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Design Problem Solved - Customizing for a Poolside Waterfall

Design Problem Solved - Customizing for a Poolside Waterfall

By Rebecca Baum, Forever Redwood
Photographs courtesy of Dan Hogan

Four years ago, Dan Hogan of Charlottesville, VA built the house of his dreams. But his home wasn’t quite complete. He had yet to install the pool and surrounding patio.

He was ready to realize this final phase of his dream, but one of his favorite features was holding him up — a waterfall cascading from a pergola roof into the pool.

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While Dan had seen similar water features in magazines, his vision called for more design expertise than most. His back deck overlooked the area designated for the pergola. “The challenge became how to run supply lines up to the pergola roof while not being able to see them,” Dan said. His goal was to avoid distracting from the gorgeous view with the exposed workings of the waterfall, while also keeping the area under the pergola free of wires and tubing.

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“The end build looks great” Dan said. “The integration with the water feature is a “wow” factor.”

Dan spoke with several companies. None was able to solve his design problem — until his online research led him to Forever Redwood, an outdoor furniture and shade structure company specializing in custom designs. The company is also committed to growing and protecting redwood forests by using sales proceeds to fund forest restoration efforts.

As Dan explored Forever Redwood’s website, he was impressed with the many options for customization such as size, wood grade, privacy panels, and sealant. He felt the Traditional Wooden Garden Pergola, 16’x16’ in redwood, would be a perfect poolside resting place. But would Forever Redwood be able to design the solution he needed?

After initial conversations with the design team, Dan was hopeful. “Forever Redwood was the first company to say, ‘we can accomplish hiding the waterfall mechanism.’ I could tell the team had the capacity and expertise to figure out how to make this work.”

But what truly won him over were the drawings he received detailing the proposed solution. “The drawings were awesome. They illustrated that Forever Redwood conceived of a solution that would stand the test of time while also hiding the waterfall pipes.”

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“People don’t even notice there’s a waterfall mechanism until we turn it on, it’s so well hidden.”

The proposed solution was to fasten hollow redwood posts to the standard solid posts. The waterfall piping would run through the two front posts. The back posts would also be modified for aesthetic balance, a detail which led to the discovery of a bonus function. “We could then flush-mount electrical outlets and a fan switch,” Dan said. Electrical lines for the wet-rated fan could be hidden in the hollow posts as well.

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Flush-mounted electrical outlet.

With the drawings finalized, it was time to ship and assemble. Because of the unique specifications, Dan opted for Forever Redwood’s white glove assembly service. But Covid derailed that plan. He then tasked the pool builders, already onsite and familiar with the project, with erecting the structure. Once again, he was impressed with Forever Redwood’s attention to detail. “I didn’t expect custom assembly drawings and instructions for my project. Someone spent time and effort to put that together.”

The pool builders assembled the pergola without a hitch. Enjoy this 3 minute time-lapse video of the process, courtesy of Dan, his drone, and his deck-mounted GoPro.

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Dan’s favorite part of the project? Collaborating with the design team and reviewing the drawings. “Plus I received pictures along the way as it was being built. I wasn’t expecting that. Forever Redwood has a fine process for how the structure is built and how the customer is included.”

Fun fact — Dan’s project is Forever Redwood’s first-ever customization for a waterfall feature. His story demonstrates the company’s willingness to collaborate with clients, even when a design challenge is involved.

For additional photos of the Traditional Wooden Garden Pergola, visit

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