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Thread: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

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    Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    New to the forum and hoping to learn a lot and give a little back...
    Along with getting the pool resurfaced(approx. 13k gallon) I am wanting to add a low retaining wall along a 20' of the back edge. Currently there is a kool deck walkway along this 20' section. The wall I would like to have is approx. 2-3' tall and face it will faux stone, tile, etc. Not sure about water feature.
    The question is:
    Any issues creating a block wall on top of the deck(coping)? For instance 2 rows would be adequate for my needs. The backfill would be dirt for landscaping.
    In addition to mortar would be rebar stakes, drilled holes in deck with epoxy rebar stakes with filled concrete. Tar/Henrys or some other high tech coating to prevent water/acids to penetrate wall
    Concerns are:
    1. existing deck to bond beam for laying 2 rows of block.
    2. block would sit on top of deck so not below frost line
    3. where to start wall(see pics)

    Quotes for bonding beam wall(faced and top cap) are coming in at 5k but thinking is a new bond beam wall really needed.
    I am DIY and laid a retaining wall before but not near a pool. The idea is to save cost for other improvements, etc. But must be done right. Pics show my intent.

    Thanks in advance...
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Welcome to the forum.

    Well, your drawing is clear and your plan is clear also. I would question the rebar pinning the retaining wall to the deck.

    The wall will surely cross several expansion joints, correct? Those deck slabs will move a bit independently of each other and, if pinned, would likely cause your wall to crack vertically

    I think it might be a better approach to let your retaining wall "float" on the deck and then put some horizontal rebar in the wall itself.

    You will have very little horizontal load on the wall because it's not very high and I think that method would keep your face stone (on the wall) intact
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Thanks Dave,
    Yes there are expansions joints about every 4 ft along the kook deck walk way where the wall will go. Your comment on "float" and horizontal rebar, not sure I understand? Are you thinking to create short length walls based on the deck expansion joints? The faux stone I am thinking is small and jointed which may provide the expansion joint or float your describing?
    Another idea had was to saw cut the 2' deck down to about 10" then add a footing behind the top deck being careful of pool pipes,etc.
    Any thoughts on the two options - stone out over the edge or sit on top of the deck.

    Chris
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    If you pin a 20' long, 2' high retaining wall to the concrete underneath the decking, I think your wall will crack because the decking is independent slabs and they move independently.

    1. If you "float" that same wall with no rebar into the decking, the bottom of the retaining wall then will move up and down as the independent slabs move.

    2. Placing horizontal rebar within the length of the retaining wall will give it lateral strength so it will likely not crack (or just a hairline)

    In short, allow the retaining wall to simply be held by gravity on your decking and don't pin it to the decking. In effect, you need a horizontal "expansion joint" at the bottom of the retaining wall.

    I see no reason to add a footer.....the decking serves the same purpose.

    A 2' high wall is not a really structurally demanding but if you pin it to the deck, it will probably crack.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Dave,

    again thanks. So basically your suggesting I could use the locking decorative blocks from Home Depot, etc.? probably not the look we want but something to consider.
    Still leary of blocks pushing outward and into the pool if just set on top of existing deck via gravity. I will be backing filling the wall with dirt landscaping to about 3" from the top (see attached pic). I would think concrete epoxy or something?
    The pic of the area shows the curvature of the deck and where the blocks would go, its curved(S curve) and need to understand more of bending the rebar horizontally in the block.
    Another point, I mentioned was saw cutting the deck back for a better landscaping bed. But see this being a possible issue of weakening the deck?
    thoughts?

    FYI. Also thinking of water feature at the top of the wall, scuper or shear decent for disguising noise. On the other side of the wall is a walkway and street. Along the wall there will be a "wall" of thick hedges. More details and pics yet to come on this after the wall is figured out.
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Hi Chris, welcome! We are contemplating a remodel too, and have an existing (crappy) stone retaining wall. In our case, we are trying to move it away from the pool edge, but did discuss with a PB bringing it all the way to the pool edge and adding a water feature to disguise ambient noise from neighbors, dogs, etc - I think this is typically called a raised bond beam and that is probably what your PB was discussing. Our PB did caution us that a water feature doesn't make much noise unless it encounters resistance (think of a waterfall hitting a ledge every so often), so he didn't think a sheer descent would help us to create the "white noise" effect we wanted. However, we still need the wall and plan to make it further back with a cap to provide a seating bench. My thread with pics (we are still pre-reno): oklahoma-city-area-pb-recs-and-can-this-even-be-done-t64182.html
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    MiaOKC, some your design inspiration is similar to mine. Clean and simple lines. However my pool is kidney and making some design challenges for me.
    You are right on the sheer decent not adding much noise, I was think more of a scupper that splashes more and moving these scupper details just under the top cap about 24-30" above the pool deck.
    Attached is a pic of my dads pool, they bought this house which appears to have an added back wall. Because I am thinking the PB would have built the bond beam higher. Notice the 3" shelf around at the base of the wall. My assumption is this wall is built with block and faced with faux stone - very similar to what I want to do.
    My original post shows two pics having the wall out to the edge or set back like my dads pool. Still the question out there for discussion. I am leary of faux stone "hanging" on the wall and not sitting on the deck (like the pic) a nightmare would be stone falling into pool over time. Thinking brackets tied to wall and tucked under the bottom side would be an option?

    We live in Phoenix area, yards are small and have to make the most of the space unlike OKC! So giving up my walkway for more trees/hedges

    thanks for your feedback
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    Renovation or remodeling coping

    Another part of the pool renovation is decking. Pavers, stones, or veneer stone. Looking at Travertine stone veneer and overlay the existing patio and pool deck. My cool deck is in great shape other than a few chip outs and some really bad fertilizer stains.
    I found only a couple of sources offering a 1 piece L shaped remodeling coping. One a concrete low cost option and the what appears(internet) a thick stone which has to be pretty expensive.
    Has anyone used this type of stone? advantages/disadvantages? This approach would save a lot of time and cost. Some of the pics I have seen look pretty good.

    The other option I see would be to use standard bullnose coping out over the concrete deck. Then face the existing deck with matching stone veneer cut to width to match the width of the coping - a lot of time.
    13,000 gallon IG
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Ok. Pricing of materials in and I am ready to get started on this pool project!!! Cutting to being this weekend and have a question on how far to cut the decking back when I remove the cantilever poured deck. A 2 row block wall will be set with rebar through to existing pool bond beam wall(per civil engineer plan/recommendation). The face of the block will be ledger stone set with "full flex" thinset. The upper edge below the cap will house a 3' rain fall descent.
    My question is...
    A. Shows cut flush with tile. How Tuscany pavers(Tuscany pavers) does for their paver remodeling.
    B. Shows a cut further back from the tile so a ledge is created for row of ledger stone.

    My guess would be B for the stone to set on vs. a temp ledger or shims to hold the first row of ledger stone.

    The block wall(aka extended bon beam) is only 23-25' of the pool perimeter. The travertine deck section would be cut to the tile face like in A.
    thanks in advance!!
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Also, I haven't pulled the trigger on remodeling coping. The remodeling coping I narrowed my choice to is 2 piece coping(ANS travertine), the bottom of the top has a dado cut where a face piece gets bonded into. This is nice bu the coping is only 4" wide. On a kidney shaped pool I am concerned with the tighter radius' and having small pie shaped pieces which will crumple because of the softer stone.
    My alternative is wider 12" where I can cut in half to 6" or 9" wide to avoid the problem. The problem lies in the face piece and grinding a radius for a better transition to the waterline tile below.
    Opinions/thoughts?
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Progress pics... layout of the wall and measuring the holes 18" centers for rebar in to bond beam. I have decided to cut back the deck a little more for a ledge to help hold the ledger stone, a little over a 1/2" after scratch coat goes on. I figure I might hit rebar and hope to God no PVC for my #4 rebar so a diamond bit will be used.
    My first course mud coat will be thicker to keep level block as it turns to away from pool - both ends.
    I wanted to extend the block wall over to meet into the equipment barrier but the IG cleaner debris canister prevented that. I had a few ideas to work around that but none was worth doing.
    Still dealing with what to do with the extra decking behind the wall, but planning on keeping it there and lay a few inches of gravel over for moister to run off the deck slope and back. The wall will be treated with moisture barrier. Does anyone see a need to run a weeping pipe in the gravel? I think it may be an overkill...
    chris
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Pics finally uploaded...
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    A few progress pics...
    the new bond beam wall is finally completed - vertical and horizontal rebar with filled voids.
    the backside is waterproofed, with drain pipe gravel and topped with fabric. Top fill to be added.
    The section not completed is for the water feature, after much thought we decided on 3 bobe scuppers spread over a 36". These will be mounted high up below the top cap stone.
    I filled and capped the aerator, no reason to keep it.
    The wall face will be scratch coated and prepped for ledger stone. We decided on a Sierra Blue(Anasazi) ledger stone is ordered. This will be mounted using Laticrete MVIS system with waterproof layer before the stone goes up.

    Still deciding whether to have the pool builder/remodeler for the new plaster surface to plumb the water feature into my existing filter pump with 3 way Jandy valve? Or separate pump/motor which requires a hole in the side of the pool. I think a new pump is not needed? thoughts?

    thanks
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    I haven't been good about loading up progression pics, so here's the latest.
    The wall was built to structural drawings, the stone was mounted using MVIS system by Laticrete(hydroban+ HB veneer thinset) This stuff is amazingly strong with little sag if mixed a little heavy even with the heavier/larger pieces of stone.
    Flashing was added to the top and capped off with California gold stone.
    The custom copper scuppers are bonded below the top deck. I added right angle connection with enough clearance if plumbing leaks the scuppers wont have to come out.

    My travertine arrived on Friday, and over the weekend I cut the coping to the pool shape. This is a tedious job, future pools will be rectilinear!
    The coping has 3/16" joint, some push out of thinset will create some gap anyway even if I control it. I was able to get the coping edges to line up close to the expansion joints in the concrete deck, I want to avoid bonding the travertine over a expansion joint.
    Once the coping is set additional stone on the wall will be added then sealed. The stone wont need to be sealed but around the scuppers it will have to and will want to keep the stone colors as vibrant as possible.
    The PB will be out chipping the plaster and removing the waterline tile. The spa dam will be lowered to one level(more contemporary IMO). New waterline tile, then the coping and face stone goes on.

    A couple of questions:
    1. What kind of sealer. looking at HD sealer by Stonetech or a sealer by Miracle?
    2. What type of grout for the coping? sanded? A little tight for sanded grout.

    Thanks is advance
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Love that stone! Looks beautiful, and your apprentice looks so proud!
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Thanks Mia. Its been a lot of work but saving a lot of money too. Moving 5 pallets of travertine pavers to the back yard over the weekend was not easy but its done.
    Pool guys are here this week chipping out the plaster and tile. The waterline tile has been the most time consuming, stressful decision between the family. But have a winner that's not an "upgrade".
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    That looks great! I have the same cantilever type deck and actually considered adding a raised beam to mine. So nice to see yours turning out so pretty!
    ~18,000 gallon
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Thanks my dilemma was right on the cantilever edge or set back. My parents bought a home that had a planter/retaining wall added after the pool was put in, it was set back and probably safer for grabbing the cantilever edge. It dosent look as nice as a wall flush with the waterline tile. But I placed thicker stones out along the bottom edge for grabbing.
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    Re: Starting a pool remodel and have a few questions...

    Looks nice!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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