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Thread: New to pools-Planning phase

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    New to pools-Planning phase

    Hello, I've been lurking off and on for about 6 months. I'm in the middle of a new home build and starting to gather my thoughts on a pool. I live in Walla Walla, Washington. We have hot, dry summers here. The biggest problem I'm having in planning is deciding the size.

    Here are the things I'm pretty set on:
    1) 4' shallow end
    2) gradual slope/wedge bottom (not sure of proper terminology here)
    3) auto cover that complies with ASTM F 1346 (it is my understanding that this will excuse me from having a "pool fence" in my county)
    4) I'd really love a fastlane.

    Our property is large so size is not a factor in that regards, it is mainly due to cost (up front and over-time). I figured if I get a Fastlane, I don't need a large pool. There will probably never be children in the pool as long we live there, but we have a dog who I hope will swim with us (just my husband and I), and my dog has friends who will hopefully join us sometimes. I'd like for the deep end to be deep enough for my husband to enjoy it (he's 5'9"), but we will not be needing a diving board or a slide. We just want a place that we can have fun/float around in, do exercises and lap swimming.

    We have a Viking pool installer here but I don't see many that will fit our needs with the 4' shallow end and fastlane. (The Laguna Deuxe may be a possibility but not sure how the Fastlane would fit in with that, and haven't checked on price). There are at least 3 gunite pool places an hour away to get quotes from.

    SO, some of my thoughts on the main issue, size:
    1) deep end 6', 6'.5", or 7' deep end Based on info here, I think we've decided on 6'
    2) 12' or 14' wide
    3) 20'-30' long

    It is SO hard for me to be able to visualize the size. I am hoping some of you can help bring this into perspective. I have never owned a pool before, and we don't know anyone around here with a pool for help or advice. I've read that most people wish they would have gotten a larger pool, and I'm sure I would if I could afford it. Looking for a good balance of being happy with what we get and affordability. Any suggestions?

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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    By fastlane, you mean endless, right? For lap swimming? That may dictate length.

    What surface are you thinking? Dogs are hard on vinyl.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    Good start off questions. ozdiver on here has swim pumps. You can do a search for him to find his build or PM him to ask him about what he did.

    To help you with size the best thing you can do is get some bright rope and lay it out in the yard to see what looks good as far as fit. Of course the endless swim will need to be thought about for sure.

    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 to pools-Planning phase

    The Fastlane swim machine from endless pools. I have been going back and forth between fiberglass and gunite. There is a Viking pool installer here, and a San Juan installer an hour away.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Good start off questions. ozdiver on here has swim pumps. You can do a search for him to find his build or PM him to ask him about what he did.

    To help you with size the best thing you can do is get some bright rope and lay it out in the yard to see what looks good as far as fit. Of course the endless swim will need to be thought about for sure.

    Kim
    Thank you for the suggestions!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    Welcome to TFP!

    Definitely agree that 4' shallow end is best. We would go 4' next time. We are very happy with our play pool, 3-1/2x5x4. We can stand everywhere, it allows people to spread out and still stand, play catch, etc. It is plenty deep for swimming. We also shallow dive into the pool all the time and swim a lap or two. At 41' our pool is barely long enough to swim laps in. A couple of benches would be nice to sit on sometimes.
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Good start off questions. ozdiver on here has swim pumps. You can do a search for him to find his build or PM him to ask him about what he did.

    To help you with size the best thing you can do is get some bright rope and lay it out in the yard to see what looks good as far as fit. Of course the endless swim will need to be thought about for sure.

    Kim
    I checked out ozdiver's build thread. Very interesting. Doing the jets vs the Fastlane is definitely something for me to investigate. Jets should definitely cheaper, but I need to research how "good" they are compared with the fastlane.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I was in a pool in September that was less than 4' in the shallow end and I wasn't able to do the exercises I learned in physical therapy. I found the perfect depth and we measured it-it was 4'. I thin k anything less than that would be wasted space for us. Speaking to your 41' barely big enough for lap swims, this is why I figure we should just go with a small pool and swim machine for our needs....BUT I just don't want to regret going "too small". I'll have to take the advice of kimkats and try the bright rope.
    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    Definitely agree that 4' shallow end is best. We would go 4' next time. We are very happy with our play pool, 3-1/2x5x4. We can stand everywhere, it allows people to spread out and still stand, play catch, etc. It is plenty deep for swimming. We also shallow dive into the pool all the time and swim a lap or two. At 41' our pool is barely long enough to swim laps in. A couple of benches would be nice to sit on sometimes.

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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    We originally planned on 6 feet in the center to accommodate our tallest son (he's 6'4"), but that left a good portion of the pool too deep for me (5'6), and even too deep for my husband (6'1"). Since the kids are occasional users, we dropped the depth to 5'6". We went with 4' for shallow ends based on TFP recommendations.
    My Pool Build (2015): inground 12K gals gunite/plaster pool, SWG, 2-speed pump, cartridge filter, gas heater, and polaris cleaner (Jandy). TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speed Stir

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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    Hi. I personally would go for the 30' length and 14' wide and 6' is plenty deep if you're not diving. Consider a bench at the deep end, you'll use that area more. If you plan to use lounge floats for a bunch of people at once then I'd go even wider like 18' or 20'. I'm at 16' wide and I'd go to 20' if I had the room (my yard wouldn't work well w it though). Talk to the manufacturer about the fastlane and space needed. I'd think that one would need 8 feet of clearance front to back for using it. If you'll use it when alone it's no big deal in that case though.
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    I have about the dimension that Nectarologist described. Build pics in sig.
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    @helen203 and @nectarologist: Thank you for that information. After reading your experience about depth with my husband, we think 6' would be deep enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by txnole View Post
    I have about the dimension that Nectarologist described. Build pics in sig.
    The pool in the pictures is 15'x29'? Really puts things into perspective for me, thanks!

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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    I have two quotes here (2 different builders), and still waiting on a third. I added the dimensions in blue at the bottom of the quote with handwriting on it, as there wasn't enough space for the screenshot. They have 3 1/2' for the shallow even though I asked for 4'. Since you all are more knowledgeable on the subject, I'm wondering if there is anything that stands out to you...anything that doesn't make sense, or that might be clearly a rip-off, etc. The handwritten quote includes an auto cover from Cover pools. The other one has an auto cover as an extra cost and does not include brand.Thanks!
    Attachment 45199Attachment 45198

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    Make sure the pump is a variable speed pump.
    Skip the rainbow chlorinator, it uses trichlor pucks to chlorinate your pool which will add CYA, more here, Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    How do you plan to chlorinate your pool?
    Some folks will recommend ditching the Polaris and getting a robot.

    More,
    Consider adding an autofill and an overflow.
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Make sure the pump is a variable speed pump.
    Skip the rainbow chlorinator, it uses trichlor pucks to chlorinate your pool which will add CYA, more here, Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    How do you plan to chlorinate your pool?
    Some folks will recommend ditching the Polaris and getting a robot.

    More,
    Consider adding an autofill and an overflow.
    Thank you so much!
    I will make sure the pump is a variable speed pump.
    For chlorinating the pool, I was considering doing the TFP method, or SWG but I never got any quotes on an SWG yet.
    I have also read through the forum about using robots instead of the other cleaning machines, so I will definitely consider that
    I will find out about an autofill and an overflow, too.

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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    I notice that the handwritten quote lists the steps as "cake 3 tier". Do they make those with gunite when they build the pool? I can't seem to shake the image of a plastic step set out of my head. I really don't want that.

    Also, in the same quote, it says swimout: deepend. Is a swimout the same as a "bench" or are they different?

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    Yes, a swimout is a bench. Benches are good for kids to hang out and play on and for adults to sit and sip cool, refreshing beverages. We have three around the pool.

    The stair description does sound like the vinyl pool white plastic/fiberglas stairs. But, I am sure they intend to form them from gunite and plaster them. You can review/change the stair layout during the design process.
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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    The level of customization your looking for is going to be difficult to find in fiberglass. If you find something that happens to fit you perfectly fiberglass builds are often months quicker than concrete builds. If time isn't an issue and there isn't an enormous price difference I'd lean towards concrete. That way your level of customization is unlimited and (again just personal opinion) I feel like you end up with a nicer end product. My little one is about to nap if you want to PM me your current address and the size of the pool your thinking about I'll plot it on Google Earth for you. I find this helps my clients a ton. I can't do it at your new home because it won't show on Google Earth yet.
    Duck's Swimming Pool Service & Repair
    Winchester, Virginia

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    Re: New to pools-Planning phase

    And they definitely make those wedding cake steps out of concrete. Agree, skip the rainbow and Polaris. Buy a robotic cleaner online, not from your builder. They aren't giving you much to work with yet. Have you seen a drawing yet?
    Duck's Swimming Pool Service & Repair
    Winchester, Virginia

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