Outer Space

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Located in an exclusive golf course community in Jupiter, Fla., this 4,000-square-foot home had "a plain vanilla exterior with a lack of detail," says remodeler John Dennis McDonald. "The owners wanted something dramatic." Key to the project was taking advantage of the potential vista — a lake and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

June 01, 2005

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Meeting code with an infinity pool

Located in an exclusive golf course community in Jupiter, Fla., this 4,000-square-foot home had "a plain vanilla exterior with a lack of detail," says remodeler John Dennis McDonald. "The owners wanted something dramatic."

Key to the project was taking advantage of the potential vista — a lake and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. As built, the 1987 house included a screened lanai that inhibited views of the rear yard.

John McDonald Company's extensive 11-month remodeling effort, completed in 2003, expanded the exterior living area to about 1,000 square feet, including a trellised outdoor summer kitchen, new spa, pool deck and open lanai. Inside, the company remodeled the kitchen, great room and master suite. Seven sets of new French doors connect the indoor and outdoor rooms.

The goal was to make "the outdoor areas just an extension from the inside," says McDonald. Partnering with a team of architects and designers, he achieved a seamless blend by repeating interior materials and elements outside. For example, 18-inch travertine marble flooring tiles, with 2½-inch travertine bull nose coping, lead from the foyer through the great room and onto the lanai. A travertine mosaic borders the pool. Exterior support columns, created from architectural cast stone with an acid wash finish to resemble French limestone, match the interior ones.

Outside, landscaping and pathways helped to compartmentalize different areas and "avoid one big block of concrete," McDonald explains. The landscapers retained mature coconut palm trees, transplanting four 30-foot-high royal isle palm trees alongside the pool to emphasize "the hard architectural line from the front to the back of the house," McDonald notes. New plantings softened the hardscaping with natural garden elements.

The 13-foot ceiling on the new lanai was paneled with cypress. An old concrete support beam from the previous porch was incorporated into the new design, cleverly disguised as one of the decorative wood beams.

The remodeling company employed five to six full-time in-house carpenters on the remodel, subcontracting the trades and construction of the pool.

 

Remodeler: John McDonald Company, Jupiter, Fla.

Architect: Mitchell O'Neill, Jupiter, Fla.

Landscape architect: Lang Design Group, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Project location: Jupiter, Fla.

Age of home: 18 years

Scope of project: Whole-house remodel including a new infinity pool and spa, pool deck, trellised outdoor summer kitchen and outdoor eating area

Products List

Columns: HB&G. Doors: Andersen. Flooring: Travertine. Lighting Fixtures: Bega, Halo. Paint: Benjamin Moore. Roofing: Hanson Pro Tile. Windows: Andersen.

Meeting code with an infinity pool

The original pool, a conventional in-ground, gunite pool with attached spa, had a blocky shape and sat to one side of both the house and the backyard. The new 16×36-foot infinity pool, although about the same square footage as the old, is centered on the lot and runs from the lanai to the lake. Sightlines now carry from the front door of the home through to the backyard and on to the horizon. The infinity pool, made of gunite with a travertine mosaic tile border, appears to touch the lake.

"The owners wanted something more dramatic, which they left to the professionals to make it happen," says McDonald. "The situation was naturally set up for an infinity pool."

The building code requires pools in this area to be surrounded by a 48-inch enclosure. A 4-foot-high aluminum picket fence with a gate encloses part of the side yard and runs along the property lines on both sides of the house. On the rimless side of the pool, water flows down a 4-foot drop-off into a trough. The drop-off meets the pool barrier requirement.

"Water over the edge falls into a collection pit and then is re-circulated back into the pool," says McDonald. To work within code restrictions while maintaining visual integrity, subcontractors created the steep rimless edge by grading the lawn and by building a seating edge along the rimless side of the pool. From the lanai, the seating edge can barely be seen.

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