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Thread: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Build is ON!!!

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    Beadedbiker's Avatar
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    New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Build is ON!!!

    First post Hijack - my build pics start on Page 2.



    I'm currently shopping builders for an in ground in Louisiana. I had one builder tell me I had to have 4' of concrete around the pool on all sides because 'code required it'. Another builder told me that was hooey. I went to my local planning department and we pulled out the 2012 ISPSC book and we couldn't find anything about that requirement. But the guy working the desk wasn't a pool inspector either so he wasn't sure.

    Basically we were looking to do something similar to the design below and I'm trying to make sure we can. I'm also not sure I wasn't just being fleeced for extra money making work. Does anyone know where this requirement comes from?

    Last edited by Beadedbiker; 06-19-2014 at 05:40 PM. Reason: changed title to new question
    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about deck codes

    I would think it's hooey about needing the deck, just that if the deck is there, it needs to be bonded. No official idea though. What would not be hooey is how tough it would be keep grass out of the pool when cutting/trimming/fertilizing it. Nice look though. If you have an autocover, then no problem, just close it, trim/mow then blow it off and re-open.
    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 in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about deck codes

    There is a term for pools with grass surround like that, I know they are popular in New England, I think it may be garden style pool, but that does not sound exactly right. On the practical side I am not sure how good this would be in our climate when it comes to rain run off, etc. with our tendency towards heavy rainfall and flash flood conditions.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about deck codes

    Some states and local governments have that requirement for pools that are open to the public.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about deck codes

    Sounds like BS to me. I'm in St Tammany so things may be different. I asked the permits office to send me everything they had on pool requirements and saw nothing on requirements for deck.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about deck codes

    I'm hoping the design will work well in our situation. Its going to be located at the back of our yard, which is kind of an L shape due to an outbuilding. There won't be too much grass around it on each side - maybe 6-8 foot or so at the most before hitting either flower beds, sitting area or the pathway leading to it. That part of the yard never floods and if it does it'll drain right into a drainage ditch on the other side of a fence about 10 or so feet away from it. As for mowing, since the area will be small around it we'll have to use our push mower around it anyway, and it bags. which will hopefully cut down on clippings. I'm going salt water, but hopefully there won't be too much splashing - we don't have any kids to go splashing around, and none shall be invited either, . (Thankfully I don't know anyone with young kids that might invite themselves over anyway). That just leaves the neighbors, but we're not friendly and I think their kid is scared of dogs, and I have 4 of them. So....


    Anyway, I just have to nail down whether I want a rectangle or a wiggly shape and whether we are going to spring for a spa, oh yeah and whether we are going gunite or fiberglass and I shall start posting plans and hopefully in the not too distant future, pictures of the build. Although one builder I talked to was currently booking for next March

    In the meantime here is a picture of where the pool shall be. My old 18' above ground and deck is still there in the picture, along with 2 guys from the electric company removing the utility pole that fell on it. We are dismantling the old pool this week and will be listing the AGP I have in a box on Craigslist.
    The plan is to have a stepping stone style path from the patio to the pool, we'll be replacing the old brick patio with something that will match the stepping stones - probably a large concrete paver. The patio under the roof is plain concrete and the pool surround will be probably be plain concrete due to budgetary constraints, so large plain concrete pavers will tie in to both those areas. We are considering pouring our own pavers since I can't find anything other than bluestone that has a similar grey look in a large enough size and bluestone in south Louisiana is NOT cheap. We are hoping it will turn out kind of simple and classic.

    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about deck codes

    Beadedbiker,
    I just finished a owner build just south of BR. See build in signature below. Few things to remember is make sure your pool is high enough so water wont drain into it, Keep it away from the roof draining into it. And if your building one like pictured above what kind of coping would you use? The bond beam thickness may need to be thicker to allow for the width of the coping.

    Todd
    15x36 Gunite w/Diamond Brite(Bahama Breeze plaster), 3.5-6', Pentair Easytouch Automation panel, Pentair 3HP VS pump, Pentair CNC 420 filter, Pentair 5G color changing light, Polaris 360 cleaner w/booster, Pentair IC-20 SWG
    My pool build
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ales-Louisiana

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about owner building

    Quote Originally Posted by 36racin View Post
    Keep it away from the roof draining into it. And if your building one like pictured above what kind of coping would you use?
    Todd
    The pool is going to run parallel to that building, on the gable side, so the roof won't drain into it. Its also the only part of my yard that doesn't ever flood no matter how hard the rain gets. So fingers crossed its a good location. As for the coping I think we are going to go for a cantilever concrete, which may or may not get stamped and colored depending on budget and what we decide with the general look we want. At least that will give us the flexibility to go a little wider if we need to or less if we don't. Personally I'd like to keep it to 12" thickness but it seems like the builders around here are making me wait a good 3 weeks or so just for the darn estimates/drawings. I'm about to just decide to contract it myself. I know what I want at this point, I have a friend who does CAD for a living and I'm so type A, I'll probably do the pool builders job for them, watching over the subs like a hawk - which leaves me wondering what I'd be paying them for. Of course I'm quite terrified of taking the responsibility to do that...

    I guess I'm paying for a black book of who to hire...do we have any folks on TFP from the Acadiana area who have self contracted? And is it hard to do?
    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about owner building

    Fortunately I had a good semi-retired PB that assisted me on my owner build. He did the form, dig and plumbing parts. Gave me the names and numbers of the other subs and everything worked out perfectly. From start to filling pool was like 35 days. And I had to wait on the Gunite crew about a week or it would have been done alittle quicker. If you can find someone to dig it, the rebar guy I used is from your area or closer to you than me. Few other subs and you could do it yourself.
    15x36 Gunite w/Diamond Brite(Bahama Breeze plaster), 3.5-6', Pentair Easytouch Automation panel, Pentair 3HP VS pump, Pentair CNC 420 filter, Pentair 5G color changing light, Polaris 360 cleaner w/booster, Pentair IC-20 SWG
    My pool build
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ales-Louisiana

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    Beadedbiker's Avatar
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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about owner building?

    Well I think I'm quite offended. I do believe I had a pool builder basically refuse to do my pool. Not just any builder either. One of the oldest, most respected ones in town. Now, I'm I nice easy going kind of girl, but I do dislike being told what I want - and I'm going to explain to you why I don't want an in-line chlorinator and ozonator and I'm going to use big words like cyanuric acid and chloroamines in a way that leaves you in no way misunderstanding that I know exactly how to take care of a pool, and that my wishes are well thought out.

    Now we've spoken to a few builders - most of them highly regarded and all the quotes have been within about $5K or so of each other. So anyway this guy priced his work a full $20,000 above every other quote we've had. I, I think it was his way of saying our money wasn't good enough...

    But its okay because I'm not about to give you my husband's hard earned money so you can tell me how I want to spend it. Onwards and upwards.
    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about owner building?

    He's probably busy and that's his way of not getting work. But if you had agreed to the higher price I am sure he would have fit you in. On to the next PB. Or do an owner build!!

    Todd
    15x36 Gunite w/Diamond Brite(Bahama Breeze plaster), 3.5-6', Pentair Easytouch Automation panel, Pentair 3HP VS pump, Pentair CNC 420 filter, Pentair 5G color changing light, Polaris 360 cleaner w/booster, Pentair IC-20 SWG
    My pool build
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...ales-Louisiana

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Question about owner building?

    Okay, I have to vent. I just got a quote from a fiberglass builder.

    Firstly he lists the base price a full $2K over the price he lists in his price list. Then he tacks on $950 for 'traveling'. The company is from my area. Its not like he serves a different metropolitan area. Plus they added another $800 for coloring concrete - which I specifically didn't ask for. Then we can add to that that I'm not having 600sf of concrete he includes in his price - for which he reduced the price $1500. Boy is that cheap. Any guesses how much it would cost to add concrete decking per sf? $6.

    All in all he padded his quote by about $4000. Not even including the concrete. Its not that its just the difference between affording it and not affording it, because actually is isn't. Its just that it was so blatantly obvious, that I'm actually offended.

    So now I can add another company to the list of people I don't trust to touch with a bargepole.

    I swear the only guy I've liked so far and has been straight with me, has a C rating on the BBB and got stripped of his BBB accreditation by them a couple of years ago. This is the same BBB that accredits and gives and A+ rating to another company who several people including a bankruptcy attorney has told me under no circumstances let them build even an intex for you. Because they are that bad.

    Oh and one last vent - I love the company who told me their sales guy would call me about designing a pool based on a quote. Well, he called me to find out my email address so he could send me his design. Dude, you didn't even call me to ask me what I wanted. Needless to say, the design wasn't anything like I wanted. But then it didn't look like he'd wasted too much time on it to begin with. I swear. I knew this process would be difficult. I just didn't know it was going to suck this bad.
    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Trials of finding a builder.

    hey maybe you sould just go back with a nice new above ground buried alot less headache!!
    27' Swim n Play Mystic II 52" Extruded Resin 17,200 gallons
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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Trials of finding a builder.

    I found that comparing total prices by PB for apples to apples to be the least frustrating approach for me. That way I avoided all the issues related to feeling like I was being gouged by line item for certain things. I didn't worry if they charged me "x" for LED lights and "y" for decking, only that I was happy with the total. But of course you also still have to feel you can do business with your PB for the inevitable issues that will arise during construction.

    Try not to take things too personally during negotiations.
    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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    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Trials of finding a builder.

    Quote Originally Posted by gillsgonewild View Post
    hey maybe you sould just go back with a nice new above ground buried alot less headache!!
    I was thinking the same thing...
    Installed May 2014 - 16' x 48" Summer Escapes Pro Series Pool AG Vinyl (6,000 gal) - Intex 2650 Sand Filter - Christmas, FL

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Trials of finding a builder.

    Okay, I have a quote for all you experts to opine upon:

    Pool Size: 361 sq. ft. Depth: 3’6” to 6”
    Base Pool Package:

    Perimeter: 91’ Measurements: See plans
    A. Plans and Permits as required
    B. All Applicable taxes and insurance
    C. Normal Access, excavation, and soil removal
    D. 3/8” Steel reinforcement on 8” centers
    E. Gunite Shell with LIFE TIME warranty.
    F. 1’ x 1’ Bond beam with boxed beam design and 4- 1⁄2 “bond beam rods G. 6” walls and 6” inch floor structure
    H. Pool dimensions, shallow end steps, benches, swim-outs per. Plans

    Pool Equipment:
    (1) 3.0 hp. Pentair motor (variable speed pump)
    (1) Pentair easy touch 4 control system with salt
    (1) Dolphin pool cleaner (DX 3)
    (1) White pool light (see upgrade option to LED on page 2) (1) Triton sand filter

    SPA: (Optional)
    Seven rotary jets
    One 250,000 BTU natural gas Pentair heater. One 2hp. Blower motor
    One white spa light
    Raised 18” above common grade
    Horse shoe bench seating

    Custom Features
    1 sun shelf on shallow end
    1 deep water swim out bench

    Concrete Decking:
    400 Square feet of concrete decking 3500 psi straight mix.
    Drainage
    Deck drains as required (contractors discretion)

    Coping and Tile:
    Tile allowance: $6.00 Per. Square foot
    
    Coping: Travertine or Brick $7.50 Square foot

    Note: Should you elect to install a spa the above allowances will also apply to spa option
    Shell Warranty
    Life time to original owner from GUNITE EXPRESS
    Plaster:
    SGM diamond bright (your choice of color)

    Electrical:
    Pool Equipment hookup included
    Main Line from pool panel to house panel (75’ allowed at no charge)

    START UP PACKAGE:
    (1) Telescoping pole (R191306)
    (2) Wall brushes ( R111046)
    (1) Water Testing Kit ( 78DPD)
    (1) 50 pound sack of sodium bicarbonate (1) 50 pound sack of soda ash
    (8) Gallons Acid
    (1) 8 pound container of pool conditioner (2) 28oz. Bottles of algaecide
    (1) 50 pound container of 3” chlorine tabs
    Training:
    (3) 1 hour training sessions
    Warranty:
    1 Year on entire pool
    3 Years on Pentair Equipment if (3) or more pieces are included
    Lifetime warranty on pool shell to original owner provided by Gunite Express 10 Year Warranty on Plaster through SGM Diamond Bright

    What do you think? I think I might change to a pressure style cleaner, and add LED lights. Husband has finally got involved and wants a narrower spillover instead of the negative edge and to raise the reef shelf to a shallower tanning ledge. I was told (by a different builder) bubblers wouldn't work in a deeper reef shelf anyway, and I want the dogs to come and hang out with me in the pool and they were not fond of the deep water in our above ground. Husband thinks they'd like a shallower tanning ledge, rather than a reef ledge, which I thought they might actually swim in, because they could still touch the bottom there. But he thinks not. I'm mostly okay with that.

    I like the builder, I have some more research to do on him, as I know he had an issue with the BBB, but in my area the BBB basically a class A scam and completely unreliable as a source of reputation. (Basically I've been warned by all kinds of people, landscapers, pool maintenance companies, bankruptcy attorneys against several companies who are A+ accredited on their list, but not a bad word heard about this builder). So I want to hear his side and I want to see some of his builds in progress. The pool building trade is a complete racket around here. I've had quotes on the same design and specs vary by well over $25,000. I was strongly considering owner building, but my blood pressure is giving me issues and I think I'd rather not have the added stress of hunting down subs. I think dealing with a pool builder will be bad enough.

    Oh and I have to make a special mention to the builder I met with last week - who justified his ridiculous price tag based upon his 'reputation'. Whom I stumbled upon via a google search, who no one has ever heard of and no one (and I've been meeting with landscapers and maintenance guys to get their views also) can give them a recommendation. They quoted for an Intellitouch. When I asked them to quote on an Easytouch, they refused, because get this, the 'Easytouch wasn't that much cheaper' and 'was too hard to program'. Yeah, I got up and left.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    bulldogz400's Avatar
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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Opinion on Quote Pls

    Nice list!

    I visited a few pools before beginning my 'adventure', and really enjoyed the LED lights. I thought it gave the pools an added dimension, and the light shows were another good touch. It's a personal preference, but one I would consider.

    You mention a 250k BTU heater - the 400k Pentair is relatively close in price, that might be an upgrade to consider as well.

    Good luck, seems like you're off to a nice start!
    IG gunite 32 x 18 on a bachelor budget! Click Here To See

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. Opinion on Quote Pls

    Oh the only thing I wasn't sure about was the Easytouch 4. We probably want to add a heat pump in the future, and we want 2 bubblers on the tanning shelf, but no other water features and we wouldn't want to be able to control anything else with it, no landscape lightning or anything. We'd rather not pay for the 8 unless we have to, so I wanted to ask about that too, if it will be enough. I tried reading through the manual to figure out how many inputs it has, and it looks like it has inputs for a few things other than the '4' but honestly it was a bit too complicated for me to figure out for sure.
    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. I think we have a builder!

    Well, I do believe we've found our builder. I've been really, really worried about committing to a project this size. Especially hearing some of the horror stories coming out of my state with pool builders and especially given most of the builders I've met and had quotes from. I even considered self-contracting, but I've had some health issues, and that along with worrying mainly who I'd find to sub for plumbing, I decided to check out the only builder I had a really good feeling about.

    Anyway we asked him to see some of his builds. Today he was having a pool gunited, so we went to check it out, and I am both impressed and relieved. The gunite crew were doing a smashing job. The rebar job was clearly very well done, neat, even and properly supported, plumbing was very neatly laid out and labelled. We have had some nightmare weather too, and you can see how they dealt with some wall collapse issues they'd had. It had been dug out, supported from behind and extra rebar laid to help give extra support. All in all, everything I'd want to see. In fact, I've seen some builds on here by clearly very good builders especially out of Houston/Dallas and California, with lovely neat dig, rebar and plumbing work, and this guy's work resembled that. I so didn't expect to see that out of a builder around here. I was so happy.

    I did notice he used some flex line in the plumbing - although it was clearly coated in something, and in an area clearly destined to be concreted, so I asked him about it, because we have had some termite issues - in fact we are renovating an old 2 story shed next to where the pool will be built and we just found fresh termites in the structure. We are also not really encasing the area in any deck - its going to be a grass surround. He said we can stipulate no flex (oh yes that will so be on my contract), and we will have to get our termite guys to spray the area before gunite gets shot too. They have to come and spray the shed once we have all the structure and siding replaced also. But that should be done before the pool build starts though.

    Anyway, we are going to look at some recently completed builds also to see his finish work, but I'm very, very happy to sign on the dotted line just looking at the structural work he does. Usually since that gets hidden, it can be sloppy, but since it wasn't I feel it gives a good indication of the level of attention to detail that I would be very pleased to have in a builder. Asking him questions, he clearly knows his stuff, and I'm pretty sure, he has figured out I know mine. Not every woman walks on a job site, notices flex plumbing and asks about termite issues. LOL. My poor husband was too busy looking at the house these folks were also building, as they were having a house built at the same time - he knows not a darn thing about pool building. He was staring in the wrong direction most of the time. As an aside, whoever was building their house was doing a fantastic job also - it was still just studs and roof, but you can tell when someone uses really good subs - and these people had good folks. Tripled nailed studs, neat, beautiful framing, beautiful craftsmanship on things like the rafter tails. My husband years ago, worked as a framing carpenter and to his eyes, he said they were doing a very good job. We looked at a lot of builders down here a few years ago when we were house hunting and most builders around here if you get to see whats under the finish most of them produce frighteningly crappy work. These homeowners were hiring really good folks. The builder also said this was their 4th pool he'd built for them. Which is also a pretty good recommendation. Also that these people are clearly nuts because I'd probably never want to go through this ever again.

    I also have to say, those gunite trucks are LOUD. Darn. I was amused because these folks were building this big pretty new house on a lot in an old established neighborhood. I'm sure their soon to be neighbors are so thrilled with all the noise. Amused until I realized I like my neighbors on the side my pool will be built. I'm gonna have to make them cookies too...

    And we also closed on our home equity loan today too - so I'm all excited and ready to get started. Hopefully I can start posting pics really soon of our build.
    Eva.
    We are building a 14x28 in ground with a spillover spa...
    All Pentair Equipment, 3HP VS pump, Sand Filter, 250K BTU gas heater, 2HP blower.
    Easytouch 4. Pentair Racer Cleaner.

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    Re: New in-ground in swampy Louisiana. I think we have a builder!

    Some pool builders don't like well informed people. They can't take advantage of them. Good for you for being able to spot them! Love the design!
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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