By Ben Lasseter
When outsiders think of Texas, they very often assume that it’s flat as a pancake with no topographical distinctions to consider. That may be true in some parts of our big state, but where I live and work in the vicinity of Austin, there are areas that offer great views and have attracted developers who are intent on using those prospects to full advantage.
The spec home featured in this article is an example of this trend: It’s in Westlake Hills, a small neighborhood within Austin’s city limits that affords some amazing views of
By Shane LeBlanc
This is the story of the rebirth of a pool – and then some.
It all started when I was contacted by a homeowner who was in what I’d call perfectly reasonable distress: His swimming pool was a mess, he told me, surrounded by cracked decking, a crumbling slide structure and a deteriorating fireplace. He’d already spent a bundle on piers and other fixes recommended by engineers, hoping to
By Tanr Ross
As a designer, I am quite familiar with projects that involve a good bit of give and take between me and my clients. You know how it goes: the typical process of success by approximation as you work through sets of possibilities and navigate around a couple dead ends before a design is approved and accepted.
In a WaterShapes article earlier this year, for instance, I wrote about the ordeal of developing seven distinct
By David Tisherman
‘In my observation,’ wrote David Tisherman in his Details column for the August 2006 edition of WaterShapes, ‘steps tend to be afterthoughts and are seldom fully considered. But I’ve always taken them seriously because I see them as prime gathering places where people sit, move in and out of the water and in general spend a great deal of time.’
‘Children also jump from the steps into the deeper water and
By Brian Van Bower
Of all the design trends that have taken hold in watershaping through the past ten years, the one that leads us to work with plenty of slot-edge, perimeter-overflow systems may well be my favorite.
I’ve done them partway and all the way around pools and spas; I’ve run them up against all sorts of materials, from poured concrete to incredibly beautiful varieties of stone; and, most of all, I’ve appreciated the skill that goes into installing them and making these water-in-transit
By Barry Justus
For most residents of southeastern Canada, the winter of 2013/2014 was memorable for off-the-hook low temperatures, plenty of snow and lots of discomfort. For me and my crew, however, what we’ll recall most is how hard we worked right through the teeth of the inclement weather to make a huge project deliverable by its May 2014 deadline.
As was reported in the first article of this
By Barry Justus
Living and working on a part of the globe where the winters are severe is almost balanced by how hospitable the weather generally can be for the rest of the year.
That, of course, is something we count on as watershapers in the Canadian marketplace: The joy of leaving winter weather behind is something our clients fully appreciate, so much so that they’re willing to go the distance with
By Matt Wilson
It was a great project: The client called us in to look at a sloping backyard for which his one and only wish was an environment that would be “organic and pre-existing” – that is, a composition that looked as though it had been there forever, long before the adjacent home entered the picture.
That sort of look is our stock in trade at Outdoor Republic, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based firm that specializes in the use of artificial rock. As is often the case, we became involved after the homeowner had
By Mike Farley
Once U.S. designers and builders “discovered” vanishing edges – probably at some point in the 1980s, although the look emerged long before then with some forward-thinking architects and watershapers – we’ve never let this highly visual design detail go.
I use these edge effects in my designs all the time, and setting them up in the best way possible has