Summer may be over, but for many people, vacation travels and outdoor gatherings under sunny skies inspired dreams of adding a pool at home. A custom pool not only offers a ready-made solution for recreation with family and friends but can turn an otherwise boring backyard into a private resort.
Autumn is the perfect time to start planning a pool installation, says Ben Prillaman, director of sales for Aquatica Pools & Spas, which offers bespoke pool design services for homeowners throughout the tri-county area. Although the company generally completes construction on a custom pool in only eight to 12 weeks after breaking ground, the timing for permitting, neighborhood approvals and design decisions can vary, he notes. By starting the process in the fall, customers can have a new pool in place by the first part of the year and enjoy every minute of warm weather when summer rolls around.
Founded by Thiago Silva, who learned to install custom gunite pools while working with his father and uncle after emigrating from Brazil, Aquatica Pools prides itself on offering turnkey service and exceeding client expectations. The staff guides customers step by step through design and construction to make the entire process easy and enjoyable.
After a design consultant reviews the property survey and schedules a site visit with the homeowner, Aquatica’s designers create a 3-D rendering to show where the pool will be in relation to the house, as well as hardscape design and potential landscaping, Prillaman explains. This way, clients can see exactly how their backyard oasis will look before signing the construction contract.
“Every pool is custom,” says Prillaman, who has been with Aquatica since the company started in 2016. “We can tailor every single item to the homeowner’s space and to their preferences.”
A key design consideration is the homeowner’s lifestyle and how the new pool fits with the way they like to relax at home or engage in recreation.
“We train all our designers to ask really good questions,” says Prillaman, since a pool can change how someone uses their house or spends time with their family. For example, a couple that does not have children and likes to entertain friends is going to have a very different pool than a couple with two or three kids. “We want to make sure clients are getting something that will actually meet their needs, not just something that looks good,” Prillaman adds.
All of Aquatica’s pools and spas are equipped with smart technology that lets owners adjust the lights, water temperature and other features from their smartphone or other digital devices. Many newer installations also include Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) systems, a secondary sanitizer that reduces the need for chemicals in the water. Prillaman says they use ultraviolet light and ozone, which are harmless but effective at keeping the water clean.
Pools with built-in seats and benches or tanning ledges also are increasingly popular, and Aquatica has even crafted custom pools with underwater tables and barstools for entertaining. Similarly, many customers now want shallower pools so they can stand in any part of the water. “We’re finding owners are wanting to hang out and entertain in their pool. It’s not as popular for exercise with big, deep ends,” Prillaman notes.
One of gunite’s benefits is that Aquatica can customize the shape of the pool to the client’s preferences. The family-owned business has built everything from free-form pools with curved lines and low waterfalls to sleek infinity edge pools and rectangular lap pools for avid swimmers.
Geometric shapes are trending at the moment, often accented by pops of color to lighten up a tile line or coping along the pool wall. Along with pool and spa design services, Aquatica offers hardscaping design and construction with options to suit every taste, from natural stonework, like travertine and marble, to concrete pavers.
“We also have brought landscaping into our scope,” says Prillaman, “so that our clients don’t have to go hunting for someone that may or may not even call them back or show up. Landscaping is the finishing touch and the part that really ties an entire project together. It is the ‘make-or-break’ point between a project that just looks OK and one that really has a wow factor.”
Aquatica is on track to build about 300 pools this year, which is a testament to the team’s commitment to excellence. As the company has grown, owners Thiago and Jacyelly Silva have gone to great lengths to maintain crews in-house instead of relying on subcontractors. They even opened a gunite company two years ago so Aquatica would not have to rely on other vendors to supply the special concrete for pool builds.
The company’s continued success and dozens of five-star online reviews attest to the staff’s unwavering commitment to going the extra mile for customers. Prillaman says that the team is all in to do whatever it takes to give clients the custom pool of their dreams. *
Leslie J. Thompson is a Dallas-based freelance writer with a passion for interior design and international travel. Read more of her work at lesliejthompson.com.