We are fairly close to wrapping up our 2016 pool installation season. That doesn’t mean you should put off buying to next summer though. Contracting a pool in 2015 for a 2016 install has many advantages. First of all, you pay 2015 pricing. Almost every year our manufacturers pass on a price increase around the end of the year, this is typically reflected in our prices in January. If you buy early, we are able to use old pricing and save money. The second reason, and maybe the biggest is you are at the top of the install list for 2016 if you contract a pool in 2015. Customers are normally in a hurry to get their pool installed so they can enjoy a full swim season. The problem is, that is everyone’s plan and spring can be a slow start because of the wet conditions. If a pool is in the plan for 2016, be ahead of the curve and enjoy a full summer in your new pool. –Scott P.
YES, unless you don’t care about how long the cover lasts. Here is a little math to support this. If you have a 24’ above ground pool, you have just a little below 300 gallons of water for every inch of water in the pool. This goes for on top the cover too. Each inch of water weighs over a ton, and while the water underneath helps support the cover on the water, it adds lots of stress to the cover where it stretches to and over the top rails. It can damage the cover and the rails too. Relieve the pressure by keeping the cover pumped off. And as for you in-ground owners, if you get too much water on top of the cover, it will displace water under the cover and potentially cause water leak behind the liner at the coping, adding to the possibility of a liner float. –Max
During the swimming off-season, we get asked this all the time: “When is the best time to buy an above ground pool?” The answer is NOW. FYI, we have placed our order for 2016 and with rising steel and resin prices, there will be a price increase for 2016. But here is the good news: You can advance-purchase a new above ground for 2016 and pick it up or get it installed next spring. And even though we will pay more, you can get it at end-of-season 2015 pricing. Pretty good deal. –Max
Short and sweet: Get a leaf cover and put it on the pool over the winter cover. As the leaves fall, peel it off and dump the leaves. Put the cover back on and collect more leaves. When all the leaves are down, take the leaf cover off, clean it, dry it, and store it away for next year. No more rotting leaves to clog the cover pump and no more muck to drop into the pool in the spring.
Best of all, our leaf cover prices went DOWN this year. Significantly. We made a very good buy and they are quite affordable. We don’t put pricing on our web or in our blogs, but give us a call and we can quote you over the phone. But I’ll give you a little hint: The biggest round above ground pool we sell has a leaf cover for under $100. –Max
Okay—many of you have given in to the falling leaves and have the pool winterized. Here are a couple of no-no’s for your pool.
In ground: If you have a traditional winter cover that lays on the water and is held in place by water-filled tubes, DON’T try to save a couple of dollars by replacing leaking bags with cinder blocks, landscape ties, flower planters, or anything that can find their way into the pool. Replacement water tubes cost far less than replacement liners and a flower planter pulled into a pool will make your water look suspiciously like a farm pond. Avoid the heart-ache.
Above ground: Do NOT hand jugs from the grommets. The extreme stress on the grommets will strip them out of the cover and will cause the cover to rip or fray. Ropes tied to stakes in the ground have the same effect. Stick with the cable and if you are in an area of high wind, we have wraps that go around the cover and down the side of the pool, effectively sealing it up. Again, the seal costs far less than a new winter cover.
Have you been sitting out on your a patio wishing for a little extra warmth during the chilly fall nights? Have you thought about getting an outdoor fire pit, whether that’s a propane fire pit or even a wood burning fire pit?
While I was on vacation just a few weeks ago in Hilton Head, we had a few breezy nights and they had a wood burning fire pit at the house we stayed at. We used the wood burning fire pit every night, breezy or not. An outdoor fire pit is great for the extra heat to stay warm while you are sitting out there with your friends and family, reminiscing about the old times, or just simply relaxing with a cold beer, a glass of wine, or whatever is your beverage of choice. Well you are in luck as we have both wood burning and gas fire pits on sale. You can get just the fire pit or add a comfy seating arrangement.—Matt
Nor is it too late. I don’t think that I have ever purchased a winter coat in November, nor a pair of swimming trunks in April. I am an off-season type of shopper, especially for durable goods. I appreciate the want for immediate gratification, but I am also frugal to the point where I will forgo the immediate gratification for the better prices. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing a swimming pool, be it in or above ground. There are some serious savings to be had by purchasing now for installation for the 2016 season. When it comes to prices, it doesn’t generally stay the same, and the prices from the manufacturer never go down. In short, though it way have to wait until the weather warms up for the installation and use of your new swimming pool you can capitalize on some great off season prices. –Chris
Who enjoys nothing more than grilling out during the football season? Whether you prefer college or the NFL games, we have the right grill for you. Do you prefer charcoal or gas grills? I’m personally a fan of charcoal for a couple of reasons. One is that on Sundays, I can get the Kamado Joe ceramic grill going before the games start and slowly smoke ribs, roasts, or even a beer can chicken. Then I don’t have to worry about much during the game until it’s time to eat. I also prefer charcoal because of the flavor and versatility you get from using charcoal. Like I mentioned, you can do ribs or even sear steaks, make pizzas, or simply hamburgers and hot dogs. Do you have season tickets to your favorite team and tend to tailgate? We have the perfect Kamado Joe Jr. for your smaller tailgate parties or even the Classic Joe for the larger tailgate parties.
Is charcoal not the right grill for you? Do you prefer the ease of getting your natural gas or propane grill going? Well the Swiss grills that we carry come propane-ready but can easily be converted to natural gas. If you are the next grill master looking for a grill with three up to 6 burners, we have your grill. Most are stand-alone grills but we also have grills that you can drop into an outdoor kitchen.
The Arc of Appalachia Preserve System invites you to attend
Chaparral Prairie’s GRAND OPENING
For those that enjoy a nice walk in the woods, I recommend a visit to Adams County Ohio. With fall here, the leaves are beginning to change. It is a beautiful time of year and perhaps nowhere is the scenery more colorful than Adams County. In particular, I recommend the Edge of Appalachia and the Arc of Appalachia preserves, located in the West Union community. It is about 1 hour east of Cincinnati and is worth the drive. There are numerous Edge of Appalachia hiking trails that are maintained by the Nature Conservancy and Cincinnati Museum Center. Arc of Appalachia preserves are overseen by the Ohio Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. To learn more about the trails and to get directions and maps of the trails, click on the links below. Terrain can be challenging but in general, most of these trails are easy walks. The newest is the Chaparral Prairie and again, you can learn more about it by clicking on the link. Good times…guaranteed.–Max
I’ve never been a great griller, but since I got my Kamado Joe a couple years ago I’ve gotten adventurous and have experimented with some of my own recipes. If you like baked potatoes, here is a little variation that works nicely on a grill capably of providing indirect heat like my Kamado.
Pick up 2-4 of the biggest, fattest russet potatoes that you can find. (Jungle Jim’s has a special oversized potato bin in their produce area.)
Heat your grill to approximately 375 degree and use your heat deflector so that you do not have direct flame when cooking. While the grill is getting to temperature, cut the potatoes in half, cutting lengthwise. Use a melon baller to hollow out the potato’s core, leaving just enough ‘meat’ on the skin to keep the halves firm. Now, stuff the potato with whatever you like. Pack it right in! I have used pepperoni, sausage crumbles, pepper cheese, halved Italian meatballs, sliced mushrooms, and diced ham. The more things I can jam in, the better! To make it easier to stuff the upper half, put a little melted butter or margarine in it so that everything doesn’t fall out when you turn it over to re-join the two halves.
So now you’ve got the potatoes back together. How do you keep them together? It’s simple and tasty. Bacon! Wrap the entire potato round and round, tightly, with strips of bacon. It holds the potato together quite nicely and hey—I like bacon.
Place the potatoes on the grill and cook for approximately one hour, using tongs to turn them after a half hour. Adjust your time accordingly based on the size of the potato but you’ll know they are done when the bacon looks done.
And don’t throw away the potato that you scooped out. Place that in a tin foil pan, add seasoning, butter, and anything else you might have left over. Cover and cook with the potatoes. I turn mine into potato pancakes and fry them up for breakfast. No waste and lots of taste.
If you like potatoes, you’ll like these. –Max