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As a veteran watershape engineer, Dave Peterson has reviewed plans for countless vanishing-edge projects. Along the way, he's developed a preference for a specific approach to angling the top of the edge wall, offering guidance here that applies in nearly every case.
As a veteran watershape engineer, Dave Peterson has reviewed plans for countless vanishing-edge projects.  Along the way, he's developed a preference for a specific approach to angling the top of the edge wall, offering guidance here that applies in nearly every case.
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

When these clients originally made contact, they were after a renovation. But once Ryan Hughes saw the site and the plan and considered what the homeowners really wanted, he persuaded them to start from scratch and work with him in creating the bayfront poolscape of their dreams.
When these clients originally made contact, they were after a renovation.  But once Ryan Hughes saw the site and the plan and considered what the homeowners really wanted, he persuaded them to start from scratch and work with him in creating the bayfront poolscape of their dreams.
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

Presented with great views, willing clients and a nearly blank slate, Rick Chafey took full advantage of the opportunities the site offered while also providing the homeowners with one-of-a-kind details that captured the essence of their ambitions for a new hilltop home.
Presented with great views, willing clients and a nearly blank slate, Rick Chafey took full advantage of the opportunities the site offered while also providing the homeowners with one-of-a-kind details that captured the essence of their ambitions for a new hilltop home.
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

Called in to clean up a mess made by another pool contractor, Grant Smith found that the problems were worse than met the eye. But he still managed to save the day, pulling together a lovely pool, spa and deck that aligned closely with the client's original desires.
Called in to clean up a mess made by another pool contractor, Grant Smith found that the problems were worse than met the eye.  But he still managed to save the day, pulling together a lovely pool, spa and deck that aligned closely with the client's original desires.
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

12 4 farley video artBy 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

The interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton and Jimmy Reed that began in our last edition concludes here with their discussion of an amazing spa and the high-wire act they performed to complete it while finishing the renovation of what was once an oddly inadequate backyard.
The interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton and Jimmy Reed that began in our last edition concludes here with their discussion of an amazing spa and the high-wire act they performed to complete it while finishing the renovation of what was once an oddly inadequate backyard.
An Interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton & Jimmy Reed by Jim McCloskey

The first time I visited this backyard, the pool was complete and beautiful, but there was one discordant detail: Along the far end was a wooden fence that cut off the view. I was there with tile specialist Jimmy Reed, and this wasn’t a feature he mentioned. So, being both polite and sufficiently dazzled by the pool, I didn’t bring up the sore thumb.

The next time I saw the backyard, I immediately figured out that the fence had been a temporary detail: I was there with pool builder Dave Penton, who at the time was

Designing watershapes in locations where electricity and water are scarce and expensive has taught Shane LeBlanc the value, wherever he's working, of focusing on conservation. A case in point is this project -- one in which the client started out as an efficiency skeptic.
Designing watershapes in locations where electricity and water are scarce and expensive has taught Shane LeBlanc the value, wherever he's working, of focusing on conservation.  A case in point is this project -- one in which the client started out as an efficiency skeptic.
By Shane LeBlanc

In recent years, I’ve had the good fortune to tackle a number of watershaping projects in the islands off the coast of eastern North America. From the West Indies to the Caribbean, I’ve learned in pursuing these projects that fresh water and electricity can be amazingly expensive commodities.

These are, of course, settings in which numerous clients want to take advantage of water-on-water views. Trouble is, the vanishing edges that achieve these effects are questionable choices where the energy required to run them is costly; where winds and evaporation

Faced with a blank slate and a design-oriented, home-builder client, Juliet Wood listened closely and created just the sort of backyard fun zone the homeowner wanted for active children -- not to mention a place to entertain friends, work with clients and find herself some relaxation.
Faced with a blank slate and a design-oriented, home-builder client, Juliet Wood listened closely and created just the sort of backyard fun zone the homeowner wanted for active children -- not to mention a place to entertain friends, work with clients and find herself some relaxation.
By Juliet Wood

It may not happen as often as I’d like, but every once in a while a project comes along unexpectedly and turns out to be just fantastic.

In this case, I was referred by a pool builder I didn’t know to a home designer/builder I didn’t know, either. The pool builder had found me via the Internet after the designer/builder had let him know that she was interested in finding a talented pool designer who could help carry her residential projects to a new level.

He’d liked what he’d seen on my web

Brought in on what was originally a simple resurfacing job, Jimmy Reed, Alison Terry and Dave Penton ended up completely reworking this backyard. In Part 1, we look at what it took to convert a sad, old pool into a vibrant, highly textured work of art fully suited to a great setting.
Brought in on what was originally a simple resurfacing job, Jimmy Reed, Alison Terry and Dave Penton ended up completely reworking this backyard.  In Part 1, we look at what it took to convert a sad, old pool into a vibrant, highly textured work of art fully suited to a great setting.
An Interview with Alison Terry, Dave Penton & Jimmy Reed by Jim McCloskey

The project under discussion here is one I’ve followed for several years. I first visited the site with Jimmy Reed, a tile-installation specialist based in Calabasas, Calif., as part of a day-long tour of some of his favorite completed projects as well as a few in progress. At that point, the work on this pool was complete, but nothing substantial had yet been done with the spa, which wasn’t even part of our conversation.

The second time I saw the backyard was several months later: I was on a similar ride-around with pool contractor

11 6 farley video artBy Mike Farley

I’ve written on several occasions that I’m not a fan of setting my pools up for diving in general and particularly not of equipping them with diving boards: Those planks are difficult to fit into beauty-oriented designs, seem old fashioned and create all sorts of technical, safety-related issues in design and construction that I discuss in detail in the video linked below. To me, it’s more than enough to put diving boards in the doghouse.

But many people, including some of my

Wrapping up a four-part series with a look at a project he's been covering detail by detail, Kurt Kraisinger pulls it all together by unveiling the completed poolscape -- and offering some concluding observations on working with clients while keeping an eye on design integrity.
Wrapping up a four-part series with a look at a project he's been covering detail by detail, Kurt Kraisinger pulls it all together by unveiling the completed poolscape -- and offering some concluding observations on working with clients while keeping an eye on design integrity.
By Kurt Kraisinger

As a matter of habit and long practice, my design process for an outdoor environment begins the moment I arrive on site, starting with an assessment of the property’s physical qualities.

Indeed, before I let structures, features and visual details start dancing in my head, I focus on grading, drainage and basic spatial relationships. In my experience, this overview of the practicalities will help drive the design – and allow the aesthetic decisions to flow smoothly into view at the appropriate time.

In the case of the project that’s been under discussion through this string of four articles, for example, my early assessment of

If there's one thing he's learned in completing projects for clients who can afford whatever they want, it's that planning is the key. But before that, notes Ryan Hughes, he needs a design that makes sense, suits the site and gives him every opportunity to pursue both fun and beauty.
If there's one thing he's learned in completing projects for clients who can afford whatever they want, it's that planning is the key.  But before that, notes Ryan Hughes, he needs a design that makes sense, suits the site and gives him every opportunity to pursue both fun and beauty.
By Ryan Hughes

Some of our favorite projects have gotten us involved with an unusual class of clients.

These folks are affluent enough that they travel extensively and own multiple homes in spots around the world – places they’ll stay for stretches ranging from a couple weeks to several months each year. When it comes to developing or remodeling new acquisitions, they’ll set some basic ground rules and step back, leaving the specifics to a trusted firm or individual who assembles a hand-picked

0Poolside waterfeatures are awesome, says Bruce Riley, filling an area with sound and controlling key views into and out of the yard and around the water. Here's a look at ways to assess what clients need from these details -- and address a few issues they might not anticipate. 

 

 

 

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