The idea behind this project was to create a serene setting behind the house to showcase a beautiful view to the south. The pool was installed after 90 percent of the landscaping was completed — a tricky proposition. The task involved pulling up sod and rerouting an irrigation system, as well as maneuvering around some stubborn topography.

“I knew we may hit a rock ledge down there and have to start hammering it out,” says James McGill, president/CEO of Cherry Hill Pools and Spas. “And, yes, it was there. Finishing that part of the project killed a week right there.”

Once the pool was installed, including an in-floor cleaning system, it was time to focus on the deck and landscaping. This would require teamwork.

Landscaper Paul Massad placed imported Brazilian quartzite around the pool. The material’s subdued, blue-gray hue matches the house and the stone pillars holding the lights. It was the choice of interior designer Lisa Mazzola.

“We all liked the warmth and the way it went well with the color of the fieldstone on the house,” Massad recalls.

To ensure it matched the house — as well as the stone pillars — Massad used a color-enhancing sealer with a matte finish, which gives the deck a perpetually wet look.

But the challenge of using ultra-dense Brazilian quartzite began as soon as it arrived on site. The quarry initially had sent the wrong square footage. So Massad worked around it.

The stone for the coping was supposed to be 2-inch gauge, but it came in anywhere from 2-1/4 inches to 3-1/2 inches. Massad ground it down as best he could and set it around the pool, from the thickest stone to the thinnest.

“It was a heck of a lot of work, a hassle,” Massad says. “It’s difficult to work with natural stone around a fiberglass pool, but we do a lot of masonry projects. We did all the sandblasting to bring the stone back to its natural texture after it was regauged.”

Lisa Mazzola
James McGill
Paul Massad