This incredible backyard was designed to accentuate the home’s dramatic lines and blend seamlessly into the surrounding desert landscape, all while paying homage to the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright style. In fact, a contemporary of the celebrated master designed this unique home.

One of the property’s most attractive features was its location, with panoramic views of Four Peaks and Thumb Butte. Our design team sought to showcase the great natural foundation we were working with while also creating privacy and harmony with the surrounding desert.

After consulting with the clients, our designer put together an initial rendering. To our delight, the client responded with two simple words: “Nailed it!” The highest compliment, of course!

Focal Points

Anyone who enters this ultimate backyard is likely to be stopped in their tracks by the jaw-dropping spa. We capitalized on the hilly topography and situated the sit and spin, zero-spill spa three feet above the pool. This gives people relaxing in the spa a beautiful view of the pool and natural landscape, while also utilizing the height to feed into the pool, creating an understated but amazingly elegant primary water feature.

custom pool build

The spa itself was wrapped in iridescent glass tile, so as the light plays

off the tile throughout the day it gives off a shimmering iridescence. When in shadow, it becomes more understated and harmoniously blends in with the surrounding desert.

What’s more, every aspect of this backyard was designed with immaculate precision – each sight line highlights a central gathering point or natural feature. From the spa, these lucky clients have a perfect view of both Four Peaks and Pinnacle Peak!

Throughout the yard, we made intentional decisions with lines, textures, and colors to highlight the vividness of the pool and make it a true centerpiece. It sits at a slightly lower elevation and wraps around the central part of the house, giving the homeowners a clear view from the main interior portion of the house. The pool’s Baja step features elegant Ledge Loungers—indulgent chaise lounges that can be partially submerged with an umbrella. It doesn’t get much better than poolside relaxing with built-in shade!

custom water features

Every gathering point of the backyard was designed with fluidity and interconnectedness in mind. Naturally, the outdoor kitchen and barbeque area were built with the same ethos—they face the pool, making it easy for people in different areas of the yard to engage. The exterior of the barbeque area was wrapped in the spa’s iridescent tile, while the countertop was finished with an understated 6×24 vintage ceramic tile.

Finishing Touches

Throughout the property, the landscape was designed to naturally complement the pool and spa—we carefully curated both local and exotic flora to accentuate the central focus areas of the yard.

Our designers choreographed the plant life with complementary colors and alternate blossom times, so the garden is perennially in bloom! We sought to create a balanced look with the flora and utilized a mixture of Mediterranean and indigenous plants, creating a range of textures. They also included an unobtrusive custom area off to the side for the client’s dogs to play and take care of business!

The decking throughout this picture-worthy property is 12×24 Boulevard Light Travertine. The masons created beautiful symmetry by precisely following the house’s uncommon angles.

Among other finishing touches, we carefully considered lighting. A true highlight of the property is its views of the sunrise and sunset, both of which can be seen perfectly from the backyard. Throughout the yard, we used LED Bluetooth lighting that can be controlled by a smartphone. The lighting was intentionally designed to not interfere with the incredible sunrises and sunsets. We used under-lighting on the barbeque area and flanking around the property while accenting the dry streambed and specific plant elements. All were thoughtfully designed to enhance what makes this property so amazing and not obscure the homeowners’ view of the night stars and sky.

We are happy to report that our clients were so pleased with the outcome that California Pools & Landscape was brought in to do a complete refurbish from the curb to the front yard!

When our clients continue to come back for more, we know we have done something right!

beautiful new pool

When the homeowners of this Chandler property contacted California Pools & Landscape, they had a pure grass backyard and a plethora of inspirational pictures to help articulate their vision. Their goals were to extend the living area of their house, have a negative-edge pool leading up to the lake, and to be able to make lasting family memories through hosting parties and barbecues.

“I suggested creating multiple seating and gathering areas for various types of entertaining, while making sure to maintain a unified and cohesive design,” says Darren Tamburrelli, sales manager. “The first sitting area is centered around a travertine and Marbella stone fire pit. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine at sunset or a morning cup of coffee.”

The negative-edge pool is particularly stunning when standing inside the home, looking out — it appears to drop off right into the lake beyond.

The swim-up bar provides convenient access to refreshments without having to miss a minute of fun. The pool is flanked by two Marbella stone columns topped with copper fire pots. When lit at night, the flames dance off of the pool and lake to set a romantic ambiance perfect for more intimate gatherings.

“Since shade is so important in Arizona, we built a tiled-roof gazebo to house another seating area, which contains a second fire pit and a built-in barbecue,” says Tamburrelli. “We used Alumawood above the barbecue because of its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and created a seat wall designed for a relaxing day of fishing off the lake.”

Guests entering the backyard from the house are treated to a desert flower garden off the patio. Its rainbow of colors provides a breathtaking pathway to the seating area — and each plant was chosen carefully to ensure year-round blooming while taking into account its need for sun or shade.

While the overall design of this space is modern, Tuscan materials were used to soften the look and make it a bit more rustic.

Brick pavers were chosen for the hardscaping and great attention was given to consistency of the custom materials — for instance, the travertine tile used on the top of the fire pits matches the coping around the pool.

“Without the white travertine coping, the blue of the swimming pool wouldn’t pop so vibrantly,” says Tamburrelli. “Each design element, color, plant, and material was specifically chosen to create a seamless space. The homeowners and their two young boys are extremely pleased with their new backyard.”

At California Pools, we know that a pool is an investment — in your home and in your family’s lifestyle. That’s why we offer pool funding options to help make your dream pool affordable. California Pools & Landscape’s financial strength has enabled us to build exceptional relationships with financial institutions across the Valley. We have numerous unsecured and secured loan products available to you. We can help make your dream backyard a reality today!

Second mortgage pool loans offer lower monthly payments, minimal closing costs, no pre-payment penalties, fixed rates, and the interest can be tax deductible.

  • Payments on a 15 year $35,000 secured loan would be as low as $318 per month!
  • Currently we have 10 year secured pool loans available with rates as low as 6.9% as well as 15 year secured pool loans starting at 7.15% and 20 year secured loans at 9.25%.
  • For those customers who have substantial equity in their homes these rates can be even lower.
  • Our preferred lenders will loan up to 115% – 130% loan-to-value so little to no equity is required for these specific programs.
  • Typically the maximum loan amount is $100,000.


These loans require:

  • At least a 660 Experian FICO credit score.
  • A 40-42% debt to income ratio that includes the pool payment.
  • Foreclosures need to be at least 4 years old and short sales over 2 years old.
  • Proof of all income will also be required.


Unsecured pool loans are basically personal loans that are not tied to the equity in your home and offer an affordable alternative to a secured second mortgage loan. For example payments on a 15 year $35,000 unsecured loan would start at $315 per month. For very well qualified buyers unsecured loans can start at 5-6% range depending on the length of the loan. Unsecured loans require higher FICO credit scores than secured loans as the approval is based solely on the applicant’s credit profile and not secured by an asset like a house.

One of the most commonly used payment methods by our clients for their outdoor living environment is to include this cost with the purchase their home.  By including the project price into the home’s first mortgage it provides the simplicity of having the cost rolled into one payment.  This is not only convenient but also reduces the monthly cost of owning the backyard of your dreams.

When including the pool, spa, landscape and/or ramada into you home purchase, there a few things we like to make our clients aware of.

Lenders will allow the closing of a home and our clients to move in while our work is still to be completed.  This happens often as many homebuilders will not allow you to start construction on your outdoor living environment during house construction without a large financial deposit to the homebuilder.  When lenders see there is work to be completed on a home site at closing, they will ask for that remaining sum of money be placed in an escrow account to be dispersed upon an inspection of the completed work.

They will also ask that a client place an additional 50% of that sum be placed in the escrow account as a show of good faith that the work will be completed in a timely manner.  This is called a mortgage holdback.  Clients are typically not made aware of this additional deposit until they are asked to place the money up during the signing of the closing documents for the new home.  This results in clients looking for assistance with the last minute funds needed to complete the closing of the home.  Many construction companies are not in a financial position to assist their clients with the holdback.   Some companies will only supply the holdback funds for a large fee.

California Pools & Landscape will place any holdback up to 50% for our clients at no additional fee or hassle.  Another reason to contact California Pools & Landscape to design your dream yard today!

Lenders will typically only accept one agreement for outdoor living environments to be included in their home mortgage.  This often leads to clients coming out of pocket for portions of their pool, spa, landscape and/or ramada.  California Pools & Landscape is properly licensed, bonded, and insured as a  complete outdoor living construction company.  This means we can include all of your front and backyard needs into one straight forward contractual agreement.

California Pools & Landscape charges no fees to help you finance your backyard. We offer this service to our customers so they have an affordable way to make their dream yard a reality.

To make your house into a home that you and your family can truly enjoy, you need to make it a comfortable and safe place to be. Although interior decorating is certainly important, you deserve to have an amazing backyard, too. Rather than tackle this daunting task on your own, hire California Pools & Landscape to ensure your satisfaction for years to come. Consider these benefits:

Design Experience

Our professional designers are able to assess your backyard and develop a plan incorporating your design ideas. Their plans will take into consideration your soil, existing plants and other aspects of your lawn. From rocky or uneven terrain to soil erosion concerns, their expertise ensures your backyard is gorgeous for years to come.


The transition from interior to exterior should be comfortable for you and guests. Whether you want an outdoor kitchen, swimming pool or even a mini golf course, your professional design team will ensure the entire area is aesthetically appealing.

Home Value

In many neighborhoods, practically every home has a swimming pool. If yours doesn’t, it will be more difficult to sell. By having California Pools & Landscape develop your backyard, including a swimming pool, you can actually add value to your property. Fountains, fire pits and other amenities are all highly desired in today’s market. Our experienced professionals can install these while utilizing local plants and other decor choices for an attractive and valuable home addition.

Reduced Utility Costs

You can save money on your water and electric bills with the right landscaping. Strategically placed trees and shrubs will provide shade during the warmest months of the year. Likewise, a professionally installed irrigation system uses less water to keep your lawn beautiful.


Even if you enjoy your neighbors, you need a secluded retreat from the world, including them. Our landscape architects will know the best ways to work with the natural landscape and your desired amenities to create your personal oasis.

Mental and Physical Wellness

Most people in the modern world spend too much time indoors. Fresh air and exercise are essential to your physical and mental health. From practicing your backstroke to playing a game on your half-court basketball court, a well-designed backyard will improve your wellness.


If you enjoy entertaining guests, then you will certainly appreciate the benefits of having your backyard professionally designed and installed. Imagine your guests smiling, whether you are throwing a barbecue or hosting a pool party.

Your home is your place of refuge from the world and to entertain those closest to you. Consult with the California Pools & Landscape team to start transforming your backyard into the private retreat you’ve earned.

California Pools & Landscape seeks to improve the lives of our clients by building premier outdoor living areas. We believe that the experiences our clients enjoy with family and friends are uniquely American and part of the Arizona outdoor lifestyle. The challenge California Pools & Landscape accepts with enthusiasm is to expand that experience beyond the enjoyment of the final product. We expect to not only deliver on the final product, but we demand that our processes and people create a quality building experience for you as well.

The commitment to our customers has been a tradition since 1988 when California Pool’s founder, Mike Smith, focused on creating a company and a way of doing business that was different.  His vision was unique in the pool industry and the result of this customer-focused philosophy has been unparalleled. We have grown from a home-based business to one of the top builders in the nation through our service standards and passion for excellent building practices.


With over 30,000 projects built, we are the only pool and landscape company in Arizona to have received the highly coveted Better Business Bureau’s International Torch Award for Ethics.


We are the most nationally awarded pool company for pool design innovation by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.  As a family owned and operated business this is a legacy and responsibility we are proud to carry forward far into the future.

Our unique set of skills separate us from all other pool builders and landscapers.  Design professionals work with each client to create a project that is aesthetically beautiful, fulfills the desired functions of the space and is value engineered to fit within the family budget. Our construction excellence, technological innovation, and quality control skills have been forged by thirty years of great concern for our clients. For us, it is not enough to have a great end result, our standards dictate that the process getting there be a great one for you and your family.

Ultimate Backyard Experience

California Pools & Landscape is equal parts designer, builder and project management company. We use our vast experience to provide the best of all worlds in landscape design, pool building and general contracting. This benefits our clients by having one team responsible for design, budgets and construction quality, which streamlines the project and reduces the overall cost of planning and building of the project. Having one responsible contractor allows for no duplication of efforts and a proactive building approach that saves both money and time.

Pool Experience

Over the last 30 years, California Pools & Landscape has been leading the trends in all aspects of backyard water fun!  From grottoes to lazy rivers, we can build water features of every description. Our expertise in simplifying pool maintenance can help you enjoy your pool and spa year-round with your friends and family.  We can create play pools where you enjoy a variety of pool sports, design diving pools to show off your tricks, add customized water features and have a variety of LED lighting to create a special light show for your next pool party! Pools are essential in our summer heat and our process will guarantee an enjoyable experience both in and out of the water.

Landscape Experience

Almost a dozen years ago, we recognized the need to deliver a better experience to our clients and the result has led California Pools & Landscape to become one of the premier landscape design build firms in the Valley. Today, we design and install landscapes of all descriptions. Some projects are indeed around our pools but many are in front yards or existing backyards with or without pools. Having one contractor handle all aspects of your landscaping ensures the one company is responsible for drainage and warranty protecting your investment.

Whatever your situation, trust that our demanding adherence to quality standards will give you the highest quality landscape available.  Our commitment to your family will deliver an experience that is second to none.

Remodel Experience

Remodeling a pool or landscape is often more technically difficult than an original installation.  Our thirty-year experience and dedication to our clients will overcome any surprises and deliver an amazing product.  We specialize in structural changes such as pool depth conversions, adding spas to pools and installing baja/tanning shelves. We have even been known to demo existing pools and start from scratch! By using modern materials and cutting edge design techniques, we can turn any backyard into a paradise no matter its current condition.

If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re conducting research about installing an in-ground swimming pool. Below is a handy list of basic pool construction terms you are likely to encounter as you search for the perfect pool builder to create your dream swimming pool. We hope it makes doing your research that much easier and helps you make an informed decision.


A pool cleaning system that removes debris from a pool’s interior automatically.


Refilling soil around a completed in-ground pool shell.


Cleaning the pool filter by reversing the flow of water through it.


The top, horizontal portion along the perimeter of an in-ground pool that is reinforced to resist horizontal forces on the pool.


The number of gallons of water a pool holds.


 A water pump consisting of an impeller that creates the pressure to pump pool water with centrifugal force.


Chemical(s) used as a disinfectant in pool water to kill or control bacteria and algae.


The top lip on a pool wall that provides a finished edge around the pool’s perimeter.


Diatomaceous earth. A porous substance used in some pool filters.


The area immediately around a pool typically constructed of masonry or wood.


Any area of the pool in which the water depth exceeds 5 feet.


A fitting installed on the suction side of the pump in a pool and located in the deepest part of the pool. The drain directs water to the pump for filtration and circulation.


A device that removes particles from pool water by recirculating the water through a porous element. The three types of pool filters are: sand, cartridge, and D.E. (diatomaceous earth).


A cover that lies of the surface of the pool as opposed to a hardtop pool cover, which rests on the coping. A floatation cover is mostly only effective at keeping debris from getting into the pool water.


A type of concrete used to anchor rebar within pool walls, connect sections of masonry (as in a concrete deck), seal joints, and fill spaces. Grout is usually composed of a mixture of water, cement, and sand, which is applied as a thick liquid and hardens over time.  


A pneumatically applied concrete mixture of cement and sand sprayed onto contoured and supported surfaces to construct pool walls. As opposed to shotcrete, gunite is mixed and pumped dry, and water is added as the gunite exits the applicator (a hose). Plaster is usually applied over the gunite.


An overflow trough at the edge of a pool used to remove debris from surface water. Pools with gutters usually do not have skimmers.


A cover used on pools whose edges rest on the coping of the pool or deck (as opposed to a flotation cover that sits on the surface of the water). The pool cover functions as a barrier to swimmers and debris and helps control pool temperature.


A device used to heat the water of a pool or hot tub.


A rubbery sealing compound used by a pool builder to waterproof joints in pool coping. Think of it as caulking for your pool.


The system in a pool that removes excess surface water.


A type of material commonly used by pool builders as an interior finish applied over the concrete walls of an in-ground pool.


A mechanical device, usually powered by a motor, which is used to move water to a filtration system or to be heated and circulated.


Polyvinyl chloride, which is the plastic material used to make the PVC pipe used in pool plumbing.


Reinforcing bar. Steel bars used to add support to concrete or other masonry. In pool construction, a steel “cage” is built out of rebar, and the gunite or shotcrete is sprayed over and around it to form the pool shell.


A pneumatically applied concrete mixture of cement, sand, and water sprayed onto contoured and supported surfaces to construct pool walls. As opposed to gunite, shotcrete is mixed and pumped wet.


A pool cleaning device installed in the wall of a pool that is connected to the pump. It draws in water and debris and skims off large debris from the water on its way to the filter.


The removable basket or strainer part of the skimmer that traps floating debris.


A pool cover that increases pool water temperature by absorbing and transferring heat from the sun.


A light fixture that illuminates the pool under the surface.


The interior pool surfaces.


A device that regulates the flow of water into a skimmer.

In the event your pool builder mentions a term not listed here, don’t be shy about asking for an explanation — a reputable company will want to make sure you understand every step of the process and will be happy to answer your questions along the way.


Get your backyard staycation ready! We are offering in person and video consultations—from design and financing to selecting colors and materials, you can design your new backyard from the comfort of your couch or at one of our three beautiful design centers. With innovative 3-D modeling, we can bring your backyard to life virtually. There is no better time than now to invest in your home and lifestyle! Call today for special summer pricing.