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Swimming Pools

Swimming pools complete and enhance a great landscape design

Within a landscape design plan, the biggest, and often the most impressive, hardscape is a luxury swimming pool. Equal parts lifestyle, enjoyment and elegance, a luxury swimming pool is the choice of a homeowner whose goal is to maximize leisure time and to create a backyard retreat or family center. Luxury swimming pools are technically and artistically sophisticated, conceptually exciting and one of a kind—thus helping to further distinguish the overall property from all others.

Why Have a Luxury Swimming Pool?

A luxury swimming pool is a necessity for any upscale home. It finishes off the design of the house because it is a natural extension of your indoor living space. When it comes time to sell your home, it is an expected amenity. Additionally, luxury swimming pools and high end landscaping are great for entertaining, formal or informal, adults or children. They provide healthful exercise; swimming has long been recognized as one of the kinder activities on joints and ligaments. In the Houston landscape, they provide a natural place to cool off during our long summer season. In other words—good for your home, good for you and good for fun.


You May Ask Yourself

Following are some of the issues involved in designing a luxury swimming pool—in consideration of both present and future value:

  • How do you and your family plan to use the pool? For instance, daily use or mainly for entertaining? Are you planning to swim laps or will it be a play pool for children? Remember when answering these questions that it is OK to have a pool just for the visual pleasure.
  • What is the pool’s connection to the rest of space? You will want to work with a landscape architect or landscape designer to ensure that all areas, such as a outdoor kitchen or outdoor water fountain, integrate seamlessly with the pool. You want it to respond to the existing context.
  • What add-ons do you want? These options include a spa, sun shelf (a specially built feature for sunning), and underwater benches. Other elements: waterfalls, negative edges, slides, diving boards.
  • Overall depth. This factor is primarily determined by how you plan to use the pool.
  • Do you want it heated?
  • Salt systems. There are pros and cons to this popular choice. Jeff Halper with Exterior Worlds says, “The main thing to remember is that you need to be aware of your surrounding material choices if you use a salt system. Salt has a corrosive effect and soft decking material can deteriorate due to it.”
  • Landscape lighting options. Luxury swimming pools innately welcome dramatic outdoor lighting.
  • Maintenance. Swimming pools need regular maintenance. Your landscape architect or landscape designer will be able to refer you to a quality pool service company.
  • Most importantly: safety. All choices about a pool should factor in safety. One way to do it so is through the use of fences. Halper points out that they can be used in a non-intrusive way. “We like to hide fences and gates by weaving them among shrubbery. This method makes the pool area safe, up to code and aesthetically pleasing,” he says.

Finish It Off

Designed by an architect who manages the construction and oversees all the details and nuances, luxury swimming pools come in all sizes—a cocktail pool, a lagoon pool or a water work of art. You can use varied geometries, materials and plantings to create the most sophisticated environment for your luxury swimming pool.

Quality swimming pool finishes include:

  • Plaster: This category includes marcite, which is Georgia or Canadian marble that has been crushed to a fine powder. It hardens like concrete which seals the interior of the pool. Upgrades include popular brand names like Diamond Brite™ and 3M™ Colorquartz™, which are quartz finishes in a wide range of colors and textures. A different upgrade is exposed aggregate, a tumbled rock that is slightly larger than quartz. Pebble Tec® and River Rock are well-known brands.

  • The color of the plaster: Manufacturers now offer an array of colors for pool finishes with such lyrical names as Calm Sea, Emerald Black, Cayman Green and Arctic White. Another good choice is a more neutral palette that provides a timelessness and avoids a dated look when fashion changes.

  • Decking, the area that immediately surrounds the pool: Decking expands the indoors to the outdoors. Popular choices are slate, travertine, sandstone, brick, etc… Care should be taken to create a non-slippery surface in the immediate wet area. Also you will want to consider how your choice for coping matches, contrasts and enhances the exterior of your home.

    Two For One

    Luxury swimming pools are an excellent place to work in an outdoor water fountain. For one thing, the maintenance of an additional body of water is completely eliminated by having both elements connected. Some of the necessary equipment to have a stand-alone fountain, such as the chlorinator, auto-fills for water, lights and filters, are redundant and therefore not needed. Finally, in general, swimming pools tend to be a reasonably large body of water which is an asset to outdoor water fountains because it mitigates the problem that stand-alone water fountains tend to have with water loss due to evaporation and splashing.

    Let the pros at Exterior Worlds guide you through the process of adding a luxury swimming pool to your landscape; call 713-827-2255.

    For more the 20 years Exterior Worlds has specialized in servicing many of Houston’s fine neighborhoods.

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