When Sarah Taylor’s father moved to the south of France, she was able to enjoy holidays in the sunshine and had the luxury of using a swimming pool every day. She soon found that the use of a swimming pool was something she thoroughly enjoyed and decided this was a feature she would one day want in her own home. So when she moved to a small village on the Essex and Cambridge border three years ago, she had specific requirements for her new house, including a garden big enough to build her dream pool. “I made so much use of the swimming pool when I visited my dad that I always thought it’s something I would eventually want in my own home”, says Sarah. Shortly after moving into her new home, Sarah set to work on developing her dream swimming pool. Although she’d enjoyed the use of the outdoor pool at her father’s home in the South of France, the climate in the UK doesn’t compare so Sarah chose to have an indoor pool that was an extension of her home. She wanted to be sure that she would make use of it. “The only exercise I really enjoy is swimming and I often don’t have time to go to the gym because I’m working 12 hour days. So one of the main reasons I wanted a swimming pool was to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I didn’t want to be able to make excuses like ‘it’s too cold to go out and use the pool today’, so the thought of being able to literally roll out of bed, walk through the house and straight into the pool was perfect for me”.
Choosing a Company That Would Deliver
Sarah did some initial research into the different swimming pool companies who could deliver her project and decided with the help of QS to put out a tender for the project. She wanted to be sure that she was choosing the ‘best fit’ supplier.
Six companies were selected for the tender and the whole process took several months. After evaluating the potential suppliers against the criteria in the tender documentation, Sarah awarded Origin the contract. “I work full-time and am often away from home so it was really important that I chose a company who would manage the whole project from start to finish and, more importantly, I needed to believe that I could trust them to do so.
“I was extremely impressed by what Origin were offering, I really liked the people and thought we could work well together, which is crucial. They definitely offered the best value for money and they were able to handle every aspect of the build.”
Creating The WOW Factor
Shortly after the contract was awarded, the planning began. Sarah had looked at a number of brochures and had built up an idea of what she wanted, so she worked with Origin to create her bespoke pool house. “I definitely wanted it to have a modern feel as opposed to looking like a gaden building. As well as having a good-sized pool to use daily for exercise, it was important that I could also use the space for entertainment. So, I decided I wanted a spa pool and the building needed to be big enough for a bar and a separate shower room. As the building is south facing, I also decided to install bi-fold doors down the entire side of one wall to let the sun in. I really wanted it to have the wow factor!“
Stay In The Loop
The build of the pool house started in May 2016 and for Sarah, a key part of this process was project management. As Sarah would often leave the house before the Origin team arrived to start their day and she was usually home later than they would finish, she rarely had time to check in with the progress of the build. As a result, the Origin team held regular onsite meetings, whenever she was available, every 3-4 weeks. “We would meet regularly so that I could be kept in the loop. I was keen to let them get on with it, that’s one of the reasons I chose Origin, but I still felt it was good to check in.
“I would meet with the Quantity Surveyor and the Construction Director for a couple of hours to discuss the minutes from the previous meeting and also go through the critical path. It allowed us to discuss any decisions that needed to be made, about timings for example, and make them there and then.
“The face to face meetings also meant that we could look at a whole range of samples, from floor tiles to window frames, so I could be 100% confident that the colours and textures I chose would work perfectly together”.
The Perfect Space
Sarah’s pool house was completed in December 2016. It was ready just in time for Christmas and she used the space for entertaining over the festive period, which proved a hit among her friends!
Sarah couldn’t be happier with her pool house. “It’s definitely changed my routine for the better, I’m swimming every day before I head off to work which makes me feel enriched and energised. It’s a fantastic space for entertainment, my friends love it. We can now sit in the spa pool with a glass of prosecco, looking out onto the garden. It definitely has the ‘wow factor’ which is exactly what I wanted!