How Pool and Spa Designers Work with Outside Trades to Create the Perfect Backyard Space

A top pool designer explains how collaboration and communication are the keys to success.



Working closely with specialty craftsmen when doing a custom pool or spa project is critical. The products offered by the craftsmen and other artists have specific requirements that we as watershapers must consider, plus they have the experience with pools using their product. They are able to bring all that expertise to the table during the planning process so that problems can be avoided.

They also will have some great ideas on use and details that I may not have thought of while working on the design. In a recent spa project, I relied heavily on my glass tile installer, Amy and Luke Denny of Alpentile, headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., to work through and finalize the design of curved patterns. The Dennys became part of the design team in a real way. Many times, the trades will be able to do the installation of their product, which is a huge benefit. Amy Denny at Alpentile actually worked for the glass tile manufacturer that I prefer. Talk about good synergy! They know the product they are installing and they have direct access to the manufacturer to discuss any issues, etc.

I did another custom spa project that featured red concrete panels infused with a red mineral pigment obtained from an ochre mine in France. I teamed up with the fabricator of the panels and he came up with a method for layout and installation; his knowledge and skill was invaluable and the spa turned out to be a fantastic part of an award-winning project.


Photo courtesy of Group Works LLC, Wilton, Conn.

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