Shawn's Basement Pool Plans (2 of 2)

In our previous post, Shawn discussed the hip ailment that forced her to quit running and start swimming. In this post, we look at the planning process behind the Performance Endless Pool® in her basement.

"We didn’t want it to look cheesy," says Shawn, and that's an entirely reasonable desire when adding the state-of-the-art Performance Endless Pool to a Vermont farmhouse. Fortunately, Endless Pools offers a graphic rendering service that helped Shawn and her wife, Melissa, to visualize the pool … before they'd even tidied their basement!

"We wanted the finished product to look like it belonged here," she notes. "We wanted it to look rustic, but elegant and classy and beautiful, like it had been part of the plan of the house that was originally designed and built." If that order isn't tall enough, Shawn adds, "And we wanted it to be cost-effective."

How do you visualize a pool in this furniture-filled basement? Shawn freely admits, "I can’t just imagine something. … I need to see it." That need is precisely why Endless Pools offers a digital rendering service. Scroll down to see how that works…

Visualizing the Pool

"I need images," Shawn admits. "I can’t just imagine something. My wife is better at that. I need to see it." That's where Endless Pools' Architectural Designer comes in.

The couple submitted a photo of their chosen location: the basement of their home. In the photo, the basement is still filled with vintage furniture. Not a problem – our Designer digitally removed the clutter.

"We explained what we were looking for" – an above-ground pool, cornered and skirted in reclaimed wood planks – "and [your Designer] turned it around and said, 'What do you think about this?'" 'This' means the scale model our Designer had created of the Endless Pools model in the virtually emptied basement.

The couple found the visual pool rendering to be "super helpful," Shawn recalls. "It gave us something to look at and get excited about. You could look at that picture and say, 'This is what we’re working towards.'"

First, Endless Pools Architectural Designer digitally removed the clutter. Then she inserted a scale Endless Pool, following the couple's pool plans: above-ground, cornered, and skirted in black locust planks. Shawn found this rendering to be "super helpful. It gave us something get excited about." Scroll down to see the final result…

Choosing the Materials

Before our Architectural Designer created the rendering, Shawn and Melissa "spent a lot of time talking about materials." They wanted the finished pool "to be cost effective and also make it look like it belonged there."

They smartly chose to repurpose planks of black locust wood "left when another barn had been built. They’d been in storage undercover, but over the years, wind and rain had weathered these boards." Black locust wood is noted for its natural rot-resistance, anti-fungal properties, and most importantly, water-resistance.

To protect the surrounding walls, many people choose ceramic tile as they would for most any wet area. The women instead chose galvanized steel roofing material to echo a nearby window well. "Then we painted the ceiling with waterproof paint."

"We really love the way the pool looks," Shawn says now. "We love looking at it, we love being in it." She uses her pool several times a week for relief from chronic hip pain. This Endless Pools Performance model in her basement lets her stay active year-round, even when there's a foot of snow on their Vermont farm.

If They Could Change Just One Thing…

Shawn remains "so grateful to have had the resources" for their Endless Pool. She also appreciates the pool's low-maintenance systems. "It’s really quite easy to make the water clean and clear," she finds. "It’s not time consuming. A little goes a long way."

If she could do it all over again, there's only one thing she'd change.

They locally sourced the coping, which is the perimeter shelf at the top of the pool. On one end, it had to be "extra wide, so it’s very comfortable to sit and swing your legs around into the water." Unfortunately, "the coping cost us a ridiculous amount of money. That was a mistake. Everything else we did for material selection was good."

"I wish we had put that money into the automatic cover." The Automatic Retractable Security Cover is an Endless Pool option that lets you secure your pool with the turn of a key. Shawn opted for the Manual Cover instead. Now she says, "Budgeting in a way that would allow the automatic cover as opposed the manual is a smart way to spend money."

The Big Picture

Of course, the Endless Pool was primarily for health reasons, not aesthetics. Shawn doesn't forget that.

"There are days when I’m exhausted and I really don’t want to go swim," she admits. "But I’ll make myself go do it. And then you’re in it, and you’re like, ‘How can I not want to be in this every day for, like, 10 hours?’

"We really love the way the pool looks. It’s warm, it’s inviting. We love looking at it, and we love being in it."

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