• The Heat Is On

    by Karen Erstad August 2004

    Once a luxury item installed mostly on higher-end projects, pool heaters are now becoming almost as standard as pumps and filters. More and more pool owners want a heater because it extends the season, allowing them to get the most out of their investment. In addition, each year more in-ground pools are built with spas, which definitely need heaters.

    So it's no...

  • Master Plan

    by Reid Creager August 2004

    Foundations can be shaky in Southern California — in more ways than one. The region has more than its fair share of pools builders, but not all of them are as stable as they ought to be. Steve Hanousek, vice president of construction for Master Pools & Spas in Palm Desert, Calif., explains: "We have over 80 swimming pool contractors within the...

  • A vanishing-edge pool and spa combo in Montgomery, Texas

    by Karen Erstad August 2004

    The lowest price is not always the winning bid — especially when it comes to high-end custom projects. Upscale clients often choose the best design from the most knowledgeable builder bidding — even if the price is higher.

    Tom Driscoll, president of Cabana Pools Aquatech, says that was the case with this spa and 410-squarefoot vanishing-edge pool in...

  • Basic, intermediate and advanced approaches to automatic pool cover installations

    by Elissa Sard Pollack August 2004

    Automatic pool covers make a pool safer, easier to maintain, more energy efficient and, some would argue, prettier. With all those advantages, why not put one on every pool. Well, not every pool owner is willing or able to incur the expense. Plus, every pool setting may not accommodate a cover. The site must allow for the mechanism that rolls and unrolls the cover, as...

  • Ponder This

    by Kirstin Pires July 2004

    The clients have disposable income. They are spending more time living in their backyards and want to make it even more enjoyable by adding water. They expect the planning and design process to be collaborative and they want their contractor to really listen to what they want — and what they want may or may not be realistic.

    They probably don't want to get...

  • Garden Revival

    by Karen Erstad July 2004

    Some gardens are are for planting flowers. Others are for meditating. This space, designed and built to resemble a section of the immense park-like gardens at Versailles, is for family fun and entertainment.

    The Nashville, Tenn., homeowners wanted an attractive space for this purpose, and landscape architect Mary Palmer Dargan designed a balanced, symmetrical and...

  • What's The Plan?

    by David Cohn June 2004

    So you realize that you need a buy/sell agreement. You want to make sure that your spa and pool business carries on to your second and third generations without any hitches. That's a noble gesture, but have you done all the prep work necessary to draft a useful buy/sell. If creating a buy/sell agreement is like writing a novel, then most businesses write just the final chapter and hope that the foregoing chapters will just be understood. In other words, partners...

  • Sharper Image

    by Karen Erstad May 2004

    Clean, uncluttered design — a major tenet of the increasingly popular feng shui school of design — continues to make headway in the pool and spa industry.

    For this project, Kevin Rondeau, director of sales and marketing at Rondo Pools in Phoenix, says the homeowner wanted "the whole project to look like a piece of art," and so the builder...

  • The Future Looks Bright

    by Kirstin Pires May 2004

    If you told your customers that you could eliminate 10 years worth of heating bills, do you think that would bring them into your store. Solar pool heating does just that and it has other appealing attributes as well: It displaces the use of dwindling fossil fuel resources, it's 100 percent pollution-free and reliably delivers a high rate of customer...

  • Enthusiastic For Plastic

    by Emily Fuger April 2004

    Not so many years ago, customers who wanted a vanishinge-dge pool had to go with gunite. Today, this is certainly not the case.

    According to Michael A. Giovanone, president of Latham, N.Y.-based Concord Pools, vinyl-liner pools can now fit the bill as well. "I have a tongue-incheek comment that years ago you could buy any shaped vinyl-liner pool that you wanted...