Make the most of your garden this spring and add some water fun!

As British Summer Time is now upon us, our thoughts turn to revamping the garden

It certainly feels like spring is finally here and the weather is starting to get warmer and brighter. With this in mind, we can start to prepare for the summer months and consider some garden improvements. As well as the annual garden tidy up, it could be time to consider a hot tub, swim spa or even a new swimming pool, to make the most of being at home.

Outdoor activity is great for family fun and getting children out in the fresh air rather than being stuck indoors. Swimming and other water-related activities are an easy and fun way for families to spend time together and is also a great way to encourage children to be sporty and fit from a young age.

Adding something as eye catching as a swimming pool or hot tub can create a holiday feel to the garden and create a relaxing environment for entertaining. Best of all, they can be tailored to suit your house and garden design, and to fit every budget.

 

The Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA) and The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) are the respective trade associations for swimming pools and hot tubs which encourage these contractors and suppliers to meet industry standards and to make usage safe.

Top tips when buying a hot tub and/or swimming pool:

1)    Always choose a SPATA or BISHTA member so that you can be assured that your purchase will be built to industry standards. You may wish to check the company is a current member of either BISHTA and / or SPATA by contacting the office, or checking the relevant website (details below)

2)    Be sure you know what you want to use the equipment for, as this will determine what to buy?  If you just want to relax in some hot water then a Hot Tub may be best, but if you want to swim , then either a swim spa or a swimming pools will be better

3)    Set a budget, but be prepared to be flexible if you find something that meets all your needs, but is slightly more than you had hoped for

4)    Ensure the contractor / supplier can show other examples of the type of hot tub or pool that you want. Ask past clients for their feedback on the contractors’ professionalism and ability to hit agreed deadlines

5)    Find out if there are any Local Authority consents required (e.g. Planning, Building Regulations, etc.)

6)    Ask who will be responsible for after-sales maintenance, service and check the warranties on the products

7)    Find out what method of water treatment is proposed

 

Summer Holiday Swimming Fun for the Whole Family

Swimming is an easy and fun way for families to spend time together and keep active. And when the sun in shinning it’s a great opportunity to cool down at your local public swimming baths.

You may be surprised to hear that you can also enjoy the luxury of a pool in your own back garden, without breaking the bank. Building a swimming pool may not cost as much as you might think, as there are many different options to suit every family and budget.

Make sure you choose a registered Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA) member; they will be able to tailor a build to your budget and location.

As well as getting the right pool for your home, it is also important to remember the essential tips to ensure that your children stay safe when swimming over the summer holidays. Here are some suggestions for child safety aids to help you encourage safe swimming for your family.

Five Essential Safety Items for Children:

  • Buoyancy aids designed to give a degree of independence, but under strict supervision. Available as arm bands, swim vests, float boards.
  • Baby swim seats let the baby sit properly supported in the water and able to kick freely.
  • Costumes with pockets contain removable floats designed for children 30 months and up.
  • Swim shoes protect children’s feet from slipping on wet floor or stubbing toes against the edge of the pool.
  • One-piece water suits for children; gives young skin a protection factor of 50+ wet or dry.

The Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA) and The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) are the trade associations for swimming pools and hot tubs in theUKwhich ensure contractors and suppliers meet industry standards.

Always look for the SPATA and BISHTA logos to make sure the pool or hot tub you’re using is right for you.

 

Start to enjoy your garden again, with a pool, swim spa or hot tub

After a long hard winter, we are finally looking towards summer. Therefore it’s time to think about making the most of the garden this season with pools, spas and hot tubs to give your garden the added wow factor.

Swimming is still the most popular way of keeping fit and healthy.  It provides other benefits such as having fun, which is a lovely way for families to spend some time together.

It is also great to encourage children to learn a life skill and to be sporty and fit from a young age.

There are swimming pools and hot tubs to suit all specifications; here are a few ideas of what you can do with a range of budgets and locations and there is an affordable option for you!

Hot tubs (designed for all year round use) come in a variety of sizes to suit, from 2 to as many as 8 bathers.  The sensation of experiencing the therapeutic massaging affects of the warm water is a wonderful experience.  To soak away the stresses and strains of the day there is nothing quite like a hot tub to ease away those aches and pains,.  They incorporate the heating and filtration systems to maintain your desired bathing temperatures.  Hot tubs are available with additional features that can include perimeter and external lighting systems, surround sound (CD, radio and / or ipod) and they are even available with LCD screens and DVD for that complete aquatic audio visual experience.  Prices start from just a few thousand pounds.

Swim spas are a more cost effective option than most swimming pools.  They take up less space, are quick and easy to install and offer reduced running costs than a typical pool.  They are usually fully self contained and can often be installed in as little as a day.  The features of a swim spa offer the perfect home aqua workout facility, including swimming or jogging against a counter current and there can be other options including rowing and resistance swimming.  As swim spas are portable, they can even be taken with you if you decide to move home.

Swimming pools may be the ultimate dream and there are various options to consider:

Above ground pools are affordable and can be installed very quickly.  Inground pools are either one piece pools, liner pools or concrete pools.     The advantages of one piece pools are that they are stylish and quick to install (as they are craned into position).

Liner pools have opened up the possibility of pool ownership to a far greater section of the leisure seeking consumer market and advances in plastics technology has resulted in highly efficient and economical pools constructed.   The life expectancy of a pool liner is usually quoted as from 8 to 12 years.  . On average, a liner pool takes only about four weeks to install and, given the appropriate skills and experience, lends itself to the self-build approach.

Concrete Swimming Pools are the traditional pool construction material and are either made from Sprayed Concrete (which involves spraying wet concrete onto a pre-formed cage of steel reinforcement.  This method enables pools to be constructed without any sharp angles where the pool walls meet the floor) or Shuttered Concrete (a construction method based on a poured concrete slab or floor with the pool walls poured between retaining panels – the shuttering).  Sprayed or shuttered concrete pool shells are normally rendered internally with sand and cement to provide a smooth and uniform waterproof lining, ready to receive a decorative finish of tiles, mosaic or terrazzo.

Other important options for pool buyers include the choice of installation of pool covers, enclosures, heat sources and for indoor pools the environmental control systems.

The Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association (SPATA) and The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) are the trade associations for swimming pools and hot tubs, respectively, which work to ensure contractors and suppliers meet industry standards and their     top tips when buying a pool or hot tub are:

1)   Always choose a SPATA or BISHTA member so that you can expect your purchase will conform to industry standards. Contact BISHTA and / or SPATA by checking their relevant website –www.spata.co.ukwww.bishta.co.uk

2)   Ensure the contractor/retailer can show at least two examples of the type of hot tub or pool that you want, and if you are buying a hot tub, ideally you should try before you buy with a “wet test” to see if the particular model is to your liking.

3)   Find out if there are any Local Authority consents required for pools (e.g. Planning, Building Regulations, etc)

4)   Confirm the preferred method of water treatment being proposed to suit your requirements

5)   Compare warranties between different companies to make sure you are getting the best deal for you

6)  Be very wary of internet bargains, there are many customers dissatisfied with some companies that are not BISHTA or SPATA members, who are trading on the internet.

 

Pool and hot tub companies make a splash at annual industry awards

Some of the most innovative swimming pool and hot tub companies were celebrating on Sunday night (6 February) after collecting awards at the annual SPATA and BISHTA Awards.

 

The Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association (SPATA) and British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) Awards were held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel where SPATEX, the UK’s largest swimming pool and hot tub exhibition, held its 15th annual trade show.

 

The big winner of the night was Portrait Pools & Enclosures from Southport, Lancashire. They scooped ten awards in total including ‘Domestic Pool of the Year’; The Dick Millward trophy for Pool Contractor of the Year’ and gold, silver and bronze in the category of ‘Residential Indoor Pools over £150,000’. They were closely followed by Tanby Swimming Pools who took home seven awards, including three golds.   A number of companies gained BISHTA Awards, including Euphoria Lifestylewho had a clean sweep in the Residential Portable Hot Tub above £10,000 category, while Southern Spas and Saunas won the category of Best Innovative Spa and were runners up in two other categories.   Oyster Pools & Leisure was celebrating a great double, as they won the Peter Geekie Retail Excellence Award (SPATA) and they won the Best Showroom category in the BISHTA Awards.

 

The awards, organised by SPATA and BISHTA, highlight the achievements of the pool industry by showcasing the best examples of construction, design, installation and innovation.

 

Chris Hayes, Managing Director of both SPATA and BISHTA says, “This year was the 50th anniversary of SPATA and the 10th anniversary of BISHTA and the Awards once again benefitted from a large number of sponsors and we are very grateful for their support.  The Awards created tough competition for the judges with a shortlist of 114 entries across 28 categories. The awards profile some excellent work from our members and demonstrate the value of choosing a SPATA member to build or renovate your pool and a BISHTA member to purchase a hot tub or swim spa from.

 

“SPATA and BISHTA host their awards evening at the SPATEX exhibition, part of the Pool Spa and Lifestyle Show, the UK’s largest swimming pool and hot tub exhibition, which also held its 15thannual trade show at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Exhibition Centre over the weekend.   This event sees companies from across theUK gather to showcase their most innovative products.  We were delighted to recognise so many of the industry’s hard working companies, these award winners demonstrate that swimming pools,  spas and hot tubs bring more to the home than simply leisure; they can be a way to keep healthy, have fun with the children, as well as having relaxation time with family and friends.”

 

The 2011 SPATA award winners were:

 

Concrete pools up to £60,000 sponsored by OASE

Gold: Tanby Swimming Pools

Silver: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

Bronze:Neptune Swimming Pools

 

Concrete pools £60,000 and over sponsored by BAYROL UK

Gold: Tanby Swimming Pools

Silver: Tanby Swimming Pools

Bronze: Tanby Swimming Pools

 

Liner pools up to £30,000 sponsored by Aquaflex Ltd

Gold: Deep End Pools Ltd

Silver: Home Counties (Horsham) Ltd

Bronze: MClark Swimming Pools

 

Liner pools £30,000 and over sponsored by Plastica Ltd

Gold: Deep End Pools Ltd

Silver: Home Counties (Horsham) Ltd

Bronze: MClark Swimming Pools

 

Residential indoor pools up to £75,000 sponsored by Sprayed Concrete Services Ltd

Gold: Tanby Swimming Pools

Silver: Tanby Swimming Pools

Bronze: Ian Lewis Design

 

 

 

Residential indoor pools over £75,000 and up to £150,000 sponsored by Stretch Ceilings Ltd

Gold: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

Silver: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

Bronze: London Swimming Pool Company Ltd

 

Residential indoor pools over £150,000 sponsored by BAYROL UK

Gold: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

Silver: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

Bronze: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

 

Non traditional pool installations

Gold: Cheshire Wellnewss

Silver: Deep End Pools Ltd

Bronze: Home Counties (Horsham) Ltd

 

Special requirements pools sponsored by Heatstar Ltd

Gold: David Hallam Ltd

Silver: David Hallam Ltd

Bronze: Origin Leisure Ltd

 

Commercial pools sponsored by Astralpool UK Ltd

Gold:Cheshire Wellness

Silver: Beaver International Ltd

Bronze: David Hallam Ltd

 

Overseas Domestic Pools

Gold: Belhasa Projects LLC

Silver: Belhasa Projects LLC

Bronze: David Hallam Ltd

 

Refurbishments sponsored by Sprayed Concrete Services Ltd

Gold: Asher Swimpool Centre Ltd

Silver: Asher Swimpool Centre Ltd

Bronze: London Swimming Pool Company Ltd

 

Inground domestic spas and health pools sponsored by Golden Coast

Gold: London Swimming Pool Company Ltd

Silver: Tanby Swimming Pools

Bronze: Asher Swimpool Centre Ltd

 

Inground commercial spas and health

Gold:Cheshire Wellness

Silver: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

 

The Peter Geekie award for retail excellence sponsored by Certikin International

Gold: Oyster Pools & Leisure Ltd

 

Environmental award sponsored by Calorex Heat Pumps

Gold: Portrait Pools & Enclosures

 

The Dick Millward trophy for pool contractor of the year

Portrait Pools & Enclosures

 

Domestic Pool of the Year

Portrait Pools & Enclosures

 

Commercial Pool of the Year

CheshireWellness

 

The 2011 BISHTA award winners were:

 

Residential Portable Hot Tub Below £5,000

Winner: Deep End Pools
Runner up: Southern Spas and Saunas

 

Residential Portable Hot Tub Over £5,000 & Below £10,000

UK Winner: Riviera Hot Tubs

Overseas Winner: Sovereign Spas & Pools

 

 

 

 

 

Residential Portable Hot Tub above £10,000 (inc vat)

Winner: Euphoria Lifestyle
Runner up: Euphoria Lifestyle

 

Swimspas/Excercise Pools (All Sizes)

Winner: Hydropool Spas (UK)
Runner up: Southern Spas and Saunas

 

Best Innovative Spa

Winner: Southern Spas and Saunas
Runner up: East Midlands Spas

 

Best Showroom

Winner: Oyster Pools & Leisure

-ends-

 

Notes to editors:

1. For interviews with the winners, or representatives from SPATA please contact Anna Wrightand Kirsty Gilbride at BOTTLE PR on 01865 882988 or email pip@bottlepr.co.uk .

 

2. Images are available on request.

 

3. SPATA – The Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association, is a member of BSPF, the British Swimming Pool Federation

Tel. 01264 356210 www.spata.co.uk

 

4. BISHTA- The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association, is a member of BSPF, the British Swimming Pool Federation.   Tel. +44 01264 356211 www.bishta.co.uk

 

5. For more information about the SPATEX exhibition visit www.spatex.co.uk.