Home News Staying cool: Homeowners dive into creative above-ground pools

Staying cool: Homeowners dive into creative above-ground pools

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Glen Rosenthal wanted to do more than bring home souvenirs from Jamaica and Cancun. He wanted to create a vacation-like oasis in the backyard of Patchog without raising property taxes.

The result is a backyard that looks less like a long island than a Caribbean island, including winding paths, waterfalls, tic bars, bridges, hibiscus, kanzo, hosta, and grass plants. However, there is no underground pool. Instead, the ground pool is surrounded by decks and provides a place to enjoy in a scenic environment.

“It was designed to get away from everyday life, enter paradise, be in the backyard and feel like a vacation. Every time people walk in my backyard, they say: I’ve been to a resort. “”

Rosenthal’s children, Tristan (13) and Justin (15), enjoy the ground pool in the backyard of Patchog.
Credits: Howard Simmons

Underground pools can enhance the property, but many long islanders have opted to have aboveground and semi-underground pools, adding design features such as decks, landscaping, and lighting to add them. Especially attractive.

According to long island pool experts, the typical cost of a ground pool ranges from $ 2,000 to over $ 10,000 installed. (Large stores sell for as low as $ 200 without installation.) This is equivalent to $ 8,000 to $ 16,000 for semi-circular pools and the empty limit of $ 20,000 for underground pools. increase.

One of the features not found in these ground pools is the property tax hike, which is a pleasure for homeowners. On Long Island, ground pools are not normally taxed, but according to Babylonian town spokesman Kevin Bonner, cousins ​​on or around the ground or half are taxed, depending on the town.

Lisa Leonic, Huntington’s Town Assessor, said that semi-in-round pools could be evaluated if permanent features were built in, adding that each property would be evaluated individually.

One of the two Japanese bridges built by Glen Rosenthal ...

One of the two Japanese-style bridges Glen Rosenthal built near the pool at his home in Patchog.
Credits: Howard Simmons

Some homeowners decorate the pool and its surroundings to maximize summer enjoyment.

Steven Tourdo, President of Pool & Spa Guys in Farmingdale, said: “They then make a big paving stone deck. It seems like a fad.”

Nick Farone, a salesman at Dan Wright Pool in Bohemia, who grew up in a ground pool in North Babylon, said there are many options. “You can put a light salt water in the wall of the pool. You can use a filtration system to add a heater,” he said.

Homeowners are also becoming creative in form. “We can do a free-form half-circle and draw a curve to form the shape of a mountain lake,” said Tourdo. “People who want the look of a lagoon want it.”

The pool of Terisha Houpe in the backyard of Riverhead was an oasis ...

The Terisha Houpe pool in the backyard of Riverhead was an oasis, especially during the pandemic.
Credit: John Roca


The Terisha Houpe ground pool at Riverhead transformed her backyard from a space behind the house to a busy and popular area, not just a barbecue on July 4th. Her nine-year-old son, Harlem Brown, likes to swim and splash in the pool, which is now central to their lives.

“He loves water. He swims in it every day as much as possible,” she said. “He swims in the morning for about 30 minutes.”

9-year-old Harlem Brown enjoying a family pool at home ...

9-year-old Harlem Brown enjoying a family pool at Riverhead’s home.
Credit: John Roca

The tan pool with wavy interiors is fenced and has accessible stairs that can be blocked. “When you’re not at home, you can slide the ladder cover down to keep no one out of the pool,” said Houpe, a certified nursing assistant.

The 20-foot-round, 4-foot-deep pool is surrounded by white sleepers, solar lights, and an octagon made of plants. Houpe said he spent about $ 12,000 on materials, installation and electricians.

There are trampolines, tree houses and patios, and the family is especially grateful in the last few years. “Having a pool was a blessing during the summer fun and pandemic to keep it safe,” Houpe said.

In this pool in Hempstead "Feeling of the sea," Albert Daniels says ...

This pool in Hempstead has a “sea atmosphere”, says Albert Daniels of the Magically Blu Pool & Spa Service above.
Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Feels like a beach

The ground pool adds a touch of beach to Hempstead’s backyard.

“The shells and rocks around the pool make us feel like the ocean,” said Albert “Rosco” Daniels, owner of Riverhead-based Magically Blu Pool & Spa Service, which serves the pool. I am saying.

A pool with a circumference of 18 feet and a depth of 4 feet is a fairly common saltwater pool for ground pools. “Salt is a little more natural and gentle on the skin,” Daniels said. “And it’s easy to maintain.”

Albert Daniels of Magically Blu Pool & Spa Service is checking the temperature ...

Albert Daniels of Magically Blu Pool & Spa Service checks the temperature of the pool in Hempstead.
Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

The lawn is landscaped with flowers, the pool is about 8 feet from the house, and there are tables and chairs nearby. Children cannot climb because it is a stair lift. The lighting fixtures around the pool provide a place to relax as the air cools and the stars disappear.

Safety, which is the main concern of the pool, is regulated by the municipality of Long Island. For example, in the town of Huntington, all pools must be completely surrounded by permanent fences, walls, or barriers at least 4 feet above the grade level, and all openings should be for children. Must be equipped with secure auto-close and auto-latch gate. Huntington spokeswoman Lauren Lembo said the lock had to be locked whenever the pool was unmanned.

The hybrid is here

Dario Valencia, vice president of Island Park-based Long Island Swim Pool Services, said most ground pools are above ground, but homeowners are sunk to the ground with walls protruding just a few feet. We have a pool.

“Looks like an underground pool,” he said, a saltwater pool with extruded aluminum walls that his company recently installed in Merrick’s garden, including a gazebo with a fireplace and a TV and a one-hoop basketball court. Said about.

According to Valencia, this pool has steps to make it look like an underground or semi-underground pool. Such pools usually start at $ 25,000 and include materials, effort and installation, he said.

They are often surrounded by decks, so they fit the design and mimic the look of an underground pool, rather than rising high above the lawn.

A pool made from one-like shipping container ...

The pool, made of a shipping container similar to the one recently installed in Greenport’s house, has acrylic windows.
Credits: Modpools

Shipping container

Another option for quicker installation is a pool made from shipping containers, such as Daniels Service, one of the green ports with clear acrylic square windows.

“It’s a real shipping container,” Daniels said. “They cut out a square so you can see inside and outside of it. You can sit in the fire pit area and see people swimming.”

Shipping container pools from Modpools, such as Greenport’s 20-foot pool, cost about $ 36,500. There are smaller versions, which are available in sizes 40 feet long and 4 feet deep. The window provided as an add-on is made of 1 inch thick acrylic.

The shipping container pool is surrounded by three decks ...

The shipping container pool is surrounded by decks on three sides. A similar 20-foot pool at Greenport cost about $ 36,500.
Credits: Modpools

“It’s not big enough to swim in the lap, but it’s big enough to swim,” Daniels said of what’s in Greenport. The three sides of the pool are surrounded by decks that can be turned into hot tubs. “They have seats with handles,” Daniels said. “Slide to separate from the pool section.”

There is a fire pit surrounded by stones with wooden benches protruding from a concrete wall near the pool. “I’m amazed at the overall design and concept,” Daniels said.

Rosenthal built a tiki bar in the backyard ...

Rosenthal built a tic bar in the backyard to give the feeling of a vacation.
Credits: Howard Simmons

Summer stay

Rosenthal pools and decks are the focus of the backyard, but they are only part of an elaborate design aimed at maximizing the sense of lasting stay.

Glenn Rosenthal, 49, technical representative of the automotive industry, said he and his wife, Christine, 49, and a junior high school science aide, “a vision of how we want our garden to look. I had it. Does the island look like a long island? ”

Rosenthal said he spent about $ 5,000 on the pool 15 years ago and can now cost about $ 30,000 on the tropical backyard.

Rosenthal did a lot of work on his own. He said the material would cost $ 1,500 for the Tiki bar. Two Japanese-style bridges with voyage-inspired rope railings cost $ 165. $ 400 for a three-story waterfall with sprinkler tubing connected to a pump. Lighting is $ 300.

“Crossing the bridge, you can enjoy the waterfall,” Rosenthal said. Green gives the garden a lush tropical atmosphere. “Many of those plants were bought when they were small,” he said. “I split many of them to save money.”

Deck with multiple levels wraps around the house and connects to the pool. Connect to the middle deck in 3 steps and to the upper deck and pool in 3 more steps.

“If it’s a beautiful day, I spend the whole day, or almost the weekend,” Rosenthal said.

Tristan and Justin Rosenthal in the pool of Patchog.

Tristan and Justin Rosenthal in the pool of Patchog.
Credits: Howard Simmons

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