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Backyard Design Firm Pratt Guys Talks Twin Eagles & Animal Planet’s Insane Pools

Hot off the Grill, Design for Living

Backyard Design Firm Pratt Guys Talks Twin Eagles & Animal Planet’s Insane Pools

How would you describe your company’s approach to designing and building quality outdoor living spaces for your residential clients? 

Jack Spellman, Lead Designer: We’ve learned to be very good listeners. It’s important for us to understand our clients’ needs and dreams. The outdoor living spaces we build are an extension of our clients’ homes and they have the potential to bring a lot of joy. So we get excited when we build a vision for the space with the customer. It’s a fun, collaborative experience.

What is unique about your team’s background and what about it has been conducive to your success in your industry? How does the dynamic of being a family business play into how you plan, design and create entertaining spaces for other families? 

Jason Pratt, Co-Owner and Operations Manager: ​Jacksonville, Florida is home to an amazing river that runs through our city, beautiful Jacksonville Beach, the largest urban park system in the United States and year-round sunshine. We three Pratt brothers, growing up in Jacksonville, have always been surrounded by nature, growing a huge love for the great outdoors. When people walk into our showroom asking what’s different about our projects, I always reply with “We build backyards for people who LOVE the outdoors.” As guys who enjoy always being outside and guys who work long weeks, we easily understand the needs of our clients, who are looking for a backyard to relax in after their extended work days. This always shows through with their design and the way we construct their project. We build it to withstand daily usage and using Twin Eagles grills and appliances perfectly matches the rigorous usage we demand out of each and every one of our projects.

What specific aspects of the Animal Planet Insane Pools project did your firm handle? How did your firm come across this opportunity? 

Jason Pratt: So it all started on Black Friday 2016, when Ron Russell, owner of the home we built the project for, stopped in as our final customer of the day asking if we could build projects like he had seen on Insane Pools. After much discussion, we learned we were a good fit for each other and he hired us to design and build the project. Upon Pratt Guys delivering to Ron the design and him loving it, we knew we’d need some outside help to build the waterfall grotto, at the magnitude that Ron Russell had in mind. Between the internet and friends of ours in this line of work, all signs pointed to Lucas Congdon, owner of Lucas Lagoons and star of Animal Planet’s Insane Pools as the answer to getting this huge grotto built. Lucas and us Pratt brothers instantly connected and realized with his high level of creative design and portfolio of grotto + pool work, we’d work really well together to deliver the type of project Ron was expecting from the design. The rest is history, as they say. Well, really, it’s the future, as we (Lucas and Pratt Guys) have hopes for more collaborative projects going forward.

What specific elements do you look for in outdoor kitchen products when planning, designing and specifying for a project like the Animal Planet Insane Pools job? 

Adam Pratt, Co-Owner and Senior Backyard Consultant: ​Well with every job that we design, we always ask the client a handful of questions. This allows us to get a feel for their style of cooking and entertaining to make sure we spec out the best possible appliances and accessories. An outdoor kitchen is all about convenience: the more convenient it is, the more often you’ll use it.

What was unique about the Insane Pools project? What was the biggest challenge for your team in creating this outdoor kitchen space? 

Derek Pratt, Co-Owner and Senior Project Manager: ​“Unique” would be the the island vibe to the job. We created a realistic getaway that takes your mind to a tropical oasis. “Challenge” would be dealing with the homeowner himself and what he imagines everything to be.

What about Twin Eagles premium outdoor grills and kitchen accessories worked so well with this particular project? 

Adam Pratt: ​Twin Eagles premium outdoor grills pair perfectly with any project, especially a Pratt Guys project. The clean, sleek, angled design ties in extremely well with this tropical lagoon theme yet looks amazing on our contemporary style designs. The design of Twin Eagles is versatile and you get one of the best performing grills there is. Here at Pratt Guys, we only offer and sell the best of the best, AMERICAN made appliances! So what’s better than pairing this one-of-a-kind project with Twin Eagles?

How big of a factor is the Northeastern Florida climate in relation to your design and build approach?

Derek Pratt: ​The amount of rainfall we incurred during the build made this pool dig almost impossible. We also wanted to build this as realistically as possible for every feature to be able to be used during all the seasons we have here in Florida!

Your past clients have referred to your team as “extremely innovative” in your design approach. How do you stay on the forefront of innovation in your industry? 

Jack Spellman: We use everything from trade shows to Instagram to track industry trends and innovation. But more importantly, we have a team of really curious designers and craftsman. We can’t walk into a new bar or restaurant without finding interesting details in the ceiling or window trim. We have a team that loves exploring new ideas together.

How do you balance the notion of relaxation, entertainment and overall functionality in your approach to outdoor space design? 

Jack Spellman: Finding the right balance isn’t always a straight line. Our design process involves creating multiple iterations of the project to find the right solution. We create 3D models for all our designs, which enables us to fully analyze the design and test the functionality.

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