Better Than the First Time

Michael Popke Headshot
Photos courtesy of Ozzie Kraft Enterprises Inc.
Photos courtesy of Ozzie Kraft Enterprises Inc.

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Ozzie Kraft Enterprises Inc., one of Nevada’s oldest companies and Las Vegas’s first pool builder, has created many projects in the city’s posh Red Rock Country Club neighborhood. One of them, completed in 2003, was a lagoon-style pool with a sandy beach-front entry that earned the builder an NSPI International Awards of Excellence Gold Medal in 2004.

When the Tuscan-style home sold several years later, the new owner wanted to replace the existing pool with a one-lane lap pool and adjacent “play” pool.

“The new owner was a competitive swimmer in college and has a son and daughter who also are competitive swimmers,” says Kevin Kraft, president of the second-generation pool company founded by his father, Ozzie, in 1942, adding that the country club offers a program allowing homeowners to buy unused land located between the golf course and residential properties. “So the new owner ended up adding 1,200 square feet to the back of his property, giving him a total of 9,000 square feet — where we were able to create a much nicer space.”

Pool2

A much nicer space that also won more accolades. “I went at this project full force, expecting to win another national award,” says Kraft, who took home Silver in AQUA’s 2019 Pool & Hot Tub Alliance Awards of Excellence in the Concrete Geometric category for this unusual project, on which he collaborated with Las Vegas landscape architect Vangson Consulting.

Completed in August 2018, this versatile aquatics package is powered by Pentair equipment and allows the homeowner to operate two pools at different temperatures and for two very
different purposes. The 25-yard lap pool with an eight-foot-wide lane includes lane markers, a starting platform, and stanchion anchors for backstroke poles and flags. A negative edge around the entire pool mitigates waves for ideal training.

Floating steps separate the lap pool from the play pool, which measures about 30-by-25 feet and has a maximum depth of nine feet with an overflow spa. A seven-foot-tall rock formation
features a built-in custom slide that exits four feet above the water and provides multiple jumping platforms.

Fire bowls line the back of the lap pool, a travertine deck dramatically contrasts with the dark blue tile of the pools’ interiors, and the water surface elegantly reflects the backyard’s Canary Island date palm trees.

“This homeowner was very specific, but at the same time gave us a lot of leeway,” Kraft says.

Longtime Pentair Disciple

Ozzie Kraft Enterprises has been using Pentair equipment almost exclusively for at least 20 years, according to Kraft.

This particular project is equipped with five IntelliFlo® VSF variable-speed pumps, three Clean & Clear® Plus cartridge filters, two MasterTemp® heaters and 12 GloBrite® LED lights. It also includes Pentair’s IntelliCenter® Control System with ScreenLogic® interface, plus six valve actuators and three lighting watt transformers.

“Pentair’s equipment is great quality, and the warranty service is fantastic,” Kraft says. “We know things are going to happen with pools, and I’m comfortable knowing that Pentair will take care of whatever happens — and take care of it quickly.”

A perfect example of the manufacturer’s warranty service is when a pool light on any Pentair- equipped Ozzie Kraft project burns out. A quick email from Kraft to one of Pentair’s warranty stations results in a local Pentair representative arriving on the property and replacing the light within 48 hours.

It’s worth noting that the original lagoon pool on this property also featured Pentair equipment, which — after 15 years — was still in good shape and fully functioning when Kraft and his crews removed it.

Aerial 2

Remove and Replace Advice

The project’s biggest challenge was accessing the backyard and removing the old pool in order to build two new ones. Fortunately, the home is located on a corner lot, and Kraft was able to strike an agreement with country club officials allowing crews to access the yard via a maintenance entrance. Both pools were built simultaneously, and the project took a total of nine months.

“Anytime you do a remodel, or a remove and replace, you run into surprises,” Kraft adds. “There was a lot of plumbing and electrical equipment leading to a cabana that we found over the top of the pool pipes. The cabana was built at the same time as the house, but after the original pool was constructed. So we had to tear out and replace a lot of old plumbing and electrical equipment.”

Kraft also recommends that builders who take on remove and replace projects pay close attention to soil and not forgo compaction testing. “Whenever you’re disturbing old soil, you need to make sure you wind up building the new pool on solid ground,” he says. “Just because it looks like it’s been rolled over a few times with a tractor doesn’t mean it will test out to the proper densities.”

Ozzie Kraft Enterprises completes about 30 projects per year, plus a couple of renovation projects. But this one stands out for being the only property for which the company has won multiple awards for two different pools. “It’s the only one I know of — by me or anybody else, for that matter,” Kraft says.

Photos courtesy of Ozzie Kraft Enterprises Inc.

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