When designing a pool, many people focus on aesthetic alone. However, there is so much more to it than that. Designing a custom pool involves overall appearance, high quality materials, equipment, plumbing, and structural design. That’s why it’s so important to work with a pool designer who you can trust to walk you through each step of the design process, before starting construction.
In this Employee Spotlight, Brendan Schmidt, a pool designer at Blue Haven Tulsa, offers a few insider tips on how to design a pool you will enjoy for years to come. Brendan is passionate about working with our customers to create beautiful pools that fit their existing home architecture, landscaping, and lifestyle.
What is your official title?
My official title is Designer. I'm proud that it says “designer” on my business card, rather than "salesman". I have nothing against salespeople, but paying attention to detail in developing a design is more beneficial to my customers than treating a pool like a product that I have to get them to buy.
How long have you been in the pool design business?
I've been in the pool design business since 2013, and before this I earned a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University. It takes a more detailed approach to develop a design that truly fits the client’s wants and needs, and works with the existing constraints of the backyard to achieve a successful build.
What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
There are several that come to mind. I've worked with many wonderful people and we've built awesome pools in some very interesting places, but my first infinity edge pool design is my favorite so far. You can see pictures of it on our Facebook page. The house sits next to a private lake, and the architecture of the house is beautiful. When you walked out the back door the yard sloped immediately down to the lake. It wasn't a usable space, and the homeowner just had it fenced off as a dog pen when I first arrived.
I designed a pool that had both curving and rectangular elements, as well as a rustic stone that matched the stone on the house. I feel like the pool helps to enhance the connection of the house to the natural environment around it. While lounging around the pool it almost looks as if the pool and lake are one body of water. It was a tricky design and build. I have to give a lot of credit to our construction crew for doing an excellent job installing that pool.
What’s the best part about working in the design business?
There are so many fun things about this job. I get to talk about swimming pools all day! I get out of the office, meet interesting people, collaborate with them on a design, and help them make their dreams come true! It's so satisfying to see the surprise and happiness on their faces when they see the final product. It makes me feel really good when they tell me how much everyone in their family is enjoying their pool.
Do you have any words of advice or tips you tell your customers?
Take your time and ask a lot of questions! For example:
- What kind of warranties do you offer on the pool structure and equipment?
- What kind of pump/filter/control system are you offering?
- What size of rebar will you be installing?
I think most people underestimate how much information there is to go over when it comes to swimming pool construction. They get tunnel vision and focus only on the final number. While budget is an important factor, buying a pool isn't like buying a new car, in which case you could buy the exact same car at multiple dealerships. Every company can build the pool differently and quality can vary drastically. Also, you can't get rid of a pool once it is in your back yard! So, avoid buyer’s remorse and get as much information as you can so you can feel confident about what you're buying. If you don't know where to start or what questions to ask, call me! That's what I'm here for!
Do you have any random, fun, or memorable stories from working on the job?
I'll never forget the day I met Ben the black bear. I was shocked when one of my customers mentioned that our guys probably shouldn't go around the enclosure on the opposite side of the house because of their bear. Apparently the former homeowner was a bit eccentric and she owned a lot of exotic animals. She adopted the bear when it was just a cub. When she passed away, the house went up for sale, and the bear came with the house. Ben was very old, and since he had been around people his whole life he was pretty docile. The homeowner took up the responsibility of caring for him, and he seemed to have a happy life there. It was a pretty neat experience.
Why should someone work with Blue Haven Pools?
Blue Haven has been in business for over 60 years. We have honed our craft in all that time and developed the highest quality construction methods, and because of that we can offer the best warranties! Most companies focus only on how good a pool can look, and don't go into much detail with the homeowner about what is just under the surface. What we build is quality from the overall look of the pool, to the equipment, plumbing, plaster, and everything in between. I do my best to explain in detail every nut and bolt in your swimming pool before we ever start construction. I want you to be confident that what we're building isn't going to be a headache-inducing money pit, but rather a valuable addition to your home that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.
Choosing to design and install a custom pool is a big commitment. To ensure that you will love your new backyard oasis for many years to come, it is important to choose a pool designer you can trust to walk you through each step of the design process. Call us today to learn more about our custom pool designs or to talk to one of our pool designers.