Pool Picture Sold for Record $4.8 Million

Once again, a David Hockney painting has sold for a record-breaking price. On June 21, “The Splash” (shown) went for approximately $4.8 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London. Once owned by movie producer David Geffen, the 1966 painting depicts the instant after someone dives into a pool. It is said to be one of the most iconic images of the ’60s and the artist’s first years in California. Previously, the most expensive Hockney painting was the 1967 picture of a lawn-sprinkler, “A Neat Lawn,” which fetched $3.6 million in May. “The Splash” is the second in a series where Hockney aimed to capture a splash of water on canvas. “A Bigger Splash” is owned by London’s Tate Modern Museum and “A Little Splash” is in a private collection, according to Bloomberg.com. Hockney was born in the United Kingdom in 1937 and established a reputation as the pool portraitist in California.

Guardian and Invisa to Introduce Interactive Electronic Fence

Guardian Pool Fence Systems Inc. of Van Nuys, Calif., has announced joint development of a pool safety system with Invisa Inc., maker of InvisaShield safety technology in Sarasota, Fla. The new product will be an interactive electronic pool fence that detects potential breaches and sounds an alarm prior to a child crossing the fence perimeter. The technology combines Invisa’s patented noncontact safety technology with Guardian’s pool fence know-how. Company officials said that a commercial rollout of the new system will be completed in the next six- to eight months and will coincide with the 2007 pool trade show circuit.

Tax Breaks for Home Improvements

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, which took effect in January 2006, offers federal tax credits to homeowners who buy energy-efficient appliances and products. Among the law’s provisions is a 10 percent tax credit up to $500 for expenditures to make energy-saving home renovations. Credit for high-efficiency central air conditioning, heat pumps and water heaters is limited to $300. Solar-energy systems can provide up to $2,000 in tax credit; however, the system cannot be used to heat pools or hot tubs. For more information, visit the U.S. Energy Department’s Web site at www.energysavingtips.gov

Pool Leak Kills Hundreds of Fish

More than 300 fish were killed when a pool at the Haw Creek Recreation Park leaked into the creek in Asheville, N.C., in mid-May. According to WLOS-TV, park workers cleaning the pool thought the water was headed toward the sewer system, but as the creek turned white due to various pool chemicals, they realized the sewer system was broken. The leak was eventually stopped and an investigation is under way.

Poll: Women are Decision-Makers in Home Projects

The woman is the primary decision-maker for home improvement projects, according to ServiceMagic.com. In a sample of 490 homeowners and 485 residential contractors, the survey found that 55 percent of the contractors believed the female was the primary decision-maker. Nevertheless, 65 percent of the homeowner respondents said they believe home-improvement decisions are made as a team with their spouse.