• A Thinking Environment

    by Karen Erstad September 2006

    A backyard where you can escape everyday stresses sounds like an ideal environment to many homeowners. The owner of this pool and spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., definitely wanted a tranquil space. "He wanted to be able to go into his backyard and have the whole environment remove him from everyday thinking," says Judd Smith, owner of Tahitian Pools in nearby...

  • The Frugal Googler

    by Barrett Kilmer August 2006

    It's easy to forget how quickly the Internet has become an important part of our everyday lives. Only 10 years ago, someone could utter the phrase "information superhighway" without drawing derisive laughter. And Google was still just a funny word fifthgraders heard in math class (and it was spelled googol, BTW). A mouse was something most people didn't want...

  • Beneath The Surface

    by Lindsay Renick Mayer August 2006

    Jon Temple, right, with Shane Geiger, left, leads by example.

    Through word of mouth alone, Tempool, a pool plastering company in Jacksonville, Fla., will have enough business to stay busy for at least the next 20 years.

    And it's not just because of the incredible rate at which the housing market is currently growing in the area. Tempool owner Jon Temple...

  • And Now For Something Completely Different

    by Becky Strauss July 2006

    Imagine, if you will, your clients this summer lounging by the pool you've just built. What does it look like. Perhaps there's intricate tile work, or beautiful stone decking surrounding the sparkling water. If it were a natural swimming pool, though, you might instead envision your clients sharing the water with a luscious assortment of aquatic plants, perhaps a pebble...

  • Brilliant Disguise

    by Barrett Kilmer July 2006

    Over the years, AQUA's covers and feature stories have showcased some of the most breathtaking and envyinducing backyards in the world. These pricey pools, high-end hot tubs and gorgeous water gardens run the gamut in size, shape and composition, but one trait nearly all of them share is their backyard location. Last year, two prominent designers teamed up to design a project for a Greenwich, Conn., customer's front yard. (There was already a pool in back, of...

  • The Show Away From Home

    by Kirstin Pires July 2006

    For many consumers , the local home and garden show is a great way to spend a weekend afternoon. In one trip, they can interview roofing contractors, see the latest models of gas grills, choose the variety of petunias they'll plant in their window boxes, learn about a new type of deck cleaner, attend a seminar on identifying the songbirds in their backyards and buy hot...

  • Rock On!

    by Kirstin Pires June 2006

    It used to be that consumers had to go to Disney or Sea World to see elaborate, authentic-looking, artificial-rock water environments. But over the last 20 years or so, as the popularity of resort-, hotel/motel- and destination waterparks has grown, homeowners have had more opportunities to ponder the idea of having a little bit of waterpark resort in their own...

  • Clearly Beautiful, Too

    by Greg Andrews June 2006

    Last month, award-winning tile contractor Greg Andrews discussed the requirements for preparing a pool shell to receive glass tile. Once the pool is waterproofed, .oated, and the fittings are set, it's ready for tile installation. — Ed.

    Glass mosaic refers to small-size glass tiles — generally speaking tile that's less than 2 inches. To make installation easier, the small tiles are assembled into foot-square sheets so that the entire sheet...

  • Economy Of Space

    by Karen Erstad June 2006

    Fitting attractive pools and spas in small backyards is a skill many builders have had to hone over the last few years. Lewis Aquatech Pools in Chantilly, Va., transformed this tight space in Fairfax, Va., into a fully equipped outdoor living area. "The design was entertainment-driven," says Don Gwiz, vice president of design and construction at Lewis Aquatech....

  • Floors That Touch The Soul

    by Karen Erstad May 2006

    At 20 by 40 feet, this pool in Brentwood, Calif., is a standard size, but there is nothing standard about its beautiful tile bottom, designed and painted by Sergio Furnari, a New York-based artist originally from Caltagirone, Sicily, Italy.

    Furnari's skills, which he has honed since boyhood when he worked at the Caltagirone Sculpting Foundry, are evident in...