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Pool Makeovers: Before and After
By Debra Maurer

A swimming pool should be an inviting oasis that welcomes you to stop and admire its beauty while simultaneously beckoning you to jump right in. Unfortunately, when pools become outdated, they do just the opposite. With the right skill, vision, and ingenuity, drab and unsightly pools can be made over and brought back to life. Whether it’s a new shape, new materials, special water features, or all of the above, these beautifully renovated pools made a prominent comeback. Read on to discover how their renovations led to some amazing transformations.

This beautiful project by Pool Environments came about from a much needed update to the homeowner’s 30-year-old pool. With the introduction of several bold colors, a lounge area, and an outdoor kitchen, this backyard takes on a sleek new look and becomes an ideal space for weekend gatherings. Learn more about this project below. 

Modern Pool & Outdoor Kitchen

“This was originally a rather nondescript pool that had been around for three decades. The new homeowners called upon us to reinvent the space and give it a bit of an edge. We used the simple, straight lines of the existing pool to lay out a multilevel space for an outdoor living area, a sun lounge area, and a cooking and dining area. The old brick coping was replaced with a 2-inch-thick Lueders limestone. The blue and mauve tile was replaced with a custom designed and cut, elongated random rectangle tile pattern in varying subtle hues of grey. A smooth-finished colored concrete, with a saw-cut score pattern, replaced the outdated seeded aggregate decking.

“We framed the pool area with a chartreuse stucco wall on one side and stucco in charcoal grey on the other, and created the ‘wow’ moment with a striking fireplace faced in vermilion (reddish-orange) stucco with a 3-inch cantilevered mantle. A stainless steel scupper drops water from the face of the fireplace into a basin of Mexican beach pebbles. We repeated the scuppers along the new raised wall at the back of the pool, setting them flush with the coping to expose more of the stainless steel. A stacked ledgestone in a deep charcoal grey finishes off the raised area with a punch of texture that is offset by the surrounding smooth surfaces. This project took a total of six months to complete—three months for the design process and three months for construction.”

— Randy Angell,  Designer, Creative Director
Pool Environments, Plano, Texas

Tropical Transformation

“Starting with a rectangular pool with limited deck space, and a limestone waterfall that leaked, we were asked to create a lagoon-type pool and waterfall with a new spa. The whole project needed to be completed in less than a month. To achieve the lagoon look and provide some additional deck space, we poured a new shell inside the existing shell and integrated a spa into the new one. We also tore out the existing waterfall and built new cascading falls with pools that can be lit at night.

“The roofed part of the lanai was previously supported by eight columns that interfered with the view from the sitting area and through the sliding glass doors. We replaced the columns with five larger ones, strategically placed to not obstruct any views. We covered the existing concrete deck with travertine pavers and then re-landscaped the whole area. The cost of this entire project was over $100,000.”

— Lucas Congdon, Owner
Lucas Lagoons Inc., Osprey, Fla.

Entertain, Day or Night

“The homeowners wanted to bring the look of their favorite resort pool to their backyard. The existing pool was not rectangular and was too deep in the shallow end; also, the undersized spa leaked. The renovation required removal of 24 feet of pool wall to add a sunshelf and square the pool in order to add an automatic pool cover.

The spa was partially demolished to make room for a new, raised spa. Honed and gauged native Oakley stone was used for the coping, spa cap, and the hidden automatic pool cover housing. It was also used as waterline tile. The Oakley stone blends beautifully with the polished midnight interior of the pool and spa. Seven LED lights in the pool and spa add soft light. This project took five weeks to complete.”

— Jim Schmidt, Owner
Aquatech Pools by C.H.I., Meridian, Idaho

New Spa and Water Features

“The owners of this residential pool asked us to create a larger, safer spa and generate ‘noise’ to escape from the nearby neighbors who also owned a pool. As originally built, there was not a lot of functionality to the pool since the wedding cake steps were in the center and the pool quickly dropped to a depth of 6.5 feet on either end. The pool was made more usable by adding a large tanning shelf with a bench that ran the length of the pool. The spa was doubled in size by replacing the half moon shape with a full round spa with spillovers and benches on both sides. The spa also has larger steps, which prevents the homeowners slipping while entering, as they did in the past. Noise was generated by adding two foam jets, three spa spillovers, and two sets of fiber-optic fyrefly jets. The entire pool is now much more functional as well as beautiful.

“This renovation cost $65,000 and took several months to finish; however, there was down time in between while other outdoor projects were being completed.”

— David Wall, President
Signature Aquatics LLC, Greensboro, N.C.

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