Are you toying with me?

Summer’s in full swing and you’re loving your pool! You’ve spent countless hours swimming laps and hanging out on pool floats. But one day, you decide that something is missing. You want that something extra to use in your pool that takes the aquatic experience to a higher level.

Depending on the type of activity that appeals to your personality and interests, there are a number of options available.

You might be:

The determined to be in shape person—exercise bikes or weights

The gamer—game tables and chairs that float around the pool (think Texas Hold ‘Em or beer pong)

The active pool floater—bull riding and log canoe battles

The adventurer—climbing walls

The avid golfer—putting greens

The sports nuts—volleyball, ping pong and basketball


Whatever you’re into, chances are there is a pool accessory out there that’ll make your days in the pool an even more fun with family and friends. After all, isn’t that what summertime is all about?

3 R’s of Existing Pools

When you think of the 3 R’s, what comes to mind is reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmatic. With pools, we think remodel, replaster and repair. Often times all three of these might be involved in one project. As you pool ages, just like people, it may need a facelift to keep it looking good.

Adding a spa, reconfiguring the size and shape of your pool, adding an infinity edge or water feature are very typical requests for a remodel. Or, you might be looking to add a Baja shelf, a fire pit, or change the coping around the pool. Keep in mind, though, that a significant remodel can cost as much as a new pool once demo, more excavation, reforming, a new pool shell, new plaster and tile are factored in. Having said all that, a remodel that will increase the enjoyment and usage of your pool might be well worth it.

As we discussed in a previous article, Marcite plaster can degrade over time. Hydrazzo has a 10 year warranty, and although we’ve never seen one fail, you might still want a change of color.  With a replaster, the waterline tile is often bead blasted to remove built up scum. If tiles have popped off and cannot be matched or you simply want a new look and feel to the pool, this a great time to change out that waterline tile to something that fits your new vision for the pool.

Repairs can be simple or extremely complicated. For example, trying to find a leak can be complex and costly. Reattaching a couple of tiles or changing a light is much less of an issue.

Sending us pictures of any issues can usually allow us to give you an idea of budget and timing for your project. These can be sent to We look forward to helping your pool look it’s best once again!

Playing with Fire!

One of the hottest trends for backyard pools is actually on fire! Although the thought of fire and heat may be a bit much for some folks on Maui to wrap their heads around, it is a feature that we are seeing more of.  Especially in areas like upcountry where the nights get a bit cool, fire can bring warmth (and romance) to your backyard.

Fire pits can be found integrated into the center of a sitting area inside or connected to the pool. Fire bowls are showing up on the sides of pools—even mounting them so they look like they are floating in the pool. Fountains and waterfalls are getting in on the act with juxtaposition of water and fire. Fireplaces are springing up near pools so that the view of the water can be enjoyed while staying warm and cozy.

On the practical side, using a wood in your fire vessel will provide the most heat. Propane use will give less warmth but can still offer the ambiance you’re looking for.

Whatever your thoughts on adding the dimension of fire to your project, we’re here to help make your dreams a reality!

County May I?

Before a pool can be built in Maui County, a Builder’s Permit must be obtained from the County. Since you will need 8 sets of plans drawn to scale with site details, cross-sections and stamped by a licensed architect, finding an architect you like and can work with is usually the first step. We have several we can recommend who understand the process for pools. Special inspection forms and grading permits may also be required. Getting the plans and permit submittal package together generally takes 2-4 weeks.

In some areas, a farm plan must be included and implemented—oftentimes someone from the County will come out to ensure it’s been done.  If you live close to the ocean, SMA (Special Management Area) permit or Shoreline Setback Variance must also be applied for. These are designed, of course, to protect our beautiful coastline. These types of permits can easily take 4 months or longer to work their way through the system, but are important to preserve the natural resources of Maui. If your land doesn’t require any of these, the process usually takes 2-4 months—but depends on how backed up the County is for approvals. If you are also in need of approvals from your HOA, this can be done concurrently with the County approval process.

Once the building permits are issued, the electrical and plumbing permits can be applied for.  These generally happen pretty quickly. We can usually begin working on your pool during this time, but can only go so far before needing these permits in hand. Copies of the permits and plans should be kept on-site at all times.

During the build, we will be calling for inspections by the Building Department, Electrical Department and Plumbing Department. These inspections ensure that we are building the pool according to code. Additionally, the architect might require special inspections to ensure we are building to their specifications.

Both your architect and Huber Pools can help you through this process. We will also keep an eye on your permits and gently nudge them along if possible. Knowing the lead time can help you plan ahead to have your pool built during the time frame you need. For more information, check out the County of Maui website at

Now Performing at a Pool Near You

At Huber Pools, while we are search for the right equipment solution for your needs, we often recommend Pentair. As a result, we have been selling quality Pentair products to our customers for a very long time. We find them to be well-built and long-lasting as well as quiet and easy to operate. If you do run into an issue, we have an on-island Pentair representative, Aquapulco Pool Service, who can assist with any necessary repairs or warranty replacements. Depending on the item, warranties run from 1-3 years. Product registration forms are included in your pool owner’s binder which explains the details; just fill it out, send it on in and your equipment is covered. You will also find the instruction manuals for the various pieces of equipment used for your system in that binder.

Pentair offers a wide range of both residential and commercial products such as:

  • Automation for pool controls and chemistry
  • Filters
  • Heaters
  • Lighting
  • Pumps
  • Sanitizers
  • Vacuums
  • Water features like deck jets and bubblers


With over 50 of manufacturing expertise, Pentair continually updates their products to reflect new technology and improvements in efficiency. For example, in addition to iPad and iPhone compatibility, they recently added control automation to both the Apple Watch and to Amazon’s Echo system. Their variable speed pumps outsell all other similar pumps combined. Many of their products are Energy Star Certified and can save you thousands of dollars annually.


We are committed to supplying these types of quality products and equipment to our customers—we have found Pentair meets and sometimes exceeds our expectations. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the Pentair products included in your proposal/contract.

I Think We’re Surrounded

While the state of Hawaii doesn’t require fencing around a pool, it’s generally a good idea to have something to keep random children and pets from falling into the water. The primary options are to fence the area or put a cover over the pool.

Having a pool around your yard may suffice to keep the neighborhood kids and dogs out, but if you have small children or grandchildren, a fence around the actual pool may be something to consider. Some of the options include Plexiglas, mesh or wrought iron, vinyl or wood fences. Aesthetically, the Plexiglas option allows you to easily see through the fence and offers clean lines. The mesh fences insert into sleeves, which allow them to be taken up and down as needed—especially helpful if you just need the fence up only for visitors. Wrought iron, wood or vinyl fences might work well if that is a design element you like or have other similar features on your property.

Pool covers are another factor to consider from a safety viewpoint. However, safety aside, pool covers can keep out debris and retain the heat built up in your pool. Covers also help to keep water in your pool due to less evaporation and can assist in extending the mechanical life of your equipment while also reducing the need for chemicals.

One product, Loop-loc, loves to show a picture of an elephant standing on their cover, so if you’re looking for a cover for safety reasons, this might be the cover for you. However, we also work closely with the folks at Hawaiian Island Pool Covers, who can assist you with additional possibilities for safety covers. They provide either automatic or manual covers in a wide range of colors and materials to suit your needs. They are available to advise you on the opportunities for your particular pool design.

My Pool’s So Bright, I’ve Got to Wear Shades

Another design element of your pool is the lighting within and surrounding your pool. Again, look to the overall effect you are trying to create and then which options will get you there. LED lights are the most popular; they are much more energy efficient than the old halogen lights. These LEDs come in single bulbs, strips and even floating lights. You also have the option of either white or color changing lights.

We install primarily Intellibrites or Globrites manufactured by Pentair. Globrites are smaller with lower power. Often these are used on shallow shelves, steps and beach entries. Additionally, you can use a greater number of them to more evenly distribute the light around the pool to prevent shadows. A great feature on the white Globrites is that they are dimmable; the color ones are not.

Intellibrites are much brighter and generally used for the main part of the pool. In smaller pools, only one may be needed, but having at least two can help to eliminate shadows. Larger pools may need even more. Several lights along one side of the pool may give you the effect you need or placing them opposite each other may be better. Intellibrites also come in both white and in color. They have either fixed colors or standard light shows. The fixed colors are blue, magenta, green, white and red. The light shows include party, romance, California sunset, American, royal and Caribbean modes.

Automated control systems such as the Intellitouch, Easytouch or Screen Logic systems allow you the ability to program and/or manually adjust your lights. Some of these systems are wall mounted; others can be accessed by your phone.

Surrounding the pool, you’ll want to think about lighting the pathway to the pool for or placing lights in the surrounding trees for both safety and ambiance. Both inside and out of the pool, you’ll want to take care in aiming lights away from the seating areas—no one likes to hang out with lights shining directly in their eyes. We can work with you to design the proper lighting to fulfill your needs.

Next time—safety first!!

Putting on a coat (or let’s get plastered!)

Unless you’re upcountry in “winter”, you’re not likely to see many coats on Maui! However, after the pool shell has been formed with gunite and allowed to cure for 28 days, it’s time to coat the pool with plaster. When it comes to that, we offer three options to our clients…

The first is plaster, also called whitecoat or Marcite, which comes in grey or white, and is a very basic finish for a pool. It should last 5-6 years, but then the pool will need a complete replaster. Plaster stains fairly easily and acid washing to rid it of stains causes deterioration of the plaster and therefore roughness. Algae can also adhere to the surface easily. Since the surface is porous and reactive, high chemical usage can cause the water and chemicals to react with the plaster. Marcite is the least expensive option in the short term, but can become the most expensive in the long run, especially as it only comes with a 1 year warranty.

On the other end of the spectrum is Pebble Tec. It is made of a high quality, durable and long-lasting finish and looks naturally beautiful under water and comes in a variety of colors. Unfortunately however, those pretty lumps of aggregate cause people to often complain of bloody toes and ruined swimwear. The crevices can be hard to keep clean of algae and stains can make the plaster permanently blotchy.

Our favorite here at Huber Pools is Hydrazzo. Its smooth texture is friendly to fingers, toes and swimsuits, but still gives you that look of aggregate under the water. It can be polished and patched if needed and those areas would be difficult to pick out. Huber Pools is a certified installer of Hydrazzo and it comes with a 10 year warranty on residential properties. Colors can range from Maui Midnight to lighter grays, to sage or rose, to many shades of blue. The color you pick primarily depends on your overall vision for your space. Visit our showroom to view the wide range of colors available.

Next up…in case you feel the need for a little more coverage…

Trying to cope with it all

Your coping caps off the edge of the pool—it’s that place to hang onto, climb in or out of the pool on, or set your drink on. This cap is mounted on the pool’s bond beam and covers the steel that forms the pool and the pool’s concrete edges. It also prevents water from getting behind the gunite shell and wreaking havoc. Sometimes it leads into a deck or lanai area or sometimes it stands alone.


Wide variety of concrete colors

There are, of course, several options for coping. Again, the look and feel of your design should come into play as well as your budget. Poured concrete is an inexpensive way to go and comes in a variety of colors. It is normally about 3.5” thick, can be of various finishes – smooth, broom, or salt. For an upgraded look, you can also stamp the concrete to give it an interesting and unique look. Concrete can also be poured “smooth” in order to have tile set on top.

Precast concrete comes in a variety of textures, patterns and colors. These are more uniform looking and are easy to maintain. You can get straight, corner or multiple radiuses to work with your pool design.


Several travertine options

Natural stone can give you an option that is skid resistant. Options include stones like basalt, granite and travertine and typically come in 4 x12, 12 x 24 and 16 x24 sizes. Typically these are available in 1.25” – 2” thicknesses. The benefit of this type of coping is less height above the water.  In our opinion, pools look better when the water level is closer to the deck height, and it is an easier step down into the pool with the reduced height – 2” less of a step into the water.


Basalt finish options

These stones are available honed, brushed or tumbled and have either a saw cut edge or bullnose. The small pores in the stone help reduce the heat on the feet. If you have a lot of radiuses, however, this is probably not your best bet—it’s much more difficult to work with in that case.

Whatever you have in mind, our showroom has a wide variety of options to look at. No need to worry – we’ll help you cope with all the options and pick the one that will work best for you.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Hmm….that pool design looks great, but it’s missing that something special…maybe it’s time to kick things up a notch…

Options abound—there are fountains, waterfalls, deck jets and caves to name a few. Deciding what will fit with your vision and the space available is the first step. Then you need to consider the outcome desired; some features can help cover road noise; some can block unsightly neighbors; some can just sooth and relax you on a stressful day.

Let’s takwilliamse a closer look at some of these options. Sheer descents are very popular, especially with a more modern, sleek look. These arcs of water spill out from a wall—the longer the fall, the louder the water sound will be. The pool will need a raised beam or deck to support the wall and the sheer descents. For a smaller amount of water cascading from a wall, scuppers, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes, can be utilized.

Rocimg_6053ks can impart a more natural feel around your pool. These can either be purchased prefab, can be custom made, or a combination thereof. Many parts of Maui are very rocky and these rocks from your own yard may be incorporated. You might be thinking of a small waterfall or perhaps you’re thinking of something larger to include caves, grottos or a waterfall slide. You’re only limited by imagination…and perhaps that pesky budget.

8479_10153821717068550_895683016361127590_n  Another direction would be to add deck jets or bubblers. Deck jets can offer an individual arcing stream of water coming off the deck. Bubblers can be added to baja shelves/tanning ledges or beach entries. All that’s required for bubblers is 6” of water.


We can share examples of all of these with you—many are available on our website or we can visit our showroom to see more. Other websites such as Houzz and Pinterest can also fuel your imagination. The possibilities are endless!

Accessorize, accessorize


Time to add that bling! And with so many choices, sometimes it can be hard to pick a direction. Different materials, finishes, sizes and color options—it’s enough to make your head spin…

To begin, take a look at your overall environment and design. Your look may be sleek and modern, or more free-form or even natural and tropical. Once you decide on the general look and feel of your pool, it’s time to pick a type of tile. Your options include porcelain, glass or natural stone.

Porcelain tiles come in a couple of finishes; abrasive, undulated, smooth, glossy and matte. The more abrasive the tile, the harder it is to clean and the more calcium will adhere to it. Smoother, non-undulated tiles are a better choice from this standpoint.

Glass tiles are non-porous, so they won’t stain, fade or decay. They are also hygienic and will not promote spreading of allergens. However, glass tiles are more expensive than porcelain tiles.

Stone tiles have a very natural look and a textured feel to them. Again, this also means that they will be a bit harder to clean and calcium build-up can be an issue.

When deciding on color, there are several things to keep in mind—a light color pool will look bigger in small areas while a darker tile will have more defined lines. The tile color will also change with the brightness of the sun and reflections from trees and structures. If the area around your pool is shaded, a lighter color is recommended as it will still appear darker.

Size-wise, there are multiple options also. The larger the tile, the less grouting needed, which again can help with lessening the calcium buildup. Six inches of waterline tile is standard and tiles generally come in 6” x 6”, 3” x 3”, 2” x 2”, 1” x 1” or 1”x 3”, but can also come in patterns that make up a 6” x 6” tile.

When it comes time to pick your tile, visit our showroom to see all the beautiful options we have available to make that pool priceless!

Things are heating up all over!

ice in poolLiving on Maui, we know that our year-round temperatures are pretty moderate. However, it does get cold upcountry and even the south shore can get a bit chilly in the winter and sometimes the pool gets just a bit too much shade. Additionally, you might want to take that early morning swim or late night dip. To ensure your pool can get used all year long, many people add a heater to their pool equipment list.

There are basically three options when it comes to heating your pool; propane, electric heat pump, or solar panels.

Propane heaters allow you to quickly raise the temperature in the pool. However, they do have a high operating cost and the hassle of adding a propane tank to your property if one is not currently there. (For heating a spa, however, this is the preferred way to go.)

Electric heat pumps take longer to initially heat up the pool and must run continuously to maintain the temperature. The equipment is a bit more expensive to start with, but the ongoing cost is lower. And, if you have photo-voltaic panels, the cost becomes even lower.

Passive solar is something we don’t generally recommend for pools for a couple of reasons. The first is that you have to create a very large solar field (about a 1:1 ratio for the square footage of the pool). Secondly, it takes a long time for the pool to heat up and just about the time it’s starting to get to a perfect temp, the sun will set and there goes your heat!

We’re happy to discuss all the options for your particular project and see what will work best to keep you swimming throughout the year. Let’s keep the chillin’ to the side of the pool!

Pass the salt, please

rita2For years the only choice for sanitizing pools and keeping the water crystal clear was to add chlorine tabs on a regular basis. The pool would also need to be “shocked” once a week with additional concentrated chlorine. What a hassle that was—having to buy, transport and store the tabs and shock treatments. Your bathing suit would get all bleached out. Your eyes would sting and your skin would be easily irritated.

As a result, salt water pools have become more and more popular as many new pool owners add a salt chlorine generator as part of their equipment package. While the upfront cost is greater, it quickly pays for itself since you no longer need buy all that chlorine. The generator manufactures the chlorine as water and dissolved salt flows through the generator cell. Through electrolysis, the salt is then converted to chlorine, which is returned to the pool. Once the chlorine has finished purifying the pool of contaminants, it reverts back to salt and the cycle repeats. The result is soft, silky water against your skin—no more odor or irritations!
At Huber Pools, we recommend the Pentair Intellichlor System due to the ease of use and the durability of the system. Additionally, if there is ever a problem, we have a Pentair rep here on island to assist with repair or warranty issues. You can even add a Pentair Intellitouch or Easy Touch automation system to control everything for your computer or phone—more on those later.

In the meantime, save a bit of salt for your cocktails by the pool….

Taking the Edge Off

tile copingWe’ve all seen the picture—an infinity edge pool that seems to blend into the horizon with a stunning view beyond. And if you’ve experience one at a high end resort, you may be thinking that’s the perfect addition for your backyard pool. After all, you’d be in good company; the first known infinity edge was created at the Palace of Versailles in the 1600s.

These types of pools go by various names; negative edge, zero edge, infinity pool, disappearing edge or vanishing edge pool. Regardless of the name, if your property has a breathtaking view beyond your yard, you may want to consider it.

To build this type of pool, one edge is lower and is tiled, with the pool water level kept to the top of the edge. A trough is built below to catch the water or a surge tank is created to hold the excess water to pump back into the pool.

An infinity edge, however, does not come cheap. They require substantial structural, mechanical and architectural detailing as well as a pool builder that knows what they’re doing. After it’s built, it will continue to be more expensive requiring a separate pump that will need to run either on demand or for a predetermined amount of time.  Additionally, the pool cannot be covered, which means more water evaporates as it falls over the edge.  Lastly, children need to be monitored more closely so they don’t fall over the edge.

Having said that, the look and feel of the infinity edge is amazing and allows you to really get the feeling of an incredible “staycation” whenever you spend time in and around your pool.

You Trendsetter, You

Kai Ani - shallow shelfMany of the new pools going in these days (and even on some remodels), homeowners are opting to add a shallow shelf at one end. These shelves go by several names:  Baja Shelf, Tanning Shelf or Sun Shelf. This offers adults a relaxing area to place a lounge chair or kids a shallow section to play on. Even your dog will enjoy a shallow dip in the pool!

To make that shelf even more spectacular, bubblers or built-in umbrella sleeves can be added. Special tiling or lighting can also kick things up a notch.

Beach EntryOther folks are opting to go with a beach entry. Typically, these are constructed as a gradual decline from 0 to about 12”. Giving you that truly tropical feel of slowing wading into the pool, they can make your pool quite stunning-looking. However, these are a bit more expensive to build than a shelf due to the precise grading needed. In addition, some people report that birds and other animals thoroughly enjoy using these as their personal restrooms.

If you are considering either of these, make sure you have enough space in your pool to make this a viable option. After all, you do want to make sure you have enough swim area for your needs. As always consider how you will be using your pool before embarking on a design.

Taking the Plunge

swimming-clip-art-60512Images of you and your family splashing in your new pool swirl through your head. You’ve taken a look at the options and know you want a pool, spa and a small water feature. You have the funds set aside to make this dream a reality. Now it’s time to decide who can bring this to fruition.

Choosing the right contractor is an important decision. Depending on your vision, you will be working with the contractor and their company for at least 2-3 months, and potentially much longer. If it’s not someone you like and get along with, that amount of time can seem like an eternity.

Beyond the personal side of things, there are other items to look for when choosing your swimming pool builder. Things to consider:

  • Ask for a detailed proposal/contract (this will also allow you to compare apples to apples among the bidders).
  • Talk to contractors who specialize in building the type of pool you’re interested in and has the experience to back it up.
  • Check to see if the contractor has the proper licensing and insurance for their business.
  • Determine if the day-to-day workers are employees or if they are subcontractors.
  • Ensure the contractor is an authorized applicator for the materials you’ve chosen.
  • If they have a storefront, visit it to see what the options are for materials.
  • Ensure the contractor will take your job from start to finish—you don’t want them to begin the work and then not see them again for months.
  • Check references for both current and older clients so you know how the clients are treated during the build and also down the road. Ask your friends and neighbors with similar projects if they would recommend the contractor they used.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed.
  • Make sure you will receive both warranties and manuals upon completion of the job

Building your dream pool can be a smooth process or a nightmare experience. Before you dive in headfirst, make sure you have the swimming pool builder that’s right for your project.

Huber Pools – In the NEWS!

“In the News”

For this month’s blog we are going to revisit and share some of the wonderful media attention we have received over the last few years.

Since starting Huber Pools in 2004, Hans Huber has frequently been recognized as a leader in the business community as well as focus on outstanding customer service and craftsmanship. We invite you to check out the articles and media references below. We share these articles as a way of you getting to know us and what others think of us. We want you to rest assured we are a quality company that is here for the long run, ready to serve you over now and in the future.

A fast growing company, Huber Pools was the FASTEST growing company in Hawaii in 2007 – check out the article in Pacific Business News Huber Pools was in the top 50 in 2008 & 2009 as well.

It is always nice to be recognized in your local market. Our Kula homeowners were thrilled that their Huber Pools project was featured in Maui No Ka Oe Magazine

Then, to be recognized internationally surprised even us! We were pleased to be one of the quality Master Pools Guild ( members featured as “Top Pool Builders” in Ocean magazine last year.

We share these articles as a way of you getting to know us and what others think of us. We want you to rest assured we are a quality company that is here for the long run, ready to serve you over now and in the future.

We invite your questions and comments – possibly the easiest way to interact with us is by finding us on Facebook , and if you are so inclined “LIKE” us! We won’t spam you, we promise. What you will find are a few posts a week of other completed projects and pool ideas, recommendations and testimonials. You can always give us a call at 808.879.0822, email us, or use the “Contact” web page form.  However we hear from you – we look forward to the conversation!

Thank you for your interest in Huber Pools!


Welcome to the New Huber Pools Blog!

In this blog we hope you will find additional information that will be useful to you. We will highlight services, products – especially “green” and energy efficient options, as well as other useful information. Our blog is a new addition to our just re-launched website –!

If you are new to Huber Pools – we invite you to check out our website, where we have a large gallery of photos of completed projects, as well as a list of many of the services we offer. We are Maui’s premier pool builder, proudly building swimming pools in Hawaii since 2004. Please give us a call, or better yet – stop by! Our showroom is open weekdays 8am – 4pm in the Kai Ani Village located at 1367 S. Kihei Rd, Suite 3-110 in Kihei. Kai Ani Village is kitty corner from the Times Supermarket and across the street from St. Theresa’s Catholic Church. We are very proud of our showroom, we make it convenient to see all your options together – real samples, no guessing, no surprises. We even have a complete award winning pool and spa right here at Kai Ani Village so you can check out our quality products and craftsmanship for yourself.

And speaking of “award winning”… Huber Pools is proud to be a member of the Master Pools Guild a global network of elite custom pool builders worldwide. Why is our membership in the Master Pools Guild important to you? As a member not only do we share the creative ideas, construction techniques and latest technology by the other members, you can also be confident in professional business practices as we are committed to a Guild Code of Ethics.

Each year the Master Pools Guild recognizes the best of the best with Excellence Awards and we are very proud to say that we won three Excellence Awards for 2011.

The Master Pools Guild website is full of valuable information about swimming pools and pool builders, a gallery of literally thousands of pool photos and so much more. They even have a YouTube channel where you can view videos about pool design, finishes and the best practices for pool construction.

Future blog posts will address topics such as “what to look for in a pool builder”, “what to expect in the pool construction process”, as well as new product information and more. We invite your replies and questions, this is a great forum for discussion and we look forward to the conversation.

Thank you for your interest, please check back often!