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Thread: BTB....Before the Build - Thoughts?

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    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
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    BTB....Before the Build - Thoughts?

    So I don't have a pool builder with the fancy design software that I see on this site. All I got is my rudimentary Microsoft Paint skills. So here it is!
    - My first question is about the placement of lights. I was thinking along the side closest to house - so it's not shining toward deck / patio. But I also considered one at each end (facing each other). My concern is the shadow that will be created by the bench in shallow end. THOUGHT ON THIS???

    Pool Sketch in png.jpg



    More pictures of the yard are below.

    Location - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    18' x 36' vinyl
    vinyl over steps
    9' benches coming off 2nd step
    corner bench in deep end
    wedge design (no flat in deep end) - this minimizes the slope angle
    2 LED light - (see my question below)
    2" piping
    Cartrige filter
    Electric heat pump
    4 deck jets - all individually valved at pump
    colored concrete border
    cantilevered edge
    colored concrete patio
    pavers for firepit
    pavers for steps going up to driveway
    X-treme slide (not xtreme 2) - this is what builder included
    3 gates in fencing















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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central MD
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    Re: BTB....Before the Build - Thoughts?

    My recommendation for the lights involves a slight change to the steps/bench. I would really like to have the lights evenly spaced on the house side of the pool. As you mentioned, this will create a small shadow at the bottom of the steps. I'd remove the bench on the right of the steps and extend the bench all the way across the shallow end. If you want to copy my pool (see link to our build thread in my signature), you can then have it wrap around the far side a few feet (ours is 6'). This also has the benefits of giving you a place to sit that looks back towards the house/main seating area/spa to have conversations, and is another place to sit that is not looking into the late day sun (if I interpreted your shadows correctly). Which direction is north?

    Any thought to an autocover? You have a perfect setup for one having a rectangular pool and no attached spa ($8-13K depending on your options - deck top box/exposed tracks or recessed box/undermount tracks). You'd just have to lose the ladder or have one that folds up (though ladders look old-school to me - though they clearly serve a purpose - I'd just put another bench (which is also a step) in that corner.) Since you have a heater, you will want to cover it while being heated as well. Do you have a cover plan? Many people find manually putting on and removing covers to be quite cumbersome, not to mention storage while not in use. Though there is a roll-up design one user created for a bubble cover.

    I'd also give consideration to shade, in addition to umbrellas. Looking at the back of your house, I'd probably build a covered porch roof over your existing concrete extending out to the end of the river rock area. The only thing you'd want to do now in preparation for that is to have footers poured integrally with the concrete decking so you can build to stacked stone pillars to support the 6x6 post to the roof, which would nicely balance your deck on the other side. You'd also want to account for drainage off of it via a gutter and downspout by putting a drain line in next to one of the pillars to go out in to the yard or tie in with other site drainage. If you'd need a permit for the roof, you'd want to get them on board and have the integral footer (which would go below the frost line) approved now. But ha, why not just do it all now, it's only money.

    Speaking of drainage, have they detailed the drainage for your whole plan?

    Looks great (my PB didn't have the software either) and as you can tell, I'm not the only one here who likes to spend other people's money (I'm looking at you Kimcats!)
    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
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
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    Re: BTB....Before the Build - Thoughts?

    Thanks man....awesome evaluation!

    Regarding the lights (which is my biggest sticking point right now) - we originally planned full length steps and no benches but I decided against to maintain a lap swimming side (for me). I'm a swimmer for recreation and mild competition and want to be able to turn against both walls. Also, that corner is the sunniest spot of the entire design - and why the chaise lounge area is in that corner. That corner points north ( ^ ). I do agree about sitting facing the main patio area. Perhaps I'll discuss with the wife about flipping the whole design - putting steps in northernmost corner. The benches would face into late summer sun but it would solve the other problems. And maybe it would be better to have the main patio area facing the steps for aesthetics? Steps / benches look pretty cool in the water.

    We definitely considered an autocover. Actually, our original plans were for a free form pool. We got talked into an autocover so we switched to rectangle. Then we decided against autocover - but kept the rectangle design. It's why are curving the concrete....to break up the straight pool lines. CONS: We cannot use the autocover in the winter (too much snow) - so we'd have to still buy the safety cover. They do have a high maintenance cost if you have to replace fabric or have motor issues. It's very expensive!
    The rectangle design allows for us to get a bubble cover if we feel it's necessary - even a roller that stored against the fence on that deep end side.

    I'm also not crazy about ladders but have young kids that will be using it in the deep end - to get to the slide.

    You are spot on about the shade. I do plan to cover that patio (or the new patio that's being installed - existing is getting torn out so color matches). I didn't think about the footers though. I'll discuss with the builder and I'm sure that won't be an issue to do. I don't think I'll involve the township office though. It won't be a problem to get permit when the time comes. Drainage shouldn't be an issue. There is a downspout on that corner of the patio that is tied into a swell in the yard. Of course the swell is going to be moved because it's right under the future pool. They are doing a french drain around the pool and trenching to daylight in the back of the property.

    Checked out your build also. Only got through about 8 pages and gotta go back to work. VERY NICE!!! And those storm pics are amazing! We're going with a safety cover that has a drain in the middle. It allows drained water to enter the pool in that one spot. So a bit more work with chemicals to open but I don't have to have a drain out there at all times. We also don't get much leaves as the wind is constantly blowing toward the tree line behind our house.

    Thanks again for your comments. Any more or anyone else is welcome to comment. All appreciated.

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Central MD
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    Re: BTB....Before the Build - Thoughts?

    All else equal I'd keep the steps on the near corner. I think steps farther away than that usually look odd and provide for less convenient pool access. I don't think the small shadow is that big of a deal.
    Sounds like you've done some good homework.
    But most importantly are you going with a SWCG? No reason not to with your plan. You would love it. And please, don't waste money on a UV system.
    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
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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