From the April/May 2019 Issue

B&B Pool and Spa Center – The Shape of Water

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A B&B pool in Demarest, NJ.

B&B Pool and Spa Center creates custom outdoor environments

A band of brothers is at the helm of B&B Pool and Spa Center. The company was founded in 1972 by second-generation pool professionals Bruce and Craig Bagin. Bruce, an Air Force veteran, had just returned from Vietnam. Younger brother Drew joined the company a few years later. At the time the company focused on pool renovations.

  • The B&B Pool and Spa Center Staff, circa 1973.

     

  • Craig Bagin, Craig’s son Derek, Drew Jr. and Drew Sr.

     

The Bagins’ father was a mason contractor in the pool industry, so “swimming pools were a central part of our lives growing up,” says Craig, who serves as president. Of course, playing in the pool as kids was fun, but the brothers’ dedication has its foundations in practical concerns. “We know the importance of being able to swim,” Craig says. “Early on, we recognized that learning to swim—a potentially life-saving skill—was best handled in the safety of a home environment.”

It didn’t take long before the brothers saw the opportunity to meet the need for high-quality pools in Bergen County, New Jersey, and Rockland County, New York, and the company was born.

A recent pool.

As a leader in a burgeoning industry, B&B helped set the groundwork for pool builders as one of the early members of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. The company was instrumental in helping APSP set its guidelines for pool builders, technicians and designers.

Jersey boys born and bred, the Bagin brothers understood the challenges of winters in the Northeast and what it would take to build long-lasting, glorious swimming pools. “We grew up with a father who showed us the unique requirements for pool building in a region with cold winters,” Craig explains. “We knew that B&B could bring a level of durability to in-ground swimming pools not normally seen in the Northeast.”

A B&B pool in the 1980s.

By the end of the 1970s, it was time to expand the scope of B&B’s business. “At some point, I got tired of removing pool covers,” Craig recalls with a laugh. “We started doing pool renovations. I thought ‘if I can take them apart, I can put them back together.’ I decided it was time to go out and build some swimming pools.” This new construction division of the company grew quickly. “And just as I learned how to build a pool,” Craig says, “I learned how to sell a pool.” He says the company’s growth is due, in large part, to the wise advice of the professionals he consulted at the time. “I had a lot of help. My dad was a mason. Some of my subcontractors—the same people I work with today—steered me in the right direction. Now the construction division is a major part of the business.”

To this day, the Bagin brothers personally oversee each project from concept through completion, ensuring value, quality construction and creativity.

“Carrying on what we were taught by our father, we put strict standards and practice procedures in place for everything we build.”

The Bagins understand that a swimming pool is a focal point and should be the crown jewel of a backyard. However, the focal point needs to be surrounded by elements that are just as beautiful. That’s why B&B handles every component of backyard design, including landscaping, outdoor kitchens, cabanas, fire features and all the elements of automation.

Creativity is a key to B&B’s success. Craig’s innate sense of design allows him to envision a pool ideally suited to each property, a design specifically geared to a particular landscape and topography.

Still, one of the company’s more interesting projects happened above a landscape. “We suspended a pool 30 feet in the air,” he says. “There were very challenging site conditions involving wetlands and stream encroachment. The client really wanted a pool and had the wherewithal to do a project of this magnitude. I saw it as a unique challenge.” B&B rose to that challenge and created a concrete structure with a patio cantilevered off of it. That project led to a wide variety of installations, including rooftop and subterranean pools as well as hot tubs and cold plunges.

An indoor pool from the 1980s.

Such complex projects require a host of highly qualified practitioners. Craig explains that, when embarking on a multifaceted, challenging project,

“you have to have a good team of professionals; you can’t just get anybody off the street and build pools like this. It takes forethought and execution.”

Aesthetic appeal and leisure-time diversion are only some of the benefits of incorporating a water element onto a property. Craig points out that while recreational water is beautiful and pleasurable, it offers many health benefits also. “That is why, for 25 years, B&B has been a premiere Sundance® Spa dealer. The beauty of a hot tub is being able to use it year-round. There’s nothing like sitting in the soothing waters with snowflakes swirling around. And for those folks who love massage or are looking for ways to maintain a supple body, there are few more relaxing ways to enjoy yourself with or without your friends and family than to soak away your tensions.”

Never content to rest on their laurels, the brothers are always ready to take on an engineering or construction challenge. They have continuously offered innovative designs and are the exclusive U.S. purveyors of the IntelliPool® and IntelliSpa® remote monitoring and control systems, which can remotely control filtration, heating, lights and sanitizing from anywhere in the world. The company’s innovative spirit has been recognized by those in the industry; more than 50 projects that B&B has completed have won awards.

The next generation of Bagins is now fully engaged in the company. Craig’s son, Derek, is vice president in charge of construction. He works alongside his father to learn the complexities of hydrology, pool design, engineering and quality building. Derek has taken a major role in designing many of the company’s custom gunite pools. Drew’s son, Drew Jr., has stepped into the role of managing the complex issues at B&B’s showroom and headquarters in Chestnut Ridge, New York. He keeps the showroom well stocked and ready to meet the needs of the season and beyond.

On every B&B project, customers receive the benefit a combined total of more than 150 years of pool building expertise. Customers appreciate the workmanship and materials in their pools. Some may say the proof of a pool is in the swimming, however, the real proof is swimming in a 20- or 30-year-old pool that’s as gorgeous and watertight as the day it was built.

B&B Pool and Spa Center services the New Jersey and New York area.