Pools & Spas

Gaining an Edge
I've spent a lot of time in the past few years thinking about the things that generate the most interest in what we do as pool builders - and even more time turning those thoughts into designs and effects that meet my customers' desires. Once I started down this path, there was no way to turn back:  There's a market out there at the high end that most pool builders never even approach, and breaking through with these clients takes persistence, skill and talent.  As important, it also takes a willingness to stop looking at pools, spas and waterfeatures in the context of traditions and conventions that just don't line up with the needs or expectations that these customers at the highest levels have these days. These are customers who won't settle for the ordinary.  They won't accept plans that stick
A Classic Restored
With just a few weeks to go before our work was to begin, I took my wife Denise to visit the historic pool at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.  I wanted to take a long look at what was (and may always be) the largest re-plastering job I'd ever landed. As I stood at the edge of what can truly be described as a huge pool, I actually thought for the first time in my career that I'd bitten off more than I could chew:  The surface of the massive U-shaped pool was in terrible shape and dragged down the hotel's otherwise beautiful decor and landscaping.   Yes, it was the kind of prestige job I'd always wanted, but it only took a few minutes for the enormity of what I had undertaken to
Pebbles, Pozzolons & Polymers
One certainly  emerges from all the discussions that have taken place about swimming pool plaster over the past several years:  The product has had plenty of room for improvement. Among the complaints has been that traditional white-plaster pool finishes simply haven't kept pace with the rising expectations of owners, who increasingly want their pools, spas and waterfeatures to be entirely forgiving when their lifestyles limit the time they can spend on maintenance and upkeep.  In that environment, in fact, traditional
Shaping Perfection
When I talk with prospective customers about hillside installations, more often than not I'll find myself saying "A good foundation deserves a great pool" at some point during our conversations. In fact, I view all of my pools as works of art, whether they're installed on a hillside or on flat land.  The design can be a simple rectangle (which in my opinion are some of the most beautiful pools built) or an elaborate oceanscape with all sorts of bells and whistles.  Regardless of location, style or complexity, I build my pools with first-rate foundations engineered for the specific soil conditions, and I give my clients the best pool I possibly can. As I explained in
As Good as It Looks?
How far we've come since the days of the lazy L, the kidney and the rectangle! During the more than 30 years I've been part of the pool industry, I've witnessed mind-boggling advances in the designs of swimming pools, spas and watershapes of all types.  Especially in the past 10 years, the ideas, creativity and workmanship found in residential backyards far surpasses what we saw or even dreamed of 20 or 30 years ago.  Back then, you'd have to go to a movie set or Las Vegas to see the exotic designs we are seeing today. I'd even say that today's designers are turning backyard pool environments into
Classic Rock
If you love rock, New England is a great place to work.  A special combination of geology and the glaciers of the last Ice Age left behind a spectacular legacy of granite formations and scattered countless tons of boulders of all types and descriptions across the landscape from Maine through Massachusetts.   It's the indigenous rock, so it's not too surprising that affluent New Englanders have long chosen granite and other local species to accent their landscaping.  And this is especially true in
Integrity Below Grade
When he was brought in to replace a pool that had failed because of improper construction for the existing soil conditions, David Tisherman knew he’d have to dig deep to come up with a solution – literally. The resulting structural design defines an approach to building in which at least as much thought and care goes into what’s installed beneath a pool or spa as into how the project ultimately will look to the client. Some projects are doomed from the start, and it was pretty obvious when I first laid eyes on what was left of the existing pool that this was one of those cases:  Light-duty construction coupled with a complete lack of consideration of existing soil conditions had resulted in a nightmare for the homeowner – and costly litigation for the contractor. But with every failure comes a chance to succeed, and that’s what we’re working toward in this project, which is about 50% complete as this chapter of the story is being written. Our goal:  taking an utter catastrophe and transforming it to a