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Designing Your Dream Swimming Pool: An Interview with Jayme Allen of Blue Haven Pools

By Jayme Allen

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Blue Haven Pools has been in operation since 1954 nationally and have been going in Oklahoma for over 25+ years. We build custom in-ground concrete pools, spas, water features, hardscapes, natural rock features, landscape, outdoor living spaces which consist of outdoor kitchens, fire places, fire pits, landscaping, pergolas & pavilions, and outdoor lighting.

What are some of the most popular pool and backyard features for homes in Oklahoma?

Natural pools with rock features have been quite popular for some time and remain so,but we are starting to see some more contemporary/modern designs which consist of glass tile, vanishing edges, fire features, decorative scuppers and water bowls. A premium has been placed on the materials used in and around the pool such as premium interior finishes, tile, spectacular LED color lighting, paver and flagstone decks. We have built several caves and swim up bars lately as well. Clients seem to be after a more complete backyard resort at home.

Can you briefly explain what typically happens at an initial consultation for a swimming pool?

Typically, on the first consultation I survey the yard gathering measurements of the home and property, shoot elevations to determine the slope of the yard and the drainage of the property. Then the client and I will sit down to review pictures of projects and discuss what they want the pool to look like, materials, size of the pool, how are they going to use the pool, and most importantly the budget.

What are some of the most important considerations that a homeowner should communicate with a contractor?

One of the most important considerations is the budget of the project. This is important for me the designer so I know how to design a project. Do we want something extremely simple and basic or extremely elaborate? Since the demand for our product is so high,I don't want to spend a lot of time designing something the client can't afford. I don't want to over design the project; or under design for that matter.

Will homeowners get to preview and approve the new pool design before construction begins?

Yes, I use 3D design software, AutoCAD, and hand renderings to illustrate what the project will look like. It really helps the client understand the scale, sightlines for safety,and what the materials will look like.

What tips can you give people to make sure they end up with a swimming pool that they'll love?

It is extremely important to pick the right designer and company. There are many "pool guys" with virtually no formal training in design or construction knowledge. Some can draw a pretty picture but do not know some of the basics of construction or even think about some of the smallest details. Before I came to work with Blue Haven, I worked for an architect and engineering company. Twelve years later, I am still continuing my education on swimming pool design, hydraulics, color theory, etc.

Also, cheaper is never better. There is a reason there are so many cliché's out there, Because they are true! Picking the right builder is extremely important as well. How long has the company been in business (under the same name)? How much insurance coverage do they have? Warranties? An office?The size of the project can make a difference. Smaller projects will be easier for the homeowner to maintain and also easier on the pocketbook as well. The bigger the project or pool, the more water, chemicals, and electricity will be used. A simple pool with nice landscaping and good equipment is not a bad way to go!

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

We have several ways to contact us, call our office at 405-844-7500, visit our website at www.bluehavenokc.com, or email me at jayme@bluehavenokc.com.

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Phone: 405-844-7500

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