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Thread: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

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    Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Hi all. Thanks so much for this site, it has been enormously helpful as we try to figure this pool stuff out. We've talked to 4 builders and are pretty sure we have a favorite. I was hoping to get some feedback on the design/specs:

    - 17'1" x 32'3" Freeform
    - 404 sqft pool area
    - 12" raised Spa w/ 6 jets
    - 13,591 gallons
    - 351 sqft of decking
    - 308 sqft resurface original patio
    - 35 sqft tanning shelf w/ bubbler
    - 4 returns
    - 2 skimmers
    - MDXR3 debris drains (suggested because of existing trees that we would like to keep)
    - Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 pump (variable speed)
    - Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge filter
    - Pentair MasterTemp 400K heater
    - KK Platinum w/ booster cleaner
    - Pentair EasyTouch PS-4 Control Box w/ wireless remote
    - Intellichlor salt generator
    - 1 500w pool light
    - 1 100w spa light
    - Wet Edge Satin Matrix pebble finish
    - Raised beam with 2 scuppers
    - "heavy duty" construction package w/ 1/2" grade 40 steel rebar on 10" centers
    - Gunite: 12" bond beam, 8-10" walls/floor, all elevated/exposed walls to be 12"
    - Bobcat dig w/ very tight access and a sloping back yard
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    cbink's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    That looks great!

    I can't really comment on equipment but just a couple of points about the palm tree by the spa (I have 3 palms in planters around my pool).
    I would plan to put in an overflow drain there so that if it rains hard you don't get soil in the pool.
    If you plan to have plants in there have them run a pipe for a sprinkler to it.

    Both of these things are easy and cheap to do but need to be done when they do the decking otherwise it becomes very hard to do them afterwards.
    I don't think I'll need sprinklers in my planters next to the pool as the palms don't need a whole lot of water, but I had them plumbed in anyway and left off just in case I change my mind in the future.

    Good luck with your build and keep the pictures coming!
    38'x24' freeform IG gunite, 26k gallons, 3.5' - 7'
    8t Moss rock waterfall with gunite slide
    SWCG, 2 x 2.7hp Hayward Tristar pumps, booster pump, 425 sqft cartridge, 400,000 BTU heater, Polaris Black Max 280, ProLogic PS8 & Aquapod

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Thanks! Here is a view from the back of the pool. You can see that soil getting in the pool won't be a problem as it steps down quite a bit on that side of the pool. The palm was just the designers way of dressing up the image (we hadn't talked at all about landscaping) but after I saw it I really liked the palm there. I was curious if planting a palm in that space with decking all around is ok. Also, I wasn't sure how well palms do in North Texas.
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    On the pool lights, unless you are trying to save money (though who isn't), I would recommend two LED's for the pool and one for the spa instead of the standard lights shown. The LED's were the most positive surprise to our pool regarding how impressive they look. The color changing effects are great. Though one LED in the pool will not be bright enough so I wouldn't try it. Remember, whatever lights you go with, to have them face away from the primary viewing area. Otherwise they are distracting. Even if you don't swim at night, you will enjoy have the lights on for aesthetics.

    Have you thought about having the high wall where the bar stools are sitting be more like a bar countertop? Meaning, it would have an overhang towards the chairs. It's not that comfortable to have chairs up against a wall, trying to lean over and rest your forearms on it. You will feel hunched over because your knees will keep you some distance from the wall. Maybe it's like that but I couldn't see it from the concept drawing.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Thanks for the tips. Exactly what I was hoping to accomplish. I've been debating the lights. A couple of the builders I talked to highly recommended them, others advised me to save money by going with traditional. 3 LED's will definitely push the budget but the final decision hasn't been made so maybe there's still some negotiating room.

    The bar area should be designed the way you mentioned. I'll make sure and double check that as we get things finalized.

    I know a lot of this is about personal preference, but I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on depth profile. We have decided to go no deeper than 5.5', but haven't decided whether to do 3.5' to 5.5' in a gentle slope, or more of a 3.5-5.5-4.5 configuration with the deeper part in the middle. I'm leaning toward the latter, mostly because the way the pool is designed, I see the kids doing more jumping into the middle of the pool rather than the far end. Plus, that provides for a volleyball option as the kids get older (if kids still play volleyball in pools?).

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Couple flags go up for me: 1. Texas 2. Looks like flagstone coping? 3. SWG

    Texas seems to be the capitol of the world for people reporting problems when they get natural stone around the pool with a SWG. The flagstone down there seems to be very soft and it just falls apart in the presence of the "salty" water.

    If you want SWG, do NOT get natural stone. If you want natural stone, do NOT get a SWG.

    FYI, palm trees are surprisingly messy (at least the ones around my pool are). Once they get tall they are difficult to trim and the fronds fall into the pool. They also flower and drop all kinds of junk in parts of the year.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    If you get natural stone with SWG, seal the stone.
    Tracy

    35' X 19' pool (pool depth: 3.5', 5.5', 4'. Perimeter 97) 2 HP Jandy (2 speed)
    Spa 9.6' X 7.4' (10 jets total- 4 on circ, 6 on 2hp booster, 6' cascade spillway to pool). Heater: 400 BTU LXi
    Tanning ledge and benches covered with stone. 2 LED pool lights, 1 LED spa light.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by tracyne
    If you get natural stone with SWG, seal the stone.
    That does not seem to help for long from reports we have seen. You would have to use a good quality seal at least every year to hope to protect the stone.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    If you go LED, check out the nicheless LED lights! They're not as bright but also not nearly as expensive. You would use a few more lamps, but in the end I think you'd get better light dispersion and still save some $$ over traditional LED lights.
    35'x16' IG geometric with 8'x6' spa (16.5K gallons); White Diamond Pebblesheen w/Abalone Shells; Jandy 460 cartridge filter; Jandy 2HP E pump; Jandy 400K heater; Water Tech Blue Diamond Pro; TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by ellwanger
    Thanks for the tips. Exactly what I was hoping to accomplish. I've been debating the lights. A couple of the builders I talked to highly recommended them, others advised me to save money by going with traditional. 3 LED's will definitely push the budget but the final decision hasn't been made so maybe there's still some negotiating room.

    The bar area should be designed the way you mentioned. I'll make sure and double check that as we get things finalized.

    I know a lot of this is about personal preference, but I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on depth profile. We have decided to go no deeper than 5.5', but haven't decided whether to do 3.5' to 5.5' in a gentle slope, or more of a 3.5-5.5-4.5 configuration with the deeper part in the middle. I'm leaning toward the latter, mostly because the way the pool is designed, I see the kids doing more jumping into the middle of the pool rather than the far end. Plus, that provides for a volleyball option as the kids get older (if kids still play volleyball in pools?).
    .
    There are LED bulbs now that will fit into regular Pool Light Fixture. Available in 120V too, so there is no modification necessary. It's less expensive that way instead of buying the "LED Package". They have circuit boards built in and can provide white, color changing or random color shows. (This is what I did). you can get one for less than a couple hundred. the LED will save anywhere from 20-40$ month on the electric bill, depending on how long you have it on. OR, when the 500 watt burns out, you could switch then.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Readyforapool's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Nice design, love the bar on the back side! We've also been talking to builders, only one company in the DFW area that we've talked to recommends swg and they use a lot of natural stone but they also guarantee it and will replace it if damaged.
    Finally Done! - 21x34 IG, SWCG, depth - 3.6 - 4.6 - 6.6, Pentair IntelliFlow 3050 vs+svrs, 60 sq ft Pentair DE Filter, 400k BTU Heater, Polaris 280 w/.75 hp booster pump, Pentair EasyTouch wireless, 38 sq ft raised spa, wet edge Barbados quartz finish - ODK w/36 in Napoleon grill

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Just a couple things.... first, get the upgrade to an easytouch 8. You could use the extra circuits for things like landscape lights or patio lights. Also, you didn't list what size swg they specified. An IC20 will work with your size pool, but the 40 would last a lot longer for very little difference in upfront cost.
    Pool done!! (backyard = work in progress) 32' x 19' inground freeform with 7' spa, baja step w/ (2) bubblers, stonescapes mini pebble finish, rock waterfall feature, 12" raised bond beam, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflo feature pump, (3) 5G Color LED's, FNS + DE 60, 400K Master Temp, Easytouch 8 w/ remote, Intellichlor IC40, Vision Classic Ceramic Kamado smoker, Margaritaville DM1000!!! Party Coming Soon!!
    TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Looks great. What builder are you going with? I am in Allen as well, near McDermott and Alma.
    ~15K gal, IG gunite with new Wetedge Satin Matrix Pebble Finish installed mid 04/14, 1 HP Pentair Challanger pump, Sta-rite System 3 300 sqft cartridge filter, G3 cleaner

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Haven't made a final decision yet, but this design is from Cody Pools. I'm very close to you, in Montgomery Farm off of Bethany.

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by ellwanger
    Haven't made a final decision yet, but this design is from Cody Pools. I'm very close to you, in Montgomery Farm off of Bethany.
    That makes us neighbors! I am in Watter's Crossing. Look forward to seeing the progress on your decision and build.
    ~15K gal, IG gunite with new Wetedge Satin Matrix Pebble Finish installed mid 04/14, 1 HP Pentair Challanger pump, Sta-rite System 3 300 sqft cartridge filter, G3 cleaner

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by ellwanger
    Also, I wasn't sure how well palms do in North Texas.
    There are some varieties of palms that do well here. Make sure you get one of the cold hardy varieties that don't mind clay soil. Examples include the Rhapidophyllum hystrix, Washingtonia filifera, and Sabal texana.
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by ellwanger
    Hi all. Thanks so much for this site, it has been enormously helpful as we try to figure this pool stuff out. We've talked to 4 builders and are pretty sure we have a favorite. I was hoping to get some feedback on the design/specs:

    - 17'1" x 32'3" Freeform
    - 404 sqft pool area
    - 12" raised Spa w/ 6 jets
    - 13,591 gallons
    - 351 sqft of decking
    - 308 sqft resurface original patio
    - 35 sqft tanning shelf w/ bubbler
    - 4 returns
    - 2 skimmers
    - MDXR3 debris drains (suggested because of existing trees that we would like to keep)
    - Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050 pump (variable speed)
    - Pentair Clean & Clear 420 Cartridge filter
    - Pentair MasterTemp 400K heater
    - KK Platinum w/ booster cleaner
    - Pentair EasyTouch PS-4 Control Box w/ wireless remote
    - Intellichlor salt generator
    - 1 500w pool light
    - 1 100w spa light
    - Wet Edge Satin Matrix pebble finish
    - Raised beam with 2 scuppers
    - "heavy duty" construction package w/ 1/2" grade 40 steel rebar on 10" centers
    - Gunite: 12" bond beam, 8-10" walls/floor, all elevated/exposed walls to be 12"
    - Bobcat dig w/ very tight access and a sloping back yard

    My 2 cents:

    - The MDXR3 drain is typically used for the PV3 in floor system. Will you also be installing the leaf cannister at the equipment pad?
    - go with the intellibrite 5g pool lights if you can swing it. This may be a cost concern if budget is tight, because you may need 2 for the pool, as they wont be as bright at the 500w light
    - Swap the cartridge filter with the Quad D.E. You can still clean it as easily as the cartridge, but get added filtration benefits of D.E
    - Might want to consider going with the Easytouch 8 if you plan to add in landscape lighting/chemical injection etc in the future
    - You are fine with the SWCG and the flagstone (my opinion) - just make sure its sealed. If the builder isnt including it, you can buy a sealer formulated to protect against salt (made by 3M). It will need to be re-sealed every 3 years, but well worth it. Also a good idea to rinse down the coping every week or so during the dry summer months.
    - Looking at the back bond beam, it seems to be out of grade quite a bit. Not sure what the slope of the yard is, but keep in mind that the shallow end may end up being mostly out of grade. Did the builder recommend stepping down and building a retaining wall?
    28000 gallon IG pool, 3.5ft - 8ft deep, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Interior, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Pentair Quad DE 100 filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS, Whisperflo 3hp (water features), A&A Max in floor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch 8 Automation, Screenlogic II, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, Pentair Intellichem with acid injection via stennar pump, 9'x7' spa with Infiniti edge

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Thanks for the advice.

    We had 2 of the 4 builders we talked to recommend the MDXR3 drains even without the in floor cleaning system. From what I understand, they do install the leaf canister and it should theoretically help with the inevitable debris we will get from existing trees.

    Cartridge vs. DE is yet another decision that I keep going back and forth on. Some say the cartridge filter is much easier to deal with, others disagree. My primary concern is ease of use.

    The SWG and flagstone issue keeps bugging me, but I have talked to 5 friends/neighbors who have pools with a SWG that are everywhere from 2 to 10 years old and they all love it and have no problems. One builder recommends Lueder Stone because he says it is much more dense and harder than flagstone, but then I read that it is a type of Limestone and I've heard that you should avoid limestone and SWG, so I'm more confused than ever.

    I think the 3D renderings give a false perception. The pool should be completely below grade. The slope of the yard from the existing patio to the back fence is 36" and the pool ends up a good 15 feet from the back fence, so its not really as dramatic as the renderings look.

    Thanks again to everyone for the tips. This has been very helpful.

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by ellwanger
    Thanks for the advice.

    Cartridge vs. DE is yet another decision that I keep going back and forth on. Some say the cartridge filter is much easier to deal with, others disagree. My primary concern is ease of use.
    I believe what jamcha02 was referring to is Pentair's Quad DE. It has the benefits of DE, yet in cartridge form so supposedly provides the best of both worlds. I don't have one so can't comment on how well it performs to its claims.
    35'x16' IG geometric with 8'x6' spa (16.5K gallons); White Diamond Pebblesheen w/Abalone Shells; Jandy 460 cartridge filter; Jandy 2HP E pump; Jandy 400K heater; Water Tech Blue Diamond Pro; TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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    Re: Thoughts on new pool build - Allen, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by bzeller
    Quote Originally Posted by ellwanger
    Thanks for the advice.

    Cartridge vs. DE is yet another decision that I keep going back and forth on. Some say the cartridge filter is much easier to deal with, others disagree. My primary concern is ease of use.
    I believe what jamcha02 was referring to is Pentair's Quad DE. It has the benefits of DE, yet in cartridge form so supposedly provides the best of both worlds. I don't have one so can't comment on how well it performs to its claims.
    Correct, you get all the benefits of DE in a cartridge style design. check out this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aoP-eTpiMs

    The cleaning process is 20 minutes. It could not be easier to work with. And with the added benefits of DE filtration and neglible price difference, it makes this upgrade a no brainer
    28000 gallon IG pool, 3.5ft - 8ft deep, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Interior, Pentair Intellichlor SWG, Pentair Quad DE 100 filter, Pentair Intelliflo VS-SVRS, Whisperflo 3hp (water features), A&A Max in floor cleaning, Pentair Easytouch 8 Automation, Screenlogic II, Pentair Mastertemp 400k BTU heater, Pentair Intellichem with acid injection via stennar pump, 9'x7' spa with Infiniti edge

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