By Brenda Young
The rain has been a welcomed relief throughout the area recently, if only partially alleviating severe drought-like conditions, and the owners of Paradise Pools and Spas want to keep adding a splash to summer with their custom designed pool creations.
“Everybody has their own idea of what paradise is like,” owner Peggy Henry said.
She and husband Carl Henry opened Paradise Pools in 1986 in Austin.
“The design element is really important, and we consult with our customers to make that idea work within their budget,” she said.
The Henrys moved their business to Leander in 2003, and managed a storefront until closing the shop in 2011. The couple continued to operate the business from their home in Oatmeal; however, feeling the time and location was just right, they opened their newest Paradise Pools showroom in March just off State Highway 29 in Liberty Hill.
“The showroom here is a perfect location for customers to come in and make their material selections. The bulk of our business is definitely word of mouth, since we’ve been doing this for so long, but we’ve also had a lot of walk-in customers, too,” Mrs. Henry said.
For the Henrys, the pool business stays busy year-round, not just during the summer months. Their one-of-a-kind designs help transform residential backyards into a paradise their customers can enjoy every day of the year.
“We’re not trying to be a cookie-cutter builder or a large volume dealer — everything we do is custom from start to finish. Carl has a gift for coming in with a blank slate and making the end result exactly what the customers want,” Mrs. Henry said. “He extends the same care, consideration and personalized service to everyone.”
Henry designs and oversees all phases of construction and is in charge of project management in the field while Mrs. Henry oversees the day-to-day operations of the showroom and is usually the first point of contact when customers walk through the door.
A typical pool build takes approximately 45 days, from start to finish, and costs average around $35,000, depending on the extent of features requested such as massive stone decks, grottos, waterfalls and spas. The geographical outline of the land also plays a big part in the cost and timing of pool construction.
“It’s important to look at how the pool will function in the selected area, once it’s complete. We have pool design software and make presentations on the big screen TV in our showroom so customers can see exactly what the pool will look like in their backyard,” she said.
Elements affecting construction and costs include digging through rock beds, elevation levels, run-off and erosion.
“There are so many things that can be done. We’re not just taking a water fountain out of a box–not like a kit that you buy–it’s actually constructed on sight. We’ve even hung pools that are hanging off the side of a cliff. These are called negative edge pools and look like the water is flowing out of the pool into the lake or another body of water. It can really run up the cost, but we can do anything anybody wants from slides, raised spas or provide extensive rock work and decking,” Mrs. Henry said.
The customer base of Paradise Pools consists mostly of families and homeowners wanting to enhance their home by making it a place to gather for fun and memories, and the Henrys focus all their attention on residential customers, rather than commercial contracts.
“Design and construction is where our love is, and we decided to concentrate on that,” she said. “We refer out for service repairs and retail accessories such as chemicals, parts and supplies.”