Bought with a future pool in mind, Sean Hawthorne and his family chose their specific lot just outside of College Station on which to build their home due to the thirteen-foot drop in the grading of the backyard. Sean, who is known as ‘The Pool Guy,’ has been building and designing pools for 35 years, and wanted to create a one-of-a-kind pool to compliment his five bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom, 6,000-square-foot custom home.
“I wanted to put together a pool that had every feature that I thought was unique.” The steep hillside at the back of his lot allowed Sean to have pools on multiple levels and an advanced system that can change the water level from one pool area to another. With the help of Riverflow Systems, a company that specializes in the construction of lazy rivers, Sean put together a 100,000-gallon resort-style pool that sits above the ground. Because of its unique construction and design, Sean and Riverflow Systems were able to create a lazy river with a tunnel that goes underneath the main body of water.
The engineering that made all of the visual aspects possible are 90 piers that support the entire weight of the pool. “It was the same engineering that went into building a pool on top of a building.” Sean used a pier system because of the clay soil found in the region that would have created cracking and movement issues if he built directly on the ground. A unique feature of building on piers was being able to tuck all of the unattractive pool equipment underneath the pool and out of sight.
Because Sean wanted to add every feature that he loved, the three bodies of water that make up the pool have an adjustable water level controlled by the touch of a phone application. In fact, almost everything about the pool can be controlled from Sean’s phone, from the lights to the speakers. Because the water level in the three pools can be adjusted, guests might potentially experience six different pools when they visit.
The cabana and grilling area are situated at the far end of the main pool and features a movie screen. The swim-up bar is at the front of the cabana and has plenty of seating on which to enjoy a drink or watch a game on the screen.
A fire pit makes up one edge of the flagstone seating area and is just one of the many fire features found around the pool. Several waterfalls surround the pool and spill into the lazy river which is an added bonus for any kid going through the tunnel.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Sean included his alma mater’s logo into the splash area as well at the high rock wall on the backside of the pool. Subtle in design and color, Sean created the splash logo by cutting out the flagstone and then using the same black pebble deck that is used in the rest of the pool. The logo in the rock wall is made of mosaic tiles that become highlighted by a waterfall and in-pool lighting.
Now that the pool is complete, Sean has to heed his own warning he often gives his customers: “Everyone will be at your house.” With kids of their own, Sean and his wife enjoy hosting school gatherings and birthday parties at their pool. “We like knowing where everyone is and it’s a great way to show what I can do for anyone who wants to build a pool.”