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From the beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks, North Carolina is a tapestry of nature’s finest, making the Tar Heel State a beloved and well-traveled tourist destination for decades. But with a swimming pool in your backyard, you and your family can beat the traffic and make your own vacation memories, all without ever leaving the driveway.

With more than 40 years of experience specializing in pool loans, Lyon Financial’s unique relationships with lenders allow us to offer the industry’s lowest rates and longest terms (up to 20 years!) to provide the financing solutions you need for the memories you deserve.

Proudly serving all of North Carolina, including the Raleigh metro area (Wake County), the Charlotte metro area (Mecklenburg County), and the Triad (Guilford County, Forsyth County), Lyon Financial combines exceptional financing with superior service to easily and affordably bring all your backyard dreams to life!

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How To Maximize Your Swimming Pool Season

Swimming pool season. It never seems long enough, does it? Depending on where you live, its length may vary. Regardless of your local climate and the length of your pool season, though, it can be longer if you transform your pool from an unheated pool to a heated pool. Not all heating methods are equivalent, when it comes to effectiveness, cost efficiency, and energy efficiency. If you love the idea of extending your pool season, you need to learn about three pool heating options.

Solar Heaters

The least expensive and most environmentally friendly option, solar heaters live up to their name: they rely on the sun’s heat and visibility to heat your pool’s water. The bad news? If it’s not a hot, sunny day, solar heaters don’t do much. Of course, those are the days when you may want a heated pool the most, so there’s a definite down side. With no CO2 emissions and a very low price point, solar heaters are good beginner options. They can also be used in conjunction with other heating systems.

One form of solar heater is a solar pool cover. These covers allow for simple installation and offer an insulated air layer that traps heat, allowing it to increase water temperature by up to 5 degrees. While that might not sound like much, it can actually extend your swimming pool season by 2 whole months!

Gas Heaters

Gas heaters really pack the biggest punch when it comes to extending your swimming pool season. Gas heaters work by use of combustion, allowing them to provide the most time-efficient heating solution. On the down side, though, gas heaters are also the most costly. While some gas heaters use natural gas, others use propane. Essentially, the way they work is to circulate the swimming pool water, drawing it through a filter and heater. The gas burns in the combustion chamber of the heater, heating the water as it travels through.

Not all gas heaters are created equal. High-performance gas heaters are eco-friendly and quiet. Some have electronic ignitions and streamlined, low-profile designs that blend well with any landscaping.

Heat Pumps

Working almost as quickly as gas heaters, heat pumps are both less expensive and more environmentally friendly. Without producing harmful CO2 emissions, heat pumps offer on-demand heat at a fraction of the cost of gas heaters. Unlike gas heaters, heat pumps don’t actually generate heat. Instead, they capture heat by means of electricity. As the water is circulated, it travels through the heat pump’s filter and heater. From there, the heater’s fan pulls in the outside air, allowing it to pass over the evaporator coil. The coil’s liquid refrigerant then absorbs heat from the air, creating a gas. The now-warm gas passes through the compressor, which in turn increases the heat before a condenser transfers that heat from the gas to the water, which is then returned to the pool.

View available swimming pool financing programs for North Carolina. Call Lyon Financial today at 877.754.5966 for the financing you need to make the memories you deserve!

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Designing the Ideal Family Pool, Part 1

There are a whole host of reasons why people decide to install private swimming pools on their properties. Some want their own backyard oasis to relax and unwind in after a long day of work. Others are looking for a convenient place to exercise without having to join a local gym. People with children often choose to get a pool so they can have fun, build special memories, and connect with their kids. In this series of articles, we’ll take a look at some of the main features to consider when it comes to designing a fun, safe, and family-friendly pool.

Design With Safety in Mind

When you plan a private pool design, it’s vital to keep the size, maturity, and ability level of each regular swimmer in mind. Safety should always be the first and foremost consideration. Though you’ll likely want to add extra safety features later on – such as a barrier, alarm, and pool safety cover – we’ll start by looking at the pool design itself. How can you make your pool as safe for your young children to swim in as possible? Here are some helpful ideas.

Include Wide Steps Leading Into the Pool

There are several types of pool entry designs, such as ladders, steps, and even zero gravity ramps. If you have young children who are just learning to swim, then wide steps, also known as “learn-to-swim steps,” are a great feature to add to your pool. Since they’re wider than typical steps, your little ones can take their time moving from step to step as they enter the water. There’s even room for you to sit on these oversized steps with your child. Toddlers love to play on them even if they’re not yet comfortable going all the way into the pool.

Install a Sitting or Tanning Ledge

In case you’re not familiar with these wonderful features, a sitting ledge is a shelf that sticks out about a foot from the side of your pool at a depth of two feet below the surface of the water. It can also be referred to as a tanning ledge. It serves a dual purpose. For those who want to place a chaise lounge or chair on it, they can use it to sit at about the level of the water’s surface and catch some rays while still being able to feel the coolness of the water nearby. For young children, this shelf can serve as the perfect hangout spot as they’re still learning to be comfortable in the water.

You can get a ledge on just one small portion of your pool wall or one that runs all the way around the interior of your pool. They’re a great place for swimmers to take a quick break if they get tired. These ledges are also the ideal spot for a parent or grandparent to sit while holding a young child in the water. They give the adult supervisor a relaxing spot to sit where they can remain within close reach of beginning swimmers at all times.

In our next article below, we’ll consider a couple of other safety features you may want to include in your family-friendly pool design. Then we’ll move on to discuss some other ideas that can make your pool a fun place to be for both parents and kids alike.

View available swimming pool financing programs for North Carolina. Call Lyon Financial today at 877.754.5966 for the financing you need to make the memories you deserve!

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Designing the Ideal Family Pool, Part 2

When it comes to pool safety for kids, imagine yourself at their size and with their swimming ability. Then plan your pool design accordingly. One of the main considerations to keep in mind is the depth of your swimming pool.

Keep the Depth Shallow Overall or Add a Shallow End

One of the best ways to keep kids who may not know how to swim or aren’t strong swimmers yet safe in the pool is to keep it shallow enough for them to stand with their heads above the water. If you have older kids and adults who will frequently be using the pool, you may want to include both a deep and a shallow end so there’s a place for everyone to swim comfortably. The more young children you are going to have in the pool, the larger you’ll want your shallow end to be. This area of the pool should be around three feet deep. Kids of average height who are around the age of six should be able to play safely in your shallow end.

Always remember, though, that even in the shallow end you need to have a designated responsible adult keeping a close eye on the kids at all times. Getting a pool safety divider rope to mark where the shallow end stops is also a smart way to help keep children safe in the water.

Pave Around the Pool With Tiny Bare Feet in Mind

The most common option for paving around a backyard in-ground pool is textured concrete. That’s because it’s durable enough to stand the test of time. As far as safety and comfort go, however, textured concrete has its drawbacks. It can be hard on the feet, especially those that have gotten all soft and wrinkly from long swimming sessions in the pool. It can also wreak havoc on inflatable pool toys. As an alternative, many pool owners with children seek out a poured paving alternative. You could go with pool tiles or some other type of decking materials, but it’s important to choose the right ones.

Look for Kid-friendly Decking Material

Ask yourself and your pool supply retailer the following questions when you’re thinking about what type of pool area paving materials to use:

1. Is this material abrasive or gentle on tender feet?
2. Is this material slippery or slip-resistant when it gets wet?
3. Is this material so hard that it would easily injure someone if they fall on it?
4. Does this material absorb or repel heat when left in the sun?

The best choices will be easy on the feet, slip-resistant, forgiving in slip and fall accidents, and easy to walk on comfortably when they’re installed in full sunlight.

Designing your pool with built-in safety features such as wide steps, sitting ledges, designated shallow ends, and kid-friendly paving makes good common sense. You’ll be able to spend less time worrying about safety and enjoy more quality time with your family. In our next article below, we’ll take a look at another important factor when it comes to designing your family pool: fun!

View available swimming pool financing programs for North Carolina. Call Lyon Financial today at 877.754.5966 for the financing you need to make the memories you deserve!

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Designing the Ideal Family Pool, Part 3

If you ask the kids what their main goal is for family pool time, you’d probably get one main answer: to have fun! Though playing in the pool is fun even if you don’t include extra features, here are a few suggestions for taking your backyard pool to the next level. Your kids will probably be glad to put down their electronics and get out in the fresh air and sunshine with these cool, kid-friendly pool features!

Jump Into Summer Fun With a Diving Board

If your pool has a deep end, you could consider including a diving board into your pool design. Though you can add a diving board to your pool at any time, including it with your original design has some advantages. You can make sure that your pool has the right depth for a diving board right from the get-go. Always consult with an expert who can install your board in the right location and using the correct tools and materials. Then you and your kids can jump, dive, splash, and cannonball to their hearts’ delight!

Plunge Into Adventure With a Slide

A slide is another popular add-on you could install in your pool for endless entertainment. Once again, make sure to find someone with the proper tools and expertise, and only install a slide that’s specifically designed for use in a pool of your size, depth, and design. Encourage kids and adults alike to always use the slide as it was designed. Lining up all the neighborhood kids to go down the slide at the same time may seem like a fun idea, but it won’t be much fun if you overload the slide’s weight capacity and it breaks! So have a good time, but be smart when it comes to both the installation and use of your new pool additions.

Enjoy a Family Sports Night With Your Volleyball Net & Basketball Hoop

If you have kids who love sports like volleyball and basketball, you can incorporate their favorite pastimes into your pool design. Add a pool volleyball net or basketball hoop for some all-around family fun. Your kids will love the opportunity for some friendly competition with their parents, siblings, or friends. Then you can simply remove the net or move the hoop away from the edge of the pool when not in use. These add-ons are perfect for pool parties!

Decorate Your Pool Floor in a Cool, Creative Way

If you’re on a tight budget, you may just want to go with a standard pool liner design. But if you have some money left for extras, consider getting a decorative pool liner instead. You’ll want to pick something that the kids won’t outgrow quickly, so that would rule out any babyish looking cartoon characters. One awesome idea to consider would be a game board design, such as a checkerboard. Your kids can have a blast moving around on the board like human checkers. Or you could choose one that looks like an under-the-sea design. Perhaps your family would prefer a colorful mosaic. The choice is up to you!

In our final article in this series, we’ll take a look at some practical considerations to keep in mind for your family-friendly pool design.

View available swimming pool financing programs for North Carolina. Call Lyon Financial today at 877.754.5966 for the financing you need to make the memories you deserve!

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Designing the Ideal Family Pool, Part 4

Coming up with your family’s perfect pool design involves a lot of different elements. First of all, you want to make sure your pool is safe. So include plenty of kid-friendly safety features, such as slip-resistant paving, a designated shallow end, wide steps, and a sitting ledge. Next, add some fun features, such as a slide, diving board, sports equipment, or a creative pool liner. Last but not least, consider the practical side of owning a pool when you have kids. You want to make your pool as easy to care for as possible. You should also include plenty of storage options to keep the area as neat and organized as possible. Let’s take a closer look at these two helpful suggestions for simplifying pool maintenance.

Choose an Easy-to-Clean Pool Design

Gone are the days when pools only came in rectangular and kidney shapes. You can get a customized pool design that mimics the look of a natural lagoon, a complex geometric shape, or even your favorite state! With all the choices out there on the market, you may be tempted to go with an elaborate shape for your pool design. There’s just one problem with that idea: the more angles and curves there are, the more difficult your pool may be to keep clean.

If you have kids, your life is probably already extremely busy. If you can involve your kids in helping with pool chores, you’ll be teaching them some responsibility as well as making things less complicated for yourself. That’s a win-win situation! So if you’re installing a pool, get one with a shape that will be easy to keep clean. An oval, circular, or rectangular shaped pool with relatively few edges will be the easiest type of pool to brush and skim. These streamlined designs are also the best choice for those who have robotic pool vacuums as well.

Include Adequate Storage Options for Pool Toys and Accessories

Kids tend to have a lot of stuff. Whether it’s school supplies, clothes, electronics or toys, if you have children, you likely have a lot of miscellaneous items in your home. The same is often true when it comes to kids’ pool items. They love using toys, floats, kickboards, and other items in the pool. That’s why it’s so important if you have kids that you include ample storage in your pool area.

Choose storage bins or sheds that are water-resistant, have lids, and are designed for use around the water. You can add a bin for pool toys, another for floats, and another for life jackets. Add a clothesline to hang wet towels. Hang up a mesh net where they can store their wet pool toys before they put them in the bins so they won’t end up covered with mildew.

Make clean up time a regular part of your kids’ pool routine. Have them look around all over the pool and patio and pick up after themselves each time they get out of the pool for the day. If you’re noticing that they’re causing a fall hazard by leaving their toys lying around the lawn, have them get out of the pool and clean up their toys several times throughout the day so they’ll get into the habit of keeping them picked up on their own.

Installing a pool is one of the best investments you can make for spending quality time with your family. If you’re considering installing a kid-friendly pool in your yard, we hope these ideas will help you make your final plans to dive into summer fun with your loved ones!

View available swimming pool financing programs for North Carolina. Call Lyon Financial today at 877.754.5966 for the financing you need to make the memories you deserve!

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