Economy Of Space

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Fitting attractive pools and spas in small backyards is a skill many builders have had to hone over the last few years. Lewis Aquatech Pools in Chantilly, Va., transformed this tight space in Fairfax, Va., into a fully equipped outdoor living area. "The design was entertainment-driven," says Don Gwiz, vice president of design and construction at Lewis Aquatech. "It was not about using the pool for exercise or swimming laps. Therefore, we came up with the bar concept, the sunshelf and ample deck space because we knew there would be more time spent around the pool than in it."

The copper bay flagstone used for the decking came all the way from China. "In our market, the clients are driven by stone, everybody loves stone," says Gwiz. "The sad part about it is that the stone in our market, Pennsylvania flagstone, is very hot because of its color - they're darker blues and grays and browns. So although it's elegant, it's extremely hot, and the client wanted the stone, but they didn't want the heat. So, in order to get rid of the heat, we have to go with a lighter color."

The pool's Tahoe Blue Pebble Tec finish was chosen to complement the decking. "It has nice visual appeal," says Alan Nobling, the Lewis Aquatech design consultant project manager on this job. "As do the planters. They help soften the hardscape."

Finally, a Caretaker in-floor cleaning system allows the homeowners to spend more time enjoying their backyard than maintaining it.

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