Bill Renter, president of Deck and Patio Company of Huntington Station, N.Y., didn’t set out to build pools.

In 1980, he owned a landscaping business, but found himself trying to make a backyard aesthetically pleasing long after the project was planned and the pool put in.

“I learned very quickly that if I wasn’t involved in the initial planning of the pool, my job was to clean up other people’s messes,” he remembers.

He began partnering with a local pool builder to bring clients’ full vision to fruition.

“We worked together when he had a customer who wanted some guidance about design,” Renter says.

After attending the national trade show with that partner and seeing him win an award, Renter got excited about the beautiful pools he saw and decided to start his own projects.

“I found that there was a tremendous amount of information available,” he adds. “I ended up being the … guy who would go to shows and get education.”

He also became the guy who wins awards.

Deck and Patio Company took home five NESPA Outstanding Achievement Awards from the Builders and Service Competition, including three Gold awards. Two were for natural waterfeatures, and the other for a fiberglass stand-alone spa.

The two natural waterfeatures were built three years apart for the same customer. One is a vanishing-edge pond project, complete with a small island. Its fully automated features include five themes, from Raging Rivers (which makes the streams run fast) to Niagara Falls (which turns the water to full on the waterfalls).

For the Gold spa project, Renter added a stand-alone spa to an existing pool and tied them together with waterfeatures. The water flowing from a fire bowl to the spa uses water circulating from the spa, while the water that looks like it’s flowing from the spa to the pool is actually a closed circuit with pool water. “When the pool gets winterized, they can still use the spa and water feature,” Renter says.