Let’s be honest, a pool is one of the essential elements to capturing that indoor/outdoor lifestyle we So Cal residents sooften boast about. What San Diegan can’t picture throwing the ultimate 2011 Labor Day Bash in their very own backyard paradise?

Let’s be honest, a pool is one of the essential elements to capturing that indoor/outdoor lifestyle we So Cal residents so often boast about. What San Diegan can’t picture throwing the ultimate 2011 Labor Day Bash in their very own backyard paradise? This is not a pipe dream. Most estimates range from 6-12 weeks from the day of excavation to complete your dream pool. Allowing for weather and other unforeseen delays, if you start your project by April or early May you could be enjoying pool side cocktails by the end of August, just in time to plan your own Labor Day extravaganza.

Some of the first and most important decisions you will make in this process concern who you work with on your project. From the design professionals to building, landscape, and masonry contractors, these are the people who will conceptualize your vision, execute it, and provide guidance all along the way. Start by simply asking around. Friends, family, neighbors, colleagues–their experiences both good and bad may tip you off to someone amazing or protect you from a disaster.  Other great places to check are your HOA, Chamber of Commerce, City Building and Safety Dept., and the Better Business Bureau. Always check the license status of your designers and contractors before you hire them. This can easily be done online at the California State Contractors License Board (, California Architects Board (, and Landscape Architects Technical Committee ( Making sure that they have a current license and the required insurance coverage should be non-negotiable. Take your time, do your research, and get several estimates. Your due diligence will make you feel more confident going into such a big project.

Now the fun part! With your chosen purveyor of poolside bliss it is time to make some decisions. Freeform or classic, infinity edge or rock slide…or both? This is a design project as much as it is a construction project. Here are some of the design elements that will maximize the beauty of your yard, enhance your lifestyle, and bring to life YOUR PREMIER pool.


The direction of your pools form and design should be taken from the style of your home. A classic rectangle shape with deliberate angles and lines beautifully mirrors the angles and clean lines of a more modern structure. On the other side of the spectrum, free form pools take shape from their surroundings and blend organically with lush landscapes and more informal relaxed settings.

If you have a view from your yard an infinity edge design can really take it to the next level.  The edgeless illusion visually connects the pool to the sights beyond, making the vast pacific, rolling hillside, or mountain vista a visual participant in the backyard environment. One reason infinity pools have become the benchmark for affluence is the care and expertise required in design and placement to allow for the most eye-catching perimeter overflow on each property.


The finishes that coat and protect the interior of a pool have come a long way from the days of straight concrete and sealant. Color, texture, sparkle, and up to 20 year warranties are available so be sure to look into all of your options. Even if you keep things basic, todays concrete finishes are a refined mixture of minerals far superior to those of the past. Colors are created from cultivated mixtures of fine marble, quartz, and silica sands to appear rich but also natural.

Another alternative is the exposed aggregate pool surface like popular brands PebbleTec  and Gemstone. Utilizing larger pebbles in conjunction with the refined bonding materials, this surface creates a unique patina of color and texture emulating those found in nature. While still smooth to the touch, this type of finish can offer a more non slip surface and there are options that incorporate seashells and mother of pearl for a truly unique and personalized look.

Custom Splashes

With the right designer and contractor you are limited only by your own imagination. From fiber optic light shows, to swim up bars, to a scene from your favorite island paradise. Here is a sampling of some of our favorite custom splashes!

Beach Entry–Your very own walk-in beach entry accented with rock formations and waterfalls create the illusion of an island get-away.

Image provided by Mission Valley Pools

Light Show–A tropical paradise turns into your very own water show with fiber optic colored lighting shooting through spouts of water into the pool.

Image provided by Del Rancho Pools, photo courtesy of Erick Lohre Photography


When planning your pool, keep in mind how it relates to the rest of the yard and the flow from indoors to out. Designer stone flooring from travertine to stamped concrete and pavers can mimic the flooring from indoors. When used starting at the patio and then surrounding the pool provides for a seamless transition between spaces.


One of the biggest concerns most homeowners have when deciding whether or not to put in a pool regards maintenance and upkeep. Thankfully as technology has evolved so many other tedious tasks, it has done the same for your pool. Pool maintenance systems come fully automated and can be monitored and controlled from your phone or computer. Solar technology has also played a huge role in making pool heating and maintenance more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

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