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Thread: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

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    Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Hello everyone. This is my first post!

    My husband and I live in southern New Hampshire. We have an Esther Williams Millenium semi-inground pool. It requires 1-2' be above ground. Is it possible to get an inground look when we re-do the deck/patio? We want to hide the coping but not cut off access to future problem areas. We're thinking maybe a 3' moat around the pool wall somehow topped with concrete or gray/white composite. Maybe it's not possible. I just want it to be smooth and elegant. Any ideas?

    thank you!!



    [attachment=2:36ow752y]067_2.jpg[/attachment:36ow752y]
    Installation

    [attachment=1:36ow752y]097_2.jpg[/attachment:36ow752y]
    It now has 2' exposed wall, you're not allowed to bury it all the way to the neck.

    [attachment=0:36ow752y]IMG_0498_2.jpg[/attachment:36ow752y]
    Current deck is 1/4 of the width of one side.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    [attachment=0:3lixpziw]deck25_2.png[/attachment:3lixpziw]
    My goal.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Welcome to TFP.

    While it's going to require a lot of planning, I see no reason it can't be done.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    I'd go with a wooden deck covered with some of the Azek recycled plastic pavers. http://www.azek.com/vast/
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    Welcome to TFP.

    While it's going to require a lot of planning, I see no reason it can't be done.
    Dave J. - I guess I'm asking "how"? So far no one I've spoken to gets what I'm trying to do. What kind of contractor should I be talking with?
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    I'd go with a wooden deck covered with some of the Azek recycled plastic pavers. http://www.azek.com/vast/
    JohnT - Azek is on the top of my list. Though the lumber store I liked said people are having better luck with Fiberon. That surprised me based on my research. But he sells both.

    Would you have any examples of decks built with Azek -- or anything like what I'm trying to achieve?
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    I had one suggestion of building a retaining wall that leaves a 1-inch gap before the pool wall. Would this be crazy money?
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    A general contractor should be able to figure it out easily.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    I am wondering if anyone has any pictures of having made a semi-inground look like an inground?
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    I am curious too! We are in the planning stages of a semi inground and I am not sure what to use. We were thinking part choice deck from Lowes and pavers for the rest. These plastic pavers sound interesting.
    24' round semi-inground hayward ec-50 DE filter 1 1/2 hp pump
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Hi inisfada! The good part about the semi inground is that the 2' above ground of wall really reduces the visitor population (frogs are down to zero since removing the berm).

    But it's really hard to get an inground look. People here say "it can be done" but that's got me about as far as I already was before I joined TFP!

    Once thing I'd caution you on is using too many materials.
    [attachment=1:2wrlufyv]many_materials.jpg[/attachment:2wrlufyv]
    Doesn't it seem like there are too many materials in this design?

    I ran over the pavers and stones in Photoshop to make it look like cement.

    [attachment=0:2wrlufyv]many_materials_cement.jpg[/attachment:2wrlufyv]

    Which version do you prefer?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    I like option A a lot.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    This one looks like it's a composite. From Teddy Bear Pools website. I like that the boards are laid parallel against the pool rather than perpendicular.

    [attachment=0:nes9kgqp]long_composite.jpg[/attachment:nes9kgqp]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    I left about 3 feet of the side wall on my pool showing. This was done about 6 years ago out of composite decking. It was installed by a contractor. It is about 18 inches above the concrete deck and 9-12 inches above the grade in the yard area.




    This is how the decking was wrapped around the pool sides



    I have since added this jump deck made out of TimberTech decking.

    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Does the Timber Tech get too hot? I have heard that it gets warmer than wood decking.
    Trenton, IL (St. Louis Area)
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Honestly I don't really know, the new "jump" deck is in the shade almost all day and is small enough that when you are on it, you are either getting into of out of the pool so it's likely to be wet. I only used the TT on the smaller deck. My older deck is the larger one wrapping around the pool and I don't know what manufacturer it is. It was made about 6-7 years ago and has essentially been maintenance free.

    As for hot, I think the composites that incorporate more wood into the material may not get as hot as the noes with more plastics or vinyl in them. The first deck set the tone and I don't quite remember why grey was selected other than the fact is is the color of the pool and most wood decks fade to grey unless you add stain. I found lots of un-kind things said about HD's Veranda product.

    Most of the comments from contractors in construction or decking forums were pretty positive about TT and Azek and several others. I don't know if the way contractors feel about working/installing a product relates to the longevity and use of the deck but I do value the opinion of people that make their living working with it. Most really didn't want to work with the Veranda product.

    I did need to go to a much more "commercial" lumber yard (not a big box store) to get either the Azek or the TimberTech. I went with the Timbertech due to the fact they were selling it for such a low price ($1.75 lf) and that it looked most like what I already had. It is grooved on top and has a crenelated base. They say it should all be installed in the same direction and they have a groove on one side so you know what that "side" is.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Quote Originally Posted by techguy
    I went with the Timbertech due to the fact they were selling it for such a low price ($1.75 lf) and that it looked most like what I already had. It is grooved on top and has a crenelated base. They say it should all be installed in the same direction and they have a groove on one side so you know what that "side" is.

    I have Azek trim on the tool shed that came with the house. I went to buy Azek trim for the pool shed I rebuilt -$$$$$$$$$$$$$


    To the OP - I assume you are looking for some sort of concrete or paver type decking, not a wood deck with the top rail of the pool exposed (you want that in-ground with coping look)

    My guess, and it is only a guess is that the manufacturer does not want the top 2' buried because with the force of the earth pushing on the top, and with the possibility of no water at that level (think drining down below the skimmer or return for winterizing or service) there is a good chance that if you do bury it up to the rim, you could cave in the top. So, if that is indeed the reason, then a retaining wall would indeed solve your problem. In theory you could even put in a short wall of CMU and cantalever a a deck off of it for the last 2 feet or so. My concern is that someday you WILL want to get to that top rail. If you have pavers or concrete on top of them, it's is going to be a load of work.

    -dave
    27' Round ABG (17,000 gal) - +/- 11 hours of full sun per day
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    techguy - that's a nice setup. I'm hoping to make mine look like an inground, so it's a different project.

    For composites it looks like Azek, Fiberon and Timbertech are probably it. And even then they're not without complaints. But I could make complaints about wood, too, nothing is perfect.

    I'm definitely going with Ipe or composite because I'm not going to stain anything if I can help it.

    Thanks for your post.
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    Quote Originally Posted by phonedave
    I have Azek trim on the tool shed that came with the house. I went to buy Azek trim for the pool shed I rebuilt -$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    Yup - but I look at it this way. (1) we're not tearing it up to put in a $30k inground; (2) we really feel no need to ever go to a hotel again! I'm ok with paying for the best, if Azek is the best.

    My local lumber yard says that he gets more complaints about Azek powder coming up (like hot vinyl chemical changes) than any complaints he gets for Fiberon. He'd actually rather I get Fiberon over Azek. I was surprised about that. Azek has a white board that I think would look beautiful. The thing about composites is that they try to look like wood. When they're gray or white, they look like *painted* wood, which makes them much more visually acceptable.


    Quote Originally Posted by phonedave
    To the OP - I assume you are looking for some sort of concrete or paver type decking, not a wood deck with the top rail of the pool exposed (you want that in-ground with coping look)
    Well -- I don't know what I'm looking for. I know I can't put cement over the rail. As far as I know, that leaves:
    a) Azek's lightweight paver
    b) composite boards


    It can't be cement because we might have to do maintenance.


    Quote Originally Posted by phonedave
    My guess, and it is only a guess is that the manufacturer does not want the top 2' buried because with the force of the earth pushing on the top, and with the possibility of no water at that level (think drining down below the skimmer or return for winterizing or service) there is a good chance that if you do bury it up to the rim, you could cave in the top.
    Absolutely right. The force of the earth against the wall might cause it to cave in.


    Quote Originally Posted by phonedave
    So, if that is indeed the reason, then a retaining wall would indeed solve your problem. In theory you could even put in a short wall of CMU and cantalever a a deck off of it for the last 2 feet or so. My concern is that someday you WILL want to get to that top rail. If you have pavers or concrete on top of them, it's is going to be a load of work.
    So what is CMU?

    Also - I get why concrete is an issue - but pavers would be a problem too? I was given to believe that you can pull up pavers if need be. Though as I think of it, that would leave out the Azek pavers, as they sit in a plastic shell rather than as individual bricks.
    Semi inground Esther Williams Millenium, 15,000 gallons
    About to build out the surrounding deck.
    Bioguard when I feel like spending, Namco when I don't.

  20. Back To Top    #20
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    Re: Maybe this can't be done: Semi-inground pool patio

    I didn't like the way the Azek looks like plastic. I got an Azek sample from the dealer. I was happier with the look and feel of the TimberTech. I think the other one the pros in the forums liked was the Fiberon. Azek has the name in the public's eye much like Trex but the pros like the others, TT and F. I think most contractors will install the Trex or Azek if the customer requests Trex or Azek; but, if they are asked to build the deck (like I did) they will use what they like working with and what will cause the least number of complaints and call-backs.

    If you like the Azek for trim because it's white, you could either order the other stuff in white or just use the Azek for trim and the TT or F for the main body.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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