YOU CAN'T FIGHT MOTHER NATURE - Gardner Outdoor and Pool Remodeling


Luxenberg Pool Before Remodel


In 2018, Don Gentili of Gentili Custom Pools was contracted by Dr. Mathew Luxenberg, a Plastic Surgeon residing in Huntington Beach, CA, to remodel his existing pool increasing the size and depth. Not so bad, knock out a few walls, lower the floor that’s Don’s bread and butter. After all, Don’s been building pools since 1987.


Dr. Luxenberg also wanted to add an infinity wall. No problem. Don had done plenty of those.


However, Don’s client also wanted to expand the pool approximately 6 feet to within 1 inch of the sea harbor wall while keeping the existing pool intact not knowing that the excavation hole is going to flood during high tide. Every day. Twice.


Ah, that’s when things become interesting.


Luxenberg Pool After Remodel


That was Don Gentili’s challenge. So, what do you do? Well, according to Don, you cut the pool in half. And that’s what he did.


Dr. Luxenberg has a beautiful home and property up against the Huntington Beach Harbor the problem was that due to the landscaping and pool placement, he couldn’t really enjoy his spectacular view. Time to make a change; remove the shrubbery, retain the pool while adding onto it too, essentially, move it closer to the sea wall.


Don had a plan. Cut the pool in half, discard the half nearest the water, extend the pool hole to the sea wall and re-build the pool tying it to the pre-existing pool, all the while maintaining exact and consistent waterline tile levels while increasing depth and adding a 40 infinity wall. Piece of cake!


The only one who didn’t appreciate Don’s plan was Mother Nature. After engineers conducted soil testing, it was apparent that the seawater was going to flood the excavation hole twice a day during high tide, and nothing was going to stop it. Not even 10 industrial-sized pumps, Don discovered.



So, Don got out his sea tide charts (doesn’t every pool builder have sea tide charts handy?) and his schedule and tried to schedule around high tide. After a week or so, he realized trying to fix the problem with scheduling was hopeless. He had to figure another way. That’s when it hit him: GeoGrids, a technique he had used in the past. The goal was to build a solid foundation upon which to build and obstruct the water.


A GeoGrid is a special material that impedes rock and dirt from penetrating but allows water to seep. Don placed a layer of GeoGrid woven cloth on the pool floor. He poured 6 of gravel and vibrated to form a solid base. Next came a GeoGrid Mat to lock in place. Add another 6 of gravel, steel, and 12 of gunite. Voila! Don finally had a firm floor on which to work! The remaining two-thirds pool could be built!


Don was finally ready to call out the masonry expert, Steve Bender of Gardner Outdoor and Pool Remodeling. Steve and his crew of craftsmen did a masterful job of tiling the newly expanded pool/spa and infinity edge to create that perfect illusion of not knowing where the pool ends, and the sea begins.


Of course, to perfectly create that illusion, Don knew there was only one acceptable finish choice for the pool and spa; Pebble Sheen Ocean Blue. Not only did Don know from years of experience that this magnificent pool deserved Pebble Tec’s quality, but that specific color would give the illusion of a seamless transition from pool to the harbor water. It was a perfect match.


Where Dr. Luxenberg had a 30 by 12 pool in the middle of his yard, he now has 41 x 17 award-winning infinity-edge pool hugging the harbor wall for a phenomenal and unforgettable view.


Don figured out that while you can’t fight Mother Nature, you can, sometimes, find a compromise.


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