Engineering & Designing a Premier Custom Spa
by Cassidy Mantor
Whitefish-based Panorama Pool Builders are specialists in high-end “resimercial” outdoor environments – pools, spas, concrete, and construction throughout the Pacific Northwest. The portmanteau is the brainchild of owner Shawn “Hoss” Hossack and stems from the combination of the one-off intricacies of residential work along with the precision and ability to deliver on time and within budget that is expected from commercial contractors. Panorama Pool Builders is a Northwest specialist, licensed and insured in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Although their exquisite grottoes, waterfalls, and water features can be found in many custom homes in the region, most of their clients are so private that Panorama Pool Builders is a bit like a best-kept secret.
What makes Panorama Pool Builders truly unique is their extensive network of partnerships with engineers, architects, landscape architects, developers, and homeowners. Their pools and spas quickly diverge in design, function, and longevity. Instead, Panorama Pools are researched and are the product of each client’s involvement in designing their ideal wellness space. Their philosophy is simple – their goal is to exceed every client’s expectation. They do this through integrity and craftsmanship that is woven into each space. Their technical knowledge and resources far exceed that of their competitors. They build strong, lasting relationships with their clients by maintaining a constant line of communication and delivering on their promise to build “wow factor” pools on time and within budget.
Panorama’s leader, Hoss, was born and raised in the Flathead Valley and has been working in concrete since he was 15 years old. It doesn’t take long when speaking with him to understand his love of the material. “I never could just show up to the job site and do what I was told without wanting to know the science behind it,” he says. “I’d want to know why concrete had to be 6,000psi, what calcium and alkalines do to it, why you add water. I got ACI accredited because I wanted to learn. I’m always wanting to learn.” That inherent curiosity and passion for the medium inspires him to get out of bed every morning and head to the gym at 4am before coming home to take care of his family that includes his wife and their children, seven-year-old son, Charlie, and four-year-old daughter, Aspyn Jo. It also lends itself to his other company, Panorama Builders, which does decorative concrete, full rock, stamp, sandblasted, sand-washed, and exposed complex high-end decorative concrete jobs.
Panorama Pool Builders is committed to handling all of its clients’ needs. The team’s experience spans a variety of specialty skilled trades necessary to build a dream home. Those perspectives join together to shape a common vision. As design principles continually evolve, and materials costs continue to rise, the company emphasizes continuity, responsible design, and standardization in their planning exercises for construction. They focus on implementing those plans and working with their clients to achieve a plan that is creative and realistic.
“I never could just show up to the job site and do what I was told without wanting to know the science
–Shawn “Hoss” Hossack, Owner, Panorama Pool Builders
Family coming first is so integral to their work that Hoss turned the guest house on his Whitefish Stage ranch into an office. “The kids come over when I’m home,” he says. “We have an RV that my family will spend time in when I’m working on a job that keeps me from home.” Many of Panorama’s high-end resimercial jobs last for 9 to 14 months, depending on project size or materials.
It’s easy to feel like a family when many of the guys working for Panorama Pool Builders have been with Hoss since they were teenagers working their first jobs in the Valley. While the big picture and heavy lifting are critical, Panorama also knows that delivering an uncompromised product involves investing in the details. Over the past 12 years, Hoss has sent his guys to school where they have achieved certifications in concrete and welding. The company has developed a reputation as both the technical authority on pool engineering as well as for one-of-a-kind design. Their reliability and consistency have helped them evolve into one of the most dynamic and diverse contractors in Montana.
“I make the vision come to life. It’s not just digging a hole and putting water into it. I recruit structural engineers and hydraulic engineers…I build based on what qualified personnel would build after they’ve spec’ed each element and I make sure it’s installed correctly.”
–Shawn “Hoss” Hossack, Owner, Panorama Pool Builders
“I make the vision come to life,” Hoss says. To do that, he involves aquatic engineers and architects who draw plans and brainstorm. “It’s not just digging a hole and putting water into it,” he adds. “I recruit structural engineers and hydraulic engineers. It’s not just me drawing it on a napkin saying, ‘This will work.’ I build based on what qualified personnel would build after they’ve spec’ed each element and I make sure it’s installed correctly.” Means and method are a large component of a Panorama pool and what makes them Northwest specialists.
Panorama Pool Builders is talented at bringing ideas to life, but also at aligning image with reality. Hoss leads his company to build pools and spas with the same processes and procedures as are taken by good builders when building high-end homes. They use the best materials, mosaics, and premium grout – Hoss notes – not what you find at Home Depot. They use hardwoods for trim, not basic pine, and look at a pool as an extension of the home’s style.
Hoss loves collaborating with clients and encourages them to be involved in the process as much as they desire. Panorama Pool Builders uses an app that documents work done on each day, the weather, and conditions. It gives peace of mind that the work is being done correctly and with integrity so that clients are satisfied with their pools. “That’s what fuels my get up and go,” Hoss says. “From going to the gym early and taking care of my family to doing whatever it takes to get the job done, my gratification comes from knowing we’ve delivered something our clients will love and use for the rest of their lives.”