The reason for installing a swimming pool is not always solely for luxury or fun in the sun. For John and Charlene McEntee, they considered a pool in the backyard of their summer home in Dennis to be a necessity that would provide comfort, joy, relaxation and therapy for their disabled 25-year-old son, Sean.

A fieldstone accent wall has a waterfall feature and adds visual interest at one end of the pool.

A fieldstone accent wall has a waterfall feature and adds visual interest at one end of the pool.

After interviewing a handful of companies, the McEntees turned to Shoreline Pools of Harwich, where owner Chris Dittrich tells customers that the only limit to designing a pool is their imagination. “I wanted one person to go to. Chris said they could definitely do that,” Charlene said.

Now in its sixth year in business, Shoreline has been the largest pool installer on Cape Cod for the past four years. Shoreline works as the general contractor for its clients – hiring the landscapers, the masons, the electricians, even the architects. “We’re involved in the entire process,” Dittrich says.

 It’s about more than taking a swim

Shoreline’s mission was to create a pool that would satisfy Sean’s specific needs, and also serve as a gathering spot for the McEntee’s 21-year-old daughter, Kelsey, and her friends. Sean suffers from Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a condition that affects physical and mental growth and development.

“The main feature that was important was to be able to have Sean’s wheelchair move safely around the patio, and for him to be able to enjoy the pool in comfort, while also have it be a normal-sized pool for their daughter,” Dittrich said. “It’s a multi-functioning pool, because it’s therapeutic, and it’s also recreational.”

A glass-covered fieldstone fire pit keeps the area warm and inviting on chilly nights.

A glass-covered fieldstone fire pit keeps the area warm and inviting on chilly nights.

The heated 18×39 free-form salt water pool features hydro-therapy jets that provide the effects of a Jacuzzi with the soothing, waters ideal on a hot August afternoon. Dittrich says that 95 percent of his customers prefer salt water pools because they are environmentally friendly, less harmful to swimmers and gentle to the touch. The pool is bordered by a stamped concrete deck, with native fieldstone and bluestone caps.

Adding something extra 

The backyard was overgrown by vegetation and shaded by trees when the McEntees purchased the property in 2011. Many of the trees were removed to provide light, while a 14×16 Cabana house was built by Pine Harbor Wood Products of Harwich. It includes a stereo system and refrigerator.

A glass-covered fieldstone fire pit that operates with natural gas keeps the area warm and inviting even on chilly summer nights. A sheer descent waterfall stationed at the deep end of the pool, built with a bluestone facing, includes steps and a seating area and provides a constant watery delight.

 Oh, that pool

Of course, the pool itself was the most important element of the project, and for that, Shoreline was given free rein on design. “We were able to provide a turn-key project that came in exactly on budget and on schedule,” Dittrich said.

A series of hydro-jets transform the pool into a salt water haven, with a salt electronic filtration system making for easy maintenance. Fiber optic lighting and deck jets for sound and visual effect add to the ambiance. “They were looking for something visually exciting,” Dittrich says.

Shoreline pool glam(1)

Large benches were added to the shallow end of the pool–the perfect place for son Sean to relax.

The pièce de résistance is a bench that wraps around the inside of the pool and can be accessed by a single step, providing easy entry and a comfortable spot for Sean.

The entire system – lighting, heater, automatic cleaner, water jets – can be operated from a remote control in the kitchen of the main house or from controls at the filtration system behind the Cabana house. “It’s a very user-friendly system,” Dittrich says.

“We wanted easy access from the house to the pool area for my son, we wanted it to look upscale, and to have that wow factor,” Charlene said. “It looks dynamite the way it was laid out and positioned in the yard. It has nice curves, the waterfall is a great aspect, along with the fire pit and the cabana. The way it all came together is kind of cool.

Once I get all my speakers out there with all of my music, it’s going to be awesome.”

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Amber Jane Barricman
Design & Construction: Shoreline Pools, Inc. 

**As seen in Southern New England Home magazine’s 2012-2013 print edition.