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Thread: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

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    New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    I'm close to getting started on a new pool build. We have picked everything but need to make a final decision on coping.
    The new pool will have a 129' perimeter and be 802 s.f. with a maximum depth of 8 ft. It is designed to fit our back yard and have a long stretch that makes a 50 ft lap lane. It is sort of triangular shape with a freeform curved wall on the long side at the back of the yard. That side will have an 18" raised wall with 3 sheer descents. The hot tub will be at the 90 degree corner of the pool opposite the raised wall and raised 18". It will have a Wet Edge pebble interior. It will have a few benches and a tanning shelf with bubblers.

    It will not have a SWCG. We are trying to decide on the coping and raised wall between flagstone or travertine. The difference in price would only be $700. The PB we are using will bevel the top edge of the flagstone, but the bottom edge will still have a corner. The travertine has a bullnose. I like the idea of the bullnose better. The travertine either comes honed and filled or pitted. The honed/filled is super slippery when wet, so I don't want that around the pool. I am a little concerned about the pitted travertine getting dirt in the pitting and looking bad? Is that an issue?

    My husband is also slightly worried about water getting into the pits and freezing and expanding. The PB said they will not use any pieces with large pits. Our entire pool can be heated and it doesn't get very cold her very often. In January of 2011 we did have a day where the temp only got up to 31 and the low was 22, but that really doesn't happen very often. I told my husband that if we were worried about that, we could just run the heater some and warming the water up should warm up the area around there as well. We are planning on running the pool year round. Next week our highs will be in the 70s...

    The PB is laying out the pool in my backyard right now and we might dig next week. If there are no rain delays, the pool should be complete within 7 weeks of the dig.

    Any recommendations about the coping/raised wall surface?
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    cbink's Avatar
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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx

    Welcome

    Sounds like a pretty pool! Any renderings?
    I wouldn't be too worried about freezing here in Houston. You're not likely to be in the pool if it's that cold so you won't have splash out at that time onto the deck.

    As for material, it's really personal preference and the look you're going for. I like stacked flagstone for the raised wall but that's just my style.

    Regarding the heating, it might get expensive to heat it year round, even here. In October we heated ours about 10 times by about 15 degrees and it cost us about $300 for a 26,000 gallon pool.

    Now, it's probably closer to $60-75/day as the water temp is currently in the high 40's.

    The hot tub is much cheaper and quicker to heat.
    38'x24' freeform IG gunite, 26k gallons, 3.5' - 7'
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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx

    I've added the renderings which were made based on the flagstone.

    I love the look of the stacked stone on the raised walls, but the back wall is 55' in length so that adds more money than we are willing to spend.

    I found some solar covers online with good user reviews. There were users indicating that they raised their water temperature by around 10 degrees. So, I'm planning to try one of those to help reduce the amount of heating I have to do. I would really like to be able to swim laps year round, so we will see. There's a gym I can join through my work with no time commitment and an outdoor heated pool, so I guess if I have to, I can join that during the winter months and try not to have to heat the pool as much... I just have young kids so it is hard for me to get to the gym.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    Readyforapool's Avatar
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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx

    That's a great looking design. Good luck.
    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: New pool build in Katy, Tx

    Welcome to the forum.
    I am a little concerned about the pitted travertine getting dirt in the pitting and looking bad? Is that an issue?
    I don't think so. By it's nature, a pool deck gets dirt in the grout lines (and pitted areas) and it will likely always have some dirt in it but it will clean itself to an extent as well. The aesthetic value of the dirt moving in and out of the pitted areas should have little overall affect.

    Where you live, I doubt the freeze-thaw cycle will have any impact at all on travertine.

    Even the pitted travertine will probably be a bit more slippery than flagstone. How far back will the coping extend? Maybe 12-16"? Even that small amount can be a bit slippery to get a good "toe grip" when jumping off the edge.

    In short, I think you should choose the one you like best aesthetically. Both will work.

    I would tend to lean towards flagstone from a functional standpoint. It's hard to underestimate the "slipperiness" factor and it's not easy to overcome once installed.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    The HOA approved the project and we started. The pb did a layout on the ground -it took 2 tries but we finally approved it. The began the dig on Wednesday, 12/11. It ended up taking them 2 days to dig. The sub said that all the rain we had before prevented them from using their usual place to dump dirt and they had to go further so they kept having to wait for the truck to return. The weight of the bobcat on the ground broke the main water line to my house both days -we did not expect that.

    Anyway, they put in the gunite on 12/18 and we have 2 issues with it:
    1. It gets deeper sooner than it was supposed to. We added in a 4th step because we were concerned about a big step down at the deep end of the 3rd step. The 4th step was only partial because it was supposed to have a normal depth off the shallow end of the 3rd step. Now, there's an 18" step down off the 3rd step just past the end of the 4th step. Is it better to make them fix the depth of the pool or just extend the 4th step?
    2. I was supposed to have a 4' wide swim lane (that's not very wide but I've usually had to share the lane at a gym pool so it was okay. When we checked the layout on the ground, each version always kept our curved wall out of my lane and the drawing was also correct. We checked after excavation and the curved wall was still not in my swim lane. After the gunite was done, the curved wall extends more than 1' into my swim lane, so my lane is now going to be just under 3' wide. I'm worried this is too narrow and this shape doesn't match anything we approved. I don't understand how it ended up this way. I'm worried I'm going to have to swim a curved line now to avoid the wall. Is there a way that could be fixed?
    I've emailed the pb, but I'm having trouble getting an answer.

    Thanks
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    For question 1) a picture would be quite helpful to fully understand what you have now with the step. Additional gunite can be added to the floor to build it up and create a new slope to the floor. But also, if its not too deep anyway, just deeper quicker than you were expecting, I would think the better solution would be to fix the step issue that was created by adding gunite just to redo the steps.

    On 2), not really much that can be done now (short of a major demo and reshoot of the curved wall). I will say that when I hold a straight-edge up to your concept drawing above, the straight line created at the furthest reach of the curve does extend out on the lane end walls by what looks like a foot or so depending on the scale. How long are those straight sections at the both ends of the lane. If they are 4', then the answer is that your diagram above would not have yielded a 4' wide lane to begin with. Only if they are 5-6' wide it should have yielded a full 4' swim lane.

    The idea that when the whole was dug and examined, yielding a 4' wide lane, doesn't make sense to me unless the thickness of the wall on the curve is a foot thicker than it should have been (doubtful it is). More likely is that you may not have considered the curved wall thickness when thinking it looked correct. Likely it "looked" like it would be correct but it was probably just an optical illusion.

    None of this matters if your builder swore up and down that it would be 4' wide, I'm just saying that depending on how wide those straight lane end walls are, and what probably was the case after the dig/before gunite was shot, is that it wasn't designed correctly.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear. Hopefully I am wrong on my assessment of 2). I expect you have had knot in your stomach over this since it was shot and if so, that is unfortunate and I'm sorry.
    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
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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    One other comment is that a solar cover on that size pool (50' long dimension) will be quite unwieldy to maneuver. I don't have one but that is what I've gleaned from the site.

    BTW - I love the design of your pool. It is very efficient and functional for your goals while looking attractive. Hopefully you can become happy with the swim lane issue one way or another.
    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
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    I'm not at home now and I tried to upload pics on my phone, but they won't load. I'm going to try to load pictures later today.

    Thanks
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    rodog123's Avatar
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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    Howdy neighbor, I reside in Pearland, Texas (Shadow Creek Ranch) and we are currently interviewing PB's Hope to build in 2014.

    May I ask who your pool builder is?

    Did you have to cover the cost of the broken water line by the subcontractor? If so how much was it ?

    I'm trying to gather as many cost data points as possible.
    Completed 38'X21' IG Free form pool approx 18.5K gallons, sports pool w/spa and tanning shelf 3.5-5.5 ft. Jandy Cartridge Filter, Jandy stealth pumps, Jandy LXi Heater, I aqualink, Inline chlorinator. Click to see My Pool Build

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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    The rendering showed the wall going into the swim lane, but the construction drawing we signed did not. That was an issue we had fixed after the rendering had already been created. Regardless, I've decided I can live with the swim lane width - we just have to figure out what to do about the step issue. I had internet issues at home yesterday, but am back online now. I'm attaching several pictures. They are working on the tile and coping now and I'm very happy with the appearance. We decided to go with unfilled travertine and we really love the look.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    one more pic
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by rodog123
    Howdy neighbor, I reside in Pearland, Texas (Shadow Creek Ranch) and we are currently interviewing PB's Hope to build in 2014.

    May I ask who your pool builder is?

    Did you have to cover the cost of the broken water line by the subcontractor? If so how much was it ?

    I'm trying to gather as many cost data points as possible.
    We went with Platinum. They don't cover certain costs. Their contract says they cover items damaged due to negligence, but not items due to normal construction damage such as broken sprinkler lines and water or underground utility lines broken during excavation. They marked for all lines prior to digging and we didn't have any issues from excavation itself. We went into it knowing those details and my husband is very handy, so we were planning on him fixing the sprinkler lines after the fact. They will add into the contract for Platinum to redo your sprinkler system if you want it in there.

    They said it is not typical for the water line to the house to get broken, but our dig was right at the end of weeks of rain so the ground was soaked and moved more easily. The first day it broke, our construction manager from Platinum fixed it, but he really didn't fix it correctly. The construction manager told us that it would probably break again the next day and he would come back out and fix it. He didn't show back up the next day and the line was broken the next day. My husband was working late that night, but luckily my patio contractor was on hand and repaired the water line for us. He did a very thorough job and made sure it was right.

    The construction manager assigned to our job is new to the company (and maybe this line of work) so I'm not very happy about that. I think he's feeling overwhelmed, and he's not very responsive. My designer/sales guy is still very responsive though. Their pricing was very competitive and we bought under an "end of season" sale. Before the sale discount, their price was within a $5,000 cluster that the other companies I spoke to were within. After the discount they won by thousands. Some of the other PBs included the sprinkler repairs and sod in the pricing, but since my husband can do the sprinkler repairs and we are just planning on sodding the front and seeding the back, the difference in price was well worth it for us. I also got prices from Pulliam, Casey's, Custom Outdoors and Invision Pools. Custom Outdoors was the highest - they said they can frequently win out if you use them for additional outdoor living area, but we already had a contract and the work was already started for our patio extension/outdoor kitchen. Casey's seemed very small and we wanted to use a larger company that had been around for a long time. Invision we only considered due to a recommendation from someone, but he no-showed an appointment. Pulliam completely ignored what we said was important to us and the design he came back with was way bigger than we discussed and was exactly opposite of what we told him we wanted and wanted to avoid. I tried contacting Quest Pools, but couldn't get a call back.

    Good luck
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    That's a great looking pool design and I like the tiling on the raised wall. Just curious can you provide a ballpark range of what a pool like that costs? I live in Katy as well and would someday like to get a pool built. I heard $50k is average, but I'm sure yours was a lot more considering the design.

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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    Quote Originally Posted by pacman777
    That's a great looking pool design and I like the tiling on the raised wall. Just curious can you provide a ballpark range of what a pool like that costs? I live in Katy as well and would someday like to get a pool built. I heard $50k is average, but I'm sure yours was a lot more considering the design.
    Thank you. I also heard that 50k was average in the area. This is considerably bigger than the average backyard pool and we have some extra items, like the raised wall and sheer descents so it was around 67k.
    IG pool started in December 2013, ~36K gallons, 3.5 - 8 feet deep. Long direction 50', raised wall in back, raised spa, travertine coping and travertine on raised wall

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    Kpag's Avatar
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    Re: New pool build in Katy, Tx -Update with questions

    Did you finish your pool? Do you have pictures to share?
    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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