Real Estate - Ask A Pool Expert

A local swimming pool company representative answers questions about pool maintenance and custom pool installations in Tomball and Magnolia.

Mike Carnahan—Pool manager, Carnahan Landscaping & Pools

Mike Carnahan Pool manager, Carnahan Landscaping & Pools Mike Carnahan
Pool manager, Carnahan Landscaping & Pools[/caption]

What should homeowners do when getting ready for swim season in the spring?
There’s not really a lot you do that’s different [in the spring] than throughout the rest of the year. In this area, we don’t close pools down for the winter, so there’s not really any reopening either—especially [during] a year like this year where we had an extremely mild winter. [Pool] maintenance should have been maintained this whole time, really.

What steps need to be taken before a pool is ready to be used?
You always want to [clean the pool filter] at the beginning of swim season and at the end of swim season [at least]. [For regular maintenance,] skim the pool of all the debris that’s on the top of the water, empty out your skimmer baskets, pump baskets and your cleaner bag. Then, brush [the pool] walls, steps and benches … check [the level of the] chemicals, and add chemicals as needed to correct your chlorine. A pool should be maintained—in Houston, specifically—one time a week, minimum, because with the heat that we get in the summer, it eats the chlorine very quickly [and then algae can grow]. Some customers [schedule maintenance] biweekly from November to March.

What features are popular requests in Tomball and Magnolia for custom-made pools?
We’re doing a lot of raised walls with handmade stone steppers that can either be made out of travertine or flagstone, and we’re doing a lot of raised walls that have a sheer descent. The other way to go is to do waterfalls. We do real moss rock waterfalls.

What do homeowners need to consider before installing a pool?
The first step is always to take a look at your [land] plot plan and address easement issues. We can’t build pools or do anything permanent, such as concrete, inside of a utility easement. Then you want to look and see where your gas meter and electric meter are so you can figure out the location of your pool equipment. Plan for any structures—such as gabled structures or pergolas—[as well as fire pits and outdoor patio furniture]. Irrigation and drain lines are somethings that always need to be fixed. All of those things you need to keep in mind when you’re building a pool.

How long does it take to install a custom pool?
It takes about four weeks [to install a pool] with good weather.