Questions For Your Custom Pool Contractor
“A well-designed pool can be a fun, inviting, and a creative water escape in a landscape design,” says Jesse Escalera of JE Proscapes. Since starting his incredible career as landscape designer and custom pool contractor, Jesse has worked on countless pools and custom spa’s in his designs for Newport Beach residences and many other around the world. “A pool needs to be part of an entire plan,” he says, “so I base the size, shape, and location on the specific landscape project. I never use a formula.”
Here are 10 tips to ask Pool Contractor Jesse Escalera for your swimming pool design:
1. Where should we put the custom swimming pool?
A pool is way more than a place to swim—consider how it will look in the total landscape design. Ideally, the custom pool should sit in the property’s sunniest spot, and be beautiful to see even when not in use—especially if it’s visible from your home, says Jesse Escalera. A custom pool design is a major focal point for your landscape.
2. What is the best shape for a swimming pool?
“There is no answer for this, anything that can be imagined, I can do.” says Jesse, who recommends the more out there creatively, the better. A freeform shape can be interesting to incorporate in the landscape—it tends to call a lot of attention to itself. A rectangle also is the best shape for accommodating a pool cover, and, of course, for swimming laps. Round or square is a good shape for a spa, but there are no boundaries.
3. What are other design guidelines for pools?
Your custom pool design could dictated by intended use, says Jesse. If lap swimming isn’t a priority, consider making your pool look creative and bold with a set of winding steps that descend into the water at the shallow end. Families might want a continuous underwater shelf, or pool bar area, along one side to provide seating for mingling.
4. How will people get to and from the custom pool?
Map out a circulation plan as part of the surrounding landscape design, and think about how far away your dining or fire pit areas could be. If your pool doesn’t need hard surfaces for circulation on all four sides, you can use plantings or grasses to delineate one or two of the pool’s edges.
5. What about a pool with an infinity edge?
An infinity-edge pool needs the right setting. While it can be a striking design element, this type of pool works best on a site with a incredible drop-off, says Jesse. You also want to make sure the placement of the infinity edge works with other elements of the space—perhaps it enhances a spectacular view.
6. Is running water a good design element?
You can get dramatic effects with minimal effort by adding a water fountain to the pool, to provide a visual focal point and an soothing sound. There are many creative designs to consider: the size of the opening, the force of the water, how much water, and the distance the water falls. (A water feature that spills into the pool must use recirculated pool water, so as not to introduce a new water source.)
7. What is the best color for a pool?
Traditionally, the underwater surfaces of most swimming pools were white or very dark, says Jesse. But my designs are never bound to what is supposed to be, more color options the better. It’s more common now to see pools with plaster tinted in various colors and patterns, check out Jesse’s zebra effect!
Deep blue or azure water color is achieved by using gray and blue tints in the plaster. The deeper the pool depth, the deeper the blue of the water. “I often create several ideas with variations of plaster color to get the ideal tone,” says Jesse, custom pool contractor Newport Beach.
8. Where should I put the spa or hot tub?
Pools look best as a single, unbroken sheet of water, says Jesse: “We generally make the spa a separate unit and place it elsewhere in the landscape design.” However, it is certainly an option to have the spa integrated into the pool.
9. Chlorine versus a natural swimming pool?
Chlorinated pools, salt-water system pools, natural (or chemical-free “bio”) pools, and ozone pools all have their own installation and servicing issues. Chlorinated pools have advanced considerably over the years; an experienced maintenance team and modern equipment can keep chlorine at minimum levels so the pool will remain clean but won’t give off a heavy scent. Non-chlorinated pools often require special maintenance, while saltwater pools can have chemical corrosion issues if not properly cared for. Bio pools are a great concept, but require careful upkeep to keep the water sanitary.
10. What are the best plants to grow near a pool?
Avoid plants that attract bees, plants with spikes (such as Mexican Fan Palms and agaves), and trees with large leaves that can drop into the pool. Ornamental grasses are a good choice; they’re debris-free and look soft and billowy near the water. Due to water-usage concerns we don’t use much lawn in our Newport Beach custom pool design projects, but we’ve found that a small amount of traditional turf grass or lawn around a pool can work well.
Newport Beach, CA,