About Pool Research

Take the guessing game out of everything related to your pool and backyard environment.

Swimming pools are complicated structures. There are a ton of steps and considerations in the entire process from initial design concepts to final installation and ongoing maintenance. There is also a lot of bad advice out there - we want to help set the record straight and help you make confident decisions about your backyard oasis.

What You'll Find

In-depth research, how-to guides, and tools to help you with every aspect of your swimming pool.





For any equipment or product recommendations, I have a research process and strict scoring system to objectively evaluate all of the options. I also rely on my experience in the swimming pool industry, installing or using each of these products on the job site. The scoring rubric changes depending on what I’m evaluating. You’ll see this reflected in the “Pool Research Score” throughout the site.

The Team (Well, Just Me)

Michael Dean

Swimming Pool Builder, Industry Veteran

Hi, I'm Michael Dean. I'm the writer, editor, manager, well...you get it...I’m the guy behind Pool Research. I have over 30 years of experience in the swimming pool industry, designing and building custom pools from start to finish for homes and commercial properties. I have also manufactured my own materials and colors and hold several patents for pool performance products. I know the industry front to back and want to help homeowners and other aspiring pool builders to make the right decisions when it comes to their next pool.

My Experience

Managing Principal, Pool Surfaces LLC

From 1993 to 2015, I founded, owned, and ran Pool Surfaces LLC. We designed and built residential and commercial swimming pools from start to finish. We also designed and manufactured a proprietary line of pool plaster products, performance products, and other materials we used to build pools and licensed them to other trained professional plastering companies. I sold the business in 2015 to my business partner who still runs it today.

I also patented several pool performance products during my time running Pool Surfaces. One of those patented products that we used in all of our swimming pool builds is Silicone Shield. Patented in 1995, Silicone Shield provides density and water repellency to pool plaster. This integral silicone admix is the key to the sustainability of Portland cement (the main binding component in all pool plasters) in an underwater environment.

Custom Pool Builder

After selling Pool Surfaces in 2015, I moved to western North Carolina and opened up a new bespoke swimming pool design and build company. I loved the challenge and opportunity that the mountainous landscape of western NC presented to build beautiful custom pools with gorgeous views. Some of which you’ll see in my design articles on Pool Research.

Plunge Pool Builder

Since 2020, I’ve shifted my focus (in addition to Pool Research) to a new venture building plunge pools for homes all over the country.

Where I've Been Featured


Get in Touch

If you have a question about your swimming pool or you want to get in touch with me for an interview, use the contact form below and I'll be in touch with you soon.

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