How to Pick the Best Pool Contractor in Orange County

For most of us, building a pool fulfills a bit of a personal dream. We have visions of spending the summer in the backyard with friends and family, cooking hamburgers on the grill, enjoying a few drinks, making long-lasting memories. Unfortunately, that dream can become a nightmare if you don’t choose the right pool builder.  To make sure you hire the best pool contractor in Orange County, just follow our C-L-E-A-R checklist below.

CERTIFIED – Is your pool contractor certified with the CPB (Certified Pool Builders) or part of any pool organizations? Certifications are a positive sign that your pool contract has experience and the skills needed to do a great job. Here is a list of a few organizations:

The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance protects and advances the common interests of the industry by providing education, advocacy, standards development, research, and market growth to increase our members’ professionalism, knowledge and profitability. 

The California Pool & Spa Association (CPSA) – The CPSA is the association that unites all professionals in the swimming pool and spa industry under one umbrella. Together, we promote businesses, protect industry interests at the State level, create swimming pool and spa industry partnerships for success, and provide professionalism-enhancing opportunities for members to grow.

LICENSE/INSURANCE – To protect your investment it is important to check on the status of the contractors license. The California State License Board (CSLB) website is an important resource to check the current and past statues of a contractors license and insurance/bond. This is of huge importance. Your pool contractor must be licensed and insured. 

EXAMPLES – Review examples of work the pool contractor has completed. As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. While making your considerations, be sure that your prospective pool contractor has completed:

  1. Similar hardscape projects – This might be a pool with artificial rock, a barbeque, fire pit, diving rocks, or maybe a vanishing edge. Whatever you are looking to do, ideally you want your contractor to have done comparable projects previously.
  2. Large projects – A good pool contractor’s portfolio should include advanced, complicated, and expensive projects that demonstrate their skillset and abilities. This shows that they can handle the big, small, and any project in between.
  3. Creative projects – Design challenges, CC&R limitations, or unforeseen events happen. An qualified pool contractor will have experience dealing with these problems and providing innovative solutions.
  4. High end materials and finishes – make sure your pool contractor is experienced in working with all materials. Mistakes made with expensive materials are costly and add time to the project. If your contractor has extensive experience in using top quality materials like the team at Dreamscapes does, you are working with the right builder. 

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN & ENGINEERING –  Make sure you project is designed by a Licensed Architect or experienced pool designer. It is important for the scaled drawings to be accurate as this information is used to obtain the proper engineering for the pool/spa and necessary structures. A great design that is artistic and accurate is the foundation of a successful project.

REFERENCES – Ask the pool builder for a list of customer references or to see pools they have built. Contact those people and ask them how they felt about the entire pool building process, before and after the sale. Another great question to ask is how many pools they’ve built in the past year. Some of those referrals should be from brand new pool owners to give you an idea about how the process went for them.

  1. If you could do it over, would you use the pool builder again?
  2. What did you enjoy about the experience?
  3. What was least enjoyable?
  4. What pool, options, and accessories did you choose?
  5. What would you do differently?
  6. How did the pool builder handle challenges and problems when they arose?

With Dreamscapes, you can rest assured that you are working with the best pool contractor in Orange County. Our work is amazing and with over 4.5 stars on both Yelp and Google Business Pages, our customers are happy. If you are looking to work with the best, you’ve found them.  Just click here to get started and a member of our team will contact you right away.

In the meantime, check out some of our recent projects below. We look forward to working with you and building the backyard of your dreams!

Pool Coping Materials

When it comes to pool coping there are many different materials and options available. In this article we are going to focus on coping materials. Coping the term for the perimeter cap of the pool that is on top of the pool shell wall. One of the purposes of coping is to direct water away from the pool edge while providing a finished look. Here are some types of coping materials:

Natural & Cut Stone – Flagstones, marble, granite are examples of natural hard stones that can be laid into the coping in its natural form or cut to shape and brings a natural beauty that is very durable. In contrast, there are softer and more porous stones available like limestone, or sandstone that may require sealant to improve longevity. There are also sheer stones like slate or flagstone that might have a tendency to flake or sheer. Natural Stone is more expensive that other options like pavers or brick. Understanding the look, feel, strengths, texture, and weaknesses of the stones you are considering will help to ensure the correct selection.

Precast & Pavers – Pavers come in many different finishes, sizes, and shapes. They are made from molds so the material lines are very straight. There are some standard curved shape but others need to be custom made depending on the shape of the structure. The front edge of some precast and pavers are round (bullnosed) while others have a flat facing or custom edge.  The width of each piece can vary as well. Because of these options and durability pavers are not only popular for coping but also provide a beautiful accent for wall caps and planter walls.

Brick – Brick choices are similar to the wide range of sizes and colors of concrete pavers. Along with the traditional shape of brick it can also be installed with a bullnose or safety grip edge. A safety grip edge is designed for a more secure handhold. This is achieved by slightly angling the rounded lip at an upward angle to help from sliding off a flat surface.

Poured in Place (formed concrete) – This coping type is made of concrete and it is made on site. Concrete coping can be formed to achieve certain shapes and it can be colored and textured as well. This is a good choice if you want the concrete areas around the pool to match.

Tile –Pool tile is very resilient to pool chemicals. It is widely used as a transition between the pool interior and the coping at the waterline. It has become more popular to ditch traditional coping and substitute the look of tile instead. Tile also offers the largest selection of options like size, texture, pattern, mosaic, glass, etc.

With Dreamscapes, you can rest assured that our team will guide you through every part of the process and ensure proper selection of pool coping materials for your new dream pool or backyard hardscape project. Give us a call today to get started!

Designing Your Pool With Dreamscapes

Dreamscapes has been designing pools since 1993. We started out as subcontractors and have become a full-blown company. Our pools have even been featured on HGTV. We have lots of exciting options to offer you, and the state of the art technology to help you design it. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why you should build your backyard oasis with Dreamscapes.

Quality Work

Dreamscapes prides ourselves on the quality work that we provide. Each project is given the care it deserves from the moment you walk into our office to the day we finish your project. Our attention to detail is like no other and will make your pool a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Excellent Customer Service

We strive to provide the best customer service possible. We work with our clients to design their vision for their outdoor space. We can take a dream and turn it into a reality. There are some considerations to make when planning out a large project, and we will be happy to share those with you and our suggestions to help make your space the best it can be. Our staff is friendly and professional and you will enjoy working with us.

High Quality Products

We stock a wide variety of products because our clients’ tastes vary so much. But we only stock the highest quality products in order to deliver maximum satisfaction from our customers. It is important to us not to skimp on the quality of your project, so we do our research to bring you the best in the business. Ask us today about all the products we have available.

3D Modeling Software

Our design team uses state of the art 3D modeling software to provide you with an idea of how your finished product will look. We can plan out what will go in the space and how it will look when it is finished all on the computer screen. This gives you an idea of what we are talking about without all the guesswork. You can now have a final picture of how things will turn out before we even start on your project.

Give us a call today for your free estimate. We’d be happy to sit down with you and figure out what would work best for your outdoor space. Turn your yard from boring to exciting this season.

Designing Your Dream Pool

Are you in the market for a pool this summer? Are you tired of being envious of everyone else’s backyard oasis? Let Dreamscapes by MGR help you out by designing your dream pool. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be kicking back and relaxing with your entire family.

Create Summer Memories

A pool can be a great place to create summer memories with your entire family. Everyone can have fun in your pool. Babies who love to splash all the way up to grandmas and grandpas will be able to find something to love about your new pool. Add in a water slide for maximum entertainment. Or a fire feature for backyard s’mores. The possibilities are endless and the choices are up to you!


Add features to your pool that will encourage everyone to kick back and relax. Add in a bench for seating right in your pool. A backyard spa is a great way to soothe tired muscles at the end of a long day. Add massaging jets and you’ve got the ultimate retreat. Put in a bar, and you’ll never want to leave again. But proceed with caution because all your friends and family may never want to leave either…


A pool can be a great source of exercise. You can swim laps, dive, or even just take a walk. Water sports are easy on your joints while still promoting a boost in metabolism. There are lots of forms of water exercise from zumba to aerobics, as well as the regular strokes that we learned so long ago.

Adding a backyard pool this year will guarantee you years of fun and memories. Your kids will have a place to hang out with their friends, and you’ll have a place to hang out with yours. We can help you plan out the best features for everyone in your family and make the fun last for seasons to come. Give us a call today so we can get started on your free estimate.

Start Your Project Today With Our Online Form

We have been building pools, spas, outdoor living areas and landscaping in Orange County and Southern California for a long time and have learned the best way to begin is by “listening” to you telling us what you would like.

To help you identify and tell us the most important aspect of your “dreamscape” in the beginning we have added an online project form to our website. This allow you to tell us and even show us at the the start what you like and what you feel is most important in your project. Knowing this early on means we can understand better and develop more accurate ideas and estimates related to what you want.

If you are considering a pool, spa, outdoor living area, or landscape project please take a few moments, click the button below and share your ideas with us. We will contact you soon after and together we can develop a plan and estimate to fit your dream.

Dreamscapes by MGR of Orange County, California wins Houzz’s 2019 Service Award!

We are proud to announce that for 2019 and the sixth consecutive year, Dreamscapes has been awarded a Best of Houzz Service award! This award is based upon our overall rating and our client reviews submitted in 2018. It is a true people’s choice award. Fewer than four percent of all professional businesses listed Houzz are ever recipients of an award in any category, and this is the sixth consecutive year for Dreamscapes. When it comes to enjoying your pool and landscape improvements as well as preserving your investment, SERVICE during and after the project is what makes the difference! Call or contact us today for your project!

Houzz - best of image 209 Service

New pool project completed in Orchard Hills, Irvine, Orange County, California

This beautiful project in the Orchard Hills area of Irvine, in Orange County has impeccable details.

From the plants, the pots, the stone, water features – everything is exactly what they envisioned and brought to life by Dreamscapes.

A very cozy and accommodating fire place to sit and relax with your loved one, to a very comfortable zero edge spa where you can sit relax and get massaged with the water jets.

In front if your loved one doesn’t want to mess up her hair today, she can sit and chat with you as there is a bench to accommodate everyone’s wants and needs.

And most importantly we have the people spacious lap pool built to the designer’s perfection!

All includes a beautiful set of lights to adjust to set the perfect mood.

Stunning Irvine Pool, Hardscape and Landscape project in Orchard Hills

Full landscape, hardscape, pool, spa, patios, living area, retaining walls and play area in Orchard Hills, Irvine.

A True Family Affair! That is what we call this total home outdoor living area. Designed and constructed for when you want the whole family, including the little ones, to enjoy the luxury of a beautiful pool and a beautiful backyard all in one.

When you come in, you’d never miss the very detailed and beautiful design of grass and stone out in front of the driveway. Coming into the backyard, you’ll see the plethora of space for kids to hang out in well-kept grass, with a play house!

Plants for a good vibe, i.e. lavender – which makes all those pesky little bugs stay away! We’re also able to enjoy a beautiful little open deck structure alongside the pool, giving you a very unique and gracious feeling. We have big trees for the shade, with a bench right underneath for you morning coffee. A Spa with a water feature that falls into the pool. Lounge chairs inside the pool to get that PERFECT California tan!

Not hot enough for the pool? WORRY NONE. Designed for all seasons, this backyard has a little pebble island with a fire pit to bring your friends around and have a good winter’s night with s’mores and hot coco!

“Best Life” Pool, Spa, Kitchen, Gazebo and Patios in Coto de Caza

At this residence in Coto de Caza we were able to create a gorgeous balanced full life escape – one all can enjoy!

Add to your living by using your spacious backyard! Dreamscapes can turn it into a “best life” area for meaningful year-round living.

We have huge pool, that you can swim laps in or you can relax in with the little ones. A Jacuzzi spa to accommodate you and your guests, which sitting right out front just in case not all want to get wet! Lounge chairs alongside the pool to get some quality vitamin D, not too far from the bar to make sure your drink is NEVER empty!

BBQ area where you’ll never need to go inside because this is your second cooking area! Its made for a chef. A fire pit to turn those cold fall nights into beautiful warm memories. We also made sure to include grass and stone, so that there is still a walkway to your dreamscape … call us to start yours.

3 Crucial Steps to Select the Best Pool Builder in Orange County California

In actuality you can use these same steps to choose the best pool builder for your project in any location.

You can also use these steps for any major home construction project where you will use a professional builder. The initial step is to take the time to understand how the builder works.

  • What “systems” or process does the builder use to understand what you want.
  • How much of the work, what jobs, does the builder normally do and what jobs are sub-contracted.
  • How does the builder manage the project and job site to ensure safety, security, the provide for the least disruption to you and timely completion of the project.
  • How often is the builder or his project manager actually on the job or project site.

Go see their completed projects that are similar in features, scope and project cost to yours.

  • View at least three, more, even eight to ten if you can.
  • Know how long each project you visit and inspect has been completed and used.
  • When you are inspecting the project look not only at the appearance, but more importantly how is it ageing.
  • Are there any cracks, are the patios still level and aligned?
  • Are the tiles all tight against each other and still sealed.
  • Does the brick or stucco work still look good.
  • As for outdoor kitchens check the installation of the counters and cabinets and appliances.

In short be as complete and use a “critical” eye, like you were doing an inspection of a project you were paying for. Take your time, don’t talk just look closely. Make a list of observations and/or questions as you are inspecting each project. Remember you may be having this pool builder creating a similar pool for you. Now you can talk to the owner of each of the projects you inspected. Without the builder, just you and the owner. The most important questions;

  • If you had this project to do over, would you choose the same builder?
  • If you were to do the same project again, what would you change or do differently?

After those, then ask the detail questions resulting from your inspection. Keep notes as to the answers, those answers could significantly influence your choice of builder as well as the design and feature elements of your project.

The process above may seem cold and analytic, but you will be spending a substantial amount of time and money on your project. Plus living with it for many years. Shouldn’t the process be as objective as possible while assuring that you can also learn what is working best?