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Thread: Planning my pool – please help!!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    36

    Planning my pool – please help!!

    Short version: what type of pool is best for

    - adult lap swimming (with perhaps occasional floating)
    - warm/mild climate with expansive soils (swelling clay) and earthquakes (Southern California; I am a transplant from the land of lakes and snow).
    - resisting tree roots
    - low maintenance to allow travel

    Long version:

    Dear forumites:
    I am a newbie and life-long swim addict who grew up swimming in a lake 3 hrs/day in summertime, and that is my happy dose of swimming. I now live in the area with no swimming lakes (job move), so I need to get a pool, or I will go crazy. My new (although quite old) house has a nice back yard (for the area, anyway), about 30X60 ft, and ideally I would like a lap pool about 14X40, and at least 12X35 (well, I want a lake, but I can't have it). Do not need and can’t afford bells and whistles, and spa would be nice, but I really want to maximize a swim area. Do not care if I have a deck, but I guess you are supposed to have one. I would like to get a poolside bath&shower someday, and hopefully a cabana, but I do not think I can afford it now (although considering getting plumbing done while the pool is done).
    I really could use some help making up my mind about the type of the pool.
    The most typical pool here is gunite; hardly any above ground pools (not cool enough for the area I guess; it is quite snobbish here. I would not mind the looks of above the ground, but I am afraid it will burst and ruin the house, and also do not really care for climbing. It will also have to be huge). There are not many fiberglass or vinyl pools either, which seems odd the more I read about this – we have nasty swelling clay soils and earthquakes, which in my mind calls for a more flexible pool, no? This makes me like the idea of fiberglass.

    Additional pros for fiberglass:
    -not getting calluses from pushing off plaster, which was the case with my old apartment complex pool, - not having to babysit it like you would a new plaster (based on what I read here). I travel a lot and work a lot, so low maintenance is a must.

    Now, potential cons for fiberglass:
    - there are not many companies here that do it; most are gunite people.
    - my yard has some fruit trees I would like to keep (one of them is a young avocado, and these grow huge; the other two are a pretty large loquat and an old fig that sheds a ton of leaves). To be the size I want, the pool can’t be more than 4 or 5 ft away from the trees. I’ve heard of a root guard, but not sure how effective that is.

    Price is also important. So far, I got quotes ranging from 20+K to 40+K (all gunite). I realize I will probably have to spend more than I hoped for, but I saved and scraped to come to this point, and 40 for just a no-bells pool and a bit of deck is really pushing it. I also would love to squeeze a cover into the budget (manual OK, but should be operable by one person).

    I will really appreciate your input and expertise!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    MattM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    299

    Re: Planning my pool – please help!!

    If you want to go with fiberglass, you'll definitely have a limited number of companies to choose from. Most of the major pool companies here in socal do gunite/plaster primarily and occasionally vinyl. I'd be quite leery of also believing a price quote anywhere near 20K that includes any support or guarantee afterwards. 40K is much more realistic. For the budget, you might need to skip much of the extras and/or do the deck work on your own -- this is a common way to cut down on construction costs. Also, a basic cheap cover will cut down quite a bit on the maintenance. The bigger question is that if you're planning to use the pool for laps and therefore regular exercise, how much of a season are you going to get and are you going to need solar heating which will cut into your budget. I'm sure you can get more ideas for building by talking to various builders. Don't be a in rush - take your time. Where in socal are you, if you want I'll give you contact info for my builder...they've done a good job for the most part and we're filling up our pool for the first time tonight.
    24K gallon inground gunite/pebble sheen pool, 34'x16' 4-7.5ft deep, 750sq ft solar, pentair ultratemp, intelliflow vs+, ic60, intellichem w/ acid pump, quad de 100, intellibright 5g, intellitouch i5-3s with Screenlogic2, 3" primary piping - 2.5" at equip pad, auto switched deep heating and main returns, automatic safety cover w/ electronic lock and embedded recessed undertrack, sealed stamped concrete deck, dolphin deluxe 5, started up December 2011.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    36

    Re: Planning my pool – please help!!

    Thank you Matt,
    Yes, I would like to get solar, but the quotes I had were sort of high, and I am not sure I want gas. I am used to colder water though, and can have a (short-ish) swim in 60F water, 65F for a long swim, used unheated pool here in the apartment complex April-November.

    I am in Orange County and would love a builder reference (OK, I can see you are in San Diego - well, just in case!)

    Have fun with filling up the pool - how wonderful!

  4. Back To Top    #4
    MattM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    299

    Re: Planning my pool – please help!!

    Sent you contact info via pm.
    24K gallon inground gunite/pebble sheen pool, 34'x16' 4-7.5ft deep, 750sq ft solar, pentair ultratemp, intelliflow vs+, ic60, intellichem w/ acid pump, quad de 100, intellibright 5g, intellitouch i5-3s with Screenlogic2, 3" primary piping - 2.5" at equip pad, auto switched deep heating and main returns, automatic safety cover w/ electronic lock and embedded recessed undertrack, sealed stamped concrete deck, dolphin deluxe 5, started up December 2011.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    36

    Re: Planning my pool – please help!!

    Got it, thank you, thank you, thank you!

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