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Thread: COMPLETED: DIY Travertine Pool and Patio Remodel in AZ

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    COMPLETED: DIY Travertine Pool and Patio Remodel in AZ

    Hi, I was a serious lurker on this forum for a couple years…many thanks to posters on this forum and other forums which I referenced for this project. This is a DIY patio/pool remodel that my wife and I undertook a few years ago. We actually finished it almost two years ago July (2014, time flies when you redo your kitchen and have two kids getting married in that period), although finished is a subjective term as there is always more to do. This is late, but I am posting so that others who may attempt something similar might get some inspiration and/or decide to save themselves the trouble…it was a LOT of work.

    It started out as a remodel which we got a number of bids for. One of our biggest issues with contracting out the project was that we had to temper our desires with the cost of the project.

    What we wanted “minimum”:
    1) New travertine patio and pool deck, roughly 900-1000 sq ft (current patio just concrete, existing “cool deck” on pool was flaking and crumbling
    2) New waterline tile and pebble type pool surface (current was 20+ year old plaster)
    3) Expanded water feature (current “waterfall” not pretty, not in center, old fashioned)

    What we “desired”:
    1) Expanded patio and pool deck (bigger than the current footprint)
    2) New travertine walkway to an outside basement stairwell
    3) All patios/walkways/pool deck to be “level”…no steps or ledges at transitions, even to existing sidewalk, patio, basement stairwell
    4) Eliminate the dated and boring “ cap tile ” that was a popular Phoenix area Shasta Pools invention built during the 1980s and 1990s
    5) Expanded water feature that really makes the pool standout, remote controlled so that it didn’t have to be manually activated and deactivated
    6) New Pool equipment
    7) A landscaped “look” for the entire backyard that was yet undefined

    We got 4 bids on different versions of the “minimum”. They differed in regards to travertine (at least one did not use it), amount of sq feet of patio decking (800-1100), size and type of water feature, differences in pool coping styles to deal with the “ cap tile “ issue mentioned above (we didn’t particularly like any of the solutions proposed). In any case, the bids ranged from $18K to $28K. The only “desired” feature in some of the bids was a slight increases in the deck/patio size.

    A couple of the designers told us that it would be cheaper to have someone else do the patio portion, obviously pool contractors specialize in pools. The pool company would simply be hiring a subcontractor for the patio and then add an appropriate markup. We took this to heart and decided to break the project into two parts…patio and pool.

    After some research, I decided that we would attempt the patio portion. About six months later, after some more research, I decided we could do the pool portion as well (but not the surfacing). I’ll try to document what we did…we started out gung-ho taking pictures of our progress; unfortunately that didn’t last and so there are some times when progress skips ahead.

    Edited: SUMMARY OF COSTS and SNEAK PREVIEW

    In some of the later posts in the thread, I have summarized the effort and cost (about $16,500) of this project. Here is a sneak preview.

    BEFORE



    AFTER


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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    Here are some pictures of the pool and patio as we started the project, the pool was a basic starter pool built in 1993 with the waterfall/wall included. It has an in-floor cleaning system which has worked pretty good over the years. We never really used the waterfall much because you had to go behind the pump equipment wall and manually turn the valve. Then you had to manually turn it back, otherwise the pool in-floor cleaning system would be useless. This didn’t happen that many times before we decided it simply wasn’t worth it turn on the waterfall.

    We used to have five queen palms behind the pool and they were great while they lasted. After about 10 years they started dying one by one and I never replaced them. Ditto for some other landscaping that used to exist.







    In the following picture note that the posts for the patio cover have been moved from the patio itself to their own foundations that align with the edge of the porch roof. This was a project that I had completed about 5 years ago to increase the apparent size of my porch. The post placement had made my porch seem much too tight. I moved the main porch support beams from underneath the porch rafters to the end of the porch rafters. I attached the rafters to the new beams with joist hangars. The foundations that these new posts sit on are actually fairly massive (only a small part shows). That was effectively my first (and only) experience with mixing and forming concrete, something I was about to become much more familiar with…



    Also take a look at the cap tile closeup.



    Shasta Pools invented that special cap tile and used it as a form to “pour” the concrete deck directly on top of the pool shell. Note that there is a “lubricating” Teflon-type layer between the deck and the pool shell; however, the grout between the two tiles (waterline and cap tile) was continuous. Over the years this grout line, between the cap tile and waterline tile, had cracked in places because there is always going to be some shifting/movement of the poured deck in relation to the pool sides.

    No pool contractor had a great solution for getting rid of the cap tile besides yanking out the entire deck (including the cap tile) and replacing it with a new travertine deck. The cost of this was prohibitive to our budget and it was not quoted in any of the estimates we received.

    The only semi-acceptable solution that was presented was to chip off the cap tile and replace it with small pieces of travertine which would fit under the protruding travertine coping above it. A different solution which was unacceptable to me was to use a specially formed coping that included a piece (kinda like a T shape) that hung down over the cap tile…these were not made of travertine…they were specially manufactured pool coping made of colored concrete.
    Last edited by jonpcar; 06-04-2016 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Put in embedded pictures rather than linked pictures

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    I read your first post and was thinking "what a tease" to post that opening and no pics! THEN I saw you had another post waiting to be approved! I approved and it had pics! SWEET!

    I like how the caps look but can see where they would be a pain with the grout. Long term hassle for sure!

    I can't wait to see what you do to fix it!

    Kim
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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    Hey kimkats...about being a tease...haha, sorry I just started this documentation effort so other posts might be a bit slower in coming. I'll try to get them up this weekend along with all the other things I am doing.

    Yeah, that cap tile was very popular in Phoenix for a lot of years...it was a very clean look but it has long ago fallen to an "outdated" and "old fashioned" role. The cap tile is not even available for purchase anymore and was only available in 4-5 solid colors. Thats a big problem since I had a number of them that were broken and cracked over the years.

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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    This project required a bunch of new tools that I had never really needed. My background is in electronics engineering but I have been retired for a while and have done many households projects…only one of which included previous concrete work (moving the patio posts). We had never done tile, pavers, grout. Previous projects included things such as building cabinetry units, floor preparation and replacement (laminate only, no tile), energy saving projects (insulation, sealing, duct work), window casements and crown molding (most of our house), house painting. The point is…it was new for my wife and me! Here are the indispensable tools we collected/used over this project:

    1) Concrete mixer: I bought an excellent electric concrete mixer (Imer Minuteman II) on craigslist for about $200. We ended up mixing over 250bags of concrete for this entire project , 2-3 bags at a time. I will keep this thing until it breaks, it is awesome!

    2) Tile Saw – We needed to cut large pieces of travertine for this project in addition to the stone veneer that we were planning. I really can’t say enough about how well the Harbor Freight 10 inch Tile/Brick Saw worked for my purposes (at the time about $200 on sale). I paired it with nice diamond blades. This unit has been borrowed by neighbors and relatives for many other projects and it has continued to perform. We literally made 1000s of cuts with this machine for this project.

    3) Concrete Saw – I luckily borrowed a 12” gas model from my brother-in-law who is an industrial contractor. I used it for only one day (you will see the pictures) and absolutely destroyed the blade. Most people would probably have to rent this specialized piece of hardware if needed, blades run about $100.

    4) Laser Level – I needed a good one to set the heights for all the work planned in various spread out parts of the yard/pool area. In addition there were many long straight lines and perfect right angles that were needed for travertine forms. I previously had bought a Stanley FatMax on EBAY which filled the bill admirably..other laser levels would probably work great as well.

    5) Grinders – I had a DeWalt grinder that was unused prior to this project. In addition, a cheap $15 Harbor Freight grinder worked fine (it lasted although the on/off slide deteriorated rapidly). For the grinder I used the following accessories extensively.
    a. Diamond Cup grinding wheel (Dewalt DW4774 or equivalent)
    b. Diamond Masonry Blades, I went through 3 (Makita A-94683 or equivalent)
    c. Numerous other masonry and metal cutting grinding wheels (metal for cutting rebar, etc)

    6) ½ inch low speed Spade Handle Drill for mixing mortar, thin set, grout, concrete, etc…a lifesaver. I actually burned out a nice DeWalt drill trying to use it for this purpose…don’t try it…these drills are specially geared for the low speed operation required for mixing purposes. Once again, I went on the cheap for this tool from Harbor Freight (less than $50 on sale or with coupon). Still working great.

    7) ½ inch hammer drill (for drilling holes in concrete)…I bought a cheap one for less than $30 at Harbor Freight because it is a tool that I needed for this project and probably rarely in the future. I used quality Bosch drill bits to actually drill holes that I needed…it lasted.

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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    PATIO – First Step

    The first thing we had to do was ensure that our outside basement stairwell would “line up” with our new patio and (eventually) new travertine pool deck. I don’t have a ‘before’ picture of my stairwell landing but due to water that had undercut the landing pad, it had cracked at the 2nd stair down and was not repairable.

    The landing had to be removed and re-poured…but this also allowed me to set a level that would match up (height wise) with my desire for a travertine pathway between it and the patio. I did the forms but my brother-in-law helped pour the concrete as I had never finished concrete before. From here on, it was just my wife and I, and near the end, the pool resurfacers.

    A view of the stairwell towards the patio and the pool, after demolition of its broken platform.



    The forms for the two new stairs which includes the “header” for the travertine border. The header height needs to comprehend the thinset and travertine that will be added on top for the final step up/down. Cities have pretty strict codes about step heights and variances (effectively zero variance).



    After the “pour”


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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    Patio 2nd Step – Lay and pour the forms for the patio outline

    The travertine tile we were going to put down is roughly an 1 ¼” thick. A floating travertine patio must be “bordered” by walls and/or tiles that are fixed in place. The middle of the travertine patio/deck is simply free-floating in place over a bed of sand that is levelled to make the top surface of the patio level (of course with a slight pitch for water run-off). It is held in place by the tightness of surrounding tiles and sand that is brushed into the joints after it is all laid.

    Our plan was to border our patio with 6”x6” travertine tiles. To accomplish this, we poured concrete foundations that were 5 ½” wide on which we would permanently thin-set these 6”x6” border tiles. Next, we would start leveling the interior of these borders with sand and start laying the tile in a pattern that we picked out and really liked. There is quite a bit of information on the web about doing this kind of work which I utilized extensively.

    We planned on laying the new patio travertine tiles directly over our existing concrete slabs (of course with a layer of sand in between). The critical steps in this process included: 1) making sure all borders were square and straight 2) making sure that all borders were at the right height including drainage slope requirements, thinset and tile thickness, etc. The laser level was used extensively to help with these issues.

    Digging out the sod for the form, reusing it in areas of our lawn that had some problems



    Some views of the border forms for the main patio, you can easily see the expansion of the patio that we were planning.




    Notice the stairwell in the background in this picture (where we wanted to run the travertine sidewalk to)…also, I decided to run hose water hookup to both sides of the patio rather than keep it on the patio itself (I didn’t want a hose coiled up on our new patio). This was an opportunity to extend this water line since the copper pipes could be run underneath the new patio…but did add some extra days to the project to do the routing and soldering. I put a new shutoff valve at the original source just in case it ever leaked…no problems so far.



    Pouring the forms, I think they were a little overkill but I didn’t want them to ever move, haha.






    Next, the forms for the walkway to the stairwell. Drainage pipes and watering pipes were added underneath prior to the pour.



    And the pour for the walkway to the stairwell



    Finally the final extra piece on the end of the patio. Not shown in any of the photos is the form and pour using a special concrete that could be relatively thin, less than an inch high. In this picture, this was done on top of the pool deck for the 6”x6” border pavers that lay on top of the pool deck where the red bricks are laying in this photo. We used RapidSet Cement All from Home Depot for this purpose, a relatively expensive, specialized concrete product that we also used in other critical parts of this project. It is very hard to work with as it sets almost immediately. On future uses of this product, I always added their additive (extra cost of course) which slows down the setting process...


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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    Patio 3rd Step – Laying the Travertine Patio

    Unfortunately, here is where we started getting lax in photo taking. Not shown is the thin-setting of the 6”x6” tiles on all the newly laid borders. We used Home Depot’s white FlexBond which is a somewhat flexible, strong thinset. What the heck, we are doing all this work, what’s an additional $20/bag to get the best material?

    Also not shown, we had to fill some of the area with a ½”- gravel because you are not really supposed to have more than an inch of sand as a base for a floating travertine deck. Assume most of that is done although here is one picture of the fill being partially done.



    We started with the pathway to the stairwell




    Halfway through…



    A view from the end.



    Pretty much finished…



    Getting our grass a bit back in shape after all the traffic over it.



    One last view from the end



    A couple notes, the pipes sticking out near the posts were envisioned as a watering system for potted plants that would be placed at each post. We eventually threw this idea out and replaced the tiles with uncut versions and sealed the pipes at those points. That little walkway outside the posts was a valuable traffic corridor and we didn’t want to block it off with pot. Also notice the “6x6” border laid on top of the cool deck at the bottom of the photo…eventually our new pool deck should butt seamlessly up to this travertine “step”

    That pretty much ended the project for that year, early May 2013. We wanted use of our pool in the hot summer here in Phoenix and were tired of the mess. We were very happy with the patio expansion and the walkway to our stairwell.

    So far, all the lines for the travertine had been relatively straight. There were a few 45 degree angles on the walkway but they were relatively easy to implement. We knew the hard part was yet to come on our kidney bean shaped pool.

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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona

    The Pool Remodel Plans…

    Over the summer and fall, we considered a number of different options as far as how we wanted our pool remodel and backyard to look. That’s one good thing about DIY, you can change whenever you want to. That’s also sometimes a very bad thing. In reality, we wouldn’t decide until we started laying out blocks and configuring them in various positions to determine how we wanted the pool surround to look.

    We decided we were going to build a raised wall on one whole side of the pool. In it we would incorporate 3 waterfalls. The existing one at the center of the pool would be enlarged to 30 inches (from 24”) and centered on the low wall. Two higher, pillared waterfalls (18” wide) would flank the wall on both ends. We didn’t want the sheer waterfalls, we preferred those tumbling from a travertine ledge tile.

    All the new walls would be topped with travertine (like the deck) and would be faced with a stone veneer. We knew that all the curves would make this tricky but we decided to go for it.

    In addition, after careful consideration we decided we were going to completely saw off the cap tile and its overhang so that new facing could be made flush all the way up to the new travertine coping that was to be added on top. The plan was to tile this facing all the way up to the coping…by adding a brand new waterline tile and a brand new decorative tile above it to cover the ~4” concrete deck edge.

    Our decision to do this was based on the fact that our deck and pool have been in place for over 20 years and there actually was very little cracking in the mortar between the existing cap tile and the existing water line tile. It seems/seemed pretty stable. We also felt we could live with some light cracking that might occur in this grout line between the waterline tile and decorative tile.

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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    Pool Demo

    Over the winter, a large section of our pool wall tile developed a bubble behind it and simply fill off the existing wall. You can see this to the right of the waterfall. I kinda helped it to "discover" what was beneath. That pretty much sealed the deal to go for the pool redo.

    Three views of the drained pool...Jan 2014









    I started with a borrowed 12” gas powered concrete saw. Not being experienced with such a tool, it pretty much took me most of the day to saw off the coping deck and associated cap tile. It cuts with water flowing to keep it cool. As a result, a good amount of water collected in the pool by the end of the day.












    Next we removed all the tile:




    And cleaned up the tile area using a cup grinder and brushes




    And finally got the existing waterfall ready for its redo…


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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    This is fascinating to read! I can't wait for the next chapter..... I wish in my younger days I could have done something like this. That sense of accomplishment can't be beat. You've got a lot of skill, vision, and energy!! Lots and lots of energy!!! (promise you won't leave us hanging, right?!!)

    Thanks for sharing!
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    I kept this page up so I could refresh it when I got back to the house! What a load of work!

    I am with Suz! This is an awesome read!

    Kim
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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    I won't leave you hanging, but we have some visitors so I will continue tomorrow morning...thanks for the encouragement!

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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    Preparing the Tile Line and Main Waterfall

    We needed to level the area where the waterline tile and decorative tile was to be placed. We used Rapid Set Cement All (from Home Depot, mentioned earlier) for this purpose. It was sticky (adhered to surfaces extremely well), it could be smoothed relatively easy, and it could be spread “feather thin”. Downside is that is sets extremely quickly so you can only mix a small usable. I always bought and added the maximum allowable “Rapid Set Concrete Pharmacy Set Control” additive to give us more time to work with the product before it set. It’s expensive concrete compared to the $2-$3 60lb bags I was using for most of the project.



    A bigger section



    After drying here is what it looks like…you want a bit of a rough surface for the tile to adhere more easily.



    Next we started on the main waterfall shell. First I built the “inside cavity” of the waterfall



    Following is a view of the back of the “inside cavity” form. You can see that I cleaned up the sides a bit with the Rapid Set Cement All and also drilled for rebar to ensure solid attachment to the existing concrete. The pipe seen is the feed for the old waterfall (it was only 1 ½”). I ended up running an entirely new “2 inch feed pipe to the waterfalls from the pump area.



    Then I set up the outside form. I was going to do this waterfall basin with two pours…one for back side, and the 2nd for the “bridge”. The pipe shown is only a “sleeve” for an eventual 1 ½” pipe that will actually supply this waterfall with water. The other smaller pipe seen far underneath is in case I ever want to add lighting under the waterfall ledge, this would be what was used to route the electrical wire.



    What’s left is to pour the bridge (where the brick is) after taking out the separating plywood. No picture exists of a good view of after this step. First I put in multiple rebar across the bridge (where the brick is). And then I poured Rapid Set Cement All for the bridge itself because it spans 30” and I was concerned about regular concrete cracking. It almost certainly was overkill but I liked the additional strength and resistance to cracking that the Rapid Set claimed.



    And a view from the front



    Here is what the main waterfall cavity looks like before dressing it up.


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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    Building the Wall (and my neighbor is going to pay for it, haha)

    At the back of the pool, we were putting a “wall” that matched the height of the central waterfall (12”). This would be accomplished with an 8” layer block (where needed), topped by a 4” block.

    We wanted to set these blocks so that the long edge (16”) was perpendicular to the pool…this would result in a wall that was approximately 16+” deep (wide enough to walk on). The existing pool edge was only 12” deep so we needed to expand the foundation for the “wall” to be built. We also needed to expand the foundation for the two pillared waterfalls that would flank each end.

    Holes were drilled and rebar inserted into the existing pool side for the tie-in to the new wall. There is a special rebar epoxy that is specifically for this purpose at Home Depot...no worries about the rebar detaching from the concrete it is glued into…once again expensive...but we have come this far and everything is just incremental cost.

    Foundation pour for one side of the wall



    And the foundation pour for the other side of the wall



    Cleaning up the surface to lay the new block and concrete wall. The large section at the bottom is where one of the pillars for the new waterfalls will be built. I always ground off the cool deck to concrete when mounting anything on it in order to assure good adhesion. I also brushed on a concrete glue before pouring concrete.



    A view of both sides



    And finally a view of the other side cleaned-up.



    I put quite a bit of rebar in the wall tied to the ones that I mounted in the deck. The blocks closest in this picture are two high (8” block + 4” block), the ones closest to the center waterfall at top are only one 4” block high. Ready for pouring.



    And a view of the same side from a different angle. You can see the beginning of the pillared waterfall in place as well.



    The other side is almost a mirror image



    And finally a view of how it all looks…don’t think it has been poured yet but you get the idea.


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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    The Side Waterfall Pillars

    This is the base of one of the pillars on which a side waterfall will be built on. At this point we are totally winging it (actually it started long before this…with the pool demolition, but at least I had thought about that aspect for a couple months during the winter months)…nothing we could find on the web was helping us decide how to move ahead. Actually that’s one of the reasons I am posting this… hopefully it will help someone in the future.

    Once again, the small pipe shown is for a future possible electrical connection to lights under the waterfall ledge.



    And the other side, once again almost a mirror image. You can see the poured wall in the background. On top of this is going to be the travertine tile so it doesn’t need to be smooth. A note, when building the wall I needed to be careful to ensure that there is a slight slope to the outside perimeter for rain water to drain away from the pool.



    A look at both sides



    I decided to pour the tops of the waterfalls in one step. You can see the “inner chamber” of the waterfall boxed out, as well as the bottom of the “bridge”. These side waterfalls are only 18” across so I was OK with regular concrete (along with the rebar) for the bridge section, unlike the 30” wide center waterfall. As noted before, the pipe is only a sleeve through which water will be eventually fed to this waterfall. Also, the tops of these pillars needed to be sloped away from the pool slightly for rainwater drainage.



    And the other side from a slightly different angle



    A view from the back of both sides. The previous “wall” pour can be seen.



    And unfortunately no good photos after the concrete pour of the side waterfalls, here is a cropped photo to give an idea of what the completed pillars looked like


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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    Like a series............can't wait for the next installment! Hey Suz I bet Marla would like this one and Janny! I am going to PM the link so they can watch!

    Kim
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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    I guess one thing good about this series...since it is already completed you will see the complete progress in just a couple days rather than stretched out over months.

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    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    Next Series Episode (haha) Completing the Decking Perimeter

    These pictures are farther in between the progress being made at this point.

    Remember that in order to lay a floating travertine patio, all the borders must be secure (either butting up to walls or to secured travertine edge pieces). For the travertine pool deck, this meant that the coping needed to be set into place (for the inside perimeter) and all outside borders be put into place.

    We had decided on some walled areas around the pool deck (pretty much designed on the fly) so those needed to be put in before the decking could be started. In addition, we needed to finish all other travertine borders on the outside of the pool decking, similar to what we had done with our patio.

    Here is the foundation form for a curved wall we were putting into place next to one of the side waterfalls.



    And the next picture shows that nearly completed wall in place and the abutment to the existing sidewalk. A couple things about this picture.

    We had decided that we would try to match the “pillar look” of our flanking waterfalls with pillars on the low wall we were adding to enhance the landscaping. That explains the pillar at the corner of this low wall.

    Also, remember our desire to have all travertine boundaries be smooth with no ledges or steps. For the connection of the new travertine decking to this existing sidewalk, I needed to take out a portion of the sidewalk so that the travertine on top could be sloped down to meet the sidewalk cleanly. I had sawed out this portion of the sidewalk previously when I had borrowed the concrete saw.

    In the picture, the foundation for the border travertine is lower than the sidewalk so that when the 6”x6” border travertine is attached to it, it will be the same height as the sidewalk. Also seen is a pipe sleeve for landscape water in the future.



    The next photo is looking back towards the travertine patio we had completed the previous year (which is an absolute mess in this picture, haha). Here is an issue I have with securing travertine borders right on top of existing patios, especially pool decking; I don’t know if it is a real issue or not but I believe it is:

    Pool decks are made to drain away from the pool. In this picture, if I had decided to mount the travertine border directly on top of the decking (which I AM going to do for that small ~2 foot angled section), it would form a “dam” along that entire border. Rainwater or splashed pool water that flows into the cracks of the travertine deck and into the sand below it will follow the patio all the way down to this “dam” and sit there…possible for days or weeks (even months) until it dries up. This water will be under a 1 ¼” travertine tile as well as possibly up to an inch of sand bedding (realistically only about ¼” if done right). This could be a lot of water for a long time…maybe all summer if you swim often and splash as kids do. I suspect that this will be deemed not an issue by installers, but I really don’t like the idea at all.

    So…wherever possible and/or where I thought it was needed, I installed my travertine perimeter so that there is open ground between it and the deck/patio so that the water can seep into the ground when it reaches the “dam”. An alternative could be to mount the border on the deck itself, but drill quite a few large holes in the deck all the way to the ground so that water collecting at the “dam” will seep into the ground through those holes, which of course will filled only with sand laid down when the travertine is overlaid.



    Next, on the other side of the pool, a trapezoidal planting area is being walled in.



    Before the perimeter to the grass is laid, I decided to run a backwash pipe directly into my grass from the pump area. I was really tired of unraveling a backwash hose which also had to be replaced every couple years and sprung leaks constantly. I have always backwashed my pool directly into my grass and it has always seemed to love it. We do have a hardy Bermuda grass hybrid installed, not sure if all grass could take it. A saltwater pool might cause issues with grass (I have no clue), but for us, saltwater is a permanent no-no as long as we have a travertine pool deck. Salt and travertine do NOT get along. (Edit: apparently this last statement has evolved from when I researched a few years ago for this pool remodel...it doesn't seem that there is a clear verdict on whether salt water causes excessive damage to travertine or other stone...lots of people seem to have no issue with it, do your research)

    We also took out the existing red brick border.



    And from the other angle



    Next we put in the travertine foundation for the travertine border at the grass boundary. You can see the green drain heads for the backwash piping in the dirt. Also, note the spacing between the border and the existing patio for splashed water to seep into the ground. Finally, the near completed trapezoidal planting area can be seen in the background.



    Finally a larger view of the pool at this point


  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Houston tx
    Posts
    2,494

    Re: DIY Pool / Patio Remodel in sunny Arizona (lots of photos)

    Thanks Kim for the link! I had been reading this thread but was too amazed to even say anything. Totally unreal! Fabulous remodel! Can't wait to see the next installment.
    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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