Houston pool landscaping begins, obviously, with the pool. Within a landscape design plan, a swimming pool is the biggest, and often the most impressive, hardscape. Equal parts lifestyle, enjoyment and elegance, a swimming pool is the choice of a homeowner whose goal is to maximize leisure time and to create a backyard retreat or family fun center.
Houston Pool Landscaping: Questions to Answer
• What add-ons do you want? These options for your pool design include a spa, sun shelf (a specially built feature for sunning), and underwater benches. Other elements: waterfalls, negative edges, slides, diving boards.
• What about shade? Our climate gets a lot of sun—sometimes too much. So if your pool area is bereft of shade, consider building your own. Pergolas, arbors and covered patios are three of the popular Houston pool landscaping choices. A man-made shade, such as these structures, will provide a welcome break on those days when the sun feels relentless.
• What about safety? All choices about a pool should factor in safety. One way to do it is through the use of fences. Jeff Halper with Exterior Worlds points out that fences can be built 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.
Houston Pool Landscaping: Water Features
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, swimming pools tend to be reasonably large bodies of water which is an asset to outdoor water fountains, because it mitigates the problem that stand-alone water fountains often have with water loss due to evaporation and splashing.
Houston Pool Landscaping: The Professionals
Many homeowners mistakenly think that a landscape design project is just as simple as putting the different parts into a logical order—get the pool done, then call in the landscape lighting guys, for example. However, in most cases, one piece of the overall design is rarely installed in its entirety at one time; rather, it is installed in multiple steps with the subcontractor coming back to the project several times before his part of the installation is finished. In many cases, a single subcontractor may be called back five different times to complete incremental steps leading up to the completed installation.
“The different sections of a major landscape installation need to be interwoven, very similar to how a dance is choreographed,” explains Halper. “The subcontractors keep coming and going at different times, doing one step in concert with ten others. For instance, before the pool subcontractor pours the pool decking, you want to get the electricians and the irrigation specialists out there. Otherwise you’ll land-lock that beautiful planter that you had specially built to mark the end of the pool area. You’ve left it stranded without electricity for lights or plumbing for easy watering.”
Exterior Worlds is frank with their clients as to where they, as professional landscape contractors, can be most valuable. If a customer only wants a pool built, Halper may tell them to merely call a swimming pool contractor. But if they want the pool area flawlessly woven together with landscape, hardscape, and drainage—that’s another matter. Landscape design and service firms like Exterior Worlds, in particular, add value when the hardscapes relate to one another—the pool, the irrigation system, the outdoor kitchen, the drainage system, the landscape lighting, the whole deal. The more sophisticated the design, the more important professionals become.
Recognized as one of the leading Houston pool landscaping design firms, Exterior Worlds provides high-end residential landscaping services for Bellaire, the Memorial Villages of Piney Point Village, Bunker Hill Village and Hunter Creek Village, West University, River Oaks, Tanglewood and the surrounding Houston area. 713-827-2255.