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Thread: Tucson Pool Build

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    Tucson Pool Build

    Hi all,
    I've been visiting this site for several months and have found a wealth of knowledge that you guys possess. I just moved to Tucson six months ago and would like to have a pool in for the next swim season. I've met with 3 pool companies and have 2 more scheduled. These guys don't seem to want to do my job due to the fact that there may be a filled in pool in my backyard. I bought the house as a foreclosure and have very limited info, but know at one point there was a big pool back there. Recently I've been thinking about going the owner/build route since the pool companies only seem interested in easy jobs. What would I need to be prepared for, assuming that there is a shell in the ground. Would I need a soil engineer to test compaction? Would I have to completely remove the shell or only the sections in the way? or would I be better off designing my pool to hopefully fit within the dimensions of that pool if I can find them? If the soil is not up to par, could I put down a 6-8 inch layer of 3/4" gravel? And lastly, does anyone have a list of subs for the Tucson area that they would recommend? I am fairly handy and consider myself up to the task of owner/builder, but I'm no fool and realize that it's a huge undertaking. I would like to be as informed as possible as to what headaches I may run into during excavation. Also one more question to start, can anyone confirm that Pool Studio would be A: worth it money wise? I started with Google Sketch, but would like a finished design like Pool Studio, so that contractors could see a picture of the final product. And B: It's all online right? I downloaded what was supposed to be a free trial and it wouldn't open on Adobe Acrobat. Obviously I wouldn't want to subscribe if I am not going to be able to utilize their system.

    Thanks so much,
    Ryan

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    The vast majority of members here are pool owners not builders. I would not take on that job either, unless it was cost plus.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    We also have a handful.of pools that were buried and brought back to life. Search the Construction forum and you will find them!
    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: Tucson Pool Build

    If there was a pool there previously, most building departments require the top 2' of the entire perimeter to be demolished, hauled away, and then back filled with clean soil (If they did it correctly). Compaction tests vary for the fill depending on what is required. There is also the chance that the pool was filled in without any notifications or permission from the building department; in that case, who knows what took place.

    You will more than likely have to tear out the old pool entirely and excavate down to undisturbed soil. Adding 3/4" rock on top of unstable soil will not provide you with a suitable surface for new construction.

    Pool Studio is an awesome tool for those who know how to use it. In your case (I don't know if you have drafting experience), it could get very expensive to learn and potentially cause issues if not designed correctly. I would bet having the plans prepared by a designer would end up less expensive in the long run.

    I produce all of my own plans and have done so for several years. It took me MANY hours to become proficient.
    -Brian-
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    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    Thanks for the replies guys. Bdavis-Thank you for the informative post, I was hoping that I would be able to fix the problem by using 3/4" stone so am a little bummed to hear that it won't work. This isn't a task that I necessarily wanted to undertake, but I do want a pool for my family, so if the only way I can get it is to do it myself then so be it. I have read many build threads now so I know that it can be done. If anyone knows of subs out in the Tucson area I would really appreciate it. Also the one company that did give a quote stated that it would be an additional 10-12k for the pool removal. Does this sound like a reasonable quote? It sounded quite high to me.
    Thanks

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    I don't think 10-12 sounds high at all for demo and removal of the old pool. Not when you're considering removal, and disposal of the material. That's quite a job.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    I agree, that price doesn't seem out of line. That would be a job that I wouldn't look forward to...

    I'm not necessarily saying your 3/4 rock idea wouldn't work, but only a soils engineer and compaction tests could confirm that. The bigger issue is that you don't know what kind of shape the old shell is in, and more importantly would have to build your pool around the design of the old one.
    -Brian-
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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate the help. I'm still planning on meeting with a couple more PBs, but haven't really gotten a positive feeling from the ones I've met with. If anyone has any excavation subs they would recommend in the Tucson area I would appreciate a PM. Also I've seen some structural engineering companies online, is it okay to use one outside my local area for designs or would I want them to be familiar with local elements. It would seem to me that it wouldn't really be native soil anymore anyways once I'm done with the old pool removal.
    Thanks

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    Pool engineering is somewhat generic in that most engineering firms design their shells to accommodate a wide range soil conditions and do not warrant a site visit. For the average person building a pool, standard engineering would be fine. In your case, the circumstances are far from typical and would no doubt require a site visit from a soils engineer and more than likely from the building department as well.

    I don't see why you are having trouble with excavators, digging up the old pool really isn't all that different from encountering a good deal of rock during the dig.
    -Brian-
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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    But there is a possibility, isn't there, that the buried pool might not be in that bad a shape? I think I remember a build where someone unearthed a buried pool and restored it.

    Is there any way to find an old site plan, maybe with the city? There would have to be a permit so maybe they have a plan of the pool and you would know where it's located.
    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: Tucson Pool Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlahoutex View Post
    But there is a possibility, isn't there, that the buried pool might not be in that bad a shape? I think I remember a build where someone unearthed a buried pool and restored it.

    Is there any way to find an old site plan, maybe with the city? There would have to be a permit so maybe they have a plan of the pool and you would know where it's located.
    Here's one - Restoration project

    There have been some others too. The one I remember most has 26 pages of postings on TFP and I think was a buried pool in California.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Excavating a buried pool for complete removal is problematic and more complicated. So expect the costs to be higher not only in man-hours needed to do the job but also in dump fees. Digging a hole in dirt, even with boulders present, is cheap as all of that excavated material can be easily dumped. Once you add concrete, rebar, old PVC and electrical waste to the mix, then the dumping fees in some areas can be much higher because that "waste" is treated differently than just soil waste.
    Matt
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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    Thanks guys, it's not that I'm having trouble finding excavation companies. It's just that the ones I find online might not be that great and I would've preferred one that someone on here might have had a personal experiance with.
    Thanks

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    Hey guys, sorry been busy through the holidays. I've met with 2 more builders and am awaiting designs,and I have 1 more coming this week. That would be 6 total and from what I can gather I need to excavate the shell and determine if it's salvageable. If it is then that's great, but since I'm not that lucky my next step would be to either break it out and use the native soil under the shell and backfill. Build within the shell itself depending on the severity of any cracks in it and whether there was obvious shifting going on underneath. Those seem like the two options, does that sound about right to everyone. Also does anyone know how detailed the plans have to be for the engineer or permitting. Would just measurements and drawings be alright or more detailed 1/8" scaled drawings?
    Thanks,
    Ryan

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    I would read the thread Matt posted above the the following thread re resurrecting old pools:

    1963 pool resurection

    If you use a pool builder he will hire the engineer and prepare the necessary plans.

    If you do it yourself then there are several pool designers who will do all that for you.

    If you do the plan then you will find they are rather simple line drawings to scale in 1/8" usually. The building department will tell you what you need. You should spend a good hour there after you have read several Arizona build threads. You will want to know what local plan requirements are (they will be simple but they want what they want) and what is required at each inspection stage. If you do it yourself you need to hire your own engineer (like Pool Engineering in Anaheim). They will evaluate the plan and produce an engineering supplement. Its basically a document that specifics how the PB is required to handle specific situations. They will have one for Tucson.

    If you are going to salvage I suspect the cost will be significantly more. You will go from fixed price engineering to engineering by the hour. I stronly suggest you read the reconstruction threads. Its not an easy process and not for the faint of heart.


    Good luck
    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: Tucson Pool Build

    Welcome and good luck. Tucson is one of the most beautiful places in North America


    Sent by incredibly fast electrons

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    Thanks for the replies. I would rather use a pool builder, but haven't found one up to the task yet without a ridiculous price tag. I guess what I really need to know is whether I should be getting some plans drawn up and permitted or if you guys think step one would be to dig out the old pool and surmise if it's usable.

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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    What an under taking that will be BUT so worth it to have a pool!

    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: Tucson Pool Build

    Dig it up. You can't plan anything until you know what you are working with. I suggest hiring your own excavator for that and leave the pool builders for when you are actually ready for the pool.

    I can help with the plans when the time comes.
    -Brian-
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    Re: Tucson Pool Build

    I have not seen what you have so I can't really tell but unless there is a close to pristine pool down there I don't think its a close call. Dig it up. Then talk to PB. They will be much easier to deal with and the cost will come down.
    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: Tucson Pool Build

    Okay thank you guys I really needed to hear that. My only question remaining, is if I need a permit to dig it up or if in good to go dig a giant home in my backyard? I'm fortunate enough to have 2 acres and no hoa so I can get rid of the fill. Thanks again guys, and I'll contact you in the future bdavis466 if I end up going OB route.

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