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Thread: New Build Austin, TX

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    New Build Austin, TX

    I did as much research as a could in my limited time to get this project started, but most of the time was spent on placement and size to coordinate with the house. We are doing a substantial remodel and most of my time was focused on that.

    The following is what we came up with for the layout and equipment. I do not fully understand the equipment needed and pretty much went with the builders recommendation. They are one of the larger builders in the area, not that it matters, but they had a decent reputation and the designer seemed to be pretty sincere. I checked a few references that I obtained independently and they were good.

    Any advice on equipment and design opinions would be very appreciated. The pool functionality is primarily for the kids, who are pretty small now, but the pool will get plenty of use by my wife and I as well.

    We haven't signed a contract but I would like to get this started very soon, potentially in the next couple of days if everything seems OK.

    Total Cost $98,718.00

    I broke out some of the equipment and cost to see if people here thought it was reasonable or had advice.


    96 Perimeter

    503 Sq ft

    35 x 15 (pic is attached)

    3.5 8 ft depth

    Finished grade is 14 - 16 above natural grade (average height 174)

    Our lot has a substantial slope and the pool runs parallel to the house lengthwise. The pool grade is 14 above natural grade on the side closest to the house and 16 above grade on the length furthers form the house so there is a substantial substructure.

    212 sq feet browncoat with sealer

    Faux tiled negative edge

    Standard tile for waterline

    Pebble Sheen Level 1

    12 beams

    Double steel walls

    28.5 sq ft of steps

    22 ft bench running alongside length of pool

    2 skimmers
    4 returns
    5 Aqua star drains

    26 inside perimeter
    34 outside perimeter
    42 area
    66 depth
    6 jets Waterway Poly-storm
    Blower Polaris QT 1.5HP
    Tile spillway

    $1,065.00 Pentair WhisperFLo 1.5HP
    $1,872.00 Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3050
    $1,715.00 Pentair Quad DE 100
    $3,546.00 Pentair Master Temp 400k gas
    $6,184.00 Paramount PV3 w/ MDX & Leaf Canister 23 heads
    $2,004.00 Pentair GloBrite LED (4 lights)
    $2,152.00 Deck Jet II MagicStream (quantity 3)
    $2,048.00 Pentair Easy Touch ps-8
    $905.00 Easy Touch wireless function
    $928.00 Trident UV Series 2
    $113.00 Rainbow in-line chlorinator

    $1,000.00 Permits etc
    $1,074.00 Main Gas line charge
    $1,396.00 Additional gas line

    The picture shows coping, but we are not going to do any and just run Ipe or Trex Transcend over the pool beams to the edge.

    The top of the railing behind the pool is 6" below the pool edge. That part of the deck is simply for safety reasons because the negative edge would have a 16' drop and we don't want anyone going over the edge and down that far. There is a view behind the pool that we want to keep open, which is why the deck drops below the back edge of the pool.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Welcome to TFP!

    Overall, the price is pretty high IMO. If it were me, I would ditch the Paramount system. They will become a problem at some point. We see it here quite often.
    I would also ditch the UV system. Basically useless in an outdoor pool. Proper Chlorination will be all you need. Honestly, I would shop it around a little too.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
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    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Based on my experience and the extensive retaining walls we put in on our build, I think the price is reasonable. Retaining walls are probably 35% of that cost. Many people have experience and views about the in pool cleaning system. I am installing one in my pool. A lot depends on the builder following the layout that is supplied by the designer of the system. I have heard and seem both sides of the issue. Good luck and post pictures of your build

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central MD

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    I can't even imagine the sub-structure involved to get the pool that high above grade. Can't wait to see some pics of the process. It's never too early to show us some "before" pictures! If you have any structural diagrams of the project I'd love to see those as well.

    MK would know a little bit about retaining walls and can provide you a sympathetic ear there.

    I like your substantial benchwork and I'm sure you will love that. One good thing is that hopefully you won't have to deal with too much of that Austin rock, except for the footers.

    Good luck with the contract signing and build.
    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 | Merlin SmartMesh winter safety cover
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Prices in Austin do seem to be higher than elsewhere in Texas. MartinKennedy is right, the substructure is approximately 35% of the overall price. I priced it with a 2ft grade just to see the difference. The substructure price certainly took me by surprise. We thought about building the pool lower and having the deck step down, but then it kills the view. The pool is also right in front of the main rear windows, so it will be nice to look at.

    I have been questioning the Paramount floor system, especially due to the price, but the idea of getting rid of the crawler is too appealing. I've always hated those things.

    Does anyone have feedback on the size. I thought about making it 2.5' wider from 15' to 17.5', just to provide more room as the kids jump in from the side. Regarding the length of 35', from the inside of the semi circle to the spa side, is it long enough if someone dives in?

    Also the spa interior sides are 6.5'. Will it be big enough? It seems OK for 4 or so adults, but I don't have a reference.

    I will also start with before pics soon and detail the build along the way, 16' is pretty high when looking at it from the ground up. This house should have had a walk out basement. We've never had a house with such a sloped yard, but the view is great. It will be interesting watching it go up.

    Thanks for the feedback. I intend to maintain the pool myself so I am sure I will be here often.
    Last edited by lumbergh; 02-17-2014 at 02:12 PM. Reason: spell check

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Your view of the in floor system is the same as mine. I have had two pools prior to the one I am building now and the Polaris that we had was a pain in the behind, it looked terrible in the pool and I vowed the next pool I built, I was going to have an in floor system. I even used a robot cleaner when the Polaris died, but the cord always tangled and I had to keep putting it in and taking it out after every cleaning. I do have a concern that I did not have pop ups put in the catch basin. There are 3 drains in the catch basin that I hope will keep it somewhat clean. If not, a quick brushing of debris to the drain and I am done. I am going to have a mosaic installed in the bottom of the pool and a cleaner would detract from that

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    I can see that now. I think I skimmed over that little fact, when I initially posted. That will be quite the project.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    HI, Please post some before pics to give us a better idea of the magnitude of the slope and the work required. I can't wait to follow this one. Please post pics a it progresses!

    I would also shop it around, we had about a 25% price difference between 3 builders for the EXACT same pool.
    17x32 free form Gunite
    IG 15000 gallon
    Chlorine Cartridge filter
    Variable speed pump
    Built/building Feb 2014

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    One big question I would ask is about the pool shell support. I understand a retaining wall system will be used but do not forget when raising a pool up like that you have to have a substantial pier support system. Do not let anyone just form the retaining walls and then fill around to form the shell. We have seen a gorgeous pool that was about 18' high on a slope but when we looked in the pool on closer inspection it had a 2 inch crack. Basically the pool slide on the slope because of no pier supporting system. Short story, we ran from buying the property.
    Also, it looks like the builder has padded some of the equipment prices which some do but shouldn't. Take a quick look at some pool equipment supply online and you will see a good markup on some of that equipment.
    Finally, it looks like a great design and when you have a raised pool the view should be wonderful.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Miami, FL

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    I like your design. I'm very curious to see the view! Look forward to seeing some pics.
    Swimming!: 19x32 IG rectangular pool, 22,500 gallons; 3' - 6.5'; open spa w/ 6 jets; raised wall w/ 1 sheer descent and 2 minijets, 2 color-changing LED pool lights, 1 spa light; Jandy 2 1/2 HP 2 speed Pump, Jandy cartridge filter (320 SQFT), Diamondbrite Cool Blue

  11. Back To Top    #11
    CCisotope's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Cypress, TX

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Regarding size, your length should be fine and the depth is good for diving too. We took length into consideration when designing our pool since we have a competitive swimmer in the family. On a good diving day my son can probably dive out 2ft beyond his body length. And it should be okay for adults diving in also. We made sure the length would be adequate in case I needed to show him corrections to his dive ( I too swam competitively in my younger years).

    The width should okay for jumping in.

    One thing to take into consideration with your length and deep end depth you will have a steep slope. Find out where the 6-8ft depth is and how long that area is to help you gage if the pool has an adequate length for diving.

    Why are you going 8 ft deep? Is this for diving? Are you getting a diving board for your pool? What does your PB say about the length for diving?
    IG Gunite 30k gallons, custom WetEdge finish with glass beads, spa, Pentair 520sq. ft. Cartridge Filter, Pentair 3HP intelliflow V.S pump, Pentair 400K BTU Heater Master Temp, Pentair 2HP Whisperflo- Model WF-28, Silencer Air Blower 1.5 HP, Pentair Boost Rite Universal Booster Pump, Rainbow 320, Easy Touch 8, My pool build:

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Thanks for all the feedback. I will check the equipment prices.

    I made some adjustments the pool. Pretty, minor but I increased the width to 17.5' from 15', increased the spa to 8x8 from 6x6, and chose some better tile.

    The builder ended up taking another 3% off after a $9k increase and it is an engineered plan so hopefully the price ended up being reasonable and it is structurally sound. It is now 104k. I will update the entire bid so others can see where the cost is. The pricing mystery was something that was a little frustrating during my research. Construction seems to be that way though.

    I plan to get some before pics soon and I will detail the progress. I am not a huge fan of wood/composite decks but it is my only real option for this house. There is a pretty big deck that is going to be modified and added and restained or replaced with composite.

    Contracting has been the next step.

    Do most contracts have a variance in the dimensions built in. As an example, there is an allowed 2% variance in the width, length, and depth in the contract. There was a larger variance initially, but I said that would not work. I can understand some variance in free form pools, but a geometric pool seems like it would be easier to obtain accuracy.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    The tolerance seems about right for length and width. On a 17 1/2' pool that's an allowance of 4" over all or 2" per side. I would give up the 4" because it means my walls would be thicker. The science of shooting concrete is not exact . Just my 2 cents.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Thanks for the reply. I started a separate thread because I thought it might get buried in here. Thanks for noticing it. I will delete the other one if it is redundant.

    I wish I knew more about pool construction standards. I realize there has to be variances, but I have no idea what is reasonable.

    I imagine pool building is not as exact as laying a foundation for a house.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: New Build Austin, TX

    Any way you look at it, the setting for your pool is going to be fantastic.

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