By Stacey Pfeffer
Taking a dip on a hot summer day in your backyard pool is the ultimate suburban luxury. Whether you wish to maintain, renovate or build a pool, Christopher Carthy and his Armonk-based business Pools of Perfection can help ensure that your pool is admired by all the neighbors this summer and beyond.
Carthy and his wife, orthodontist Dr. Laura Cannistraci Carthy, who practices in Mount Kisco and their three children, Theresa, Terence, and Camille, have spent many summer days relaxing in their Sarles Street backyard pool with friends and family. As befitting of a pool company business owner, Carthy describes his own pool as “all jazzed up. Every year I do something new to my pool.”
After working on Wall Street as a financial analyst for many years, Carthy decided to take a leap into the pool business. He had worked in the pool industry during college summer breaks and always loved it. Carthy originally started Pools of Perfection on Long Island in Roslyn and commuted from his home in New Rochelle. The business was so successful that he decided to open a second business on Main Street in Armonk after building a new home in town. In 2006, Carthy decided to make a lifestyle change to avoid the long commute to Long Island from Westchester and sold his Roslyn-based business. “I’m now 1.9 miles from my office and immersed in the local community,” Carthy says with a smile.
Carthy is truly dedicated to the town and serves as Vice President on the Armonk Chamber of Commerce. “My greatest focus from a service point of view is Armonk and Chappaqua. I live and work with my customers and I love that.”
Having worked in the pool industry for 30 years, Carthy knows a lot about how people utilize their pools and says swimming is actually not the primary reason why people build a pool.
“Most people have a pool as a beautiful landscape feature or focal point on their property. Many like to recreate in it and a few actually swim laps in it.” Carthy and his wife are like most of his customers. After a long day of work, they enjoy relaxing in their pool at night.
While Memorial Day signifies summer and the start of the pool season, Carthy finds that many of his customers are in fact opening up their pools in April and keeping them open until October. “In Westchester, everyone has a heated pool so a six-month season is not atypical. Many people have a spa attached to their pool and/or an auto-cover so while customers may not be swimming in their pool yet, they are enjoying the vista.”
Unlike most of his competitors, which bill customers piecemeal for the opening, the weekly maintenance, the service, the chemicals and the closing of their pool, Carthy’s company operates differently. “All our customers are on a comprehensive fixed price maintenance program so people who come on this year are paying the exact same price as someone who has used our company for ten years. It includes the opening, the closing, the initial vacuuming and water treatment, all chemicals and 15 weeks of maintenance. People can buy additional weeks if they’d like to extend their season.” Residents of the Byram Hills School District and the Chappaqua School District both receive a discount on the company’s comprehensive maintenance program.
Carthy’s company has won national design awards and also been recognized for outstanding engineering and technical achievement by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and the Northeast Spa and Pool Association. He likes to refer to his company as a “soup to nuts” shop where customers can rely on Pools of Perfection to design a pool, obtain permits, construct the pool and build additional features such as cabanas, outdoor kitchens and firepits. Once your pool is built, his company can maintain it for you to enjoy this summer and for years to come.
Stacey Pfeffer is an avid swimmer who lives in Chappaqua with her husband and three young children. She has written for NY Family, Westchester Parent, Kveller.com and Inside Chappaqua.
Thinking of Building a Pool? Tips from Christopher Carthy
- Work with a company that uses 3D CAD design so that you can envision what the project will look like upon completion.
- Develop a site plan and be aware of what is needed for your municipality to approve construction.
- Hire a company that knows which applications are needed to approve the project (e.g., zoning, architecture, wetlands preservation) and can represent you before various boards. Pools of Perfection has a perfect record of permit procurement.
- Design what you want. Sometimes customers want to minimize permit costs and the design can be tweaked to do that. Carthy notes though on the flipside that “sometimes it is worth it to embrace permit costs because the pool’s placement will ultimately add value to the home.”
- Consider timing. Carthy suggests that the ideal time to build a pool is fall and then use spring to plant and finish any other features and roll out the pool the next season.