Family Stories: Putting A Pool in Your Backyard

Pool Builders

Shanelle’s son Elliott enjoys time in the pool.

As owner of a local company called Pool Builders, not only does Bob Grandmaison put pools in backyards across our community, he manages to keep his family close. Five of the kids work for dad and all have roles that maximize their skills and talents.

Pool Builders

Building pools has been part of this family’s life for generations.

The siblings in the Grandmaison family get to see a lot of each other. That’s because five of the nine kids—Shanelle, Justin, Charles, Dominic and Benjamin—work with their dad, Bob, and Pool Builders, the Ottawa-based family business. Together, members of this local family produce something special for other local families: a swimming pool for the backyard. Not only do they get to bring joy into the lives of other families, they also get to keep their own family bonds strong. “Having your dad for a boss is a really nice thing,” Dominic points out. “We really like the work environment. It’s fun.”

Pool Builders

Building pools is a family affair for the Grandmaisons.

For the Grandmaisons, building swimming pools has been a way of family life for three generations and more than 45 years. It began back in 1971 in Sudbury with Bob’s father, and Bob first “got his feet wet” in 1976 after purchasing the family business from his dad. In 1998, he moved the family company to Ottawa to offer in-ground and on-ground swimming pool installations in the national capital region.

Pool Builders

In the early days with Dad.

Today, Pool Builders specializes in vinyl lined, in-ground pool design, sales, and construction, as well as pool opening and closing services.

More than 2000 pools have been installed over the years, and each family member has a role to play in the business. Bob takes care of excavations, sales and bookkeeping. Justin and Charles are installation managers. They’re in charge of maintenance, hiring crews and on-site coordination, with Justin in charge of walls and liners, and Charles in charge of backfills and concrete-finishing work. Benjamin handles sales and service, Shanelle covers project management, product ordering and customer service, and Dominic is head of marketing, P.R. and administration. “Everyone’s different skills and abilities are maximized,” he mentions.

Pool Builders

Homeowners certainly appreciate the fact that there’s always a family member involved and on site, right from the start to the finished pool. What’s more, “We have all of our own equipment.” Although the Grandmaisons are pretty busy in the summer, they still manage on occasion to have some fun of their own around the pool. “It’s a place to gather if everyone’s available,” Dominic says. Shanelle, who’s married and the mom of two boys, has a swimming pool in the backyard. So does dad, Bob.

As homeowners with pools know, a backyard swimming pool serves as a summer-long source of tech-free entertainment, activity, relaxation and quality family time. It can also help transform a nondescript stretch of grass into a warm-weather staycation oasis, offering cottage or resort-style pleasure. In fact, these days many people are forgoing the hassles and travel associated with a summer place in favour of a pool and other amenities at home.

Certainly, there are lots of options. “There is a rise in interest in rectangular and custom rectangle pools. It’s more of a modern looking pool,” Dominic says. People are also opting for coloured LED lights and water features that can all be controlled by a pool automation system.

“Custom projects are becoming more and more sought-after,” he adds, mentioning, “The sky’s the limit in terms of what we can do.”

Pool Builders

“The sky’s the limit in terms of what we can do,” says Dominic Grandmaison.

Better yet, the work can be completed—a pool in your backyard!— in as little as eight work days.

At the showroom, there is full design service as well as visual aids so you
can actually see what you’re going to get. In the media centre, take a look at past projects to get ideas, and check out the functioning automation system connected to a variable speed pump, so you can hear the equipment while in operation.

Always, the Grandmaisons go out of their way to make the process positive and pleasurable.

“Clients are really excited when the excavation starts, then they get really excited again when the liner and water go in,” Dominic reports. As for the big family in charge of making it happen? They take your satisfaction and pleasure personally. It’s a matter of family pride. For details about Pool Builders, see

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