Cody Pools Named as the #1 Pool Builder in the Nation for the 9th Year in a Row!

Cody Pools has been named as the #1 Pool Builder in the nation by Pool and Spa News Magazine in their list of Top 50 Pool Builders for 2021.

This marks the 9th year in a row that Cody Pools has won the award, including 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and now 2021.

“It is with great pride that I am pleased to announce Cody Pools is the #1 pool builder in the nation for the 9th year in row. This would not be possible without the great team we have” states Mike Church, President & CEO of Cody Pools. “2020 was a very challenging year having to deal COVID-19 and working from home. Great job! Everyone should be proud of themselves.”, he adds.

Pool and Spa News Magazine, published by Hanley Wood, LLC is the largest publication in the swimming pool and hot tub industry. Each year, the magazine names the Top 50 pool builders in residential construction.

The Top 50 are a prestigious line up of the pool industry’s best performers and provide a good example of how to run a successful building company. Criteria for choosing the Top 50 include revenue, staff, web presence, industry and community involvement.

Winning companies are featured in the June 3rd electronic & print issue of Pool and Spa News Magazine, available here:

About Cody Pools
Cody Pools was established in 1994 and has been the Nation’s #1 Pool Builder for 9 years in a row, having built over 15,000 swimming pools.

Established in 1994 and based in the greater Austin, Texas area, Cody Pools has 8 locations in Texas & 1 location in Florida, serving the greater Austin, San Antonio, Killeen, Waco, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston and Tampa areas.

Cody Pools is an Association of Pool & Spa Professionals Certified Pool Builder and an A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau. For more information, please visit and to learn more today.

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Ways to Cozy Up Your Backyard for Autumn

It’s official, fall is here. Today marks the first day of the fall for this crazy year of 2020. Enjoying our homes to the fullest has never been such a priority in our lives as this year has. This fall, we want to provide some tips on how to make your backyard cozy and comfortable as we head into the winter and the holidays. A few simple additions can really make it more enjoyable for the upcoming months.

Add a fire pit: Fire gives the perfect atmosphere for a chilly night and brings everyone together for great conversation while still enjoying the outdoors. In addition to providing heat to keep you and your guests comfortable it’s the perfect way to make a yummy smore’s treat.

Hang string lights: Hanging string lights throughout the seating area creates a wonderful atmosphere. It gives a warm glow which provides a relaxing and comforting ambiance to the cooler season. Not only does it provide a great vibe to your gathering area in your backyard it also provides safety. Lighting to see the walkways make sure you and your guests stay safe and don’t trip over anything they can’t see in the dark.

Add some new cushions and pillows: Add some fall colors with new cushions and pillows in your seating area. Not only will this provide comfort and warmth but will bring some great color and pop to the area.

Add an area rug: This can also provide some great color and add energy to the area. It also brings comfort and warmth. Outdoor rugs are ideal as they won’t create mildew and mold from the outside moisture.

Candles: Candles always an additional comfortable and relaxing ambiance. So simple and easy, it’s a must.

Decor: Add some fun pumpkin or fall décor to add to the feel. Or add in some potted plants to sit next to. Any additional details you can add to provide a fall feel and provide comfort will pay off and help you enjoy your backyard to its fullest this fall.

Updating your backyard throughout the year can help you enjoy your space to the fullest and this time of year is especially fun for us Florida folks. Get outdoors, enjoy the cooler area and make your backyard more comfortable and enjoyable than ever.

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Adding the right landscaping to your backyard swimming pool can provide a feeling of relaxation and comfort. It can add a bit more privacy and lighten the mood to make your backyard feel like a true oasis. With the right native plants, it can be a low maintenance and low cost job if you do it right. We do however recommend a professional landscaper to help if you aren’t into the work, but if you’re up for it, there is no reason why you couldn’t tackle some beautiful landscaping to your pool and surrounding area. Below we provide to great tips to get you moving in the right direction.

First thing we suggest is to think about the function of your landscape design. Take some time to consider and think about these important elements before moving forward.

Safety – If you have kids or pets, or often entertain your friends and family, safety is an important factor to consider. Think of fencing, non-slip surfaces and certain lighting needs as part of your design elements.

Privacy – Can you see into your neighbors dining room or even enjoy what they watch on their evening tv station? Privacy may be something to consider when you have a pool or use your backyard often. Fences are a typical first thought but vines, larger tree, shade structures etc. can also be a beautiful design option.

Function & Aesthetics – An easy pool entrance and clear deck is important to consider, so removing any large obstacles such as boulders, rocks, tree roots, sharp edges, etc. Also consider your aesthetics by reviewing your pools shape and theme type you are wanting overall. For example, are going for the natural, tropical, oasis, round edges look or more of a modern, sharp edge, clean look? Consider lighting, foliage and fencing when deciding on your theme.


Low-maintenance plants and foliage

When choosing foliage consider plants that require little to no maintenance. You don’t want to take up a lot of your time trimming, fertilizing and cleaning up after your pool landscaping. Consider native plants to your area and plants that love full sun, this will also help reduce maintenance and care of the plants.

Ensure you don’t select foliage that shed leaves, seeds, or other debris that can fall into your pool. Also, fruit trees and other insect-attracting plants can bug swimmers. If you’re starting from scratch with your plant landscaping, know the types of shrubs, flowers and trees that do best in your region.

Stick with simple, easy to maintain plants.

Check out what USDA hardiness zone you live in, write down the plants and trees that thrive in your zone, and choose those that fit your desired look.


Children and privacy tend to be the main reasons pool owners add a fence. The type of fence you chose depends on aesthetic preference, but options include aluminum, wood, and PVC, which can be molded into a variety of styles. Know whether or not you have a saltwater or chlorine pool before adding a fence, because salt can corrode some fencing materials. For an extra decorative touch, vines like jasmine, trumpet vine, and bougainvillea work well to weave over fences.


Lighting not only adds beauty but, more importantly safety. From light paths, to tree lights, spotlights and even string patio lights can provide a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere to your backyard swimming pool.

For energy efficiency, low-voltage LED systems can be used for landscape lighting to light stairs or paths. Solar lights are also easy to maintain and will remain lit into the evening around the pool. Other lighting options can include fire elements like fire pits, bowls, and more for entertaining and heat. It’s an active, breathing source of light that doubles as a stunning accent piece.

Shade Structures

Many pool owners add gazebos, arbors, pergolas, pool houses, and other shade structures to pool areas. Pool houses and guest cabanas are also popular options and give swimmers a place to relax when they’re not in the pool. They also provide shade, dry areas from rain, and provide great cook-out/eating areas as well.

Stone walkways

Make a stone slab walkway and bring the grass and deck together in a beautiful pattern. This can be as elaborate or as simple as you choose. You only need enough stones to reach from the door to your pool. And they help keep your pool deck and water cleaner.

Comfort, style, convenience and fun are all part of the landscaping decision process. So enjoy an make educated decisions so you can enjoy it for years to come.

For some inspiration, check out our Pool Gallery.

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So, the time has finally come! You are ready to add a new in-ground pool to your backyard, but is your backyard suitable for a pool? Are you even able to get a pool installed legally and correctly with the size and shape of your yard? Well we are here to offer three factors that will determine whether or not you have a good yard for a swimming pool.

Is there easy access to your backyard?

In order to install a pool there needs to be reasonable access into your yard. Large machines and materials will need to access your yard with ease.

Some limiting factors include but are not limited to:

  • Are there low hanging power or utility lines?
  • Can trucks and equipment drive in with ease?
  • Are there fences or walls that will limit access? – in many cases fencing can be temporarily removed in sections.
  • Will you need access through a neighbor’s property or an alternative entrance to the backyard?

What is the layout of your yard?

Some questions that need to be answered and discussed with a designer:

  • Is the pool site location on an angle or sloped?
  • Is there a lot of space around the site location? Or is it a smaller area?
  • Where is the location of the septic system and leach field?
  • Are there trees located in or around the pool site location?
  • Where are the locations of your sprinkler system? Are they in the way?
  • Is there an area of water run-off during hard rain that will erode or potentially damage your pool?

What is underground?

This is a big consideration and something that needs to be considered BEFORE beginning the dig. Often test digs are done to see if there are any concerns or issues.

Some potential problems or concerns include the following:

  • Hitting large boulders underground. Some can be moved or broken up. Some cannot.
  • High water table or areas that are habitually damp (springtime etc.).
  • Large amounts of poor-quality fill (whether it be construction fill such as wood, tree stumps, cement blocks, etc. that was buried when the builder built the home and graded the property)
  • Rock ledge. This is a game changer and needs to be discussed further with your designer.

So, once you schedule your free estimate here, and meet with your designer, these are good questions to discuss with them. Be sure to ask questions about backyard access, your yards layout and what could be potentially underground, and be sure to get clear answers from your designer. There are also other things to consider but these three are the biggest issues and/or concerns when you are considering a swimming pool in your backyard. Challenger Pools is here to answer any questions you may have whether you are ready for a pool today or a few years from now.

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Pool Art

‘The Swimming Pool” by Leandro Erlich

Art can be viewed in so many ways and below we show just how many different ways we can showcase ‘pool art’ and the amazing artists behind them.

First, we start with “The Swimming Pool”, as a permanent art installation that’s also an optical illusion and an experiential work at the same time. Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich created his art in a courtyard with a limestone deck frame. Submerse yourself in this pool but you won’t get wet in this one!

Next, we feature artist Ania Amador as she transforms an ordinary swimming pool into a stellar basin that is out of this world. Created as a commission, the outer space scene is painted in the base of the sprawling pool and adjacent jacuzzi. The resulting artwork is both massive in scale and impressive in it’s attention to detail.

Astronaut pool painting by Ania Amador

Moving on we come to a one-of-a-kind pool art. Within a community swimming pool in Los Angeles, non-profit arts and educational organization machine project has put on its first underwater art show. The work of 18 creatives has been shown in a sub-aquatic setting, meters below the surface of the water.

For the exhibition ‘snorkel dreams’, machine project invited 18 creatives to install their work inside the Annenberg Community Beach House pool in LA. While underwater, visitors were able to view paintings, ceramics, photographs, video, blown glass, a sunken mannequin, and an architectural model — among a host of other works in various mediums.

Snorkel Dreams

Participating artists included: Andrew Cannon, Jessica Cowley, Bob Dornberger, Emily Joyce, Alice Könitz, Candice Lin, Becca Lofchie, Johnston Marklee, Jennifer Moon & Laub, Paul Pescador, Jennifer Rochlin, Suné Woods, Kim Ye, Patricia Yossen, Mallen & Gray, and Machine Project with Grace Eunchong.

Many call tattoos body art, and it wouldn’t be any different in your pool. Hence, pool art. Now you can get your pool a tattoo or you can simply call it a pool mat. Its removal and adds beautiful dimension and color to your backyard oasis. It comes in many different designs to suit your style.

We finish with a beautiful acrylic painting by Eric Zener capturing an underwater moment.

Eric says, “My work is about psychological turning points and transformations and risk, taking that proverbial leap of faith, balanced with that quest for finding refuge, finding quietness and stillness and escapism, » he said. « Some [paintings] are very, very introspective escapism. Some are just the joy, the pool full of people in this temporary oasis. The 10 minutes when you hit the water for the first time and the smell of sun tan lotion hits your nose. You really don’t think about anything for those first few minutes.”


READ >>> Preparing Your Pool for a Hurricane

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What Type of In-ground Pool is Right for Me?

There are three different types of in-ground pools that are offered in Florida. Below we inform you on what each provides or doesn’t provide for you and your families needs.


Concrete in-ground pools are the most common. A concrete swimming pool is an entirely customized pool solution. You can install it virtually anywhere and provide you with limitless design options. You can select the depth, shape, and size, and incorporate features like steps, vanishing edges, beach entries and much more. Finishing choices include vinyl lining, colored quartz, ceramic tiles, natural pebble and a variety of other finishes. Concrete lasts for years, so your maintenance will be minimal.

Concrete and plaster were the first in-ground pool building materials used when residential pools first became popular. Why does it work so well? The plaster shell holds water well, provides stability, and can be re-plastered when needed, providing a longer life. Concrete is durable and porous.

Alternative finishes can be added to concrete or plaster, like tile or stone.  For example, Pebble Tec, a glass option can last about 8 to 12 years! These options can bring a unique artist or natural style to your pool design.


Typically, fiberglass pools are made in factories and delivered to your home. They are offered in specific shapes and sizes, so your options are limited. Steps, spas, and benches are usually pre-formed. They are manufactured from fiberglass-reinforced plastic. They are delivered and ready for installation when they arrive. Fiberglass is a non-porous fiber with a smooth finish to the touch. It prevents algae growth and is very easy to clean. Fiberglass is popular because of its low maintenance benefits and low cost on pool chemicals.

Fiberglass makes the pool-building process quick and easy. However, fiberglass can be more costly. After 10 to 15 years of exposure to sun and chemicals, the fiberglass deteriorates. Re-coating it is not easy because the new coating does not stick easily to the older one.

Vinyl Liner

Vinyl liner swimming pools are the cheapest of your options. Installation typically takes about 3 weeks. Vinyl pools options are also built and offered to you only in certain shapes and sizes. They also offer a range of liner colors and patterns. It is also non-porous, like fiberglass, which reduces algae growth. However, it does offer a few drawbacks. Sharp objects cannot be around the pool as they could potential cut a hole in the liner. The material also deteriorates in time from exposure to the elements, regular use and chemicals and usually needs replacing every 10 years or so. Some liners come equipped with fungus and UV inhibitors, which can extend the life of a vinyl liner from 10 to about 18 years or so.

Pools that are lined with vinyl are built with metal or plastic frames into the ground. Pre-made panels made of plastic, steel, or aluminum are added to the frame, making a form that is then lined with heavy vinyl to form the pool shell.

What Size Backyard is Needed for a Pool?
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Choosing an Interior Color for your Pool

When making decisions while you are in the pool building and design process, choosing an interior color is going to be one of those decisions you need to make. Ask yourself, what ‘look’ do you want for your backyard pool? What water temperature do you want regularly? What is your monthly budget for maintaining and running your new pool? The answers to these questions will play a part in what color you decide for your pools interior.

There are three interior textures you could decide on. Tile, pebble, and plaster. Tile and Pebble are incredibly durable and will last you and your family a long time. Plaster however, more known and used due to its cheaper cost, has a lifespan of 8-10 years. At that point it will start to crack and break apart. You will then need to get it resurfaced or choose another interior textile option.

The traditional and most common colors are blue and white, however more recently there are more non-traditional colors being used to give a unique style and ambiance.

All though, at first glance, it seems that the color of water itself is blue, however it isn’t. Water has no color. Its color is provided by the sky reflecting onto the water. Cool huh?

Selecting a color for inside your pool will make it look unique and different.  Today, many prefer colors like white, gray, black, red, earth-tones or a variation of blue.  Let’s look at some of your color options in detail:


The most common as we all love the look of crystal, clear blue water. As we stated earlier water is clear and reflects off the sky for its subtle blue color, with a blue pool interior it enhances the blue and makes it much more vibrant. This provides a relaxing, tranquil atmosphere.


This is also a very commonly used color for a pool interior. As it’s on the cheaper end of cost, it’s used quite frequently. It’s a perfect color for sunny states as it helps maintain water temperature. A white interior is a beautiful color as it helps bring out any decorative elements or accessories inside your pool. This can be a simply stunning, clean look. However, maintaining a regular cleaning schedule is vital to its beauty.


Surprisingly, gray makes the water in your pool look like sea water. It can be a great choice because it’s helpful with hiding dirt and debris plus it also helps increase the water temperature.


Black is the most suitable color for your pool if you want the water temperature to be higher all year round. The color helps to prolong the use of the swimming pool, and, high in energy savings for heating the pool.   It is one of the most advanced coatings, and with it, you can obtain spectacular designs.


A color that has grown in popularity in the more recent years. Red will provide transparent water that will change its appearance considering the weather and the state of the sky at that time. Depending on the amount of light, as well as the season of the year and time of day, the color variations can change, often providing a warmer atmosphere.

Factors to be considered when choosing your interior pool color include your backyard theme, pool surrounds, water reflection and water temperature, just to name a few.

When people renovate or build, it is common to collect samples of tiles to help decide on color. We highly recommend that when you are choosing your colors you lay it outside in different spots of where your pool will be or beside your current pool if renovating. Review them and observe at different times of the day. Morning and evening can provide different shades and give you a truer sense of what the color will be when you pool is completed.

If you have more questions on how to determine a color for your new pool, contact Challenger Pools today here. We can help you build or renovate your pool and be there for you every step of the way.

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