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FAQ's

What is the time frame to build a pool?

Before we actually build the pool we have to go through the engineering and permitting process. The engineer creates the blueprints that will be presented to the building department to obtain a permit and that generally takes about a week. Then after approving the plans they are sent to the building department in your specific municipality. Each municipality is different in the way they process plans, but generally it takes between one to two weeks. There are exceptions though, like an architectural review or a home owners association approval that can delay things by a couple weeks. Once the job is permitted it is started within a week and typical construction times run between six to eight weeks. Again that may differ based on the specific municipality and their inspection procedures. It also will depend on your particular project and what's involved.

What is a salt water pool and what are the advantages?

In terms of a residential swimming pool the term salt water pool means a pool that has a salt chlorinating system. This system is comprised of a control panel and a conversion cell, both located at the pool equipment, and simple table salt added directly to the pool water. A properly salted pool contains 3,000 parts per million of salt to water whereas the ocean contains an average of 35,000 parts per million, so you can see that there is actually very little salt in your pool water. Then, when the pool pump is operating, the salted water passes through the conversion cell which has a series of electrically charged titanium plates that create an electrolytic process that breaks down the salted water leaving a mild form of chlorine to be recirculated back to the pool. This is a pure and safe sanitizer that destroys bacteria and algae in the pool leaving you with crystal clear soft water that is gentle on your skin, hair and eyes. Furthermore, you no longer have the responsibility to transport and store harsh chemicals with this convenient and simple chlorinating device.

How much does a pool cost?

This is not an easy one to answer because there are many different features that can be added to a pool which may or may not be included in the price. Furthermore, all pools are not built the same. Each company has there own set of specifications that they build to. The county has a minimum standard, but a quality builder like Creative Backyards, Inc. will apply techniques that supersede those minimum standards. In today's economy however, pool companies are looking for any way to save money, so they might be inclined to cut corners on your pool and that is something that you have to be very aware of. Generally speaking a typical pool (15'x30') with all the necessary features will be around $25-$30,000 depending on what's included. You'll probably spend another $3,000-$4,000 for a basic patio area around the pool. And don't forget to consider the peripherals that come with building a pool such as landscaping, patio furniture and fencing.

How deep can I build my pool?

That depends on a few different factors. The main factor being the size of the pool, or more accurately the length of the pool. To meet the current code requirements for the slope of the pool floor, which is quite different than it was several years ago, the pool would have to be rather long to achieve a 6' or greater depth, making it cost prohibitive in most cases. Another reason for shallower pools is the trend with today's pool; in a shallower pool, more of the pool becomes usable, and that's what people want. Another reason is that some of the areas we work in have a very low elevation which means when we dig the pool there will be underground water present that makes it more difficult to construct the pool. Building the pool shallower avoids this situation in most cases saving the homeowner the added expense. Most pools today are built from 3' in the shallow end to 5 or 51/2' in the deep end and occasionally they are built a little deeper.

What is the difference between an easement and a setback?

Setbacks are guidelines established by each municipality that determines the distance a particular structure must be from the property lines. This pertains to your home, swimming pool, shed, tiki hut, roofed terrace, concrete slabs and in some cases your pump and filter for your pool. The setbacks for each municipality and each type of property within that municipality are different . Easements are designated areas for use by the various utility companies such as FPL, Comcast, AT&T, City Gas and Miami Dade Water & Sewer to name a few. Easements are established when the property is platted, long before construction begins and usually run along the perimeter of some properties. They are designed to allow the utility companies to run their respective lines throughout neighborhoods and maintain them when needed. Easements can be in the front, rear or sides or more than one at the same time. Nothing permanent can be constructed in these designated areas. It is important that you deal with a contractor like Creative Backyards, Inc. that is abreast of all the zoning laws in each municipality in order to have your plans approved by the building department without delays.

What is a variable speed pump?

Variable speed pumps are one of the newest items in the pool industry. These pumps automatically monitor and adjust flow rates to optimize performance and minimize energy use. They have an on board computer that will calculate and program minimum flow requirements for every pool task and as the task changes the pump will self adjust to maintain optimal flow rates for further energy savings. They are extremely efficient and produce far less heat and vibration resulting in less stress and wear on the pump so it has a longer life.

How messed up will my yard get if I build a pool?

I like to say that we come in like the fog on little cat's feet which is taken from a Carl Sandburg poem. Actually we come in many times with large equipment, multiple crews and vehicles. Sounds bad doesn't it. Building a pool can be a bit messy at times, but a good company like Creative Backyards, Inc. will keep the job-site clean throughout, so the work area remains safe for you and your family. Then when finished the entire affected areas including the access will be graded and raked clean of all debris and top dressed with sand so all you have to do is drop the sod down.

Do I need a permit to build a pergola?

Generally speaking you need a permit to construct or install any type of structure in your yard. A pergola has to be engineered and permitted like any other structure. There are foundations that have to be poured and column sizes that have to be determined as well as fastening devices for the various cross members. They also have to comply with specific setback requirements of each municipality

What does an outdoor kitchen consist of?

Outdoor kitchens are quite popular right now and can be constructed in a variety of ways. They can be prefabricated units that might be limited in design or custom built in place like Creative Backyards Inc. does and includes a variety of appliances. The appliances are made of stainless steel to withstand the elements and might include a BBQ grill, refrigerator, sink, side burners, and several different configurations of stainless steel drawers and cabinets. The kitchens are finished with stone, tile, genuine keystone, old Chicago brick or something similar and might include counter space for food prep and additional seating.

How do I know if my contractor is licensed properly?

The link below will take you to the Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR). Here you can acquire a host of information on a state certified contractor and the company they qualify.
www.myfloridalicense.com

The website below takes you to the Florida Dept. of State, Division of Corporations. Here you can research the history of the contractors corporation and who the principals are.
www.sunbiz.org

The website below will take you to the Dade County portal where you can research a contractor that is licensed to work in Dade County only.
www.miamidade.gov/building/contractors.asp

A Florida State Certified Contractor's license has more stringent guidelines and is more difficult to obtain. It is therefore a more prestigious license and allows the contractor to perform more functions than someone who just has a county license. Most subcontractors carry only county licenses because they are specialty trades and cannot build an entire pool or obtain a pool permit. In contracting with someone to build your pool you should seek a contractor with a state license that lives where the business is located as is the case with Creative Backyards, Inc. You also want that person to oversee the construction of your pool. Too many contractors now days have absentee qualifiers (the license holder) that have no position in the company and no idea of how the pools are being constructed. They just allow someone to use their license and that is a situation that you want to try to avoid.

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