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Thread: Help me make an informed decision - will break ground soon

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Abilene, TX

    Help me make an informed decision - will break ground soon

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the forum and have done a little searching here, but thought I would ask a few direct questions and see if there is anything else I should be looking into. We should be breaking ground in the next couple of weeks, depending on weather, and are still trying to iron out some details.

    Location: Abilene, TX
    Type: In ground
    Structure/Lining: Gunite
    Size: ~ 110 linear feet in a rectangular fashion with a corner bump out for tanning ledge.
    Dimension: it will be around 16x38 with one corner extending by 2-3 feet each way, if that makes sense
    Depth: We are thinking about 42" to 60" deep. Initially, we were thinking about making one corner a little deeper at 72", but after reading on here some, it may not be necessary.
    Chemistry: Chlorine, we initially wanted to use the salt water generator, but every builder we talked to around here did not recommend it, one would even void our warranty

    What is our dilemma? We are currently debating on an automatic pool cover and on-pool cleaner such as Polaris VS in ground cleaner + fence. We are actually leaning towards the pool cover and no fence. This is mainly because we do not want to have a fence around the pool and feel the right cover would still provide us with the safety we are looking for and keeping it closed would reduce debris, therefore, making an on-floor cleaner more than acceptable. Are we thinking clearly?

    If we choose the automatic cover, due to cost, we will utilize a track either mounted on top of or recessed into the decking and will not go for the more expensive route that has it under the coping. Currently, we have received 3 different quotes. 1) deck mount track + bench/box for cover; 2) recessed track + bench/box; 3) flush mount box for cover (under decking) + recessed track. Our builder recommended option 1 or 3 (because that is what was recommended by the installer of the cover). We don't mind the bench/box to house the cover/motor mechanism, but do not want a deck mounted track in fear of looks and trip hazard. In our town, automatic covers are rarely utilized and the few that are installed, are the expensive underground covers. I have tried to look online to get some ideas of how this is going to looks, but am not satisfied with my search results. For those of have automatic covers, what is your take on it?

    Thank you and if you have any links to further literature to covers / pools that you recommend, it would be highly appreciated.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    YippeeSkippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    'burbs of Augusta, Georgia

    Re: Help me make an informed decision - will break ground soon

    New pool owner needs advice for a pool cover

    My thoughts about a cover are on post 11 in the above thread.

    As to depth- Go Deeper!!! 4 to 7 or 4 to 8' sounds a LOT better to me.

    Holler if you have any other questions
    12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub. Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Help me make an informed decision - will break ground soon

    I would also suggest making sure an auto cover complies with any local fence regulation as well as with your home owners insurance companies policy.
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from
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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central MD

    Re: Help me make an informed decision - will break ground soon

    I'll throw out a few thoughts regarding autocovers. First, I'm glad you have quotes on all three options because they ain't cheap. Usually the conversation ends after the $$ is discussed. We have option 3 and it works well for us. It does look quite nice that way but there are also some considerations with it too. The pit needs to have a reliable place to drain, the drain can get clogged, the pit may need to be cleaned, the pit may not be deep enough to allow a sagging cover to not drag on the bottom, the pit cover may or may not support standing on it, you may get tired of telling guests to not walk on it (if it's not walkable) or if it is walkable but should not really be jumped/dove off of.

    Some considerations for box installation are appearance and maintenance of the box, kids will want to use it as a pool launching point, can provide extra seating, may interfere with brushing that end of the pool.

    One note for any autocover that I learned first hand this winter. We don't use it as a winter cover sit it was rolled up for the winter (our third). Remember to put moth balls down in the pit or box. Something, probably a squirrel, ate a 6" hole near where it attaches to the leading bar. I put a patch of the same material on it today which looks quite good.

    Other thoughts are the cost of maintenance going forward. It's hard to say what they will be but something to remember. The fabric will need replaced in X years (7-10) would be my guess at &$4-5K over and above other routine costs. You will want to clean and pit a protectant on it every two years to so which you can do.

    Zero reason not to do a SWCG pool. Issues are overrated. But the autocover does have metal in it. Not contradicting myself but just a reality. Any water makes metal oxidize. And any pool water will have some salt in it likely.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. Saltwater w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, salt cell, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Groundbreaking: 2/14/13 | Plaster: 5/21/2013 | First Swim: 5/30/2013

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Houston tx

    Re: Help me make an informed decision - will break ground soon

    Do you have any pictures of where the pool will be going? Also, any renderings of your proposed pool by the pool builders you've interviewed would be great. We love pictures!

    Howdy and welcome to TFP!!!
    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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