Category Archives: Swimming Pools: All you need to know

Building, maintaining, problem solving: everything you need to know about having a swimming pool in Central Portugal.

Swimming pool problem

Swimming pool problem ?
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swimming pool problem

Or should I say “what can go wrong with a swimming pool”.

This post is important not just for someone thinking about having a swimming pool built but equally important for people who are buying a home that already has a swimming pool.

For most of us from northern climates it is a steep learning curve just understanding how to treat the water and get the cleaning regime right never mind having to assess the many problems that a swimming pool could have.

In part two of this blog post I will talk about the different types of swimming pool available in Portugal. In this first part I will concentrate on some of the swimming pool problems.

To put it into perspective a swimming pool will cost you as much as a BMW 520 (2008 model) so it is a significant investment and one that you want to get right.

You can sell a BMW if you’re not happy with it.  A swimming pool is a little more difficult to shift!

At the upper end of the price range pools are often tiled with small glass mosaic tiles. They come in a wide range of colours but unfortunately have a habit of coming off.

Swimming pool problem
Swimming pool problem

If you have this problem in your pool there certainly will be more tiles that need to be replaced which means emptying the water out before you can start work. There is a cost of replacing the water which could be 300 Euros for a 10 x 5 pool + the cost of the work.

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problem swimming pool

At the lower end of the price range this steel framed pool is set in an outstanding location.

Unfortunately the people who originally installed it may have been builders but they probably had not seen this type of pool before. As a result the pool structure moved when it was in the ground and full of water resulting in a lopsided pool. Which looked like there was something massively wrong with it as soon as you saw the water level was not level with the ground.

We got to work sorting the structure out and making repairs. The calcada(traditional cobbles) patio around the pool had been repaired 3 times in the past.

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expensive pool repair

 

 

Now that the pool is not moving and the patio re-laid correctly there won’t be any more subsidence and the house has instantly become more valuable.

Apart from the structure of the pool, lining or tiles having problems you then have fixtures and fittings which can be a nightmare.

 

Firstly it is important to understand that the water in a pool although nice to swim in is very corrosive to metals and the ultra violet light from the sun combined with pool chemicals attacks the plastic components too.

The answer of course is to use the very best quality materials in the construction of your swimming pool.

Don’t just leave it to your builder insist on the best because that pipe joint or valve encased in concrete or under your patio is going to cost you dearly when it fails and needs replacing.

One final comment. A swimming pool has a life.

For instance a normal pool liner has a life of 10 years. You may get more than that but ultimately you will have to replace it and perhaps the skimmers too.

If you are looking at an older property to buy then remember there will be a cost associated with this if the pool is coming up to ten years of age.

If you have any questions contact us at info@casteloconstruction.com

shade, gardenshade, dampfixpt, dining in the garden,castelo construction

We are experiencing the first real heat of the year

Summer is almost upon us. It is 36 degrees and there is a real feel-good vibe in the air.

shade, gardenshade, dampfixpt, dining in the garden,castelo construction
summer shade

 

We are experiencing the first real heat of the year.

Time for relaxing in the garden, dining outside in the cool of the evening or going to a river beach for a cool down.

 

It is a very human condition to wish that summer would hurry up and get here and once it arrives we complain that it is too hot, can’t find a breeze or when we sit outside in the evening the mozzies find us all too soon.

The answer is a shaded area that you can sit and have lunch under in the heat of the day, entertain friends in the evening and just relax reading a book enjoying the view, garden or some music in the cool.

Sun Shades can be almost any shape size and height. They are called pergolas or alpendres in Portugal. You can use all sorts of materials from local bamboo to old wooden rafters and willow withys.

Once you have lived in your Portuguese home for a year probably a lot less you will understand the benefit of shade.
You can steel ideas from all around you and improve on your neighbors design or you can copy designs from all over the world by lending books from the library or searching the internet.
One of the main considerations is Location – get this right and you are half way there.

Another consideration is size. make sure that the shaded area is not just big enough to cover the dining table but also account for the sun sinking and shining from the side.

If you are going to have a roof that is tiled on your new garden shade you may want to consider insulating it. We always insulate the roofs because it stops the roof tiles getting hot and then depositing the stored heat on your head as you sit in the shade trying to cool down.

Positioning the sunshade is another factor in its success. Is it going to be near the barbeque or outside kitchen, facing the best view or in a beautiful part of the garden?
The choice is up to you.

From a cost point of view the main things which control the cost are the size, materials that it is made of and the location of the shade. If you have a favorite design or would like to see some of the alpendres/sun shades that we have built then contact Kelvin on  info@casteloconstruction.com
We would love to chat about the sunshade ideas that you have and provide accurate prices for building to your design.

Don’t worry a rough sketch is fine !

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Swimming Pools

Swimming pools are the stuff of lottery dreamers.

The must be very high on the list of items in an ideal home. You need some good weather to enjoy a pool of course so Portugal is an ideal location.

If you are buying building or refurbishing a home in Portugal pool or no pool will be a major consideration.

There are many decisions to make. Will it be a full swimming pool or a plunge pool, just somewhere to cool off. If it is a full swimming pool will it have a deep end and a shallow end or be level along the bottom, Jacuzzi section, children’s paddling pool, roman steps the list of features is endless that’s before we come to the type of water treatment, filtration, lighting and heating.

Oh yes I forgot Budget !

Whatever type of pool from the lowly paddling pool to the most exclusive indoor extravaganza with led lighting and waterfalls they all share on thing in common.

Pool Maintenance

There are people employed all over the world to keep people pools sparkling and clean but what happens if you are looking to buy a property and the pool looks like this.

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Dirty water in the swimming pool

Would it put you off buying the property?

In a couple of short months the water in a swimming pool can lose its chlorine due to the rain and the sun resulting in the rapid build-up of green algae in the water add on top of this a scum of pine pollen and you have a pool that looks less like the fantasy you one had and more like a clip from a horror movie.

http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2014/02/25/modern-house-infinity-pool-3-bed-4-bath-penela/   http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2014/02/18/pool-maintenance/  http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2013/05/19/swimming-pool-ideas/swimming-pool-ideas-2/  http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2012/12/29/warm-swimming-pool-water-for-free/pool-temperature-4/ http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2014/08/08/questions-building-permission-planning-processes/ http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2015/03/30/swimming-pools/
pollen in the swimming pool water

How to fix the problem swimming pool?

 

First drop the level of the water so that you can see the lights and other pool fittings liker the jets, skimmers, hoover point and lights.

Check the lights and replace the bulbs as required. In this instance one of the bulbs and light fittings was damages so we replaced with a LED light fitting which are a crazy price for a simple light.

casteloconstruction, castelo construction
Change the swimming pool light

 

Then the tough part. With a very soft sponge and some floor cleaner like flash we start to scrub the tide marks around the pool. It takes a couple of goes and an awful lot of elbow grease.

Eventually as you rinse off the mess you start to see a clean pool liner at last.

Lower down the green algae and pine pollen has left a pink line around the pool. This will disappear once the water level is correct and the pool chemicals balanced.

The cleaning of the swimming pool walls took three hours before we could treat the residual water with chlorine shock and start to re fill the pool.

dampfixpt,castelo construction, damp fix, p
clean and ready for a swim

http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2014/02/25/modern-house-infinity-pool-3-bed-4-bath-penela/

http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2014/02/18/pool-maintenance/

http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2013/05/19/swimming-pool-ideas/swimming-pool-ideas-2/

http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2012/12/29/warm-swimming-pool-water-for-free/pool-temperature-4/
http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2014/08/08/questions-building-permission-planning-processes/
http://www.casteloconstruction.info/2015/03/30/swimming-pools/

Contact info@casteloconstruction for help in planning, building and repairing your swimming pool.