much work you want to have.

Remember: The more self-serve food you offer, the more time you will have to actually enjoy the party. Sandwiches and finger food are a great choice. To be exquisite offer shrimp and fruit kabobs, or mozzarella, cheese and basil kabobs. Fill celery sticks with cream cheese and put some Goldfish as decoration. Pineapples always look great, so do grape and cheese and a selection of good bread.

A variety of fruit juices is always a good idea. They can be served to the kids, and also used to mix with alcohol. Get orange juice, pineapple and cranberry. Do not forget to offer plenty of water to drink. Simply fill a bucket with ice and add water bottles, this way you will need less glasses. Another way to safe some cups is to personalize them. This way people can find their glass and do not have to take another one for each drink. Use sharpies for plastic cups, little stickers, hangers or umbrellas.

Pool and Safety
Test everything pool related at least a week before the party. This gives you enough time to call Albert Group if you should have any concerns. Do the lights work, the heater, fountains and the filter? Adjust the pH-level and check the chlorine level. At the day of the party vacuum the pool and/or remove the automatic pool cleaner afterwards. Also remove any trip hazards and store any toys and furniture you won’t need. Keep a phone next to the pool and dry. Consider to hire a liveguard from your local swim team. And, of course, enjoy the party!


Swimming Pool Games for 4th of July

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Fri, Jun 29, 2012 @ 45:09 PM

swimming_pool_landscaper_nyIndependence Day is just around the corner: To help you get ready for your 4th of July pool party we collected some games and fun activities.

Red, White and Blue
Get some red, white and blue diving sticks. You also can color stones or use water balloons in the same three colors. Depending on how many players you have, make three teams or let individual swimmers dive up the sticks. If you have three teams, the different teams should each collect one color. Who has collected all the sticks in his team-color first?

Get a floating device ready; this will be the tea party boat, which has to be entered. Who can stay up on the float the longest? How many patriots do fit on the boat at the same time? Build two teams. One team has to guard the diving sticks, water balloons or any other waterproof toys on the float. Will their opponents be able to capture the bounty?

13 Colonies
Set up a little station for each colony on one side of the pool. You can use plastic cups with the name of each colony written on each cup. To prevent them from flowing away you might want to weigh them down with a stone. On the other side of the pool (which is the Atlantic for now) place a bucket filled with 13 marbles for England. The marbles have to be brought to the colonies.

While smaller kids can carry them in their fist, older children might want to try to carry the marbles with their toes. Who can win the most colonies? When somebody looses a marble in the pool he has to pay taxes and bring all his colonies’ marbles back to England.

Get a few soft balls in different sizes. Stand next to the deep end of the pool and let the children line up. Throw some balls in the air while each child jumps into the water. Who can catch the most balls before he enters the pool?

The Albert Group Landscaping and Swimming Pools wishes you a wonderful Independence Day. Enjoy the summer and your swimming pool!


What to consider when you get a Swimming Pool

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 @ 30:09 AM

swimming_pool_landscaper_monroe_nyThere are many decisions to make, when you think of investing in an own swimming pool. Here are some important things you should consider, next to the size, shape, material and the landscaping design of the pool area.

Is there a Warranty?
Don’t forget to ask about the warranty of the pool. The Albert Group Landscaping is an official dealer of LeisurePools USA. Leisure Pools offers a 35 year structural warranty and a 15 year surface warranty on its Aquaguard® gel coat finishes. For a small fee, the warranty is even transferable. Included in the onw time fee is an on site inspection by an approved LeisurePools representative. You can find more information about the warranty on and register your warranty right here.

Is there an Overall Landscaping-Plan?
If you just choose the swimming pool by itself, it might clash with the style of your house. It is always best to have an overall plan for the whole swimming pool area. To make it possible for you to envision the whole project and how it will look in the end, we show you a computer-generated 3-D design first. We also use a checklist covering over 80 topics that will us design the perfect outdoor living area for you.

How does the Installation Process look like?
The installation of a fiberglass pool has a few advantages. Since the shell is manufactured in a factory and delivered in one piece it usually just takes a few days to install, compared to 3-6 month for a concrete pool or 2-3 month for a vinyl liner pool. Before we dig the hole, we contact the officials to request a permit and also find out, where the underground lines, electric, water, sewer and cable are. After the pool is set into the hole and plumbed in, the backfill will be applied. At the same time, the pool is being filled with water. Now we can begin with the preparation of the deck.

What about references?
We are proud of every single project we did. In fact, there are lots of pictures and videos on our website which might be a great inspiration for your backyard swimming pool. Please also visit our testimonials-page, where our customers talk about the experience they had working with Albert Group Landscaping.

What happens after the Pool has been built?
No matter what happens, we will be there for you. Whether you have questions about the maintenance of your swimming pool, different filtration systems, or about swimming pool safety, just contact us or give us a call. We envision all of our customers as part of our Albert Group Landscaping family.



Albert Group Landscaping: What is the Difference?

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 @ 53:08 AM

swimming_pool_landscaping_nyFor this entry we want to turn the spotlight on our customers. We want to thank you all for working with us and share all the positive feedback you sent our way. For us at Albert Group Landscaping it is all about you – and we are always happy to hear about your experiences and ideas.

When Mr. Vasco called us, he was not very happy with the look of his front yard. Albert Group Landscaping built a new walk way and a retaining wall in the front yard. “Albert Group Landscaping was referred to us through a friend. Jamie Snyder called back right away, to talk about the project and delivered on time. Every little detail he said was done – and it made the house look 100 percent better. We are very satisfied and happy with the job. The work they did was extremely extraordinary.”

Mr. and Mrs. Trapani had called another contractor before they contacted the Albert Group. “We did not get his estimate until Jamie had completed the work”, they say. The Trapanis contracted us in the middle of January, they had problems with the drainage on their driveway and wanted to make sure to have the project done before spring. “Jamie’s team worked very professional and was done on time. We don’t have problems with the drainage any more and the new wall looks great. He even put lights in them. It is just perfect.”

Mr. Fetter had very specific ideas when he contacted the Albert Group to build his swimming pool, and was positively surprised. “The fiberglass pool is very durable, the salt-filter system is much easier to maintain than the chlorine filter system I was used to. The waterfall looks great and it is so much fun to swim under it. We use our built in lights often and enjoy the integrated spa-jets. It is like getting a massage in the pool. We are very happy. It looks great.”

Mr. and Mrs. Enriquez had recently moved to Washingtonville from New York City. As first time homeowners they did not want to make any mistakes and did a lot of research to find the right contractor. Now they don’t have to look any further. “Jamie Snyder is the one person whose word I can take to the bank, if he says that is how it is going to be, I know it will look good. It was almost surreal how smooth everything was”, says Mrs. Enriquez. “Every phone call was answered, the relationship of the team was completely professional, all you saw was work, it was natural for them and at the end of the day the yard looked cleaner than before. The project, a Versa-Lok retainer wall, was of the highest quality, completed on time and within the estimate. The Albert Group exceeded every possible expectation. We recommend you without any hesitation to our families, friends and neighbors.


Let us know about your experience with Albert Landscaping Group and click here if you are interested in further testimonials.



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The Ultimate Buyer's Guide for Fiberglass Pools


Everything you need to know when buying a fiberglass pool. From the best time of year to buy and picking a contractor, to pricing, options, and add-ons!


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