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Thread: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

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    Mermanaid's Avatar
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    New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Hi, all - we started talking with pool builders in January and signed a contract in mid-March. We had an idea of what we wanted and finally found a pool builder we were comfortable with (we interviewed 4-5 and all were within the same price range).

    Here's a rendering of what we are going for:



    Pretty basic, geometric pool and spa. I wish I would have found this site when we were designing. You guys have awesome ideas!

    The big dig was on May 3. The did the dig and rebar in one day then came the following Saturday to gunite (our neighbors loved us!).

    And as of today we are finally getting the waterline tile and coping. Pool equipment was set last week and we are hoping to get the electrician out this week to get it all hooked up.

    Now on to some issues that I'd like some advice about. I am known to be particular and need help with expectations sometimes.

    Big issue: Masons and Tile

    The masons have been trouble in this whole build because they will show up and leave. Then disappear for days. They started the waterline tile on May 21 and didn't show back up until yesterday. They were here for a few hours to start the coping and then left. I was surprised they came back this morning!They also started building what was supposed to be the stacked stone wall with the wrong materials. They were using what looked like Leuders.

    After they left tonight I went out to check a few things. Tell me if I am being too picky.

    This is how the tile corners meet on the inset bench. Doesn't the grout have to be 1/8" or so to keep it from cracking? I have no idea how they would fix this as the entire wall before this is whole tiles. It would look really odd to have a sliver tile there.

    Next question is about grout is the color. Our contract says "grout to match tile." I know I should have asked what that means but I trusted the salesman to make sure it was communicated. Personally, I don't think this white grout matches at all. I am wondering if masons picked up wrong color (like they picked up wrong materials). Am I being too picky?



    And finally, I've taken some preliminary measurements and the tile line is off just a bit. But standing back it looks like it's off more than it is. Worth it to fix or am I seeing things?!



    So glad I found TFP. Starting to read through pool school to learn more!
    IG 28x15.6 gunite pool/spa (3.5/5/4), 13.6k gal, 4 Jandy 20W LED Lights, Zodiac VS Pump, 460sqft Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, AquaLink, Polaris 3900, Zodiac 1.5HP Metal Blower, Pentair Inline 320 Chlorinator, Venetian Travertine Paver Deck, Leuder's stone coping, PB custom crystal pebble plaster (blue granite)

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    You are the one that needs to be happy. So it does not really matter what we think.

    I would have hoped that an experience tiler would have spaced out some a handful of tiles so that they did not leave the large gap at the corner.

    What color is the pool surface going to be? If not white plaster, then I agree that white does not really match.
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    Mermanaid's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Welcome to TFP!!!

    You are the one that needs to be happy. So it does not really matter what we think.

    I would have hoped that an experience tiler would have spaced out some a handful of tiles so that they did not leave the large gap at the corner.

    What color is the pool surface going to be? If not white plaster, then I agree that white does not really match.
    Thanks! I often have too high of expectations so it helps to have a little reality injected now and then. I've texted the PB about the tile and haven't heard back yet. The finish is a custom mix from our builder but it's essentially Pebble - Blue Granite.

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    Mermanaid's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    PB was out about 8a this morning and he agrees that the tile must be fixed and the grout color changed. Hope we don't lose too much time waiting for the masons to get back out.

    In other news, I totally bit it when I fell in a weep hole while walking the pool with him this morning. The gunite ate up my foot and ankle. A great way to start the day!

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Using the same builder.... you are a bit ahead of me so you are helping me with my future steps Any updates on your pool? Pictures? Feedback?

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    That lonely green egg grill in the rendering is asking for a outdoor kitchen area/counter.

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    I've been bad about posting updates. Work has been a little overwhelming. I have a few that I will post later tonight. It's looking good! New fence starts on Thursday.


    IG 28x15.6 gunite pool/spa (3.5/5/4), 13.6k gal, 4 Jandy 20W LED Lights, Zodiac VS Pump, 460sqft Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, AquaLink, Polaris 3900, Zodiac 1.5HP Metal Blower, Pentair Inline 320 Chlorinator, Venetian Travertine Paver Deck, Leuder's stone coping, PB custom crystal pebble plaster (blue granite)

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Promised I would come back and update this thread with more info. So, let's start at the beginning. We don't have a large yard but it's big enough for us. The problem has always been that there is a three foot slope from the back door to the back yard. Plus, we have an easement for the gas meter. Add those together and we have a yard that hasn't been the friendliest for family use. We've tried to put several things out back to make it more usable, including a large kid play structure and the trampoline. The kids loved it but the adults just didn't congregate out there.

    Here's what we started with. I couldn't find the picture before the Pistachio tree came down.



    Taking down the Pistachio tree. Bye, friend! Loved how fast that tree grew and how much shade it provided. We took it down ourselves and stacked it in the alley for large material pick-up. All you have to do it chop it into six foot or less sections and the city hauls it away for you.



    The very next day after the tree came down they showed up for the dig. So exciting! I have quite a few photos of this part but will only share a few.





    And after about 8 hours they ended the day with this lovely site.


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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Believe it or not I don't have any photos of the plumbing. That's because I work at home and am often at my desk on conference calls and pushing out deliverables. At one point on the plumbing day I walked out to see all the pipes but didn't think to take my camera. Little did I know that they would have it all covered up by the end of the day when I went back out again! I was told everything was in order for the next big day: Gunite!

    I wasn't here that Saturday but my husband told me they showed up at 7a. I'm sure the neighbors loved us that day! He said it took them from 7a - 3pish to do the gunite.









    I was a little worried because our pool builder was supposed to remove the stump where the pistachio tree had been. Not sure why they didn't take it out when they were digging the pool but I noticed right before gunite it was still there. I asked the pool builder about it and he said he'd get it out. But in the end they left it. I told him that if there were ever to be a structural issue I have documentation that they were supposed to take it out! Here's the photo of it before gunite.



    We bonded with the pool for the requisite 7+ days. And MANY more days because of the rain.

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    We had to choose all of the materials before they would actually dig so the next few weeks was a painful waiting game. Here's our selections:



    Our pavers are a little different from those shown but they match the house better.

    Finally the masons showed up to do the tile. They were here one Saturday night from 7p - 9:30p. You've seen my first post asking about the issues and I won't rehash them here. The issues are being fixed and I was told today that a new mason will be out. She did not want to scrape out the grout and put in the tan/buff that it's supposed to be. Instead, she came over and did an acid wash on the grout to tone it down. I will admit that it does look better (I'll post a pic of it when I can) but I'm not sure that it will last once the water is coming into constant contact with it. Does anyone have any experience with that?

    A few pics of the waterline tile. I couldn't find my other closeup of the tile before the coping was installed.





    In the meantime, the masons came back to do the coping (before the spa tile was installed). It took them about two weeks to come back and finish the spa. I was told by the lady who owns the company that they are spending all their time at ranches in Oklahoma because they are big jobs (code for they get paid more to go up there).



    During this time it rained. A lot.





    - - - Updated - - -

    Your everyday, run of the mill equipment porn.




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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Next up was the beam wall and fountain. Finally felt like we were getting somewhere! I work out of my home office and saw this:



    Whoops, it was the wrong materials! They had to tear it all down and start over. This looked much better to me!





    The back was only supposed to be skim coated but they went ahead and used the stacked stone all the way around. Take a look at all the coping/stone leftovers.


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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    I'm having trouble with my computer (as evidenced by the previous post). Calling it a night and will update more tomorrow.
    IG 28x15.6 gunite pool/spa (3.5/5/4), 13.6k gal, 4 Jandy 20W LED Lights, Zodiac VS Pump, 460sqft Cartridge Filter, Jandy Gas Heater, AquaLink, Polaris 3900, Zodiac 1.5HP Metal Blower, Pentair Inline 320 Chlorinator, Venetian Travertine Paver Deck, Leuder's stone coping, PB custom crystal pebble plaster (blue granite)

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Finally, we were scheduled for pavers. At this point we are about 8 weeks into the project.

    I can't find any photos of them grading the yard and putting down the sand. I must have been really busy working that day. I'll have to post a photo of my view though. My office faces the back yard. If you look at one of those other photos of the back of the house, my office is those four windows and the door that goes across the back.

    Six pallets of stone. It took them three days to grade, sand, lay the stone and install the polymeric sand.











    I'm a bit concerned about the polymeric sand installation because they did not compact it before watering in the sand. And, they didn't mist/lightly wet it either. They turned on the hose. As it currently sits:


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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    A few updates:

    1. The fence people are supposed to be here today or tomorrow to start that process. Should take four days to set the posts, build the retaining wall and build the new fence. We are using Dark Walnut cedar. You can see it here under gallery: Ready Seal Wood Stain Sealant | Wood Stain

    2. The original tile people were fired and the pool builder brought in someone new to fix the 90 degree corner issues mentioned in a previous post and to redo the skimmers so the tile lined up.

    Here's the original edge:



    The new and improved edge where they spread the tiles out a bit. Wish we would have had this crew the first time around.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and one other piece of info for all you Hauk customers. I asked about what test kit we get at startup and was told we get a bottle of Aqua Check Pool and Spa Test Strips. Plan on getting your own kit.

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Fence is going up today. And, we were scheduled for plaster. We should have water sometime in the next two weeks assuming we can get the fence completed ASAP. Grading will also happen this week. The fence guys and the landscape guys have to coordinate with each other. The bobcat for grading needs an 8 foot opening and really needs in before the retaining wall is in.





    We made a slight modification and are going to add a panel/gate to separate the equipment from the rest of the back yard. Should help block noise and the no so pretty parts of the yard.


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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Today was the perfect storm of contractors again. Fence contractor was here, grading and shell clean out crew was here and our roofer sent over the crew to do our new gutters. It was busy!

    The fence is going on day 3 and it's frustratingly slow. There has been several miscommunications and I am being very patient about it. The owner was unexpectedly out for a new baby. Unfortunately all the details we had discussed did not get passed on to the guy who took over for him. My husband noticed late yesterday they were putting the fence up the wrong way (pretty side is supposed to be in) and when I told the crew lead he wasn't happy. They now have to switch all the panels around. Hopefully that happens tomorrow.





    I'll be out of my driveway/garage for another day or two because we have a LOT of backfiilling to do. Two dump trucks worth of sand were delivered today. The small bobcat is supposed to come tomorrow to start filling in now that the retaining wall is in. The fence and grading crew coordinated today and the fence guys left a small opening for the bobcat. Hope it's big enough!





    I'm concerned about the retaining wall because I was told they also put in shorter posts between the tall ones to support the retaining wall. Do they usually add those after or should they have gone in today?



    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and this is what happened with all the trash removed from the pool. I need to ask our PM if it will be removed before grading. It seems that the right thing to do isn't what is always done unless it's pointed out to them.


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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Looking good! Can't comment on retaining wall.

    I haven't had to complain yet but that's how I'll get my way in the end.

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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    What happens when you leave your Jeeper husband at home alone when there's a large pile of dirt. The temptation was too much.


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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Nice! I approve ... I would do the same thing with our RZR
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: New Pool Build - Plano, TX

    Just had the same tile installed on mine... I wonder why they chose to do bright white grout on yours but a darker color on mine? I presume they are trying to match the coping?

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