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    Something Common

    A friend recently told me that his childhood neighborhood had just one backyard pool.

     
  • AQUA Show's Grand Finale

    The final AQUA Show closed in Las Vegas on Nov. 16.

     
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    Short on Stats

    It’s no secret that the pool and spa industry is short on stats.

     
  • Industry Group to Release Test Kit Data

    The National Pool Industry Research Center is set to release the results of a new study on pool and spa test kits.

     
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    Tiptop

    Recently, I visited a small Vermont town. My son and I ate dinner at a local restaurant, the Tiptop Café, and chatted with the waiter while enjoying our food.

     
  • De-Constructing Jobs

    The U.S. Labor Department last month announced that the nation lost a net total of 4,000 jobs in August, the first time employment had shrunk since August 2003.

     
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    Turning Up the Heat

    Imagine if, seemingly overnight, the state government said that your car did not get enough miles per gallon to be street legal.

     
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    On the Island

    The outdoor kitchen is becoming an ever-more popular item in the backyard. And it is changing, becoming more complicated.

     
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    Looking at Title 20

    Since our nation’s inception, there has been an ongoing debate regarding how much the government should intrude into individuals’ private lives.

     
  • Parker Picked As New FSPA Leader

    Wendy Parker has been tapped to head the Florida Swimming Pool Association, a move that the organization hopes will end the merry-go-round of executive directors.

     
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    What's the Big Idea?

    As many of you know, Pool & Spa News publishes an extra-large edition that corresponds with the International Pool & Spa Expo in November.

     
  • Tragedy Hastens National Safety Bill

    The evisceration of a 6-year-old Minnesota girl has brought suction entrapment to the forefront of the national press, and likely will speed passage of the first national pool and spa safety law.

     
  • Project by Susan J. Hall, Deena R. Bell & Lewis E. Aq

    A detailed look at 24 spectacular projects that push the boundaries of great design.

    The Artists: Doug Staples & Dean Alexander

     
  • Photo by Bill Olive

    The Artists: Steve Wilson, Greg Perry & Dennis Wright

    When Steve Wilson, Greg Perry and Dennis Wright were commissioned by avid art collectors to design an aquascape, the team knew the result would be nothing short of breathtaking.

     
  • Photo courtesy Ridge Pools Inc.

    The Artists: Tom Zahos & Greg Ryback

    Charged with creating an entire outdoor living area in a relatively tight space, Tom Zahos had to shift the project’s focus to the side yard — and needed to clear out 35 trees in the process.

     
  • Photo by John Holman

    The Artists: Doug Staples & Dean Alexander

    The Tucson home had a giant, grassy expanse with views of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

     
  • Photo by Hans Matschukat

    The Artists: Kathryn Swehla & Clayton Varick

    Originally, this project was supposed to be a modest stream to greet visitors.

     
  • New Research Looks at Aquatic Therapy

    A new spate of research is focusing on the benefits of aquatic and hot water therapy, covering topics from psychology to knee pain.

     
  • Photo by Jason T. Arbaugh

    The Artists: Lisa North & Andre Del Re

    Sometimes the most creative solutions come from tight restrictions.

     
  • Photo by Divango Creative Services

    The Artist: Doug Parker

    The clients’ backyard had what Gym & Swim landscape designer Doug Parker called “dead space.”

     
  • Photo by Jeffrey Watson

    The Artists: Ric Reineke, Jeffrey Watson & Oscar Richardson

    Any pool builder likes to hear these words from a client: “Money is not an issue.”

     
  • Photo courtesy Swimming Pools by Jack Anthony Inc.

    The Artist: Michael Inzerillo

    The goal of any builder who serves elite customers is to create a work of art in the backyard.

     
  • Photo by Greg Seltzer

    The Artists: Michael Logsdon & Nicholas Thompson

    When the clients first met with the Land Design team, they had just visited the Alhambra, a 13th century Spanish palace.

     
  • Photo by Jason Dedels

    The Artist: Jay Middleton

    One powerful advantage of spas is that they can be easily integrated into the surrounding environs, creating a soothing reservoir of bubbling, hot water.

     
  • Photo by Andre Baranowski

    The Artists: Chuck Hess & Christina Reeves

    This classic, round garden spa is as treasured as the complex, formal pool on the other side of the yard.

     
  • Photo by Mirisciotti Photography

    The Artist: Mike Hodak

    The customers requested a magnificent, yet functional aquascape.

     
  • Photo by Lori Hamilton

    The Artists: Tim Grey, Koby Kirwin & Chip Masterson

    The clients wanted a little of everything for their second home.

     
  • Photo by Lewis E. Aq

    The Artists: Susan J. Hall, Deena R. Bell & Lewis E. Aqüí

    Just as too many chefs can send up flames in the kitchen, too many designers can bring creativity to a halt

     
  • Photo by Clane Gessler

    The Artist: Susan Harrison

    Circles, rectangles and lines.

     
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    Honoring the Masters

    I love Claude Monet’s paintings.

     
  • Photo courtesy Concord Pools Ltd.

    The Artists: Mike Giovanone, Rich Fenwick & Forest Smith

    When everyone in their neighborhood was buying pools shaped like mountain ponds and lakes, Mike Giovanone’s clients wanted something traditional … but with a twist.

     
  • Photo by John Hansel

    The Artist: Bill Goddard

    If you’re going to specialize in natural waterfeatures, it helps to be a hiker.

     
  • Photo by Keith Davitt

    The Artist: Keith Davitt

    The client for this project loves to entertain on a grand scale, even hosting the occasional wedding party

     
  • Photo by Todd Morrison

    The Artists: Marshall Foote & Gyles Thornely

    Nestled in the tall shadows of a chateau, this spa design utilizes a private panoramic view of the Colorado countryside.

     
  • Photo courtesy Pools Plus Inc.

    The Artist: Fred Butler

    These clients wanted a pool and spa to go with their quaint, yellow home and small patio in Elizabethtown, Ky. The waterscape, along with a new pool house, would provide the perfect place for the couple to entertain guests and enjoy the scenery.

     
  • Photo by Mirisciotti Photography

    The Artists: Ginette Couillard & Denys Aubry

    Many builders today are confronted with shoehorning a pool into a tiny backyard, but these designers’ challenge was just the opposite.

     
  • Photo by Gary Wildman

    The Artist: Rob Danieli

    When you look at this project, you can easily imagine the draftsman leaning over a piece of graph paper, T square in hand. It’s all planes and grids that perfectly fit the space.

     
  • Photo by Allison Construction Inc.

    The Artist: Mark Allison

    The pool industry has taken note of America’s ever-shrinking backyards, and this property proved to be no exception.

     
  • Photo courtesy Anderson Pools & Spas

    The Artist: John Anderson

    The clients were looking for something small and intimate.

     
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    The Little Things

    The simple act of looking at other people’s work can be inspiring and useful.

     
  • Benedict Resigns From FSPA Post

    After just six months on the job, the Florida Swimming Pool Association’s executive director, Bob Benedict, has resigned.

     
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    A Cool Facility

    The Foundation for Pool & Spa Industry Education is officially open for business.

     
  • National Pool Safety Bill Reintroduced

    The first federal pool safety bill in U.S. history has been reintroduced in Congress.

     
  • IPSSA Policy Drops Diving Board Claims

    As of April 1, IPSSA’s liability insurance policy no longer covers injury claims that result from diving boards installed or replaced by one of its members.

     
  • Photo courtesy Acclaim Pools

    Under the Surface

    Never believe a client who says they’re just looking for a simple touch-up job for their pool.

     
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    Retreat to Move Forward

    Recently, I attended a retreat with a number of editors and publishers from Hanley Wood, the company that owns this magazine.

     
  • Pentair Legal Judgment Reduced in Cruise Case

    A New York judge reduced a $193 million verdict against a subsidiary of Pentair Inc.

     
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    Feel the Burn

    Recently I attended the Florida Pool & Spa Show with Rhonda J. Wilson, our managing editor.

     
  • Photo illustration by Henry Olivas and Pam Frankhauser

    Fighting back

    As doctors learn more and more about skin cancer, better tools become available for outdoor workers to combat the disease. Here are four ways experts say you can reduce the risk of skin cancer.

     
  • Photo illustration by Henry Olivas and Pam Frankhauser

    In the minority

    Blacks and Latinos were once thought to be relatively impervious to skin cancer. This is due to the fact that their skin pigmentation provides protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

     
  • Photo illustration by Henry Olivas and Pam Frankhauser

    Slow Burn

    Skip Hawkins never thought it would happen to him. Even though he spent decades working outdoors, the 56-year-old pool plasterer didn’t give the slightly discolored spot on his cheek much consideration.

     
  • Photo courtesy Davis Colors

    In Living Color

    Pool builder Randy Beard has just completed two pools — one with a plum finish and another in emerald green.

     
  • Atlantic City Show Still Breaking Records

    With the weather on its side, this year’s Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show once again broke its own exhibitor records and enjoyed the second-highest attendance ever, said show organizers from the Northeast Spa & Pool Association.

     
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    Celebrate

    In life, there are some things we can count on like clockwork.

     
  • Photo courtesy Davis Colors

    The fade phenomenon

    If there is one problem with the trend toward increased pigment use in cementitious materials, it’s a tendency for the colors to fade. The phenomenon is known as carbonation.

     
  • Photo courtesy Davis Colors

    The color invasion

    When Randy Beard builds a pool, the last thing he thinks about is its color.

     
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    Upfront

    A graceful fountain or reflection pool for the front yard is on the must-have list of many upscale clients these days, says Michael Schneider, principal and director of Orange Street Studio in Los Angeles.

     
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    In a Flash

    Itravel a lot, and for some reason, my cell phone charger frequently gets left behind when I check out of a hotel room.

     
  • Hydro Spa Bankrupt

    Hydro Spa, once one of the few hot tub manufacturers to sell its products through Costco, has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

     
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    What's Most Important

    Recently, a number of unexpected expenses came my way, and I’ve been very concerned about managing the financial obligations I already have, along with these scary new bills.

     
  • Int'l Pool & Spa Expo Sizzles in Orlando

    The pool and spa industry’s biggest trade show bucked the effects of the housing slowdown to draw strong attendee numbers and positive reviews.

     
  • Photo by Pam Frankhauser

    Zeroing In

    One of the toughest things about fixing a spa is diagnosing the problem.

     
  • Infinity Spas Acquires Keys’ Hot Tub Business

    Infinity Spas has agreed to purchase the hot tub manufacturing assets of Keys Backyard, LP.

     
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    The Big Idea

    Meet individuals who, in a moment of inspiration, conquered professional obstacles and improved their businesses.

     
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    New Faces

    Our editorial department doesn’t traditionally see much turnover.

     
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    State of the Market

    The recent slump in pool sales has left at least one aspect of the industry relatively unscathed: the market for covers.

     
  • Spa cover boom

    Since the middle of the 20th century, America’s homes have become increasingly automated.

     
  • Arizona Secedes From APSP ‘Union’

    Arizona’s split from the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals is all but complete now that some of the biggest players in the Phoenix area are on board.

     
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    A Fresh Start

    I know it’s corny, but I believe in New Year’s resolutions. There’s something so motivating about the fresh start offered each January that motivates me to aim higher, try harder and do more.

     
  • Photo courtesy Marin Outdoor Living

    The Green Scene

    When customers enter Marin Outdoor Living, they immediately notice a vibrant display of color.

     
  • APSP Cancels Leadership Conf. in '07

    The 2007 APSP Leadership Conference has been cancelled and association officials are re-evaluating the event in an attempt to bring it back in a better, more vitalized form.

     
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    The Winner's Circle

    I have great news! I learned last month that an article from Pool & Spa News was named a finalist for the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award.

     
  • Photo courtesy Reef Tropical Pools

    Focus on Florida

    Swimming pools are ubiquitous in Florida. A flight over the state reveals a landscape dotted with sparkling blue treasures.

     
  • Breaking All the Rules

    On the open road, the rules are clear: Stop at red lights. Yield to pedestrians. Wear your seat belt. But sometimes the rules aren’t so cut and dried, especially in the pool and spa industry.

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    Unforgettable

    A sundae isn’t a sundae until it gets the cherry on top.

     
  • Expo Signs Football Star as Keynoter

    Football legend Archie Manning will be the keynote speaker at the 2007 International Pool & Spa Expo in Orlando, Fla.

     
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    Cutting Corners

    I enjoy mints, particularly a popular brand that comes in a tin. As a fan, I am very familiar with the candy’s dimensions, as well as how long it lasts before dissolving in the mouth.

     
  • Photo courtesy Marin Outdoor Living

    Thank-you goodies

    A spa customer recently sent a letter to Marin Outdoor Living, thanking the Greenbrae, Calif., store for the delicious gift.

     
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    Any Given Sunday

    Anyone in this industry who has spoken with PoolCorp’s Manny Perez for more than a few minutes knows his opinion regarding retailers staying open on Sundays.

     
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    Peak Performance

    At a trade show earlier this year, I ran into a seminar instructor who mentioned that he had done an impromptu survey during one of his sessions.

     
  • Illustration by Tim Bobko

    Peak Performance Pumps

    Last summer, Russ Long, owner of Golden State Pool Service in Fresno, Calif., received a call from a satisfied client.

     
  • Pool & Spa News Wins Neal Award

    Pool & Spa News and its sister publication, Aquatics International, have been named recipients of the 2007 Jesse H. Neal Awards.

     
  • CSLB Conducts Stings, Pool Builders Arrested

    California’s Contractors State License Board caught two unlicensed pool builders in a two-day sting targeting illegal operators in different professions.

     
  • Photo courtesy Artisan Pools/Chux Landscaping Inc.

    Talking About Texture:Five

    Design objective: Bridge the home’s modern architecture with the stream and forest on the property.

     
  • Photo courtesy Both Sides of the Door

    Talking About Texture:Four

    Design objective:Create a natural-style pond that showcases previously purchased boulders.

     
  • Photo courtesy Pool Art by Gary Nannini

    Talking About Texture:Three

    Design objective: Add a natural feel with boulder waterfalls while preserving the formal look of the house.

     
  • Photo by Rebecca Robledo

    Talking About Texture:Two

    Design objective: Create an Asian-inspired backyard. “I wanted to feel like I was going into a different world,” Blair says.

     
  • Photo by Rebecca Robledo

    Talking About Texture:one

    Smooth, rough, fine, coarse, pebbly or spiky. Texture is a vital tool to help the backyard designer paint a compelling picture with water.

     
  • LED Manufacturers Settle Patent Lawsuits

    Color Kinetics Inc.and Super Vision International have reached a settlement on their various patent lawsuits, ending an episode that at one time caused a rift in the LED industry.

     
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    March Madness

    Normally, Erika Taylor writes this column.

     
  • Photo illustration by Darren Bordier

    Cost of doing business

    The cost of remote monitoring technology is still relatively expensive, which is probably why its strongest market is in commercial and public pools.

     
  • Photo illustration by Darren Bordier

    Looking ahead

    Remote monitoring systems will be even smarter in the future. Manufacturers say that eventually, with the proper data input, the systems will be able to compute a pool’s Saturation Index.

     
  • In the backyard

    Due to the cost, remote monitoring technology is generally limited to commercial accounts, especially those with multiple vessels.

     
  • Photo courtesy Pentair Water Pool and Spa

    State of the Market

    Families enjoy a variety of digital connections 24/7 these days. While the kids chat online, mom and dad conference via Bluetooth headsets.

     
  • Photo courtesy Premier Pools & Spas

    Taking the Leap

    When longtime Sacramento builder Aquarius Pools closed its doors last summer, it left 60 vessels unfinished — and wounded the Northern California pool industry’s reputation.

     
  • Photo illustration by Darren Bordier

    Remote Control

    Five years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compiled inspection data from public and semi-public pools throughout the nation.

     
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    The Best Investment

    Last year, after much discussion, a family decision was made to move my son from public school to a private preparatory academy.

     
  • Photo courtesy Aquazona Pools & Spas/APSP

    In Control:One

    When it comes to controllers and automatic cleaners, sometimes the biggest mistakes can be avoided with a basic awareness of how the machinery works.

     
  • Photo courtesy Pentair Water Pool and Spa/Aquamatic Cover Systems

    Cutting Edge

    When Ray Whitford saw how impressed his customers were with the spectrum of automation products on the market, he decided to take a different approach to sales.

     
  • Jandy, Zodiac May Merge

    Jandy and Zodiac Pool Care are poised to become one entity, the companies announced in April.