Monthly Archives: October 2015

3 Benefits of Adding an Outdoor Kitchen to Your Backyard

A closeup of knobs on a stainless steel outdoor range top.

If you’re like a lot of homeowners, one of your favorite things about having a backyard is entertaining your friends and family. For most people, though, this means little more than firing up an old-fashioned gas or charcoal grill and throwing on a few burgers. If you’re interested in something a little more sophisticated, you might be ready for a full outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens are exactly what they sound like: complete kitchens set up in your backyard or patio. Outdoor kitchens can be customized to meet your specific needs and budget, but most include features like grills, sinks, stovetops, ovens, countertops, drawers, and cabinets.  Some even include outdoor kitchen appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and even beer taps.

If this sounds like a big investment, that’s because it is. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, though. When used to their full potential outdoor kitchens are worth every penny. Consider these advantages outdoor kitchens bring to your home, and if you’re in Connecticut contact Brothers Pool when you’re ready to take the next step.

Outdoor kitchens expand your living space.

If you want to add on to your home without dealing with the hassle of walls and roof, an outdoor kitchen might be just what you’re looking for. With an outdoor kitchen you’ve got more space for friends, family gatherings, and more. Large groups will have more room to mingle and relax, and even intimate gathering will enjoy the fresh air and breeze. If you have an awning or patio cover, your outdoor kitchen can even be shielded from the sun an inclement weather, becoming a virtual outdoor room. Want to spend more time with your family and friends? What could be a better excuse than a beautiful outdoor kitchen?

Outdoor kitchens make healthy cooking easier.

Almost everyone needs to eat more vegetables, and part of the reason why is because most people associate veggies with limp salads, greasy stir fries, and flavorless steamed dishes. With an outdoor grill, however, you can create lean, healthy, flavorful grilled veggies and meats easier than indoors. Add-ons like fridges, sinks, and counter space will keep you from running back and forth to your regular kitchen or juggling utensils while you try to cook.

Outdoor kitchens add value to your home.

If you’re thinking about getting an outdoor kitchen you’re probably not thinking about
moving any time soon. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking about your home’s value though. Remodeling jobs like outdoor kitchen installations can increase the resale value of your home and increase the curb appeal if you ever are looking to sell. Plus, all the time spent outside will cut down on AC usage and reduce energy consumption.

If you’re ready to learn more about an outdoor kitchen for your Connecticut home, look no further than Brothers Pool in Wallingford. They also offer outdoor furniture sets, fire pits, pools, spas, and patio installation services.

What Pool Chemicals & Accessories Do I Need for Winter?

A close-up image of shimmering pool water.

Like everything else in life, owning a pool in Connecticut has its ups and downs. Getting your pool ready for winter every year definitely qualifies as the latter.

Winter’s on the way, and if it’s your first year with a pool or you’ve never closed your own for the off-season, you may be at something of a loss to know what tool and chemicals you need. Winter pool chemicals can be confusing for sure, but at Brothers Pool we’re dedicated to keeping our customers educated. Take a look at our handy guide to closing your pool for winter, and then keep reading to get the full scoop on what pool chemicals and accessories you’ll need for the long winter ahead. Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of In-Ground Hot Tubs and Spas

A photo of an in-ground hot tub adjacent to a swimming pool.

With cool weather on the way in Connecticut, many people are starting to think about getting a hot tub or spa to keep their temperatures up and back yards occupied. And while almost everyone is familiar with the image of aboveground hot tubs from manufacturers like Dream Maker and Marquis, fewer are aware that they can have custom-built in-ground spas designed and installed specifically for them.

Brothers Pool in Wallingford is one of the leading providers of hot tubs and spas in Connecticut, and custom options are no exception. If you’re interested in an in-ground, custom hot tub for your Connecticut home, call Brothers Pool at (203) 265-5980.

The Benefits of Custom In-Ground Spas

Like an in-ground pool, a good in-ground hot tub has a low profile that blends into and accents the landscape of your property rather than cluttering it up.

In-ground spas are also custom-built, meaning that they can be made with colors, designs, and materials that complement the existing décor.  In short, in-ground spas and hot tubs are much more aesthetically pleasing than many alternatives.

In-ground spas are easier to install when done in conjunction with an in-ground pool, using the same filtration systems to reducing labor costs.

The Disadvantages of In-Ground Hot Tubs

The main disadvantage for most people will be financial. Even when installed alongside an in-ground swimming pool, the costs of installing an in-ground spa are higher than those of a standard above ground model. They can also use more energy to operate than many modern above ground hot tubs.

In-ground spas are often more difficult to maintain, especially through the winter. Custom designs may be difficult to find covers for, unlike above ground options, and winterization can be a hassle.

Finally, in-ground hot tubs typically feature far fewer jets and many above ground spas, usually fewer than ten at the most.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a home spa that beautifies your home and you’re willing and able to spend a little extra time and money on it, a custom in-ground hot tub is very likely what you’re looking for.

If you’re on a tighter budget, or your primary reason for wanting a spa is the relaxing benefits of modern water jets, an aboveground model might be more appropriate.

To learn more and talk to an expert about the right spa for your needs, contact Brothers Pool today.

How to Prepare Your Pool for Winter in CT

Ice on a branch.

Winter is coming in Connecticut, and that means (among other things) that it’s time to start getting your pool ready for the off-season. In addition to initial preparations, there are a lot of things necessary to maintaining your pool through the winter months. If it seems like a bit much, you can always rely on our professional pool closing services in Connecticut.

Steps to Preparing Your Pool for Winter

1) Remove all excess debris from the pool water. Vacuum, skim leaves, and empty all skimmers and pump baskets.

2) Get the pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and other chemical aspects of the pool’s water in check. Levels should be in the higher range of normal.

3) Add winter treatment chemicals as recommended by Brothers Pool. It’s best to do this the night before you close the pool up for the season, as this gives the benefit of circulating them through the filter overnight.

4) Remove ALL toys, ladders, stairs, alarms, and anything else from the pool. Be diligent!

Steps to Preparing the Mod Media Cartridge Filter

1) Drain the water until it sits below the level of the skimmer. It’s possible to skip this step if you:

  • Attach the Aquador lid to its Aquador skimmer plate.
  • Remove return eyeball and insert 1 ½“ threaded plug into the return (or add the threaded cap to the return jet).

2) Make sure all hoses are disconnected from the filter and pump. Hoses should be left attached to the skimmer and return. Run all hoses away from the pool.

3) Remove all bottom drain plugs from the filter and the pump. The pump will have several drain plugs.

4) Remove the pressure gauge.

5) Remove the cartridge from the filter tank, hose it down, and place it in a plastic garbage can. Precise directions will be available on the label of the filter cleaner. After soaking, hose the cartridge down again at a 45-degree angle, and store indoors in the tank or a trash bag.

Steps to Prepare Your Sand Filter

1) Clean the sand by adding 10oz to 12oz of filter-X to the skimmer and backwash for two or three minutes. When the discharge water is clear, stop backwashing and rinse the filter.

2) Place the multiport into the winterize position. Note: NEVER move the handle while the pump is running.

3) Repeat the first for steps of the Mod Media directions. With the sand filter, however, you must drain all water from the tank by removing the drain plug. This is to ensure the tank will not crack when the water expands from winter cold.

4) Remove the sight glass from the multiport.

5) Leave the tank outside. If you try to move the tank indoors, you run the risk of breaking the lateral stand-pipe.

Covering Your Pool

Pool with Pillow Pool Pal

Pool with Pillow Pool Pal

1) Inflate your equalizer pillow to ¾ full.

2) Attach string to the corners and position it in the center of the pool. You can simply attach it lightly to the rails, but we recommend using a Pool Pillow Pal.

3) Apply the pool cover as directed. If you took Brothers Pool’s pool school demonstration, this should be a breeze.

Maintaining the Pool Cover in Winter

1) Remove any heavy snow, but do not chop or move ice. This could lead to damaging the cover or liner.

2) Pool covers need 2-3 inches of water on top to keep from blowing away, and the pool cover will always sink to the level of the water. One of the biggest mistakes people make is when they pump the water from the top of the pool cover out. Water should be placed BACK into the pool. Otherwise you’re going to have to add thousands more gallons in the spring, and spend a fortune on retreating it. Remove leaves and debris as necessary beforehand, and keep liquid shock on hand; shock water in the cover before adding it to the pool.

These are the basics of winterizing your pool in Connecticut. If you have any questions, or would rather leave this delicate work to the professionals, contact Brothers Pool today by calling (203) 265-5980 or sending an email to info@brotherspool.com.

Backyard Tips for Extending Your Outdoor Season in Connecticut

Outdoor Greatroom Company

Outdoor Greatroom Company

Autumn has arrived in Connecticut and while that may mean the weather will be cooling down, it doesn’t mean that it’s time to hide away inside until spring! With a few simple improvements to your backyard, you can extend your outdoor season until the year’s bitter end.

If you’re determined to make the most out of your outdoor living space for as long as possible, take a look at these suggestions and take heart – there is life after Labor Day.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Furniture

One way to help spend more time outside is to make sure you’ll want to. If your outdoor furniture is broken, rusty, or otherwise uncomfortable a new set of tables and chairs could be just the motivation you need to brave the autumn chill outside.

Long bench or sofa-style seating is great for snuggling up with a loved one, and waterproof cushions are important for making sure that seats stay as toasty as possible.

Warm Up with an Outdoor Fire Pit

As nice as a new set of outdoor furniture is, it would be even better set up around a toasty outdoor fire pit. If you’re picturing a hole in the ground surrounded by rocks, think again. Companies like The Outdoor GreatRoom Company create outdoor fire pits that combine the style and elegance of the best outdoor furniture with the clean function of a quality fireplace.

Fire pit tables from The Outdoor GreatRoom Company are a particularly smart addition to your outdoor décor. They include clean-burning propane fire pits surrounded by stylish stone table tops, bringing the best in form and function (with no heavy, dirty wood needed for gas-powered fires). The right outdoor fire pit is sure to become the focal point of your outdoor living space.

Take a Dip in a Hot Tub

Of course, nothing is more likely to keep you coming outside into the colder months than a hot tub or home spa. Whether you’re unwinding on your own after a long day or entertaining guests, nothing is better than a refreshing soak.

Hot tubs aren’t just relaxing – they’re proven to reduce stress, exfoliate skin, loosen stiff joints, and improve circulation.

Whatever you’re looking for and whatever season is approaching, if you want to improve your home’s backyard experience head to Brothers Pool in Wallingford. Offering a full selection of above ground and in-ground pools, spas, outdoor furniture, fire pits, grills, and more, Brothers Pool is Connecticut’s best source for all things outdoors, from the first day of fall through the final day of summer. Give Brothers Pool a call at (203) 265-5980 or send them an email at info@brotherspool.com to learn more.

 

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Brothers Pool

250 Main Street. (RT 150)
Wallingford Connecticut 06492
P: (203) 265-5980
F: (203) 294-1601
E: info@brotherspool.com

Driving Directions

In Connecticut take I-91 North or South to exit 15. Take Route 68 West towards Wallingford and Cheshire. Turn left at the intersection of 68 and 150 (Main Street). Brothers Pool is about 1 mile on the left.

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 11am - 3pm

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