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Claffey Pools Helps Residents Recover From Freeze Damage, With Help from Above

Claffey Pools team of nearly 100 employees are working tirelessly to restore nearly 1,000 area pool systems after the recent deep freeze.

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Claffey Pools Helps Residents Recover From Freeze Damage, With Help from Above

After a freezing winter storm shut down power in Texas in February, many pool owners experienced damage. With plumbing lines and equipment compromised, tens of thousands of pools across Texas were damaged beyond use. The Claffey Pools team of nearly 100 employees continues to work tirelessly to restore nearly 1,000 area pool systems. Serving North Texas for more than 30 years, Claffey Pools specializes in pool construction, service and renovation. Several weeks later, the Claffey Pools team can see the finish line on what has been and will be its most complicated and challenging endeavor. We sat down with Claffey Pools president Charlie Claffey to learn more about how his team weathered the storm.

FOR MORE THAN 34 YEARS… Claffey Pools has built more than 10,000 pools in North Texas. The Claffey Pools team is ranked third in the United States according to the “Pool and Spa News” Top 50 builders. Claffey Pools helps lead the industry by assisting in the adoption of Texas’ first uniform pool building code, serving the Texas Pool and Spa Coali- tion, the International Code Council, the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance and the Master Pools Guild.

WE ARE INDUSTRY LEADERS BECAUSE… of the tireless efforts of our staff, the talents of our trade partners and a culture centered on a passionate commitment for excellence.

TEXAS WAS DEVASTATED… by this winter weather. The never-before-seen cold, combined with power outages that, in some cases, lasted for days, caused immeasurable damage to homes and pools across the state. In what may go down as the single largest weather-related disaster in our nation’s history, swimming pools that rely on electricity to keep water moving were frozen solid.

WE WERE OVERWHELMED… with hundreds of calls, emails and texts in the days of the freeze. Our team assisted hundreds of clients at all hours of the night with calls and field visits. After the first few days, it was apparent that managing the requests without centralized communication and processes was impossible. In less than 24 hours, our team developed a web portal that gathered the data necessary to categorize damages and dispatch field personnel. The portal went live at 5 p.m. on February 18. By February 20, we were faced with the daunting task of performing nearly 900 freeze assessments.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE… in the last month can only be explained as miraculous. With our backs against the wall, the God-inspired ideas, systems, communication and execution is unfounded. The teamwork of employees, trade partners, supply side partners and manufacturing partners will forever change us. Our team, with daily help from above, has performed 900 assessments and estimates and repaired over 700 pools, covering a 120-mile radius, in just seven weeks. From what we are being told, the industry will be lucky to finish the balance of the repairs in seven months.

WE HAVE INCREDIBLE… team members that have worked seven-day weeks since the freeze event started — many working 20 hour days. We have incredible trade partners and manufacturing relationships that have been critical to the process. We have amazing people who have done amazing things.

WE ARE GRATEFUL… to God for the inspiration and guidance. From being inspired to clear the entire supply side chain inventory before anyone else reacted to being guided to design website portals, mechanized assessments and workflow management tools, our team has always been a step ahead.

THANK YOU… to our loyal clients. Throughout the entire process, our amazing clients have allowed us to pilot processes, use their homes as assessment training grounds, helped us feed our employees and even remodeled a 6,000-square-foot warehouse in one week — just to allow us to hold a never-before-seen amount of product. The friendships that are created as a result of working for so many of you is what makes each day special. Thank you.

Claffey Pools_logo .png

Claffey Pools

1625 Brumlow Avenue, Southlake, Texas 76092

Phone 817.488.5795

Article originally posted at: https://www.southlakestyle.com/community/business/claffey-pools-helps-residents-recover-from-freeze-damage-wit/

Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email info@poolmagazine.com or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to submissions@poolmagazine.com

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Terry Arko
5 months ago

Congrats to Claffey Pool for their commitment to high value and hard work to help in this challenging time. In these types of situations “help from above” is truly needed. Thank you for the inspiration you brought in the aftermath of this crisis.

Pool Builder

Pool Designs – 50 Luxury Pools That Will Inspire You

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Pool Designs - 50 Luxury Pools That Will Inspire You

When discussing the world of luxury pools and pool designs, one can’t go very far in the conversation without bringing up gunite pools. Unquestionably, concrete inground pools offer the most versatility in terms of customization. Homeowners go all out tricking out their backyards with the latest outdoor living amenities to take their backyards to the next level. Consequently, they want their pool designs to have the latest state-of-the-art technology. Builders are constantly being asked to push the envelope and incorporate pool features that complement the aesthetics of the home.

Tranqulity of Moving Water

Luxury inground pool with sheer descents - retaining wall
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This luxury inground pool with multiple sheer descents coming from a raised retaining wall offers the tranquility of moving water and provides a tasteful and elegant focal feature in the pool area.


Outdoor Pool & Patio Design

Simple and elegant outdoor pool patio design
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A simple and elegant backyard that makes excellent use of the space provided to offer a classic-looking outdoor pool and patio. Cohesive and tasteful throughout the entire space.


Personal Backyard Oasis

Backyard resort. Pool design with tanning ledge, bubblers, sheer descents.
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This space backyard resort had room for a huge pool design with a large tanning ledge. Bubblers and sheer descents add to the atmosphere of complete relaxation.


Covered Patio & Pool Vibe

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When the summer is hot, you’ll want a covered patio area to relax and beat the harmful rays of the sun. This hangout has an outdoor wet-rated ceiling fan to help circulate the air while lounging poolside on hot days.


Beach Resort Pool

Beach resort pool design with raised spa
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This quaint backyard beach resort comes complete with a raised spa. Guests lounging poolside will want to dive right in. Nothing screams beach vibe like a giant crab on the wall.


Perfect Pool Design For A Beach House

Beach house pool design with elegant pool and lounging area.
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Everything about this beach house says pool party. The minute you pull up to the house, the side entrance leads right to an elegant pool with a neatly appointed lounging area.


Classic & Contemporary

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The classic look of the home with its brick columns demands a simple and contemporary pool design. Large format pool tile at the waterline of the pool help gives it color and dimension.


Freeform Designer Pool

Designer pool - freeform pool design with travertine coping.
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This designer pool features a huge freeform design with a raised spa and travertine coping all around the perimeter of the pool. Smartly appointed umbrellas offer multiple shaded areas.


Enclosed Inground Pool

Enclosed pool design with rain curtain and laminar jets - raised spa.
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Enclosed pool designs are extremely popular in Florida. This homeowner opted to install a rain curtain feature in the center of the pool for a breathtaking centerpiece.


Fire & Water Features

Fire and water features in pool designs are popular. Sheer descents and laminar jets with spillover spa.
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There is nothing quite so captivating as when fire and water come together. The firepots complementing the sheer descents and laminar jets work beautifully with a spillover spa.


Outdoor Living At It’s Finest

A firepit conversation area by the pool is a classic design.
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This perfectly appointed outdoor living design features a firepit conversation area right next to the pool. One of the most popular outdoor living trends you’ll see this year.


Gunite Is The Way To Go

Gunite pools offer the most flexibility in terms of shapes and materials.
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Homeowners that want a truly custom luxury pool design 9 times out of 10 will choose a gunite pool because of the flexibility it offers pool designers in terms of materials and shapes.


Raised Wall Sheer Descents

Pool elevations with retaining walls are a high end feature homeowners love.
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Pool designers are opting to add elevations by building retaining walls that step down to the pool area. Adding a sheer descent that provides the sense of moving water throughout is a classic pool feature folks tend to ask for again and again.


Large Format Tiles Are Popular

Large format pool tile is enormously popular this year.
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One popular trend that continues to dominate pool designs is large format tiles. Homeowners are opting for beautiful grout lines and textured interesting patterns that pop.


Modern Pool Design With Retaining Wall

Modern pool design featuring multiple sheer descents from a huge retaining wall.
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This modern pool design features multiple sheer descents from a huge retaining privacy wall that keeps prying eyes and nosey neighbors from checking out the raging pool party going on.


Luxury Pool Design With Mosaic Tile

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This beachside mansion features a luxury pool with a perimeter overflow to a smaller pool below. The entire wall of the pool is covered in gorgeous mosaic pool tile throughout the whole length of the pool.


Southern Mansion Pool

Mansion pool with covered seating areas on multiple levels.
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This quaint southern mansion features a neatly appointed luxury pool area with paver tiles throughout the entire deck area. Seating is available under covered porches on multiple levels.


Garden Pool Design

Garden pool - outdoor pool design is perfect for small backyards.
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Homeowners looking for the perfect garden pool design need to look no further. This exemplifies an ideal outdoor pool design down to the doll-sized change room in the garden.


Poolside Shade With Pergolas

Pergolas for pools are a popular outdoor living feature
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One smart way to add a permanently shaded area is to build a pergola. This homeowner opted to build one running the length of the pool. A raised spillover spa provides the perfect accent.


Perfectly Simple Inground Pool

Simple inground pool that is perfect for most regular homes.
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Not every pool design has to be overdesigned with a million dollars worth of water features in order to be the ideal perfect pool. Sometimes simple is better when it comes to designing a pool and patio. The paver decking throughout is a classic and sophisticated look.


Picture Perfect Backyard

Picture perfect backyard with swimming pool.
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This picture-perfect backyard has all the outdoor living amenities one could want. An outdoor fireplace, pergola, and outdoor kitchen complement a freeform pool with raised spillover spa.


Elevations Are Popular

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Homes with a sloped backyard are a prime candidate for creating tasteful pool designs that incorporate exciting elevation changes. This modern pool design does that handsomely.


Luxury Outdoor Living

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When discussing outdoor luxury amenities that add value to the home, a beautiful beach entry pool is definitely one that is adding to the sale price of a home. Completed backyards with a swimming pool like this one are going for top dollar in today’s real estate market.


Private Waterfront Pool Area

Luxury pool on waterfront property with easy access to guests dropping in for a dip.
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Luxury homeowners could want nothing more than a private waterfront pool area with easy dock access for any guests that may want to drop in for the occasional dip.


Vanishing Edge Pools

Vanishing edge pools are a luxury that homeowners investing in an inground pool seem to want.
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Vanishing edge pools are a luxury that homeowners investing in an outdoor pool seem to want. They add a sophisticated modern design aesthetic to areas that open up to a view.


Spillover Spas a Popular Pool Feature

Popular Pool Features - Raised Spillover Spa offers a complete overview of the pool area.
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Pool designers that opt to include a raised spillover spa to a complete view of the pool area will create a relaxing detached area away from children playing in the pool. This design is popular with homeowners that want an elegant pool design but still want to keep an eye on their kids.


Crafting Outdoor Living Environments

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Crafting the ideal outdoor living environment that speaks to a homeowner’s lifestyle and design aesthetic can be a challenge for pool builders. The best pool designs think about the entire backyard as a whole. Considering the flow from the main home to the patio area, homeowners frequently opt to add an outdoor home theater system and seating area. This beautifully appointed outdoor fireplace is the perfect place to lounge poolside.


Pool & Firepit Area

Firepit by the pool filled with crushed blue glass is the same color as the pool interior.
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One of the most popular backyard amenities homeowners are adding to their swimming pool is a separate fire pit area. This beautiful stacked stone fire pit with crushed blue glass perfectly accents the pool interior. Using color to combine design elements is a method outdoor living experts use to create a cohesive palette in the backyard.


Complement Your Natural Canvas

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Homeowners that already have an impressive natural backdrop to build against are eager to add a pool. Adding a custom luxury pool completes the transition from the indoors to an impressive outdoor canvas. Adding small touches like moving water features creates the serenity that homeowners seek after a trying day at the office.


Add Natural Rock To Your Pool To Create An Outdoor Oasis

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Natural rock immediately gives you the sense that you’re in an outdoor oasis. Pool designs that incorporate a chatter fall feature where moving water rushes down the rocks are very popular. Multiple entries are also a pool feature that creates a resort-style pool.


Rustic Southern Style

Contemporary meets rustic with this southern style backyard.
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This beautiful freeform pool with a raised spa is the focal point of the backyard. A huge paver patio has an outdoor fireplace with Adirondack chairs. A covered pergola and barbecue setting area make it easy to serve food and drinks to guests poolside. Incorporate the right landscaping, trees, and plants pulls the whole pool design together in this beautiful rustic southern-style backyard.


Sheet of Glass

Perimeter overflow pool designs create the aesthetic where the pool becomes a sheet of glass.
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This pool is literally a sheet of glass. A perimeter overflow pool design with a small gap around the entire pool area allow the water to continuously recycle back into the pool. If you look closely you’ll notice a spa area got the same treatment on the other end of the backyard. Truly a modern pool design aesthetic that homeowners are gravitating towards.


Designing Pools For Narrow Spaces

Narrow pool design for side of house.
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This homeowner opted to build a beautiful and luxurious inground pool and spa on the side of their house instead of in their backyard where they had less square footage. It’s a unique pool design that makes the most out of the usable space.


Pool Entries Are Important

Stairs are an important design aspect in an inground pool.
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When planning a pool design, builders will often recommend a pool entry that flows seamlessly into the rest of the backyard area. Making it easy for swimmers to enter and exit the pool is important. Backyards that are on a slope are best suited for stair entry pools.


Geometric Shaped Pools

Geometric shaped pool designs are becoming increasingly popular.
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Modern pool designs tend to lean more towards geometric shapes. This simple L shaped pool design is perfectly suited with a retaining wall at the far end that creates a walkway with garden boxes on each side. The concrete decking here blends in seamlessly with the coping.


Adding a Ledge Lounger

Adding a ledge lounger to a pool is easy and a beautiful design aesthetic.
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It’s amazing what adding a ledge lounger can do to really give the pool a backyard resort style look and feel. The fact that loungers now come in a wide variety of colors make it easy to add one on and coordinate it to the rest of your outdoor palette.


Creating Seating for Guests

Create seating for guests to lounge poolside and for swimmers to enjoy as well.
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Creating seating for guests to be able to comfortably lounge poolside is one design element that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you do a lot of entertaining in your backyard, you’ll want to consider adding a few lounge chairs by the pool which will require a deck to place them on. Adding a tanning ledge to the pool allows swimmers to lounge in the water without actually getting in the water. Definitely a pool feature that homeowners want these days.


Poolside Pergola

It's amazing what a pergola can do to pull the entire pool design together and make the backyard feel complete.
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Pergolas consistently remain one of the top outdoor amenities that homeowners add to their swimming pool area. This simple outdoor seating area has a beautiful pergola that perfectly accents the home. It’s incredible what adding a Pergola can do to help bring the entire backyard together. A massive tanning ledge in this pool can easily be equipped with a ledge lounger.


Raised Spa With Large Format Tile

Raised spa with large format tile has a seamless tile line above the waterline.
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The pool designers paid attention to creating a continuous line above the waterline throughout the pool. Adding a raised spa with large format tile was a smart touch here. A huge spillover into the pool creates that waterfall sound that really makes this backyard resort feel like an oasis. A beautiful pergola and outdoor kitchen are the perfect addition to really complete this outdoor living environment.


Massive Tanning Ledge

Massive tanning ledges create an expanded shallow area for younger swimmers.
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One of the most popular pool design features that homeowners are requesting these days is a massive tanning ledge. A tanning ledge is a particularly useful feature for homeowners that have small children. Parents want a larger than average shallow area for splashing around with infants and toddlers.


Retaining Wall Water Features

Smart use of retaining walls means incorporating water features.
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The sound of moving water creates the sense of tranquility and an atmosphere of elegance. Homeowners opt to add retaining walls for a number of reasons. Whether it’s for holding the earth back from the pool area, or creating privacy, or forming elevations; builders that are able to incorporate water features into them are pushing the envelope on their pool designs.


Making The Most Of Travertine

Making the most out of travertine decking by incorporating it into a raised detched spa.
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Travertine decking is one of the more high-end materials that homeowners are choosing for their patio. Using that material on the raised detached spa was smart. Creating a channel for the water to flow into the pool and create a moving water feature was even smarter.


Popular Water Feature to Add – Deck Jets

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A popular pool feature that homeowners are adding to their pool design – deck jets. The jets can be aimed to shoot a stream of water a certain distance or height and can even incorporate LED lighting to create a colored stream of light into the pool at night.


Cascading Sheer Descents & High Retaining Walls

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If privacy is an issue, a high retaining wall solves a lot of problems and a good design solution if you have a lot of earth to hold back in your yard. A popular water feature these days is adding a cascading sheer descent to your pool. Water appears to flow from the top of the wall into the pool below.


No Deck Needed

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Not every pool needs to be surrounded by a slab of concrete or travertine decking. Some outdoor pool designs look just as beautiful without a deck. This homeowner opted not to build a deck and has their pool surrounded by a lush green lawn. The pool design itself is very simple but stylish with a sunken channeled spillover spa.


Cabo Ledges

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Lounging poolside, swimmers may opt to need breaks in the pool. Builders will frequently opt to create shelves and ledges in these areas of an inground pool. This particular pool design does exactly that with a tanning ledge running along the entrance of the pool as well as along the perimeter.


Caddy Corner Spillover Spa

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A popular design feature that looks spectacular on geometric-shaped pools is caddy cornered spillover spas. Positioning them smartly so that the water flow goes directly into the pool creates the sound of peacefully moving water. This is something you’ll appreciate the moment you enter the pool area.


Location, Location, Location

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Having a beautiful backdrop to build a pool against creates the ultimate canvas for luxury outdoor living designs. The pool designers were inspired to create a backyard design that would handsomely complement the sprawling outdoor space and blend seamlessly with the exterior of the home.


Classic Outdoor Living

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It isn’t very hard to see that this homeowner was going for a classic outdoor living environment with this pool design. This roman shaped pool design is popular with more traditional homes. The plants and landscaping the homeowner chose beautifully accent the perimeter of the pool area throughout. A pavilion towards the back of the property line provides a smartly appointed entertainment area.


Pool Design For Your Outdoor Living Environment

Pool Design For Your Outdoor Living Environment
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Cameron Rhodes, the lead designer and co-owner of Southern Poolscapes has been designing high-end outdoor living environments for the better part of a decade. When it comes to selecting a pool design, Rhodes said “It’s important to meet with a pool builder that understands your vision for the space. Many times, it takes a while to help homeowners articulate that into a design plan that accurately represents what their dream is.”

As one of the leading luxury pool builders in the South, Rhodes has his fingers on the pulse of what pool design features homeowners want in their inground pool. “Moving water is extremely popular,” said Rhodes, “There is something truly serene about coming into the backyard and hearing the sound of a waterfall or sheer descent running. That ambient sound is very peaceful and adds to the overall atmosphere and ambiance in a high-end custom pool.”

In terms of what luxury homeowners are adding to their pools, Rhodes replied, “We’ve seen more and more homeowners requesting massive tanning ledges. Many of these folks have a family with small children and these ledges provide a larger shallow area to enjoy time in the pool with younger more inexperienced swimmers. Plus when coupled with a set of ledge loungers, the effect is pretty impressive,” said Rhodes. 

“We are also seeing more homeowners looking for a cleaner more refined look to their inground pool,” said Rhodes, “We’re doing a lot of perimeter overflow projects where you get that seamless sheet of glass look when the waterline is flush with the coping.” 

As far as outdoor living amenities go, Rhodes says that homeowners are going all out on high-end materials, despite the rising costs that we’ve seen across the board this season.

“By and large people want a beautiful outdoor living environment,” said Rhodes, “we’re seeing more customers add on Pavilions, outdoor kitchens, firepits, and go all out on their landscaping. It goes to show their mindset; that if they’re stuck at home, they are going to make sure that their home is definitely someplace that they want to be.”

Photo Credit: Southern Poolscapes

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Pool Builder

One on One With Rick Chafey of Ask The Masters

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Rick Chafey is one of the top pool designers in the country and the co-owner of two design / build firms – Red Rock Pools & Spas & Red Rock Contractors, out of Chandler, AZ. He’s also an instructor at Watershape University as well as the co-host of Ask The Masters, a popular podcast that focuses on education and the more technical aspects of what folks who build and design pools for a living, really want to learn about.

When it comes to swimming pools, Chafey is a fountain of knowledge. We had the opportunity to sit and talk shop with one of the top designers in the industry. Chafey first got his start around 25 years ago as a general contractor and around 5 years in, got into the realm of pool design and construction. “Early on we weren’t a design firm much at all,” said Chafey, “We pretended to be designers like a lot of pool builders do early on, without any real knowledge or education about what we were doing. We made pretty pictures and hoped and got our subcontractors to help us stumble through being a builder.”

Rick’s days of stumbling are long gone and over the top luxury pool builds like this one are just part of an average day.

The Path Towards Becoming a Leading Design / Build Firm

As Chafey progressed in his career, he began acquiring an education and expanding his acumen eventually gaining an in-depth understanding of the way pools are designed and built. Chafey began building a team that would eventually comprise 40 employees that handle design / build construction projects throughout Arizona as well as the rest of the country and overseas. His design team consisting of 2 licensed architects, a civil engineer, and 3 drafters comprise the consulting arm of Red Rock Pools & Spas. This forward-thinking expansion has allowed him to provide services throughout the industry for other builders both locally and abroad and has helped propel him as one of the leading design consultants in the swimming pool industry.

As one of the top design / build firms in the country, his firm is frequently brought in to consult on some of the most over the top and elaborate pool construction projects in the world. A frequent collaborator with some of the elite names in the pool industry, Chafey has developed a wide network of experts whom he can call on to help assist with various aspects of a given project.

Chafey and his firm are frequently brought in to consult on high end luxury custom pool projects from coast to coast.

An $8 Million Dollar Resort Style Pool Is Par For The Course

Currently, Chafey and company are working on an $8 million dollar backyard resort style luxury pool complete with its very own shark tank. “Structurally and cosmetically, we can figure that part out,” said Chafey, “but then we need to get involved in safety, and life support for the fish, and access and all those parts.”

“It’s got a flowrider surf machine, full size commercial 1,000 hp surfing machine. This one’s, unique because it’s the second one they built that’s designed on the same platform as an inflatable paddle board or a rigid inflatable boat.” said Chafey.

This backyard comes complete with it’s own surfing pool just in case guests feel like catching a few waves.

In describing the unique complexity of the project, Chafey explained how the system will work. “We can actually deflate the system and then we’ve got a transversing hydraulic deck system that closes it off from view and UV rays. When it’s not in use – it won’t look like a giant inflatable jump toy in the backyard.” Twinscape USA will provide the expertise for that application, said Chafey

“It’s also got a lazy river tied to it,” Chafey explained, “The main pool section has big grottos and underground water features. To top it off, its got a go-cart track tunnel that goes all the way underneath part of that river for a few hundred feet, then comes back out and back to grade. Soup to nuts, that project adds up to 50 different small design projects and we’ve got 6 different consultants to try and put all that together.”

A lazy river runs throughout a backyard complete with it’s own Go-Kart track that actually runs underneath part of the pool.

Did Someone Say Shark Tank?

This over the top resort style luxury pool has an incredible amount of moving parts and degree of difficulty rarely found in most residential pools. Swimmers can splash around in the swimming pool while viewing through a shared acrylic wall at a 30,000 gallon shark tank on the other side. To add to the complexity, the shark tank has to be load bearing and support several portions of the home. The remarkably intricate project has been years in the making and has included the collaboration of a different teams of individual consultants. Chafey was brought in by the general contractor early in the game before there was even a budget allocated to the project.

This incredible shark tank is integrated into the overall pool design and supports 10 major loads of the main house

Putting The Best Team Out On The Field

Ultimately, Chafey explained that it’s his ability to organize teams and orchestrate the various moving parts of a given project that help differentiate his firm as an elite design / build firm in the pool world. Chafey’s project portfolio has grown substantially over the last two decades, helping him achieve recognition with both some of the most discerning homeowners as well as his peers within the industry.

Chafey had some advice for aspiring pool builders looking to get into the realm of high end custom luxury pools, “Part of it is you have to start building a body of work to where you start making those connections and getting the requests,” said Chafey, “That’s just something you have to build up over time. As long as your concepts and creativity are getting peoples admiration and you’re able to pull them off, you can slowly build that body of work to where those projects are getting bigger.”

Trying to advance to higher end pool projects before going through the learning process is a recipe for disaster insisted Chafey who said, “It takes time, no matter how much you try to accelerate your capacity, it takes time and opportunity and then you have to be able to pull them all off throughout that process.” Rick’s own path took him a while to begin to receive the notoriety and recognition as an elite design / build firm. “For us, over the last 25 years, we’ve built a lot of relationships with design teams and general contractors.” said Chafey.

Becoming a high end builder doesn’t happen overnight and took Chafey years to establish his reputation.

When it comes to being one of the elite pool design firms in the country, Chafey said that lately he finds himself in a small field of competition when it comes to the firms that are able to tackle projects of the size, scope and complexity his firm takes on. His ability to scale Red Rock’s consulting services to other builders has dramatically increased the number of projects they find themselves involved in.

Key Players
Co-Owner  — Brett Blauvelt
Lead Designer – Jake Lupe
Field Superintendents – Jordan Walker and Ken Kauffmann
Project GC Regal American Homes

Consultants
Aquatic Glazing International
Brannon Corp
Aquatic Exhibits International
Current Systems
Rans Simulation

Known for his meticulous designs, Chafey’s work is closely studied by high end builders and designers.

This certainly isn’t the first large scale project that Chafey has been involved with. Widely regarded in the pool industry for his expertise, he’s a full time functioning contractor not just an educator. Given his role on Ask The Masters, it’s only natural that his own work is often critiqued and analyzed. Having that kind of visibility comes with a price which means that all of his projects are under the microscope and scrutiny of the rest of the industry. As a leading consultant Chafey is often closely studied by his peers and as an educator even more so by folks looking to benefit from his wealth of knowledge.

Rick Chafey on his move to Watershape University

Early on, Chafey placed a premium on education, becoming a staff member at Genesis where he was an instructor and Chaired the Advisory Board for several years before eventually joining Watershape University. Chafey is now an instructor and is helping to shape the curriculum for the new education program with Dave Penton, Dave Peterson, Michael Nance, and Bill Drakeley along with other well-known previous Genesis faculty.

“When it comes to education, the main thing is to get involved, regardless if it’s Genesis, Watershape University, PHTA or whatever program you choose.” said Chafey, who said that he feels that Watershape University gives him to opportunity to adapt the new program towards more high end pools rather than production pools.

Chafey explained that the new program will provide a complete textbook level class that features distance learning options as an alternative to the costly in-person events that attendees typically spend thousands of dollars to attend in addition to the courses they are taking.

Watershape University had a particularly rough start as many of its planned events coincided with last years closures due to Covid-19. Many pool tradeshows shut down or switched to online events which created some hurdles to overcome.

“Everyone learns better face to face. However that’s also what has been holding us back as a group because we were only teaching at certain locations at certain times a year, it made it very difficult and much more expensive for people to travel.” said Chafey, “If you’re on the east coast and have to travel to Las Vegas and spend 4 or 5 nights in a hotel and spend money on airfare and meals and pay for education… it’s not always practical. What Watershape University is currently doing is putting as much online as possible, hour by hour – each segment can be done online on your own time.”

“The intensity and requirement of doing our hydraulics class is pretty thorough. Dave Petersons class on hydraulics is the best class any pool builder in the entire country can ever take. If you’re a guy like me that wants to do higher level work, once you start taking a class like that you will get sucked in and realize how much you didn’t know and how much you have to learn.” said Chafey as he was describing what Watershape University brings to the table in terms of it’s offering.

After a long hiatus due to Covid-19, the program plans to have a big presence at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in Dallas in November. Chafey who co-hosts the Ask The Masters Podcast with Dave Penton, says he plans close integration between the two online platforms.

Get to know Rick & Dave on the Ask The Masters Podcast. We feature their content in the Pool Magazine app and you can also find them on Facebook where they host one of the most active groups in the pool industry consisting of thousands of members.

Listen to our entire interview with Rick Chafey on the Pool Magazine podcast.

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Pool Builder

Dave Penton – Builder, Mentor, Professor

We’re chatting with Dave Penton, Co-Host of Ask The Masters and Professor for Watershape University

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Dave Penton is probably one of the most recognizable voices in the pool industry. As a Co-Host of the Ask The Masters Podcast, and Professor at Watershape University, Dave has been a mentor to countless builders in the field of pool construction.

Dave Penton – President of Fluid Dynamics, former SWD Master, Watershape University Instructor and Mentor is one of the leading voices in the pool industry today.

A certified PhD in Pool Construction, if there was such a thing – David Penton is pretty much omnipresent in the pool industry. Here is a man who is involved at such a high level in this field and has given back so much to the industry over the past few years. It’s tough to discern exactly how he finds time for it all.

Penton has been involved in a number of high profile pools over the years. His construction projects have been featured in The Robb Report, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Luxury Pools, and now we are privileged to be able to highlight and profile his incredible story and body of work in Pool Magazine.

Dave Penton has earned a reputation as one of the leading pool builders in the industry.

Penton first got started in the pool industry back in 1992. His company at the time Krystal Klear Pools, originally focused on pool & spa maintenance and repair services. Receiving his state contractors license, the company continued to work on bigger and bigger projects. Dave began developing a reputation as one of the leading service providers in Orange County for his residential and commercial work. His company, Krystal Klear Pools continued to grow until he received his C-53 pool construction license in 2003. Penton decided to sell his service business to focus on pool construction full time and re-branded the company as Fluid Dynamics.

His first major project was a $100,000 remodel. A pool builder friend of his guided him through his initial forray into the industry and helped him learn the ropes. Penton committed himself to learning as much as he could, as quickly as he could and became a voracious student. Penton credits studying with organizations like Genesis with providing the stepping stones he needed to becoming one of the industries high-end builders.

Penton’s body of work has been featured practically everywhere. He has made an indelible mark in the industry during the span of his career with projects such as this one.

Fast forward to 2021, his company Fluid Dynamics has been responsible on numerous high end pool construction projects all over Los Angeles and Orange County. Dave’s body of work includes the type of high end restoration projects that only the leaders in the industry at the pinnacle of their career get to work on. Penton recently worked an incredible restoration project at The Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades and another restoration of the fountain at the historic Century Towers property.

This zero edge luxury inground pool in Beverly Hills is merely a footnote in a long list of incredible projects for Penton.

Projects like an over-the-top 26 by 100 foot pool in Bel Air are all in a days work for this master pool builder. With a laundry list of high profile inground pool projects, Penton has worked with a veritable who’s who in the pool industry including top names in construction and design like Jimmy Reed, Shane LeBlanc, and many others.

As one of the leading experts in the country, Dave has found time to give back to the pool industry in so many ways over the years. His transition now to Mentor has seen him function as an instructor for both the Genesis program, and now Watershape University where he teaches today.

We asked Dave how he finds time for it all, and what the transition has been like to becoming a mentor for other builders “I couldn’t have gotten to where I am without people doing the same thing for me.” said Penton who claims to find it immensely rewarding to be able to give back in the form of imparting his expertise on other builders. “That rhythm has always been established since the beginning of my career for learning or being able to carve out time for giving back” said Penton.

Dave Penton is not only one of the leading builders in the country, he finds time to Co-Host Ask The Masters and teach for Watershape University.

Prior to joining Watershape University, Dave was an instructor for Genesis – one of the leading training programs in the pool industry. His split from the organization is now common knowledge. We asked him some pointed questions about his separation from Genesis. We also asked him to clear up a few ambiguities that come from questions we have seen posed again and again in social media groups.

The pool industry itself is huge but in the ecosystem we live in, everyone talks to one another so it’s kind of like a small town the way word travels so fast. Dave was already familiar with the topic at hand and replied “Bill Drakely and David Peterson had a different vision for education and decided they could do a great job on their own.” said Penton “I love Dave and Bills vision for the industry and I’m just happy to be a part and be a contributing professor and continue to give back to the industry”.

Penton summarized one of the distinctions between the two programs being the pace of which matriculation occurs from one level to the next.

“What I like about Watershape University is that you can move from your Associates, to your Bachelors, to your Masters quickly” said Penton “There’s also recognition at various levels of your education as opposed to having to wait until you’ve completed the entire course”.

We inquired as to whether the course curriculum is the same. “As far as the program goes there are some overlaps,” he replied. “There are instructors that teach for both organizations.” Penton advised anyone interested in either of the two programs to compare course descriptions and teacher bios in order to make an assumption as to which program best suits their educational pursuits.

Dave Penton is a master pool builder and one of the leading experts in pool construction today.

Penton, who regularly consults with a dream team including Paolo Benedetti (Swimming Pool Expert Witness), Randy Beard, Rick Chafey and many others is probably one of the most knowledgeable folks in the pool industry. He says programs like Genesis and Watershape University have given him the foundation and vernacular to be able to communicate at various levels in the industry with expert knowledge.

“It creates a more well rounded individual” said Penton “Understanding both sides of it makes pool builders better understand the design side, and conversely it makes pool designers better understand the construction side.”

You cannot discount the fact that Penton has taken the opportunity to reinvest back into his education. He has done so at every stage in his career. Education is something Penton encourages professionals pursuing a career in the industry to consider very strongly. The program he teaches today at Watershape University is an excellent pathway towards continuing ones training in the field of pool construction.

You can follow the Ask The Masters Podcast where they speak with expert knowledge on a variety of different topics associated with the pool industry. We subscribe to it and you should too. Listen to our complete interview with Dave Penton on the Pool Magazine Podcast.

All Photos Courtesy of Fluid Dynamics

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