By Kim Skinner, Que Hales & Doug Latta
Having a beautiful pool with a colored surface, especially one with a quartz or pebble plaster finish, is a popular choice among pool owners, and understandably so. The color adds ambiance to the setting and can make the water wonderfully attractive and inviting. That’s why pool owners are willing to pay extra to have that special color enhance their water and by extension the entire backyard.
With that investment in aesthetics, consumers rightfully expect the attractive appearance they’ve paid for to last a long time. In turn, builders, remodelers, and plasterers are motivated to provide colorfast surfaces that endure the dynamic swimming pool environment. Unfortunately, as we all know, that’s not always the case – colors do sometimes fade.
Because the interior pool surface is such a dominating
By Rick Chafey
Elevated watershapes present challenges you don’t typically encounter on inground projects. That was certainly the case with this ambitious residential installation where the rooftop pool and entryway waterfeatures were all integral to the home’s luxurious, ultra-contemporary design.
We were part of a project team that included a custom homebuilder, a company we had known of for years but had never worked with before because of a long working relationship the company had with another local pool builder. This project was unlike any that the pool company had ever tackled before and was
By William Drakeley
It’s a swimming pool that doesn’t exist anyplace else, one that stretched our skill sets to find creative solutions to surprisingly steep challenges. Last year, the project was awarded the Northeast Swimming Pool Association Outstanding Achievement Award, a source of pride given the project’s high level of difficulty.
The project is located on the Connecticut coast overlooking Long Island Sound on a beautiful 10-acre property in an upscale neighborhood. The house is brand new, built the same time as the pool. We were brought into the process by
By Steve Kenny
As a designer/builder I openly admit that I am completely obsessed with water quality. A big part of why that’s so is because I started out servicing pools. In fact, I really only moved into building them because I was so appalled by how builders in our area completely ignored the treatment side of the equation.
It was so bad that I’d say the majority of pools we serviced had some form of shortcoming in the system that impacted water quality – undersized filters, only one skimmer, no chemical treatment technology, etc. – all which made
By Jimmy Reed
This was a project that might easily have run off the rails.
First, the glass tile selected by the interior designer wasn’t appropriate for pool applications. It might have been lovely as a backsplash in an interior kitchen or bathroom, but it came with no solid information about its source or pedigree that would have made it a wise choice for use in a critical outdoor application.
Second, the tile was rectangular and, at one-and-a-quarter by five inches, was too big for its intended use as an all-tile finish for a complex pool and spa – particularly given
By Shane LeBlanc
In recent years, I’ve become increasingly focused on landing projects on St. Thomas, St. John and a bunch of other paradisal surface eruptions off the east coast of North America: I like the people, enjoy the climate and truly love the laid-back island culture I find even among the high-end clients who call on me to design their poolscapes.
Quite often, the settings are the far side of spectacular, too, with views of multi-hued coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean stretching out for miles, often interrupted by
By Jason Brownlee
From the start, this project was all about the view: The property sits above Lake Moumelle about 30 minutes outside Little Rock, Ark., in a small town called Roland. The lake serves as the primary reservoir for the state capital, so the waters are as serene and pristine as can be – no fishing, no boats, just thousands of acres of uninterrupted serenity.
We at J. Brownlee Design (Nashville, Tenn.) had been asked to design the exteriors for a new home that was then under construction on the site. The homeowners, a couple with two children, and wanted a space that would be
By Scott Cohen
It’s a class of projects I’m coming across more and more often these days: Clients with homes in new developments want swimming pools and spas for their backyards, but the buildings are so big and consume so much of the available real estate that finding places to put worthy watershapes is a real challenge.
The difficulty, of course, is that these homeowners are just like the owners of larger properties in wanting more than just pools and spas these days: They’re thinking about generous seating and dining areas, outdoor
By Dave Peterson
There are two common options when it’s time to design the wall for a vanishing-edge swimming pool: cut it in or cut it away.
With a cut-in approach, the top of the wall is cut down into the pool so that the water surface extends to the outside edge of the wall – effectively submerging it even when the water is not flowing over the edge. By contrast, a cut-away wall is one where the top of the wall angles down and away from the pool so that the water surface terminates at the inside edge of the wall. This results in the
By Ryan Hughes
This project started with an unexpected phone call.
The clients, who live in Iowa much of the year but have a second home on the water’s edge in Tampa Bay, had spotted a Wall Street Journal article in which a photograph of a swimming pool with a “floating” fire pit had been included. They loved the look and figured they could use it to dress up the poolscape that had come with their Florida retreat – if only they could find a local company to do it!
Looking through the text, she spotted a reference to the fact that we at Ryan Hughes|Design|Build had designed and competed the project that
By Rick Chafey
There are three things I particularly like about this project: The first is that it was a referral through Skip Phillips, a co-founder of Genesis and one of my mentors as I’ve gained experience as a watershaper. He had worked on a project for the clients in Canada, and they asked if he knew of a good pool company in the Phoenix area. Backed up by our portfolio and reputation, Phillips’s recommendation made us the right choice.
The second is that the site had so
By Grant Smith
In the course of my watershaping career, I’ve come to divide remodeling projects into two distinct categories.
The first is what I call cosmetic refurbishing. Here, all a homeowner usually wants is a superficial updating of a pool’s or spa’s appearance or performance through application of a new interior finish, some fresh waterline tile, maybe new coping and decking and, often, new equipment or perhaps a poolside waterfeature. I avoid these projects as energetically as possible because, typically, the challenges are thin and there’s little room for creativity.
The second category encompasses what I call
By Mike Farley
I could easily have done a whole sequence in this video series about materials used to line the insides of pools, spas and other watershapes. From plaster and paint to pebbles and hydraulic terrazzo (and more), there are many paths my clients can take in deciding what to do with interior surfaces.
But really, there’s only one finish I want to discuss as these What Is It? videos hit