THE CANVAS:Drop-dead gorgeous desertscape, intimate slice of family life, classic white-fenced Americana
THE PALETTE:Sapphire blue fiberglass shell, rustic-colored concrete, multihued fiberoptic lighting
THE MASTERPIECE: Simple sophistication, a vibrant social center, geometric gem
For Jason Stoker’s clients, less was more. The California couple had a relatively small backyard and wanted a pool to be the focal point of their social life.
“They are in an affluent area with some great views,” says Stoker, a project manager at Fiberglass Pools of the Desert in Indio, Calif. “We were trying to keep it simple without taking away from it. We wanted to enhance the view, not outdo it.”
To fit the bill, Stoker selected a geometric pool with smooth, subtle lines. An octagonal fiberglass spa with a tiled spillover completes the look.
While Stoker delivered, positioned and installed the fiberglass pool and spa shell, the homeowners determined the color, shapes and materials for the overall design.
For the deck, they chose a natural-looking colored concrete. The blocks were formed and then jointed by hand. “They wanted something to completely contrast with the [blue] color of the pool,” Stoker says.
For the tile, the clients picked a classic 1-by-1-inch mix of blue shades that were imbedded in the shell by the fiberglass pool maker. Stoker’s crew then used the same tiles for the spillover waterfall on the spa.
Additional features include fiberoptic lighting in both the pool and spa. A color wheel allows the water in the pool to change hues throughout the evening.
Meeting the challenge
The homeowners’ requests were easy to fulfill, but the actual excavation and installation of the pool shell was another story altogether. Several challenges were presented by man and Mother Nature.
The patio area of the backyard included an existing architectural column with a wood trellis. The builders needed to work around them, which is another reason Stoker selected the geometric shape of the pool. He knew it would circumvent the column.
As it turns out, this was the easiest part of the construction challenge. Beneath the backyard was a layer of sandstonelike rock, which became a nightmare to excavate. “We had limited access to get the equipment back there,” Stoker recalls. “We could get a Bobcat in, but the [ground] was so hard that it couldn’t excavate. We would have to break it up with jackhammers and use the Bobcat to take it out.”
When the final touches were completed, the $65,000 project became a shining example of what can happen when pool builders and clients work in sync.