A vanishing-edge pool and spa combo in Montgomery, Texas

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The lowest price is not always the winning bid — especially when it comes to high-end custom projects. Upscale clients often choose the best design from the most knowledgeable builder bidding — even if the price is higher.

Tom Driscoll, president of Cabana Pools Aquatech, says that was the case with this spa and 410-squarefoot vanishing-edge pool in Montgomery, Texas. "The homeowners wanted something to look at that just takes your breath away," says Driscoll. "And there was no budget. I don't ever talk budget."

With the primary goal of creating a beautiful space, Driscoll first sketched various views of the pool so the homeowners could tell what the setting would look like from different vantage points.

After the plans were approved, Cabana built the pool's substructure. "We built a massive poured-concrete pier-and-beam structure underneath the gunite pool before it was built," says Driscoll. "The pool is right on the edge of Lake Conroe, so it was built to stand on its own. It's a very small pool, but it used a tremendous amount of material because the whole thing was built out of the ground."

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