Swimming pools make great additions to a property, especially when you or your loved ones love frolicking in the water. 

However, you have to first be aware of certain factors before you dive deep (pun intended) into your pool project.  

From deciding on what kind or design of the pool that you want to secure the services of expert swimming pool builders, read on and discover helpful tips to get you chilling and swimming in no time.


If you want to have your own aquatic haven right in your own home, then you can’t just dip your toes in, so to speak. You have to make sure you have fully immersed yourself in the whole scenario of owning one.  

Sure, it’s thrilling to have your own pool where you can lounge and splash around anytime you feel like it. However, pool ownership also entails responsibility. So when you are toying with the idea of having a swimming pool, it is best to do some careful thinking and thorough planning.  

You have to look at it from different angles and see if you can really commit to this home improvement project. Adding a pool to your home can make or break the value of your property, too. 

Before you go and take the plunge, it would be prudent if you at least have a basic idea of the things involved. You don’t just need to decide on the type or design, you also have to consider things like plumbing, landscaping, ensuring that your contractor uses waterproof paint on applicable surfaces, and other building, cleaning, maintenance, and upgrading factors. 

It would also be wise if you can secure the services of a master swimming pool builder. Look for one that has years of experience in constructing pools as well as creating a beautifully landscaped area around it. 

To help you tread carefully into your swimming pool project, we have put together some salient tips that will help you decide and properly build a spectacular swimming pool:


Do you want a hot tub, a lap pool, or a full-on spa? What is the size and shape that you have in mind? Is it an indoor or outdoor pool? 

There are plenty of designs and types of swimming pools to choose from. In fact, it is easy for you to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of designs and materials out there. There are concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl pools. There are above-ground pools and in-ground pools. You can even opt for resort-style infinity pools. 

To help you decide on what you want, you have to first identify the purpose.  

Why do you want a swimming pool? Are you the type who wants swimming as a part of your exercise regimen?  

Then perhaps a lap pool will do. If you have small kids who are not yet fully trained to swim, then maybe you can include a wading pool in your design.  

If being around water relaxes you and helps you stay calm, then a pool with a hot tub can help massage away the worries of the day.


A swimming pool is an investment that you have to decide on carefully. A properly designed pool can add value to your property whereas a one that has been haphazardly and poorly made can do the opposite.  

You should also consider how long you are going to stay in that property. Are you going to stay in that house for good or do you have plans of selling it in the future? 

Aside from the initial investment that you will be shelling out for the pool, you also have to take account of the maintenance costs. Depending on what kind of swimming pool you like, you have to be ready to finance it.  

You don’t want to scrimp on a swimming pool because, for one, you don’t want to risk your safety. Secondly, should you decide to sell your property, you want the swimming pool to contribute to upping the ante in terms of value.


If you live alone, then you’ll have to decide on the design of your swimming pool on your own. However, if you are living with a partner, or your family, then you need to consider their thoughts and feelings about the pool project, too

For example, including your family in the design or decision process may help in having a pool that will be enjoyed by everyone in the house. If the money that will be used for building the pool will come from a joint account, then it would only be respectful to also discuss it with the other party. 

You also need to consider the specific needs of other family members who will use the pool. For example, the elderly might use it for therapeutic purposes, or you may have young kids who’ll need a shallow pool they can use safely with adult supervision. These considerations will affect both the design and cost of building the pool.



Before you build a pool, make sure that you are aware of the zoning laws and other community or housing rules that apply. Ensure that you are not breaking any regulations before you set out creating your swimming haven. 

There are cities or housing communities that are very strict when it comes to liability and maintenance rules.


It is also very important to know about the technical factors that will affect how you will enjoy your pool. This includes considerations as to your current plumbing and water lines. You might also consider adding other features such as a cascading waterfall, dynamic jets, or underwater lighting. Add-ons such as water and lighting features must be thought of beforehand to avoid messy, time-consuming, and costly renovations. 

It is also crucial that you choose the correct water circulation system to ensure that your pool water remains clean and fresh. A reputable swimming pool contractor will be able to recommend the best one based on your requirements.


Part of a glorious swimming pool experience is the environment. Having a setting that is both pleasing to the eyes and soothing for the soul can greatly enhance your pool encounters. 

Don’t forget to include the landscape design in your pool project. Whether you’re after creating a coastal, modern, or rustic vibe, the landscaping will surely create an ambiance that will round out your swimming pool fantasies.



When you want a pool that satisfies all your personal requirements, then it is important to seek the services of an established contractor. The experience and expertise of swimming pool specialists will ensure that you have a proper pool that is safe and fun to use. 

It will also be advantageous if you choose a swimming pool contractor that can also offer maintenance services for your swimming pool and garden landscaping. This way, you’ll only be dealing with one company.


Make sure you consider the above tips before you decide to start your pool building project. Thoughtfully plan out the steps, weigh the pros and cons, and go for a reliable pool contractor. 

By following these tips, you can dive into your pool project with confidence.



Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors, and Civils Division.

Guest Contributor: Rachel Hennessy


The Best Cordless Electric Chainsaws

A chainsaw that is battery powered has lots of positive features, such as being fast cutting, quiet, and lightweight. This makes them perfect for a variety of different jobs and goes some way in explaining why they have become so popular over recent years. With their popularity, there has been a rise in the number of conventional chainsaw manufacturers, such as Stihl and Milwaukee, turning their hand to producing battery power chainsaws. So with so much choice currently on the market, it can be difficult to know which model is the best one.

In this review of the best cordless electric chainsaws we will let you know which model that we like the best, as well as listing some of our other favorites. These include the CRAFTSMAN V60 Cordless Chainsaw, the Stihl MSA 200 C – B Chainsaw, the Snapper XD 82V MAX Cordless Electric 18-Inch Chainsaw, the DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Chainsaw, the Makita XCU07PT 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless (5.0Ah) 14″ Chain Saw, and the EGO Power+ CS1604 16-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Chainsaw.

However, the best cordless chainsaw that is currently available on the market is the Milwaukee Electric Tools 2727-21HD Chainsaw. What we particularly like about this model is that it is made by a well known chainsaw manufacturer that produces high quality power tools. For anyone that is interested in efficient and effective cordless power tools such as this one, then take a look at the following article – click here for best cordless jigsaw. What is great about this chainsaw is that although it is cordless, it still comes with all of the power of a corded model. 

Because it is so powerful, it can be used for more large scale commercial type jobs. The speed and power of the chainsaw comes from the highly efficient REDLITHIUM HIGH OUTPUT HD12.0 battery that it has. This will run for a long time before it needs charging up and when it comes to charging the battery, this is a very fast process. What is also helpful when it comes to the battery is that this model is compatible with any of the company’s M18 model of battery. What is also useful is the onboard storage that the chainsaw has. 

Boasting a speed trigger that gives you full control of the speed of the Milwaukee Electric Tools 2727-21HD Chainsaw, you are able to perform accurate and good quality cuts. For an increased level of productivity, the power tool features an automatic oiling system that works to keep the cutting chain well lubricated at all times. Also, for further improved retention of the chain and bar, the chainsaw has a dual stud. For these many reasons, we recommend this cordless chainsaw ahead of all of the other models that we mentioned.

Guest Contributor: Helen Bell


Why Is My Sump Pump Not Working

A lot of homeowners at night sleep well despite the rain because they know that they have a reliable sump pump in the basement. They no longer have to worry about potential flooding or water damage expenses because the sump pump does all the work for them in the background. So imagine coming home to your basement and finding out that your sump pump is not working. Close to being a nightmare, isn’t it? What can be the reasons behind it? If you are clueless about why your sump pump stopped working, check out this list.


There are a couple of reasons why a sump pump may not work. Yours may have the same problem as these; check out each one to know what intervention should be done to make it work again.


A common mistake made by many is the failure to install a check valve on the discharge line. This causes a backflow that causes the motor to unscrew the motor shaft. You may have the impression that the motor is still running because of the sound. However, when the pump impeller rotates backward because of the backflow, it stops pumping water and leads to further damage over time if not attended to immediately. So when installing your sump pump, make sure to follow the instructions in the manual carefully.


If your sump pump is electric powered, it may stop working once a power outage occurs. This is not a once-in-a-blue-moon experience especially if your place is prone to experiencing a lot of storms and heavy rains. A short power outage may be harmless, but a prolonged power outage may cause your sump pump to completely stop pumping water down the drain and cause flooding in your basement. A good way to prevent this and to lessen the damage caused by power outages, you can opt to invest in a backup generator to keep it functioning even when the electricity goes out.


Sump pump maintenance and regular checkups are important because it prevents this circumstance. As days go by, the possibility of debris lodging or jamming the float is more likely to happen. There is also a possibility that the float may cause the switch to rest against the pump’s sides. These instances usually lead to a problem with the switch as it gets it lodged and stuck instead of functioning properly.


When choosing a sump pump to install on our basements, we are advised to check the horsepower you need first. Sump pumps have different horsepower variants to cater to different water draining needs. If you get a sump pump that is too big compared to what you really need, it may end up working too much that its lifespan may be shorter than you want it to be. On the other hand, if your sump pump is too small, it may not be able to pump out all the water entirely. It may be forced to work on its maximum capacity continuously which may also lead to wearing out.  


There are a lot of reasons why your pipe may not be functioning the way it should be. One is the possibility of it being clogged with debris and the other one is it can possibly be frozen. Pipes normally freeze especially during the winter, however, you have to make sure that your discharge lines are working smoothly too. Proper maintenance usually does the trick. Always inspect for the presence of debris to prevent pipe clogging.


Everything has a limit and your sump pump has one too. No matter how heavy duty and high quality your sump pump is, it is still prone to corrosion especially if there is a huge amount of water being drained. If corrosion is your main problem, it might help to call an expert to help you check if it can be fixed. However, if your sump pump stops functioning because of old age, then you may have to consider replacing it with a new one.


Sump pumps are made to last for a long time especially if you go for high-quality models. If your sump pump stops functioning, then there may be a problem that you need to address. A sump pump that does not function right after purchase may indicate a defective unit. However, if your sump pump has been around for some time, you can check out the following examples mentioned above to have an idea of what to check if in case your sump pump stops functioning. Among all the factors mentioned above, one thing remains to be evident. Proper maintenance is essential to keeping your sump pump working effectively and lasting for a long time.

Guest Contributor: Gourav Sharma


Without a consistent water supply, it’s hard for animals and humans to survive for a longer period. Water is key to survival and improves a lot of ongoing activities in the body. Daily routines are almost incomplete without the use of water. When going about these routines, we could simply be struggling with keeping a clean water reservoir since it doesn’t seem like an everyday activity. People focus primarily on water purification rather than cleaning the water reservoir. The truth is, every little action goes a long way in keeping the tank safe for use. 

Water tanks are quite the investment and maybe on the pricey end. As they sit on the surfaces or plain ground, with time, sediments and algae deposits on the walls and ceilings of water reservoirs are inevitable because of prolonged use or their sitting positions. These deposits pollute water, making it unfit for cooking, drinking, or general-purpose. That goes to show that tank cleaning is necessary to maintain hygiene. A water reservoir should be cleaned depending on the water type. For example, hard water needs sedimentation more often than soft water, and annual cleaning does not cut it. How then can you avoid water pollution and reduce the harmful effect on your health? The ideal way is to keep your reservoir clean. These are some useful tips to maintain a clean reservoir.

Check your outdoor surfaces first

Before you decide to put your tank anywhere outdoors, consider checking the surfaces very well. Be sure to test the firmness of the surface you intend to put the tank on. Make sure to keep the surrounding area of the tank clean by sweeping and mopping it clean of dirt. Keep the area free of jagged edges or hidden stones that could puncture the tank. Again, be sure there are no insects beneath the spot in case of a sudden infestation or burrowing of holes.

Furthermore, to maintain the reservoir, consider raising your tank with platforms made of steel or wrought. This helps maintain an even weight hence keeping the tank away from debris. 

Install a water filter system at the main inlet  

Impurities cause damage to the reservoir and make water unfit for use. Install a suitable water filter system at the eye of the main channel. Although there are several systems you could use, a disposable filter fabric or a mechanical system keeps unwanted material from the main body of water.

If you use gutters to carry water into the reservoir, inspect the gutter area regularly. Sometimes, the contamination occurs in rain gutters and inlets. As a result of climate change, gutters could accumulate dry leaves, weed, clogs, and even build up sludge. Rather than let rubbish accumulate, it would help if you considered using a gutter mesh. In addition to this, if your water reservoir has a pump system, avoid taxing or stressing it. With a pump, you can use gravity to your advantage.

Check the water level of your tank regularly

Put ‘checking the water level’ on your daily or weekly to-do list. Checking helps you know the frequency of water used per time while helping you determine a reasonable period for cleaning. If the water level depletes faster than usual, there could be a leak and, ultimately, an avenue for microorganisms to grow.

Drain out all the water from time to time

Regular inspection of the water level helps you know the level of sediment. Sediment, by its nature, settles down at the bottom of your water tank. To determine the sediment levels of your tank, a visual inspection of the water tank is better. Usually, you would expect to see the bottom of the tank underneath the water. If you don’t, drain water out of the tank, wash the internal surfaces manually with a soft sponge, and flush off.

When picking a tank for use, ensure that the crevices are easy to clean and accessible. Accessibility is curtailing dirt accumulation in sharp corners and providing hassle-free cleaning. When you have an easy-to-clean tank, cleaning is easier.

Devise a cleaning system within many years

An interval cleaning is perhaps the most important aspect of water reservoir maintenance. Water tanks usually last for years. Also, they tend to withstand shifts in temperature, wind and wear and tear. As a result, deterioration or corrosion can be determined as early as possible. When you see such changes, these issues should be attended to as quickly as possible to prevent long term damage.

In addition to conducting daily or weekly checks, it is good to have a full inspection of the tank for around three to five years. Although some people do it annually, adding new water tank liners to the containers is a great idea. For the best of liner products, check out a range of products, and make a good selection best suited for water reservoirs.

Prevent Odor with Baking Soda

Each time you empty your water reservoir, add a touch of baking soda into space and rinse it with some fresh water. Thus helping you keep odor check.

Install an automated tank cleaning device. 

Sludges are substances you don’t want in your food, and body system via ingestion. To keep your tank sludge-free, you could install an automated tank cleaning device. The device works automatically upon installation. 

Alternatively, you could hire a professional to handle the tank cleaning, although it may cost some cash. 

Take care of tank coating

Since tanks are made for extended use, they often come with top quality coating. However, maintaining a tank coating is essential to reducing maintenance costs throughout the years. The coating on tanks is a primary defense against corrosion. Corrosion tends to change the color of the water as well as the taste. Maintaining a good layer keeps the reservoir in good working conditions, including humidity, dew point, and air. 

Keep up with technology 

Every new day ushers us into new technological means of maintaining good hygiene. Even though access to the latest webinars and conferences may not be necessary, being aware of new tech helps you learn new ways to work equipment and ultimately maintain your reservoir. 

Sanitize your reservoir 

If your tank is old or has been sitting on surfaces for too long, it may begin to harbor unwanted substances. As a result, the reservoir can emit an unpleasant smell that makes drinking water taste bad.

You can combat this challenge with some bleach. To be sure, pouring bleach straight into the water reservoir is not ideal. But you could use diluted bleach with this foolproof method.

  • Add one cup measure of bleach into four gallons of water for a 40-gallon tank. One and a half measure for six gallons of water for a 60-gallon tank. Two cup measure into eight gallons of water for a 100-gallon tank.
  • Place bleach solution directly into your water tank and fill with fresh, clean water.
  • Run solution throughout every faucet until you’re sure bleach has touched everywhere.
  • Then empty the tank. Fill up again with fresh water and let it stay for a night. On the next day, drain the tank again through all faucets. Fill up again with clean water and repeat until the smell of bleach is gone.

Guest Contributor: David Smith 


Reclaimed wood has been adored by many people for its look. The character, history, uniqueness, and structural integrity these wood possess are features that homeowners greatly appreciate. Working with reclaimed wood be very meticulous so it will take careful planning, preparation, and patience to get the best out of the reclaimed wood that you have.

Determining the Wood Species

Just like any other wood, reclaimed wood can come from different species of wood. One good parameter in choosing what species of reclaimed wood to choose is the strength of the wood. It’s best to consult with a structural engineer to confirm that the chosen size and length of the reclaimed timber are adequate for your design. 

Staging and Material Inspection

After determining to wood species of your choice, we need to have our timbers inspected on-site. It’s best to do the inspection on a site where there is very large space for the timbers to lay out. 

There are various features that you can check on the timbers on inspection day. It can be irregular cuts and notches. It can be the ageing features of the wood. The features of your choice will entirely depend on your taste

The next step is to have a professional look on the timbers of your choice to see the structural grade of each piece. This process can take as long as five hours as the process includes poking and prodding each wood. Chunks of dry rot are removed sometimes during these inspections. The inspector will give a formal report of the inspection afterwards. 

Corn Cob Blasting and Fumigation

After the design drawings and the construction contract has been finalized, it’s time to clean and fumigate the timbers as preparing reclaimed wood for use is a very critical step. The last thing you want once reclaimed timbers are erected are loose organic particles constantly falling over from the beams. 

The first thing to do is to manually scrape the wood beams to remove any loose barks or wood chips. The next step is blast those wood beams with corn cob. This process will remove any excess bark, dry rot, and debris from the wood gently enough that it will not destroy the surface.

The last step is fumigating the wood. This is done by applying a solution of borate glycol onto the wood surface. This solution penetrates the wood and kills any bugs left.

Now your reclaimed wood is prepared and ready for construction!

Guest Contributor: Maria Espievidal


It’s more important now than ever for people to do all that they can to save the environment. From years of carelessness, our environment is suffering irreversible damages; however, it’s not too late to stop these damages before they worsen. If every person made small efforts to save the environment, it’s likely that the ecosystem would see outstanding benefits, preserving the environment and the organisms that inhabit it. The best ways for people to make small efforts to save the environment can be done in the comfort of their own homes. Your home is one of the places that cause vast environmental damage without you even realizing it. This post will detail 5 ways to make your home an eco- friendly place so that you can do your part in saving the environment.


Making your home eco-friendly doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With minimal effort, you can make a large impact on the ecosystem. Here are 5 ways to make your home more environmentally savvy. 


Solar energy is an outstanding way to make your home more eco-friendly. The most popular form of solar energy is solar panels. Solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity that can be used to power your entire home. A specialist from a company that sells solar panels in Cherry Hill pointed out that solar panels can save homeowners thousands of dollars in electricity bills per year as solar panels are a sustainable energy source. 

Solar panels can be a bit costly, and though they are an investment worth making, if you can’t afford solar panels, you should consider investing in solar lighting fixtures. These lighting fixtures work the same way, storing sunlight and converting it into electricity in order to provide light to your home. 


Smart thermostats are an important energy-saving invention to incorporate into your home. Smart thermostats work the same way as regular thermostats, however, you will now have the option to adjust them from an app on your mobile device. Smart thermostats allow you to turn your heating and cooling systems down or off when you leave the house, then back on when you are on your way home. 

Smart thermostats will save you energy and money because they no longer need to be left on when you aren’t home. You can control the temperature of your home from remote locations, allowing you to still come home to a comfortable temperature without leaving your heating or cooling system on all day. 


Lighting fixtures use copious amounts of energy which is not only harmful to the environment, they can also end up costing you hundreds of dollars in electricity bills each month. To conserve energy when it comes to lighting fixtures, consider installing LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs use only a fraction of the electricity that standard light bulbs do and have a much longer lifespan. In addition to their minimal electricity use, LED bulbs will create less waste because of how infrequently they need to be replaced. And like smart thermostats and solar energy, LED bulbs will ultimately save you money; therefore benefiting both you and the environment. 


Compost piles are a free and easy way to give back to the environment. Compost piles are created to be used as natural soil in gardens in order to help plants grow. To make a compost pile, instead of disposing of food and waste that is organic and natural, such as fruits and vegetables, put it in a pile outside and let it decompose. After it decomposes, you will be able to use it as soil to give your plants top-notch nutrients.

You will be providing the ecosystem with natural resources to help the organisms within it thrive. And the best part? Compost piles will not cost you a dime; consider creating one in a corner of your yard or in a garbage can on your deck. Be sure not to add processed foods or dairy products to your pile as these foods will ruin it and cause it to smell.


Repurposing old furniture is a simple, easy, and fun way to make your home eco-friendly. Instead of buying new furniture, consider repurposing your old furniture. Repurposing furniture will allow you to have the exact piece of furniture you have been looking for and will allow you to reduce waste. Try making this environmentally savvy task a family affair; you can repaint, refinish, or repair pieces of furniture with your significant other and/or with your children.

If you don’t have any furniture around the house that you can repair, consider buying furniture from a second-hand shop, or buying used furniture from online and repurposing that. You will be doing your part to save the environment by reducing somebody else’s waste. 


The small efforts you make at home now will have a huge impact on the future of the environment. It’s important for all humans to do their part to save the environment before it’s too late. By doing the small efforts such as the ones listed above, a bright future for the ecosystem is possible. Consider making these small changes to your home today, you won’t regret it, in fact, you will likely benefit too. Make some changes today. 

About the Author

Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer that works with All American Plumbing, a plumber in Sicklerville. Jennifer is also a blogger, dog-enthusiast and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey

Guest Contributor: Jennifer Bell


Windows play an integral role in not only the value of your home, but to how you interact with the world around you. Windows let in the sunlight, and allow you to look out at your surroundings. 

But dirty windows not only look unsightly, but they can actually cause lasting damage to your home and health. So while cleaning your windows does wonders for making your home look its sparkling best, regularly washed windows also come with the following surprising benefits.  


If your windows are dirty, they’re one of the first things prospective home buyers will notice about your house. That’s not a good thing. If you’re concerned about maintaining your home’s value, “curb appeal”, or how your home looks to an outside observer, is a hugely important factor. 

Just as an unkempt lawn might lead people to undervalue your home, dirty windows similarly stop your home from showing its best version. But if your windows are cleaned with regularity, your home can look bright and welcoming to everyone stopping by.  


You might be wondering, how can clean windows help warm up your house? During cold months, though it might not feel like it, sunshine coming through your windows naturally heats up your home’s interior, lowering heating bills and bringing with it a natural warmth.

The dirt and grime from dirty windows can block out parts of your window, allowing less sunlight to enter, and thus robbing you of that natural heating. Keeping your windows cleans ensures that you get all the natural sunlight you can, which is great news for your thermostat and your wallet. 


While you tend to assume that you need to open your windows to bring fresh air into your home, a clean window, while closed, can actually help improve your air quality. When dirt builds up on windows, and sills, they often work their way into your home, lowering your air quality.

Even worse, dirt build up  occasionally can bring in mold, which can cause a host of health problems. By cleaning your windows regularly, you keep these bad particles out, and keep clean air in. 


Repairing windows that have been worn down or damaged can be an unfortunate and wanted expense. Thankfully, you can keep your windows for longer by regularly washing them. 

Dirty windows build up grime and dirt that can penetrate the glass, which can stain and weaken your window and cause permanent damage. Even when you can’t visibly see debris on your window, consistently washing your windows clears the glass of microscopic imperfections that can lower the lifespan of your windows. 

By just washing your windows regularly, you can keep your windows shining for years! 

Guest Contributor: Jeff Good