When foothills homeowners approached Pro Remodeling to replace their existing pool, they also had the firm build a pool house.
By Romi Carrell Wittman | Photography by Robin Stancliff
Backyard swimming pools can be an oasis of calm, a peaceful retreat that speaks to the eye as well as the heart. But sometimes pools — particularly aging ones — can be an eyesore that no amount of landscaping or design can fix.
Such was the case at a Catalina Foothills home. The existing pool fell, if not into the “eyesore” category, then into the nonfunctional category. The homeowners made the decision to have it removed completely and a new one installed in its place. And, while they were at it, they chose to build a complementary pool house.
John Almond of Pro Remodeling was the contractor on the job. “The homeowners wanted a pool that better suited their needs, and they’d never had a pool house,”
The first phase of construction involved tearing out the old pool and prepping the land. The pool house was new construction, so additional utilities had to be run to the site. Heavy rocks and caliche made the job more difficult.
“That stage took big equipment to level and buttress the ground,” Almond explains. Extensive rip rap retaining walls had to be removed and, as a precaution, the crew cut a new road onto the property to avoid destroying the homeowner’s existing driveway with all the heavy equipment.
The center-piece of the house is a row of tall windows that make up an entire wall of the home.
Once the ground was ready for the pool construction to begin, Almond and his crew stepped aside as the subcontractor completed his work. “The pool is between the residence and guest house so it had to go in first,” Almond adds. “We had to work with each other so we weren’t getting in their way, but we worked well together.”
The finished product is a stunning backyard retreat. The pool house features a kitchenette and a bedroom with full bath, making it perfect for outdoor entertaining as well as hosting overnight guests. The centerpiece of the house is a row of tall windows that make up an entire wall of the home. They fold back, effectively disappearing, creating a seamless indoor/outdoor space ideal for temperate days.
“The windows are 10 feet tall and have a mechanism that makes them very easy to operate,” Almond says. For cooler evenings, the pool house has a Rumford fireplace, a specialty hearth that is tall and shallow, reflecting more heat than a traditional fireplace. The fireplace surround is stacked travertine.
Custom-made cabinetry and natural stonework can be found throughout the house. “The homeowner picked the colors and the finishes, and we used Chris Trainor, a former employee of ours who is now a custom cabinet maker,” he notes. Almond says the job, which took about 10 months to complete, is one of his personal favorites and is a signature project for his company. “I enjoy the awesome look of it. The finished product is so nice,” he adds.