• Balancing Act - Less is more in this Southern California watershape

    by Karen Erstad February 2004

    Ludwig Miles van der Rohe, one of the most important architects of the 20th century, created a style defined by extreme clarity and simplicity and was known for his use of the aphorism “ less is more.” This is what beautiful pool design is moving toward. This is why this concrete pool and spa by Verdant Custom Outdoors is an AQUA Choice Award winner. This poolscape doesn’t flaunt every feature modern pools can be outfitted with, but instead brings together the ideal...

  • Gene Pool

    by Reid Creager February 2004

    "Never go into business with a relative," the axiom warns — although odds are, whoever said that was unemployed.

    According to the Family Firm Institute's Web site (, the vast majority of all U.S. businesses are family owned, including many major corporations. Further, it's estimated that family businesses generate about half this country's...

  • On The Edge

    by Reid Creager January 2004

    The second of three profiles of Genesis 3's founding partners.

    Skip Phillips is Mr. Vanishing Edge. Period. End of story. Phillips has won international acclaim, specializing in this pioneering and breathtaking field of expertise. He has set the standard for hydraulics in vanishing-edge pools. He's written several articles on hydraulics and vanishing-edge design, and has the design contract for the largest number of vanishing-edge pools in one location at Anse Chastnet in...

  • Time Well Spent

    by Scott Webb January 2004

    We grew up with crayons. We used a pencil to connect dots and make a picture. The first time we saw a computer, someone was using it to play Ping-Pong without a paddle. We just shrugged, went down in the basement and played the game for real.

    But as we got older, and slower, the computer got faster, and smarter. And now we find ourselves unfamiliar with the major driver...

  • Rocky Mountain High-End

    by Reid Creager January 2004

    Vail, Colorado's average altitude is 8,150 feet, a fitting backdrop for its natural and man-made grandeur of dizzying heights. More than a ski playground for the wealthy, it's home to increasing numbers of mountain resort castles with meticulously crafted views that flaunt the boundaries of human ingenuity. In these creations for the uber-rich, no extravagance is too...

  • Twists & Turns

    by Karen Erstad November 2003

    Word of mouth is amazing. When the owner of this pool saw the same pool and spa in a friend's backyard, he had to have them. But the builder, South Lake, Texas-based Southwest Pools, did not want to travel to Abilene to build the replica. Enter Abilene-based Southwest Pools & Spas/A Master Pool Builder. (The two builders are not affiliated.)

    "The owner...

  • An Inside Job

    by Elissa Sard Pollack September 2003

    There aren't many homes in Baltimore's Little Italy neighborhood with indoor swimming pools. Anyone familiar with urban living in Baltimore knows that typical homes there are long, narrow row houses. Even the street where pool builder Bob Spero first met his client John Guerriero is dominated by domiciles no more than 15 feet wide.

    The building where Spero,...

  • Warming Up To Heaters

    by AQUA Editors August 2003

    When visualizing the clear blue pool they'll soon have in their backyard, many prospective pool owners imagine diving into cool, refreshing water on a hot summer day. Few consider the shock of plunging into a chilly 65-degree pool. But that's what they may encounter if they want to jump in before July. And since many pool owners today want to use their pool as early as...

  • Building A Better Business

    by Virginia DeMoss August 2003

    "My first priority is any of the seminars that deal with new technology or techniques," says Joe Vassallo, president of Paragon Pools, Las Vegas. "For example, when infinity edges or negative edges first started to gain popularity, I was able to go to some of the seminars regarding that and find out how it was done when it was still cutting-edge. The other...

  • Breaking The Mold - Fiberglass pool makers fight the category's image.

    by Barrett Kilmer August 2003

    As recently as 10 years ago, the fiberglass pool industry had a serious image problem. Customers liked the convenience of speedy installation and reduced maintenance requirements, but many shied away from purchasing what they considered a cookie-cutter pool that couldn't compete with gunite or vinyl-liner pools in terms of customization.

    The more discriminating...