Here we have a great example of what can be created out of a sprawling yard with a substantial change in elevation. This 800 square foot, geometric freeform pool rests comfortably beyond a custom stacked-stone staircase and walls, and alongside a 240 square foot patio.
Some structural features of this pool include a grand staircase with a 30 inch top step; a full length shallow-end bench with wrapped corner bench; and a raised spa which waterfalls and shares its heated water with the pool. The entire half of the pool in the bottom of this picture is considered the deep-end. The slope into the deep-end begins where the inner most corners of the pool line up, giving this pool great feeling of deep-water freedom. The three areas of this aquatic construction provide great versatility and are sure to please most home owners, guests, vacationers and renters.
The bluestone patio matches the bluestone coping wonderfully and acts as an inviting entrance onto the pool’s grand staircase. Any skimmers or other plumbing features attached to the pool are covered and nicely blended into the structure with custom bluestone tops.
This type of beautiful, enjoyable, and aesthetically pleasing project is precisely what we expect to present to our customers with every project.
Selecting a negative edge style pool or including a waterfall is a fantastic way to further your pool enjoyment. Such features demand precise design and construction to function in their inspiring fashion. Including a negative edge will certainly boost the aesthetics of many pools. With the water often falling or trickling over a distance of a few feet, a natural ambiance of serenity can mask less pleasant background noises.
This stone clad freeform pool boasts a large negative edge waterfall.
Including an automatic pool cover in your new pool can be very beneficial.
The automatic cover provides a great safety enhancement to your pool. When the pool is left unattended and the cover is put to use, it remains in place and can stop your children from entering the pool without supervision.
When used regularly, the cover will help reduce the amount of debris and foliage that enters the pool as well. The cover will also aid with heating, power consumption, water-loss, and water-maintenence.
The covers are available in a few different colors and are suitable for most rectangular pools.
Consider an automatic cover in your new pool!
Our 3D pool design software lets our customers get a very accurate idea of what their pool project will look like in their own back yard. Above we have a real life example of our 3D pool design compared with the actual pool we built. The phrase a picture is worth a thousand words is accurate in this instance. Our software allows our customers to make changes to their projects and see what options they want to include in the final construction plan. They can also see a variety of different pool designs on their own back yard to see what they like best. This system allows our customers to be confident that they are purchasing exactly what they want.
Patrick Kenney is a Southampton pool contractor
What is cooler than a really nice pool and patio? A really nice pool and patio that also has FIRE!
By Patrick Kenney, a Southampton pool installer:
In this step-by-step mini project I will walk you through our steps for building this one of a kind outdoor fireplace custom made using Colonial Blue Wallstone, Indian Sandstone, and Pennsylvania Bluestone. The object of this build was to make a fireplace with a good amount of ornate detail, similar to the “paver kit” fireplaces that can be purchased as a step by step kit that includes all parts needed, except we wanted to do this ourselves using unfinished stone. This means we would cut and finish each piece of stone in this project to make it what we need to build the fireplace.
The first step in this project is to make a good footing. At Patrick’s Pools, any masonry structure that we make that comes vertically off the ground will always start with a footing that is 30 inches deep within the ground. This may sound ridiculous to a novice but to someone who knows a bit about masonry here in the Northeast, this will sound like a very well built foundation. The reason to go down 30 inches before building up at all, is to start the structure beneath the frost line. Any concrete structure that starts higher than 30″ within the ground will at some point, on some very cold day, have the ground freeze beneath it. When this happens the structure will heave (move) upwards. This is when cracking can occur since the structure may not move evenly. A good foundation is very important. The second step in our project is to build the walls for our fireplace and wood cubbies. We also left a “trap door” exit in the back of the wall and floor for easy future ash cleanup.
Next we build forms for our tops of wood cubbies and fireplace. We support or forms from beneath. They will be pulled out once the concrete tops have cured. The top walls of the fireplace chamber need to be angled less than 45 degrees downward in order to hold up the flue pipe and chimney weight long term.
It is very important that the top of the firebox chamber and top of the cubby holes are strong. The top walls of the firebox chamber need to hold up the massive weight of the flue pipe and chimney, and the wood cubbies at some point will most likely have heavy planters sitting on them, not to mention people walking on them. To give the concrete the strength it needs we install a 1/2″ rebar cage, just as we would while building a gunite pool.
Next step is to pour our proprietary concrete blend on our forms to create our chamber and wood cubby tops.
Next remove our forms and install our flue pipe and chimney.
Next we custom cut all of our Pennsylvania Bluestone to create our Crown, Mantel shelf, and Hearth. The Crown and Hearth were cut into shape then rounded using a cup wheel. All of our cut stone was then textured by running a thermal torch over it to get rid of any evidence that it was cut with a blade. Below is out custom Mantel Shelf.
Here we have installed our custom made Mantel Shelf and our Bluestone coping tops for the wood cubbies.
Next we install our Colonial Blue Wall Stone as a veneer on the fireplace. We install a diamond shaped Indian Sand Stone on all four sides of our chimney as an accent within the wall stone.
Our final step is to fill between our Colonial Blue Wall Stone with our dyed grout mixture.
Here is the finished product. A beautiful fireplace created completely out of natural stone by Patricks Pools Inc. This poolside fireplace is an amazing relaxation in the late afternoon or early evening. A great place for the family or friends to gather around and relax.
Patrick Kenney of Southampton, NY, Pool installation:
Vinyl pool and bluestone patio installation – Gunite pool look-a-like
Working with natural stone is my favorite part of pool construction. I enjoy knowing that the material I am using to create a beautiful pool landscape, is something that has been created over millions of years and was cut from a mountain side somewhere. Almost like it had a peaceful creation, it isn’t synthetic in any way. Much of the natural stone we use in our pool construction comes from right here in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. A lot of it also comes from the side of a mountain in Turkey or India. Funny enough, even the sand that is mixed with the portland cement to make the concrete we use comes from a sand quarry right in my backyard in Manorville.
For this project we use a natural stone called Pennsylvania Bluestone which is a layered sandstone found only in the northeastern tier of Pennsylvania, parts of northern New Jersey and the southern tier of New York. This stone was created about 360,000,000 years ago when the sea deposited sand in the Catskill delta region.
Bluestone is my stone of choice for any project when the Homeowner lets me choose the finishes. There are many reasons for Pennsylvania Bluestone to be my top choice. Bluestone looks great, is relatively inexpensive, especially considering people in California are paying three times what we pay for it, and it is a very hard, durable stone. Since Bluestone comes from right here in our own back yards it is a stone that blends well with our natural surroundings and doesn’t look out of place at all.
The bluestone used in this particular project has been thermally cut. This means instead of the stones natural layers being visible it has been run under a torch to give it a uniform look and feel to its top. Thermal cut bleustone is great around a pool because its top is nearly completely flat yet its finish has tiny little dimples making it a non slippery material. It also looks great and is extremely durable.
Our first step in this project is to excavate a hole where the pool will be built and set up our custom aluminum form kit which allows us to build concrete walls on our pools. We worked with Frank Wall enterprises to custom design this wall kit specifically for our pool building needs. Notice that the skimmers will be completely encapsulated and protected by concrete. Also notice our full size 4 step staircase. Even though this will be a vinyl pool, our staircase is built with 4 treads just like a gunite pool. Typically vinyl pools have 3 steps to keep costs down.
After setting up our aluminum custom pool wall forms our next step is to have a delivery of concrete and fill up the forms.
After removing our forms and installing a pool liner in the pool structure our next step is making a footing 30″ down from the frost line for our patio steps. We then install two rows of cinder blocks starting from 30″ below ground surface. These cinder blocks will act as our step risers. Then we install our tamped RCA base and rebar cage for added concrete slab strength. Most patio installers would be using a much smaller steel mesh or even nothing at all to reinforce there patio slabs but since we are concrete pool builders and believe in going the extra mile we use a full steel rebar cage. This slab, when fully cured, will be easily strong enough to drive trucks on.
After our slab has cured, we install our thermal bluestone. Here we have created a mesmerizing herringbone pattern with the stone. We can install our stone in many different patterns.
Next we install a Colonial Blue Wall Stone to veneer our step risers. This is the same stone as our Pennsylvania Bluestone but in its raw unaltered form.
Here is our finished product. This is a custom created bluestone patio by Patrick’s Pools. The stone used within this project is 360 million years old. Between the combination of the natural stone finishes and the black granite pool liner selected, this vinyl pool looks nearly identical to a gunite pool.
Southampton gunite pool renovation & repair
By Patrick Kenney / Southampton pool renovation
This is the sad story of a 10-year old gunite pool that was built by a pool builder who cut corners. This pool was built by a pool builder hired by the GC of the house for most likely the lowest bid of all bids received. The situation depicted within this blog is a perfect example of why its probably not a good idea to buy a pool from the lowest bidder.
The pool industry is a largely unregulated industry. There are no codes saying that the pool walls must be built to a certain minimum thickness. No government body telling pool builders they must use a concrete of a certain strength. In most areas on Long Island no one is checking the steel rebar cage. It is solely up to the pool builder to build a pool that will last, and it is up to the homeowners and GCs to choose a pool builder they believe will do this.
This is why when getting bids from several different pool builders on Long Island you may see a range of up to 100% difference between prices of the “same” pool. The reality is this pool may seem to be exactly the same from quote to quote, and for a few years may even seem to be the same pool on the surface. But once structural problems start to arise, as is the case with this example, the amount saved initially by using the lowest bid, can be a small percentage of the costs to fix the problems caused by the pool builder cutting corners to be able to sell the pool at the lowest bid in the first place. Since there are no enforced structural construction codes for swimming pools there is nothing stopping pool builders from taking short cuts and giving corresponding low ball bids, other than their own personal ethics.
This is why the Professional Pool Building Certification tested by the APSP is important. This certification requires certain minimum standards governed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) be followed by its certificate holders. I assure you, you will not find an APSP CBP Pool builder giving out the lowest bid for a swimming pool very often. This is because we are building pools to a much higher standard than those who are not certified.
Interested in using our gunite pool repair and renovation service? Gunite pool and spa renovations
This photo below depicts the crack we discovered that ran the forty foot length of the pool. The beam of the pool, which is the section at the top of the pool wall that expands to a larger width to accept the coping, has actually cracked directly off from the rest of the pool shell. This is a common issue amongst gunite pools when they are not built by quality pool builders.
Since the entire beam had separated from the rest of the pool shell the correct way to repair this issue is to remove all concrete above the crack and create a new beam.
After removing the top section of the gunite pool (the beam) we come across the alarming fact that this pool was built with walls that are only 4″ thick. I was told by the homeowner that the pool was only 10 years old. Because the pool and entire patio look much older, I confirmed for myself the age of the pool by checking when the house was built and 10 years is accurate. This was alarming because the pool had essentially fallen apart within 10 years of its construction. An entire 40′ section of beam had cracked off of this pool shell, all of the coping had come lose from the beam, most of the tiles had cracked or fallen off of the pool, and both skimmers had cracked away from the pool shell. After considering what had happened to this pool in its first 10 years of existence, taking into account that the pool walls are half as thick as they should be, and the cost of this pool repair alone, I advised the homeowner that it would be more cost effective to demolish this pool and build a new gunite pool. His decision was to go ahead with the repair. The cost of this beam replacement along with new tile, new coping, and new skimmers was $30,000. We decided to skip the planned new marbledust finish since there will very likely be more structural repairs needed in the future since the
remaining 3 walls are already showing signs that the beam will fully snap off there as well. The 4″ shell thickness is very troubling. If a pool builder was willing to make a wall this thin I imagine they were also cutting every other corner possible. I don’t foresee a good future for this pool.
This is a form we created to construct the new beam. Instead of placing a 10″ beam on top of a 4″ wall, we excavated behind the pool wall down to a depth of 30″. What this does is make the entire top section of the wall 10″ thick down below the freeze line.
Here we added a rebar cage, prepared the existing concrete and created a new concrete wall for the pool. The new pool coping has been installed on top of our new pool wall.
Here we have added our new pool tile and made a 1/2″ cut into the existing marbledust so that we may add a new marbledust patch to our new wall we have created.
Here we have created a new marbledust patch over our new pool wall.
This is the final product after the repair has been finished. Please keep in mind that this pool still has its original 10-year old marbledust finish so this was not a full renovation. This was a structural repair with a marbeldust patch.
By Patricks Pools