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Thread: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

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    Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    I'm nearly halfway through our build and I'm finally getting to the point where I have a little spare time to share my info here.

    Would like to start out by saying thanks to TFP and members for providing advice as I researched the whole pool building process and those who have taken the time to share their builds. This info has been an absolute necessity for me to start contracting out our pool and attempting to DIY some parts.

    Another huge help for me was being able to consult with two friends who had contracted out their builds. One sub'd each individual part of the construction project. The other found a sub that took on a big percentage of the initial build steps and then sub'd out the finishing steps to different people. These guys were good enough to share their files with me so that I could get a real good understanding of what was involved and see some actual costs. I would not have started this build on my own without this info.

    I used sketchup to put the design together. Here's a couple images of the plans and one of my drawings submitted for permits

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    That looks like a great design! Any pictures of reality?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    steveg_nh's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Wow, that looks amazing!
    24'x40' 25k gal Imperial Mountain Pond IGP, full 28 mil VynAll Ocean Breakers liner. All Hayward system: 140k BTU HeatPro heat pump, 3/4HP single speed TriStar 2" Pump, DE6020 filter, AquaPlus Automation/Salt Chlorination, remote controls, ColorLogic 4.0 lighting. Polaris 280 w/PB4-60 BP. TF100 & K1766 test kits. Rinox Palazzo pavers and Spherik coping. Pool installed 9/2013, project completed 6/16/14.

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Thanks. I am organizing photos now.

    Here's yard pics from last summer. I was not looking forward to having all that hard work wiped out with the build, but knew I'd have to give some of it up. Our design was based on keeping the shape of the patio and garden intact.








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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Glad to see others in South Louisiana also doing owner builds. We are currently doing a owner build ourselves. Currently waiting on waterline tile and brick coping to be installed. I'm from just south of Baton Rouge. Where are you from?

    Todd

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Oh wow... your yard is so beautiful! I love the gardens! It will be so nice with the pool! Can't wait to see this one take shape!!! Good Luck and keep us posted!!!
    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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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Todd, I saw your thread. You are making excellent progress. I started in late Feb and it looks like you're going to blow right past me. I'm going to do as many steps as possible on my own, and I'm sssllllllloooooowwwwww. Looks like you have a quality build going on there (did I sound like Miles or what?)

    Looking forward to seeing your completed pool.

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Was going to install the waterline tiles and brick coping today but looks like the weather is getting the best of me. My build is going excellent IMO. But I have a retired PB that is assisting me is setting me up with quality workers he used to use. With the exception of Gunite Express which never showed up and still to this day haven't called to see if we still needed gunite. So we got on the phone and got Coastal Gunite out a few days later. Not bad we had gunite at day 9.

    Todd

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Oh wow... your yard is so beautiful! I love the gardens! It will be so nice with the pool! Can't wait to see this one take shape!!! Good Luck and keep us posted!!!
    Thanks ... unfortunately the cold winter and excavation work really hit it hard.

    Once I had my plans done, I decided I'd be better off getting the excavation, forming, steel, and plumbing stub out from one sub. Then I'd go to a second for gunite. I felt like these were the foundation steps and I had no business trying to tackle them. Once the foundation was in place, I'd attempt to DIY and then finish off with a sub for plaster.

    After selecting this "first big critical step" sub, I was left with deciding when to start and if it would fit in his schedule. This turned out to be a heavy rainfall winter for us which added to my worries about high water table. We set a date and sure enough, we had about 7 inches of rain just prior. I did my best to keep water off the pool site with plastic ...





    I decided to dig several 3 foot deep holes to see what the ground water situation was like. Turned out it was not too good. I pumped these holes out a few times each day by attaching a high flow aquarium pump to a garden hose and sending it to the street. I knew there were slim odds that this was going to improve the situation much, but I figured it couldn't hurt.


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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Sorry for all the rain.
    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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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Sorry for all the rain.
    Louisiana's always like that As a kid I missed out on the fun of digging a big hole.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
    Make each day your masterpiece. - John Wooden

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    What part of LA are you in? I'm looking for someone that does excavation outside of Denex.

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Quote Originally Posted by lilkev View Post
    What part of LA are you in? I'm looking for someone that does excavation outside of Denex.
    I'm in Gonzales. Where is Denex???

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    jjwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    I'm in on this thread! I'm also subbing out my pool this fall. I've built houses and GC'ed pretty much my entire adult life but this will be my first pool solo, so I'm pretty stoked.

    We will compete with a want to complete this project against this quality opponent. (Miles)

    We're up north of you in Folsom BTW. Good luck!

    J
    18x36 vinyl / sport pool 5.5' deep / 1.5hp Tri-Star 2spd / Hayward c3030 325 sqft cartridge / ~15k gal / TF100

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Sorry denex is the do it all company that does excavation, plumbing, setting equipment and rebar. They have a office in Kenner I'm looking for someone besides them.

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    jjwalker: "with a want to complete" That's hysterical.

    lilkev: PM Sent

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Quote Originally Posted by lilkev View Post
    Sorry denex is the do it all company that does excavation, plumbing, setting equipment and rebar. They have a office in Kenner I'm looking for someone besides them.
    lilkev,
    My pool guy that is assisting us with the build will probably do the digging, plumbing thru the slab, and have his guy he uses do the rebar work. I completely trust and recommend both of them. They both do excellent work. If you can do some pipe work you can install your own piping to the equipment deck.

    Todd

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    It is great to see all the South Louisianians on here. I am from Mandeville. Where are you from Imperator? That looks like a Metairie back yard! I can't wait to see your build.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    I continued to pump all the way up to the dig start date in the hopes that I could minimize the slop. Dig day finally came. I painted out the final layout night before the dig.



    Then I put together these boards to help provide the subs with info needed to make sure they built as designed. At first I thought I was nerding out on these guys and they were just going to laugh me out of my backyard. Turns out this was a good idea and I often saw the subs checking out the details on the boards as they continued to work. Without it, these guys still would have formed up a great pool, but with it I got the chance to keep some specifics out in the open for them to use.





    Morning of the dig and I was felt like I had a dozen red bulls. Excavator made it's way into the backyard and made the first scoop. All looked well with no water about 1.5 feet down. He scrapped away the deep end arc on the surface. Then he drove the shovel down a further 1.5 feet into the ground and pulled back. I really wish I had pictures, but I was too shocked and depressed all at the same time with what I saw. The ground all around the dig just poured in like thick soup.

    I knew instantly that it was going to get interesting. Within the first hour of work, the bobcat had churned up ground water that mixed with the top soil and turned it into quicksand. The large quantity of sand they used to make the temporary elevated highway acted as a cap for the slush. This turned large sections of the run into a waterbed. When the bobcat ran down the side yard, it had what looked like a bow wave in front and in back of it. I ended up having to put down several sheets of 3/4 inch plywood so that work could continue.

    Fortunately, my excavation guy turned out to be extremely skilled. He really did an extraordinary job of manipulating the excavator and getting all of the slop out of my yard and in a dump truck. There were several times when I thought there would be no possibly way that he would get the machine out. It was on all kinds of crazy angles with the belts submerged in mud.






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    Re: Semi-DIY Build in SE Louisiana

    Once he got the first 3 feet of the entire pool dug, I agreed to some additional protection from cave ins. He called in the gunite crew to shoot a 1 to 2 inch shell to hold they soft spots together. An additional expense for me, but I figured it would be well worth it after seeing all the mud and water problems.

    Things started to go my way at this point as I got a good lesson on the local geology. The next days dig showed perfectly workable clay from 3 feet on down and my gunite shoot did a good job of keeping everything in tact.

    Rebar followed along with stub out plumbing and by the end of day 4 I was ready for gunite.
















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