Homeowners: Lyndon James, neighborhood resident for two years

 

Year pool completed: 1999, by Summerhill Pools

 

Cost: $40,000; James bought the house in 2000 with the pool. He at first thought it was “rinky-dink” because of its size, but he now calls it “ideal.” He adds that his grandson, 4-year-old Lawson, “loves this pool; he thinks it’s his.”

 

What makes it unique: The pool is installed on a deck 15 feet above the ground, and many large trees surround it. “It’s like having a swimming pool in a tree house,” James says. Also, nighttime visitors are treated to fiber optic lighting reflected through color wheels. “Sometimes I go to bed with those lights on and listen to the fountains,” James says.

 

 

Homeowners: Steve and Judy Cole, neighborhood residents since 1975 (Judy grew up in Lake Highlands).

 

Year pool completed: 1981, by Fountainhead Pools

 

Cost: $30,000; the Coles say building such an extraordinary pool was a “quality of life issue.” It’s a good place for their children — Haley, 13, and Allison, 9 — “to hang out and have friends over. The house becomes kind of a centerpiece for activities and events … It has cut down on our TV watching substantially,” he laughs.

 

What makes it unique: The pool was built to fit into its natural surroundings, with milsap stone used for the retaining wall and coping. “The pool almost looks like it belongs here the way it’s cut into the hilly terrain. Our backyard is almost totally secluded,” Steve Cole says. “Back here, we never hear a car start, never hear a car door slam.”

 

 

Homeowners: George and Martha Hendon, Lake Highlands residents since 2000.

 

Year pool completed: 2002, by Aladdin Pools

 

Cost: $45,000; after living in the cold winters of St. Louis for many years prior to coming to Dallas, George Hendon says he and his wife were “really ready to spend some time outdoors” when they moved into the neighborhood. “The drabness of winter lasts much longer up there. We wanted more than just a backyard, we were looking for an experience.”

 

What makes it unique: The modern-looking pool has fountains and spillways galore, but the most impressive feature may be the focal point on the opposite side of the spa, where contractor Terry Petersen of Aladdin built a retaining wall that holds landscaping and a dramatic sculpture.