• Do The Homework

    by Kirstin Pires May 2006

    Whether it's a simple tile and plaster replacement or a complete remove and redo, sizing up the customer — and the pool — is the first step in a successful renovation project. And that holds true whether the project is in the backyard of a modest tract home, or cantilevered over a canyon in the Hollywood Hills.


    Sizing up a...

  • Clearly Beautiful

    by Kirstin Pires with Greg Andrews May 2006

    Glass tile is hot. Page through shelter magazines from Dwell to House Beautiful , and you'll be mesmerized by sparkly, jewel-like glass tile installations in cutting-edge kitchens and baths. Ask any design-forward pool builder, and he'll tell you more clients are asking for glass tile than ever before.

    In addition to its unquestionable design advantages — it's just plain beautiful — glass tile is a good choice for a pool or spa because it's durable...

  • In Control

    by Kirstin Pires April 2006

    America the beautiful, America the automated," says Barry Brunye, vice president of Hayward's Goldline Controls division. "When was the last time anyone got out of their car to open the garage door? Or got off the couch to change the TV channel. Apple pie, American flag and automation." Brunye, a veteran of the electronics industry, deftly sketches the...

  • Hill Country Haven

    by Karen Erstad April 2006

    Creating a vanishing edge like this that sits 16 feet above grade may be a huge challenge to some builders, but not to Tib Scallon, owner of Scallon Custom Pools in Austin, Texas. "Most people think of Texas as flat area, but we're actually in a real hilly, pretty area," says Scallon. "And almost every project we do has some sort of vanishing edge on it....

  • Vanishing Edges 101

    by Kirstin Pires March 2006

    Remember the first time you saw a vanishing-edge pool? Once you got past the sheer beauty of the effect, you probably wondered, "How'd they do that?"

    In the 21st century, vanishing edges — also called negative edges or infinity edges — are common enough that lots of the engineering puzzles have been worked out. But it's still a detail that you probably shouldn't...

  • Variable-Speed Pumps: Head Of The Class

    by Kirstin Pires February 2006

    It's pretty unusual to hear pool builders raving about pumps instead of cursing them, but recent developments in variable-speed motors for swimming pool pumps have some early adopters convinced they have come face-to-face with the future.

    Whether it's been motivated by heightened safety concerns, the California Energy Commission's looming energy efficiency...

  • California Dreamy

    by Karen Erstad February 2006

    Not surprisingly, one of the client's primary requests for this poolscape in Calabasas, Calif., was that it not obstruct the amazing view of the San Fernando Valley. "You almost feel like you own Calabasas from sitting on that patio looking out," says Scott Cohen, supervising designer at The Green Scene in Canoga Park, Calif.

    To create a view deck above...

  • Natural Wonders

    by Karen Erstad January 2006

    Marble and limestone have been used for centuries to create some of the most amazing pieces of architecture known to humankind. A limestone aqueduct built by the Assyrians around 691 B.C. brought fresh water to the city of Nineveh. Ancient Greeks used marble and limestone to build the Parthenon and many other structures at the Acropolis in Athens. The Romans also used...

  • Think Big

    by Elissa Sard Pollock January 2006

    What's bigger than Texas. How about the Canadian Rockies. In Texas. That defines big. In the imagination of one Dallas penthouse owner, they came together in a, well, big way. The main body of water is only 20 feet long, but it's part of a 10,000-square-foot entertainment area on the 18th floor of a Dallas high-rise.

    Craig Cameron of Natural Water Environments...

  • Infinite Family Fun

    by Karen Erstad January 2006

    Built to take advantage of the grade differential in this backyard, the vanishing-edge pool and 360-degree infinite-edge spa certainly allow the homeowners to enjoy views of the Costa Mesa Country Club golf course.

    "The raised walls of the pool work out great, too, because they provide a lot of seating," says builder Randy Beard, owner of Pure Water...