Our clients desired a family retreat. Somewhere everyone could gather for all sorts of recreation. Their goals specifically included an indoor pool addition that could fit a six-person spa, an infrared sauna, and a dedicated changing room. They wanted an entertainment area where they could all hang out together, watch football and basketball games on TV, and enjoy some drinks. They also wanted big windows and plenty of light as well as operable skylights.
The process of creating this room was detailed, and virtually no expense was spared. A commercial HVAC contractor was brought in to install a heating and cooling and dehumidification system designed to control the humidity and ensure that the room stays comfortable and usable year-round. The ductwork is specifically designed for the purpose of providing airflow around all of the windows and patio doors in such a way to prevent condensation. In addition, skylights can be opened in the summer to increase ventilation and allow warm humid air to escape.
The room is wide open and low slung. A very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere without formality. We needed to design around limitations of second-story bedroom windows on the existing house, and by stepping down 18 inches from the floor of the main house, we achieved these goals. The room is broad, bright, and spacious.
The addition has a dedicated bathroom and changing room. This multipurpose room prevents anyone from needing to walk into the main house with wet bathing suits. A Therma-Tru fiberglass door is used as a barn door. Though stained to look like natural wood, in reality, it’s immune to the high-moisture environment. The changing room has a floating vanity with a thick lavatory top. This gives us a sleek contemporary look. A lighted vanity mirror hangs above it, and the walls of the entire bathroom are finished in 24- by 12-inch wall tile from floor to ceiling. The walk-in shower has a glass panel separating it from the rest of the bathroom, keeping this interior very transparent and wide open. It boasts a teak changing bench, a niche for shampoos, and fixtures by Kohler.
Precise planning was paramount throughout this entire process. The large fiberglass pool had to be installed before the room was even built. The foundation was poured, the pool was installed, and then a waterproof platform was built over top of it to function as a temporary floor for us to work on. This was to protect the pool from construction debris as well as nails, metal shavings, and other items that could rust and stain the pool interior during construction. It also provided a safe and level working surface for all the crews that were involved.
Finding a place for equipment and ductwork was another challenge. There’s a pit for the pool pump and heater, which also houses the sunken spa tub. Getting the perfect amount of space for all the needed equipment while complying with electrical safety codes was a particular challenge. Meanwhile, we decided to house the HVAC equipment in the basement of the existing home. Ductwork was carefully insulated and run under the concrete floor in order to route it to the left side and right side of the room before it turned up and across the tops of the windows and patio doors. As noted, the specialty equipment and precise ductwork help keep the glass free of condensation and the entire room comfortable and healthy. Furthermore, the waste heat created by dehumidification is used to heat the stamped concrete floor through radiant tubing within it.
Durable, low-maintenance materials are used in all areas. The faux beams are made of foam. The ceiling is made of aluminum. The walls use DensGlass gypsum board, which is coated in EIFS to look similar to standard drywall without any of the moisture concerns. Andersen 100-series fiberglass windows have no wood content, and composite decking was used to build the steps out from the house into the room.
In the end, this project was completed in just over five months of challenging winter work, ready in time for a May client party. With careful coordination every step of the way, we collaborated with Patio Pleasures and Bachmann’s to ensure we delivered this beautiful pool, spa, and sauna—ready for family and friends.
Abe Degnan, owner of Degnan Design-Build-Remodel, helps change lives and solve problems by remodeling homes. A father of six, his passions outside of work are orphan hosting and adoption.
128 Commerce Street
DeForest, WI 53532