House on a Hill – Installing a Functional Raised Deck
Pool Renovations are fun projects that require various forms of construction expertise. The type of work can vary wide to include: re-plaster, equipment replacements, deck restorations or even additions to an existing pool. In our case above, we added some additional water features to two pre-existing water fountains. We also combined our foundation expertise with swimming pool renovation on this intricate House on a Hill project.
Working From The Ground Up
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. – Luke 6:8
When a new customer approaches us with the idea of adding onto their home, looking at their foundation is one of the first steps that we always take. At the House on a Hill project, we had a strong foundation to build upon; so foundation repair wasn’t our focus.
Instead, we used our foundation techniques to create a rather nifty application below their elevated pool deck. We often refer to this as creating a serviceable area for your home. This is a very useful & creative renovation technique that we have used on various homes throughout our history as a company.
The benefit for the House on a Hill job is that it allows the user to access the plumbing & electrical lines below the pool deck. All of our fountain equipment is now easily accessible without having to remove layers of decking. Certainly a great cost saving measure for the future!
An Advocate You Can Trust
We believe in advocating on behalf of our customers. Although other builders & renovators might take a contract, perform the work, collect a check and move on… that’s not our style. We assess all aspects of a job and present you, our customer, with options prior to getting started.
You may not feel ready to take on additional work and that’s okay! We just believe that you deserve to be given all of the facts prior to the start of any job. It’s part of our servant based approach to valuing our customers. We treat everyone with the diligence and attention they deserve to ensure they have complete knowledge of their homes and retain total control!
Our Game Plan
Our customer contracted us to add on two elevated Water Fountains, with a short winding river that connects the two bodies of water. By carefully assessing the job site, we came up with the following game plan.
- All swimming pools use PVC pipe to transport water from one body of water to the next. In this example, we needed to transport water from our fountains to our filtration system: a distance of over 100′. Our plumbing needed to run beneath the gorgeous flagstone deck of this backyard. Our focus on this project was to add new lines of plumbing without compromising the existing decking.
- Most swimming pool renovations require the addition of new features to boost the beautiful and aesthetic of the backyard. On this job, we added on two Fire & Water Bowls from The Outdoor Plus. We also created huge Color Changing Sheer Descents by Atlantic Water Gardens on our water fountains.
- Lastly, we needed a way to control these new water systems easily. We collaborated with our local distributor to purchase the Easytouch Control System by Pentair. This advanced system allows us to control our water fountains & features from the palm of your hand. With the use of an iPhone or Android device, our home owner will be able to turn on any water feature without the need to visit the pool equipment. Pretty cool stuff!
Matching Our Materials
As you can imagine, this project involved careful planning and execution. We needed to be careful to locate the existing plumbing lines below deck, add on to those lines and find a match for our flagstone. Our goal was to remove layers of existing pool deck, install these lines and replace deck material without anyone being able to tell work was done.
Most swimming pool contractors would rush through a situation like this without finding a proper match for existing materials. Nathan Moore took the time necessary to locate several stone yards and bring samples of our material to each yard. After thorough research he identified our flagstone as Arizona Flagstone… not Oklahoma like most people would imagine. By taking the time necessary we found an exact match for our deck. It sounds simple but it requires time and patience to act as an Advocate for our customers.
We perform procedures like this all the time for our customers. It’s the little things that add up to create the biggest impact later on.
Advocate “Re-dos” It Right
At Advocate Construction, we are firm believers in doing things the right way. Sometimes this presents us new opportunities to go back and fix mistakes that other contractors have made. Other cases give us opportunities to renovate older structures and make them look fresh and new. These types of jobs can vary from:
- Home Construction
- Swimming Pool Construction
- Foundation Repair
- Custom Cabinetry
In all cases, we approach our jobs with the same methodology. We look at each situation independently and identify causes of failure or deterioration. Secondly, we use advanced construction techniques and higher quality materials to prevent errors and future faults. This sounds a little vague but rest assured, we will give you a perfect example of what we’re talking about here!
This renovation job required us to remove large portions of decking to run new lines of plumbing. Our equipment was located in a storage room (on the right side of this home). This was approximately a 100′ run from the equipment to the elevated water fountains that we installed.
Our First Swimming Pool Renovation
Believe it or not, this is our first Swimming Pool Renovation job ever! We are always looking to dive into new areas of home renovation & construction. Sometimes, this requires us to expand our product offering into new areas of construction. With a determination to succeed and a winning mindset, we are up to the task!
With all of that said, what did we do on this swimming pool renovation job? Our customer wanted to expand their existing backyard to add on some new features and create a whole new look! To accomplish this, we needed to:
- Install 2 new levels of water features
- Remove existing decking (left side of pool) to plumb in these water features
- Run new electrical lines to power our LED Water Falls & Fire Features (future images to come)
- Lay 1″ tile in each water feature
- Create a Crawl Space beneath the decking to elevate the structure & aid in future servicing of equipment
Our crews removed old glass tile that dated back to the 1960s. Now that’s an old swimming pool! To replace it, we purchased some beautiful 1″ Mosaic Glass Tile & set it using gray thinset & grout. Our teams are very detail oriented and take our time setting these beautiful tiles to produce an even and gorgeous look!
Using the Foundation of Our Knowledge
Wow! That’s a long and very involved laundry list of action points! How exactly did we accomplish this with never having done a swimming pool renovation? Our secret – we view all construction services as a process. We look first at the foundation of all our structures, then build from the ground up.
For example, before we could ever run our plumbing lines from the equipment room to our new water features, we had to plan all the details. Our water features required all of the following, without skipping a step:
- New Electrical Conduit (with a control box located next to the fountains)
- Properly sized pumps & filtration equipment to keep these bodies of water clean
- LED Water Falls that would work with our existing swimming pool automation
- Arizona Flag Stone that matched our existing decking perfectly
With that in mind, each step of our construction process requires very detailed & planned steps. We carefully follow these steps to prevent mistakes during our construction process. It also ensures that our teams are quick because they have all of the materials they need to get the job done right, the first time.
Our Owner, Nathan Moore, managed this project personally. There was a set deadline for this renovation job for mid-April and we had approximately 3 months to get it done. As you can tell, this is still an ongoing project, so there will be more information to come over the next couple of weeks!
Using an iPhone, we took a great shot that shows the gorgeous length of this back yard. You can see the elevated decking (left) with our raised water features. This will host our LED Waterfalls & Fire Features to create a gorgeous scene at night. The pool (right) was already existing when we took on the job.
Getting Down To The Bones
As we stated above, getting down to the bones of our existing structures is always step #1. We emphasize this step because this is typically always the step that contractors prefer to miss. The reason being – it’s costly to remove existing material & replace it. It’s also technical and requires knowledge of all construction aspects. When you remove something – you better be able to improve it and put it back!
Our teams are heavily trained to look over all the details and to take their time. Because construction is in our blood and we enjoy this type of work – our curiosity pushes us to ask questions when we uncover something new.
Our Crawl Space creates a elevated space of about 2′ beneath the decking. This creates a create area for anyone to dive beneath the surface and service these elevated water features. This is a cost saving measure and prevents the need to remove decking in the event of a broken pipe or bad wire.
Making It Easier For The Next Guy
In the case of this swimming pool, we installed elevation equipment beneath the foundation of these elevated water features. To accomplish this, we excavated beneath the slab of these elevated sections to create a Crawl Space approximately 2′ in height. This is not typical of most contractors, but we have the ability to install a crawl space using our foundation division.
What does this do for this pool? It allows us or anyone in the future to get beneath the slab of these fountains & make repairs if there is ever an issue. When you dive beneath this structure, you can see our exposed plumbing & electrical and easily repair anything without having to remove sections of decking. This is a money saving feature that will surely benefit our home owner if they ever need anything special done in the future. Now that’s forward thinking!
Our newly installed 1″ Mosaic Glass Tile (once cleaned up) will create a gorgeous night setting. Combined with some illuminated LED nicheless pool lights, these water features will be able to take on any color you desire! Controlled by the palm of your hand, this will surely be a sight to see!
A Swimming Pool That Lasts!
At Advocate Contruction, we are an Advocate for each and every one of our customers. We take this pledge seriously and it means that we keep our customers at the center of every decision we make. From repair work to preventing future faults in our structures – we invest our time, money and efforts to build structures that last.
We this example, we pushed hard to keep our customer and their investment safe. From installing a crawl space, running plumbing & electrical lines (to code), matching the existing materials on the deck – we took our time to get this job done right.
Here is one last look at this gorgeous backyard setting. As you can see from this image, there are going to be two elevated water features that run down to our pool. These water features will not be connected, but instead will have a catch basin and run on their own closed plumbing loop.
Not only did we install a new set of water features, but we also installed pool equipment that boost the user experience. We use the most advanced swimming pool automation to control the pool & fire/water features from the palm of your hand. Although this is our first swimming pool renovation – we are fast learners and advancing the industry!
If you have a swimming pool that is in need of repair or you want to add on new features to boost the beauty of your backyard – we invite you to give us a call! We are ready to be your Advocate and we looking forward to speaking with you about your home!