A Stunning New Pool House for Knee Therapy
Barbara does therapy in style. To relieve her aching knees, she turned to aquatic exercise by installing an Elite Endless Pool. Around it, she had a brand new "spa retreat" constructed in the backyard of her suburban-Nashville home.
The road to her new pool house involved two wonderful designers, some beyond-control construction delays, and just one decision she'd like to do over. All things considered, she assesses, "I just love the way it's turned out!"
Choosing a Therapy Pool
"I have bad knees," Barbara says, "so that prevents me from getting out and walking on land." Water can take as much as 90% of the weight off of our joints, allowing for pain-free movement and exercise. She had to decide what type of therapy pool she wanted first.
"I'd been debating it for a couple of years, whether I wanted to get a regular pool or an Endless Pool," she recalls. Ultimately, our modular construction and compact design swayed her. "I wanted it to be indoors so I could use it all year."
She researched many current pools and swim spas. "I chose Endless Pools because the current speed was adjustable. I felt like I couldn't outgrow it, and I didn't have to swim slow all the time."
Before swimming, she gets in the pool "to do some good stretches first, and then I walk a little on the [Underwater] Treadmill," she says. "And when my knees are not as stiff, I start swimming."
Barbara's regular aquatic therapy routine takes "probably about an hour, sometimes an hour and a half."
Building the Pool House
The house for Barbara's Endless Pool is "a completely new building that I sketched out. I did it by hand, to scale, and then I found a builder and said, 'This is what I want.'"
Her plan was to replace her old garage with "one big building with the pool and the garage." For the pool section, "I wanted about 10 feet on all four sides, and I wanted tall ceilings, vaulted. I wanted it to be spacious. I didn't want it to feel cramped. I wanted it to be my little vacation getaway spot."
Construction, she estimates, "should've taken about 4 or 5 months" at most. However, "there's so much construction going on in Tennessee, so finding workers proved to be difficult. Oh gosh, it's booming down here!"
Another delay came when the city required them to redraw the plans, moving the garage/pool house from right next to the main house to further into the yard. "It actually worked out better," she now feels. The move dictated a welcome new driveway for pool house, and still, "It's right there, maybe 30 feet away. I just walk over."
Decorating the Pool House
To make the interior beautiful, Barbara turned to Ashely and Jamin, the dynamic duo behind TheHandmadeHome.net. "I designed the building," she repeats proudly. "They made it cozy."
"I didn't really give them any parameters. I just said I need some ideas. I was going to use the room for some exotic plants, and I was going to put a TV in there, but that's about all I knew.
"They came and took a look at it and said, 'Gosh, this is very roomy. You could have a sitting area over here, you could have a bar, you could use this area as a dressing room.'
"They helped me pick out the color scheme. It all came together collaboratively. Oh, it was fantastic. They're a lot of fun."
Collaborating on the Endless Pool
Like every Endless Pool owner, Barbara worked closely with a dedicated Design Representative and received drawings from our staff engineers. "You guys were great," she recalls. "I mean really as far as helping me figure out the depth."
Barbara chose a 48-inch deep pool, which is 6 inches deeper than standard. That allowed for the added elevation of the Underwater Treadmill (almost 5 inches) while still allowing her to walk and jog with the water at chest height.
At that depth, the water offloads about 75 to 80 percent of her weight. The depth greatly relieves the pressure on her knees. With the large majority of the impact removed, she can burn calories, build strength, and maintain flexibility without pain or any additional knee damage.
The One Do-Over
As much as Barbara loves her Endless Pool house, she wishes she'd made one different decision. "I should've put a bathroom in here," she sees clearly now.
"If I'm swimming and I have to go to the bathroom, I have to get out of the pool and come to the house. I didn't think that through very well, but I probably would've put a little powder room in the dressing room."
"I have a tankless water heater and a big utility sink in there, so I can water my plants and fill up my pool. I can do all that from the pool room. It just doesn't have bathroom plumbing."
A Pool House for Fitness and Friends
Barbara now enjoys her pool house often. When she's not making strides with aquatic therapy and watching TV from the Underwater Treadmill, she can enjoy the sitting area or entertain friends at the bar.
"I love the beams that Ashley and Jamin from Handmade Home suggested," because it gives the room "a beachy feel. It all came together very nicely." When we look at the complete set of photos from The Handmade Home, we have to agree.