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Maintaining your hot tub can seem like an overwhelming task. However, when dividing all of the things that need attention into daily, weekly and periodic tasks, the regular maintenance does not seem as daunting. To ensure optimum performance and longevity of your spa, regular maintenance is essential and must not be overlooked. This list will help keep you on track when maintaining your hot tub.
The most important step when maintaining your hot tub is to make sure the water quality stays at the correct levels. If you are monitoring the water quality on a daily basis, then there isn’t much work involved other than checking these levels with a color-coded test strip. The two things that you will be checking are the PH and sanitizer levels. If you dip the testing strip into the water and notice that the levels are not where they should be, you will then need to pour in the correct chemicals to get the water quality back to the proper level. Keeping the water quality at the correct levels will help prevent mineral buildup and corrosion of your hot tub, as well as help to avoid skin irritation.
“Shocking” your hot tub with sanitizer on a weekly basis is good practice for proper hot tub maintenance. This task is especially important when there have been a lot of bathers using the spa. Doing this will ensure the water in your hot tub stays clean and clear. Another weekly maintenance task is to clean your hot tub. Wiping down the spa cover and taking it off for a few hours per week to allow it to air out will help to extend the life of the cover. When removing the spa cover it is also a good idea to check for any debris in the hot tub and the water level. If the water level gets below the skimmer it could damage the pump.
These final steps are ones in which you should plan on doing at least a couple times per year. It is a good idea to treat your spa with a descaling agent a few times throughout the year to prevent mineral buildup. If you know that you live in an area high calcium or mineral content, this periodic task is especially important. Another area of the hot tub to check throughout the year is the main filter. Plan on removing and cleaning your hot tub’s filter at least a couple of times per year. Lastly, it is good to get in the habit of draining your hot tub once or twice per year. This will ensure good water quality, as well as give you the opportunity to inspect all of the components of your hot tub.
Maintaining your hot tub is easy when looking at the maintenance steps as daily, weekly or periodic. It really is not very time consuming. The important thing is to give your hot tub the proper attention so that your family and friends can enjoy it for years to come.
Interested in owning a hot tub? Call us and schedule your complimentary consultation TODAY at (919) 562- 6611 OR visit us at 10016 Capital Blvd. Wake Forest, NC 27587.
My husband has always loved cooking and grilling out. I will be the first to admit that he has always been the one who handles all of the cooking for our family. A few years ago, we moved into a new home here in Raleigh. After moving I realized that we didn’t have much of a budget to spend towards upgrading our backyard. A fully functioning outdoor kitchen had always been a dream of his, however, it would have to wait. I could tell he was a little bummed by the fact that we had a brand-new house but he would still have to cook on our old grill my parents bought us as a wedding gift. I told him that we would eventually look at installing an outdoor kitchen, but needed to wait until we had more money saved up. He agreed.
Another year of grilling on the old grill went by until the day finally came. After attempting to start the grill for dinner, I could hear him clicking the starter over and over again, my husband came inside to inform me that we weren’t going to be grilling for dinner that night. As we finished preparing the meal in the kitchen, he mentioned that he wanted to start looking at getting a new grill. He didn’t know that I was thinking more than just a grill, it was time to get a new outdoor kitchen!
Some friends of ours had recently purchased a spa from Choice Pool and Spa and told us about the pleasant experience they had. They mentioned how the entire team was very helpful and how they also installed outdoor kitchens. I immediately made a note in my phone so I wouldn’t forget – Choice Pool and Spa.
As my husband started searching for a new grill, I began meeting with the professionals at Choice to start designing a new outdoor kitchen. His 40th birthday was coming up and I wanted to make sure it would be one he wouldn’t forget. After weeks of stalling and telling him that I didn’t like any of the grills he had picked out, I finally had everything ready for the big surprise.
On the night of is his birthday, after he had finished opening all of his gifts, I handed him a manila folder with a bow on top. He began to chuckle realizing why I had been so picky about all of the grills he kept showing me. What he didn’t realize was that in the folder wasn’t a picture of a new grill but a rendering of our backyard with a new outdoor kitchen. As he opened the folder I could tell he was shocked. He immediately asked how in the world did I design an outdoor kitchen. I told him how I had met with Choice Pool and Spa and that we had an upcoming appointment to finalize the design. The installation process began the following week and we were on our way to having a backyard worth showing off!
A few months have passed and we are so pleased with how our new outdoor kitchen turned out. My husband still talks about how surprised he was when opened that folder to see the design for our outdoor kitchen from Choice Pool and Spa. We have been grilling out nonstop and loving it! To step out into our backyard and sit around the bar with family and friends while my husband grills dinner makes me feel like I’m the one who got the gift.
We love helping our customers create the perfect backyard. Call us and schedule your complimentary consultation TODAY at (919) 562-6611 OR visit us at 10016 Capital Blvd. Wake Forest, NC 27587
Increase Your Home Value with an Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor dining areas of some kind are fairly common, considering most homeowners with any type of backyard patio usually have a table and chairs to enjoy their morning coffee or an outdoor family dinner. But what about an outdoor kitchen? This particular home addition project is not necessarily an inexpensive one but can add tremendous value to your home, while also providing a space to make lasting memories. As the housing market continues to explode in and around Raleigh, now is a great time to start thinking about investing in your home. Below are a few reasons why outdoor kitchens make a great investment, one in which you will enjoy for years to come.
Increases Resale Value
Outdoor kitchens are becoming a popular and trending addition to outdoor spaces that can help increase your home’s value. If your home is in a price range where potential buyers expect luxury perks, such as swimming pools, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces, an outdoor kitchen is a particularly good way to set your home apart from other homes. When compared to other outdoor features, such as building an additional garage or fire pit, outdoor kitchens have a high rate of return on your investment because of their functionality in comparison to other outdoor features.
Today's outdoor kitchens are fully customizable and much more elaborate than ever before. It is not unusual to see gourmet appliances, high quality grills, wood-fire pizza ovens, smokers and tile or granite countertops. Plumbing and electrical lines allow for conveniences such as sinks, lighting, ceiling fans and plenty of outlets for appliances.
If you do not have a large backyard, be sure to consider the size of your outdoor kitchen. Most prospective home buyers appreciate having some open outdoor space that is not used up by permanent structures. No matter the scale of your outdoor kitchen, you can be certain that it will impress potential buyers and ensure they remember your home as they look at different properties.
Makes Cooking Even More Enjoyable
Not only do outdoor kitchens allow the flexibility of not always cooking indoors, they also allow you to be more adventurous in what you prepare. Grills, smokers and outdoor ovens perfect for fun recipes and unique techniques that are not as conducive to indoor cooking. When looking at what grill to incorporate in your outdoor kitchen, we recommend buying the best grill you can get within your budget. Try to get an option that has at least one impressive feature, such as the ability to use either gas or charcoal or a rotisserie, which will help to ensure it appeals to a larger variety of potential buyers. To make your outdoor kitchen even more enjoyable, you can go beyond the basics and add additional features such as a sound system, refrigerator or even a garbage disposal.
One of the best advantages is that an outdoor kitchen keeps cooking grease, odors, smoke, and heat outside, while also adding a level of convenience. Forget about having to haul your grilling tools, utensils and dishes back and forth to the house. With an outdoor sink and storage space it’s all conveniently at your disposal. Also, keeping the heat out of your indoor kitchen is a huge plus during the warm summer months we experience here in Raleigh.
When your outdoor lounge furniture or patio dining set is combined with an outdoor kitchen, food preparation becomes a group activity and nobody is stuck inside cooking while everyone else is visiting outdoors. Whether you like to host intimate dinners or lively parties, an outdoor kitchen makes it much more relaxing and enjoyable.
Extends Living and Entertaining Spaces
It seems like we are always trying to make more room for gathering with friends and family. Spilling over into the outdoors is the easiest way to host large groups. An outdoor kitchen extends your living spaceso you have ample room for gathering your friends and family, making wonderful memories in the heart of your backyard. Perfect for birthdays, romantic dinners, family get-togethers and holidays.
Exterior spaces for dining, cooking or entertaining are generally more affordable than adding interior space to your home. When adding an outdoor kitchen, be sure that it complements the existing exterior of your home. If you live in a Mediterranean villa style home, a modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances is probably not the way to go. If you live in a more contemporary home, a rustic kitchen will look out of place.
Use similar materials and colors to those on existing structures to make sure your outdoor kitchen truly looks like an extension of your home. Think of it as bringing the interior of your home to the outdoors. This does not mean that you need to use the same countertops or tile as your indoor kitchen, but it does mean that you need to make sure your colors and textures harmonize with the interior of your home. This will help potential buyers see this outdoor living area as additional square footage.
Whether or not you plan to sell your home now or in the future, adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard will provide you and your family with the perfect place to prepare family meals, entertain guests and enjoy spending more time outdoors. Call us to schedule an appointment OR visit us at 10016 Capital Blvd. Wake Forest, NC 27587 to begin designing your outdoor kitchen today!
The days are getting hotter and the nights are getting longer! That means it is time to start planning some pool parties! We love it when we see pictures or hear about parties happening around pools we have built. As summer approaches, we want to share some fun pool party ideas to add a little more fun by the pool!
A Hawaiian Luau is a very popular pool party theme, since it is fairly easy and affordable. Invite your friends to an evening getaway to the Island State! Ask guests to wear their most colorful Hawaiian print shirts. As guests arrive, welcome them with the traditional ‘Aloha’ greeting while placing leis around their necks. You can either make the leis yourself, a little more expensive, or purchase ready-made leis. Decorate the pool area with bright, tropical colors, bamboo accents and Hawaiian-themed accessories from your local party supply or craft store. Tiki torches and tropical flowers scattered across tables and the surface of the pool provide the finishing touches for a magical evening. Treat your friends and family to grilled pineapple chicken or ham for a delicious meal. To complement the feast, serve rice and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables reminiscent of a garden paradise.
There are two ways you could go with this one. One is to ask guests to come in a dress or suit to sip wine or champagne beside the pool while the setting sun sparkles across the water. The other is to dress up in these fancy outfits only to jump into the pool fully clothed! It may sound crazy, but friends and family are sure to capture the fun with photos and videos to share for many years. Another idea is to ask all of your guests to come completely dressed in white and deck out the entire pool area with white accessories. Set up candles all over your patio, and if you really want to go all out, place white beach balls in the pool to bring the white theme together. The wedding aisle of your local craft store for white accessories like serving pieces and tableware.
If you don’t want to go formal but like the white idea, a neon party may be the party for you! Put up freestanding black lights around the pool, then ask your guests to wear white clothing to get the full effect. You’ll have a blast playing with white beach balls once the sun goes down! To add even more fun to the party, cover your decorations with glow-in-the-dark paint and be sure to stock up on glow sticks!
Vegas Game Night
Want to throw a party where guests can relax by the pool instead of getting in? Try a Vegas Game Night themed pool party. Instead of grilling out, try mixing up your menu with items like sushi or a nacho bar. Put out tables beside the pool for blackjack or poker games. If you want your guests to really get competitive, invest in a handful of prizes they could win!
Maybe Vegas Game Night is for the guys but what about the ladies? For Girls Night, hire a masseuse or beautician for the evening to give your friends manicures, pedicures, massages or facials. If that’s a bit outside your budget, set up your own spa! Provide nail files, toe separators, nail polish and other pampering essentials for your friends. As for food, chips and dip or mini sandwiches make for great snacks, right before you indulge in cupcakes or fondue for dessert.
If you want a fun and simple pool party, try creating a beach barbecue around the backyard pool. Attire is easy! Relax in flip-flops and swimsuits. Let the kids build sand castles in small plastic pools. If you want to really get creative, have the adults get in on it too with a sand castle competition! Decorate tables with seashells and fishnets. Cover chairs with beach towels and use plastic pails and shovels to serve hors-d'oeuvres and drinks. Float toy sailboats in the pool. Grill hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob and serve classic boardwalk food, like popcorn, snow cones and French fries for you family and friends.We hope you enjoy trying out some of these fun pool party ideas! Tag us with your pictures on Facebook so we can share the fun! If you are interested in building a new pool for your backyard, call us to schedule an appointment OR visit us at 10016 Capital Blvd. Wake Forest, NC 27587 to begin designing your new pool today!
As Memorial Day weekend fast approaches, we can’t help but get excited about grilling out! With outdoor kitchens being such a large part of our business, we always love spending time by the grill and sharing recipes! Here are our top 5 grill recipes for this upcoming holiday weekend!
Grilled Salmon Skewers with Garlic and Dijon
1.5 lbs salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch squares
2 large lemons thinly sliced
16 (10-inch) bamboo skewers
Ingredients for Marinade:
2 Tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (we used grey poupon)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp light olive oil (not extra virgin, pick something with a higher smoke point)
2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice from 1/2 large lemon or 1 small lemon
Prep: Soak bamboo skewers at least 1 hour to keep them from catching fire. Preheat Grill to medium heat (about 375˚F).
1. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the marinade ingredients: 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 1/2 Tbsp dijon, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice.
2. Skewer the salmon and lemon slices folded in half intermittently onto two skewers at a time (The double skewer aids in turning the salmon kebobs on the grill). Brush both sides of skewers with marinade.
3. Oil the grates then carefully place salmon skewers onto the hot BBQ. Grill kebobs for 3-4 minutes per side or until salmon is cooked through and opaque.
Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon Honey Drizzle
The perfect and delicious summertime dessert!
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1. Grill pineapple slices over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes
2. While the pineapple is grilling, mix together the honey (soften in the microwave for about 30 seconds) and the cinnamon.
3. Drizzle the grilled pineapple with the honey and serve.
Taco Lime Grilled Chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Servings: 4
A quick and easy taco lime grilled chicken that's just packed with flavor!
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)
1 pound boneless & skinless chicken breasts
1. Mix the taco seasoning and lime juice, cover the chicken in the mixture and marinate for 30 minutes to overnight.
2. Grill over medium to high heat until cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side, let sit for 5 minutes and slice before enjoying!
Shrimp Boil Foil Packets
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes Total Time: 25 Minutes Servings: 4
Easy, make-ahead foil packets packed with shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes. It’s a full meal with zero clean-up!
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (12.8 ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
2 ears corn, each cut in half making 4 pieces
1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons cajun seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over high heat.
1. Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes into 4 equal portions and add to the center of each foil in the a single layer.
2. Fold up all 4 sides of each foil packet. Add olive oil, cajun seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine. Fold the sides of the foil over the shrimp, covering completely and sealing the packets closed.
3. Place foil packets on the grill and cook until just cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately, garnish with parsley, if desired.
Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
The two-step process of cooking the potatoes transforms this summer salad from same-old to sublime!
3 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes (about the size of a walnut halved)
6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
6 slices center-cut bacon cut into 1/2 in. pieces
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. fresh marjoram, plus more for garnish
1. Heat grill to medium-high. Line a plate with paper towels.
2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water by 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until easily pierced with a knife, 14 to 16 minutes. Drain and let cool. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of oil.
3. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to prepared plate with a slotted spoon.
4. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings from skillet. Off the heat, add garlic, vinegar, and brown sugar to the drippings in the skillet, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
5. Grill potatoes cut-side down until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. Grill scallions, turning occasionally, until charred, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop scallions into 1-inch pieces.
6. Add potatoes, scallions, and marjoram to bowl with dressing, and toss to coat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with marjoram. Serve immediately.
We hope you enjoy grilling out and trying these recipes! Also, have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. To all who have served this great country – THANK YOU!
Call us today to schedule an appointment OR visit us at 10016 Capital Blvd. Wake Forest, NC 27587 to begin designing your new outdoor kitchen today!