We purchased an agp last month (after thinking about it for a year) and it was an excellent decision. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I'd use a pool, since I was never taught how to swim, but there's only been a handful of days that I've not used the pool since it was put up and about half of those were due to thunderstorms. While I'm loving the pool, I've quickly found that it's a bit too small for what I want to do. I mentioned to my husband that we should build a pool and his response was that it would be too expensive and that we don't swim enough to justify it. It took a couple of weeks of talking to him about it, but he's agreed that I could contact some local pool builders, just so I can get a rough idea of what this might cost. I have a general number in my head, so if I'm completely off the mark, this won't happen, but I can't seem to find some rough numbers online.
I'm the type of person that likes to go information gathering before starting any project, so I've been searching regulations in my city (as well as reading a million threads here) and I've got questions. I'm sure some of these will be location specific, but I'm more wondering if any of these issues have been serious problems for anyone. At the moment, I'm just trying to get a general idea if I even have enough available backyard space to do this.
- I apparently have a 5' utility easement along the back side of my property, based on the original plans of my 60s built neighborhood (I will investigate further to see if that's changed). According to current code, residential swimming pools must be set back 10 ft from the property line.
1. Based on those two things, how far from the property line does my pool need to be? Ten feet or fifteen feet (10 ft from the easement)?
2. What is considered a swimming pool, for this purpose? The coping or any attached deck space?
- Fencing. From everything I've found, there are no regulations that require fencing around the pool itself. It only states that, "Swimming pools with a depth of more than 2 feet must be enclosed by a protective fence at least 4 feet in height. The fence must include self-closing, lockable gates or entrances when the pool is not tended by a responsible person." Our current backyard fence doesn't meet those regulations. On 3 sides, it's 44-50" chainlink and the sides next to the house are 51" wood, but without self-closing. They can be locked with padlock, but I don't think that's what they mean. I'm open to replacing the fence with a 6 ft privacy fence, as long as I don't have to put an additional fence around the pool itself. Has that been something that others have found to meet code in the areas? For what it's worth, I did a google maps search of my neighborhood and it seems that every house with a pool has a privacy fence and those without don't have one.
-Relocating electrical. This could be the dealbreaker. The location where I'd like the pool to go has the electrical line from the house running overhead, which is a huge issue. How far from the pool should this line be? We have a pole transformer at the corner of our property and the line runs from the pole to the middle of my house, but even if I could have it moved to the side of my house, it would still be too close to the pool, for my comfort. I haven't checked to see if the line could be buried. Anyone had this issue?
I'm going to be positive and assume all that can be resolved, so I have actual pool questions. I went out with a tape measure and marked 10 feet from the fence line, just to see what kind of space I've got to work with. I was thinking about a 15x30 rectangular ft pool and, with that size, I would have 12 ft from the coping to the house and 5 ft from the coping to the existing deck.
1. How did you determine what size of pool would work best for your household? We are a mid 30s, childfree couple. We don't tend to host a lot of parties, but we do enjoy having small groups of friends over, when our work schedules allow. I enjoy lounging/floating in the water and doing my slow swimming/walking thing for exercise. He seems to enjoy about the same and I think it's be fun to bat a volleyball around. What I enjoy is decompressing after work by floating, swimming, and just generally being in the water.
I'm 5'4" and he's 6' and I think I'd like a pool with a gradual depth and not a drop off. Our current pool has a water depth of about 3.5 ft, but I'm not sure about a deep end depth. He might want to do cannonballs (no idea about a depth or that), but I'm probably good with 6 ft. I don't care about a diving board or slide.
With that information, does 15x30 sound like a good size?
2. Hot tub/spa. We want one (my husband said he's rather have a hot tub than the AGP we got). I'd like it integrated, but he has questions. What are the advantages/disadvantages of having an integrated hot tub? I've read lots of build threads here and few seem to have it separate from the pool. Is it because of cost? He also mentioned how the hot water of a spa affects the pool (like if you have a waterfall feature).
3. Retaining walls. This is less of a question and more of a request. The place where we'd have the pool has a slope that would run down of the long sides. I can't envision how that would look, so if anyone has pics of a pool build on a slope like that, please share or link to your build thread.
4. Patio area. I've read all over here that more patio space is better, but what if you already have a decent sized deck/patio? We already have a 16x26 railless deck that would be within 5 feet of the pool coping (assuming we kept the outside edge of the pool at the 10 ft limit and didn't move it closer to the house). My tentative plan would be to put pavers 4-5 feet around the pool, except for the area from the pool to the house (that would all be paved, unless I wanted to add planters next to the house). Considering I already have this large deck, wouldn't that be enough space? Obviously, that's subjective, but I'm wondering if that suggestion is for people who maybe currently have a small patio or deck.
5. I would like a fire pit incorporated into the design, whether that's something that happens during the build or is just plumbed for later. Would that even be something that could be added on later? (I was thinking about a fire pit with sheers, if that's even something that could happen).
6. The look of pavers appeals to me, rather than stamped concrete. (I have connections that might be able to get me a deal.) Anyone have pros and cons on those two types of finishes?
So, before I contact PBs, what else should I be thinking about?
Finally, since I know everyone likes pictures, here are some of the possible area. (Please forgive the mess; we've been doing some cleaning and rearranging outside this summer.)
Standing the deck, looking at potential pool area. Pool would start past the existing garden bed, but the short edge of that bed would be about the edge of the pool.
About where the edge of the pool would be, looking toward the fence.
About the pool edge, looking toward the house.
Pool edge, about halfway, looking at deck.
Edge of pool, looking at deck.
Corner of house, looking at pool area. (White cable is power line; other cables are defunct cable line that they've refused to remove)
Standing at the house, where the pool would end. Pool boundaries would be south of the fire pit and left of the whiskey barrel.