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Thread: lessons learned and comments from our pool build (4/18/13)

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    lessons learned and comments from our pool build (4/18/13)

    I thought I would put together some thought, comment and lessons learned that might help others thinking or going through a new pool build. I will update as I we finish our build.

    Ask questions, ask question, ask question! Try to understand why they are doing what they are doing.
    Your yard will be a mess and a big mess if it rains. If you have a dog and dark hardwood floors, all I can say is sorry I fell your pain.
    Expect things to move fast some days and slow on others. For us our PB uses external contractors, so they need to fit into their schedules as well. We had a week with nothing being done.
    Get to know your project manager and his phone number. He will be your main link to get what you want.
    Don’t be afraid to talk to the contractors as they may provide good advice and information that you did not know or even think about. These guys have worked on thousands of pools.
    Make sure you check the form of the pool after they mark it before digging, as this is the best time to make changes. What looked good on paper is not always the best. We smoothed out a curve that matched our existing patio and increased the pool size by about 500 gallons. 2 feet of spacing looks a lot larger on paper than in real life.
    The painted form of the pool will look small. Luckily our PB warned us of that.

    Understand with flagstone it can be the luck of the draw if you get light, dark or both. Let you PB know your preference.
    Flagstone will erode; it’s not just with salt. That is the nature of the stone.
    Check with your builder of what you will actually get. If you want big full pieces of stone, ask as this may cost extra as the masons will use filler pieces to save material. I did have them change the following out as to not look so chopped up.

    Check out the stone you may see a piece you may want in a specific place and them that.
    Watch what is being done as it may be different than planned and what you want. Understand that some of the workers are there just to earn money, so things might not be done to your satisfaction. Have them corrected.
    My biggest frustration was and is with the mason. Although he can do good work, he would go off and do thing different than what we wanted or just be sloppy
    Here’s a sample of the spillway we wanted and provided a photo

    Here is a sample of one that he had half way built before I corrected him. He did not have enough chopped stone, so he was going to do it this way.

    Here is what we have, big difference and very pleased with it.


    More frustration as I will have the stone guy back tomorrow 4/9/13 to fix his latest art work. Broken stone and an ugly corner that is not flush at all.

    2 white stones put in when there is not another white stone anywhere.


    Decking makes a huge difference, make sure you have enough, larger is better than smaller. It’s expensive, but cheaper and easier to do it all at once than to try and add later. Don’t forget about umbrella holders.

    For us working with a landscaper that worked with the PB has been great. The PB, landscaper and irrigation people have all worked together to make sure they work together.
    Landscaping’s not cheap, but if you can be patient, buy small plants that will grow into the space. It can be a big jump in price to get grown plants.


    AGAIN. Ask questions and do not assume.

    It would be common sense to me to avoid placing anything directly in front of a window. Apparently not so for the contractors.




    Yes I knew and it was explained that the heater needed to be 5’ from any window that can be opened. Bad assumption that they would place the filer on the far left of the slab and have the pumps in the middle, so as to not be in front of the window.
    McKinney, TX
    Pool build in progress, 14.8K gallons, OK flagstone copping (sealed), IG Gunite/Pebblesheen (Blue Granite), Pentair intelliflow 3050 vs - svrs, Pentair IC20 Salt-Gen, 60 sq ft Pentair DE filter, 400k BTU Pentair (NG) heater, Polaris 280 with Booster, Dual Time Clocks with freeze protect feature, Pool (1) 500w (1) 100W Spa (1) 100w lights, (2) Skimmers, 4 Pool Returns, 6 Spa Jets, water features incl (3) 12” scuppers on 12” x 31’ raised beam, (2) Gushers on tanning ledge, and double cut spa spillway. controlled by easytouch 8
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...t56120-40.html

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    McKinney, TX
    Posts
    11

    Re: lessons learned and comments from our pool build

    This is good information! We just signed our contract and will begin in the next couple of weeks. I'm pretty sure we are using the same PB you did. I wish I had the luxury of working from home so I could see what will be going on all day -- makes me a little nervous if they start taking shortcuts. Also not looking forward to our black Lab tracking all the mess into our house :0!! I'm sure the end result will be all worth it though.
    IG/Gunite with Quartz interior; 16,400 gallons; 3'6"x6' depth; OK flag coping; Sun Deck decking; tanning bed w/2 gushers; spa with double cut spillway; Pentair Intelliflo 3050 vs+svrs; Pentair 400K NG heater; Nature 2 Fusion sanitation; 60 sq ft DE filter; pentair easy touch 4 wireless; polaris cleaner; 1-500 watt pool light & 1-100 watt spa light; 23' waterline boulders with weeping wall.

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    Re: lessons learned and comments from our pool build

    TxALH,

    I'm very pleased with the PB and our project manager.What I've seen of several other builds and so far of ours we should be very pleased with the final outcome.

    keep us up to date on the build.
    McKinney, TX
    Pool build in progress, 14.8K gallons, OK flagstone copping (sealed), IG Gunite/Pebblesheen (Blue Granite), Pentair intelliflow 3050 vs - svrs, Pentair IC20 Salt-Gen, 60 sq ft Pentair DE filter, 400k BTU Pentair (NG) heater, Polaris 280 with Booster, Dual Time Clocks with freeze protect feature, Pool (1) 500w (1) 100W Spa (1) 100w lights, (2) Skimmers, 4 Pool Returns, 6 Spa Jets, water features incl (3) 12” scuppers on 12” x 31’ raised beam, (2) Gushers on tanning ledge, and double cut spa spillway. controlled by easytouch 8
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...t56120-40.html

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    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Metro St. Louis
    Posts
    93

    Re: lessons learned and comments from our pool build

    txsteel,

    Thanks for sharing! Is that colored (tan?) concrete in your last photo or was it just the lighting? Looks really nice!
    Paul
    Sterling Steel IGP lagoon 21' x 35' w/6' deep end, Pentair 5g LED lights (x2), Pentair Landscape LED light, Pentiar IntelliFlo VS pump, Pentair 420 Cartridge filter, Pentair IC20, 4 gas Tiki Torches, LoopLoc Ultra Loc II, Deck Jets(x3), Raised Planter Bed with 3 Pentair bronze sheer decents, AquaBot Breeze 4WD, Pentair Legend II

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    90

    Re: lessons learned and comments from our pool build

    My lessons, some from a build, some from this most recent rehab (2 different pools).

    #1 Learn some basic construction Spanish before you even get started. Rosetta Stone is too expensive for what it does.

    #2 Recognize that construction is not engineering.

    #3 See #2.

    #4 See your physician for some anti-anxiety medication BEFORE you start any project.

    #5 The dig will send you around the bend, UNLESS you are one of those fortunate people who has a totally unobstructed lot and a large backhoe can be used. Oh, make sure the layout is PERFECT before the dig starts.

    #6 Pipes will show up in unexpected places, and cables for phone and internet WILL be cut. See #2. See also #4.

    #7 It is likely that at least some part of your project will fail an initial inspection. This can be fixed. Prepare to pay for the corrections. (#4)

    #8 Since #2, figure an extra $5K onto the total cost (conservative), and an extra 2 mos. onto the timeline to completion. If they finish it sooner, you will be pleased and not annoyed.

    #9 Failing to sufficiently understand #2 will mean that #4 will become even more important.

    #10 Once the pool is filled and running, you will forget most of the pain along the way.

    45'6" x 19' x 26' gunite pool, 43,000 gallons! 3/25/2013 renovation: Arizona Buckskin flagstone coping, NPT Verona Borba Turquoise tile & deco tile, Jules Bright Blue glass trim tile, Altima Premium Plaster in Teal, Pentair Whisperflow 2.0hp Filter Pump, Pentair 60 sq ft DE Filter with Multiport Valve. Polaris automatic cleaner.

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    Re: lessons learned and comments from our pool build

    We had to re-route the main electrical supply to our house before the dig. What a mess, it took several days to dig the massive trench, then several weeks to get the utility to hook up the new line.

    Our masons were a PITA. They had to do EVERYTHING twice, and some things three times.

    The gunite and plaster guys were awesome.
    19,500gal, Gunite, Pebbletec, Chlorine, PCC2000 cleaner, Stenner Chlorine Pump, MegaCatch Mosquito Trap

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