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Pool=Party Central
By Carol McGarvey | Photography by Tim Abramowitz
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Having a pool means you know where everyone is, and it’s great.

Dawn Edwards grew up with an in-ground pool. “I always knew I wanted one when I had my own house. It was a given. My husband, Chad, can’t believe it took me this long to get the project going, but now we have it.”

The Edwards family, including sons Jack, 14, and Vinnie, 9, doesn’t have to worry where the kids are or where the neighborhood parties are. They know it’s right outside their south-side home in Des Moines.

Dawn, a realtor with Realty One Impact, and Chad, owner of Club 2000, a restaurant and bar, are busy. Now it’s easy to relax at home. “Plus, at any given time, the boys and their friends are out in the pool having a great time,” Dawn says.

She also says that many of their best social friends live right in the neighborhood. “We love that. It’s absolutely great, so this really has become the central spot for get-togethers. We love to hang out with our neighbors.”

A natural choice

When it came time to get serious on the pool project, the obvious choice was Speck USA, Dawn says. “Jeremy Speck and I went to school together, and he has done things for our property before, so it was a natural. I gave him my vision for the backyard, and he ran with it.”

The 9-foot-deep vinyl pool measures 16×36 feet. The patterned liner design makes for an attractive centerpiece for the yard. The diving board and the basketball hoop make it extra fun for the boys and their friends.

“Plus, it gets them outside and off their devices for much of the day,” Dawn points out. “It doubles my expenditures on water and Gatorade, but that’s OK.”

To get the yard ready for the pool, a large wooden deck that covered the length of the back of the house, eight trees, and a hosta garden had to be removed. Dawn says that taking out all those trees totally changed the landscape of their part of the neighborhood.

Adding trees back

Now, with the pool in place, Stone Cross Lawn and Landscape of Urbandale has planted midsize evergreens and papyrus tallgrasses back into the picture for interest, privacy, and detail. That company also built the walls in the yard and fashioned the fire pit table, which has become an evening favorite detail. The pool also has lights.

In addition to the pool, Dawn wanted the fire pit table, a hot tub, and a covered area with a grill. A shed added at the back of the home’s garage is for storing pool equipment.

“We didn’t have too much trouble getting back behind the house for the project,” Speck says. “Several years ago, we put in a concrete pad at the side of the garage for the family’s boat, so that helped in getting our large equipment back there.” As a result of moving out lots of trees, utility lines had to be moved, too.

Cool facts

In working on this pool and others, Speck learned something interesting. “We have been doing more pools, so I decided to research pool popularity in the central Iowa area. It turns out there are about 2,100 pools in Des Moines and surrounding areas, which might surprise most people.”

As Speck notes, putting in a pool means that homeowners for sure want to stay put for a long time. Pools are natural magnets. “Adding a pool means you have a lot more friends,” he says with a chuckle.

“Dawn and Chad are very social, with lots of friends and neighbors, so I know they’ll totally enjoy having the pool.”


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