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What if you could invest in something that can improve your home’s value while contributing to your physical and mental well being by creating a vacationing paradise in your own backyard? That is exactly what Mike Viruso added to his Huntersville home in 2006, recouping his investment when his home sold in April, even in today’s chaotic economy and real-estate market.

Mike can’t say enough good things about his decision to work with Pool by Design. Initially, the Viruso family added the pool upon seeing an Urban Home article highlighting former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis’ home and pool installed by Pool by Design.

“We were pleased in this market with our sale price,” Mike says. “There are homes in the Skybrook neighborhood that have been on the market two-plus years, including foreclosures and many other options. I truly believe our pool was the differentiator.”

The new owners from Chicago – Todd and Nicola Corrigan – completely agree. They wanted a home with a pool, and this one stunned them. “When it came time to look at area properties, one big goal was a pool,” Nicola says. “We knew the house must meet our criteria and we wanted to be swimming right away.” Now they are. Even on moving weekend, Nicola says they could not wait to swim, so they dropped the boxes and did…

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Pool by Design.

For more information on Pool by Design visit www.poolbydesign.com or stop by 217 Fairwood Avenue. You can 704-333-7446 (704-3DESIGN).

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We’re all doing it – many homeowners are retreating into their outdoor living areas as opposed to spending money on traveling these days. Nesting at home in a warm, inviting environment with family and friends has become typical for many reasons: Cost savings; convenience with 24/7 access to your own peaceful or lively sanctuary, depending on whether a pool party is in full swing or you’re having a quiet dinner by that same pool; comfort right outside your back door; and of course, the future home resale increase you garner from a beautiful outdoor space.

The trick is to start now if you want to add a pool so you can cash in on it all this year, not to mention the enjoyment factor. “Pools are great investments for families who cannot afford a vacation for the next several years,” says Frank Aylward, owner of Blue Haven Pools and Spas. “In the long run, it saves money. Everybody is looking for something more affordable and to help, we have not raised prices in two years and have not cut our construction quality or integrity.”

Pools, spas, waterfalls, water features, outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, gas and wood-burning fire pits – you name it; Blue Haven does it. In addition, through partnerships they handle your landscaping, fencing, irrigation, and pool-house construction – with Blue Haven serving as your point person for all enhancements.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Blue Haven Pools and Spas.

For more information on Blue Haven Pools and Spas, call 704-889-1300 or email laylward@bluehavennc.com. You can also visit www.bluehaven.com/charlotte.


High on the list of priorities for house hunters is square footage. But getting the most livable space for the dollar might mean looking outside of your four walls. After moving into her brick and stone home in Weddington, N.C., Linda Nugent found her backyard was being underutilized.

“It was completely wasted space,” she relates. “We had a backyard veranda, but we never used it.” A referral from a pool contractor led her to Tony Everett, president of Custom Land Design based in Charlotte. Specializing in integrating landscapes and hardscapes, the company has experience designing outdoor rooms.

“In the past, homeowners made backyard improvements just for the look,” Everett relates. “But lately more people are selling their vacation place in favor of investing in making outdoor living an important part of their home.”

Once the spa and pool were installed, Nugent wanted a poolhouse, fireplace and outdoor kitchen to complete the space. “We had a general notion of what we wanted, but Tony took our thoughts and pictures and gave us advice and additional ideas before coming up with a design,” she says.

With a wide variety of materials available for outdoor living projects, achieving a cohesive look can be difficult. “Tony kept drawing me back to materials that would match our house, so the end result looked like it was there from the day the house was built,” Nugent relates…

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Custom Land Design.

For a free estimate contact Custom Land Design at 704-201-0917 or at cldesigners@yahoo.com.

Winter in the South means a few moderately cold days but doesn’t halt year-round outdoor enjoyment if you have the right backyard setup for entertaining and relaxing. When Larry Osier decided to double the size of his home, he chose his unused backyard for the addition in part because of the temperate North Carolina climate.

“Adding outdoor rooms provides a complete extension of our indoor living space,” says homeowner Osier. “We never used our backyard before the landscaping and hardscaping project,” he says, “but now our family and guests gravitate to the backyard, even if the weather is chilly. We have lunch there and entertain regularly in the evening. One of our favorite family traditions is to relax in the extra-large spa on Christmas Day.”

In three months, Biggers Lawn & Landscape installed a backyard cabana with a fireplace, pool, spa, and hardscaping to create a beautiful outdoor room.The fireplace is the biggest draw this time of year. Osier likes to entertain friends there, and he says they automatically move to the outside hearth even during the colder months. With a semi-enclosed cabana encompassing the stone fireplace and wooden mantle, the outdoor living room has a wood-shingled roof that keeps the area feeling enclosed enough to be cozy. A brick wall with inserted stones creates an “airy mountain” feel that coordinates and complements the large stone fireplace with its oversized fleur-de-lis keystone…

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Bigger’s Lawn and Landscape.

Biggers Lawn & Landscape can be reached by calling 704-888-4789 or online at www.biggerslandscape.com.


When Dave Stuver built his English country manor home in South Charlotte, he wanted a backyard retreat that fit seamlessly
into his wooded landscape. “I knew I wanted the plan to include a pool, but I didn’t want to disrupt the natural feel by sacrificing
a lot of trees or space,” he says.

A fter seeing a custom pool built for a home in the prestigious Meyers Park neighborhood, Stuver found Simon Spiers of Pool
by Design, a Charlotte-based company that provides full-service hardscape design and installation for outdoor living spaces.
“Outdoor living has become a requirement for busy professionals who want to create memories with their families,” Spiers
points out. “Their time is precious, and the right design can give them the amenities of a luxury resort at home, while allowing
them the convenience of sleeping in their own bed at night!”

However, achieving the right backyard plan in smaller spaces, takes experience…

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Pool by Design.

Pool by Design is your total outdoor living specialist. To find out how they can design and maintain a custom backyard retreat for you, call 704-3DESIGN (333-7446) or visit www.poolbydesign.com.

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