A great backyard is more than just an extension of the home. With the right planning and design, you can make it your own little vacation getaway.
Just ask Linda Goff, owner of Great Escapes Custom Pools, who custom designs pools and backyard living spaces for homeowners looking to relax outdoors with family and friends.
Linda, a trained engineer and the company’s pool designer, is meticulous in each stage of planning. She listens intently to her client’s vision, pays strict attention to their budget and educates them on how to make the best possible choices to get the most from their investment. She looks gets inspiration from pool designs clients enjoy and then she digitally maps out her client's custom pool. And in the end, after the project is complete, customers are often so happy they text her pictures of themselves lounging with loved ones in their new private getaway.
“The most rewarding thing is being able to affect people’s lives in a positive manner,” Linda says.
Great Escapes is truly a family effort. Linda and her husband, Norm, started the company in 2003. Linda had just left a 22-year corporate career as a systems engineer director and Norm had gotten into the pool-building industry through a friend. These days, Linda and Norm oversee pool design and construction while their adult children help with renderings and teach clients pool care. Other family members also help with scheduling or working with clients’ homeowner's associations to get pools installed. As a family, they are intimately aware of each step in the customer’s experience, Linda says.
“It’s all about customer satisfaction,” she says.
And satisfied customers love sharing their stories. Linda often gets texts or emails from happy clients thanking her for her work.
“I fell in love with your family-owned company,” writes one customer. “You were the only one to sit down and really talk with me and show me samples etc. I can't tell you how much I appreciated your time.”
Each of Great Escapes’ designs is as unique as the clients they serve. In one recent build, a Spring-area client wanted to build a relaxing resort-style pool in his backyard. Together, the Great Escapes team and the client created a luxurious geometric pool with an infinity spa, drop-down fire pit and decorative fire bowls, all within his budget and time frame. Linda designed a towering cedar arbor to serve as an eye-catching focal point at the end of the pool. Its base is a mix of travertine and blue glass tile that houses three fountains, cascading waterfalls and plenty of space for landscaping. Deep fire bowls on each side give the entire design a dramatic flare — especially at night. Adjacent to the pool, a square infinity spa spills off into the main pool, making it a soothing place to unwind. The fire pit is built in a sunken lounge area with enough space for visitors. The pit itself is capped with stylish blue-moon marble. The work is a balanced blend of aesthetically-pleasing design, solid construction and came in under budget. It’s all part of the expertise Great Escapes brings to each client.
“Not only do you need to meet the needs for the aesthetics and the functionality of the pool,” Linda says. “You also need to be able to meet the price point as best you can.”