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Thread: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

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    Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Hi Folks!
    We are looking at installing a 16x32 in-ground pool, in the DFW area. We are planning to have a 7'x7' hot tub at one end of the pool, that is flush with the pool water. We are currently deciding between pebble-tec and a plaster finish. Our house is stucco, so are fine with the natural variation of a plaster finish. We also want to do a salt-water pool.

    I would love to hear opinions on the following:
    1. If we are doing a salt pool, do we need a sealer above the gunite to protect the steel?
    2. We were looking at pebble-tec for the longevity, but also heard about porcelain coated quartz. Any experience with the longevity?
    3. We have heard good things about ozone, but also read that its not necessary in a home pool. Thoughts?
    4. In-floor pool cleaning. Just read several threads. Opinions?

    I feel like I'm asking about everything! Its a bit overwhelming, so feel free to give me your opinion on any pool construction issue that is near and dear to your heart. I'm happy to be an educated buyer, before construction actually starts.

    Thank you so much!!
    --Natalie.
    In process of bidding a pool. Inground. 16'x32'. Salt water.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Hi! What a fun but stressful time for you and yours! We have so many ideas for you. Each person has a different slant on things but all are helpful!

    Salt=SWG Here is a link to them. I am not sure what "steel" you are thinking about when you talk about protecting it. With an inground pool there should not be any steel like there could be with an inground pool.

    Pool School - Salt Water Chlorine Generators

    You will find we do not use or care for ozone. We use chlorine. The method we use is science and every day used based. There are many threads about ozone and UV systems.

    Plaster= MANY different ideas. I will let those who have plaster pools answer this one for you.

    Pull up and comfy chair and read for a while! You will like it here!

    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: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    And welcome to TFP!
    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: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Thanks so much for the welcomes! When I was referring to the steel, I was thinking of the rebar. Steel might have been the wrong word to use. One pool guy today mentioned spraying a sealer over the gunite to protect the rebar. I can understand that salt is corrosive but sometimes it's difficult to know the actual effects. I'm curious about others experience. If you installed a salt pool, was there an additional sealer? Thanks!!
    --Natalie.
    In process of bidding a pool. Inground. 16'x32'. Salt water.

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Just had mine finished and I have never heard of anything needed to protect the rebar. It's buried pretty good beneath the gunite. I did do soil injections though because of our soil here.


    21,000 gallons, Salt, IG Gunite, Plaster Finish, Free From, Pentair FNS DE cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo-VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40, 2 port fountains, bubbler in tanning deck, Dolphin M400, TF-100, K-1766, Speed Stir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    The rebar (steel) should be under about 3 inches of gunite THEN plaster on top of that. I have never heard of sealer being needed. The salt water should never be able to touch it.

    LOTS of TFP pools use SWG for their water and love it! No worries!

    Let us know any other questions or concerns you have. We understand! We have ALL been new to this at one time or another.

    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: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Welcome to TFP!

    1 I've never heard of a sealer on the gunite to protect it from salt. You can look back through couple hundred build threads on here and I bet you won't find any with a sealer for gunite in a salt situation.

    2. I'm not familiar with porcelain coated Quartz but I am familiar with pebble. Pebble will last longer five years ten years? That is difficult to say and in large part a function of how well you maintain well balanced water chemistry.

    3. Keeping the pool clean requires two things: a sanitizer that kills pathogens and an oxidizer that burns up ( consumes) organic matter. Ozone is an oxidizer. It is not a sanitizer. Chlorine is anexcellent sanitizer and oxidizer. It does both. Ozone is important in indoor pools and in pools with high bather loads. Neither of those situations is typical nor is it your situation. In short, ozone will probably not give you any benifit over using chlorine alone.

    4 Historcally in floor systems tended to fail or not work well. In the last several years on here the complaints have gone down. So maybe the systems are getting better or the PBs are getting better at installation. They do have significantly higher operating costs compared to robots because you are using your pump to move water. So they negate the savings from a variable speed pump. A salt pool with in floor cleaning and a auto ph is as close as one can get to a automatic maintenance free pool however.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Are you sure they didn't mean sealer over rock / concrete decking exposed to the salt water? For example flagstone coping? rather than the gunite itself?
    In Ground 17X29 90 ft perimeter; 3.5 to 5 depth; 15,000 gallons, Stonescapes Tropics Blue, Jandy stealth 1.5 HP 2 speed, Jandy 450 SQ cartridge, Jandy JXi 400K BTU NG, POLARIS 280 W/ HP booster pump, North Texas

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Sealing rebar sounds a lot like undercoating a new car, might be a small benefit but then gain probably not. If they want to do it for free go for it, but coting the rebar is no substitute for proper gunite and plaster installation making sure there are no air pockets and correct thickness is maintained. The only time I have seen rebar coted was during a replaster chip out where a poor gunite job was uncovered so the plaster company epoxied the bar that got exposed. I have no idea if the epoxy did the job long term but what else could they do? If you were in a costal area where the soil might have a bit of salt in it I guess it might be a consideration but for 99% of us sounds like a sales pitch. The main comment you will see about SWG systems is GO BIG no such thing as an over sized system general guide line is a cell that can handle 2X your pool size the bigger the cell the longer it will last and the less you will have to run your pump, avoid natural stoned decking or if you are going to use stone be prepared to seal it at least annually.

    +1 on the Quartz lasting longer, even if you prefer a traditional look you can go with a light color fine aggregate get the same look as traditional plaster but the little bit of extra cost will pay for it's self over time. Keep in mind what ever the cost of a replaster is today it could be double by the time you need to do it. That being said I did a ton of research before we built and for the most part what you will find is most people like what they have or decided to have. Plaster people are plaster people for life, those with Quartz are the same, getting a good installer and taking care of the water is much more important that what surface you choose.

    We looked into in floor again a bunch of research, the pattern I noticed is they are more in favor in areas where a lot of dirt or sand can enter the pool they were popular in ranch/farm, windy, arid areas. For suburb builds with a normal amount of concrete deck and landscape a robot or traditional cleaner seems to be the preference.


    When you get bids try to get each builder to spec similar equipment and features, try to get apples to apples quotes. The problem we ran into was that many of the builders had packages like we were ordering a value meal they had a hard time breaking out of that mode and quoting the features we wanted. The PBs that were most resistant or tried to convince us another builder or piece of equipment was junk were not even in the running when we got down to the final decision.

    Ask the builders for a list of their subcontractors they use and try to do some research on them too. Any list of references you get form a builder for past builds are of course going to be happy customers, but subcontractors are only happy if they get paid. Do Yelp, Google, BBB searches on all of them. Talk to your city permit office about builders they are typically not able to give any kind of references but if a builder is problematic many can't help letting a negative comment or tow slip at a minimum they will often tell you how frequently a builder pulls a permits this can be an indication of the financial strength and popularity of a builder. While at the permit office it's a good time to get a plot map of your property and find out about set backs and any special provisions. Builders should know about any regulations, but the more informed you sound the less likely they will be to try to make build sound like rocket science and by extension up the price.

    Get a 2 speed or Variable speed pump I doubt any builder will try to sell you a single speed but you never know. If your equipment pad is near the house the variable speed might be the better choice because they are so quiet albeit a bit more expensive.

    Do you want an overflow drain or auto fill? I have seen a lot a threads about Texas getting a lot of rain in the last year if you won't be around to dump water might be a good idea.

    Think about the future and beyond the pool. If you think you might want solar water heating in the future get them to stub it out now and think about a control panel that is ready for it. While they have your yard destroyed do you want any electrical, water, gas out to a remote part of the yard? We were able to utilize many of the trenches for future for just the cost of the conduit. Budget for irrigation landscape and fence repair or get them to put it in the quote.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Hi Folks!
    Such good info. Thanks so much!!

    On the sealer, its called aquron CPSP/curing agent. It has a cost of approximately $1k. We've had two companies come out. One company mentioned the sealer and one company did not. The same company that mentioned the sealer mentioned the in-floor system.

    Yes, we are planning an auto fill/drain.

    I feel like we need to do more research on the pumps. One pool company mentioned that we would get a better warranty, if we buy all of our equipment from one manufacturer. It sounds like some people choose equipment from different manufacturers. Is that what most people are doing?

    Thanks again!
    --Natalie.
    In process of bidding a pool. Inground. 16'x32'. Salt water.

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Welcome Natalie.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Equipment-Some price shop and get the best price they can. Some go with a "package". I have heard if you buy a "package" you get a long warranty. I do not know this for a fact. I will let you talk to the different companies to see what is what on that.

    I found some links to that stuff they want $1k for. I can tell you that I have not seen it used on any of the pools I have watched get built in the time I have been on TFP. I wonder why??? Not something I would pay extra for.

    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: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    I think the purported benefits of a gunnite sealer are dubious at best.

    It's often a good deal to go with same brand equipment for extended warranties. 3 pieces of the same brand will usually get that for you. If you are installing a heater, this is where I would caution you, on going all same brand. Raypak/Rheem have a great reputation, and So does Pentair with lots of folks. Outside those brands for heaters you might want to read around, and wait for more replies here. All said, a heater is usually a 4th piece or more in a whole package, so you normally have some flexibility here.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    I just want to say hi, and you have been given a lot of good advice here, I just want to take a second and ask if this is the right pool for you. There is nothing wrong with a 16x32 gunite pool with an attached spa, in fact it is about as middle of the road as you can get with a Texas suburb inground pool build. Instead I bring up this topic because it seems too many people jump into focusing on pool equipment, decking material, of finish color without ever really taking the time to consider how the pool will be used and what type of pool works best for your life style. Sort of like car buyers spending all their time deciding between features on various SUV's and never taking the step back to ask if an SUV is right for them, sure it is a does everything ok platform, much like this pool, but it is also a poor substitute for a pickup truck, or a sports car.

    Ike
    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
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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Great information about equipment and heaters. I think that we need to do some serious research on that issue! I think that we are going to decline the sealer. It seems to be unnecessary.

    Isaac, good question about the pool. Yes, I agree that its a pretty basic pool. We are adding onto our house, so the remaining yard lent itself to this size and shape pool. Also, with the style of our house, a rectangular pool will fit well. We have a modern/transitional style house.

    However, I am curious about your feedback on how the pool use and lifestyle questions play into the type of pool that we would choose. We are wanting an area for the kids to play (9 & 12). The husband also wants a hot tub. We are anticipating that we will also play basketball or volleyball in the pool. With all that info, what type of pool do you think would work best? I'm not sure that we have a whole lot of flexibility in our final size and shape of pool (due to house and yard configurations), but I would welcome your input!

    Thanks again for all the great feedback.
    --Natalie.
    In process of bidding a pool. Inground. 16'x32'. Salt water.

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    You could like a deep pool for diving or, if you are just interested in playing and floating, you could go with a sport pool which is shallow on both ends and deeper in the middle. You'll have to decide which your family may like more and also, keep in mind, your children will eventually leave the nest. Would you use a diving pool in your older years or would you be pretty smitten with just a shallow pool? Something to think about.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Welcome to TFP! You are getting some really great advice! We are also doing a rectangle pool just a bit small than yours due to easement restrictions. I'll be following your progress and cheering you on!
    Denise-TFP Guide
    IG 13.6x30 gunite, Radiant Fusion Topaz, 3.6/5.6/4, 14100 gal, 2 skimmer, 4 Hayward LED lights (pool & spa), Hayward Echostar VSP, 2 future fire bowls, raised beam wall w/ scuppers,7x7 raised spa, DE Progrid70, SWG Hayward Goldline, OmniLogic, Hayward 400K BTU heater, stamped colored deck, Dolphin Discovery robotic cleaner, TF100 test kit, Newbie in Bixby Oklahoma

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    Sorry about not replying, but we are on a cruise this week with pay by the minute internet.
    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
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    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Bidding and making decisions about pool in DFW, TX

    We did a deep end for the boys to jump into but not deep enough to dive.


    21,000 gallons, Salt, IG Gunite, Plaster Finish, Free From, Pentair FNS DE cartridge filter, Pentair Intelliflo-VS pump, Intellichlor IC-40, 2 port fountains, bubbler in tanning deck, Dolphin M400, TF-100, K-1766, Speed Stir

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