• Friction Lost

    by Kirstin Pires June 2007

    Efficiency is the new conservation. In the '80s, it was "conserve fuel, conserve power." Today, as all global resources are subject to more and more pressure, the watchword is "efficiency." It's about more than just using less energy; it's about using energy more wisely . And energy isn't the only resource that causes concern. Water use, emissions and...

  • Perfect Balance

    by Karen Erstad June 2007

    What we do is show clients our portfolio. We have a huge portfolio — it's like a wedding album," says Shawn Heslin, senior designer at Artisan Pools/Chux Landscaping, in describing how the Pine Brook, N.J., builder works with clients at the beginning of the design process. "We also have them fill out a questionnaire sheet, because a lot of times you'll...

  • Tips from the Top

    by Becky Strauss May 2007

    Bill Renter knows vinyl. Owner of the Deck and Patio Company, a landscape design/build firm as well as a custom vinyl-liner pool business, in Huntington Station, N.Y., his pool and landscaping projects grace the backyards of many Long Island residents, as well as the pages of the AQUA Choice Awards winner's issue; his own backyard pool won the vinyl-liner category for...

  • Tough Decisions

    by Karen Erstad May 2007

    Since the hardscape around a pool plays a major role in determining the look and feel of the entire space, picking an appropriate deck material is critical. Recognizing that this is an important decision, some clients take a long time determining just what they want this hardscape to be — sometimes they even hold up construction. By fully explaining all the...

  • First Impressions

    by Marsha Lindquist May 2007

    In companies around the world, those in the reception role — whether it be an office receptionist, a greeter, an airport counter clerk, or any other front-line position — set the stage for how customers view their entire experience with the organization. In fact, in five seconds or less, that person's greeting, attitude and words will either prompt customers to investigate other options for their needs or will encourage them to stay and do business with...

  • For Someone Special

    by Karen Erstad May 2007

    Hoping to build the dream pool they had always wanted, a couple in Huntsville, Ala., hired Johnson Pools and Spas to fix and renovate their decrepit pool. "The decks had settled, the return lines were broken, the main drain lines were broken, and the Polaris line was broken. It was basically sort of a disaster," says builder Tommy Johnson.

    After nine...

  • Good Fences Make Good Pools

    by Kirstin Pires May 2007

    You wouldn't think of using an unlicensed electrician to do the wiring when you are building or renovating a pool. Given the choice, you'd choose a certified pool operator to maintain your pool rather than someone who hasn't earned the CPO designation. Same with plumbing; the plumbers running your pipes — whether subcontractors or employees — better have the...

  • Navy Blue Lagoon

    by Karen Erstad April 2007

    The homeowner wanted his pool to look like a lagoon, so Phil Della Pietro, Sr., owner of Pool & Spa Doctor in Wall, N.J., suggested a Boomerang pool by Cardinal Systems with a black liner. "I modified the radiuses in the pool a little and had Cardinal add some benches," says Pietro. "But for what he wanted, this pool was the perfect...

  • Construction School

    by Kirstin Pires March 2007

    It's almost finished! After months of domestic chaos, my bathroom remodeling project is close enough to being complete that I can shower at home instead of at the pool. Not only do I have a wonderful new bathroom, but I learned a lot and I have a new perspective on how contractors affect their clients' lives.

    This was not your average cosmetic remodel. My house was built before there was indoor plumbing, and the bathroom wasn't added until those amenities...

  • Chameleon Media

    by Elissa Sard Pollack March 2007

    When things are exactly what they seem, it's easy to categorize them. Take filter media. Sand is time-tested and costeffective, cartridges are easy to set up and clean without backwashing, and diatomaceous earth (D.E.) gives the greatest water clarity.

    Introduce alternative media, filter aids, and new approaches to designing the filters, and those distinctions become less...