Light it up
I'm a bit of a lighting evangelist. Well designed and executed lighting dramatically increases the subjective comfort of a space, while a poor design just as easily turns what might be a naturally inviting area into one where you really don't want to spend any time at all. For interior,...more
Comfort and utility - a seat and a cupboard
Not content to labor myself with only a pool, deck, stairs, fence, etc., my initial design calls for a wooden seat and storage cupboard at one end of the pool deck. Computer render of original design for the seat and cupboard area Tormenting myself even further, I decided that the...more
An unobtrusive pool fence
Regulations in these parts are quite strict with respect to pool fencing. Anything containing - or able to contain - 300mm of water or more must be fenced in accordance with a set of strict, but unfortunately somewhat ambiguous, standards. Even during construction, we had to ensure everything was fenced...more
How to move a mountain
The process of excavating for the pool generated a lot of dirt. Having it removed would be extremely costly so we decided to use it to partially level the yard below the pool. This area is around 25 meters wide and 10 meters deep. The elevation difference from one side...more
Paving the pool deck
Per the tiling post, the pool deck is being paved with the same ivory travertine used for the pool coping and the rear wall. The pattern will be quite different though. From Versaille to the pool deck We're using a 4-tile repeating pattern commonly referred to as the French pattern...more
Designing and building the pool stairs
When I designed the pool, I placed the entrance in the corner nearest the main residence. The elevation of the pool deck at this point is 1200mm below that of the wooden deck above it, which is at the same level as the house. Stairs are thus required. Once through...more
Customizing the solar control electronics
With a plethora of manufacturers and models, it can be challenging to put together a system that just works, without resorting to sourcing everything from a single manufacturer and buying their overpriced controllers. Our Equipment Our pump is a premium variable speed model, but has no timer or even an...more
Solar heating preparations
Once the core project is complete, we'll be having someone install solar-thermal panels on the roof of the house. It's the one job I've decided to outsource as I'm not keen on spending a few days on the second story roof securing them. I also don't have the requisite safety...more
Laying the coping tiles
Around the pool perimeter we're laying 30mm ivory travertine stone and continuing it onto the pool deck. The 30mm thickness provides a nice lip for the pool edge. The two main edging options for the lip are square edge or bullnose (i.e. rounded). Our stone tiles already have a...more
Tiling the retaining walls
As discussed in the last tiling post, we're using a slate stacked stone to provide texture on the retaining walls and to give a nice dark contrast against the ivory travertine deck and coping. The texture of the stacked stone will also provide great shadows for the on wall lighting....more
Let the tiling begin
With all of the structural elements in place, we can now begin the work of making everything look pretty. The bulk of this work involves tiling all of the surfaces. Specifically: Pool retaining walls Flower bed Pool deck Rear wall behind deck Stairs down to pool deck Pool coping Cupboard...more
Drainage from the pool deck
As discussed in the "How to avoid your pool turning into a boat" post, the project requires a great deal of drainage: A plethora of drainage locations This post covers drainage locations 1, 2 and 3. Drainage from behind the rear wall, top of the rear wall, and...more
Creating a private swimming environment
Our block straddles a a hill that slopes down towards the ocean. This provides tremendous views on the downhill side, but at the cost of providing the uphill neighbors an elevated perch from which to witness our summer frolicking. In the service of privacy, we decided to erect a modest...more