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The ins and outs of pool design

Design: Phase Three

The third phase of design involves creating the working drawings. After several weeks of back and forth with structural and geotechnical engineers, city planners, and immediate neighbours, dirt finally began to move.

Due to the location of the property, and the numerous unique elements to the project, it actually created two customers. The first being the homeowner and the second being the City of Peachland, B.C., as the city wanted a full development plan and proposal for its council to review. This involved input and sign-off on the entire design from four different departments. An environmental firm also had to be engaged to oversee the design and come up with a construction plan inside the sensitive lake and beach areas.

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It took two months in addition to several meetings, presentations and negotiations before a plan could be finalized.

This phase typically takes two weeks to complete. For the Monique project, however, it took two months in addition to several meetings, presentations and negotiations before a plan could be finalized that the city and its engineers would approve. This stage is very important as it can greatly affect the design, which was the case for the Monique project. For instance, what was thought to look great on paper had to be changed in order to accommodate the interests of various parties. It involved moving and redesigning buildings, changing facades, plant materials and adding special rock walls. Luckily, the city was great to work with and everyone involved helped to get the project approved. Finally, with working drawings in hand, the customer was ready to get the project started.

Design: Phase Four

Even though the project was finally moving towards the construction phase, it did not mean the design was finished. The fourth phase of the design process involves the continual redesign of the project, which often happens during construction. This is typical for any design, especially on large projects that have a deadline attached to them.

As construction began on the Monique project, new challenges emerged. From utility locations and load restrictions to new features and material shortages, the design evolved and many more iterations were created with each ensuing challenge.

Design on the fly

A lot of time is spent in the preliminary stages of design answering all of the client’s questions, but for most homeowners, they simply want to swim in the summer. This occasionally means the designer/builder must start the project without every answer and thus design on the fly. From a design standpoint, the ability to resolve problems quickly makes it challenging and can enhance the finished project. The redesigns that occurred during construction of the Monique project enhanced its overall design and provided the client with a spectacular Bali pool and backyard oasis.

This project is a great example of the various elements and considerations that go into designing a complete backyard project as it pushed everyone to think outside the box in configuring a design that would bring the client’s ideas to life. A project’s design phase can sometimes be pushed or fast tracked for budget reasons; however, it is a necessary step the client and pool builder must complete to ensure the end results are favourable for all.


Editor’s Note: In the next issue, Valerioti will discuss the Monique project’s various stages of construction, from breaking ground to design completion.  


Valerioti_HeadshotTim Valerioti, BA, BBA, CSC, is the founder and president of Hampton Pools and Landscape Construction, a landscaping, concrete and pool/spa design/build firm in Kelowna, B.C. He has more than 20 years of experience in business and financial management and has grown the company into a multi-faceted design/build firm. After establishing Hampton Pools and Landscape, he expanded his expertise and further developed his design skills over many unique and challenging projects. He can be reached via e-mail at

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