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Thread: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

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    New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Been lurking here awhile (2-3 years). The wife and I have been looking into a pool for the past 4 years. Quoted a few companies back then and our budget just was not there. Now we have the means, and quoted out 4 companies. Two of the big national names and two local "higher" end builders (builds pools for the DuPont's). We finally signed a contract yesterday.

    So we have a large, somewhat flat yard, 1.3 acres in total. We are going with an in-ground gunite with a paver patio. Local township only allows 1,000 sq/ft of impervious surface (not including pool) without doing a very costly storm water management survey as part of the permitting process. Therefore we will be maximizing it by putting the patio around the shallow end and only down one side of the pool to catch the diving board and fire pit. We Plan on utilizing stepping stones down the other side of the pool.

    Construction to start sometime in February (depends on weather) and swimming by the time the season starts.

    Here are the specs.
    • 750 sq/ft
    • White plaster
    • Free form. Approximately 42 x 20
    • 100 sq/ft tanning ledge
    • 6ft bench seat deep end
    • 2 skimmers
    • 2 bottom drains
    • diving board
    • 850 sq/ft paver patio
    • Fire pit
    • All Pentair equipment
    • Pentair DE filter
    • Pentair standard light
    • Pentair Prowler 820
    • Pentair IC60 salt
    • Pentair EZ touch system
    • 850 sq/ft paver patio
    • Stepping stones from the house to the pool and from the pool to the shed.
    • Ring the entire pool/patio/stepping stones with landscaping wire controlled by the ez-touch system. Have not decided on lights yet.
    • No heater. We want to try a season without it to see if it is necessary. We only have propane, so if we do need a heater it will be a heatpump.
    • Mesh safety cover installed.



    None of the pool builders I had quote do any design drawings ahead of time (other than basic sketches). I should have some drawings and renderings shortly. I will try posting some pictures of the yard tomorrow.

    RC

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Welcome to TFP! Looking forward to seeing the pics!
    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: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Welcome and good job reading and learning before your build. You will love your pool! Order a recommended test kit early to test your fill water.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Share what you have so far. It fun to watch from the very beginning!

    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: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Welcome to TFP! That s going to be great for lap swimming!!! Please post lots of pictures! We love pictures!
    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: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Looks nice!

    A few notes:

    Make sure to have the proper wiring/run to your panel, unless it's right next to/on the house, for the potential heatpump.

    Get color changing LED lights (2). Two will be good for your white plaster. Going with one standard light is "dating" your pool from the start. As I believe Duraleigh, the site owner commented once, 'it's 2015, put in LED lights'. And its impossible to overestimate the awesomeness of color changing LED's. And they draw fewer bugs. Do you have any bugs up there in SE PA? Ha!

    Another thought that crossed my mind, I know there are pavers now that allow water to drain through, which were developed to get around 'impervious surface' restrictions. Although I'm sure they are costly (as is the ground prep), is this something you are aware existed? Though it may not pass your town's requirements anyway. I was watching a home improvement show on TV not long back and they were discussing that topic. This would be if you really did want more hard surface area than you are now allowed.

    Highly recommend going with more benches. See our pool build thread in my signature to see our benches. We love having so much bench space. And I love the deep-end standing-depth benches. Ideally those should be about 40". Ours 36".

    How many returns do you have? I recommend 4 or so. And at least one if not two of them on the ledge.

    Good choice going with a robot. I should have.

    If you are planning to have grass up to the coping on one side of the pool (with the stepping stones you mention) that does sound like a maintenance headache. No amount of effort will keep grass out of the pool when mowing/trimming (without an autocover). Now if your stepping stones were going to be in a bed of river rock, or if that side of the pool were raised 12" or so and the outside of the pool faced with brick, different story.

    Looking forward to watching your progress. This is the exact time of year we signed a few years back. Our dig date was Valentine's Day.

    I realized you didn't ask for comments/suggestions - so feel free to ignore!
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Thanks everyone! My wife and I will be looking to buy a lot of the extras (test kits, furniture, floats, toys, etc.) over the next few months. Depending on weather the pool won't be done until late April, so we have some time. Gives us the opportunity to shop around for deals and sales.

    Tile has been picked. Going with a US Pool Tile Aztec Blue 6x6.
    20151212_103004_resized.jpg

    View from back deck. Pool will be placed between the shed and septic tank on the right.
    20140917_190319.jpg

    My crude overhead drawing of the layout. To maximize patio area we are only running the deck down the one side of the pool. The other side we will look at putting in some kind of flagstone stepping stone walkway. Definitely NOT drawn to scale. The township impervious surface laws are strict and can't be varied without some major expense.
    Untitled.jpg


    Fence location has yet to be determined. We like the open feel of our property, so we will most likely stick to circling the pool/patio only. The final decision will probably be made once the shell and patio are in so we can get a good feel on how much space around it we want.

    Permits will be filed in early January after the holidays, and the builder expects them to be approved within 2 weeks. Depending on weather the digging will begin sometime in February.

    RC
    New salt diving pool started in February 2016. Approximately 42x20 kidney shape. 100 sq/ft tanning shelf. White Plaster. 2 Pentair 5g Color LEDs and 1 Color Globrite LED. All Pentair equipment. DE filter. Kreepy Krauly 820 robotic cleaner. EZ touch wireless system. 860 sq/ft Techo-Bloc paver patio with matching fire-pit.

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoreswim View Post
    Looks nice!

    A few notes:

    Make sure to have the proper wiring/run to your panel, unless it's right next to/on the house, for the potential heatpump.

    Get color changing LED lights (2). Two will be good for your white plaster. Going with one standard light is "dating" your pool from the start. As I believe Duraleigh, the site owner commented once, 'it's 2015, put in LED lights'. And its impossible to overestimate the awesomeness of color changing LED's. And they draw fewer bugs. Do you have any bugs up there in SE PA? Ha!

    Another thought that crossed my mind, I know there are pavers now that allow water to drain through, which were developed to get around 'impervious surface' restrictions. Although I'm sure they are costly (as is the ground prep), is this something you are aware existed? Though it may not pass your town's requirements anyway. I was watching a home improvement show on TV not long back and they were discussing that topic. This would be if you really did want more hard surface area than you are now allowed.

    Highly recommend going with more benches. See our pool build thread in my signature to see our benches. We love having so much bench space. And I love the deep-end standing-depth benches. Ideally those should be about 40". Ours 36".

    How many returns do you have? I recommend 4 or so. And at least one if not two of them on the ledge.

    Good choice going with a robot. I should have.

    If you are planning to have grass up to the coping on one side of the pool (with the stepping stones you mention) that does sound like a maintenance headache. No amount of effort will keep grass out of the pool when mowing/trimming (without an autocover). Now if your stepping stones were going to be in a bed of river rock, or if that side of the pool were raised 12" or so and the outside of the pool faced with brick, different story.

    Looking forward to watching your progress. This is the exact time of year we signed a few years back. Our dig date was Valentine's Day.

    I realized you didn't ask for comments/suggestions - so feel free to ignore!

    I am always open to comments/suggestion!!! I followed your pool build. A true beauty!

    - We actually have a 100 amp sub-panel run to the shed already. I had an electrician that owed me some favors trench that in from the main panel earlier this year knowing we wanted to do a pool. The pool is the only thing that will be drawing off that panel, so I hope it will be enough!

    - We originally had 2 LED lights in the contract but our builder is totally against them. He says the reliability is not their yet and the cost is very high when it comes to replacement. The cost difference is $1,500 to go from one halogen light to 2 LEDs. It is something the wife and I can discuss. The worst part is that you can't add a second light once the shell is shot, so its a decision we need to make soon. We have a budget, but I feel like it's something I make kick myself over in a year or two for not scratching together the extra money.

    - I have heard of those types of pavers. Ill ask the our landscaper. Our township is a bit antiquated when it comes to new things, so I doubt they would recognize it as impervious. But worth a little research though.

    - Good idea with the benches. We have been kicking around the idea of adding one opposite of the tanning shelf, so people can face each other while talking.

    - Builder has in 2 skimmers and a double floor drain. I'll shoot him an email about one on the ledge.

    - We were actually going to go with some kind of mulched bed up to the coping on the one side. The plan is to have any area inside the fenced area that is not patio to be a mulched bed. I don't want to deal with trying to cut grass anywhere near a pool, ha.


    RC
    New salt diving pool started in February 2016. Approximately 42x20 kidney shape. 100 sq/ft tanning shelf. White Plaster. 2 Pentair 5g Color LEDs and 1 Color Globrite LED. All Pentair equipment. DE filter. Kreepy Krauly 820 robotic cleaner. EZ touch wireless system. 860 sq/ft Techo-Bloc paver patio with matching fire-pit.

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    You could definitely get a nice bed with flowers and such in there to make it look nice and finished, and run the stepping stones too. Sorry your township won't allow more walkway. You can get a finished look though by doing a nice bed.

    Can't wait to watch.
    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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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Good news on your electrical pre-work to the shed.

    On the lights. Yes I do encourage LED's. Though one alternative to save a little money may be to have a second regular light added and then convert them with LED bulbs. I don't recommend it though. I'd say it's a last resort if the budget has zero space. You WILL NOT regret the LED's if you get them. I promise you that.

    I think you are confusing returns with skimmers. Returns are where water 'returns' to the pool. Usually through a set of 1 1/2" or larger pipes with 'eyeball' fittings. That is what I was recommending to have 4 of and one or two over the ledge to keep movement of water there to decrease the dust that settles on it. The remainder of the returns should be place so you can keep the water well circulated throughout the entire pool. You don't want a skimmer on the ledge I don't think. Little kids will want to play with them. I also don't think it looks the best.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    I know your drawing wasn't to scale, but how far from your house will the pool be. I think I'd want it closer to the house.
    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: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    But it's a destination pool! . Like mine. We'll hear what the OP says but I will say that In the northern climates where pools are closed longer than they are open, having them away from the house does have more logic too it than it might in the south. Also, yards are frequently larger and have can have well/septic areas to work around too.

    What is the elevation change from basement level to pool deck at this location?
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Thank for the comments everyone.

    I think we are going to add back in the LED lights. I have a meeting with the PB and patio guy later today at the house to review a rough location and will discuss them at that time. Again I feel i'll kick myself for not spending the additional $1,650 for the 2 LED lights now in a year or two.

    Marla, you are correct the pool is away from the house some. My home is actually built into a pretty substantial hill. So bringing the pool closer to the home would require A LOT of dirt movement and retaining walls. My side/back yard flattens out considerably in the direction the picture was taken. The whole rear of my home is basement level (we have a great walkout from a fully finished man-cave) and then slopes considerable towards a marshy/creek area. The swim season here is pretty short compared to yours, so it's more of a destination type scenario. But we will have the PB keep it as close to the home as to not incur any major price increases. Ill try to get some better pictures of the back yard from my deck this afternoon to post. We always knew putting in a pool would require more than a 15 foot walk to use it. For us, we want to use the budget on more features for the pool (pavers, salt, diving, firepit, etc.) than on dirt moving and retaining walls.

    bmoreswim, the elevation from the basement walkout to the pool is basically flat. Our elevated has steps to the yard that meet at the basement walkout. We plan on putting in a nice stepping stone walkway from that area to the pool. You are right, I confused skimmers and returns. I don't have the contract in front of me at the moment, but I will check tonight.

    We frequently have friends with kids and dogs over. So for us, the pool is more of a destination and its location allows a normal yard access and use for the kids/dogs during the many months it will be closed.
    New salt diving pool started in February 2016. Approximately 42x20 kidney shape. 100 sq/ft tanning shelf. White Plaster. 2 Pentair 5g Color LEDs and 1 Color Globrite LED. All Pentair equipment. DE filter. Kreepy Krauly 820 robotic cleaner. EZ touch wireless system. 860 sq/ft Techo-Bloc paver patio with matching fire-pit.

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Well that makes sense! Thanks!
    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: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Our pool is about a 75' walk from the house down. One way it's a patio then a stepped sidewalk. The other way it's a flagstone stepping stone walkway.

    I much prefer going the sidewalk way for several reasons. My hands are often full going to and fro. Especially with it being a destination pool. After I mow the lawn, grass sticks to wet pool feet on the stepping stone path because you invariably wander off it. And the sidewalk is wider. Not sure what that really means.

    But I just wanted to share that I have both and prefer the sidewalk. I'd like to do a paver sidewalk the other way someday.

    One other thing....if you can get a water line down there it's a huge benefit. Mine is in the electrical trench which is not to code but was dropped in after inspection. It's also not winterized. Since it lies downhill they left the end of the line exposed and where it ties into the house we put a vent valve. Come fall I turn off the supply, open the vent valve and open the hose bib and end of the line valve to gravity drain it. Works like magic.

    Can't wait to see more pics and follow along.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    I can't even see my pool from my house.
    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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    New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Deleted because it may have seemed mean spirited though it was just a funny.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Update

    Permit is being filed today. Expect it back within 2 weeks. Depending on weather, we expect to break ground late February.

    Below is the final drawing being submitted to the township. I already have HOA approval.

    Some changes that we made since my original post.

    - Pool had to be moved closer to the house due to a "replacement sewage area" that is required by the township. We weren't aware of this until the engineer pulled my homes septic permit from the township. We are not allowed to do any construction within 10 feet of any part of the septic system (or replacement area). This actually may be a blessing in disguise. PB says it will have no impact on costs, even though the ground has more slope in this area.
    - Equipment pad in drawing will be moved next to the shed, on the opposite side from the house so that it is tucked out of the way.
    - Buried electric line form the house to the shed will need to be relocated. It is noted on the drawing.
    - We are upgrading the lights in the pool from the single halogen to two Pentair 5g LEDs and one Globrite LED on the tanning shelf.
    - Paver patio will be Techo-Bloc, either their Sandlewood or Champlain grey color pattern. We won't make a final decision until we see samples in person. We have maxed out the impervious surface area the township allows on a single project, or we may have gone bigger. https://www.techo-bloc.com/products/parisien/
    - The fire pit that is the circle in the top portion of the pool patio will be a 48inch wide Techo-Bloc kit that matches the patio color.
    - Adding a stepping stone walkway from the deck to pool, and along the lower half of the pool (where we don't have a patio) and also down to the shed/equipment pad. Material will be 18inch x 24inch flagstones.
    - Adding 20 AMP LED Landscaping lights (that will be controlled by the easy touch system) around the pool and lining the walkways from the house and to the shed. http://www.amplighting.com/amp-magnu.../AAR-3309-L-BZ

    New salt diving pool started in February 2016. Approximately 42x20 kidney shape. 100 sq/ft tanning shelf. White Plaster. 2 Pentair 5g Color LEDs and 1 Color Globrite LED. All Pentair equipment. DE filter. Kreepy Krauly 820 robotic cleaner. EZ touch wireless system. 860 sq/ft Techo-Bloc paver patio with matching fire-pit.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Thank goodness for "thinking ahead" with the replacement sewer for sure! That IS a blessing. Now take REAL good care of your current one and all should be good for while!

    I like all of your picks so far. The lighting should be just right!

    Hey it IS February! Start the digging! LOL

    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: New Pool - SE Pennsylvania

    Update

    Permit was denied due to "missing" information on the drawing due to the wetland areas on my property. Engineer spoke to the township official that denied the permit. As long as the PB does not disturb more than 5,000 sq/ft of ground then we don't need all the additional information. Engineer is adding on the drawing some info on how much ground we are going to muddy up, and will re-file tomorrow. I expect the approval within 2 weeks, then the dig begins (as long as the ground isn't frozen).

    On another note, our contract has 1 halogen light. I had the PB quote 2 Pentair 5g lights, and a globrite for the sunshelf. Came in at an additional $2,160. Worth it?
    New salt diving pool started in February 2016. Approximately 42x20 kidney shape. 100 sq/ft tanning shelf. White Plaster. 2 Pentair 5g Color LEDs and 1 Color Globrite LED. All Pentair equipment. DE filter. Kreepy Krauly 820 robotic cleaner. EZ touch wireless system. 860 sq/ft Techo-Bloc paver patio with matching fire-pit.

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