In December 2010, WaterShapes published “How to Make Durable Pool Plaster,” an article filled with what I knew about making reliable, discoloration-free pool plaster – including basic information about both proper and improper plastering practices.
It should come as no surprise that, since then, research has continued and our understanding of issues involved in the proper mixing and application of these cementitious finishes has continued to grow.
This article will cover these developments, discussing in greater detail the
I had a college professor who was fond of saying, “There are only two types of concrete in this world: The first is concrete that is cracked, and the second is concrete that is going to crack.”
That’s a good laugh line, but the tough thing about it is that it’s also true. This is why the engineering design procedures for all reinforced concrete (pursuant to ACI 318 and 350, which are the key American Concrete Institute standards for concrete structures) allow for
The lessons we’ve covered in this long sequence of articles have typically revolved around single, key errors and have generally called for commonsense (and often simple) remedies. In the world of pool construction, however, there are situations in which the problems are far more complex, often rising from multiple missteps and clusters of intertwined failures.
This is one of those situations, and it has to do with a basic pool/spa combination in a brand-new housing development. Although the pool contractor charged only $35,000 for the installation, the associated legal
Several years back, the luxury car maker Lexus described its corporate mission as the relentless pursuit of perfection, and I’m willing to step up and say that working with glass tile on the shapely, detailed interior surfaces of swimming pools and spas is just that sort of pursuit.
That’s not saying we hit the mark with placement of every single piece of tile across surfaces that frequently cover thousands of square feet, but we have
This project is wonderful in so many ways that it’s tough to believe our clients could be anything less than perfectly satisfied – but, surprisingly, they’ve had a bone to pick with me.
It’s just gorgeous: A great shape, beautifully detailed tile, a perimeter-overflow system augmented with a vanishing edge, underwater speakers, lush landscaping – a perfect Hawaiian-style plunge for
There are two truths when it comes to swimming pools and heat: Year in and year out, some months are colder than others and, year by year, energy prices tend to rise.
For a facility built around a heated swimming pool, those two truths are powerful drivers of the ongoing cost of staying in operation – and it’s safe to say that seasonal expenses related to keeping the water warm are never far from the minds of
By Kim Skinner
Picture this: You’ve just completed the installation of a beautiful new swimming pool – a real step up for the home and its backyard. The clients had their hearts set on its dark-gray interior finish: They’d heard it would help warm the water on sunny days, and they liked the thought that the pool would look more like a beautiful lagoon than a pale swimming hole.
The plaster crew
In my career, I’ve applied lots of fine finishes to swimming pools, spas, fountains and other types of waterfeatures. Most often we work with glass tile, but we also keep our hands in a variety of ceramic or porcelain tiles, various mosaics and, generally, what most would call classy, top-flight materials.
No two projects are ever quite the same, but the procedures we follow are: In every case, we at Rock Solid Tile (Calabasas, Calif.) end up having to work through imperfections in the concrete shells left for us by builders and their concrete crews – and that’s true even if they’re experienced and have
By Mike Farley
I’ve been working as a watershape designer long enough to have seen big trends emerge and really take hold. It seemed for a while, for example, that vanishing edges came up at some point in just about every initial client conversation.
More recently, I’ve found myself discussing lots of geometric pools – rectangles and various other squared-off perimeters – and that’s great, because it gives us plentiful ways to
By Kim Skinner
Once a new swimming pool is filled with water and turned over to its owners, the designer and builder have completed their work: Let’s assume that the results have met or exceeded the clients’ expectations and that everyone is pleased by the outcome.
If all has truly gone well, little will occur in subsequent weeks to change the general sense of
It’s rare, but it happens: Every once in a while, a client’s desires align perfectly with the capabilities of a watershape designer and builder – so much so that the collaboration becomes a study in how powerful creative harmony can be.
This sort of synergy was a hallmark of the hillside project under discussion here. Early in the process, we were brought aboard to work on an unusually large spa as well as a small
By Mike Farley
It’s not what I’d call a common request these days, but every now and then I come across homeowners who want to be able to sit in the water to enjoy a cool drink or even a meal. It gets hot in Texas, after all, and these folks figured that relaxing under an umbrella around an in-pool table would be a great way to beat the heat.
It’s actually a decent concept, but just as is the case with the stools we sometimes set up for swim-up bars, the designer or builder needs to
Lots of pools built in the 1960s and ’70s and even through the ’80s were surrounded by ribbons of concrete decking of uniform width, all the way around. Frequently, those decks were too narrow to make them of much use for more than walking around the pool: lounge chairs are too long to be set up facing the water, and a poolside table and chairs cover far too much ground to be included.
The solution that runs through the heads of lots of homeowners is simply to