• Image


  • Image



Design & Construction

  • Head to Head

    The rivalry between the National Plaster Council and onBalance doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Here is a look at their science

  • Chinese Water Garden

    This Asian-inspired project honors the tradition but remains appropriate to the locale

  • In the Mix

    Swimming pool gunite and shotcrete experts discuss the true differences in their processes

  • Going Commercial

    In making the transition from residential to commercial projects, too many contractors apply old methods

  • Water Jetting

    This method of prepping a surface for replastering requires large costs up front, but many say it’s worth the investment

  • Managing Pool Design and Construction

    Making sure that crews execute pool designs faithfully is an ongoing challenge

  • Rustic Elegance

    Pool Designers: Create the raw yet refined look of dry-stack stone

  • A Spray of Success

    Spraypads are continuing to gain in popularity. Here, designers and builders reveal keys to making them work.

  • Set in Stone

    A natural granite outcropping provides the perfect backdrop for this central Connecticut pool

  • Step by Step

    Tips for making pool entries as seamless as possible


Northern Escape

After their first contractor didn’t work out, these homeowners turned to Roger Willis Contracting.  “Originally, the pool concept was linear, but they wanted a more natural shape,” says Michael Willis. However, the pool’s dual purpose remained the same: the husband wanted to swim laps, and the wife wanted to relax. With dimensions of 43-feet long and 12-feet across at its narrowest point, this pool accomplishes both goals, nipping inward to accommodate two mature trees the clients wanted to keep.

Relaxing Choices

To create the retreat that the clients wanted, Willis turned to natural materials. He built a pergola out of western red cedar for a terraced patio tucked beside the house. He laid 1,000 square feet of natural stone for the pool deck. “It’s Erosan limestone that’s been gauged and sandblasted, so it has a really nice grain when it’s wet,” he says. A giant limestone slab serves as a diving rock.

To extend that close-to-nature feel of the tree-shaded lagoon pool, he skipped the decking next to a planting bed, leaving just coping instead. Wong continued the effect using plantings to connect and extend the pool area into the spacious tree-filled backyard. She softened the look of the waterfeature, adding plants that spilled over the walls. Finally, she brought color and texture by using structural plantings such as grasses and shrubs. “These clients are very busy, so the plants had to be low-maintenance,” Wong says.