Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Glass Tile Swimming Pool Spa Designer saves hillside home.

A creative solution to a potentially ruinous situation saves a hillside home by installing a spa and patio area.

Initial Consultation

A young electronics entrepreneur asked me to come and meet with him about the possibility of designing a swimming pool or spa for his multi-million dollar home.

The beautiful home was build atop a hillside in the early 1960's.  Having recently completed a whole house remodel, the owner was now ready to tackle the backyard.

Myopic Contractors
The client knew that I had a reputation for being expensive.  He had already met with a number of pool contractors.  However, a quick walk around the property made him realize that I was  more than a pool contractor.
(click on image to enlarge)
Building stucco cracking
I noticed that the corner of the recently remodeled house had cracks in the stucco and foundation.  The trees on the slope had a slight downhill lean to them.
(click on image to enlarge)
Tilting trees were a clue to slope creep
None of the pool contractors had even noticed or mentioned these issues to the owner.  I knew that they were indications that the hillside was moving - a phenomenon known as slope creep.

Confirmation of Suspicions

Before the client committed to retaining my design services, I recommended that he hire a surveyor and a soils engineer.  Those experts could determine if the house was level, provide a topographical map that we'd need later and quantify the conditions of the soils and slopes.

The results were not pleasant.  One corner of the house was 3/4 of an inch out of level.  The lot was a combination of cut and fill.  The dirt cut out of the hillside was merely pushed around to create level areas.  No compaction or stabilization measures had been employed.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Our engineering team, quickly devised a conceptual plan, wherein we could stabilize the slope closest to the house and level the house using grout injection.

The best part is that the client would gain a spa, seating area and beautiful herb garden.

Heavy Construction

Caissons were drilled with a tracked excavator. 
Drilling caissons with a tracked excavator.
Then steel cages were lifted over the house with a large crane and lowered into place.  

Cages for drilled caissons
Crane lifting steel cages into place
These deep concrete and steel reinforced piers would stabilize the slope and prevent further movement of the house.  They would also support the new spa and patio.

Placing steel cages into the drilled holes
Picture Perfect

The net result was that the spa cost more than the client had intended.  However, the end results were picture perfect and the house was back onto a solid foundation.

Who wouldn't want to come home to this?
(click on an image to enlarge it)

Completed glass tile spa, flagstone patio and concrete bench.
The end of a perfect day!
Paolo Benedetti - Aquatic Artist "Creating water as art."™ 
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa © 
You may contact Paolo Benedetti at: or at 408-776-8220

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you desire to publish your comment, DO NOT INCLUDE names, links or advertising references. They will not be published and your comment deleted. Comments are moderated, so do not waste your time.
If you want to ask a question of Paolo Benedetti, you may email him at: