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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.


Why a Fiberglass Pool is the perfect choice for your Weekend Home

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Sat, Jun 23, 2012 @ 00:10 AM


When adding a swimming pool to your weekend home you should consider a few factors: Is the pool easy to maintain? Does it add to the aesthetics of your home? Is it possible to include features - like spa-jets, a slide, a waterfall - you will enjoy?

Easy to Maintain
First the maintenance: Since you will not be there all the time you want the pool to be low maintenance and you want it to look great - even if you have not been there in a while. Fiberglass pools are very easy to maintain, especially in conjunction with salt chlorine generators.

We work closely together with LeisurePool, one of the biggest fiberglass pool manufacturers. Their Aquaguard gelcoat finish is very resistant to weathering, UV-rays and chemicals. This surface is also much less prone to develop algae growth. Add a pool cover to prevent leaves and rubble from falling in the pool when you are away - and the pool at your weekend home will be ready to jump in - in no time.

Great Aesthetics
Fiberglass pools also come in many different shapes and colors, which will give you lots of design-options. Although the shell of the pool is factory-manufactured no pool will look the same. There are many different surface colors and various free form shapes, which will look great on a property set with view of the Catskills. Design the pool deck according to the features of your house and you will gain and clean, but natural look.

Fun to Use
Another advantage of fiberglass pools is, that it is possible to add a huge variety of features, such as spa-jets, a waterfall, underwater lights, fountains, maybe even an integrated hot tub – let your imagination run wild. Jamie Snyder of Albert Group Landscaping is happy to discuss possible options for the perfect swimming pool at your weekend home.


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Should I add a swimming pool to my weekend house?

Posted by James Snyder on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 @ 22:10 AM

Fiberglass Swimming pool installed in a weekend home in Upstate NY

For those of you that have pulled the trigger on a weekend home in the Catskills – you already know how rewarding it is. So bear with me while I bring everyone else up to speed. 

                Owning a weekend home in Orange, Dutchess or Sullivan County becomes a way of life. A place where you can step back in time, wind down from the energetic pace of NYC and simply recharge. Taking a stroll through a wooded path in the spring or snow shooing in the winter becomes a weekly affair. As a landscape designer, and swimming pool builder I have had the opportunity to meet many clients that know firsthand the benefits of owning an upstate home.

                This past weekend I went and visited a client of mine that put a pool in last year and she made a comment that inspired me to write this article. We were talking about the pool and she said “It’s like going on a vacation every week”. That comment really made me feel good. I am glad I was able to be a part of transforming her upstate home to her private resort.

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Swimming Pools: How to Choose the Location

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Wed, May 30, 2012 @ 51:07 AM

swimming_pool_conractor_chester_nyWhen you are choosing the location for your swimming pool you should mainly consider two things: Practicality and aesthetics. That means, that you should see your pool as both, a place to have fun and a beautiful enhancement of your backyard oasis.

Visibility from Inside
Consider the view of your living and dining room or maybe even the kitchen. Since the sparkling blue water is an eye catcher, you want to see it from those rooms. Guest will enjoy the view as well as you do – and you can have a watchful eye on the kids.

If you have a backdoor, consider this as the exit to the pool area. Maybe you even have a bathroom close to that backdoor.  This way, people don’t have to cross your whole house in their wet bathing suit before being able to take a shower – or to use the bathroom.

Addition to existing Outdoor Features
Existing outdoor features should also be included when choosing the location of the swimming pool. Is there already a patio, an outdoor kitchen or another outdoor space, which can be used to relax after a swim? Your family and guests will surely enjoy to have some lounging chairs nearby or a bar or fridge to have quick access to food and beverages.

Feng Shui
Swimming pools can also make great Feng Shui enhancements to your outside space. According to Fengshui Weekly “swimming pools represent a perfect balance between yin and yang energy, the water being yin and the use of the pool for activity being yang.” A few things to consider when interested in Feng Shui are rounded edges. Kideny shaped pools are perfect.

Since the north area represents water, the best place for a pool from a Feng Shui perspective would be the north side of the plot. Unfortunately this will often be the worst side as it gets the least amount of sun. Still, you do not have to panic. There are many ways to enhance the area to ensure the perfect flow of energy.


Swimming Pool “Must haves”

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Thu, May 17, 2012 @ 06:08 AM

swimming_pool_dealer_chester_nyImagine yourself walking out to your backyard after a long day in the office. Sparkling blue water is awaiting you, the waterfall is lit up and you just have to slip out of your robe to step into a warm bubbling hot tub. Here are some more ideas to ensure, that you can truly enjoy your swimming pool project.

Especially up north, a good heat pump is essential to ensure the enjoyment of your swimming pool. Heat pumps do not actually produce heat, but pump the existing heat from it’s surroundings in to the water. The result is an efficiency rate of 100 percent.

Hot Tubs and Spas are always a great addition to your pool. They are great for relaxation and you will find yourself using them year round - not just on colder days.

According to the Freakonomics-authors Levitt and Dubner “an unprotected pool is more dangerous to your child than a loaded gun.” And honestly, how much fun can a swimming pool be, if you constantly have to be on the watch out. The new mesh fences are much less of an eyesore and will keep your little ones safe.

Jamie Snyder of The Albert Landscaping Group also recommends the installation of a safety pool cover. The new covers are very strong and durable. Up to 12 adults are able to stand on one. “Even I was surprised how much weight the new covers can carry,” says Snyder. Pool covers also help to reduce evaporation and to keep the water temperature up.

There are countless ways to add some more fun to your swimming pool. Let’s start with slides, an all time favorite for every child. They are easy to install and are great add-ons to existing swimming pool areas. Water features are also an all time favorite with children, and they also will add to the aesthetics of your swimming pool area. When chosen and installed carefully, LED Lights and Fountains can be a breathtaking addition and will ensure a big “wow”-effect at your next pool-party.

Another way to enhance your swimming pool area is great landscaping. Why not design a seating or BBQ-area, a fire pit or even an outdoor kitchen with your pool project? Contact Jamie Snyder of the Albert Landscaping Group to discuss your ideas and the best options for your backyard oasis.


Swimming Pools: Why You Should Consider a Water Feature

Posted by Josefine Koehn on Mon, May 07, 2012 @ 16:01 PM

Swimming_Pool_Water_Features_Landscaper_NYSight, Sound and Fun: These are just three of the reasons why no Swimming Pool should be without a water feature. Let us introduce some examples of common water features and explain their benefits. This will make it easier for you to decide what would work best for your personal backyard oasis.

Nothing enhances your swimming pool more than the shimmering sight of falling water. Especially when living up north it is important to integrate your swimming pool into your outdoor living space even when the days are getting a little cooler.

Jamie Snyder of The Albert Landscaping Group recommends wall accents, water walls, and LED-illuminated spill over spas, cascades and fountains or - even more breathtaking - the integration of a natural looking waterfall. That will not only add to the aesthetics of your swimming pool area but also bring a little Zen to your backyard.

Don’t underestimate the soothing sound of an outdoor water feature. It is simply very tranquil and relaxing to float in the pool or sunbathe on the deck while listening to the trickling sound of water flowing in a constant stream. Flowing water makes it easier to relax and helps to blend out the stress of our hectic everyday life.

There are fountains and bubblers, deck jets and much, much more. Those features do not only add to the aesthetics for your pool area but will add some extra fun while splashing in the water. Deck Jets can be placed on the deck or even in an existing planter. When dedicating an extra pump and control, you will able to create a variety of water shows and light effects for the evening cocktail party. And during the day the kids will have fun, spraying each other.

These are just some of the many options available. Let us know, how you enjoy your water feature. And if you are planning to add one, don’t hesitate to contact Albert Group Landscaping-expert Jamie Snyder.


Click above to download our FREE Guide to Swimming in Quality and Style.

Swimming pool buying advice - Download our free e-book now!

Posted by James Snyder on Sat, Mar 19, 2011 @ 16:03 PM

Albert Group Landscaping and Swimming Pools Presents - A Guide to Swimming in Quality an Style.


  • See the to 15 Lateset trends in Swimming pool options

  • 5 common errors pool builders make

  • 5 common errors homeowners make

And More!!!


Click the image Below to download your free e-book.

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Why a vinyl liner pool costs less than fiberglass – you get less.

Posted by James Snyder on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 @ 59:01 PM

If you are reading this, chances are that you are thinking about investing in a swimming pool. First congratulations, there is no better way of adding excitement and quality family time to your backyard.  But, now it’s time to make some choices.

When deciding  on purchasing  a swimming pool in NY you have 3 basic choices vinyl, gunite(concrete) or fiberglass. New York has long been known as “vinyl country” and for good reason. There are tons of vinyl liner pools in NY. Their design dates back to 1948 when Cascade Industries introduced the Vinyl Liner swimming pool in NJ. Back then - before there was the internet or a compelling fiberglass pool choice there were vinyl liner pools and gunite pools. Now the game has changed with the introduction of the fiberglass swimming pool.

Fiberglass pool builder orange county ny

When fiberglass pools first arrived on the scene they were – well  - not ready for prime-time. The original fiberglass pools had some inherent problems. First was the look of them, they were no more attractive than a bath tub. Second they didn’t react well with pool water - they would blister, fade and yellow - that’s a big problem if you ask me. Today with the aquaguard finish from Leisure Pools USA those problems have been sorted out and fiberglass pools really have only one drawback. They are only available in the sizes and shapes that they offer – no custom jobs. Fortunately they know this and strive to design remarkable pools.  Click here to see the shapes available from Leisure Pools USA.

A few years ago I made a decision to become a “fiberglass pool guy”. With all of the bad press out there about fiberglass I was intrigued. As a Landscape and swimming pool contractor in Orange County NY I had been working with both vinyl and concrete and knew their problems. As I researched fiberglass more I came to realize what was going on. Vinyl and Gunite guys were scared of fiberglass. That is because fiberglass is the fastest growing segment in the pool industry. Fiberglass was already the most popular type of pool being installed in Australia and now it won’t be long until your circa 1948 vinyl liner pool technology is extinct here as well. (NEWSFLASH - Vinyl Liner pools are already is extinct in the southern and western states only the north east remains - for now.)

The problem as I see it with a vinyl swimming pool is that you are not getting much for your money. The fact is that most of what you are paying for in a vinyl pool is labor. And when the labor leaves you are left with a vinyl liner inside some type of wall. They will talk about different wall types and so on, but the fact is I have never seen a properly installed pool wall fail – unless it’s wood. It’s the liner that fails. And when this happens the base of the pool – usually sand or vermiculite – more often than not needs repair as well. A typical liner replacement will set you back 4-7k depending on size. This does not include water or anything else that “pops up”. With a fiberglass pool there are no such associated costs or headaches. Downtime and waiting for a replacement liner to get installed is a thing of the past.

The truth is, in the long run a vinyl liner pool will cost you a lot more to own. Because a vinyl liner doesn’t insulate the water from the ground it costs about 8 times as much to heat. Read fiberglass is an insulator here. Add in the cost of liner replacements and you can start to see the picture.

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Why spending more on a high efficiency pool pump will save you money.

Posted by James Snyder on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 @ 41:10 AM

High efficiency pool pump swimming pool design Orange county NY

When comparing pool pumps there is a lot more to think about than just HP. New high efficiency pumps such as the IntelliFlo VS+SVRS by Pentair are designed to save you money. Although they cost more to buy than a standard pump they will save you money right away. So much so, that if you have a traditional 1-2 HP pump and it’s brand new – throw it away. Don’t get offended, it’s just that today’s high efficiency pumps are just that good. Another benefit to the IntelliFlo VS+SVRS pump is that it has a built in timer and SVRS (safety Vacuum release system). The SVRS feature helps keep you in compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act also known as the VGB laws. If you are building a new pool it is mandatory you follow VGB guidelines, if you have an older pool check your local laws to see if you need to rennovate your pool to comply. All commercial pools must comply. The built in timer is more advanced then your typical pool pump timer allowing you to set up more advanced and energy saving cycles. Check out the video below to learn more about the Intelliflo Variable Speed pumps and how they save you money. Or go here to calculate how much you will save on your pool.

To have Albert Group Landscaping & Swimming pools come to your home and discuss your pool project click here.

5 Reasons the ownership experience of a Fiberglass Pool is awesome!

Posted by James Snyder on Sat, Feb 12, 2011 @ 20:12 PM

1.       Leisure Pools USA uses the Patented Aquaguard gel coat finish. The only finish specifically guaranteed not to blister, fade, spider crack, cobalt, yellow, or any other of the bad things that are possible. View the full warranty here. Not to mention - they have the best colors in the industry.

Leisure Pools USA fiberglass swimming pool westchester NY


2.       The Aquaguard finish has zero chemical reaction with the water. This means that the pool is the easiest of any type of pool to keep clean. Algae will not be a problem as it is in concrete (gunite) pools. You will not have a “scum” line to scrub as concrete and vinyl do. This means more time to enjoy your pool and less time working on it. A pool is supposed to be fun right?


 Save fuel

3.       Fiberglass is an insulator. This means that the heat placed in the pool stays there longer. Whether it’s the sun that heated your pool or you have a heater. You will notice a huge difference. For instance, a 15,000 gallon pool made from concrete or vinyl will take about 3 days to heat using a 400,000 BTU heater. The same size pool in fiberglass may only take 1 day using a 150,000 BTU heater. This is a huge savings. If both heaters are rated at the same efficiency and 8 hour days are used the math works out like this. A vinyl pool using heat for one 8 hour day uses 400,000 BTU’s X 8 hours = 3,200,000 BTU’s  This number times 3 days gives you 9,600,000 BTU’s. Now the same calculations applied to the fiberglass pool using the smaller heater equates to 1,200,000 BTU’s used. Since BTU’s used correlate directly to fuel used you can see that the concrete / vinyl pool uses EIGHT times the fuel to do the same thing. This would be the same as comparing a car that gets 40 miles per gallon to a car that gets 5 miles per gallon. With fiberglass pool owners getting so much better fuel economy it’s no wonder that they open their pools early and close them later in the season.


4.       Fiberglass pools by Leisure Pools USA never need to be resurfaced and they do not have liners to replace. Did you know that concrete (gunite) need to be resurfaced every 10 years. The average cost for this is in the $12,000 - $15,000 range. Not only that, Every 3 years it needs to be acid washed. These items are so costly that most people just skip it. This leads to further damage and poor water chemistry. This in turn leads to wearing out plumbing and equipment. My dad told me something when I was a kid – “If you neglect to repair – you will despair”. And in this case it fits perfectly.  Vinyl pools have their own hidden maintenance costs. Liners rarely last more than 7-10 years these days. Twenty years ago liners were built to last. These days that is just not the case. First fading sets in – so even if it still holds water who wants to look at it? Second it is not uncommon for an animal to get in the pool and tear the liner. Ditto for other foreign objects such as branches, rocks, etc. And then there is just plain old bad luck. Liners are never warranted against anything except the seams coming apart. And even when that happens the warranty is pro-rated and issued as a discount on the cost of  buying another liner – labor for installing the new liner and disposal of the old one is not included, neither is water. On a five year old liner you would be lucky to get $300 towards a $4,000 - $6,000 liner job.

Leisure Pools Elegance 33 in Australian Blue


5.       The installation goes WAY faster. The pool portion of the project is faster because of the one piece pool shell. Gunite pools typically take 45-60 days to complete and vinyl liner pools can easily take 35 days. A typical fiberglass pool will be done in under 10 days.

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