An Aurora Cabana Design
Chris called us to talk about creating a Cabana Design for his soon to be stunning yard. He was putting in a large pool, with patios around it and had already started out with a landscape architect, He soon realized that the architect was ill equipped to come up with a cabana design that fit his expectations.
Unfortunately they don’t get much training designing structures in landscape architecture courses. When the clients showed us the photo of the cabana they were dreaming of–it was one of our designs that we did for a local pool company. That’s when you know you are spending time with the right customers!
A great design never happens in one pass… it is a process.
“It takes a wise man to ask for help… A short sighted person will just wing it”.
The Design Process for a Pool House
When we design a cabana the design process often involves rough sketches in the client’s home. This design consultation is important. The designer needs to see the homeowner’s taste and come up with detailing that fits with the home. Ideally, an inspired cabana or pool house design should be an extension of the home. The designer has to walk the site and get a sense of the space and views. This is when clients that have a wish list can be really helpful. They will go through the list and talk about the features and suggest a budget range.
The next time you see the designer they typically have layouts and possibly elevations prepared. They will often make suggestions for features you may not have considered. When design budgets permit we like to render the look in 3D. When you can picture it more realistically it helps you see precisely what we propose.
More revisions often follow– until you are ecstatic with the result.
Building a Cabana or Pool House
When a cabana is more like a shed, you may not need footings but in the case of this pool house, it really is a small house. This cabana is roughly 1200 square feet in total. The foundation needed engineering and we supplied layouts to the engineer. An engineered slab like this can be 10’s of thousands of dollars to get built.
GardenStructure supplied the building trades, and the client hired his own electrician and plumber.
Features we Included in this Cabana
- What makes this pool house special has to be the look from the home and pool. We suggested the elevated stone walls to help balance the pool, but also the facade trim work. We pulled the Masonic gable from the existing pattern in the home’s windows. The nested lights reallly accent these details at night.
- The standup bar has a large roof overhang— if it starts raining during a party it will not dampen spirits.
- The stand up bar has a kitchen with prep counter, sink and full sized fridge. Not bad for a client that doesn’t drink much! But he has friends that do–
- The pool equipment is in the back room for easy service and drains were installed to make it easy.
- Electrical was roughed in for speakers, stereo and plenty of lights and power for events.
- An outdoor fireplace was installed to help extend the useful season since it is in Canada.
- Stone was laid upon the entire slab and the stone within matches the stone on the elevated walls of the pool.
- A proper outdoor kitchen with high end grill and cabinetry was planned in. Power and water was run through the slab to the units.
- A pergola nad privacy screen helps keep the cabana dining area feeling private and adds a little shade.
- The whole structure is a small step up from grade, and a drain was installed between the cabana slab and the patio to take any pooling water away. The tragic flaw in many cabana designs is water infiltration that rots the walls prematurely.
- The roof has ice and water shield from top to bottom and 1/2″ plywood beneath the laminated shingles.
- The pool house interior is finished in western red cedar tongue and groove and our carpenters actually built the doors as well.
- A small change room helps add function to the cabana/
- A roll up door helps with easy access to the pool equipment.
- The bar has roll up doors and locking main entrance in case the neighbors are thirsty.
Is an Upscale Cabana worth the Investment?
If you ask our client Chris he would say yes, all day long.
He will tell you a story about the builder of the subdivision coming by after the cabana, pool and stone work were finished and offering him a 50% premium on what he put into the house and cabana. “GET YOUR OWN!” was his response.
“My Friends Visit– And they won’t go home– That’s how you know you had a great Cabana Design”–Chris K
A Cheap Cabana built by a Craigslist hero may not be worth doing.
An inspired Pool House or any outdoor structure by a master designer will always be a safe investment.
Cabana Design Resources