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    Parrot Bay Pools

    Serving Central Arkansas


    Larry's Cell 501.580.6364

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    Parrot Bay Pools

    Serving Central Arkansas


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  • Custom Pool and Spa

    Parrot Bay Pools

    Serving Central Arkansas


    Larry's Cell 501.580.6364

Our Blog | Advice on In Ground Swimming Pool Construction and Maintenance

Buying a New Home and Considering an Inground Pool

Posted by Larry Rogers on Tue, Sep 24, 2013

I receive calls from many perspective home buyers who want to have an inground pool built in their backyard.  Sometimes putting in a pool is NOT possible due to easements, sewer mains, bill of assurance issues, and most of all, not having enough distance between the house and the back property line.  Some cities require a distance of ten feet off the house, and ten feet off the back property line.  If your total distance is thirty five feet from house to property line (fence), that only leaves you fifteen feet width to place a pool in your yard.  


Survey for Inground Pool 

My best advice is to ALWAYS obtain a legal survey from the builder and /or seller at closing, or better yet, before you make an offer and move forward with the purchase of the home.  This survey will depict any easements on the property, building setbacks, drainage easements if applicable, etc.  More often than not, the survey is NOT conveyed over to the buyer at closing by the seller.  Generally because the seller did not have one in the first place.  A typical residential survey cost around five hundred dollars or so depending on the property.  A cost the seller does not want to have to pay.  This can be negotiated between buyer and seller as well.  Additionally, your pool contractor will need this survey to obtain the proper permit with the city.  If you live outside the city limits, a permit is generally not required.  As an aside, you can always contact your pool builder before you decide to purchase the home to assist you in your efforts to obtain whether or not a pool can be built in the yard.



Tags: Little Rock pool contractors, inground pools, pool builders Little Rock, swimming pool builders, buying a new home

Buyer Beware: Choosing a pool builder for the lowest price

Posted by Larry Rogers on Fri, Mar 16, 2012

Everyone wants a good deal on a major purchase and no one wants to overpay.  However, you also want to make sure you do not get cheated and do get the best value for your dollar.

When it comes to selecting a pool contractor for a major home improvement project, these desires really hit home. In particular, building a new swimming pool is a prime example of such a project. 

To ensure that you get the most for your money, it’s crucial to resist the temptation to choose your builder primarily on price—particularly if it is significantly lower than other bids you receive.

Here’s why: Low-priced contractors are often the ones who cut corners on a variety of fronts.  For example, they may operate without proper business insurance, liability insurance, workers comp insurance, or property-damage insurance.  In states where a license is required, as it does in Arkansas, the low-ball firms are often those without one.

They may install cheaper equipment or brands with poor warranties.  They may use low-quality materials or skimp on the required amounts.  They may rely on crews and subcontractors who charge less—due to limited skills, experience, or an unfavorable reputation among local pool builders.

Sometimes a low-ball price is a sign of desperation.  A builder may sell a pool virtually at his cost.  Why?  While he may make only slim or no profit, he may be on a money treadmill; he will take the job just in order just to keep cash flowing to pay the rent or the bills on his last customer’s project. 

Remember: To make profit to stay in business, any good business needs to charge enough for their product or service.  The same is true for pool contractors. 

However, a contractor staying in business is important not only for them—but for homeowners too.  You want your contractor to be around to take care of any warranty issues that may arise!

Certainly, your budget must be a major factor in guiding what you purchase.  However, it should not be the primary factor in guiding you with whom to make that purchase.

Weigh factors such as local reputation, length of time in business, financial stability, scope and depth of insurance coverage, expertise of the designer, and the quality and scope of equipment offerings.  Above all, when shopping for a pool builder, seek overall, long-term value.


Tags: parrot bay pools, arkansas, Little Rock pool contractors, In Ground pools AR. Pool Designs, Custom Concrete Pools in Arkansas, swimming pool little rock, Larry Rogers

Somethings To Look and Watch For When Hiring a Pool Builder:

Posted by Larry Rogers on Fri, Mar 16, 2012

So your thinking about building an inground pool.  You may want to ask your prospective pool builder the following questions:
  • How long have you been building pools under this company name
  • Which type of pools do you build and how long have you been building them.
  • Are you an Arkansas Corporation, if so, when was your date of incorporation. (This is public record)
  • Where is your place of business.  Go there and look around
  • Do you have a financial reference, i.e, bank letter in good standing
  • Are you a member of the APSP (Association of Pool & Spa Professionals)
  • Do you build to their (APSP) Standards & Guildlines for Pool Contractors
Just to name a few.
Often you will find "pool" builders who perform other disciplines such as, concrete finishing, landscaping, carpentry, and even home building to name a few.  These contractors are what's referred to as "jack of all trades", master of none.  Beware of "pool" contractors who participate in multiple facets of operation.  Becoming a professional pool contractor takes experience and dedication, industry training, specialization in design and company structure set up as a bona fide pool company with a place of business.  This information is easy for one to validate.  With companies coming and going in and out of business these days, you do not want to be left holding the bag as they say.

Tags: Little Rock pool contractors, pool builders Little Rock, Pool Contractors, Pool Planning, Custom Concrete Pools in Arkansas, swimming pool little rock, Larry Rogers

Paying for Your Swimming Pool Project

Posted by Larry Rogers on Fri, Jan 20, 2012

When it comes to building a new pool, it’s the subject that can be a bit touchy: Money.

However, it’s a topic that’s better dealt with up front so everyone knows what to expect.
The good news here at Parrot Bay Pools is that you are entering into an Agreement with a reputable pool builder, the cost of your pool and your payment schedule should be clearly outlined—in writing—for you.  You may also ask to "review" our Agreement before placing your signature on the bottom line.
These written terms should include phased payments that dovetail with key construction phases such as excavation, gunite application, tile and plaster. 
Typically, there will be a down payment, and several additional payments throughout the construction process. The total number of payments will vary in accordance with any applicable state regulations.
Change Orders should be explained to you and the why's as they relate to any additional required proper construction practices and their associated costs.  If any.

dollar sign

You should also receive details on acceptable methods of payment, to whom checks should be made out, and to which individuals you should give the payments.  

Be wary of anyone from your pool company or of any subcontractor who asks for a cash payment. Sometimes, they will use a ploy, such as telling you a cash payment will enable them to give you a discount.
If your pool is financed, be sure you understand how the payments will work.  If the checks are from a lender, be sure all required parties endorse the check.
Prompt payments are vital to your construction timeline. They will help your builder achieve smooth scheduling and coordination of related logistics, such as ordering materials.  And when everything goes as planned, it’s a win-win for everyone.  

Tags: swimming pool, Pool Financing, pool payment plans

6 Types of Swimming Pool Covers

Posted by Larry Rogers on Tue, Nov 22, 2011

When taking care of a in-ground swimming pool, having the right type of cover can make all the difference. Finding the right cover can be a bit tricky and will depend upon a variety of factors including your pool shape, size, and of course, what you need the cover for. The guide below should help you identify just the right cover(s) for your pool.

swimming pool coverSolar Pool Covers: A very common pool cover, solar covers utilize the suns energy to generate heat for your pool. These covers float freely on your pool surface and are designed primarily for heating your pool and prolonging your pool season. They are not the most efficient covers for keeping debris out of your pool and should not be consider a safety cover.

Solar Sun Rings bigSolar Rings: While designed to provide heat for a pool similar to a standard solar pool cover, solar rings have a few unique benefits. Due to their design, solar rings are very adept at passing heat to deeper parts of your pool. They can also be turned over when the pool temperature is ideal, enabling them to act as barriers to sunlight that will evaporate water and precious pool chemicals. Solar rings work well with automatic pool cleaners as well.

00000621Leaf Nets: With these covers the name says it all. Leaf nets are basic covers designed to keep leaves and other larger containments out of your pool. Simply place the leaf net over the pool, anchor it down and watch as the leaves fall harmlessly onto your net. If you have a lot of leaves to deal with every year, it may be wise to remove this net multiple times to clean the leaves off. Leaf nets are often used in combination with a heavier winter cover. 


inground winter pool coverWinter Pool Cover: These heavy-duty pool covers are designed to protect your pool from debris as well as other unwanted pool contaminators. While many winter covers offer features such as thermal protection or coloring to help guard against algae growth, they do often vary in weave thickness which can be a determinate in the durability and overall quality of the cover. As mentioned above, winter pool covers can be used in concert with leaf nets. It’s important to note that winter pool covers are not necessarily considered safety covers.

ruggedcleandarkgreenSafety Nets and Safety Covers: Pool safety covers are available in a standard net/mesh form, as well as solid covers. Safety nets are designed with gaps too small for a child to fall through, but too big to allow efficient balancing or movement. Solid safety pool covers are heavy covers that are designed to be anchored down and keep everything from loose debris to kids and pets out of your pool.

Slide Image3Automatic Covers: Automatic covers have permanently mounted reels that automatically cover and uncover the pool at the push of a button. They are the most expensive option, but are also the most convenient. These reels can be run from either an external motor or using an internal motor that spins the reel.

 Parrot Bay Pools is fully qualifed to measure and install any of the afore-mentioned covering systems. Let us know how we can help you manage your covering requirements if any.

Tags: inground pools, winterizing your pool, Swimming pool covers

In-Ground Swimming Pool Considerations

Posted by Larry Rogers on Wed, Nov 9, 2011



Question Your Intentions

Its a simple beginning, but why do you want a swimming pool? Pools come in all shapes and sizes. Ask yourself how you will use the pool: for swimming, lounging, exercising? Will you need space for grilling and entertaining? Will young children use the pool? How important is the visual appearance of the pool versus its functionality? How much time do you want to devote to maintenance?

Whether you decide to contact a contractor yourself or work with a landscape professional to develop a custom pool to fit your landscape, if you're armed with answers to these questions as well as examples from books and magazines of pools that appeal to you, you’ll be better prepared to articulate your desires. And that means you’ll be more likely to invest in the pool that's right for you.

"People tend to focus on size, shape, and depth, but these factors only become relevant after you've determined the role the pool will play in a family's lifestyle."

Picking a Location

Pools can slip into backyards, front yards, and even side yards of all shapes and sizes, so the perfect location can vary greatly by site. A good place to start when evaluating a site is the interior spaces of your house. You'll spend 50 hours looking at a pool from inside for every hour you spend in it, so the view inside-out is important.

 Other factors include zoning codes, existing utility lines, and ease of access. Zoning codes can impact the safety features surrounding your pool, moving existing utility lines can add to the expense of a project, and convenient pathways to and from your home can impact how much you use a pool and spa. The pool's visibility from the house may also be an issue with children. 
Don't forget to evaluate sun and shade patterns. A pool shrouded in shade all afternoon may languish unused or, depending on your climate, it may be the perfect place to cool off.

Pool Plan


Interior Looks

Most in-ground swimming pools are made from concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass. Concrete (gunite) is most popular because it offers many design possibilities. It is generally sprayed over steel-reinforced rods on-site to form a seamless surface. A finish is then applied on top of the concrete. 
Plaster is the most commonly used finished it has an average life of ten to twelve years. Exposed aggregate, which is made from crushed pebbles or a mixture of concrete and crushed quartz, is more expensive but gaining in popularity. Its prized for its durability, array of color options, and textured, nonslip surface. At the top of the line is ceramic tile. It can finish an entire pool or just be used along the water line for decorative detailing. 
Color combinations are varied, and maintenance is minimal. Preformed fiberglass shells and vinyl liners offer less design flexibility, but their smooth surfaces are nice. Vinyl liners are supported by manufactured wall systems made from steel, aluminum, polymer, concrete, or wood.

Exterior Surrounds

Highly visible and highly trafficked, the surface (deck) that surrounds a pool also deserves serious consideration. Plain concrete offers a smooth, non-slippery surround and is an inexpensive, reliable option, but it can lack pizzazz. A stamped concrete finish can add charm inexpensively, but watch out for dark colors, as they can quickly become toasty underfoot. Bricks or concrete pavers make a classic, colorful choice and are easy on bare feet and on the eye. 
For earthy tones and a natural look, fieldstone, slate, flagstone, and marble are beautiful, non-slippery surfaces but carry a hefty price tag. Wood and new synthetic woods can also play a role poolside.

Features of Fun

A decade ago, the bigger the volume of water in an in-ground pool, the better. But today's pools tend to downsize gallons of water, investing the saved money in accessories that add aesthetic and functional appeal. 
Popular accessories include waterfalls and fountains that add soothing sounds of moving water; beach entries that offer space for young children to play and easy access for disabled or elderly visitors; swim-in-place jets that allow fat-burning exercise in pools too small to swim laps in; and LED lighting to illuminate steps, plants, and water features for a spectacular night time show. There are also underwater barstools for happy hour, umbrella supports inside the pool for instant shade, and shallow underwater sunbathing ledges to host those who want to get only a little sun.  There are so many exciting things happening in pool design, that there's no reason to opt for a plain (blue) hole in the ground when you could add tremendous features without necessarily busting the budget.


Tags: Little Rock pool contractors, pool builders Little Rock, In Ground pools AR. Pool Designs, Pool Designs, Pool Planning

In Ground Swimming Pool Financing

Posted by Larry Rogers on Mon, Oct 17, 2011

As an experienced pool builder we know that the process of obtaining funding for your back-yard project can be a daunting task these days to say the least.  It’s almost a necessity for one to “qualify” for funding if you plan to finance your project BEFORE you begin to do all the planning and processes necessary for design and cost estimates. You don't want to plan your project in detail only to find out you can not obtain enough funding to do the project in the proper manner.  We highly encourage our potential customers to look into financing if they are serious about building a swimming pool and starting the planning and design process. 

Swimming Pool Design

The application process is free and the customer does not have to commit to financing until they OK any loan papers. Once the application is submitted the loan process can begin. The minimum amount of time for the home equity loan or line process is 7 business days. On an unsecured loan two business days maximum.

Most decline loan applications are turned down due to high debt, high revolving debt or low home value. Having our lender personally working on pool financing gives the customer other options than a decline. Also; if a customer has a certain budget that they need to stay within to afford the project a banker can work with them to get the loan term or rate comparable to the customers’ ideal monthly payment.

Our lender can offer competitive rates on home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, unsecured home improvement loans and personal lines of credit. 

Home equity loans do not have a payment until the money is used and there are no prepayment penalties.  If someone does not have enough equity in their home to secure a project loan a banker will be able to offer an “unsecured” product or line of credit.

Some of our customers have taken advantage of financing two loans, a home equity and an unsecured to be able to finance the exact amount or monthly payment that they need.

Consolidation of existing debt can also be accomplished sometimes as well.  With rates as low as they are now, this is a viable option for some potential clients.  It’s always best to just apply and see where one stands and the options you may be qualified for your project.

As a member of the Blue Haven Pools network of builders, we offer financing through that organization. You can view the application here


Tags: Financing Your Pool, Pool Financing, In ground swimming pool, little rock pool builder, little rock pool construction, pool design little rock, Pool Loan


Posted by Larry Rogers on Fri, Oct 7, 2011

With so many decisions to make when buying a pool—including choices about design, materials, features, equipment, location in your yard, decking, and other additions such as fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, or landscaping—there may be times when you want to change your mind about an earlier selection.

Before any dirt is turned in your backyard, your pool designer will develop a construction plan and give you a copy to review.  Typically, a plan will outline elements such as, but not limited to:

Elements of the planning process:

>  Backyard measurements

>  Pool position in the yard

>  Footprint of the house

>  Property lines, fences, and other barriers (e.g., overhead power lines)

>  Underground utility lines (e.g., electric, phone)

>  Pool dimensions (e.g., width, length, perimeter)

>  Pool depths

>  Pool capacity (number of gallons)

>  Access points into the yard

>  Pool equipment location

>  Pool plumbing (e.g., drains, return lines, skimmer(s))

>  Location of gas meter and/or electric meter for home

>  Pool structure (e.g., steps, benches, raised bond beam)

>  Coping type for the perimeter (e.g., brick, flagstone, safety-grip)

>  Tile type for the waterline

>  Deck for the pool (e.g., type, color, footage)

>  Equipment options (e.g., filter, pump, heater, remote control, sanitizer)

>  Pool cleaner type and line location

>  Any accessories, such as a slide, diving board, or water features

>  Pool lighting and locations

>  Type and color of interior finish

>  Spa—shape and configuration

>  Spa options (e.g., light, blower, remote control, number of jets)

>  Areas to be landscaped

>  Areas for other backyard amenities (e.g., fire pit, island barbeque)


Ideally, any changes that you may want are best made now.  This is the best time to be sure the plan shows exactly what you want!  If something gives you hesitation, ask your designer about it. 

If you are thinking about a backyard project, a Parrot Bay Pool designer will visit with you to outline all of the above processes, provide you a detailed plan, cost analysis breakdown, and a 3D rendering of your project before you ever dig any dirt.  These processes take time, so plan early and allow for several weeks, if not months, before you want to begin your project.

Tags: Pool Contractors, In Ground pools AR. Pool Designs, Pool Shapes

Building in the Fall

Posted by Larry Rogers on Fri, Sep 23, 2011

Building in the Fall

Pool Picture

 The oppressive Arkansas heat has finally lifted and that swimming pool you thought about building this summer is probably far from your mind, but did you know Fall is actually the perfect time to start that project?

Here are 6 advantages of building in the fall:

1. It's not too cold, hot or wet. If the weather is too cold it can complicate excavation and prevent concrete pouring. Extremely hot weather can slow down work crews and wet weather can cause unwanted delays and turn the project into a soggy mess.
2. You have the designer and builder's undivided attention. Fall is typically a slower time of year. With the subsiding heat, fewer people think about building. For the customer, this can result in scheduling flexibility, an even more attentive designer and a less hectic building experience.
3. You're not so rushed: Who wants to be rushed when it comes to spending 30-70k on a swimming pool? By shopping for a pool now, you can make a relaxed and informed decision, and not base your thoughts on silly stipulations like 'which company can start the soonest.'  
4. Special discounts are available. Manufacturers often discount equipments, covers and accessory items in the fall and winter, therefore you may save thousands by building before the spring and summer.
5. Your yard will have a chance to heal: Pool construction is messy, make no bones about it. After final grading, grass will need time to grow. For those persons that get their pool installed earlier, their yard will look much, much nicer come June 1 compared to the person that waited to make a decision.
6. It allows you to make the most of your first summer. By building in the fall, you won't miss a single swimming day next summer. Your pool will be ready to go when the weather starts to warm up.

The gratification may be delayed, but this fall could be the best time to start your back yard transformation.

Tags: inground pools, Custom Concrete Pools in Arkansas, swimming pool little rock, pool builders

To Winterize or not to Winterize Your Pool

Posted by Larry Rogers on Fri, Sep 23, 2011

The pros and cons of leaving your pool open year-round:

The Good

1. Pools are beautiful: Whether it's 98 degrees in June or 32 degrees in January, moving water is great to listen to and enjoy. This is especially true with snow on the ground.

2. Spring Clean Up: Because pool owners often reopen for the season in May, by that point the pool has quite a bit of algae and/or other debris in it. Although this can usually be removed within a couple of days, leaving a pool open year-round means that it won't start to see nearly the same issues, especially in terms of algae, as one that's closed.

 The Bad

1. Losing Electricity: Fortunately for us here in arkansas our winters aren't that demanding. However in the event power goes out, a few blankets thrown of the plumbings pipes at the equipment pad generally will suffice. Another option would be to have the use of a portable generator.

2. Cost of Electricity: Although most pool owners now have variable speed pumps, an extra 4-6 months of usage does cost at least a few hundred dollars in most cases.

3. Salt System Will Not Be On: Even though this is not a huge deal, it's one that people often forget, and that's the fact that salt chlorine generators do not work when the water temperature drops below a certain level, usually around 60 degrees. With the cool temperatures though, water sanitation isn't nearly as much of a problem as algae will not grow during the winter months.

 If you are planning on winterizing your pool:

Part of maintaining a swimming pool, spa or hot tub includes preparing it for those months when you won't be using it. Also referred to as "closing your pool," or "pool closing," the time to tackle this task varies, depending on the climate or region in which you live. Most experts believe that pools should be closed for the season when nighttime temperatures are in the 40s and daytime highs are in the mid 60s to low 70s. If you close it too soon, you risk the possibility of algae overgrowth. If you wait until trees really start to shed their leaves, obviously you've got a big mess to contend with. Read more...

Tags: swimming pool, little rock, arkansas, winterizing your pool, pool builders

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