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Outdoor Living: Time for Backyard Renovations

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Outdoor Living: Time for Backyard Renovations

Nowadays, homeowners are valuing their backyard spaces much more due to the numerous COVID restrictions. Subsequently, backyard renovations are becoming much more common. Even so, harsh climatic conditions can hinder you from making the most out of your outdoor living space. Well, unless you have a reliable heat source in your backyard.

Outdoor Living: Time for Backyard Renovations

Unquestionably, almost every individual wanted to create a little escapade outside their house due to the COVID travel restrictions reinforced. Several homeowners opted to camp with their loved ones in their backyards. On the other hand, some created a mini staycation by the poolside. And as summer was coming to an end, there was a high demand for outdoor heaters. However, reports say that Dimplex began getting high demand quite earlier. Like any other product, the increased demand for outdoor heaters has led to increased supply.

Jim Bottrell, vice president of business development, states, “At first, it was essential to evaluate the effects of the global pandemic – COVID-19. Thus, we came up with a business strategy that would prevent a drop in our sales and revenues. But to our surprise, we received a lot more demand for our products; and this was unexpected. Unfortunately, our supply could not match up to our demand.” “We suppose that the high demand indisputably comes from homeowners who are fed up with being locked in their homes due to COVID guidelines. I mean, who does not want a mini vacation with their family in their outdoor living space?”

A collection of outdoor living products

Typically, outdoor heaters feature a wide range of backyard products that serve as a heat and warmth source. Some examples include grills or firepits. Such features focus on providing both excellent functionality and aesthetics. Therefore, they can get used in the evening or at night to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in your backyard. Jim Bottrell states that outdoor heaters’ demand creates an opportunity for manufacturers, retailers, and dealers to offer a full package solution. He says, “Majority of homeowners would get lured into buying a product that offers everything they want.”

Jim Bottrell continues to say, “Outdoor kitchens are ideal for offering warmth. However, if there are strong winds, an outdoor kitchen won’t do much for you. And this is where outdoor heaters come in handy. You can install them nearby the lounging areas of your backyard. You can always count on them to provide the required warmth.” Besides, outdoor heaters do not demand much functional space.

“Additionally, it all narrows down to your requirements,” Bottrell says. Let’s say you have an area that is partially enclosed; it is risky to run propane. Moreover, running cables is more straightforward than running gas lines. All in all, it all relies on what you want at the end of the day.”

At Dimplex, several models can get wired at 120V or 240V. Even so, you would instead go for a 240V infrared model.

Contrary to common belief, outdoor heater installation is simple. Nonetheless, conducting a DIY project can be dangerous since there are electrical wires involved. So, it would be best to hire a certified and licensed electrician.

Infrared technology advantage

Over the years, infrared technology has become popular among most individuals. Bottrell says, “One of the main advantages of infrared models is that they heat the objects and not the outdoor living space. So, even when it is windy, the heat will remain, and you’ll be kept warm throughout.” Moreover, infrared technology offers high flexibility; it can get used for both outdoor and indoor spaces.

Bottrell proceeds to say, “You cannot compare and infrared heater with a conventional heater. Conventional heaters provide warmth to the space; thus, immediately you open the door, all the heat escapes. Consequently, they are not as efficient in retaining warmth for a long period. On the other hand, infrared heaters focus on heating the objects and people in the room. So, whenever, you open a door or window, there is no chance of heat escaping. Thus, infrared models retain the heat in a room for long periods.”

The comforting prospect

The COVID 19 pandemic has undoubtedly led to an increase in demand for outdoor heaters. In turn, 2020 posed a challenge to increase match up with this demand. Bottrell is, however, happy about the increased popularity of outdoor heaters. The company is set to introduce a new model that incorporates mounted natural gas heaters and freestanding outdoor heaters.

Bottrell says, “One of our company’s primary objectives is to become fuel-agnostic. Also, we aim to offer different models that cater to a wide range of our consumer’s requirements, from electric systems to water vapor systems.

“The number of a hot tub and pool sales are incredibly mind-blogging. Finally, we get to see something positive out of these products. All in all, there has been a significant rise in the demand and sales for outdoor living products.”

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Las Vegas Pool Builder Receives Top Industry Award

Joseph Anthony Vassallo, CBP of Paragon Pools Named PHTA 2021
Builder of the Year

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Las Vegas Pool Builder - Joseph Anthony Vassallo, Vice President & Chief Design Executive of Paragon Pools was named the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) 2021 Builder of the Year

(Las Vegas, NV) Nov 21, 2021 – Las Vegan Joseph Anthony Vassallo, Vice President & Chief Design Executive of Paragon Pools was named the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) 2021 Builder of the Year at the Awards ceremony held on Nov 15th in Dallas, Texas during the Pool, Spa, Patio & Deck Expo.

The PHTA annually recognizes prominent achievements and outstanding performers in the pool, spa and hot tub industry of which include the Individuals Awards and the International Awards of Excellence Design Awards.

The Builder of the Year Award is a peer-nominated award given to one PHTA builder member who has advanced the pool building profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.

Nominees must meet a strict set of criteria, including commitment to being a positive role model for the profession and peers, have a proven track record of meeting or exceeding industry standards in designing and building pools and spas, must have been employed in the pool, hot tub, or spa industry for at least five years, has actively participated with PHTA at a local or national level and must be a current employee of a PHTA member company in good standing.

Vassallo, who is often referred to as Joe Jr. began his career as a design apprentice in his teens (1989). He found enjoyment in the challenge of conceiving and developing pool and landscape plans to complement the home’s architecture and restrictive plot layouts while designing a stunning custom design for the homeowner.

Following high school, he studied architecture, marketing, and small business management. He has continued to further his professional and technical skills with PSI Leadership Seminars, Tom Hopkins Seminars, Auto CAD-2000, Structure Studios 3-D training, PHTA University curriculum, ART- Artistic Resources and Training, as well as CEU’s in industry business and technical topics.

In 2001, Vassallo joined his father in opening the family business, Paragon Pools in Las Vegas. As the Vice President, Vassallo has been instrumental in the success of the company and creating a high standard for design and construction for company projects earning an expansive list of international design awards and business accolades over the years, including Masters of Design Awards, International Awards of Excellence Design Awards, Aqua Choice Design Awards,  Aqua 100 Hall of Fame, Nevada Business Journal Family Owned Business Honoree and Vegas Inc (formally InBusiness) 40 Under 40 Award to name a few.

In the nomination letter, Robert Blanda, CBP, PHTA Fellow, 2014 Builder of the Year submitted the following:

“Celebrating the 20th Anniversary Paragon Pools this year, Joseph Anthony Vassallo, CBP has had a long respected and celebrated career as a pool designer and builder in Las Vegas, NV.

He has been committed to ensuring and promoting professional development and the growth of the aquatic industry through a variety of activities including volunteering his time to serve on the Southern Nevada Chapter as well as the National Builders Education Committee (BEC) and Builders Manual Task Force…

Joe Jr. has always been very respectful of his fellow aquatic professionals. His high standards, design talents, knowledge of product and instincts are with true merit…  He is eager to share his knowledge and elevate the skills of others. I and others have sought his advice on projects on numerous occasions. And his contributions to the 3rd and 4th edition of the Builders Manual was extremely valuable…  

He is a fine example of what the BUILDER of the YEAR represents and has advanced the pool building profession through outstanding achievements and dedication to the industry.” 

Established in 2007, the PHTA Builder of Year Award is previously known as the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) Certified Building Professional (CBP) of the Year Award.  Vassallo joins a short list of only 17 honorees that span the United States, including his father, Joseph Michael Vassallo, CBP who received the award in 2012.

Joseph Vassallo Sr. – Owner of Paragon Pools, Joe Trusty – Editor of Pool Magazine, Joseph Anthony Vassallo – Vice President & Chief Design Executive of Paragon Pools – 2021 PHTA Builder of the Year

The Vassallo’s are the only father and son to both receive the distinguished accolade. The duo also received an International Awards of Excellence Design Award for their unique design in the category of – Spa built in conjunction with a pool.

# # #

ABOUT PARAGON POOLS Paragon Pools is an award-winning, custom, in-ground swimming pool and spa design/build construction company in Las Vegas, Nevada. The contractor specializes in new construction and major renovations of residential and commercial projects. Paragon Pools has received numerous accolades worldwide for its unique designs, trend setting applications and renovation projects. Their client list includes major hotels, casino moguls, sports stars, and celebrities. The company has been showcased in numerous TV, Cable and news profiles and featured on HGTV.com Designers Showcase.  https://www.paragonpoolslv.com

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Pool Industry Mourns The Loss of Grant Smith & Bob Lowry

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Grant Smith - Bob Lowry - Remembrance

The pool industry lost two of it’s best and brightest this week and was saddened to learn of the passing of widely respected professionals, Grant Smith and Bob Lowry.

This week many in the industry were gathering for the PSP Deck Expo in Dallas, TX. Colleagues were meeting after years of being separated by the pandemic and had been enjoying the opportunity to reconnect. The mood and energy were high at the Omni Convention Center. Pool Magazine editorial staff got to town early to help set up our own booth and cover some of the events being presented.

We were debuting our first printed issue of Pool Magazine, and I was personally excited to meet some of the industry professionals that I had been able to connect with virtually through social media. Over the past year, I had been corresponding with Grant Smith and engaging with him to become a contributor for our new publication. After a few easy-going conversations, Smith agreed to join our roster of op-editorialists.

I had published several of his op-ed pieces over the last year and was eager to get to meet him face to face and thank him for being a contributor. Shaking his hand and telling him how much I appreciated him being a part of our publication was something I was really looking forward to doing. I made sure to get one of his best op-eds in our first issue and wanted to hand it to him personally. Unfortunately, that never got to happen. Like many who got the sad news this week, I was on the expo floor when I found out that Grant Smith had suddenly and unexpectedly passed at the age of 50 years old.

His opinions were widely respected and from time to time would generate controversy on social media. Smith frequently inspired the type of intelligent debate that is the very lifeblood of our industry. A mentor and educator, he was eager to offer his expertise and help in any way he could. Evidently, that’s just the kind of person he was. The sort that have no compunction of giving their time and energy to help complete strangers.

For me, it was incredibly telling of the type of person he was and exemplified exactly what I’ve come to expect from those that lead our industry from the front. It should be of no shock to anyone that Smith was a United States Marine, they instill that type of character into their very best.

Bob Lowry, was equally greatly admired and respected throughout the industry. Known as a chemical service guru, Lowry was a thought leader on many issues pertaining to pool service. Many in the industry credit him with helping guide their career path and shape their approach towards water management. The author of a multitude of pool and spa water chemistry books, IPSSA manuals, and publisher of hundreds of technical articles and white papers over a 45 year span in the industry. He passed away in Lima, Peru on November, 17th after a long illness.

The news of the passing of both of these great educators in our industry leaves a hole in many of the hearts that knew and respected both of these incredibly warm and generous individuals. They will both be greatly missed.

There is a GoFundMe organized by Dave Penton to help assist with misc. final expenses – in lieu of flowers please consider a donation which will go directly to Grant’s family.

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This Rooftop Infinity Pool Design Will Take Your Breath Away

Infinity London – rooftop pool will feature 360 degree views of the city of London.

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360 Degree Infinity Pool Planned For London Hotel

One of the most innovative and incredible pool design concepts we’ve seen this year is an incredible breathtaking rooftop infinity pool planned for a new five-star hotel being built in London.

Infinity Pool Will Have 360 Degree Views of London

For thrill-seeking swimmers, the chance to take a death-defying dip might not be far away. Plans to build a rooftop infinity pool — with 360-degree views of the London skyline — are in motion.

The designs for the 600,000-liter pool and 55-story building, named Infinity London, have been unveiled by Compass Pools.
” – CNN Style

Unique Rooftop Pool Concept Will Be A First

Compass Pools, the designers of the project have released the 3D renderings for the 160,000 gallon pool and 55-story structure. The concept is a world first, according to the designers, who describe the construction as “the only building in the world to contain a 360-degree infinity pool.”

The pool will be manufactured out of cast acrylic with transparent sides and floors so that spectators below can watch swimmers gliding above them. The concept itself is similar in nature to another famous pool in London, the Sky Pool at the Embassy Gardens.

To keep water from splashing outside the pool area to the street below, the designers plan to deploy some unique containment methods on this vessel. This swimming pool will include advanced technical features such as a built-in anemometer that will monitor wind speed. The entire system will be linked to a centralized building management system which ensures the water temperature is perfect and doesn’t get blown down to the street below.

“We faced some quite major technical challenges to this building, the biggest one being how to actually get into the pool,” said Compass Pool’s head designer and technical director Alex Kemsley.

There are no stairs on the outside of the pool or the building to preserve its clean aesthetic; instead, swimmers will use a uniquely designed access point to get to the pool.

“The solution is based on the door of a submarine,” said Kemsley, “coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out — the absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot!”

Diagram of the staircase system used to access the pool area.

The entire pool will glow like a “jewel-topped torch” in the evening, according to the designers, who envision the entire top of the building being accented by the lit pool at night.

An innovative and eco-friendly method of heating the pool will utilize waste energy from the HVAC system. Engineers will capture hot gas created as a by-product from the building’s air conditioning which will be used to heat the pool water via a heat exchanger.

Photo Credits: Compass Pools

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