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Thread: New pool build Houston Tx

  1. Back To Top    #1
    mbpoolq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Baytown Tx

    New pool build Houston Tx

    Good afternoon! I am currently getting bids for inground pool. I'm looking at 18 x 35 freeform, 3-4 ton waterfall at the end of the pool, 2 bubblers on the steps. 3 1/2' - 6' - 4' deep. Coping will be flagstone or travertine. It will not be saltwater. We have a stand alone spa, so no concrete spa. I have 3 bids, all close in price but different in every other way. I am hoping someone here can help me make a few decisions, mostly about type of filter, ozone vs no ozone, pump size/plumbing size and # of returns(5 vs 6).

    Builder 1 eqpt:
    Filter: 48 sq ft - Pentair FNS Plus D.E. Filter
    Pump: 1.5 HP - Pentair Whisperflo Pump
    Valves: Never Lube Valve 2-2.5
    Skimmers: 2 CMP; 2-in Lines Separate Line & Valves
    Pool Light: 1 x Pentair Amerlite White 500W w/ GFCI
    Inlets: 5 pool return inlets
    Time Clock: Intermatic Dual Timers
    Cleaner: Polaris 280, w/ booster pump
    Santizer: Jandy AquaPure Ei Salt System ***will have chlorine
    Ozone: Ozone Joe Water Purification System
    Main Drains: 2 Main Drains - Separate Lines & Valves
    Plumbing: 2 Suction, Separate Lines, Separate Valves
    PVC Schedule 40 On All Pool Piping
    PVC Schedule 80 On All Pump Connections
    2 Returns To 1st T
    All Electric Hook Up Included 25 Linear Feet Gas Hook Up Included

    Builder 2 eqpt:
    1-2hp Pentair superflo pump
    1-600lb Pentair top mount sand filter
    1- Pentair 820 robotic pool cleaner
    1-3 chlorinator of tablets
    1-Pool pole
    1-Pool brush
    1-Manual pool vac
    All plumbing is 1 and 2 schedule 40 pipe
    All plumbing is pressure tested
    Approx. 3/8 of plaster quartz
    Pool will have 2 skimmers
    6 pool returns
    2 main drains with valve

    Builder 3 eqpt:
    2.0 VS Jandy Pump
    1.5 Jandy water feature pump
    340 Jandy cartridge filter
    Polaris 360 Vacuum
    2 1/2" plumbing
    3 SAVI LED lts
    6 returns

    I want to make a decision by the end of the week; any assistance is greatly appreciated!


  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Texas Splash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    South-Central Texas, Marion/San Antonio

    Re: New pool build Houston Tx

    The one thing that jumped-out at me personally (Builder #1) was the ozone. Not needed. Your chlorine (SWG or manual if needed) will sanitize just fine. PB's #2 & #3 don't seem to show SWG, so unless you prefer to manually chlorinate (which is fine), I just wanted to highlight that for the convenience factor if nothing else. For the filters, everyone has their own take on it based on price, maintenance, expected efficiency, etc, but this page may help: Pool School - Pool Filter Comparison. I like your 6 returns. I have 6 in my 16x40 FB pool. Good movement of water. It's not a lot more effort to install 6 versus 5, so why not.

    Well, I hope my thoughts help a little and keep your thread going for more replies. Good luck!
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    TFP Guide
    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central MD

    Re: New pool build Houston Tx

    Yeah, not much response so far...good job Tex.

    I'd work to standardize what you want and ask them to rebid according to your specs. Ideally you want them to be very similar equipment/feature-wise then your choice is more of a price/personality/percent chance they won't go out of business while building your pool (slight sarcasm - but not really) type of decision.

    Recommend two-speed pump (maybe VS to get your waterfall dialed in just right), properly sized filter (recommended sizes are here somewhere), robot cleaner, determine your finish and color, two full-size LED lights (either Pentair or Hayward).

    I feel like you are trying to rush the decision and would be better off slowing down the process at this point. I would feel stressed (and rightly so) if I had to take those bids a make an informed decision that quickly. Way to many open questions for me.

    Someone recently posted a list of like 75 things to ask a pool builder. So maybe overkill for what many will really do, but they were generally very valid things to think about. If someone can link that, it will give you an idea of things you haven't thought about (maybe too much so but, eh).

    Best of luck with the process. And a parting thought - generally those who are happiest with the bid/build process are those not too concerned about the timing of when things happen - and those who were very involved in the building process - be there for every key step, trust but verify (ok, don't trust - just verify), it's easier to get it right the first time, etc.) Ask a million questions now, ask to speak to the Project Manager - salespeople don't manage builds. Ok, I'm done. Check out that list. Oops, thought I was done. Bye.

    My 999th post. Geez.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. Saltwater w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, salt cell, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Groundbreaking: 2/14/13 | Plaster: 5/21/2013 | First Swim: 5/30/2013

  4. Back To Top    #4
    SuzfromTexas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Houston, Texas

    Re: New pool build Houston Tx

    I can give you the title of the thread Bmore suggested for the builder interview questions. Sorry, but I don't know how to do a link from my cell.

    "Houston, TX Pool Build Diary - From Design to Dive-in"

    The thread owner is Platipus. The list is on page 2 of his thread.

    Use the search bar at the top right of this page. Or as of now, his thread is on about page 3 of Under Construction, but that page number often shifts.

    Take care,
    Suz~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. SWG IG. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy; color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

  5. Back To Top    #5
    bdrums's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    The Woodlands, TX

    Re: New pool build Houston Tx

    I can't offer you much in direct answer to your question but I can tell you that we started out in a similar situation but found ourselves making our decision almost exclusively about the builder.

    For example. The 2 builders that were in our final round had different ideas about number of pumps. One wanted to do a single pump for both the circulation and the water features. The other wanted to use separate pumps. In all honesty we would have been fine either way. Some people are more certain about what they want. We weren't.

    Both companies had been around more than 10 years with impeccable reputations and 0 BBB complaints. So we were confident we had good builders. Maybe Google each builder and see if others have any comments about them.

    What decided it for us was in one situation we dealt with a salesman and in the other we dealt with the owner. We just had a better gut feeling about the direct connection with the owner.

    For us it mattered as much who was building our pool as what features we were getting.

    What little I can offer on your questions:

    Filter: each filter type has its pros and cons. They all work fine. Just make sure they are sized properly for your pool.

    Returns: I wouldn't worry too much about 5 or 6. If it was between 2 and 6 then, yeah, I'd want to investigate that more.

    I hope this helps somewhat.
    Build thread
    IG Gunite w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, 18K gallons 500sqft
    Jandy: 60 DE filter, 2.0 VS (main pump), 2.0 Flo Pro (features)
    Paramount PV3 w/ 1.5 Stealth, PDA PS6, JXi 400K NG
    Flagstone coping & wall. Stamped Concrete from BrickForm. TF-100 w/Speed Stir.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: New pool build Houston Tx

    Ok, as it stands I would say none of the above, they each have what I see as major flaws / concerns

    In no particular order:

    Ozone and UV systems are a complete waste of money for a typical outdoor residential pool

    This is 2015 any pool light should be LED, there no sense in even considering a 500+ watt incandescent at this time (maybe they have left over stock from 5-10 years ago)

    Be ware the Savi lights, I have yet to see a positive review on them here, many disappointed owners though, lots of early failures

    Any pump being considered should be a 2 speed or variable speed

    Personally I do not like pressure side cleaners that require a booster pump, I am much more pro robot, but there is no reason you need to buy the robot from the pool builder just make sure they include GFCI outlet where you can plug one in.

    You need to decide which type of filter is right for you, all 3 major types are listed in these bids. Each can work, and has a place, but each also has advantages and disadvantages.

    Exact number of returns is not as important as placement
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from
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  7. Back To Top    #7
    mbpoolq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Baytown Tx

    Re: New pool build Houston Tx

    Good morning guys, and thanks for the information/suggestions. Here's a little more info:

    Builder 1 and 2 are owners, both local to my area(east of Houston, Chambers Co)
    Builder 3 is part of a national chain with this bid coming from Pearland
    I have read that ozone is unnecessary in our area
    All quotes are within $2,000 of each other, with Builder 1 being the most expensive by about $500 over Builder 3
    All 3 builders have a pic of what I'd like the pool to look like
    I have a firm idea of what I want with the exception of coping(flagstone vs travertine) and eqpt
    I have decided not to rush, as long as I start construction before the new year I'm good

    I will try to post a pic later. Thanks SOOO much for your comments, you guys are the best. I truly feel that with your help I will be able to make the right decision and have a great pool for next summer.

    Have a great Labor Day weekend and I will post soon with more details.

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