“Incorporating the latest outdoor living technology, beautifully hidden in natural surroundings, is one of my passions,” says Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter.
That passion is vividly expressed in this backyard sanctuary comprised of a new in-ground vinyl-lined pool, large patio area, outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower, fire pit, two streams and two waterfalls.
Its first, and most challenging, major hi tech component is an automatic pool cover attached to the vinyl free-form pool. These covers are difficult to attach to the free-form pool style and shape. In fact, previously, the homeowners were told it wasn’t possible to do so.
“We were glad to assure them that we could bring together all the expertise necessary to design and build it all,” adds Renter. “And when not in use, the cover retracts out of sight.”
Other technology: To heat the pool, we added a hybrid system that uses both a gas heater and an electric heat pump. The heat pump acts like a reverse air conditioner, pulling in warmth from the air and transferring it into the pool. This design not only adds heat taken from the air — and not from electricity — but the gas heater can act as back up when the air temperature is very low or when creating heat more quickly is required.
The “variable speed pump” Deck and Patio used is an extremely efficient pump that allows low energy use by slowing down the motor dramatically. It decreases the amount of energy the pump uses. It can run twenty-four-seven much more efficiently than others pumps that are used only a few hours a day.
This serene backyard sanctuary gives no hint of high-tech energy-efficient components supporting it all. Our biggest challenge was creating a four-inch ledge around pool which secures closed pool cover.
The gentle sounds of two streams leading to two separate waterfalls, as well as the splash of jet sprays, screen out any sounds from high-tech pool equipment. Outdoor shower stands at base of stepping stone pathway (right) that leads up to pool equipment.
High-tech pool equipment is well hidden behind berm, at end of the stepping stone path.
Automatic pool cover, when closed, supports clients’ young children should they walk on it unsupervised. This particular ‘rigid slated plastic’ pool cover, however, had never been fitted to this type of pool in this part of the world before.
Pool covers reduce evaporation of water — thereby reducing the chemical usage required. Because automated pool cover is so easy to use, it is more likely to be closed when not in use — increasing energy-efficiency as well as safety.
The mechanics of this outdoor kitchen’s amenities are hidden handsomely within a work station with stone facade; outdoor kitchen includes ample work area, barbecue, sink, refrigerator and eating bar with bar stools.