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Mission A & B: 'Is a sketch really necessary?'
A sketch, whether it is hand-drawn or done through computer software, is simply a more “realistic” representation (generally the first one!) of the construction plan. In essence it takes a 2D concept (plan) and translates it into a 3D model that can be presented to the client.
It is often an essential part of the design process since certain people are unable to visualize a finished project simply by looking at construction plans. It is also extremely useful when dealing with a steep terrain or a project that involves more than one level.
Many of you might have noticed that an increasing number of architects are now moving away from hand-drawn sketches, preferring the accuracy of computer-rendered models to the pleasure of putting pen(cil) to paper . Not me! Over the years I have developed a habit of drawing my sketches the moment I see the terrain; for example, when I received the plot plan and the photo, below. It’s at this moment that my inspiration is strongest, making it the best time to engage in the creative process of designing a new pool.
This is the sketch I immediately designed for this project. It conveys my main idea in a simple, but effective way: an overflow pool with kids pool in the open balancing tank and a machine room hidden below a timber Pool House.
However, the second part of the design process, drawing the plan and section, is completed later on at the office in order to ensure the level of accuracy builders require. This type of plan highlights more technical details, such as depth, scale, etc…
As logic would have it, the more complex a project becomes, the more plans it requires. The project I just showed you, for example, required another set of more detailed plans in order to obtain accurate estimates for the construction of the pool.
In any case, the main aim here is to share, with the client, my initial thoughts regarding his project. The other important aspects of the project are explained further down the line.
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Mission C: Technical Assistance for preliminary estimates
After receiving a lot of questions regarding the nature of our third mission, Mission C, I have decided to write a quick post explaining how homeowners and professionals stand to benefit from said mission.
After proposing our first two missions (A&B), which focused on the creation of a unique design, I wanted Missions C to fulfil two goals:
- Help clients in analysing their preliminary estimates, by outlining some of the more relevant technical elements of swimming pool construction (structural work, etc) AND by assisting them in taking the necessary precautions when reading said estimates ( checklist for quantities, etc…) Both elements are truly essential to empower the client and allow him to make an informed choice that satisfies his budget.
- Giving clients the freedom to pick and choose the swimming pool builders and master craftsmen (builder, plumber, etc…) they prefer, even if they aren’t familiar with swimming pool construction. In order to help you in said endeavours, I provide clients with a checklist of necessary technical elements as well as diagrams of water filtration systems, which can help plumbers who are unfamiliar with these types of installations.
We note that this service does not replace, or seek to replace, the responsibilities and work of professional architects or engineers. It is merely a complementary service that can assist clients and their hired professionals in furthering their goals.
This first photo depicts an extract of a brief, which as you can see takes the form of a simple, but surprisingly effective checklist.
The second photo is a diagram of a water filtration system for the corresponding pool.
This third mission is certainly, in my opinion, complementary with Missions A & B. But, more importantly, it remains essential for clients who wish to play a prominent role in the realization of their project.
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Mission D: Planning and Designing the Hardscape
Certain of our clients have had a hard time dealing with troublesome landscapes. This has encouraged us to expand on our original first 3 missions in order to add a fourth one, Mission D, which deals exclusively with global hardscaping.
Let us explain:
Sometimes, the creation and construction of a pool isn’t simply limited to the design of the pool itself. Sometimes, projects planned on difficult terrains also require the design of different levels, stairs, terraces, low walls… all elements of hardscaping. Mission D was specially created for people facing this kind of complicated situation.
In addition, it is important to note that structuring the terrain for functional purposes can also open the door to a more creative use of the space surrounding the pool. It could, for example, enable you to add a Pool House, a fountain, a pergola, a waterfall, etc…
Our main goal here is to ensure that the client doesn’t get stuck trying to figure out a logical and aesthetically pleasing way of fitting the landscape, the pool and the house together.
The two plans below show two central elements of hardscaping:
1) A swimming pool that was drawn and positioned on a steep terrain characterized by different levels.
2) A complete and functional layout of the space between the house and the pool, which involved the design of various stairs, low walls, etc… as well as the addition of other elements, like a Pool House.
It is, of course, the client’s and landscaper’s prerogative to choose the type and quantity of vegetation that will be added to designated areas.
Any swimming pools, even DIY ones, can benefit from the enhancement of the surrounding space.
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Mission E: Design and Construction Helpline
More and more people today have decided to independently take on the construction of their swimming pool. Whether this due to today’s economic context or simply a result of the satisfaction self-construction generates, people are now willing (and able) to tackle swimming pool projects on their own or with the help of their plumber/builder.
Without any false modesty, we believe that a lot of it has to do with the growing trend favouring unique and personalised designs like ours AND the greater availability of information that clarifies complex technical concepts.
However, the call of clients, friends, builders (some of which had never even requested any of our designs) seeking our expertise is, for us, proof that what is now needed is personalised, effective and on-going support for those people who have began their self-construction projects. In order to respond to this need, we have set-up, in addition to our first 4 missions (ABCD), a construction site helpline (appropriately named Mission E) that can put you in direct contact with us, either by phone or Skype.
This fifth service enables you to make use of our expertise in the swimming pool and spa construction domain, regardless of the type of project you had in mind, and regardless of the stage of the construction you are at presently.
We encourage you to prepare your questions beforehand in order to make the most out of your time.
Important: Once again, it should be noted that, as in previous missions, this type of service does not replace the work of other construction professionals. Our advice will be based on our 25 years of experience in the creation and construction of swimming pools, spa’s, ponds, etc...We may, then, not be aware of more specific constraints resulting from the terrain or unrelated technical limitations.