About Pool Research

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

Mission & Vision

The Pool Research mission is simple: Empower you to make confident decisions about your new or existing swimming pool.

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 – I want to help set the record straight and help you make confident decisions about your backyard oasis.

My Promises

Backed By Experience

I have over 30 years of experience in the swimming pool industry and have seen just about every crazy situation there is, from design to maintenance and everything in between. My research and recommendations will always be based on that first-hand, personal experience, and supported and fact-checked by other pool professionals in my network.

Actionable & Easy to Understand

As I said above, some pool topics are complicated. While I love digging into the data and nitty-gritty research, I promise to make all my advice actionable and easy to understand for all readers, no matter where you are in your pool ownership journey.

Hands-On Testing

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.

What You’ll Find


I love the architectural and landscaping components that come with pool design and building a beautiful structure. I write lots of research on design ideas, concepts, and features for your swimming pool.

View Design Research


Installing a new swimming pool is a complicated process that most homeowners don’t know a ton about. Having over 30 years of experience installing pools, I want to educate new pool owners on the installation process and what to expect from your pool builder so you get your perfect pool when it’s all said and done.

View Installation Research


Pool equipment is expensive, and there are a ton of options out there, which can be pretty confusing to figure out (especially for new pool owners). I write lots of research on what to look for in new equipment, how each component works, and how all of your equipment works together to keep your pool running smoothly.

View Equipment Research


There’s a lot to think about when it comes to pool maintenance. I do a lot of research on how to accomplish simple and complex maintenance tasks, troubleshoot common problems, and much more.

View Maintenance Research

Data & Analysis

I love looking at data, and I think it can help a lot of people become smarter pool owners. I mine through a lot of cost data, equipment performance specs, and other numbers I can get my hands on to create digestible and actionable insights to keep you prepared.

View Data & Analysis Research


Calculators are super handy for lots of tasks related to building and maintaining your swimming pool. I create calculators that I use on a regular basis as a pool professional and think they’ll be useful for you too.

View Calculators

The Pool Research 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

Over 30+ years, I’ve worked on pools in 46 states (so far) and designed over 54 products for the industry (one with a patent).

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.

The largest pool I worked on during this time was the Mandalay Bay Casino pool in Las Vegas (one of the largest pool areas in the United States). I consulted with them and designed the interior pool finish material.

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, like the pool I built pictured above. You’ll see a lot of my pools in my design articles on Pool Research.

Plunge Pool Builder

From 2020 to the beginning of 2023, I shifted my focus (in addition to Pool Research) to a venture building plunge pools for homes all over the country.

Building exclusively plunge pools allowed me to scale down by team and still have the opportunity to be extremely creative with design. Pictured above is a swimming pool I built in the North Carolina mountains.

Pool Design Consultant

Now, I consult with homeowners looking to build a swimming pool who want professional design services and someone to coordinate with their pool builder.

Here I am in my office with our cat, Tink. I use the latest CAD software to design custom pools and rely on my 30+ years of industry experience to help pool owners build (or repair) beautiful backyard oases.

Where I’ve Been Featured

Here are some of the prominent publications I’ve been quoted in. If you’d like to get in touch for an interview, head to the press page for more information and my email address.

  • The Washington Post – Aboveground pools are riding a wave of popularity. Consider these factors before buying one.
  • This Old House – All About Pool Resurfacing
  • US News & World Report – How to Tackle the Legal Responsibilities of Pool Ownership
  • The Spruce – A Chlorine Shortage Could Affect Your Pool Plans This Summer

Social Media

You can find Pool Research on these platforms for now. I’m working on launching on Instagram and Facebook as well.

Get In Touch

For general inquiries, email info [a] poolresearch.com. I am also available via phone for pool design consultations. Visit the contact page for more specific email addresses and other ways to get in touch with me.

Mailing Address

301 W Main Ave
PO Box #762 (Unit #762 for packages)
Gastonia, NC 28053

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