Paradise Pools win prestigious award
By Christine Bolaños
Paradise Pools & Spas, a Liberty Hill-based company owned by Carl and Peggy Henry, recently won a prestigious industry award for their work on a custom-built therapy pool that allows individuals to get into three feet of water without any steps.
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals presented the Henrys with the Gold Award in the Region 3 Design Awards 2016 for the residential concrete pools freeform 450 square feet or less category. The region includes Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
“I consider myself a decent listener,” Carl Henry told The Independent. “The customer had some mobility limitations and she was very adamant she needed to get into the water without any steps.”
He came up with a creative solution — build a 35-foot-long ramp that seamlessly provided her a gentle slope into three feet of water.
“Then she could take off and swim,” Henry said.
He said what helped the project stand out is that the customers selected quality materials including an all flagstone deck, two waterfalls, spritzer lines and LED lighting. The sloped entry began at the edge elevation of their existing patio. The ramp wrapped all the way around the side of the pool facing the house, and ended at two small steps with 4-inch risers.
According to a press release, Paradise Pools & Spa capped off the entry and overhung it with a 1-and-a-half-inch hand grasp so it was accessible at any depth. In order to give the customers easy access, the company designed the pool with coping at a 22-inch elevation. This allowed for the users to sit comfortably and spin around. The customers can also stand up and walk around a sloped bench, and then, take two small steps into the footwall.
“This project was a bit more challenging, yet we knew that our creative abilities and team’s construction skill could provide the desired outcome for our customers,” Carl Henry said.
The customer saw her dream pool come to life. Not only did the pool have everything she needed but it had a beautiful, custom aesthetic.
“They are pleased with the final result and so are we,” he said.
The pool’s fountain was built on a monolithic structure designed to support up to five tons of moss boulders handcrafted by the company’s mason.
“A Pentair ScreenLogic control system was also installed so the customers could easily control the features of their spa and pool from their computers,” the press release states.
The Henrys strive to offer customers exactly what they envision each and every time. Using a 3-D software program, they are able to show each client the project and make changes as necessary, before the company even reaches construction phase. The program simulates the project, the home and backyard, and even the individuals and scenery of the area.
Paradise Pools staff is able to zoom in and zoom out of specific parts of the project, and enables customers to hear sounds. For example, if they want to add a waterfall to their pool, the customer can actually hear the water using the program.
Henry said it is not new technology, but there are still some companies that only offer renderings drawn on paper even today. As an added bonus, Henry is a certified builder. While pool construction is completely unlicensed, members of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals includes some of the reputable pool builders. Henry has been a certified builder since the credential began being offered around the early 1990s.
The company is also a member of the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce and the local Christian Leaders Business Association. Peggy Henry has served on the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals Austin Chapter’s board as secretary and vice president. Her husband has served as president and vice president.
Their commitment to building and maintaining a reputable pool business stems back to Peggy Henry’s father, William “Mac” McGee, one of the original board members of the industry association’s local chapter.
He is the reason the couple got into the pool business. Peggy Henry grew up exposed to the pool business from a young age. As McGee aged, the Henrys took over the family business. McGee built a reputation as a pool builder in the Austin area during the 1960s and founded McGee Pools.
Carl Henry worked for McGee in the 1980s, in his early 20s, after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He advanced from pool cleaner to plumber to constructer.
“I enjoyed construction so I enjoyed working for him and learning the construction techniques that he used,” Carl Henry said. “And also his business ethics. He was a very honest person who took care of his customers and I tried to carry that on.”
Paradise Pools & Spas was founded as a way to continue the McGee legacy.
“I can’t remember a time ever when he was not working hard,” his daughter, Peggy Henry, said.
The Henrys have been married since 1983 and have been involved in business together for the entirety of their relationship.
Peggy Henry is the office manager while Carl Henry takes care of the construction side. Their son-in-law is construction foreman and helps Carl Henry with sales. Peggy Henry also has a part-time office helper and the company hires someone to do labor.
The company launched in 1986 and found its permanent home in Liberty Hill in 2003, after stints in Austin and Leander. The couple moved from an office on State Highway 29 to their current location at 3200 Ranch Road 1869.
They transformed a building that housed a gift shop into a welcoming, state-of-the-art, aesthetically pleasing pool business. They moved to their new building in October of last year and renovated the place in two months.
“We felt that it would be a good value and good location for us and it seems to be working out pretty well,” Carl Henry said.