Prepping Your Yard This Fall for Next Year’s Pool Build

Prepping Your Yard This Fall for Next Year’s Pool Build

Prepping Your Yard This Fall for Pool Installation

Have you been dreaming of basking by your shimmering pool this summer? Here’s a secret for Michigan homeowners: now is the best time to begin planning that dream pool build—not in the heat of summer but right here in autumn! Fall to prepare your yard can ensure a more straightforward, faster installation process come springtime!

I have witnessed many pool projects kick off with great gusto in the springtime, only to struggle when summer comes around and they need help getting everything in place. By working with Sapphire Landscaping and having some foresight, you can gain an early headstart and avoid those common missteps. When autumn leaves begin falling, they serve as an encouragement; starting your pool journey now will ensure next summer won’t bring unnecessary surprises!

The Importance of Fall Yard Preparation for Pool Installation

Now, you may ask, “Why the fuss over autumn when spring would do just as well?” While many begin their pool projects as winter thaws out, choosing autumn as your starting point has its advantages. Here is why:

  • Soil Stability: With fall weather coming and more compacted soil conditions than usual, now is an excellent time for soil tests and evaluations to ensure your yard can support the weight and structure of a pool. When working with an established Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder like Sapphire Landscaping, they will stress the importance of knowing about your yard’s soil conditions.
  • Reduced Rush: Spring can be an intense season for pool contractors; getting ahead in the fall gives you more time to collaborate closely with Sapphire Landscaping’s team on refining your pool design without feeling pressured to complete everything quickly.
  • Landscaping Synchronization: Fall is also the season when many plants and trees go dormant, which means less disruption to existing ecosystems when clearing or adjusting areas for your pool. Plus, the winter months give ample opportunity to plan any complementary landscaping around it.
  • Budget Benefits: Beginning your planning and prep work early allows for an extended budgeting period, giving you time during the winter months to adjust finances, find deals, or add on any fanciful features like a new pool slide. Trust me, having that extra cushion ensures your finances meet your dream pool vision!

While sipping that pumpkin spice latte, remember that fall is more than just cozy sweaters and bonfires; it is the ideal time for setting the stage for your backyard transformation project.

Evaluating Your Yard’s Landscape

Your backyard is more than a mere patch of green; it is an opportunity to craft the masterpiece that is your pool design. However, before diving in with our dreams of designing and floating toys, we must assess our available space carefully and adequately plan.

  • Slope and Grading: Have you noticed parts of your yard may appear higher or lower than others? This is the natural slope or grade of your land, giving some areas more elevation. While gentle slopes can add character to infinity pool designs (for instance, infinity pools!), too steep areas may need leveling out. With Sapphire Landscaping at your side, dealing with such slopes becomes easy!
  • Discover and Identify Natural Features: Is a beautiful oak sitting right where your pool might go, or is a small brook running along one side? Recognizing these natural features is essential. While some might provide unique design touches that add special design touches, others might need to be relocated or considered when planning your pool’s placement.
  • Sunlight and Shade Patterns: Make tracking where the sun hits your yard an engaging exercise—watch where the sunlight falls throughout the day! Pools in areas that receive lots of sunshine may naturally warm up, while shaded spots could provide cooling relief—perfect for Michigan’s varied climate! However, finding that ideal balance might require searching for one that offers both.
  • Ground Composition: Remember what we discussed about soil stability? Dig a little deeper (pun intended!) and uncover various soil types in your yard, from clayey patches to sandy zones—each presents unique challenges when installing pools. A thorough assessment ensures no unpleasant surprises during the digging phase.
  • Existing Structures and Utilities: Knowing where existing structures and utilities, such as sheds, patios, or underground utilities, are located is vital when planning where your pool should go, both from an aesthetic and safety perspective.

Consider this stage as getting to know your yard intimately. Every detail matters, and Sapphire Landscaping’s expertise as an Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder ensures you will receive guidance that provides a functional yet beautiful pool!

Fall Yard Preparation for Pool Installation in Spring

Clearing and Cleaning: The First Steps

Before diving headfirst into our dreams of diving boards and pool slides, there’s some hard work we need to do first: clearing away vegetation to prepare your yard for a pool. Doing this in autumn could save a great deal of trouble later. Let’s break this down:

  • Leaf Cleanup: Like me, Michiganians love its beautiful fall colors—especially Michigan pool builders who appreciate Michigan’s vibrant fall hues—yet leaves can quickly accumulate on the ground, becoming obstacles in building pools and more stable surfaces. Raking up leaves and clearing them away regularly is essential; decomposed leaves can alter soil acidity levels significantly and reduce stability over time.
  • Branch and Debris Removal: Look around you. Do you see any dead branches or shrubbery that pose any threats? Now is the time to clear it all out; this leaves your Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder with an uncluttered canvas and may help avoid costly winter storm damage.
  • Weed Control: I understand weeds can be frustratingly persistent. Tackle them now before their full spring bloom to make pool installation smoother later. Clearing away those pesky weeds now means less work for future pool installations!
  • Testing and Preparing Soil: Testing and preparing soil are critical steps toward creating the perfect garden! Sapphire Landscaping offers soil tests to check the pH and composition of your soil to assess if any treatment may be required before the big dig begins.
  • Staking Out the Pool Area: Now the real fun begins! Mark out the potential pool site using stakes. This gives a visual representation and allows any necessary adjustments before breaking ground.
  • Consulting with Utility Companies: No one wants us to hit any gas lines, cut off cable TV service, or disrupt TV shows! By consulting with utility companies, we ensure we know where all those hidden lines lie.

By taking these clearing and cleaning steps in the fall, you are prepping your yard and setting up the installation process more efficiently in the spring! And rather than starting from scratch, when spring comes along, you and Sapphire Landscaping (Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder) can dive straight in, making your dreams of having a swimming pool come true!

Soil Testing and Ground Leveling

Let me tell you a little secret: while those shimmering pool waters may catch your attention first, the real magic occurs below the surface. Proper groundwork (pun intended!) ensures your pool remains stunning for years. So, what exactly are soil testing and leveling all about? Let’s find out.

  • Why Soil Testing Is Crucial: Before commencing excavation work, we must know exactly what we deal with. A soil test reveals your yard’s pH, type, and consistency. Knowing these details allows us to ensure a secure foundation for our pool foundation—something Sapphire Landscaping takes pride in doing!
  • Spotting Drainage Issues: Have you seen those pools that seem on the verge of overflowing after heavy rainfall? Insufficient yard drainage might be the cause of that. We can identify and address potential water collection spots by inspecting your land accordingly.
  • Leveling Your Pool: Leveling doesn’t just involve ensuring your pool doesn’t tilt, although that is crucial! Achieved correctly, leveling ensures even water pressure across its walls and keeps inflatable flamingos from drifting toward one side during their summer flotation sessions.
  • Working with Nature: Michigan may have its share of hills and slopes. Still, our Sapphire Landscaping team knows how to work with the terrain of your yard’s natural topography—sometimes, even adding slight slopes can enhance its aesthetics and functionality.
  • Safety Checks: A thorough survey must be performed for underground utility lines before undertaking major leveling work. As we’ve covered before, safety must always come first!

But while your pool’s crystal-clear waters may take center stage, the work behind the scenes ensures its beauty. We can set a solid foundation for years of poolside memories by hiring our Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder team!

Optimal Pool Positioning

“Where should I put my pool?” This age-old question often pops up during Michigan summer days; seemingly, any spot could make a great place to dip! Unfortunately, however, pinpointing an ideal location takes both art and science. Let me go through some considerations you should consider when making this decision.

  • Sunlight Exposure: I don’t know about you, but nothing beats sunbathing by the pool with a good book! To maximize these moments of sun-soaking fun, consider which areas of your yard receive more sun; not only will this keep your pool warmer, but it will reduce shivers when finally diving in to take a dip!
  • Stay Clear of Trees: While an oak tree might provide welcome shade, consider what the leaves will do come autumn—you may end up fishing out more leaves than expected! Additionally, over time, tree roots could become curious and creep closer and closer to your pool area, causing potential damage.
  • From Inside Your House: Picture yourself sipping coffee while gazing upon the shimmering waters of your pool as it sparkles—now, that would be nice! Situating it so it can be seen from critical areas within your home is aesthetically pleasing and allows you to watch for when kids are swimming nearby!
  • Wind Factors: Michigan winds can be highly unpredictable. To minimize water evaporation and keep those BBQ napkins from blowing away, locate your pool in an area protected from strong wind gusts. This will keep water evaporation to a minimum.
  • Accessibility: Before choosing your pool location, carefully consider the path that leads there from home. Easy access will be especially crucial if snacks and drinks for a pool party are to be brought from inside your house. Sapphire Landscaping advises considering future additions like patios or decks so your space flows seamlessly.

So, while hiring an Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder and diving in right away may be exciting, selecting an optimal site truly pays off—you’ll thank yourself when lounging poolside next summer!

Planning for Utility Access

Let’s get down to business. While it can be easy to be taken in by visions of lazing around a pool all summer, we need to discuss some behind-the-scenes work that must be completed before installing an in-ground custom pool. Utility planning should always come first when considering pool installations!

  • Locate Existing Utilities: Before we start digging, it’s essential that we understand what’s buried underfoot—that means locating existing gas, water, electric, and other utility lines such as yours. Not only is this to avoid accidents—and believe me when I say cutting an electrical wire wouldn’t make my day any better—but it can also provide important insight into where new lines might need to be run safely if necessary.
  • Electrical Power for Pool Equipment: When it comes to pool equipment, electricity is necessary for everything from pumps, heaters, and lights to heaters and filters. Planning out how you will get electricity to these components, as well as where they can be best placed so they’re accessible but don’t become an eyesore, is critical to successfully managing a swimming pool.
  • Water Source Access: Filling up a pool requires careful consideration, starting from where we source our supply—an outdoor tap or alternative source. Remember: the closer to its inception it is located, the quicker and simpler the fill-up will be!
  • Drainage: Drainage is vital to any pool area; proper drainage ensures any excess water from both within and from natural sources like rain has somewhere to go, preventing your pool area from turning into the next Great Lake after an unexpected downpour.
  • Gas Lines for Pool Heaters: When considering heating your pool with gas heaters, planning for their safe and efficient installation is paramount. On cooler Michigan evenings, you’ll be glad that you put aside time to ensure everything runs smoothly!

Sapphire Landscaping of Oakland County offers custom pool installation with an eye for every detail, so when you hire them as your Oakland County in-ground pool builder, you know you’re working with people with a keen understanding of every element that goes into crafting the ideal pool experience, from its first dive through nighttime swimming and everything running smoothly behind the scenes. Next time you turn on your pool lights or turn up your heater, give a nod to all those involved with utility planning who made this all possible!

Selecting and Pre-Ordering Materials

When creating the ideal pool oasis, choosing materials plays an integral role. Consider this: the color and texture of tiles, decking that cools underfoot during hot summer days, and the shimmer of pool water against a beautiful background can all create stunning visuals like an intricate puzzle to be revealed with unexpected results. But before I wax too poetic about the matter, let’s talk nuts and bolts first.

  • Tiles and Coping: Selecting tiles that reflect your desired aesthetic is integral to setting the mood for a pool environment and looking for a Mediterranean flair. A mix of azure blue or terracotta tiles may do just the trick or minimalist neutral tiles might provide the look. Coping is like the icing on the cake; its selection will define the edge of your pool, so choose wisely!
  • Decking Materials: From classic concrete to modern composite materials or even natural stone, pool decks should look good and provide comfort and safety. You want a material that’s slip-resistant yet still pleasing to the eyes—something like classic concrete would do nicely.
  • Pool Finishes: Your selection of plaster, aggregate finishes, or tiles for the pool’s finish has an impactful influence on its look, feel, and longevity, as this will be what touches you every time you dip! Keep texture and comfort top of mind.
  • Additional Features: Now is the time to select water features, slides, and diving boards. Hence, they are complete and have all the necessary components ready.
  • Pre-Ordering Is Vital: Given supply chain disruptions (thanks to global events), pre-ordering has never been more crucial. Starting early in the fall will ensure everything will be ready when it’s time to break ground.

Here’s some advice from your Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder: Always, always order extra tiles; trust me, having some on hand could save a great deal of headaches later!

Sapphire Landscaping will assist in the selection process to ensure you find materials that reflect your vision while standing the test of time. After all, your pool should stand as a lasting testament to style, fun, and relaxation!

Budgeting and Scheduling: Get Ahead of the Spring Rush

Budgeting. Some may take offense at hearing this term, but budgeting can help free your dreams while keeping both feet firmly planted on solid ground. Consider budgeting as getting VIP access to the most fabulous pool party ever held in Oakland County. Here’s some insight from an in-ground custom pool builder:

  • Establish a Clear Budget: Start with the basics—how much are you comfortable investing without straining yourself too thinly? Be realistic here: while pools may seem luxurious, peace of mind is worth more than any pool can ever cost! Don’t forget about costs like permits, materials, labor, and any exciting extras you’ve got your eye on.
  • Hidden Costs: Unexpected expenses can sneak up on you unexpectedly; from extra soil prep than anticipated to changing your mind midway about specific features or Mother Nature throwing her curveball with unexpected weather delays, it is wise to set aside 10%–20% of your total budget as a “just in case” buffer for those unexpected costs that pop up unexpectedly.
  • Booking Your Pool Build in Fall: Booking your pool build during the fall can bring many advantages. Suppliers offer off-season discounts, and with fewer projects in our pipeline, we can give it our full attention without feeling like everyone is competing for one at once in springtime. Plus, you avoid the spring rush!
  • Set Your Timeline: By starting early with construction planning, your pool could be ready for use by the first heatwave of next summer. Pacing matters! Excavation, lining, filling—we at Sapphire Landscaping know all of these steps, like dance moves.
  • Why wait?: With demand for pool builds soaring, materials and contractor availability may become scarce during peak times. Acting now to stay one step ahead ensures smoother sailing (or swimming?) when construction commences.

So grab that calculator and calendar, and let’s make your pool dream into a plan! By planning for next summer’s pool fun, you will find yourself floating lazily around it, drink in hand. Cheers to that!


Imagine this: next summer, while others scramble for an Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder, you are lounging poolside, enjoying yourself, and feeling proud that you took action to prepare your yard this fall.

Planning for a pool doesn’t just save money or help beat the rush; it ensures everything runs smoothly when the time comes. Laying down foundations (quite literally!) for something that adds value to your home and joy to your life, taking your vision and giving it every possible start towards becoming a reality.

“To proactive planning, serene poolside days, and foresight that makes future-you dance.” As the leaves fall and the air becomes crisp, it may seem strange to think about sunny pool days right now, yet as your Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder, we urge you to dive in headfirst now with all your passion. Let us be your Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder if necessary! With us by your side as an Oakland County in-ground custom pool builder, now is the time! Let us help make this project a splash next summer; we will be ready and waiting with eagerness to assist!

Call to Action

Are you eager to turn those autumn dreams into the oasis of next summer’s oasis? Don’t wait until spring arrives; starting now will set you up for an easier and faster pool installation in Oakland County. Sapphire Landscaping can assist in finding you your ideal custom in-ground pool builder!

Just call Sapphire Landscaping now if your dream pool awaits! From initial sketches to completion, our expert landscape designers are here to guide every step of the process and turn your vision into reality. Together, we’ll discover a future where relaxation awaits in your backyard! Don’t wait any longer: let the end of backyard relaxation await you!

We look forward to being your guide every step of the way; giving us a call now will put a lot within reach!


Design Ideas for a Custom Swimming Pool by Sapphire Landscaping

Design Ideas for a Custom Swimming Pool by Sapphire Landscaping

Adding a custom swimming pool to your home can increase its value and provide many beautiful memories for your loved ones. While a custom gunite swimming pool is a significant investment, you can choose many design options to get exactly what you want.  A professional swimming pool contractor can create a custom pool for your family that suits your home’s aesthetic and ties in with your style. Here are some design components to consider when imagining your luxury swimming pool.

Size and Shape

The size and shape of your swimming pool are limited to the actual space available in your yard. Traditional shapes are available, like rectangular and oval, or you can create more creative shapes, like a palm tree. You can consult a professional swimming pool contractor to find a size appropriate for your backyard space.  A custom swimming pool will allow for whatever type of terrain or size of yard you have and can accommodate an uneven or complicated landscaping structure.

Interior Designs

Inside your luxury custom pool, you can have the most fun and be creative with colors and textures. The interior will make the most impact on the appearance of your pool and the most significant contribution to the look of your backyard. You can choose from many materials and products to accomplish the look of your dreams, including glass tile, colored/stained concrete, clay tiles, and more. A professional landscaping company can educate you on the many materials available to combine a couple or multiple materials to create a unique pool & spa design.


Choosing a color that compliments your outdoor setting will make your entire backyard come to life and will help to evoke the atmosphere you wish to create. The color of the tiles, both on the inside and the outer edge can be matched or complimented with the pool floor and can be utilized to affect the appearance of the water when the pool is complete. Whether you wish to create the feeling of swimming in the aqua waters of the Caribbean or you want it to appear darker, more like a lake, the color of your swimming pool will contribute the most to your overall design.

Unique Features

You can choose from many water features to boost the appearance and experience of your swimming pool and make it truly unique. A professional can design a waterfall made from rock materials to look like a natural component, water spouts that shoot out water and add a fun touch, or even bubbling areas that make pool & spa users feel like they’re swimming in a hot spring. LED lights can be added to provide a fun atmosphere at night.

Design Ideas for a Custom Pool by Sapphire Landscaping – Oakland County Luxury Custom Pool Contractor

Although deciding on all of these design elements may seem to take a lot of time, when finished, the colors, tiles, embellishments, and water features all add up to a genuinely breathtaking custom pool that you will be “wowed” by for years to come.

For more information about luxury custom swimming pool & spa design options, or if you are considering installing a custom pool, call Sapphire Landscaping today!

Call Sapphire Landscaping at 248-469-0900

Oakland County Luxury Custom Pool Contractor - Sapphire Landscaping



Inground Swimming Pools vs Above-ground Swimming Pools

Inground Swimming Pools vs Above-ground Swimming Pools

There are pros and cons to both inground and above-ground pools, and the right choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some things to consider:

Inground pools:

  • Pros: Inground pools are more durable and long-lasting than above-ground pools, as they are built into the ground and less susceptible to damage from wind or other external factors. They also tend to be more aesthetically pleasing, as they can be seamlessly integrated into the surrounding landscape.
  • Cons: Inground pools are generally more expensive to install and maintain than above-ground pools, and construction can be more time-consuming. They also may require more maintenance, such as regular cleaning and chemical balancing.

Above-ground pools:

  • Pros: Above-ground pools are generally more affordable to install and maintain than inground pools and can be set up relatively quickly. They are also more portable and can be taken down or moved to a different location.
  • Cons: Above-ground pools are less durable than inground pools, may not last as long as they are exposed to the elements, and are more prone to damage. They also may not be as aesthetically pleasing as inground pools, as they are not integrated into the surrounding landscape.

Whether an inground or above-ground pool is better depends on your budget, desired features, and maintenance preferences.

Sapphire Landscaping can design and install a custom swimming pool & spa to perfectly match your backyard space and create a truly unique and beautiful outdoor environment.  Contact us today to start turning your dream into your reality.

Custom Pools in Rochester: The Top 8 Pool Shapes


When designing custom pools in Rochester, it is essential to consider: size, shape, and style. Here are the eight popular pool shapes and tips to help you decide which design is best for your property.

  • Infinity Pools

Infinity pools are made to fool the viewer into thinking the collection flows right over the edge. The viewer doesn’t see the pool water flowing over the pool edge and into a hidden trough, where it’s recycled back into the pool. Homes with an incredibly fantastic view are the best candidates for an infinity pool.

  • Perimeter-Overflow Pools

A perimeter-overflow pool is an optical illusion that uses water to mimic mirrors and flat deck surfaces. The pool water overflows into a trough in the deck, which acts like a 360-degree vanishing edge. When viewed overhead from afar, the pool looks like a flat surface on the deck or patio.

  • Rectangle and Lap Pools

If you have a traditional home or one with many luxurious features, a classic rectangle pool is one of the best options because the straight lines won’t overpower the property’s elegance. Those who prefer clean lines most often choose classic rectangles or lap pools as their design choice.

  • Freeform Pools

Freeform pools are organically shaped as opposed to a rectangle pool’s clean, straight lines. They are often used on a property surrounded by natural beauty, like mountains and streams. Freeform pools are also used when a homeowner wants to install a collection in an asymmetrical space that is already developed.

  • Geometric Pools

Geometric pools involve clean lines but are more complicated than the classic rectangle. Geometric pools use squares, rectangles, triangles, and other sharp-edged shapes to create the effect. They are best for contemporary homes and those seeking a look that resembles haute couture.

  • Custom Pool Shapes

Depending on the desired location and space available, some homes require a pool shape beyond typical designs. A custom pool design is unique to the homeowner and the pool designer. Such custom pool shapes may include palm trees, monograms, and wind conditions around a particular space and object.

  • Kidney Pools

You see kidney-shaped pools in many suburban homes because this pool design offers a soft, retro look appropriate for many architectural styles. Many homeowners and pool designers use the kidney shape as a foundation for the pool and build off with more elaborate features, like a fountain, water slide, glass tile, and colorful plaster.

  • Grecian and Roman Pools

Grecian and Roman-style pools are like a more elaborate version of a rectangle pool. Grecian pools have cut corners that form an octagon, and Roman-style pools have stylized corners and rounded edges. Both pool designs blend with a variety of homes.

Custom Pools in Rochester: The Top 8 Pool Shapes

When considering the shape of custom pools in Rochester, you must consider the harmony between the pool and your property. The collection should complement your outdoor space, not overpower or confuse it.

If you are ready to begin designing your custom pool in Rochester, contact Sapphire Landscaping by calling  248-469-0900.