No matter how low e-commerce retailers price their products, brick-and-mortar retailers have a big...
At the height of pool season, there’s nothing more valuable than time. Pool professionals,...
On March 1, Eileen Benjamin started her role as the executive director for The California Pool &...
To be successful amid the outdoor living boom, it's critical for retailers and builders to stay abreast of rapidly changing consumer tastes in backyard products. To help keep your product lines up to date, AQUA has partnered with design megasite Houzz to bring you more content about outdoor living, from pools and spas to outdoor kitchens and patio furniture. Here, a Houzz expert talks low-maintenance backyards that bring on the fun.
Whether you are hoping to conserve water, cut down on time spent weeding and mowing or just want to make the most of your outdoor space, these six backyards prove that low maintenance doesn’t have to mean boring. They get it right with a party-ready bocce ball court, alfresco dining areas and more.
Photo by SOMOS Design and Landscaping
1. Bocce ball court. With a bocce ball court, fire pit and minimal plantings, this water-wise Austin, Texas backyard is primed for parties. String lights around the perimeter illuminate the court at night and add to the ambiance.
RELATED: Bold and Bright Outdoor Chairs to Seat Everyone
Photo by B. Jane Gardens
2. Small on lawn, big on play. A central rectangle of lawn offers comfy play space for little ones without giving over the entire backyard to grass. Surrounding the center green are cement and gravel paths leading to a fire pit, covered seating area and deck.
Photo by Seed Studio Landscape Design
3. Cool urban hangout. This small San Francisco backyard was transformed from a jumbled mishmash of potted plants and wonky brickwork into a flowing space ideal for relaxing with friends. An outdoor living room positioned at the highest point in the yard provides a lookout over neighboring Bernal Hill, while the Cor-Ten steel fire pit creates a welcoming spot to gather in the evening.
Photo by Fork Garden Design
4. No mowing needed. Artificial turf forms the centerpiece of this small city garden in London, where a real lawn would be challenging to care for. Surrounding the artificial turf with real plants and trees, as seen here, is a good way to help the fake stuff blend in.
RELATED: How to Use Artificial Turf Stylishly
Photo by P2 Design
5. Private putting green. For a golfer, having a private putting green may just be the ultimate backyard accessory. A seating area next to the artificial turf green allows spectators to lounge in comfort.
Photo by Kayla Stark
6. Sweet and petite. This Alabama backyard may be small but it still manages to pack in tons of features, from the raised deck dining area to the office shed. A hanging chair, gas fire table and mini-lawn area provide nooks to explore.
In Part 1 of this story on common pump problems at pool openings (find Part 1 in the February 2018 issue), we discussed causes and remedies of priming problems and what to do when the pump will not turn on. In Part 2, we’ll finish with what to do when the pump starts but then unexpectedly turns off, and when the pump runs rough or just doesn’t sound right.
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Pool rails serve an essential purpose in the backyard: to ensure safe entry and egress from the water. But as important as they are, Larry Williams noticed something: In terms of design, they are often overlooked.
“When my parents were building their dream home, the builder encouraged them not to put in a swimming pool handrail because it would take away from the beauty of their yard,” Williams says. “When my mother got older, she was unable to get in and out of the...
When Sherry Lauter, wife of Master Spas' CEO Bob Lauter and former teacher, first discovered NAZ Children's Centre in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she was shocked by the condition of the elementary school.
"[The students] were on top of each other. These rooms didn't even have walls up to the ceiling....
The future of the industry has long been a concern in the pool and spa industry, but over the past couple years in particular, the issue has reached a boiling point. Who will take over from the greying generation of pros who are itching to retire? How will we find young people interested in getting their hands dirty in service and building?
Those concerns are merited. However, while putting our Next Generation Issue together,...