• Photos COURTESY PATIO POOLS & SPAS

    Credit: PHOTO BY PATIO POOLS & SPAS

  • Photos COURTESY PATIO POOLS & SPAS

    Credit: PHOTO BY PATIO POOLS & SPAS

 

Secret service

An equipment access panel couldn’t stick out like a sore thumb against subtle materials like the “Tea & Cream” decking and earth-tone tiles used by Dave McKibben, retail/spa manager of Patio Pools & Spas in Tucson, Ariz. So he created a handy step over the access area, emphasizing the importance of form and function.

“The step is actually a steel-framed, tile-covered removable section, so a service guy can pick it up and have straight access down to the bottom,” McKibben says. There, he pitched the equipment pad with proper drainage, though the spa is installed so snugly that it would be difficult for water to seep through.

To make it appear even more seamless, McKibben matched the stucco on the outside of the raised area not only to the house, but also to the color of the spa siding within.