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Thread: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

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    Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Hello all, this is my first post. I found TFP early this year after getting fed up with LPS and their constant pool drain/refills, add chems, etc. While it hasn't been a perfect season (I suffered an algae bloom once due to my failure to monitor FC), this has definitely been the most trouble free season I have had with my pool since I purchased the home in 2000. I must say that it has felt great to walk into the LPS store and buy only what I need, ignoring whatever chemical they are pushing this week and their pleading for me to let them test my water. My TF-100 test kit tells me everything I need to know.

    With that said, my pool could use a makeover. I think it was built in the very early 1980's and appears to have been replastered at least once before I bought the property. Since I have owned it, there have been no major changes, just upkeep. I am the only one who has to maintain the pool and get almost no enjoyment from it (used it once all year), so I would be be just fine with a jackhammer and backfill remodel. However I am married, would prefer to stay that way, and my wife wants to keep it so I am calling builders to get quotes.

    My decking, which is pea gravel, has some cracks. Additionally, the outer edge of the decking on one end of the pool furthest from the house dropped approximately an inch several years back when our area was suffering from a major drought. This shift in in the decking caused it to pull away from the flagstone coping (1/4" gap) and puncture the back of the skimmer. I patched the skimmer with silicone caulk but it needs to be replaced. At the other end of the pool the pea gravel abuts and is level with some plain concrete that was part of the original walkway between my back door and garage. My wife doesn't like the pea gravel and would like something different, but she doesn't know what.

    My plaster which was a dark blue with some faded spots when I purchased the home in 2000 is now covered in spots from light blue to white. I do not think it is calcium, but I could be wrong. There are areas of the plaster which have chipped off and there even appears to be a five foot long hairline crack across the bottom of the shallow end. I am hoping that the crack is just the plaster and not the gunite. I have no noticeable water loss.

    I have had one builder give me an estimate and am trying to get more, but I am having trouble getting anyone to come out. This one builder wants to remove/re-pour the decking which dropped, replacing the skimmer and plumbing for it while the concrete is gone. For the rest of the existing pea gravel decking and plain concrete, he wants to apply spray deck over the top. For the replaster, he has provided several options: White Plaster, White Plaster with Altima, Luna Quartz or Primera Stone. He talked about and provided links to videos about Pearl Matrix and Satin Matrix, but didn't provide a quote for either. I have several questions and am hoping some of you have experience with one or more areas.

    Regarding the decking, I am concerned with the spray deck for several reasons. First, if the underlying concrete or pea gravel has a crack, won't the spray deck quickly crack in the same place? Second, I've seen situations where someone has attempted to apply a thin (~1") layer of concrete on top of existing concrete and it always seems to flake off. Won't this occur with the spray deck as well? Third, I am concerned that the addition of the spray deck will raise the deck level above the brick ledge on my foundation and cause water to flow towards the house.

    Regarding the plaster, I can't decide which way to go. I've never set foot in nor had to clean/maintain anything other than a plain old plaster pool. Are pools with exposed aggregate uncomfortable to walk on or difficult to clean? Are these higher priced options really more durable or do they just have a bling look with the same basic lifespan?

    Aside from those questions, I welcome any advice you can provide. Thank you in advance.
    Benzeye
    ____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________
    11,000 gallon in ground w/spa, plaster, NSP-60 stainless DE filter, single Pac Fab Challenger 2HP pump, built ~1980

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Welcome to TFP! Although I can't help you with anything, I know someone will come along that will.

    Living in Sugar Land, I would think you'd have a large pool (pun intended) of PBs to get quotes from. As far as pool finish goes, I think it's more of the quality of the application. In my case, I know I want PebbleTec and I want only a certain company to install it because they have the best reputation. They are actually the Number 1 installer of Pebble in the country. If a prospective PB doesn't use them, I'm not interested. Maybe that's not the right way, but I want a quality pool finish. That's what I will see every single day. So you should go and look at different finishes and decide what looks and feels best to you. Then make sure you get the best company to install it.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Benzeye,

    Can't help much with your decking questions, but I do have a plaster suggestion.

    If at all possible... walk on it before you buy it. In the past couple of years we have refinished two pools and had a new one installed at my current home. On two of them we used Pebble type finishes, which I like, and recommend, but... the feel you get from rubbing a small sample across your hand is not the same feel you get when walking on the finish in a pool. The two pools with the pebble finish were done by different pool companies with different "brand name" products, but they both have a somewhat sandpapery feel on your feet. It is not bad, just not what I expected. Of course, this time a year it might be a bit chilly to do much test driving. You might want to talk to others that have the same finish you are thinking about buying and get their input first.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    I am in to watch this one!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Sugar Land, TX
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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Marla,

    Thanks for the feedback. I won't ask how someone who is apparently without a pool became a moderator on a pool themed website, but I assume you must be a former pool owner. I will however ask what makes you desire a PebbleTec finish. Is it the look, improved durability, easier maintenance or some other factor?


    Benzeye
    ____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________
    11,000 gallon in ground w/spa, plaster, NSP-60 stainless DE filter, single Pac Fab Challenger 2HP pump, built ~1980

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    LOL benzeye! Look at her siggy and how long she has been here! She has read and read and read so much that she is a VERY valuable person on this board!

    We are "working" on her pool now! It will be the best cared for pool in the world!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Benz, thanks for the compliment for me being a moderator. No, I am not a moderator nor have ever been a pool owner. I've just read a lot on another website and the after finding this one, read even more.
    I guess I want to go with PT because I'd read so much about this Houston gunite company being the top company for gunite and plaster. So maybe I am going about it backwards. I will still go try the Pebble out to see how it feels. But from all I've read on TFP, application is the key to a good plaster finish, where it be white or aggregate.
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Marla, now you've got me wondering who this mystery PB is. Time to google...


    Benzeye
    ___________________________________________________________
    11,000 gallon in ground w/spa, plaster, NSP-60 stainless DE filter, single Pac Fab Challenger 2HP pump, built ~1980
    Benzeye
    ____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________
    11,000 gallon in ground w/spa, plaster, NSP-60 stainless DE filter, single Pac Fab Challenger 2HP pump, built ~1980

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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    LOL benzeye! Look at her siggy and how long she has been here! She has read and read and read so much that she is a VERY valuable person on this board!

    We are "working" on her pool now! It will be the best cared for pool in the world!

    Kim
    LOL Kim! I can see how he was confused since I have over 800 posts and don't even have a pool yet!
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    I thought you were the mod because my first post said it had to be reviewed by a mod and you provided the first response with a "Welcome to TFP!" Must have just been some good old Texas hospitality.


    Benzeye
    ___________________________________________________________
    11,000 gallon in ground w/spa, plaster, NSP-60 stainless DE filter, single Pac Fab Challenger 2HP pump, built ~1980
    Benzeye
    ____________________________________________________________ _______________________________________
    11,000 gallon in ground w/spa, plaster, NSP-60 stainless DE filter, single Pac Fab Challenger 2HP pump, built ~1980

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Sugar Land, TX Pool Remodel

    Hi benzeye,
    Welcome to TFP.

    to answer a couple of your questions.
    Spray deck isn't very thick. It's a chemical deck that is sprayed on top of existing concrete. Maybe 1/8 inch at most, so the elevation of your existing deck etc, will not be noticeable. Google Kool Deck or Spray On Pool Deck or something similar, and you'll find pics and get a better idea of what it is.

    From your description of the pea gravel deck, and damaged skimmer, a deck replacement would likely be the best Long Term option for that.
    Optionally, the existing pea gravel could be ground down slightly to make it smooth, and spray deck applied over the top. As for cracks, they would all be repaired prior to spray decking, so there wouldnt be an concern with the spray deck cracking.

    Do not add a 1 inch layer of concrete cap on top of existing. It wont last long.

    As for plaster, any good plaster job should last 15 or 20 or more years as long as you keep the water balanced properly. Water balance is the key to any plaster longeviety.

    The Pebble and quartz varities provide a bit more bling and may be more durable, but it also comes with a price tag.
    Depending on the size of the aggragate of the pebble variety will have a lot to do with how smooth it is. The larger the aggragate, the more abrasive it will be.

    The upgraded plaster products also come in a myriad of colors, vs white for standard plaster. The darker shades of plaster are more prone to uneven coloring if the plaster mix isnt of utmost quality and applied well and then started up properly.

    And last,
    as with any construction project, the quality of the people on site doing the work is directly proportional to the quality of the end product and ultimately your happiness with it. So, pick your PB wisely, and get references and talk to those references. If you do that, you should be fine.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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