• Go, Fight, Win!

    by Karen Erstad February 2007

    Choosing a contractor for any major home improvement project is a project in itself. First you've got to figure out who to call. You can find a few names in the Yellow Pages or on the Internet, or maybe ask your neighbors who they like to use. Then you've got to contact the contractors and meet with them. And then, finally, make a decision. How do you as a vinyl-liner pool...

  • Spec-tacular Pool

    by Karen Erstad February 2007

    This pool was done for a $4 million spec house in Nashville," says Gary Nannini, owner of Pool Art by Gary Nannini in Brentwood, Tenn. "The builder had a landscaper draw up a generic pool, which I didn't think fit, so I showed the builder some photos of pools I've done and he had me make some changes."

    Instead of installing just the straight brick...

  • Breakout Branding

    by Thomas Fuller and Matthew Jorgenson January 2007

    Happy New Year! Time to make this year's resolutions. Here's one: Become a breakout brander. Branding is key to building lasting success. It is also a large and often misunderstood field, with many paths. This article offers ideas to start you today on the right path and hopefully inspire you to further grow your skills in this critical field.

    Branding can increase your customers' perceived value of your products and services. When you think of Lexus and...

  • Out Of The Box, Into The Pool

    by Karen Erstad January 2007

    The story behind this poolscape in Yucaipa, Calif., shows yet again why it's so important to keep your truck clean and in good condition. "The client didn't call up my company," says Glenn Douglas, owner of L.A. Custom Pools & Spas in Yucaipa, Calif. "He actually ran into me at a gas station. He saw the sign on my truck and said, 'We've gotten some bids...

  • Performance-Enhanced Ponds

    by Barrett Kilmer January 2007

    Bill Goddard, owner of Goddard Construction Services, is a very busy man. When I reached him on his cell, he was watching his crew doing a dig and he told me he was heading to his office where he'd be better able to talk. "Should I call you back there." I asked. Not necessary, he said, he was just steps away from it. Bill's a guy who literally takes his office to...

  • Moving Water

    by Elissa Sard Pollock November 2006

    The slope of this property was ideally suited to the homeowner's request for water in transit over varied elevations, recalls David Klohr, Jr. from Smart Pools & Spas in Las Vegas. "The customer came to us knowing he could do something neat with that kind of slope," he says. So David Klohr, Sr. presented a 3-D rendering, and the job began.


  • Bright Ideas

    by Elissa Sard Pollack November 2006

    Swimming pool lighting can be as simple as a single white bulb in the deep-end wall, or a Vegas-style multicolor show choreographed to light up grottos, spas, fountains, trees, patio areas and more in sweeping swaths of changing colors.

    Something in between those extremes describes the lighting in and around most backyard pools today. And the effects may be...

  • Landscape Lessons

    by Barrett Kilmer November 2006

    The award-winning backyard designs featured in the pages of AQUA are often the result of highend builders paying as much attention to what surrounds the watershapes as they do the pools and spas themselves. Some builders may feel that creating these beautiful and botanically balanced backyards is beyond their ability, but at least one landscape designer says that's not the case. All they need is a little professional help, and it won't cost their customers as much...

  • Shelve It!

    by Karen Erstad September 2006

    Randy Beard, owner of Pure Water Pools in Costa Mesa, Calif., says most of his clients who know about beach entries want one. And who can blame them. They're beautiful, kids love playing in them and adults enjoy lounging in them. But the gentle, gradual slope that makes them so appealing also takes up a lot of space. Unfortunately, not every backyard can accommodate a...

  • Put To Rest

    by Karen Erstad September 2006

    What's not to like about automatic covers. They make pools safer, they reduce heating and chemical costs, and generally make the pool easier to maintain. Plus, they're not hard to use, which means they'll actually get used. "If something is not convenient, even if it's a good idea, people just won't do it," says Wes Mathis, co-owner of Pool Cover Specialists,...