What could be more summery than a swimming pool? Perhaps that’s why HGTV has debuted a new home makeover show titled “Supersize My Pool,” starring Mario Lopez.
Between juggling pool renovations and hosting “Extra,” Lopez is busy these days. Plus, “I’ve got a new baby coming and the house is a little chaotic,” he admits. Nonetheless, he carved out time to chat with realtor.com in an exclusive interview about his new show.
While Lopez does not have professional contracting experience, he does have an eye for design that helps him turn literal holes in the ground into spaces that remind homeowners of a “mini Vegas resort,” as he describes them. Here are a few of his top swimming pool renovation tips and trends to take note of this summer.
Swimming pools often fall into disrepair
To find the right pools to supersize, Lopez and his team ask people to submit videos, telling them what’s wrong with their pools and why they need makeovers.
“Usually it’s a situation where the pools are broken down or decrepit or the contractors took advantage of the families,” Lopez says.
Take-home lesson? Keep in mind that owning or renovating a pool is not as easy as, say, buying a couch or painting your cabinets. It’s a major undertaking, so make sure you have the time and dollars to devote to it. Also take your time choosing the right contractor for the job.
Don’t forget about pool permits
Lopez says the biggest challenge building or renovating a pool is the permitting process: Many people are unaware that in most communities, any changes to the pool or the structures around it must be permitted by local authorities, and sometimes that can take months and months and months. So if you start a pool project now, don’t expect it to be done in a jiffy.
Keep your pool covered
The good news? One of the most important features that a pool can have, in Lopez’s opinion, doesn’t require months of construction time or zillions of dollars. It’s the simple pool cover! It can actually save money when it comes to maintenance.
“If you can put a cover on a pool, not only is it safer, but I think it keeps the pool a lot cleaner,” he says.
Ditch the diving board
Lopez notes that diving boards used to be a staple, but not so much anymore.
“Not too many people want diving boards any more,” he says, adding that homeowners with younger kids especially ask to have the diving board removed.
Faux stone has come a long way
Yet even without a diving board, that doesn’t mean kids can’t leap off a ledge into the pool. Elevated spas and faux stone structures make excellent diving platforms. Also, faux stone design has come a long way since the days when it made a backyard look like a like cheap “Flintstones” set.
Below Lopez shares a few other popular pool features these days:
- Baja shelves
- Swim-up bars
- Fire features
- Mood lighting (both below and above water)
- Black bottoms
Think beyond the pool itself
As much as you might focus on the pool, you should widen your design focus to what’s around it, too.
“We don’t just make over the pool,” Lopez says. “We make over the whole backyard. I know how important that is to families.”
Last but not least, does Lopez have a pool himself?
“Yes I do have a pool,” he says. “And I think it needs a face-lift, after designing all these other pools. It’s a good candidate for a makeover. We’ll see.”
“Supersize My Pool” airs Saturdays on HGTV at 9 p.m. ET/PT.