Hot Tub Care and Maintenance

hot tub care

Hot Tub Care and Maintenance

A hot tub is a great way to relax at home. But owning a hot tub is not all fun and games. Hot Tub Care and maintenance is a big responsibility if you don’t want your investment to go to waste.

Fortunately for you, caring for a hot tub isn’t a complicated task. Let’s get right into it!

Cleaning the filter

Depending on how often you use your hot tub, spa filters need to be cleaned every 5-6 weeks. You should replace the filter cartridge every year to maintain water quality.

To be able to clean the filter, you must be familiar with its parts. A spa filter has 3 main parts:

The media

The media is the main part of your filter. It’s responsible for filtering the water and is polyester. The complex weaving enables the media to capture most of the solid dirt and debris.

The internal structure

The core of a filter is what gives it resistance to the water flow. Many filters come with a dual-core to give the filter a longer life.

End caps

These are found at the pole ends of the filter cartridge and are used to attach the filter to the hot tub plumbing.

Now that you are acquainted with the filter parts, let’s move on to cleaning it. You can access the filter at different points, depending on where the manufacturer has placed the filter cavity. It could be accessed from inside the spa itself or found underneath the tub. If that’s the case, you would want to shut off the valve to prevent water from rushing out once the filter is accessed.

For a regular rinse, you can wash out the debris from the filter by positioning a jet of water over it (preferably a gardening hose) and let the stream of water do its magic.

For more infrequent cleanses, use a chemical filter cleaner. Spray the filter’s weaving with the chemical rinse and let it sit for a couple of minutes so that the chemical can work. Rinse the filter thoroughly so that all of the chemicals are washed out.

Many people use household cleaners to cleanse filters. Especially, do NOT use cleaners like dishwashing liquid or bleach. These can hurt your filter and throw off the balance of your hot-tub.

Hot Tub Care: Clean The Shell

You also need to be sure to clean your hot tub shell. Just having a nice and clean set of filters isn’t going to suffice.

The hot tub seats can start accumulating scum and grime, giving your spa a gross and unappealing feel. If you have the hot tub spa installed outdoors, this will happen more often as compared to indoors. Your shell needs to be cleaned about every three months.

Do NOT use household cleaners or start scrubbing the shell with abrasive cleaners like steel wool. Since you have already invested so much in the hot tub spa, it would be worthwhile to spend a couple of bucks on quality spa cleaners. A nonabrasive cleaner like an old rag or a soft sponge would be great if you really want to scrub the shell clean. In fact, specially designed mittens can be purchased to remove scum from bathtubs and hot tubs.

If you feel the hot tub care does not require scrubbing, you can vacuum it to remove solid debris difficult to sweep out. Most of all, small battery-powered vacuums are great for sucking out grit.

Lastly, if water drainage is not yet in order, you could attempt to remove floating debris with a skimmer net. It’s great for quick cleaning when you don’t have time to replace the water or perform a deep cleanse, though it is only a temporary solution and not a substitute for the cleaning methods described above.

Clean the spa cover

A spa cover is often neglected by hot-tub owners. A hot tub cover acts as a barrier between dirt and debris and the clean sparkling water in your tub. Therefore, it can also help you conserve energy by providing insulation and keeping heat in.

Covers help prevent accidents like accidentally falling into the tub or drowning. In fact, getting a cover with a lock is a good precaution to keep away unwanted visitors from taking a soak in the tub when you aren’t around.

Check out our spa covers!

First of all, you should remove your spa cover at least twice a week to air it out. If your cover is heavy or difficult to lift, use a spa cover lifter to remove it. Leave the cover lifted for a couple of hours so that all moisture evaporates and the cover cools down.

If your hot tub is outside, buy a spa cover cleaner. Use it to wipe off any debris and stains. To keep your spa cover looking brand new for as long as possible, chemicals like a cover conditioner are of great help. Therefore, they will maintain the luster of the cover for quite a long time.

If you need any help choosing the right chemicals or cover for your spa, don’t hesitate to contact Cincinnati Pool & Patio. We’re always here to help with your hot tub care.

Installing a Hot Tub: Everything You Need to Know

installing a hot-tub

Installing a Hot-Tub

Have you finally caved in and decided you need to be installing a hot tub for your home?

A hot tub is a great way to unwind after a long day of work, but this isn’t the only benefit of installing a hot tub in your home. Relaxation is the least of its merits. The therapeutic effects of a hot tub are vast, ranging from providing you physical relief through hydrotherapy to emotional and mental calmness.

So if you’re planning on installing a hot tub, smart decision! You won’t regret this investment.

Before you head out to shop for your hot tub, there are some things you need to think about. We’re going to discuss all of them in detail, in this article.

Know your tubs: hot tub vs. spa

The first thought that pops into mind is what type of tub to buy: a hot tub? A spa?

This train of thought is usually followed by the question, “What’s the difference between the three?”

It is true, the three share common uses. They’re all used for relaxation, massages, hydrotherapy, and entertainment. The warm, gurgling water provides a relaxing atmosphere to its users where they can let go of all the stress and worries.

The terms are used interchangeably quite often. So much so that people often mistake a spa and hot tub.

A hot tub is a small pool filled with heated water. A hot tub may or may not have jets installed for massaging bathers. Hot tubs can be equipped with features such as fancy lights, speakers, etc.

A spa on the other hand usually refers to a small pool made up of acrylic, concrete, etc that also has many accessories. The primary difference between a hot tub and spa is usually the construction material used. Hot tubs have been traditionally built from wood – though you may find hot tubs made from several other materials too – while spas are built using a variety of items such as acrylic, concrete, or fiberglass.

Approval to install a spa

The first thing you should do is find out if you are required to fulfill any legal formalities in your area before installing a hot tub. Laws vary from state to state so you might have to find out through the local municipal area.

Size

The next step is to determine the size of hot-tub you need How many family members do you have? What are you using the hot-tub for?
If you are buying it for medical purposes such as muscle and joint pain-alleviation, you probably will not have a lot of bathers in the tub at any one time. If you are buying it to relax, surrounded by your family, buy one big enough to accommodate your family.

Budget

For many people, the cost is the primary factor when buying a hot tub. Big or small, even the richest have a budget. Do the purchasing and installation costs fit in your budget? Can you afford the increased electricity bill?
When researching hot tubs many people stumble across hot tub DIYs. These are tempting and offer a cheap solution to buying one.

But…

DIYs for large projects like spas and hot tubs are not the best decision. There’s a reason why companies manufacture these units and provide installation help.

Don’t fall for the frugality trap and end up wasting money. Instead, you could check out the pool and spa warehouse for the perfect hot tub and get it installed at competitive prices. How’s that for saving money, eh?

Find the perfect location

The budget issue has been solved, now it’s time to move on to the next part: finding the right space for installation. There are a couple of options available to you. You could put it on your deck if there’s space or in the backyard over a concrete patio.

Before installing the unit on your deck, you must have it inspected by a professional to make sure it is sturdy enough to hold it.

For backyard installations, make sure you have a walkway leading up to the tub to avoid contaminating the water with dirt and debris.

Consult an electrician

You have the approval of installing a hot tub, you have enough space, the budget allows this investment, and we’re good to go, right? Not quite. There’s one last important step left. Have you consulted a licensed electrician yet?

Do you have a source of power near the designated place of the hot tub? Will the source be able to support powering the hot tub?

You can have all these questions answered by consulting licensed electrician instead of just winging it. Don’t forget to make sure he has a permit if you want the insurance company to pay for any troubles that arise.

Hot tub miscellaneous

You’re almost good to go. You just need to make sure of this final checklist before heading out hot tub shopping.

If you are installing a hot-tub indoors, is there sufficient ventilation? What about proper drainage?

If you have any questions about installing a hot tub, don’t hesitate in contacting us!

Patio Furniture Basics

patio furniture basics

Patio Furniture Basics

Patio furniture can turn your backyard into the perfect entertainment space, but maintaining that new look of outdoor furniture is difficult when facing the elements. Whether hauling out your tired and true patio furniture basics or shopping for new pieces to add to your backyard for any season, here are some ways to help keep your patio furniture looking new.

FURNITURE COVERS

Furniture covers are a great way to extend the life of any outdoor living set. Covers protect your furniture all day and night from sun or storm. The fear of fading will no longer be a problem with a furniture cover since it protects from the sun. Covers also come in a large variety of shapes and sizes to fit any backyard piece.

REGULAR CLEANING

By cleaning your furniture on a regular basis you are able to not only extend the life of your furniture but also keep it looking new. For the most part, basic cleaning for outdoor furniture can be soapy water, but any wicker pieces should be washed with water alone.

STORING PATIO FURNITURE BASICS

Winter can take a toll on patio furniture. The cold can cause furniture to crack and if it gets wet mold and mildew can be a major problem. Finding storage for your pieces during the winter can allow them to last many more seasons. If you are unable to find storage, use a furniture cover, but make sure it is waterproof to prevent mold and mildew build-up.

Using these steps will help keep your patio furniture looking spotless giving you a beautiful outdoor space to relax and entertain all summer.

Clean and comfortable patio furniture helps you create a relaxing spot for your family during warm weather. Preparing your patio furniture is fairly simple and is an easy way to refresh your outdoor living space.

Before you clean your patio furniture basics, assess it. Look for stains, mold or missing parts. Replace any lost foot caps or tighten loose screws. If a piece is too wobbly or damaged to be safely used, discard it and buy a replacement.

VINYL IS YOUR BEST FRIEND

Vinyl covers should be used during foul weather or the off-season. Water-resistant patio table covers with UV protection to help prevent fading are optimal when protecting your outdoor table. Covers that protect both chairs and tables are available, so check the size for what you might need.

HOW TO CLEAN YOUR PATIO FURNITURE

Depending on what type you have, you will have to use a different method to clean it.

Metal requires very little cleaning. You can simply spray with a bit of water or mild soap and you should see a clean surface.

Hardwood can last longer once you clean it with penetrating oil to help resist moisture.

Wicker is probably the most difficult material to clean: Spray it with a hose, and for more difficult cases, use a soft brush and mild soap to work out stubborn areas of moss or mildew.

Cushions, canvases, or vinyl covers also require cleaning — make sure you allow enough time for it to dry before storing.

If your outdoor furniture is in bad shape and needs to be replaced, contact us. We have a wide selection of many different types of pool and patio furniture by the finest manufacturers.

Need help preparing your patio furniture basics or looking for a new set? Contact us here!

Retaining Walls for Pool

retaining walls

Retaining Walls for Pool

Retaining walls are usually used for sloping backyards. Sometimes a wall is used to add more room by cutting into a small hillside. While other times its to allow perimeter space around the pool. Some homeowners incorporate a retaining wall into a water feature, such as wall spouts or rock waterfalls.

SLOPE

One of the biggest challenges that pool owners run into is the grade of their yard. Very rarely is someone’s backyard completely flat. If you have a sloped backyard, then you’ve probably considered incorporating a retaining wall into your design.

Sometimes with some extra gravel and some creative backfilling, we can get by without the extra expense of walls. Sometimes walls can add to the aesthetics of the pool when incorporated properly.

Determining when a wall is needed is the most important thing. This can become a disaster for the homeowner if the pool goes in and no wall was put in place to divert water. What this means is that the rainwater coming off the slope is going to end up in the pool carrying with it all the dirt and debris that comes along with a storm.

The slope is usually determined by how much dirt is left from the excavation of the pool. Sometimes the homeowner will have some extra fill dirt brought in to help feather the slope out.

RETAINING WALLS STYLE

There are two main styles of retaining walls, both with their method of construction. Masonry walls are built out of either poured concrete or concrete block and faced with stone.

Segmental retaining walls are constructed of dry stacking pre-cast concrete block together. Segmental block retaining walls are the most popular for several reasons, including being very attractive and more budget-friendly than masonry walls.

Sometimes when there is a slope in the yard that goes down to a level spot where the pool can go, it may be possible to put in a French drain to catch the water before it runs onto the patio. If you have to cut into the grade of the yard to put the pool in then this will probably not be an option for you.

LENGTH

One thing to keep in mind is that you do not sell yourself short on the length of the wall. When the wall is tapering down it is good to carry it a few feet longer then what is needed to ensure that water does not wash around the wall and onto the deck due to trying to save a couple of hundred dollars.

WALL FEATURES

When doing walls, you should try to make the wall more than just a wall. You can do an elevated patio which is always nice. Another option is to put the wall right on the pool itself with a cascade or two in it. It is always nice if the wall can be 20 fiberglass pool with retaining walls 24 inches so that the wall can be used to act as a sitting wall.

Not all walls are designed to keep the water from running onto the pool deck. Sometimes the wall is there to keep the pool in place. When dealing with these walls it is a little harder to incorporate them into the project to make it play a role in making the pool look better. A lot of times with the proper backfill and compaction a wall can be avoided in these situations.

Perhaps your property is level, but you want to add a dramatic backdrop to your pool with a raised wall on the far side. On top of the wall, you can add water features, a raised spa or additional pool deck spaces. Retaining walls can be topped with small bushes to add greenery and act as a barrier to blowing leaves. They can also serve a safety function by restricting access on one side of the pool.

There is usually extra cost in the gravel that is needed and the extra time in prepping the ground. But it can be much less expensive than the wall itself. The area would have to lend itself to enough area for grading the slope out so that it is not to steep.

COST

How much do retaining walls cost? This is a pretty broad question with a variety of answers depending on which options you choose. Retaining walls are typically priced by the square foot, so the length and height will directly influence how much you spend.

The cost of segmental walls is also determined by the size and shape of the block used. Walls with multiple sized blocks are typically more attractive.

Have any questions about retaining walls or the pool construction process? Contact us here!

The Benefits of Outdoor Kitchens

outdoor kitchens

The Benefits of Outdoor Kitchens

Have you considered getting an outdoor kitchen for your home? Outdoor kitchens can be a great addition to the right home.

We’re going to discuss all of the benefits that come with installing a kitchen in your backyard or patio arrangement.

Increased Home Value

Outdoor kitchens are generally thought to be a luxury item, that can make your house more marketable. Outdoor kitchens have a higher rate of return on your investment, like constructing a garage door in comparison. In case you don’t have a huge yard, make sure you take into account the dimensions of your kitchen. Prospective homebuyers enjoy having an open area which isn’t consumed by structures, like pools and kitchens.

More Living Room

If you don’t have a large gathering space inside your home, an outdoor kitchen is a great option for you. If you’re hosting a party, guests will be able to have more space to relax on the patio and lounge around the outdoor kitchen

Whenever your outdoor patios are coupled with an outside kitchen, food prep becomes sort of a group activity. Therefore, no one gets stuck inside cooking while everyone else is drinking on the patio.

Maintain The Smell of Cooking Outdoor

Another benefit of having an outdoor kitchen is you can keep the smells of grilling or charring foods outside. You won’t have to deal with the smokiness or worry about your house smelling like whatever you’re cooking in the summertime.

An outside kitchen retains cooking grease, odors, smoke, and heat outside–a big plus in sweltering summertime.

Save on Utilities

Cooking outside can also help you save money and energy on your bills. When you cook outside, your A.C. won’t have to work overtime to deal with the heat in your kitchen.

Design Factors of Outdoor Kitchens

When designing your outdoor kitchen, you’ll want to put a lot of time and thought into what exactly you want and need.

A great first place to start is thinking about the ventilation. You’ll want to create a way for smoke to rise and dissipate from the area.

Another priority you should think about first is the size of your patio and the measurements of the accessories. You’ll want to make sure you have enough space for the items, and for anyone on the patio to fully relax.

When planning your layout are some developments to consider:

All About The Grill:

First, you’ll have to think about the size of the grill you want. This solely depends on how many people you want to cook for, what you’re going to cook, and how often you’re going to use the grill. If you plan on hosting large parties and cooking for every guest, a bigger grill is more your style. Though if you just want to cook for your family, and medium to a smaller size will be fine.

You can also decide if you would like your grill to be connected to the ground, or if you would like to be able to freely move it around. This will also be dependent on the size of the grill you need.

Countertops:

When thinking about countertops, you need to think: “How much prep space do I need?”  If you plan on preparing a lot of recipes outside, you’ll want a lot of space. If you’re unsure, get a countertop that’s easy to change out or add to.

Constructed Cabinets:

Cabinets are a great convenience to have outside. With this addition, you won’t have to run in and out from your house to retrieve extra silverware or plating. You can also invest in cabinets that you can lock if you’re worried about theft.

Lighting:

Lighting is what separates the good, bad, and ugly outdoor kitchens. Proper lighting will ensure that you can use your outdoor kitchen at any time you want. Floor lighting, fairy lights, LED, and lamps are all great options.

Lighting can add ambiance and will ensure your guests will be able to see all the delicious food you cook them.

Sink:

Having an outdoor sink can be convenient for you and your guests. You can wash and rinse any outdoor plates right outside, or allow your guest easy access to water refills.

The only limitation you have to a sink is making sure you’re able to connect it to your water source.

Refrigerator:

Outdoor refrigerators are a great item to have that will completely separate your outdoor and indoor kitchens. You can store the ingredients you want to use outside there, and you can reduce the number of times you have to run back inside.

You can go with mini or full-size options, it all depends on your needs and wants.

Floors:

Your best option for flooring is to go with a material that will be able to stand the elements of being outdoors. Concrete, brick natural stone, and tile are great options that can look good and last.

If you have any questions about how to create your outdoor kitchen, don’t hesitate to contact us here. 

How To Get Ready For National Pool Opening Day

national pool opening day

National Pool Opening Day

There is a national holiday for each date on the calendar and also for every subject under the sun, but National Pool Opening Day is a holiday we can all rally round.

Schedule Your Pool Opening Today

As a pool owner, you understand there’s a lot of things that go into opening your pool. National Pool Opening Day is an amazing reminder to prepare for the summer season!

Test the Water First

Once you peel the winter cap and realize the challenge before you, begin by assessing your pool chemical levels. A good water test kit is important for testing your pool’s chemical balance.

When stocking up for summertime on pool shock and pills, don’t forget to purchase water balance chemicals for pH, alk, and calcium. You might also need an algaecide to control algae. And a water clarifier to remove finer particles out of the water.

Pool equipment

Examine the pool gear, mainly the filter and pump, but also other pool equipment like pool valves, chlorinators, heaters, cleaners, skimmers, ladders, slides and diving boards.

Start looking for any soil, mulch, trees or nearby plants that may get in the way of your equipment. Pool equipment does better in a sunny, dry location and not buried in bushes.

Pool cleaners have wearable components, and generally, require more frequent repairs than other pool equipment. Inspect closely for the cleaner parts that contact the surface, or debris totes or hose components that are worn.

Pool filters, either sand, DE or cartridge will need the filter press replaced at a single point. Sand lasts about 5 decades, DE grids for ten decades, and filter capsules 2-3 years for a good-sized filter. You can prolong the life and improve filtration by using a Pool Filter Cleaner before and after opening your pool.

Pool pumps have electric motors that will fail at some point in time, usually at spring startup, or at the hottest aspect of the summer. When your motor will not turn or trips the breaker, it might be a loose cable, triggered GFCI or it might be an engine that is fried. Pumping problems may be air leaking to the pump, or a clogged impeller, or the water level.

Pool Accessories

Pool Ladders, Slides & Diving Boards possess a lot of bolts that need to be checked for tightness. Notably the step treads, which can loosen over time.

Chlorinators are normally easy to care for, but the chlorinator lid o-ring needs to be lubed often to protect the o-ring from the chlorine.

Pool Heaters

If you have a pool heater, the best spring maintenance you can do is clean out the base of the device to remove any leaves, cobwebs, and anthills. Make sure the air vents and drain holes aren’t blocked in the cabinet. If leaves have collected inside a heat pump, or in addition to a gasoline heater exchanger, remove the heater top to wash out them.

Above-Ground Pools

Above ground, pools will join the hoses or pipes from the wall skimmer to the pool filter and then to the pool pump, and back to the pool return. Open the filter air bleeder, open the lines to be flooded by the valves and fill the pump with water. After being sure that the return and suction valves are available plugs the pump into a grounded electrical socket, and the pool skimmer and wall return aren’t plugged.

Inground Pools

Inground pools equipment reassembly is a bit more complicated, but it begins the same way, by screwing the drain wires back to the pump, heater, filter. Together with the water level up, pool plugs can be pulled out of the skimmer and wall contributes to flooding the lines. Contrary to Above ground pools, inground pumps sit above the water level. Fill the pump with water from a hose or hose, and seal. Open the filter air bleeder, open the return and suction valves, and then turn on the pump. Start-Up with a multiport valve on the ‘Waste’ place is a fantastic way to flush out the skimmer and drain, and it has much less resistance too, great for pumps that have difficulty ‘grabbing prime’.

 

National Pool Opening Day is the last Saturday in April. Make it your annual tradition to join us in welcoming spring by opening your pool! In case the final Saturday is too soon to start your pool, then join in by cleaning off your pool cover and prepping it to open when it’s warm enough. If you open the pool in May, it is the ideal time to examine your pool water.

If you need help opening your pool, contact us today!

10 Ways to Freshen Up Your Backyard for Spring

backyard

10 Ways to Freshen Up Your Backyard for Spring

Spring has arrived and it’s time to bring the indoors out with cozy features. Your backyard is a continuation of your home which showcases your style and personality. Extend your time in the fresh air with outdoor seating areas that feel as cozy as your couch.

Here are some of our favorite tips to freshen up your backyard in time for spring.

Define Your Backyard

Deciding what spaces you need—dining area, cooking area, shady lounging area, play area—and clearly defining them can make a big visual impact on a yard. Your design is reliant on the space of your backyard, but you don’t need a large backyard to have a great outdoor space.

Even in the smallest backyard, you can update your space in a fresh and easy way. Doing this can be as inexpensive as repositioning the furniture you already have. Or reupholstering new fabric on your outdoor lounge and chairs.

Create an Outdoor Living Room

A living room forms a gathering place in your home, so why not have the same outdoors? Outdoor loveseats, chairs, and a coffee table are simple elements that are generally inexpensive.

Whether they’re looking for a place to eat or a comfortable spot to unwind, a mix of seating options will keep everyone happy. When you have a variety of comfortable seating choices, it adds flexibility and openness to your space. A pergola acts as a roof to create a defined space, just as your walls do indoors. With the addition of brick flooring, comfy furniture, and a warm fireplace, you’ll feel right at home.

Effortlessly blend your indoor and outdoor space with an open-air living room. Comfortable seating, an outdoor bar, and floor-length curtains will make space feel like an extension of your home.

Focus on Color

Your backyard is a continuation of your home, so your outdoor design should be too. A coordinating color palette allows your design to flow both indoors and out with accent colors making each space unique.

Create a welcoming outdoor retreat by incorporating accent pillows to your backyard design. Mix and match patterns and colors to perk up your outdoor furniture. Don’t be afraid to go bold, pillows are easy to change.

Add Some Heat

With beautiful views and a custom outdoor space, your deck is the perfect place to enjoy the spring air. Add a free-standing hot tub to stay warm on those chilly nights or enjoy time with family and friends. Or get a grill so you can enjoy some sizzling food in the spring sun.

A fire pit surrounded by comfortable seating creates a great spot to gather with friends and family. There are fire pit designs for every possible taste and preference – from bricks and concrete to metal.

Secluded Paradise

We all need a getaway from time to time. You can create a secluded area that feels warm and cozy in your own backyard. Natural landscaping creates the perfect backdrop for your backyard. You can add a few wicker chairs and a matching end table that mimic the surrounding landscape to enjoy your peaceful retreat for hours.

Plants are a flexible, quick, and budget-friendly way to update your outdoor design each season. Adding vines to a pergola or fence softens the space while adding variety and interest. For a splash of color, consider potted plants that give you the flexibility to replace depending on the season or your color palette.

Utilize fencing.

A fenced-in backyard gives you privacy from street traffic and neighbors. Instead of a solid fence, choose a style that is more open. It will make your backyard seem larger. A lattice fence is perfect for small backyards.

Think Small

Pieces with thin frames and petite bodies make a small space feel roomier. Compact bistro sets are perfect for a garden corner or porch. Built-in benches will maximize seating and storage in minimal space.

Light It Up

Lighting plays a major role in how space feels. So incorporate both task and ambient lighting to create the mood you want and to provide the amount of light you need.

Create Ambience

Now that your backyard is looking like it should, take the extra steps to turn it into a place you will want to spend time in. If you don’t have appropriate garden lighting, there is cheap solar lighting that is easy to install.

A water feature adds good feng shui and if you don’t have appropriate garden furniture, there is attractive plastic garden furniture that is virtually maintenance-free, resistant to the elements, and easy on the pocket.

Also, comfy outdoor living requires shade, so make sure to include a sun umbrella, canopy, or pergola above any seating area.

Have any questions about creating your perfect backyard? Contact the experts here.

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The Early Bird Tent Sale Extended

patio

We’ve extended your chance to grab the best deals of the season at Cincinnati Pool & Patio! 

Find 75% off all patio furniture, all clearance items, and scratch-n-dent items April 2nd through April 8th! 

EXTENDED EARLY BIRD TIPS

COMFORT

Comfort is important — very important. You may want steel or wood construction in your patio furniture for stability and longevity, but don’t forget that without some homey comforts like soft, plush cushions, your outdoor furniture will go largely unused. Avoid pancake cushions. You know, those thin, puny little cushions that aren’t plush or even very pliable. Opt for chubby cushions that feel light when you pick them up. Look for cushions with polyester filler, too. The more lightweight and springy the filler is, the more quickly it will dry out after exposure to moisture. That means it will resist mold and mildew and stay comfortable and sweet-smelling longer.

TEXTILES

You can’t grab a pillow from your family room and expect it to adapt to life outside on the patio. Most textiles designed for indoor/outdoor use are made from all-weather materials that repel water or encourage moisture to evaporate quickly by remaining porous.

Fabrics designed for use outdoors are usually fade resistant and UV protected, too. They’ll look good and feel soft and comfortable for at least a couple of seasons. When you’re evaluating fabrics for outdoor furniture, check cushion seams for heavy-duty thread and consistent, even stitches. Choose cushions with vents that encourage airflow and quick drying.

Invest in furniture with cushions that can be unzipped and taken apart for periodic airing, repair or replacement. It’s also a good idea to buy outdoor furniture outfitted with cushions you can turn and flip. This will help them retain their shape, dry more quickly and fade evenly. Acrylics, polyester, treated canvas, and the cotton duck is all comfortable, durable fabrics used in the construction of outdoor furnishings. Look for them in upholstered items, cushions, pillows, curtains, blinds and umbrellas.

CONVENIENCE AND QUALITY

From sloppy welds to cracked casters to amateurish paint finishes, a close inspection will expose that great outdoor furniture bargain for what it is — a bad buy that probably won’t last until next season. There are a couple of important lessons here: It’s easy to think of outdoor furnishings as somewhat less important than the stuff you buy for indoor use. The reverse is often true. What you buy to use outside has to stand up to sun exposure, wind, rain and probably some roughhousing, too. Inspect every piece you’re considering for flaws, especially if the deal sounds too good to be true. This is one area where a higher price is often a good indicator of better quality.

Check out our list of patio furniture here! 

If you have any questions about patio furniture or the sale, contact us here!

Outdoor Fireplaces: Everything You Need To Know

outdoor fireplaces

Outdoor Fireplaces: Everything You Need To Know

During the spring and summer, we like to spend as much time as possible outside. But sometimes the nights and evenings can be too chilly to fully enjoy our backyard and outdoor living space. Fortunately for us, many options cannot only add warmth to those days that “look” warm and inviting, but can also provide hours of family activities and bonding. These options are outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and patio heaters.

Outdoor firepits and propane patio heaters range in style from a simple outdoor fireplace to those that add an elegant accent to an already classy backyard area. Whether you’re looking for a way to enhance your backyard with a cozy fire or to warm up your patio or deck, you can follow these tips on choosing the best outdoor heating solution for your family’s needs.

Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits

There’s nothing like a fire pit to provide countless hours of outdoor fun, family time, and s’ mores! Overall, pool and patio firepits are relatively simple – they allow you to enjoy an open fire in your outdoor living spaces. That being said, there are a few important things to know.

The first thing to consider is what type of fuel you want to use in your fire pit – gas or wood. While wood is the preferred fuel because nothing compares to the smell and sound of a real campfire, some people may just want the heat without the fuss of starting and keeping a fire going.

Second, you need to find the fire pit that best goes along with the rest of your backyard decor. Fire pits come in a variety of different sizes and shapes as well as materials used to build them. As a fire pit fanatic, I recommend looking for a bowl that is built from weather-resistant materials such as copper, stainless steel, or iron. While they may be a bit more expensive, you are getting your money’s worth. The better the fire bowl is built, the longer it will last, and look good too!

Finally, make sure your fire pit has a sturdy cover. While it may seem silly to place a mesh fire screen in the pit while the fire is going, it very well may protect you and your home from jumping sparks like the fire crackles. Also available are off-season covers, to keep your grill clean and dry during times of non-use.

Fire Bowls

This is a good time to explain the difference between a fire pit and fire bowls. Firebowls are usually placed in the corners of pools, or next to a spa. More for accent, less for heat, fire bowls are usually a concave concrete design, filled with river rock. Equipped with a gas line and connected to propane or natural gas source, fire bowls produce a small, adjustable flame. Firepits are a larger affair, not quite a bonfire, but enough to produce some heat and a cooking source.

Outdoor Fireplaces and Patio Heaters

There are many options to consider when shopping around for the perfect patio heater. To start, there are three different types of outdoor patio heaters: propane patio heaters, lamp-style heaters, and infrared heaters.

Propane Patio Heaters

Propane patio heaters are great for backyards and decks. Instead of having to worry about plugging them into an outlet, they are 100% self-sufficient. A propane tank is stored within the base and the heat is completely adjustable. These patio heaters are usually completely metal and are equipped with a safety shut-off – in case the heater ever gets tipped over.

Lamp-Style Patio Heaters

Instead of using propane, Lamp-Style Patio Heaters are powered by 1200 watt halogen light bulbs. All they require is a 120v grounded outlet! Like the propane heaters, they are also equipped with safety shut-offs. That being said, regardless of their height, they can both heat an area up to 12ft diameter – since they are powered by the same halogen bulbs. Lamp-style patio heaters usually consist of a resin body with a steel hood and feature weather-resistant hardware. These very stylish table heaters can add look and a feeling of warmth to your patio or deck.

Infrared Patio Heaters

Infrared patio heaters use infrared waves to directly heat the object or person that they are pointed at. They cost substantially less to operate than propane patio heaters and have no warm-up time. Acting much like an outdoor lamp, they can either be plugged into a 120v grounded outlet. They come in two different varieties: wall-mounted heaters and umbrella-mounted heaters. They require no gas or open flames and since they are permanently installed, you don’t have to worry about storing them when they’re not in use.

Have any questions about outdoor fireplaces? Contact us here!

 

11 Tips for Arranging Patio Furniture

arranging patio furniture

Don’t try arranging patio furniture without reading these tips! Tired of rearranging your furniture over and over again? We’ve put together this list of patio arrangement tips to help you get it right the first time.

11 Tips for Arranging Patio Furniture

No more asking wondering “how do I arrange my patio furniture.” Just make sure you follow these simple rules to create the perfect patio layout.

1. Make it Feel Like You’re at Home

Bring the resort-style feeling to your backyard! Use end tables, side tables, and ottomans to add convenience to your patio. These additional outdoor pieces provide a spot to place loose items, drinks, and snacks.

2. Decide on a Focal Point

Create a focal point that will anchor your outdoor space. This will serve as the primary gathering point and the heart of your patio arrangement. The remaining decor will build off of this area.

3. Accessorize

Don’t be afraid to accessorize with throw pillows, area rugs, greenery, and lighting. Adding in accessories can give your patio the look that people utilize the space.

4. Placement of Outdoor Furniture

Place the longest piece of furniture along the longest wall, facing the focal point. This will add to the area instead of detracting attention. Typically, the longest piece will be a 3 seat sofa or a love seat. Adding several individual chairs will encourage guests to “pull up a chair” and enjoy a good conversation!

5. Find a Purpose for Your Patio

Symmetrical patio furniture arrangements create a formal living space while asymmetrical arrangements are a bit more quirky and have a much more lax, casual feel. Pick which one you intend on creating

6. Consistency vs. Mix-and-Match

When figuring out how you want to arrange your patio, you should decide early on whether you want to have all your furniture from one set, or if you want to mix-n-match your patio sets.

Having your furniture come from one set or color can give your patio a sleek and modern vibe. While mix-n-matching will give your backyard a more rustic and homey feeling.

7. Divide and Conquer

By separating the space into smaller sections, you create a dynamic and functional living area. In this way, you have multiple areas of entertainment instead of one large patio with too much open space. By adding occasional chairs, an outdoor fireplace, or patio heater, you can craft an engaging outdoor living space.

8. Design Like a Traffic Conductor

When deciding on the layout of your patio deck, make sure you direct the flow of traffic in a way that eases congestion. Think about the way that guests will enter and travel through your outdoor space. Is there a clear and unobstructed path to the entrance and exit? Are there areas that will likely become crowded? You should allow 30″-48″ of space for high traffic areas. You can cut this measurement down to 24″ for areas that receive less foot traffic.

9. Organize!

Arranging patio furniture is just one step in the equation, you need to keep it organized as well. You want to keep things tidy just as you do inside the house. Especially if your neighbors can see over your privacy fence. A cluttered patio is one that your guests might not want to sit on.

10. Separate the Outdoor Kitchen

Keep the outdoor kitchen away from your dining area. You want to have some form of separation to differentiate between the two spaces. This also addresses safety concerns associated with the grill. Keep your outdoor kitchen close to the door to make food prep easy.

11. Fill the Perimeter First

On the other hand, if your patio is small, it’s wise to keep your furniture arranged around the perimeter of the space. This opens up more room for you to move through and can visually create the illusion of a bigger space. A fun outdoor rug in the center ties it all together.

Keep in mind that you can always rearrange your patio furniture.
By adjusting with the seasons, you’ll have a new perspective on your furniture that will make you appreciate it and make you feel like it’s a whole new set!

Have any questions about arranging patio furniture or your backyard? Contact us here!