R&R Pools Backyard Escapes Magazine 2016 Edition

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Spring/Summer 2016 R&R Pools

Go with the flow

Latest pool trends are making their mark across the country

pools that fit just about anywhere!

Small activity pools | 2016 must haves Dream showcase | Let it shine halifax, N.S. www.rrpools.ca

Kara’s 2016

must haves

Keep your pool up to date with these hot trends

Get Pool Ready with these new versatile flip flops and sunglasses! Cute little decorative snaps makes complimenting your outfit a breeze. Infinite options. In this case, less truly is more. SPF not included. Magnolia and Vine check out page 9

Kara’s Favourite

Ledge Loungers

Don’t forget about the furkids!

Enjoy the best of both worlds with these submersible ledge loungers. Cool off while indulging in the ultimate sunbathing experience.

Keep your pets safe around the pool with our Paws Aboard Life Jackets. With their bright colours, unique designs and many sizes even your dog will be excited to wear one!

Kara’s Favourite

OMNI Logic Control your pool, outdoor lights and surrounding speakers all from the touch of your phone with Hayward’s OMNI Logic. Completely flexible and expandable. Control your paradise with a tap of your finger.

Laminar Jets

Kara’s Favourite

2 / Spring/Summer 2016

Relax with the sound of water or entertain with an array of colour. Take your backyard to the next level with water and lights. Add a little elegance and awe with these clear uniform water jets lighting up the night.

Spring is almost here!


hen the robins arrive in spring, chirping their cheerful songs, it’s hard not to get excited. Their energy is contagious - it’s time to start building pools again. The days are longer and the warm sun invites us outside. Last year was a great year in our backyards, sunny and warm. The construction season was a lot of hard work but very enjoyable. I’m fortunate to work with a team so dedicated to our customers. Their training and expertise makes the “customer experience” a pleasant and informative one. I’m being told all the time what a great job they do. We’re in year 2 of our current 5 year plan, and our focus is to promote automation for water and energy conservation. This means heating, low voltage lighting and energy efficient pumps, all controlled automatically. Can we do that? Yes, we can! Our goal at R&R is to give you – the pool owner/ the pool buyer – the best swimming pool experience we possibly can. We want you and your family to enjoy summer in your backyard. Please do not hesitate to call if you need help or advice. We’re here for you. It’s time to put words into action and get out the shovels. It’s pool building time – let’s get digging!

Derek Redden

Partner, R&R Pools

did you know?

2015 was a whirlwind of a season!


ou know the saying, “Good weather, great food and awesome company”? That was 2015. We had great weather, great customers and an awesome team, and it came together beautifully. Many thanks! It’s been my privilege to have the opportunity to bring families together for the last 15 years and I’m in it for the long haul. I’m excited for the season ahead and the many seasons after that. All winter we have been putting together some new things that are sure to make pool ownership even easier for you – who knew? With a new website and a new easy online ordering store being up and operational, we’re hitting the ground running! We have an array of new blogs and tutorials, allowing you easy access to do-it-yourself and helpful information on your own time. And our in-store rack cards will be available for anyone who prefers a good old fashion hard copy. In keeping with my goal of saving the trees, we have implemented a paperless work order program which allows both the office and our team to have real time access to your work order. Have we been busy! Basically, we’ve put together many great features to make your experience with us even better in 2016. With such a solid year behind us, I cannot wait to see what we can do for you in 2016! See you soon, did you know?

Kara Redden

Partner, R&R Pools

Derek is a firm believer that 60 is the new 35.


60th Derek!

From diapers to diamonds Kara has been helping to keep things afloat for 30 years. Now she’s taken the plunge. Congrats Kara!



1949 St. Margaret’s Bay Road Timberlea, NS B3T 1C3

Phone: 902-876-2773 Email: info@rrpools.ca


SAVE $10



Expiry date August 31st, 2016. One per household.

Spring/Summer 2016 / 3

Small activity pools fit just about anywhere! And they’re the perfect way to enjoy vacationing at home


Photos: © Heather Quinn/R&R Pools

Winning POOL


Fred Sgambati


ood things come in small packages. Just ask the professionals at R&R Pools in Timberlea, Nova Scotia. They are experts in inground and aboveground pool installation and can put a pool in just about anywhere! Many people really want a pool, but can’t imagine that it would work in their small, tight backyard space. But after meeting with members of the R&R team and exploring the opportunities, a growing number of 4 / Spring/Summer 2016

their customers have deliberately chosen to go with smaller, more intimate and active pool experiences, selecting shapes and sizes that meet their needs socially and recreationally. Mark Broderick, his wife and three sons live in the Keystone area of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. They had been considering a pool for a number of years before getting in touch with R&R, and finally decided to go ahead in July 2014. www.rrpools.ca

Broderick says they didn’t have the biggest backyard in the world, but it seemed somehow to scream for a pool, which was completed in August and has been a delight for the family over the past couple of summers. “I used to live on a lake,” Broderick says, “and really missed the water. We had initially built a three-tier deck and put a hot tub there as well. At a strategic point in the deck, however, we added stairs leading to the pool


Creating your you own dream getaway in your backyard is know? more affordable than a cottage or a boat and requires less maintenance and upkeep.

Photo: Contributed

and used every square inch of the backyard” to create a personal backyard paradise. The pool is 14 x 30 and 4.5 feet deep, but they weren’t looking for anything more than that. Broderick, his wife and their three boys – a 22-year old and 20-year old twins – really enjoy playing sports, and came up with the idea for an activity pool that features a quality volleyball and basketball net as well. “Deep ends,” Broderick adds, “don’t allow for this type of thing. The four-and-a-halffoot depth is perfect for adults and kids with floatation devices. It encourages more people to get in the pool and we can still do laps. Broderick noted that he isn’t the strongest swimmer in the world and simply didn’t enjoy playing with a ball in the deep end of a pool. “You had to tread water really well and it was just more practical for us to go with the activity pool concept.” Since moving to the area eight years ago, the Brodericks have slowly transformed their backyard into the perfect vacation at home. They put a fence in, stone walkway, coloured lighting along the fence to add a little pop, a shed that serves as a change room, and the pool is lit as well. They are stay-at-home people, he says, and have created a kind of resort right in their own backyard. “We are also using the pool as a tool to force us into entertaining

and to get back to building our social life. We consider ourselves very fortunate and are trying to step back and smell the roses. We are also looking hopefully toward grandchildren at some point and expect to have the pool for a good 20 years or more. R&R did a phenomenal job and I would highly recommend them to people. It has been a great and enjoyable experience.” Jennifer Crouse and her husband would concur. R&R installed an inground Fiji Celebrity shaped pool in October 2011 in her backyard in Timberlea and they have never looked back. They chose a 16’ X 28’ pool that was aesthetically pleasing and would allow them and family members nearby to play games as if they were in a traditional square pool. “It wasn’t too big, but not too small,” Jennifer says. “We have a fairly large yard, but most of it is wetlands as we back onto a river, so not much entertaining space. We wanted to use the main yard as effectively as possible by creating a resort-like feel.” The install occurred while their house was being built, which simplified the process considerably. It required about three weeks to complete and the CrouseFarquhar’s have slowly added additional capacity, including concrete, raised flowerbeds around the pool, a hot tub and pergola, and high-end patio furniture www.rrpools.ca

(sectional sofa, daybed and fire columns) over the last couple of years to create what they call their backyard oasis. “We describe it as our cottage,” Jennifer says. “We made the decision when we built the house that instead of buying a cottage we would make the backyard like a cottage, with the fireplace, river for kayaking, and a pool area for swimming and relaxing. We get to enjoy a cottage every nice day without having to pack up and maintain two properties. We have family members in the area too, so we always have a steady stream of people at our house in the summer and everybody loves it. It is absolutely our fun social space!” From a customer service standpoint, Jennifer applauds the team at R&R. “They have been amazing, both from the buying process to service afterward. We can rely on them for information, advice and are fortunate to be able to buy supplies from them given that they are about five minutes from our house. I would encourage anyone ever considering a pool to do it, and I highly encourage them to go to R&R.” For more information on whether a small activity pool is just right for you, please contact R&R Pools. Visit www.rrpools.ca or call 1-902-876-2773.

Spring/Summer 2016 / 5

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“When our clients think safety, we think Coverstar!”

Ryan Fitzpatrick Kara Redden R&R Pools

Safety is more important to customers than ever, so we recommend Coverstar automatic, mesh and solid safety covers. They feature: • Exclusive innovations for extra strength, like heat-sealed webbing and super-strong seams. • The only WiFi touch pad that delivers text/email alerts when the autocover is activated. • The fastest delivery: autocovers ship in just 24-48 hours; custom mesh/solid covers ship in just 5 days in season!

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Canadian Headquarters: 383 Elgin St., Branford ON N3S 7P5 Canada I 800-638-7422 www.rrpools.ca

© Latham Pool Products, Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Photo: Yanlev /123RF

NATIONAL Section Published for: LeisureScapes www.leisurescapes.com Operations Manager: Ray Savage Published by: The Chronicle Herald Chairman and Publisher: Sarah Dennis President and CEO: Mark Lever Vice President, Business Development: Jeff Nearing Editor and Project Manager: Claudia White Design Department Manager: Julia Webb Graphic Designers: Adelle Marshall, Tanya Madden Advertising Coordinator: Jennifer MacLean Cover Photos: Gordon Waddington Photography/123RF With exception of R&R Pools and Cobra Pools Š The Chronicle Herald 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission from the publisher. The Chronicle Herald 2717 Joseph Howe Drive PO Box 610, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2T2 902 426 2811 TheChronicleHerald.ca Printed by: Lowe-Martin Group

II go with the flow The latest pool trends are making their mark across the country

VI Salty and sweet

Should you purchase a saltwater pool?

VIII pool technology

oday, owning a swimming pool T has never been easier

X steps to success for poolside landscaping XI what is a leisureScapes dealer?

XIV swim spas: the best of both worlds

The new kid on the block

XVI a new chapter

aby Boomers all about B work/life balance

XVIII Product highlights

Great ideas to make your pool or hot tub more enjoyable this season

XX backyard entertaining

Food and drink recipes to inspire

XII five ways to get the family together From fire and swim-up bars to swim spas and sports

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Follow us on Twitter @leisurescapes Spring/Summer 2016 / I

Go with the flow The latest pool trends are making their mark across the country By


nstalling a pool in your backyard is no simple decision to make. Once you’ve settled on the size, shape and model of your personal oasis, you still have plenty of choices on your hands. Will you include upgrades like a hot tub, swim current or water feature? Is there an adequate poolside area with comfortable furniture? Will you splurge on a fancy inground pool, or will you opt for an aboveground model? Are you transforming your whole backyard with stonework and patio lights, or are you just keeping it simple? The answers to these questions could have a lot to do with where you live. Whether you’re in downtown Halifax or rural British Columbia, no two pool projects are quite the same. Ken Reid, owner of Sunshine Pools & Spas in Kelowna, B.C., said his clients usually do everything they can to maximize their outdoor living space. After all, the majority of Reid’s business is in the Okanagan Valley, one of the premier outdoor living locations in Canada.

Evan Webster

Photo: Jan Hanus /123RF

Photos: Courtesy BonaVista Pools

Photo: Elena Elisseeva /123RF

II / Spring/Summer 2016

www.leisurescapes com

Photo: Iriana Shiyan /123RF

“Our business is almost exclusively in-ground pools, which are a bit more expensive,” he said. “It really isn’t surprising people are willing to invest a little more in their backyards here. The Okanagan Valley is a lifestyle location. Outdoor living has a different meaning here. We’ve found that a lot of our clients go all the way with fire tables and fire pits, stonework and plenty of patio furniture.” Reid also said hot tub sales have been booming recently. “The hot tub market tumbled a bit with the economy in 2008,” he said. “But it’s definitely making a comeback now. We’ve noticed more and more people are coming into the store asking for a pool and a hot tub. It’s a popular duo.” Reid said the fact that British Columbia is a winter-friendly place has helped hot tub and swim spa sales as well. “Hot tubs are a year-round thing, but they’re a wonderful winter toy,” he said. “It’s a great thing to go out on your balcony and jump into your hot tub after a long day on the slopes.” But across the country in Nova Scotia, trends in the pool business are a little different. Kara Redden, co-owner of R&R Pools in Halifax, said accessories like sun ledges, water features and fire tables are just starting to creep into the market. “As Maritimers, we’re always a step behind with all the trends, and it seems like we all feel the need to be humble,” she said. “But we’ve noticed that things like fountains, ledges and automated systems are slowly trickling into

the market. Luxurious options like those are a lot more normal now, and aren’t necessarily seen as too prestigious.” Redden also sells an equal balance of in-ground and above-ground pools, and has noticed her clients are prioritizing functionality rather than esthetics. “I haven’t noticed a trend toward inground or above-ground models. We sell a lot of both,” she said. “But I have noticed people are starting to think long-term about their backyard pool areas more than ever. We’re seeing people buy pools that are geared toward their families today, as well as five years down the line. So that means we’re seeing a lot more play pools, ledges for toddlers and shallow pools that can accommodate volleyball nets or basketball hoops. Also, diving boards are a lot less common now.” When it comes to complete backyard makeovers, Redden said her clients are doing it in stages, rather than splurge on the whole package all at once. “I would say the average new pool owner has an idea of what they want their space to be, but it’s not always in their budget, or they might not think it’s worth it,” said Redden. “Total backyard transformations usually take a couple of years out here.” But in the Prairies, pool owners are seeing the value in investing in their backyards more than ever. Dan McGregor, general manager of Paradise Leisurescapes in Regina, said it’s normal for his clients to supplement their pools with outdoor sitting areas like patios and fire pits.

“It costs more and more to vacation these days, so the appeal to invest in your backyard and stay close to home has become more predominant in today’s economy,” he said. “In the Prairies, we typically experience warmer evenings during the pool season. The days are long, so outdoor entertainment can extend well into the evening rather than just the heat of the day.” McGregor also said the Prairie environment itself makes landscaping and in-ground pool projects easier and less expensive for everyone. “There’s a lot of soil, clay and sand in the ground here. So it’s easy for us to go in and do excavations without many problems,” he said. But he did say the hot tub market is faltering slightly. “There haven’t really been any major slides over the years, but I’d say that market is tapering a bit. Maybe it’s just past its peak,” he said. “It probably has something to do with the economy here out West.” Trends in the pool business may differ from region to region, but one thing is constant. Installing a pool these days is about more than just the pool. It’s about creating an outdoor space to live, lounge, play and relax. “The perfect backyard pool experience means something different to everyone,” said McGregor. “But with all the options out there these days, anyone can transform their backyard into something special.”

Spring/Summer 2016 / III





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Salty and sweet Should you purchase a saltwater pool? By

Jared Hochman


hen it comes to having your own private pool, the most important thing to consider (and perhaps the most obvious) is how you’ll effortlessly maintain sparkling water. The biggest discussion in water care programs today is whether or not to go the saltwater route. Most Canadians have experienced saltwater before (with Canada being surrounded by the ocean on both coasts and all), but a saltwater pool is slightly more than the water that comes from the deep blue sea. “You add enough salt to maintain approximately 3,000 parts per million – only about 1/10 of the amount of salt found in the ocean,” says Rhett Bradshaw, manager of operations at Vantage Pools in Langley, B.C. “The amount of salt we maintain in a pool is similar to the amount found in our tears.” The result of maintaining a low level of salt has immediately noticeable benefits when you decide to take a dip. “Saltwater pools are extremely comfortable on our eyes and skin,” says Bradshaw. “We are also more buoyant in saltwater, which also results in increased blood circulation, benefiting our heart and muscles.” To fully determine whether a saltwater pool is the right choice for you, you need to look at the science of how a saltwater pool works first. It starts with the water care products. Jennifer Gannon, owner of BonaVista Pools in Markham, Ont., explains that chlorine and bromine are the two main sanitizers found in pools that are approved by Health Canada. Sodium VI / Spring/Summer 2016

Photos: 123RF

chloride makes chlorine, and sodium bromide systems create bromine, so we use salt instead of chemicals to act as that cleanser combined with a lowvoltage electrical current. “Salt is combined with electricity in the saltwater generator – and during the process of ionization it converts to either bromine or chlorine, depending on what your salt foundation is,” says Gannon. “The by-product sanitizes the water. With regular circulation and filtration you never run

out of sanitizer as it keeps converting and because of this, it is very low-maintenance.” By having that steady sanitizer cycle, pool owners no longer have to buy constant supplies of chlorine or bromine which are needed to provide sanitizer levels for a traditional pool. It also means the associated costs of a saltwater pool are different than a regular pool. “For saltwater pools, you pay more for the technology up front,” says Gannon. “If you’re

constantly buying chlorine, it’s a consumable that continually costs money, so if you own the pool for a number of years the saltwater pool – if maintained properly – will eventually cost less.” That isn’t to say that saltwater pools are a simple matter of just “turn on the pump and go.” While they do require less constant attention than traditional pools, ignoring them will prove a costly mistake. “Water chemistry and regular testing actually become even more crucial, because salt by nature is corrosive,” says Bradshaw. “If you don’t regularly test and adjust your other mineral levels (pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness) the water could potentially get out of balance. “Without balanced water, you could have very aggressive water that can damage your pool surface and pool equipment … needless to say, the key is being balanced and staying on top of your maintenance.” When trying to evaluate whether to buy a saltwater pool, the case is pretty strong - they are easier on skin and eyes, easier to swim in and require less maintenance and ongoing costs. They do require more money upfront and can be disastrous if not properly maintained. But it seems the positives outweigh the negatives. “Saltwater pools are a great option for pool owners who believe in preventative maintenance and who crave the feeling of saltwater,” says Bradshaw. “You won’t find a more comfortable pool to swim in than a saltwater pool. “Really that is the bottom line.” www.leisurescapes com

Spring/Summer 2016 / VII

Pool technology Today, owning a swimming pool has never been easier By

Evan Webster


hen backyard swimming pools first became popular, they didn’t have fancy lighting schemes or complex filter systems. Maintenance was a strenuous job and turning the pumps off usually required a trip to the pool shed. Today, owning a swimming pool has never been easier. Thanks to advances in technology, everything from heating systems to water testing has drastically evolved. Robotic vacuums can clean pools now and entire filtration systems can be managed with a smartphone. “There’s no doubt technology has changed the way people interact with their pools today,” says Jennifer Gannon, Proprietor of BonaVista LeisureScapes, a Toronto-based company. “I think it’s made the overall swimming experience easier and more enjoyable.” One of the biggest and most important changes in pool technology has been the evolution of automated systems, and Gannon says smartphone apps are making them even better. “Previously, the technology to automate your system was a wallmounted switch. So if you wanted to operate your lights, pumps, water features or temperature from inside the house, the keypad display used to be mounted on the wall. But thanks to the popularity and convenience of apps, we can now download simple programs that put all that power at your fingertips. Now you can warm up your hot tub before you even arrive at the cottage, or turn on your water features and lights on the way home from work.” Gannon says smartphone apps are also making automated systems more cost-effective for manufacturers, especially the more popular brands like Hayward Pool Products, VIII / Spring/Summer 2016

Balboa Water Group and Zodiac. “I think smartphone technology is the evolution of the automation technology that’s been in the industry for over a decade now,” she says. “With all these new apps and programs, the manufacturers and maintenance companies can keep track of your system too, and it’s much less expensive than having to wire an LED display into a wall.” For pool owners, fancy accessories like automated systems and robotic vacuums can cost thousands. But Gannon has noticed most of her customers choose to just buy it all anyway. “It probably adds around $5,000 of technology to the total pool package,” she says. “But if you’re already spending $100,000 on a custom concrete in-ground pool, it’s a small percentage of the overall expense.” Smartphone technology is nice, but it’s not the only thing that’s evolved in the pool business in recent years. Yolande Landry, co-owner of Piscines Fun Time Pools & Hot Tubs in Moncton, N.B., says colourful lighting is making backyard night swimming a little more fun. “There are some great lighting systems out now that you can integrate directly into the coping of an in-ground pool,” she says. “And for out-of-ground pools, manufacturers have come up with floating lights you can buy. We get a lot of requests for those.” For pool professionals like Landry, any technology that makes her job easier is pretty cool as well. For the last two years, her pool and hot tub technicians have been using the LaMotte WaterLink Spin Lab, an innovative, in-store water testing system that produces a wide range of results in just minutes. “We used to have a lab system


that was quite complicated and very labour intensive. It used to take 10 to 15 minutes for a test,” says Landry. “But this new system looks like something they would have on CSI. You just put the water sample right into the machine on this little disc and you have results in two minutes.” She also says the new system has improved the efficiency of her business. “It’s made it so much easier for our staff to test our customers’ water,” she says. “The software allows us to keep track of all our customers and stay in touch with their individual pool systems and maintenance needs.” It’s pretty clear technology has done nothing but enhance the backyard pool experience, and Landry is confident it’s only going to get better. “Who knows what will be normal 10 or 20 years from now. I guess we’ll have to wait and see!” www.leisurescapes com

Photos: Contributed

Steps to success for poolside landscaping


Carson Arthur


o you’ve taken the plunge and invested in a pool. Now what? Creating a balanced landscape around a swimming pool is one of the toughest design challenges because you are working with two opposing needs. Not only does the space have to look good, but it also has to be functional in a tough locale. The good news is this isn’t impossible if you truly understand the end-goal and the obstacles that stand in your way. When creating a balanced design around a swimming pool, always start with a list of personal wants and needs from the homeowner. If that’s you, then be honest with yourself because installing landscaping around a pool isn’t something you want to do more than once. These wants and needs – items like privacy, shade and colour – need to be cross-referenced against the shape of the pool. A linear and rectangular pool lends itself to modern design while a curvilinear or bean-shaped pool looks best with naturalized gardens surrounding them. Now you have a starting point for pulling together the basis of your landscape design. Research options that will meet the needs of the homeowner and are of the style that best complements the pool (i.e., modern shade or naturalized privacy). Next, check the soil conditions around the pool. This often-overlooked step will help ensure the success of your plant material. The installation process of an in-ground swimming pool naturally results in compacted soil from the heavy machinery and the removal of

X / Spring/Summer 2016

the soil. Compacted soil is also important in the forming of the walls of the pool. Unfortunately, it’s terrible for root growth and inhibits a plant’s ability to source nutrients. When planning your budget, make sure to allow for new soil, as you will likely need to dig each hole twice as big and backfill with a suitable growing medium like triple mix around the root balls of your new trees and shrubs. When choosing plants and trees for around a swimming pool, the general rule is to choose options that can tolerate the chemicals or the salt from the water. This premise was based on the idea that the water will be splashed everywhere and saturate the soil, toxifying it and killing the plants. In my experience, choosing hardy plants is important but with a few exceptions, the water usually stays in the pool. Instead, I choose plant material based on the high traffic areas or the needs of the homeowner. Trees around a pool can be both beneficial and a complete pain if not selected and placed properly. While a break from the hot summer sun is always welcome, I never place a tree beside the edge of the pool – not just to ensure the roots don’t impact the liner, but also to ensure that the leaves don’t clog the filters. On the West Coast I have had best success with saucer magnolias because their larger leaves and petals are easier to clean out of the skimmer. Also consider the direction the wind blows. Place trees to provide privacy but also so that the debris is blown away from the

pool instead of into it, especially in areas like Calgary and Saskatoon. In those regions, go with a seedless variety of poplar to limit the tree litter but still provide the privacy that you need from your neighbours. There is definitely a theme with pool-hardy plants and thorns. The sea rose or saltspray rose (rosa rugosa) is a shrub that seems to be at the top of the poolside plant list, even if you are not on the East Coast, because it can handle the chemicals and the salt. Personally, I never place this plant anywhere near the side of a pool because of the thorns. Bathing suits don’t offer much coverage so I avoid anything that can scratch, such as roses, junipers and barberries. Instead, go with soft grasses or plants that have forgiving leaves and stems. I love a good clump of grass like a Miscanthus sp. because it is tough to kill, can handle the reflection from the water and I’ve fallen into one with a bathing suit on and came out unscathed. No matter the design, the function or your list of needs, there is one golden rule in creating the perfect landscape for around a pool: it needs to be customized. Every home is different as is every homeowner and every province. Either hire a professional or take your time and do the research to make sure that you get the best landscaping solutions for your space. This is a big investment and you want to do it right the first time!

www.leisurescapes com

What is a dealer? By


Evan Webster

t’s easy to see why so many Canadian homeowners turn to LeisureScapes dealers for their backyard pool products. Established in 2001, LeisureScapes is one of the largest networks of professional pool dealers in Canada, with 28 members from Newfoundland to British Columbia. “When we first started, our vision was to be a collective marketing group that could successfully market the pool and hot tub industry in our areas and develop a brand name,” said Mike vandenHof, operations manager with LeisureScapes and former owner of Holland Home Leisure in Nova Scotia. “But now we’re more of a networking group. We continue to do our marketing, but we also share knowledge, trends and innovative ideas with each other while driving consumers toward top-notch products.” Committed to the highest standards of professionalism and customer service, there’s no doubt LeisureScapes dealers are Canada’s pool experts. In order to become an accredited LeisureScapes member, companies need to meet a list of basic requirements. “We don’t just take any dealer. We want to make sure we protect the brand we’ve developed,” said vandenHof. “Before they can join us, we have to make sure the dealer is ethical, professional, and that vendors speak highly of them. It also helps if they have an adequate storefront, and have been in business for at least one full season. There needs to be a retail environment so we know, and more importantly the customers know, that they’re serious about what they do.”

Reasons to Join

There are plenty of reasons why up-and-coming and even established pool dealers should join LeisureScapes. One of the most obvious benefits is support, because in any business, it’s nice to have a network of trustworthy peers you can rely on for help. “If one of our dealers is dealing with a technical issue, a customer service issue, or even just has a question, they can always reach out to other LeisureScapes members and ask for advice,” said vandenHof. “Chances are another dealer has gone through the same thing and can provide some guidance.” LeisureScapes members enjoy financial benefits as well. Canada’s top pool manufacturers are engaged in special marketing programs with LeisureScapes dealers and offer discounts, rebates, exclusive products and more. “There is an annual financial consideration to be a member of LeisureScapes, but the financial benefits far outweigh the cost,” said vandenHof. “As a group, we work with vendors to develop quality programs that get quality products in the hands of consumers. We ask vendors to give us exclusive products that set us apart from the mass merchants.” For consumers, vandenHof said the benefits of starting a project with LeisureScapes are endless. He’s encouraging anyone interested in building a backyard oasis to stop by the closest LeisureScapes dealer and explore what they have to offer. Whether you’re installing an in-ground pool or just adding a hot tub, you won’t be disappointed with LeisureScapes. “Our dealers are all held to the highest standards of excellence. When you visit a LeisureScapes dealer, you know you’re dealing with an organization that’s highly professional and ethical, and only offers the highest-quality products available.”

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Spring/Summer 2016 / XI

Five ways to get the family together From fire and swim-up bars to swim spas and sports

Photo Courtesy: BonaVista Pools


Heather Laura Clarke


hether it’s a scorching Saturday morning or a sunny weekday evening just before sunset, there’s no question where every member of the family will be drawn. Pools are a natural focal point. “I met with a homeowner today who said, ‘We don’t have a cottage – this is our spot to relax, to entertain, to be outside,’” says Jennifer Gannon, proprietor of BonaVista Pools’ outdoor living store in Toronto, Ont. “An outdoor living space allows you to have an extension of your home where you can breathe in the fresh air and smell the fragrance of the summer flowers.” But just like any relationship, a little change can fire up the sparks you once felt for your backyard retreat. So here are five ideas for gathering the family together in and around the pool this summer. XII / Spring/Summer 2016

Photo Courtesy: BonaVista Pools

www.leisurescapes com



The only thing better than carrying a cold drink out to the pool is being able to sit up at a bar and be served directly. Ah, paradise. “We’ve noticed a trend this year of people moving away from traditional pools and going towards entertainment-style pools with incorporated bar seats and swim-up bars,” says Scott Cooper, construction manager with Sunshine Pools and Spas in Kelowna, B.C. “A pool becomes the central point to the backyard and a perfect spot for entertaining.” Cooper says retired homeowners in their late 50s and early 60s usually don’t have any interest in diving boards and slides – unless they want something for their grandchildren to enjoy. But they love the idea of creating a resort-like environment without the need for plane tickets and passports. “They want to be able to have friends and family over and give them a nice place to perch in the pool while they cool off,” says Cooper. “You can actually put in a full outdoor kitchen and a bar area that’s level with people who are sitting in the pool.”



Cooper says patio heating systems allow you to use your outdoor living area earlier in the year, and that’s especially important if you’ve added an outdoor kitchen. But even the pool itself could benefit from a source of warmth – and drama. “We’re seeing more of an interest in the ‘grown-up’ accessories like water features and water/fire combinations like torches and flames,” says Cooper. Gannon agrees that good lighting and fire features extend the time you can spend outdoors with family and friends, starting earlier in the spring and staying out longer into the fall. She says the combination of water, fire and light is very relaxing, even when you’re simply lounging poolside with a good book or dining al fresco. “Most pools are beautifully lit up with LED lights so they are a soothing view. It can be very calming for your spirit,” says Gannon. “If you’re at an outdoor restaurant, the best seat in the house is one with a lake view, so dining poolside creates the feeling of living at a resort.”

Photo Courtesy: BonaVista Pools



Anyone can toss around a beach ball or compete to see who can dive for the most rings, but nothing brings people together in the pool like a little friendly competition. Cooper says pools with a “sports bottom” have been gaining popularity over the last five years. “They’re shallow on the sides and deeper in the middle so you can still jump in, but they’re more useful for playing games like volleyball,” says Cooper. “Everyone can get their footing, and you can put the really tall people in the deeper section so they can’t cheat!” Gannon says she also gets many requests for deck-mounted soccer nets, basketball nets and volleyball nets. “I just came from a client’s home and he said his teenage daughters absolutely love their poolside basketball net,” says Gannon.




Gannon says many homeowners are adding aromatherapy features to their hot tubs. At BonaVista Pools they use Kneipp, a German line of naturally-occurring salt mixed with natural essence oils that complement the chemistry in the tub’s water. “Lavender is the most popular because it’s a sleep aid, so people will take a nice soak together before bed,” says Gannon. “A lot of our athletic clients like the peppermint, winterfresh and eucalyptus scents to soothe deep tissue muscle fatigue, help with respiration and create an uplifting fragrance for after a workout.”


a swim spa

A swim spa is a hybrid between a hot tub and a pool; it’s about twice the size of a hot tub but deeper with a swim current and often kept at a temperature warmer than a pool. “You can swim against the strong current, so it’s similar to a treadmill but for swimmers,” explains Gannon. Because swim spas have a smaller footprint, Gannon says they’re a great option for families who want a pool but lack the yard space and especially since they meet most city bylaws by including a safety cover. Swim spas typically come with thick, thermal safety covers so they can be enjoyed year-round. “There are often jetted seats built into one end, so two people can enjoy hydrotherapy while a third is getting in a swim workout,” says Gannon. “We had a mom with six kids in our showroom model and there was plenty of room for everyone to splash around.”

Spring/Summer 2016 / XIII

Swim spas: the best of both worlds The new kid on the block By


ave you ever wanted to install a pool in your backyard, but your lot was just a little too small? Or maybe you’re interested in a hot tub, but still want the space to practice your breaststroke. If you were looking for something like this for your home 20 years ago, you might have been out of luck. But today, swim spas are changing the game when it comes to backyard aquatics, and their popularity is only going up. Bigger than a hot tub and smaller than a full-sized pool, swim spas offer the best of both worlds. They can be enjoyed just like a traditional hot tub, but are also equipped with an innovative water propulsion feature, allowing the user to swim on the spot against an artificial current. “There’s some value in the hydrotherapy swim spas provide, just like a regular hot tub,” says Rhett Bradshaw, operations manager at Vantage Pools and Spas, a company based in Langley, B.C. “You can also get some exercise as if you were in a regularsized pool, but without taking up so much space in the backyard.” Swim spas come in all shapes and sizes, and can be installed as standalone units or built into the ground. Bradshaw says one of the more popular brands is the Hydro Zone lineup from Viking Pools, which are 18 feet long and eightand-a-half feet wide. “A lot of the standalone models now are coming with LED lighting packages, stereo systems, swim harnesses and a myriad of jets,” he says. “They’re really great for swim training, overcoming injuries and general fitness.” So who’s buying swim spas, and where did they come from? XIV / Spring/Summer 2016

Evan Webster

Photos: 123RF

According to Bradshaw, swim spas have been around since the late 1990s, but consumers are only just starting to take notice. He says it’s been great for the pool business overall, because now retailers have even more to offer their customers. “We’ve definitely seen a spike in interest, especially in the last couple of years,” he says. “It’s not necessarily a new product, but it’s a new concept to a lot of consumers here in B.C. Swim spas are a solid

alternative if a full-sized pool doesn’t fit in your yard, or if a larger pool is out of your budget.” Liana Rhodenizer, outdoor furniture and swim spas manager at Holland Home Leisure in New Minas, N.S., says swim spas are growing in popularity on the East Coast as well. Her company carries the Hydropool lineup, which are 12-, 14-, 17- or 19-feet in length. “This is just our third year selling swim spas,” she says. “It’s definitely

a growing market. A lot of people are unfamiliar with them, but they see infomercials on TV and come in to look for them.” When it comes to cost, average standalone swim spas range anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000, and can be even more for top-of-the-line models. Rhodenizer says it’s worth it, because the coolest thing about swim spas is their versatility. She says most swim spa owners keep the water between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can easily be cooled down for longer workouts. “As a retailer, it’s all about asking the customer questions when they come in and understanding what their goals are for the purchase,” she says. “If they’re really set on an inground pool model but don’t have the space for it, we’ll steer them toward swim spas. If they want exercise benefits as well as hydrotherapy, swim spas are something we look at. If they have kids on a swim team, these are awesome for swim training. Swim spas are great for a number of different things; you just have to make sure it’s the right product for the customer.” Looking ahead, Bradshaw says he’s confident swim spas will only grow in popularity. If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to a full-sized pool, a unique resistance swimming machine, or simply a hot tub with a twist, a swim spa could be just what you need. “I can only imagine swim spas will be even more popular once more people find out about them. They’re definitely one of the cooler backyard pool products out there.”

www.leisurescapes com

Spring/Summer 2016 / XV

a new chapter Baby Boomers all about work/life balance



e can thank the baby boomers for many things. Those born in the post-Second World War baby boom (roughly between 1946 and 1964) have given the world great music, fashion and technology. But perhaps the most influential gifts from this cohort have been the concept of ‘work-life balance’ and the importance placed on a healthy lifestyle. The boomers, now moving into their 50s and beyond, have known the value of hard work. But this demographic also understands the importance of being able to enjoy the fruits of one’s labour. If there’s been a work hard, play hard generation, it’s this group. Boomers know what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they reach retirement age and that living one’s best life includes being active – and actively battling stress. For many of them, it is just now, during retirement and pre-retirement, that they are ready to embrace the results of a life of hard work. It’s time to kick back, enjoy family and have fun. For this generation, 50 isn’t old – it’s just the beginning of a new adventure.

XVI / Spring/Summer 2016


Debra Wells-Hopey

“The over-50 set are big fans of hot tubs for all kinds of reasons, from family fun with the grandkids to entertaining friends and neighbours, and sometimes for help with sleep issues or pain management,” says Ann Bradshaw of Vantage Pools in Langley, B.C. “Those of us in this age group are often still actively involved in sports, and hot tubs are great for those ‘achy-breaky’ muscles.” In the pool market, Bradshaw finds most in-ground pool installations are for families ranging in ages from 35 to 55, while above ground pools seem to sell to an age range of 30 to 40. “But more often than not, the above ground pool customer often becomes, in a few years, an in-ground pool owner once they realize how much fun the whole family has had together in their above ground pool,” she says. Andrea Van Zoost at Holland Home Leisure in Nova Scotia finds that boomers are often looking for relaxation – but they also like to stay close to home. “Some have worked very hard in their careers and are now ready to spend time in their backyards and relax,” says Van Zoost. www.leisurescapes com


“Whether it’s in a pool, hot tub or lounging on outdoor patio furniture, people are looking to spend more time with their children and possibly grandchildren. Who wouldn’t want to hang-out at Grandma’s house if there was a gorgeous in-ground pool or beautiful hot tub?” Others are empty nesters who are ready to focus on themselves by purchasing a stunning outdoor living room set. Cobra Pools & Spas has definitely seen a trend toward swim spas, partially due to the health-related benefits, but also because they fit well in yards with limited space. “Swim spas have been popular, especially for those who are looking for a product they can use year round,” says Bill Brady of Cobra Pools & Spas in Perth, Ont. “And I would guess the largest percentage of our hot tubs and swim spas are customers over the age of 40. Exercising in the water causes less strain and stress on joints and muscles, which is sometimes more appealing than dry land training or exercising in a gym. Besides the relaxation benefits, using a heated hot tub or swim spa gives a person the ability to train every day of the year if they want to.”

When it comes to her boomer customers, Jennifer Gannon of BonaVista LeisureScapes in Toronto finds that people are interested in pools and hot tubs for two reasons: they have the income and they have the time to enjoy the benefits that include wellness, relaxation, entertainment and fitness. “In my experience, the boomers enjoy larger hot tubs that let them gather with their family and friends, to spend quality time and unplug,” says Gannon. “Lap pools are also popular as they can be used for training, swimming lengths and playing volleyball or even water basketball.” Whether people have teenagers of their own, grandkids or are empty nesters, boomers love to entertain and stay active. Those who enjoy sports such as golf, cycling and playing hockey love a pool or hot tub for recovery, or to cross train. Boomers have the financial means and interest in doing whatever they can to age well. Swimming and soaking are perfect complements to this lifestyle and attitude.

Spring/Summer 2016 / XVII

product highlights Great ideas to make your pool or hot tub more enjoyable this season LATHAM POOL PRODUCTS Latham Pool Products is fully committed to the fastest growing segment of the pool industry: fibreglass swimming pools and spas. Now with eight manufacturing locations and six distribution centres, Latham has the broadest footprint of manu-facturing, enabling the most cost effective and quick-est delivery in the industry. In addition to geographic proximity, Latham has the widest array of models and colours. Latham’s award-winning facilities and award-winning manufacturing processes provide the foundation from which the highest quality swimming pools can be delivered for every order. www.lathampool.com

pentair SuperFlo® VS and SuperMax® VS pumps are the latest additions to Pentair’s family of ENERGY STAR®-certified variable-speed pumps. Designed for pools requiring up to 1.5-hp pumps, SuperFlo VS and SuperMax VS pumps bring the remarkable energy cost savings of variable speed technology to standard pools at a more affordable price. These Eco Select® brand pumps are easy to install and use with their intuitive interface, built-in timer, and easily accommodates either 115V or 230V applications. They can cut energy costs by up to 80 per cent over conventional pool pumps, saving pool owners hundreds of dollars each year, and thousands over the pump’s lifetime.

PicSURE Measuring System The proper fit of a vinyl liner is imperative for its longevity and appearance. Highbury Pool’s innovative PicSURE Measuring System is the most accurate way to measure for a pool liner installation. Only Highbury Pools can accurately 3D render your pool to design a liner. The best fit, appearance and longevity, insist on a Highbury Pools Liner measured with PicSURE measuring system. www.highburypools.com

XVIII / Spring/Summer 2016

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backyard brands. Giving back ...Sharing the gift of water We have three big passions at Backyard Brands: Working with family owned Backyard Leisure Pro's Designing innovative, healthier, more natural water care systems for pools and hot tubs using our Fusion Science platform Giving back through our Share the Gift of Water - Backyard Leisure Social Responsibility Project

• • •

Most recently, in collaboration with our dealers, Rotary Clubs and Rotary International, we have built over 900 Rainwater storage projects in Kenya ...each including a 10.000 liter rain water storage tank, 100 planted trees, a latrine in each home, water and sanitation training for the families and a table credit program that gives a "hand-up" not a hand-out to the women's groups that build the rainwater storage tanks. Together with our partners we have raised an additional $140,000 to fund a special project of bringing 30,000 liter rain water storage tanks, boys and girls latrines and health and safety programs to 6 HIV Orphan schools. We are now turning our focus to raising $250,000 to fund similar water, latrine and hygiene projects for ten of the poorest primary schools in Eastern Uganda. With every purchase, you'll help us raise the funds needed to increase access to safe and sufficient drinking water, to build new latrines and to deliver personal hygiene programs. www.sharethegiftofwater.com

Hayward unveil’s a new contemporary cleaner design for 2016 All 2016 models of e.Vac, e.Vac Pro and AquaVac QC Robotic Pool Cleaners feature a new contemporary design, aligning them with the complete Hayward Cleaner portfolio. All functionality remains unchanged and they continue to provide unrivaled efficiency and performance. www.hayward-pool.ca

Spring/Summer 2016 / XIX

backyard entertaining Food and drink recipes to inspire By

Mark DeWolf Get inspired

Add colour with salsa

Add a little colour to the backyard occasion this summer with Mexican-inspired cuisine. Forget the glowing green margaritas of Tex-Mex eateries or unnaturally orange cheese found on pub nachos. Modern Mexicaninspired cuisine reflects a return to real ingredients and authentic preparations. Even Mexico’s national spirit, tequila, has gone under a makeover in recent years. No longer is drinking an ounce of tequila a sign of machismo. The spirit’s firewater reputation has been lost as premium tequila producers continue to refine the spirit through modern distillation practices and extended oak maturation. Tequila should be part of any Mexican-inspired backyard occasion.

The most familiar Mexican tomato salsa is Pico de Gallo, but in truth it is just one of many Mexican salsas including cooked versions such as Salsa Rojo (cooked tomatoes, chiles, garlic, onion and cilantro), smoky versions such as Salsa taquera (chipotle and tomatillos) and fresh versions such as guacamole made from local avocados. Unlike sweet store-bought interpretations with their saucelike consistency, authentic Pico de Gallo should have a naturally red appearance, the appetizingly crunch of fresh vegetables and lots of lime zing. Authentic doesn’t mean overtly spicy! There should be an appetizing but not unpleasant heat.

XX / Spring/Summer 2016

Photos: 123RF

www.leisurescapes com


Pico de Gallo Ingredients: 2 cups plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced 1/2 cup white onion, diced 1 jalape単o, seeded, finely diced 2 lime, zest, juice 1/3 cup cilantro, minced White pepper to taste Salt to taste Directions:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. 2. Serve with homemade tortilla chips.

Homemade Tortilla Chips Ingredients: 10 to12 corn tortillas, left out overnight Rock salt Vegetable oil Directions:

1. Leave the tortillas out overnight to dry out. 2. Cut the tortillas into wedges. 3. Heat the vegetable oil (3 to 4 cups) in a deep skillet until it is hot but not smoking. 4. Quickly in batches fry the tortillas until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. 5. Remove and place on paper towel to remove excess oil. Season with salt.

Make me a real margarita Sometime during the 1980s, margaritas became vibrant greenhued slush drinks loaded with sugar to balance the bite of cheap tequila. I say make it authentic and make it real. Step one is to use real limes, instead of sweet bar mix or the vibrant (and very artificial) margarita mix found in grocery stores. It takes a lot of fresh limes to make enough for a margarita, but the flavour impact is worth it. Use a good Blanco tequila. The best are made in Mexico, not in factories in far flung corners of North America. While top producers now also make Reposado (rested) and Anejo (aged) versions that have spent time in oak barrels, a good margarita Spring/Summer 2016 / XXI

needs only the peppery and herbal bite of a good Blanco – sometimes called silver tequila. No need for Triple Sec or any other foreign spirit. Use agave nectar or simple syrup to balance the tartness of the limes. And lastly, it just takes a little salt to complete the cocktail.

A Real Margarita Ingredients: Kosher salt 4 limes, juiced 1 1/2 ounces Blanco tequila 1 ounce agave nectar* or simple syrup Directions:

1. Rim a rocks (old-fashioned) glass in salt. 2. Fill with chunks of ice. 3. Add lime juice, Tequila and Agave Nectar; stir. *Agave nectar is available at many health food stores.

Add a little flamenco with the salsa I’m sure to be truly authentic, a little mariachi might be called for, but also consider adding a little flamenco to this salsa inspired event. The Gipsy Kings aren’t Mexican. Truth be told they aren’t even Spanish. The group, whose self-titled album made them international stars in the late 1980s, finally won a Grammy award for their latest album, Savor Flamenco, but it is the high-energy of their original album featuring memorable songs such as Bamboleo that will ensure the music is as lively as the atmosphere of the party.

Add colour unconventionally If want to put a zing of colour into your outdoor entertaining, you can veer away from classic salsa recipes with some fun fruitinspired versions. Colour your outdoor table with these.

Mango Mint

Avocado & Grape Watermelon Salsa

Ingredients: 1 cup mango, diced 1/2 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced 1/4 cup red onion, diced 1 lime, zest, juice 3 tbsp mint, finely chopped Salt to taste

Ingredients: 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced 1/2 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced 1/4 cup seedless grapes, chopped 1 seedless orange, segmented, chopped 1 lime, zest, juice 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped


1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.

Ingredients: 1 cup watermelon, diced 1/2 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced 1/4 cup red onion, diced 1/4 cup cucumber, diced 1 lime, zest, juice 1 tbsp simple syrup 3 tbsp mint, finely chopped Directions:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.


1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. XXII / Spring/Summer 2016

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SUPERFLO® VS PUMP The smart variable speed upgrade for the everyday pool. With the new SuperFlo VS pump, you can get the innovative efficiency of Pentair’s revolutionary innovation – variable speed pool pump technology. Now all that energy efficiency is available for the everyday pool.

Learn more at pentairpool.com.

Variable speed technology saves up to 80% in energy costs*

No expensive rewiring. Runs on standard 115/230v

*Savings based on variable speed pump compared to a single-speed pump running 12 hours per day at an average of $0.16 per kWh in a 20,000 gallon pool. Actual savings may vary based on local utility rates, pool size, pump run time, pump horsepower, pump rpm, plumbing size and length, pump model, service factor and other hydraulic factors.

Dream showcase Transform your backyard into your own retreat Picture this... family and friends, sizzling barbecue, lively music, splashing water, summer retreat. You can see it, hear it and feel it. Now it’s time to go home and enjoy it. With ever-increasing demands on families today, it’s so important to find a balance between work and home. Owning a pool can help you do just that. We invite you to contact us so we can help you sit back and enjoy a little more R&R with your family. From our family to yours, Kara Redden Photos: © Heather Quinn/R&R Pools

Award Winning POOL

20’ x 40’ Rectangle with Autocover Dartmouth, NS

** Please note the pricing shown in the Dream Showcase is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect all items shown in the photograph. For an accurate quotation please contact the office for your own personalized onsite estimate.** 34 / Spring/Summer 2016


did you Customer know? consultation,

quality products and dedication to customer service is how R&R brings client’s dreams to life.

$41,450 • • • •

Straight step Heatpump 4' Concrete Deck Lights

16’ x 32’ Rectangle Glen Arbour, NS




16’ x 32’ Oasis Fall River, NS

18’ x 36’ Mexico Tantallon, NS ** Please note the pricing shown in the Dream Showcase is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect all items shown in the photograph. For an accurate quotation please contact the office for your own personalized onsite estimate.** Spring/Summer 2016 / 35

$79,300 • • • • •

Autocover, Full length step Heatpump Lights 4’ Stamped Concrete

16’ x 38’ Rectangle with Autocover Glen Arbour, NS


Award Winning POOL


18’ x 31’ Celebrity Kingswood, NS

Award Winning POOL

** Please note the pricing shown in the Dream Showcase is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect all items shown in the photograph. For an accurate quotation please contact the office for your own personalized onsite estimate.** 36 / Spring/Summer 2016


15’ x 30’ Kidney Fall River, NS

$42,500 • • • •

French step Heatpump Lights 4’ Concrete Deck


16’ x 32’ Rectangle Fall River, NS ** Please note the pricing shown in the Dream Showcase is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect all items shown in the photograph. For an accurate quotation please contact the office for your own personalized onsite estimate.** Spring/Summer 2016 / 37

Let it shine!

Photo; Moodboard / 123RF

Accent lighting adds mood, mystery and romance to any backyard oasis


Fred Sgambati


cleverly adds drama or romance, and easily alters a dark space into something that’s stunning, mysterious and has eye-catching curb appeal. The night becomes a thing of beauty and your backyard paradise an entertainment centre that describes your personal style perfectly and precisely. The great thing is, it’s easy, too. R&R has forged partnerships with industry leaders like preferred partner electrician Evan Henderson of Henderson Electrical Installations to ensure outstanding customer service and careful attention to detail. Based in Waverly, Henderson Electrical serves clients from Chester to Musquodoboit and has been R&R’s company of choice to install accent lighting for the past four years. Some of the services they provide include: Uplighting of trees and other accent lighting; Extra outlets on decks and other odd places;

his is the dream: an inground or aboveground pool that turns an ordinary backyard into a summer oasis that family and friends will enjoy for years to come. You’re in the pool every chance you get, vacationing at home on hot, sunny weekends and unwinding blissfully after work. But what about evenings, when night falls and there’s nothing to see but a starry sky and a sliver of moon that offers a thin light to illuminate your backyard retreat? If you think you’ll be stuck indoors, think again. With the right kind of accent lighting as a perfect accompaniment to your pool from R&R Pools in Timberlea, Nova Scotia, the party will just be getting started and your backyard will spring to life in ways you’ve never imagined! Fundamentally, lighting accents combine safety and aesthetics, but more importantly, they create a mood. They transform your backyard into a work of art that is functional and attractive. Skillful lighting

38 / Spring/Summer 2016

• •


• Handrail lighting; • Pathway and stair tread lighting; • Pond and other water feature lighting; • Audio surround, Bluetooth connectivity and outdoor TV centres; • and LED feature lighting.

Henderson says, “some people have expansive properties and you can lose all that to the night. With accent lighting, you gain it back. It’s really the difference between being able to look out and see just the pool or the whole backyard.” Henderson Electrical uses low voltage products such as walkway lights, tread lighting on deck stairs and uplighting for trees to banish the darkness. Each casts pots of light that illuminate functional areas and accentuates features of the pool and property to create another world outdoors that is rich in atmosphere and visually appealing. “Everything looks different at night, and the experience of having light is an excellent way to create a mood,” Henderson says. Every pool that R&R installs also comes with its own set of LED coloured lights.

Don’t have to flip a switch Henderson says that lights are usually installed after the pool is in, and can be turned on by cellphone or Bluetooth technology and set on timers so clients don’t have to walk across the yard to physically flip a switch. “We run a landscape wire underground,” he adds. “Since it’s low voltage, it doesn’t need to be buried two feet and we can weave it in and out of the mulch. We then test where the client thinks it looks best and work with the client to ensure that we identify and accentuate their favourite features of the property.” One client, for instance, had a garden that was built on granite stone. He wanted the garden to shine while guests enjoyed the pool so Henderson installed low light RGB (red/green/blue) LED spotlights, which use one-tenth of the power normal lights do, in the shallow soil. The lights were on timers to illuminate the area and created an attractive silhouette effect using the rock as a feature. “There are new products out there all the time,” Henderson notes, “and LED has really come along. RGB is probably the newest right now, and you can use it for your walkway lights, tread lights or with tree features, all of which come on automatically. You don’t have to worry about finding your way safely to and from your pool.” Multimedia is another trend gaining popularity. More and more clients are

interested in audio and TV capacity to enhance their backyard experience, and most of the technology can be managed using a cellphone. Henderson himself has a four-zone speaker system installed on his deck and he has provided clients with storm-protected, specialized televisions near hot tubs and pools that run off HDMI cables or use Bluetooth connectivity. Other accents include outlets on the corners of some decks so users can plug in a lamp and read a book beneath the stars.

“No one wants a 70-foot extension cord running all over the place,” he says. “It’s not safe and it just doesn’t look clean, so we install plugs into the deck itself. Safety and convenience go together!”

When considering landscape lighting for your backyard; A cooler blue tint bulb creates a moonlight atmosphere, while an amber bulb gives off a warmer campfire feel. The goal for Henderson and his team is to provide customers with available options to fit budget and taste and thereby empower the customer to make their final decision. “We want to get your quote and get the job done in a timely manner,” he says. “We are big on being involved and getting it done.” Henderson Electrical also offers a full range of everything you would need in a residential dwelling. Prospective clients can get in touch directly by calling 1-902403-3504. For more on pool installation and the creation of a backyard oasis that shines both night and day, please contact R&R Pools, 1949 St. Margaret’s Bay Rd., Timberlea, Nova Scotia at 1-902-876-2773 or visit: www.rrpools.ca.


Spring/Summer 2016 / 39