Landscape architect John Troy designed a pool remodel done by Artesian Pools. The makeover gave the pool new stone decking and coping along the edge, new tile along the waterline, a spa and a quartz-finish resurface.
-By Steve Bennett Updated 1:38 pm, Monday, July 15, 2013
When Sam and Laurie Boldrick moved into their ’80s-era Alamo Heights condominium last year, the place needed a lot of work.
After spending five or six months on the interior — “We basically gutted the place,” said Sam, a San Antonio investment strategist — the couple turned their eye to the pool out back.
“It was horrible,” Sam Boldrick said. “Someone had tiled over this beautiful old brick decking with this cheap Chinese ceramic tile. The pool itself was old, and the whole area needed upgrading. A lot of the things previous owners did didn’t make a lot of sense to us.”
The Boldricks’ story is typical of homeowners with pools approaching the 15- to 20-year mark.
Boldrick called Artesian Pools, a company in Castle Hills, and his pool is being remodeled now. Artesian, run by Brett Corrigan and Johnnie Brajkovic, does about as many pool remodels as it does new pools.
“We remodel a lot of pools of varying complexities,” Corrigan said, adding a remodel takes about six weeks.
A new pool can cost $80,000 and more. For a basic remodel — new plaster, tiling at the water line and stone coping along the edge — expect to pay $5,000 to $10,000. “It’s mostly about aesthetics,” said Leif Zars, owner of Gary Pools. “You take an older pool and bring it up to date.”
But if homeowners want to enhance the pool decking with cut stone and add features such as custom plaster finishes, a hot tub, beach entry, a tanning ledge, a shallow area for children, new lighting, more water jets for circulation, an in-floor vacuuming system, a heater and an energy-efficient new pump, the cost can rise to as much as $100,000.
“It’s like buying a car that costs X amount,” Zars said, “and then you add options to it.”
Aside from dated aesthetics, Brajkovic said the two biggest signs your pool may need a makeover are loss of water and difficulty in maintaining it.
If you keep having to top off your pool, it probably has a leak somewhere, either in the equipment or in the structure. If your water is chronically green and cloudy, you may need more returns, or water jets, to provide better circulation.
“Warm water in a Texas pool is like a Petri dish,” Corrigan said. “It grows things. But with more circulation, you are cleaning that water more frequently and efficiently.” Pool technology and building codes have changed over the past two decades, so the pool remodeler should inspect all the plumbing and equipment in addition to the surface and decking. “Then you go through the wish list,” Corrigan said. Homeowners should do due diligence on a remodeler before committing to a project.