Live your imagination!

posted Dec 14, 2018, 1:26 PM by Natalie Venmore-Hardman

Do you ever find yourself in a day dream, picturing your perfect backyard, complete with vibrant flower beds, a fruitful garden, luxurious spa, swimming pool with ambient light and mesmerizing water features? Only to be snapped out of it by the children screaming or dog barking? Or maybe you indulge in HGTV marathon viewing of various shows, wondering how on earth Joanna Gaines is able to dream up her comfy farmhouse designs and bring them to life? Us too! But now it’s easier than ever to have somebody help bring your dreams and imagination to life.

It can be tricky to put pen to paper, as it were. If you are not artistically inclined then drawing your ideas may not be an option. You can pin your ideas to a Pinterest board, collect material and samples, save images or even cut them out of a magazine but can you really see, really feel what that space will look like? It’s hard to really get what is in your head into an image that you and others can see and even experience.

Well as it turns out, we’ve got your solution, at least when it comes to your backyard oasis. 3D pool design will transport you to another world, bring the luxuries and fun that have resided in your head for so long...into almost real life. This type of design isn’t just a drawing, or a picture, it’s no simple sketch or even photo of something similar, this is your imagination, your dream, your yard...even you! That’s right! With the right software, using satellite/gps technology you can see your design in your yard, with your exact view, your exact home! Want to see it with a fire pit? Outdoor kitchen? You got it! Need to know how the sun will hit it at various times of day, at various times of year? No problem! Tile color, deck material, water features, pool accessories, vegetation, lawn furniture, lighting the list does not end and neither should your imagination. We can even put you in the pool, swimming, against a swim jet. 3D pool design will change the way we buy and renovate pools. When dealing in such an investment why settle for a sketch, or description when you can see and experience it first. It’s our industry’s “try before you buy” and boy is it fun!

Happy dreaming folks!

An investment in knowledge

posted Dec 7, 2018, 2:35 PM by Natalie Venmore-Hardman

Here at Duck’s our first goal is to provide exceptional services with premium products. Though our team have many years of experience, like everything, pool equipment and systems change and that why we believe in ongoing education. Maintaining our education and remaining current means we continue to provide the best solutions to our clients. Furthermore, we strive to work with the leaders in industry product innovation to ensure that our clients pools and tubs are running efficiently, are cost effective and live a long life.

This week we are excited to be attending workshops hosted by two major industry front runners, Pentair and Raypak. Both companies produce premium products which we have recommended and worked with for years. But you can always learn more, right? We will be updating our knowledge and processes within both a residential and a commercial setting, learning about new emerging products and technologies and how best to apply these in any given situation. We value the growth in both personal and professional avenues that these workshops offer and we are excited to share these values and experiences with our valued customers.

Not only do we believe in ongoing education for ourselves but it is important to pass this knowledge onto our customers. From advice in the field to scheduled pool school & spa school, we aim to provide the best advice and solutions and to educate our clients on how to use their equipment. Every aspect of learning is important and valuable to us and we hope to continually pass that on to those around us.

It is also great fun to connect and share with other industry professionals. Networking, building relationships, sharing wisdom and the odd anecdote is both fun and inspiring. It’s important to keep connections with those around us who share like skills and interests and to build that all important village! As our industry continues to grow and develop, so do we and we look forward to sharing that with you, our loyal and valued clients!

Happy learning folks!

Nothing but thanks!!!

posted Nov 19, 2018, 1:25 PM by Natalie Venmore-Hardman

Well folks, the time is upon us...the season of gratitude, appreciation and love. Here at Duck’s there is always something to talk about, from fantastic designs to equipment innovation, deals & steals, pool time fun and everything in between but today, during this special time, all we want to say is THANK YOU!

Throughout the year we have had the pleasure of working on a vast number of pools and tubs. From the Green to Clean to weekly service, the small repair to the full equipment replacement and much, much more.Every project we have worked on has been a pleasure. That’s not to say it is always easy! As with most things in life some projects run to plan and other present unexpected challenges and bumps in the road and we choose to reflect and learn. As our company grows we consistently take time to learn from the challenges we are presented with and so we must appreciate them just as we do the triumphs. Every ripple in the pool shows us something new and thus bumps our learning and experience to another level.

We feel it important to express our gratitude to our loyal customers, those of you who have welcomed us into your space, trusted us to best advise you and allowed us to do our best work. Thank you! And to those of you so kind as to leave us reviews, we deeply appreciate the time and effort taken to let others know how satisfied you are with our services, because of you, we are able to grow and serve even more families.

At a time where business is competitive and finding great people can be tough we are pleased and grateful that we have found some wonderful and talented people to work with. Distributors, manufacturers, other industry professionals and more, all of these people contribute to the success of our company for our clients.

Finally we want to thank family. Directly related or not, near or far, business or personal. We are eternally grateful that we are part or your lives and you of ours. Thanksgiving is the time when we should and do, openly share our gratitude and love for the things that help us to be successful and happy. We are so privileged to be in the position we are in, doing what we love, growing professionally and serving others. In times of uncertainty we can be certain of this...we have great reason to be thankful and are blessed to be able to share that with you.

Happy thanksgiving folks and THANK YOU! Now let’s eat!!!

Project Season

posted Nov 9, 2018, 1:27 PM by Natalie Venmore-Hardman

The holiday season is upon us, snow is in the forecast, nights are drawing in early and frost greets us in the morning. It is a time known to pool people as the “off season” but here at Duck’s we don’t believe in an off season. You may not be using your pool, you may frequent your hot tub a little less but that doesn’t mean there’s not work to be done and progress to be made. I mean, who wants to think about having work done on the pool in the middle of a 100 degree summer? The off season is officially “project season”. Why? It’s simple, here at Duck’s we love your pool and spa like you do and we want you to spend the maximum amount of time enjoying it it its best. Off season projects and repairs mean zero interference with your summer time use, they allow time for adjustments in learning if the equipment is unfamiliar to you and what’s best is there are often great deals to be had not to mention higher technician availability and more favorable scheduling for you.

If you are in need of equipment repair or replacement now is the time. Picture’s a beautiful June day, not a cloud in the sky, your pool beckons you over. There’s fresh lemonade, maybe a cold beer. Your favorite song is on the radio and your best friends are coming over with the kids and steaks….you are pool ready! But wait, you noticed at the end of last summer that your equipment had seen better days, maybe the pump was making a funny noise or you noticed a little leak. You didn’t worry, you were closing the pool. As it turns out you opened the pool a couple of weeks ago and were forced to remember what you had seen previously, you call your pool guys who was swamped and the service call was a few weeks out. replacement needed. But the distributor is out and the parts you need are on backorder with the manufacturer, they aren’t available for a few weeks and there were no discounts to be had, in fact the prices just went up. WHAT!?!. So your pool is not swimmable and you are forced to stare longingly at what feels like a mirage in the desert cursing the moment a few months earlier when you said “nah, we’ll leave it till next season”.

It doesn’t stop (or start) there. Maybe you’re considering a full back yard renovation? There are plenty of landscapers and stone masons who maybe cutting great off season deals. You can scoop up awesome backyard and pool accessories on huge reductions from big box stores that are trying to clear space and there are wonderful apps, shows and services which provide hours of design entertainment so you can snuggle up in front of the fire and be inspired to plan your dream backyard oasis.

Your pool and spa are such a luxury that you shouldn’t be without them when it’s time to use them so go ahead, schedule that service call, get an estimate and ask about any seasonal deals, at this time of year you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Happy project season folks!!!

Thanksgiving top tips

posted Nov 2, 2018, 8:58 AM by Ryan Wheeler

It's officially turkey month! One of our favorites here at Duck's and though we are barely over the sugar rush of Halloween it's time to start prepping for the day of thanks. This year it comes early so there are fewer than 3 weeks to prepare and that's the key word here, prepare! We all know that the holidays can stressful from guests lists and locations to menus and center pieces there's so much to think about so we compiled a list of our top thanksgiving tips to help so you can sit back and enjoy the the big day.

Tip 1 - Prepare. We said it before and we'll say it again. Grab your pen and paper or open up that spreadsheet and get planning. If you have it documented you are more likely to follow it. If you are hosting thanksgiving it important to first decide on a guest list. You cannot begin to plan to feed people if you do not know how many you are feeding and importantly if anybody has dietary restrictions. So prep that guest list early.

Tip 2 - Menu. Thanksgiving relies on a great meal right? So think about a menu in advance. I recommend planning sides and assigning various guests to a particular dish, that way you know you have everything covered and no double ups. Consider your storage and cooking space also, it's easy to plan a great feast and then realize you do not have the space to accommodate. I also like to remember that it's ok to ask guests to store and bring items. Once you have your menu for the main event think about the surrounding days. Personally we like to treat ourselves to a take out the night before, it's keeps your kitchen free and clean ahead of a big cooking day. If you have guests staying with you it's great to have grab and go breakfasts available too. We love Bagels and various spreads for this.

Tip 3 - The Turkey. Buy early. Thaw early. Know your method! More than anything, I recommend keeping those in mind. Believe it not they can sell out. Know what size bird you want and order it ahead or purchase early. If you have a frozen turkey be sure to begin the bog thaw at least 4 days in advance. You should always cook your turkey from thawed. Everybody has their preferred method, oven roasted, smoked, deep fried. Whatever your choice, know your process and timing. Go into the morning knowing exactly when you want to put your turkey in and for how long. You can pre-stuff and season. Brine or not. Do what your taste desires, just know what it is in advance.

Tip 4 - Food Prep Day. Many foods can be prepped and even cooked in advance so start a day or two ahead. Chop some veggies, make pastries and pie fillings, chill the wine and even have a sip or two! Invest in some great tupperware (you will not be sorry) that seals well and stacks neatly in your fridge. Grab sticky labels so you don't have to drag everything out to tell what it is, even stack things in the order you need them in for the big day. It will make things run more smoothly and help you to feel more organized and relaxed. Some things can even be cooked in advance. Casseroles tend to store and reheat well, just hold off on the crunchy topping until the big day.

Tip 5 - House prep. This one, I find, depends on whether or not you have young kids in the house. Cleaning and table setting ahead of time are great, however, you typically don't want a table set beautifully with you finest china ready for 5 days in advance when you have toddlers running around....your china may not survive! Focus on the rooms your guests will see. Keep decorations simple and fun and heck! Use paperware if you choose. It's great for a quick clean up and many brands are recyclable.

Tip 6 - Choose your outfit and YOUR favorite drink. You may be the host but that doesn't mean it's not your day to enjoy also. So pick an outfit that you feel great in and make sure there is plenty of your favorite treat, whether it be apple cider, wine, hot chocolate, beer or anything else. Once your guests arrive everything will come together. Conversation will flow, stories of thanks will warm hearts and togetherness will create smiles and memories for years to come.

Whatever you choose for the big day, have fun and enjoy the time with your loved ones. It's easy to get wrapped up tasks so don't forget to take a breath, look around and enjoy being in the moment. Give thanks to those around around you, then stop and give thanks to yourself. Life isn't always easy but we can all find something or somebody to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!

Howlin' Halloween

posted Oct 23, 2018, 8:49 AM by Natalie Venmore-Hardman

Love it or hate it Halloween is right around the corner with tricks and treats in store for all.  We want to share one of our favorite ways to enjoy the holiday. What is the at center of every great holiday? FOOD!!!! Halloween is a special holiday because it encourages the use of imagination. Where most of our holidays host a specific and traditional meal Halloween calls for something different. Whether it be a sweet treat for the kids, a gruesome snacks for your visitors or dark and mysterious punch for the adults there are a plethora of fun and thrilling recipes to excite your guests. Here are three of our favorites for you to try this Halloween:

Sweet treats - Chocolate, Caramel Apples with sprinkles

These guys are so much fun, easy to make and great for letting the kids have a go at making. The sprinkles are easy peasy, zero confection talent needed and you can go wild with colors. If you want to gussy it up a little try m&m’s, nuts or even your favorite crushed cookies or cereal.

Gruesome Snacks - Oozing Pizza Skulls

Boy are these a hit! Who doesn’t love pizza? They are tasty and fantastic to look at. The thing I love the most is that you can adjust the recipe to create the pizza filling of your choice. A skull pan can be found easily on amazon and if skulls aren’t your thing you’re sure to find other goulish moulds and pans to fit your taste.

Mysterious Punch - Blood Orange, Blackberry, Rum Punch

Doesn’t the title say it all. Tasty, fruity, refreshing and...bloody? You get what we are going for. This delicious punch is a crowd pleasure, you can dress it up with a garnish of fresh fruit or go theatrical with fake eyeball and hand shaped ice cubes

If Halloween is really not for you then fear not! Turn off the porch light, close the blinds and settle in to your favorite chair with some warm apple cider and catch up on what Netflix has to offer. The wonderful thing about the holiday season is that everybody has their own way of celebrating, or not. Enjoying time with our loved ones is what really matters, however you choose to do it!

Happy Fall Everybody!

Time to cover up!

posted Oct 11, 2018, 11:19 AM by Natalie Venmore-Hardman

It’s that time of year again, sweater weather! And that means it’s not just time for us to cover up but in many cases our pools too. Our options for buying pool covers are almost as vast as our options for sweaters these days and it doesn’t stop at type of cover, there are many customizable options depending on your criteria, you really can have whatever you want. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the best way with anything is start at the beginning, so let’s do that. Why do we need a pool cover? Safety? Warmth? Cleanliness? All of the above? Well...yes! All of the above are important but your personal situation may determine one thing to be of greater need than another. Here, we will break down the three most common style of pool cover to help you determine which is best for you.

“The Classic” - What we like to call the classic is a standard winter cover. The classic does a good job at keeping out debris and sunlight. We want to limit light to prevent algae growth and of course, do not want months worth of Fall and Winter debris to clean come spring. This cover will certainly help with these things. The classic is held in place by long, heavy water bags which some do not find aesthetically pleasing. They can also be hard work to place and remove so if you cover your pool yourself you may want to take that into consideration. In addition, this cover will not hold a lot of weight so heavy rainfalls may mean you need to pump some of that excess away, another chore you likely do not want. While a classic is likely the most affordable option to buy it also tends to have a shorter lifespan, often just two or three seasons.

“The Safety” - The Safety is most commonly known as a safety cover. A fantastic load bearer, great for areas with heavy snows. It is typically mesh so allows water to pass through it, the downside of that is that you will open a pool to less than perfect water in the Spring. She is great at keeping out debris. It looks a little like a trampoline, anchored into your deck space, it certainly is secure but not everybody’s favorite thing to look at.The price point is certainly higher than that of the classic but, when looked after, you should get many more years out of her.

“The Auto” - The Automatic Cover, our favorite, pretty much does it all and at the touch of a button. Keeps out debris, light and much bigger things (yes, we have pulled a deer out of a swimming pool). It works beautifully as a solar cover, keeping the warmth in thus economically a good choice and a no brainer if you keep your pool open and heated year round.The auto is a wonderful asset with regards to safety, if you have children or animals it is a fantastic safety barrier (though we continue to recommend pool areas be fenced and locked at all times when not in use and supervised by an adult). This gal really does it all. Her price point may be the highest of the group but you will likely make savings elsewhere. The lifespan of these is long with the ability to maintain and repair if something does go awry, we know auto covers that are 20 years old and still going. To top it all off, they look great, so you know your backyard oasis will look it’s best day or night, summer or winter.

Whichever cover you choose and for whatever reason the best advice we can give is to look after them well and always seek advice from your pool professional!

Cleaning your pool after a storm

posted Oct 1, 2018, 12:53 PM by Ryan Wheeler

Brrrr, it’s getting chilly out there. Fall brings some fast changing weather, all of which can play havoc with your pool and spa. Keeping your pool and tub open through October and even the winter is possible but it’s time to take a little extra care and look out for those temperature swings, high winds, rain and storms. Storms and falling debris can leave a real mess in your backyard haven and leaving these messes untreated only make more work for you, with a few simple tips we can help you keep you pool or spa in tip top shape following a storm.

There are 4 steps we like to remember: Check, Clean, Test, Treat!

Check - Checking your pool is the first and possible the most important step following a storm and it can be really simple. Head out to your pool or spa and check in and around. What are we dealing with? Dust and leaves, large debris, obvious damage? The best thing you can do is assess the situation and know your next steps. In areas that suffer severe weather such as hurricanes or tornadoes that damage could be extensive, it is always important to check for suspected leaks and you should call your pool professional for help and advice.

Clean - So you’ve determined how much debris is in your pool. Be sure to move anything large, like branches, lawn furniture etc first. Then it’s time to decide how best to clean from here, know the capabilities of your skimmer and pool vacuum, be sure not to overload them, a heavy amount of leaves and other debris could cause you more issues, so be sure to go ahead and remove as much as you can - or call your pool professional.

Test - A storm ,debris and heavy rains can have a dramatic effect on your pools chemistry so it is important to check chemistry after a storm and before adding more chemicals. You have likely discussed chemical balancing with your pool professional or have experience maintaining it. If, however, you are not sure or are out of supplies your pool professional will be happy to help.

Treat - Now that’s you have tested it’s time to treat. Often times a heavy amount of debris can warrant a shock treatment, however, that is not always the case. Every storm, every pool, every environment provides a different set of circumstances so be sure to treat according to your tests and again, when in doubt, call your pool professional!

Falling back to nature!

posted Sep 24, 2018, 7:28 AM by Ryan Wheeler

September 22nd marked the official end of summer and the beginning of Autumn. The mornings are already a little chilly, the leaves yellowing and the evening sun just a little lower in the sky. We can even smell the pumpkins spice everything wafting in the breeze.

Fall, not only a beauty to behold, is a great time to get back to nature. Whether you like to camp, hike, fish or hunt there are a plethora of exciting and relaxing activities to get into and Colorado may be the best place to do them. The cooler temps make for fantastic hiking and there are an abundance of trails in and around our beautiful Rockies. Heading up into the mountains is highly recommended as the Aspens change color, if you can, take the trip mid week to avoid crowds and be sure to have your camera at the ready. Fall provides some of the most picturesque scenes so whether you are planning a 10 mile hike or stop for an impromptu half you’re sure to to capture some beautiful memories.

If camping is more your thing then, again, fall is a great time for it. Bothersome insects are on the decline, cool nights and morning provide the perfect temps for snuggling down and wildlife are seen in abundance as many prepare for their winter slumber. Though we might be tempted to light the campfire and toast those ‘mallows it remains incredibly important to always check for fire bans. Though some may have been lifted, many remain in place, so know before you go and keep everybody safe!

Finally, whenever we are out enjoying nature, be it hiking, hunting or anything in between it remains most important to leave no trace. Pack out what you pack in folks, don’t leave junk and trash for others to clean up or for wildlife to become entangled in. We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, let’s be sure to keep it that way so all, including the flora and fauna can thrive, flourish and enjoy. Happy fall ya’ll!!!

It's not over yet!

posted Sep 17, 2018, 7:13 AM by Ryan Wheeler   [ updated Sep 17, 2018, 7:16 AM ]

Labor day has come and gone, the kids are back at school and the leaves are slowly changing but it looks like Summer isn’t quite ready to pack it’s bags and depart. With near record temps here in Colorado there’s still plenty of backyard fun to be had.

If you’re lucky enough to have kept your open past Labor Day it’s important to maintain its cleanliness, especially in these high temperatures. Warm weather and sunlight are the perfect breeding ground for algae and the summer dryness paired with fall winds create excess dust and debris just dying to float right on into your pool. So what can you do to maintain a clean, healthy pool? Well folks, it’s business as usual! Even though your summer schedule has come and gone your pool schedule shouldn’t. Every backyard environment is different so whatever you do during the summer month should be kept up for as long as your pool is open. Regular vacuuming, chemical balancing and daily covering are all important in keeping your pool clean and swimmable through the fall months. Having a weekly cleaning service is by far the best way to keep your pool in top condition and allow you more time to take advantage of the extended Summer.

So what if you closed your pool already? No need to worry, there’s plenty of fun and bargains to be had. September is a great time of year to snap up some backyard bargains. Check out your local department stores, grocery stores and garden centers, pick up some super fun backyard games for discounted prices, maybe some project pieces for the deck or accessories for your grill. The stores need to move that stuff out to make way for the holidays so you can benefit from their need for space.

Moving into to fall also means something else exciting, a matter close to our hearts here at Duck’s...Football! That’s right, we are huge football fans here and one of the things we love most about football is the food. The extended summer weather is perfect for keeping the grill going longer and tailgate food tastes especially good right from the grill. So dry rub that pork butt, season the wings and fire up the grill. Whether you play, watch or ignore football, I think  we can agree that sharing a backyard bite with our loved ones is a perfect way to enjoy the remaining Summer sun.

So folks, remember, it’s not over yet! With or without your pool there’s fun to be had and memories to be mad, so dive in, play the silly game, indulge in BBQ and Fly Eagles Fly!

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