Jim & Liz Build an At-Home Resort
Planning a Deck Pool for Fitness and Family Fun
"We were trying to figure out what to do with our backyard," Jim recalls. A doctor and a grandfather, he and his wife, Liz, "decided to invest in our property." They have no intention of moving from their current home in suburban Charlotte, North Carolina, so they chose to dream big. "I always wanted a lap pool," he admits.
Central to their backyard renovation was an Endless Pools Performance model. Part of our Original Series of pools, the Performance pool features our space-saving footprint and an upgrade from our signature current. It's bigger, smoother, and fully adjustable for Liz, Jim, and even their grandkids.
Researching the Perfect Pool
Jim began shopping for a pool with a swim-in-place current because, he admits with a laugh, "I can't do a flip turn!" That decision only narrowed his options so much. "It took me a good six months to investigate.
"I did a bunch of wet tests. I decided this [the Endless Pools Performance model] was the best option for us. I swam in the competition," he recalls. "I felt like I was swimming in foam. There wasn't the peacefulness that I experienced in the Endless Pool[s current]. Not only is it peaceful, but if you're feeling energetic and you want to go at it, it's got more than enough power for me.
"My wife is a much better swimmer than I am. She was a competitive swimmer in high school, and it wears her out!"
Jim even tried another well-known swim spa brand. "I went and swam in there, and I'm not anywhere near Michael Phelps size, but I kept kicking the sides of it with my breaststroke." Of his 8-foot-wide Endless Pools model, he notes, "There's no way to kick the side of this pool!"
Customizing the Pool
Besides the extra foot of width, Jim and Liz customized their Performance model with 48-inch walls. "I got the extra depth; that is more than enough pool for me when I'm swimming," he's found. "You can do any kind of stroke. It's got plenty enough room for all of that."
Jim also opted for underwater lights for nighttime ambience, our Running Pad for added traction and comfort when working out, and an accessibility rail to make getting in and out easier. "The flexibility, the number of options you have for installation," he reflects, "You're only limited by your imagination for how you want to use it."
Creating their At-Home Resort
Jim and Liz had specific ideas for their pool. "We chose an outdoor space," even though the Endless Pools Original Series gave them the option for indoor installation. Charlotte has cold spells and even some snow, but with the pool's compact size and energy-efficient heater, Jim said that they keep their backyard pool open "365 days a year."
"I didn't want an in-ground installation. I wanted a partially in-deck pool," which is the easiest to access. "We built a platform for the pool that would handle the weight. We had to have an engineer to do that. Then they build the structure of the deck, then we put in the pool, and then he floored the deck around the pool."
For the pool's skirting, "our contractor just used deck boards, which look fine. Then I [added] low-level lighting. It's a nice look."
Jim found the pool assembly "pretty straightforward. You have all the installation instructions; [they're] very clear, the videos are very clear. For someone who has the time, this would've been a good weeklong project.
"I had great support from Customer Service when we were installing. And the couple of times that I've had to call along the way, they've been great as well – very responsive." As for maintaining the pool's crystal-clear water, Jim finds, "It's very time efficient, and it's super-easy to take care of. Anybody can do it."
More than Just Swimming
"We've got small grandchildren who are just learning to swim, and it's a great party pool for those kids. They'll grab onto the handlebar of the swim generator, and we put [the current] on low, and they just have a blast. With the benches, they can walk around the sides of the pool with their floaties on, and they jump to us!"
On this, Liz is in full agreement. As she wrote to us separately, "My grandsons love our pool! Truly a perfect pool for toddlers."
For his own fitness, Jim uses his Performance pool for its low-impact environment for exercise. "I'm pretty much like every Baby Boomer out there," Jim acknowledges. "I've got a bad joint. I can't run anymore. I used to be a long-distance runner." The pool water's natural buoyancy takes the impact off of his joints.
"I get an awesome cardiovascular workout" in the pool, he says. By swimming, "I get a great upper-body workout. I go over to the Running Pad and can simulate running on that. It really is the almost perfect exercise machine."
Jim uses the pool four days a week, while Liz swims "five or six days a week." As Liz herself noted, "I enjoy getting back into swimming." And with swimming's total-body workout with at-home convenience, Liz notes, "I quit my gym."
"We're going to be in this house for the rest of our functional lives," Jim says happily. "We wanted a place where we could create our own little resort in the back of our home.
"We have everything that we would want in a resort right here. It's nicer and more functional than you're going to get at an Omni, especially with the [Endless Pools Performance model]. You don't see those when you go out to a Westin. It's an amazing space, and the gym is your pool."