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Thread: New Pool build help

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    New Pool build help

    Hi everyone, We are about one month away from signing a contract on a new pool build. We've received quotes from two different reputable companies and I'd like to get some expert opinions on a few things we are struggling with. Our budget is $95k.
    Both quotes are for Gunite construction.
    The first quote is $85k and includes 1200 sq ft of patio in exposed aggregate. This includes a Diamondbrite quartz finish on the pool (650 sq ft).
    The second quote is $85k for the pool in a Pebble Tec finish (800 sq ft). The 1200 sq ft brushed concrete patio would cost an additional $10k. Both pool quotes are inclusive of the pool equipment, rebar, coping, tile, lighting, steps, baja shelf, etc.
    My questions are, would a bigger pool with a Pebble Tec finish be worth the additional $10k costs? Is it a bad idea to sign a contract for our maximum budget in case there are unforeseen expenses?
    One other curve ball to consider - the first pool builder said he does a hybrid vinyl pool (w/concrete floor) which will take $15k off the overall cost, and I have to admit I'm tempted since we could get some other features with that additional savings (spa or landscaping).

    Any help/advice you have would be greatly appreciated!

    Lastly, we have two small children (ages 5 and 3). Would a fence or automatic pool cover be something you feel is a necessity? Neither of these are included in either quote.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool build help

    I can't comment on the finish....but I would always be prepared for "unexpected expenses".

    I'd personally avoid the hybrid pool as to me it isn't the best of either world. Either go entirely vinyl or entirely gunnite.

    Also be honest as to how much you see yourself using a spa? If its covered in the winter with the pool its not usable versus a stand alone hot tub? We don't use our hot tub near as often as we though and if I were building a new pool I'd skip it and stick with a stand alone if I felt I wanted one.

    If you want to cut costs, I personally would limit the fancier automation toys or plan for it at a later time. A simple pool timer system is cheap and works fine.

    As to the children's safety- Skippy and I felt the painful cost of the automatic cover was worth the peace of mind it provides. Ours was $7k, but what price for a child? I sure didn't want to ever be the one responsible an accident that could be avoided. Fencing would be cheaper and could be done very attractively with the right choices.

    How did your PBs plan on sanitizing your water? Lets talk equipment......

    Yippee
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, 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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    Re: New Pool build help

    Thanks for your candid feedback. I think I agree with you more and more on the spa, after reading similar comments from a number of people.

    In terms of equipment, both are for salt water systems and the first quote includes:
    Hayward 1.8 hp variable speed pump
    Hayward 31" sand filtration system
    Mineral dual pack low chlorine sanitation system OR SWCG
    Dolphin Supreme M4 robotic cleaner OR Polaris pressure side cleaner system
    Prologic control system

    The second (more expensive) quote includes:
    Pentair Intelliflo 4 speed pump
    Polaris 360
    EasyTouch 4 Computer w/wireless control and ICC 40 Salt Generator

    I admit I am very unfamiliar with the differences in the equipment and specs. Of course, both PBs have limited warranties on most of their equipment.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool build help

    What ever you decide- AVOID the mineral dual pack system entirely! Those add metals to your water which you do *not* want. Trust me on this! SWG is the way to go entirely.

    I'd go with the variable speed pump, a robot is a nice splurge and saves the burden of needing a booster pump. Each type of filter has its own pros and cons.

    If you go with one brand for all the equipment they sometimes increase the warranty.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, 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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    Nectarologist's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool build help

    Remember you can always add concrete decking later on. Consider grass around the pool to save a huge amount of money up front. You could also likely knock off hundreds by getting a single speed pump. Put the SWG off for another day (about $1,500 saved). The pump doesn't cost a lot to run and it will take many years to recoup the cost of vs pump. Also go with a fence over a safety cover. The cover is only safe when someone remembers to close it. A properly installed fence will have a self-closing gate that will always latch to keep kids out. Some type of protection is a must even if code doesn't require it (I'm sure it does though).
    I did grass because that's what i wanted but it's a good way to put off expensive decking until later.
    I'd get the bigger pool if you think you want it. You can't change that later on. You need to leave money for unexpected costs just like with any building project. The "hybrid" sounds like any ordinary vinyl liner pool. Mine is vinyl and has a concrete bottom. I'd consider 2 things when looking at pool type. 1) how long can it be used each year? For us (& you likely) we're looking at 4-4.5 months a year. 2) what do houses in my area have? If you live in an upper class neighborhood buyers will expect a gunite pool, not so much in middle class places.

    Good luck with whatever you decide! Keep us updated.
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
    Pump: Jandy Flopro, 1.5 hp Heater: Raypak, 266k btu (P-R266-A-EN-C; nat gas) Filter: Jandy C340 (cartridge filter) Robot: Doheny's Dolphin Discovery

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    Re: New Pool build help

    Not sure where you live but a fence is required under my homeowner's insurance policy. Not an option. As for an automatic cover, it's a luxury, but one that will pay for itself over time. It will help retain heat, keep leaves and debris out and reduce cleaning time, reduce chemical consumption (somewhat), provide huge safety advantages over a fence alone and simplify pool opening/closing (not to mention the aesthetic improvement over the alternatives).
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool build help

    All good words from Yippee! On the autocover cost, ramping that up to your pool size, and with undermount rails (versus on deck rails) which you may like, it would be in the $12-15K range. Not a cost for the faint of heart. We did go with one.

    Either finish will be very nice. Quartz may last 15-20+ years and Pebble 20-25+ as really round numbers. Both are based on maintaining high water quality (which is no problem the TFPC way). I'd honestly go for a bigger pool and "lesser" finish. The finish appearance is subjective, the pool size is quite objective. You have kids, they have friends. Your pool will likely be well used. I'll ask this last question which is an interesting one. Are either you or your husband home during the days during the summer? If so, you may find you house being the hang-out spot even more often than those able to use them on nights/weekends. Think about when your kids are in middle and high school and super social and in sports. Do you want to be the hangout house? My wife is very social and likes to be that family. I happily go along for the ride.

    I would go gunite if you have it in the budget. But vinyl pools can look great too - see -->> http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-a-Beer-Budget, but it takes more effort to do so in the planning phases. They can be less bullet proof (our dogs scratched our plaster in their freak out - get to know the pool stage - I'm sure they would have ripped vinyl, water can get behind liners and get them out of whack, vinyl on steps can slide off, leaks are more common around fittings). I'm just not a fan but tons of people love them and they are a great option. I too though would not go hybrid. Go with standard vinyl techniques or gunite.

    There are many details that you could inquire about regarding your plumbing layout, etc. but it all depends how in detail you want to go. They can be quite important and make your pool more efficient. There are many helpful articles in Pool School under the titles of "Hand Reference", "Construction" and "Miscellaneous". Make sure to properly oversize your filter, get a SWCG (no reason not to - and nothing with "minerals" as Yippee mentioned - bad news) and breathe (it can be quite stressful). As far as water maintenance, make sure you have some understanding of the FC/CYA relationship, as it effects decisions like how to chorinate your pool. http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock All in Pool School.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New Pool build help

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoreswim View Post
    Either finish will be very nice. Quartz may last 15-20+ years and Pebble 20-25+ as really round numbers. Both are based on maintaining high water quality (which is no problem the TFPC way). I'd honestly go for a bigger pool and "lesser" finish.
    On our recent replaster we went with ... plaster. We had a complete sandblast down to gunite and then a full plaster application. The previous owner had 20+ years on his first plaster surface and we ended up at 17 on the second one (would have had a few years but the pool service we used screwed it up - long story). If it's well cared for, any finish will last for a good stretch. If you fail to maintain properly, even the best quality finish will fail.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: New Pool build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Geebot View Post
    Not sure where you live but a fence is required under my homeowner's insurance policy. Not an option. As for an automatic cover, it's a luxury, but one that will pay for itself over time. It will help retain heat, keep leaves and debris out and reduce cleaning time, reduce chemical consumption (somewhat), provide huge safety advantages over a fence alone and simplify pool opening/closing (not to mention the aesthetic improvement over the alternatives).
    I should have mentioned in the original post that we have an aluminum fence around the entire yard (we are on an acre lot). The fence is up to code for the pool, but I was wondering if we should do another pool fence within the other fence for more safety with the young kids. I would prefer the automatic pool cover but was told it would be $17k and a separate fence would be $5k.

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: New Pool build help

    One thought that was of interest to me during planning was that fences do not keep teens or trespassing neighbor kids out. They are easy to jump. Autocovers are foolproof if closed (and locked/passworded). But that's getting somewhat detailed. A separate pool fence is kind of what we have. Except that our whole lot (an acre) is not fenced. I like having the fence around the pool.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New Pool build help

    Either separate pool fence or auto-cover gives added peace of mind with little kids, as long as they are used properly. Our yard is fenced, but my wife insisted on a separate pool fence so that our kids (including 6 and 3 yr olds) can play in the rest of the backyard with less supervision than would be required if the pool was accessible to them.
    Owner Build. 32x16, with 6x8 raised spa. Broke ground April 1, 2016, swimming July 18. Pentair Intelliflo VS + Whisperflo for Water features; Clean & Clear Filter 420; Master Temp Heater 400k BTU; Intellibrite 120V pool and spa lights; Regular ol' plaster.

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    Re: New Pool build help

    Quote Originally Posted by Melisa7984 View Post
    I should have mentioned in the original post that we have an aluminum fence around the entire yard (we are on an acre lot). The fence is up to code for the pool, but I was wondering if we should do another pool fence within the other fence for more safety with the young kids. I would prefer the automatic pool cover but was told it would be $17k and a separate fence would be $5k.
    The $17K seems to be high, but I don't know your specifics. In any case, you get much better benefits with the automatic cover. We have friends with 3 children who are several years apart (youngest is now 4). They have a large yard with a pool and automatic cover. The two younger ones were born after they moved to the house and they have never had any issues with the children running around in the yard.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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