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Pool Chemistry 101

CJ Kortes - Friday, August 31, 2018

When it comes to swimming pools, the right chemicals are needed to keep the water sparkling clean and crystal clear. However, these chemicals cannot simply be dumped into an owner’s custom pool and expected to work. They must be added in the right amounts and at the right time. With that in mind, here’s a brief primer on the types of chemicals needed for a sanitary and beautiful pool: 

Water Clarifiers: 
These chemical are added to the water if it is turbid. This does not mean that the water is too unhealthy to swim in but that it has microscopic particles floating in it that make it look dull. These particles also have an electrical charge that causes them to repel each other. The water clarifier contains particles of the opposite charge that attract and capture the particles and make them easier to filter out. A stronger type of water clarifier is called a flocculent. This causes the particles to clump together, and fall to the bottom of the pool. That way, the customer or the pool company can remove them with the pool vacuum. 

Chemicals Used to Balance the Water 
Water that is considered balanced has certain chemical criteria. They include: 

  • A pH that is between 7.2 and 7.8. This is slightly alkaline.
  • A total alkalinity that’s between 80 and 120 parts per million
  • A calcium level that’s between 100 and 400 ppm
  • Total dissolved solids, or TDS of between 250 and 1500 ppm
  • No minerals that can stain

Water that does not have these values can be hard which leads to limescale and cloudiness. If the levels are very much out of balance, the water is said to be aggressive. This type of water can corrode the pool equipment and even destroy the pool shell. 

Chemicals used to bring the levels into balance are: 
  • Chlorine, which helps to sanitize the pool. Chlorine also helps adjust the custom pool’s pH level. Chlorine tablets lower the pH, while liquid chlorine raises it.
  • Soda ash, which raises the pH if it’s too low.
  • Muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate, which lower the pH if it’s too high.
  • Sequestering agents are chemicals added to water whose calcium levels are too high. They dissolve the calcium so that it is not as likely to create limescale or make the water cloudy. 
  • Bromine, which is a relative of chlorine and is most often used in hot tubs.
  • Biguanide or PHMB is another pool sanitizer. Pool owners who prefer it cite that it does not have a chlorine smell and does not irritate skin like chlorine does.
  • Ozone is used to kill microorganisms, but it is not long-lived and needs to be used with chlorine or bromine. The benefit of ozone is that reduces the levels of chlorine or bromine that need to be used to keep the pool clean.

For more information about Pool Chemistry 101, call our professionals at Hopkins Custom Pools the premier pool builder in Dallas, Texas. Visit our website at

Tips for Prepping Your Pool Before a Major Storm

CJ Kortes - Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Summertime is a great time to enjoy your pool. The summer heat also brings the chance of severe weather. When inclement weather is approaching, you want to make sure that your investment is protected. Storms can cause long-term damage to your pool area. Here are a few tips from Hopkins Custom Pools, your custom pool builder, that can keep your pool safe. 

Turn off the power 
Whether you have gas, electricity, or any other power supply for your pool, make sure to turn it off. If the area is expecting any flooding, you want to unplug the pump and filter system too. All other types of pool equipment need to be removed. You should store all items in a safe and dry indoor area. Flood waters can wreak havoc on pool equipment. You need to protect them before the approaching storm hits. 

Remove all loose items 
All the patio furniture that you have enjoyed throughout the year can become a liability when a storm rolls into town. High winds can turn a simple umbrella into a projectile. You need to take all your outdoor furniture and other accessories into a safe location. This includes items such as chaise lounges, umbrellas, pool toys, tables, chairs, and any other things that are not secured to the ground. If you don’t have room to store all of the items, you can always tie them down to keep them secured. 

Don’t cover the pool 
You may want to cover the pool. This truth is covering a pool can do more harm than good. High winds can blow debris on the pool cover. Depending on the type of material, you may have a damaged pool cover. Pool covers are big and bulky. That can make clean up even more difficult. It is also essential to not drain the pool. If there is no water in the pool, the debris can fall in and cause damage to the structure. A drained pool can bulge, split, or even pop out of the ground. 

Balance the pool chemicals 
You should test the pool’s water before the storm. If you need to add chemicals, this is an excellent time to do that. You need to balance the pool's chemistry before the storm hits. You may also want to shock the pool at this time. A super chlorinate with algaecide will give your pool added protection against dirt and debris that can get into the water. 

Trim any loose tree limbs 
If you are noticing any loose or overgrown tree limbs, you should think about removing them. They can break off in high winds and blow into the pool. This can add up to costly damage. If you want to go a step further, you should make sure any other landscaping items are trimmed and secured. 

Protecting a pool is important during a storm. You never know what Mother Nature will throw at you, but it is best to be prepared. If you do suffer damage to your pool, Hopkins Custom Pools is a custom pool builder that can help you out.

Tips for Maintaining Your Pool

CJ Kortes - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Owning a pool can be a lot of work, but with a proper maintenance plan, you can establish a routine that will keep your swimming pool looking clean and fresh. Remember a proactive maintenance schedule will maximize the life of your pool and equipment. If we only react to problems and maintain them as they occur then the chance of equipment failure and other unforeseen issues is much higher. Here is a list of several tips you can use to maintain your pool and have clear water all summer long.

1. Clean out the Skimmer Weekly
The pool skimmer is installed to remove debris from the surface of the water before it is allowed to settle to the bottom.  If the pool skimmer is clogged, then it will no longer do its job correctly.  Cleaning the skimmer box weekly will significantly improve its performance and keep your water's surface clean.

2. Maintain pH
Your pool's pH level should always be somewhere in the range of 7.2 and 7.8, the lower the level is on this scale, the less amount of chlorine is needed. Since chlorine becomes less effective the higher the pool's pH levels are many people add more chlorine without realizing. If the levels are correctly maintained, then your pool will stay cleaner, and you will save money on wasted chlorine.

3. Watch the Water Level
It is essential that the water level in your pool is at the correct height, not too low or too high. When water levels are low, you run the risk of burning up your equipment, but if levels are high, the skimmer can't correctly trap debris.

4. Clean out the Filter
Regularly cleaning your pool filter is essential for having clear water. With the right equipment this process only needs to be done several times a year or after a heavy storm but if your equipment is old or cheap you may need to do this more frequently.

We understand that our lives can become busy with work and family that properly maintaining your swimming pool can sometimes become an afterthought. Here at Hopkins Custom Pools, we offer maintenance programs that keep your pool looking fresh and your mind at ease with one less thing to worry about. Contact us today to learn more about our pool services.

Outdoor Activities to Enjoy by the Pool

CJ Kortes - Friday, May 25, 2018

A pool is a marvelous thing to have in any home. The pool makes the ideal place to cool off cool on a sweltering day. One of the many advantages of having a pool is that there are so many opportunities for additional outdoor fun. The area surrounding the pool can be used for daily enjoyment. It can also be used as a place to entertain guests when they come over. Many people want to plan a series of fun activities that can be played next to the pool. Lots of things are possible nearly all year long. 

The Grill 

Cooking outdoors adds a unique flavor to any food. The chance to grill a well-seasoned piece of steak or a juicy bit of chicken is one that many people relish. A pool builder in Dallas can help by providing additional space for other activities that may also include a built-in area for the grill. Grilling is also perfect when having a large party of people over. 

Playing Horseshoes 

One of most amusing things to do by the pool is playing horseshoes. Horseshoes is a classic game that so many people still love today. One of the best things about horseshoes is that it can also be set up quickly. The items can be removed when they are not in use. Many people of many varied ages can also play this game. Even small children can participate by holding the shoes and throwing them. A set of horseshoes also takes up very little space so it can also be played in any yard no matter how large or small. 

Volleyball Games 

Highly active people love playing games like volleyball. A pool builder in Dallas can help the homeowner determine where to locate their volleyball area. This is also a game that can be played both on dry land and in the pool. People may choose to play volleyball when entertaining lots of guests. Many people can play volleyball at the same time. Only two or three people can also arrange teams. Volleyball nets can also be set up quickly and then taken down as needed when the weather turns colder. 

Cocktail Parties 

The backyard beckons to be used at all hours of the day. As the thick afternoon heat dissipates, it's the perfect time to hold a cocktail party. One way to entertain guests is with a charming series of cocktails. Small plates are easy to prepare and serve. This is a great way to present varied types of foods such as deviled eggs, finger sandwiches, and an assortment of salads. Guests can pick from lots of the kinds of foods to eat at the party. 

Any area by the pool can be a source of delight all year long.

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Looking for a Pool Builder?

CJ Kortes - Monday, April 30, 2018

If you live in the Dallas, Texas area you know that the climate is perfect for swimming. Having a pool of your own not only adds tremendous value to your home, but it’s also great for entertainment, leisure, and exercise. Once you’ve made the decision to have a swimming pool installed, it’s important to find a contractor who you can trust.You need an experienced pool builder in Dallas.

Hopkins Custom Pools is the company that can provide the services you need. The company offers the very best in knowledge, experience, and value. Owner Shane Hopkins and his dedicated team of employees work hard for their customers to bring quality pool and outdoor installations to your backyard. As a professional pool builder in Dallas and a business leader in the community, Shane is committed to getting the job done right every time.

If you’re not sure what kind of pool you’re looking for, Hopkins Custom Pools can show you a variety of designs that will be perfect for your garden oasis. Whether you want a sleek, modern look or a natural stone pool with a waterfall, the professional staff at Hopkins Custom Pools can make it happen. They have kid-friendly options too like a built-in rock slide and fun fountains that your children will love.

Hopkins Custom Pools can design the perfect outdoor living space for you and your family. Enjoy gourmet meals outdoors under a stylish cabana or relax by the fireplace on your patio living room. Install a complete backyard kitchen to give your cookouts real style. Create a garden feature with a custom-built arbor that you will enjoy for years to come.

Your dream space wouldn’t be complete without expert landscaping and water features that add ambiance and luxury to your garden. Hopkins Custom Pools is your partner when it comes to making your vision come to life. Their experts will create a custom design for you that will fit into the existing landscape. Imagine relaxing by your pool surrounded by lush plants and the sounds of nature; you can have this and more when you hire Shane Hopkins team to get the job done.

Hopkins Custom Pools is there for you every step of the way, even when it comes to financing your custom swimming pool. The company has partnered with LyonFinancial, an industry leader in pool financing. With staff providing service throughout the East Texas area, you can trust Hopkins Custom Pools to transform your outdoor living space into something truly special.

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Enjoy Warm Days Poolside with Family and Friends

CJ Kortes - Saturday, March 31, 2018

As the hot summer months are approaching, it's time to start thinking about how you want to spend it. You could, of course, go on a vacation for a few weeks and lounge by the pool soaking up the sun, or you could have a pool installed right in your backyard. Here are five reasons you want to consider installing a pool right where you are. 

1. Keep the kids close, but not indoors

For decades, it has been challenging to get kids away from TV screens. Portable screens on modern electronic devices have made this battle more difficult than ever. While you may not be able to keep them from occasionally glancing at their phone or tablet, a pool is a great way to keep your kids close but get them outdoors. By creating a place your kids can all bring their friends, you can also keep them close to home while giving them plenty of activities to enjoy. 

2. Entertain family and friends

There is little more enticing in the hot summer months than a poolside barbecue or luau. If you want your home to be the entertainment hub of the neighborhood and your extended family, installing a pool can be a great way to make sure you never lack for an abundant guest list. 

3. Create a backyard oasis

Modern pools are more than just a giant hole in the ground filled with water. Today, you can work with a pool builder to create a backyard oasis complete with water features and even lush landscaping and greenery. Enjoy your morning coffee or a Sunday brunch poolside with your family in your private oasis. 

4. Enjoy a weekly mini-vacation right at home

Of course, you'll want to take a summer vacation to some exotic locale, but having a pool right in your backyard can make every weekend feel like its mini-vacation. Even when summer activities are in full swing, starting your day with a leisurely breakfast poolside or even a quick cup of coffee can help get your busy day off to a great start. 

5. Great for physical fitness

With obesity rates on the rise, a pool in your backyard is better than having a gym in your own home. Not only is swimming and playing in the water loads of fun, but it also burns more calories than almost any other form of exercise. Whether you are just splashing leisurely in the pool, swimming laps or doing other strenuous water activities, a pool can give you a full workout and help you stay in shape. 

No matter what size of property you own, there is a pool that is right for you. From lap pools to swim spas, a custom pool builder can help you design just the right pool to fit in the space you have. They can also custom design your pool to blend perfectly with both the architecture of your home as well as the surrounding landscape.

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Don't spend another summer without the pool of your dreams!

CJ Kortes - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How many times have you found yourself staring out at your big, open backyard, thinking, "it sure would be nice to have a pool back there." But then, you go on with your life, and before you know it, another summer has come and gone, and you still don't have the pool you've been dreaming of. Don't let this summer be like every summer before it. Make this the summer you finally have the pool of your dreams installed.

Don't just have any pool installed, though. You deserve a custom-designed and built pool that perfectly meets your family's unique needs. With the help of an experienced pool builder, you can indeed do anything you can imagine when it comes to your pool. So, get started today so you can fully realize the amazing benefits of having a custom pool in your backyard.

A Pool for Your Family
Your family is different from every other family, so why shouldn't your pool be different from every other pool? You may have young children; older children may enjoy more adventure activities or more relaxing. You may experience a more modern style, or enjoy more rustic, naturally-inspired elements in your decor. Whatever the case may be, you deserve a pool that reflects these unique characteristics to ensure everyone enjoys the new pool as much as possible.

If you have young children, for example, you may want an area that is more shallow to allow your children to safely enjoy the water without having to worry so much about the risk of drowning. If you have teenagers, on the other hand, a waterslide element is a perfect way to wear off some energy and provide a centerpiece of fun for neighborhood get-togethers. If you choose a stock pool design, you'll have to fit your family to the needs of the pool. With a custom pool, you can adapt the pool to the needs of your family.

First Steps
Something which may be keeping you from having the pool of your dreams installed merely is not knowing where to start. You want to spend your money wisely, but all the information about different options for your pool can be overwhelming. As an experienced pool builder, we pledge to provide you with quality information so you can make informed decisions every step of the way. 

We also pledge to include you in the process to ensure you understand what's happening and can give feedback or even make changes as needed. We provide free, no-obligation estimates, so you can get a clear picture of the time, money, and resources that will be required to build the pool of your dreams. A hint: it's probably easier than you think.

Limited Time
Time, especially if you have children, is a limited resource. Your kids won't be kids forever and every summer you spend not getting the pool your family deserves is another summer you'll never get back. Make your home the place your kids want to be as they grow older, so you can spend those extra few moments with them that you'll cherish forever. If you don't have kids, summer still only comes once a year. Don't take your summers for granted and see what we can do for you, today.


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Is Your Pool Ready for Summer?

CJ Kortes - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

As the Texas winter slowly draws to an end and brings the warmer weather of spring and summer, you are undoubtedly thinking about the great times about to be had around your outdoor pool. With the approaching opening of your pool for the season, contacting your local Rockwall, TX pool builder Hopkins Custom Pools is in order to ensure that your pool is properly serviced and maintained to extend its life and well-being.

A properly serviced and well-maintained pool ensures that you, your family and your guests can enjoy their days in the water are met with safety in mind. In Texas, your pool winterization like meant pulling the plug and draining the water level down to the bottom of the pool. To get you back up and running for warmer months, Hopkins Custom Pools can help open your pool back up by filling it to the proper level. When filled, we can ensure that the pool has the proper pH balance, correct chlorination levels and they can add algaecide to your pool as well. Pools that are too acidic will corrode the equipment and can cause irritation of the skin in your swimming guests. Pools that are too alkaline will scale on the surface. Hopkins Custom Pools can ensure the correct pH balance between 7.2 – 7.8. A great swim starts with the water itself, and we can help in safeguarding your pool’s water when preparing to open it back up for the warmer months ahead.

On top of the water, proper maintenance of the equipment on your pool is imperative as well. Beginning with the ever-important pump on your pool, it requires regular cleaning of the strainer basket. The O-ring that seals the pump housing should also be inspected and replace if beginning to deteriorate. The filter on your pool also needs regular cleaning and potential maintenance to help ensure clean, clear water in the pool. Pool heaters also require maintenance, whether they run on gas or electricity. The tubes in the heater can get built up with calcium over time, requiring the heater to be disassembled and cleaned.

Regular, routine care is super essential to the life of your pool and safety of your family and guests that go for a dip in your pool. Your friends at Hopkins Custom Pools are not only your local expert custom pool builder, but they are also ready to help ensure that both your water and your pool equipment are set to go for the summer so that you can worry about the more important things in life.


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Don't wait for summer to build your dream swimming pool!

CJ Kortes - Sunday, December 31, 2017

When you look at your backyard today, you may see a wide open space that is ideal for a pool builder to install a gorgeous pool and perhaps even a hot tub. Custom pools can transform a rather boring and even unattractive space into a resort-like experience. With a new swimming pool installed in your yard this summer, you can enjoy quiet time floating in the pool on your own, relaxing with your family or even partying with your friends. You might think that it is too soon to start contacting contractors to design and install a custom pool, but this is not the case. Now is the perfect time to get started. 

The Timeline for a Pool Installation Project

At first glance, the installation of a new swimming pool may seem like a project that can be completed rather quickly. However, everything from the creation of a pool design and clearing the land to the actual installation of the pool and even the landscaping around the pool must be completed before you can enjoy using your pool this summer. A realistic timeline for all aspects of the installation of custom pools may be two to three months in some cases. Remember that you may also need to account for weather-related delays when estimating the timeline for your pool installation project. 

The Availability of Pool Builders 

Many homeowners like you throughout the Dallas metro area also share the same belief that they should wait until closer to summertime to install a pool. This means that a typical pool builder will get swamped with projects to complete in the months leading up to summer and even throughout the summer season. The last thing that you want is to experience a delay with your pool project because your preferred builder is booked solid. 

The Enjoyment of Your New Pool All Summer

When you make the effort to design a new pool for your backyard and to find the right builder to hire, it makes sense that you would want to enjoy your pool all summer long. The reality is that temperatures can rise into the 90s on many days even in April and May in the Dallas area. These are days when you could be lounging by the pool and watching the kids splash and play in the water. Why would you wait until July or August to enjoy a completed swimming pool in your backyard?

If you have decided that this is the year when you will finally turn your dream of having a swimming pool in your backyard into a reality, there is no better time than right now to start the process. With a consultation from a reputable pool installation company, you can begin the design process. By taking this effort today, you may be able to start enjoying your dream pool with your family and friends on the first warm day of the season.


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Custom Pool Trends For 2018

CJ Kortes - Monday, November 27, 2017

Each year, designers come up with new pool trends. People are becoming more creative with the ways that they enjoy their pools. Create countless designs for your pool area using any color and material that exists. Create a solid plan long before you contact pool builders Dallas TX companies. Here are 5 trends to look forward to in 2018.

1. Themes 

A pool theme visualizes the ideas and hobbies that you enjoy most. Building a tropical paradise is a popular theme that can include a mini cabana and palm trees in the yard. Another idea is an ocean theme with the pool being shaped as a fish.

If you have kids, the idea of using themes seems perfect. The pool is the ideal place to host a birthday party or any special event that occurs during the year. In addition to the pool, include decorative patio chairs, tables and floors. With the help of custom pools Dallas TX designers, enhance the look at every angle.

2. Sun Shelves

Sun shelves are the most shallow parts of the pool where you sit comfortably in lawn chairs. Enjoy the water without worrying about getting too wet. It's an area for relaxing, working on suntans and socializing with others in the pool.

3. Small Pools

Small pools are suited for people to avoid the strenuous task of swimming. The pool can be made into any shape with different colors or themes. Build it around a garden or fountain. When designed right, the style surpasses the size.

4. Firelight

Everyone enjoys the warmth and splendor of a fire. Replace torches with fires lit right next to the pool. Use fire pits or bowls that provide illumination all through the night. Nightlights and fire-making devices are common products included with pool builders Dallas TX services.

5. Custom Features

The best Dallas TX pool builders will build your pool using custom-made materials or designs. Using tile, create mosaic pictures that show people, places or things. You can design using tiles that vary by shape or color. 

Some pool owners add stones or pebbles to the floor. Another idea is to add reflective materials like glass tiles, which is enhanced when sunlight reflects off of the finished surface. Custom pools Dallas TX designers have used hundreds of different materials and finishes. They know which ones will best suit your yard.

Many pool owners refuse to settle for generic designs. They want to add more elements to the pool area, such as fire or beach sand. Like them, pay attention to the new trends that are coming out next year. Work with Dallas TX pool builders to enhance the look of an existing pool or build one to your liking.


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