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Thread: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

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    A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Hi there, this will be a fun first post. Been lurking on the site for about 6 months at the recommendation of a friend, and it was very helpful in deciding some items like equipment, materials, etc. Below is the post of the majority of our pool build. It's done and filled, and the landscaping is about a week out. So sorry, no long drawn out post.

    So, a bit of background. We relocated to The Woodlands, TX, (a suburb about 30 miles North of Downtown Houston) in late 2012. When we bought our home, we were in the middle of a corporate relo so we bought a builder inventory home that was close to completion. We loved the selections and the floorplan but the lot. Well, it's a decent sized lot for the area, but the house has a HUGE footprint and chews up a ton of the lot.

    We knew that with kids, and being in South Texas, we would want a pool. We had the builder's pool company sketch us a possibility or two before we bought the home so we knew it would work. A little over a year later, we decided that we wanted to get serious. I had researched pool companies and knew that I didn't want the PB to dictate design. Most of the pools around here are free form, and with such a small yard, I wanted something that was more urban, modern, and just "fit" the space, rather than being jammed in there. Remember, we don't have much room. Literally 20' off our back patio is our property line. Worse than that, The Woodlands dictates a 10' rear covenant easement to keep drainage moving, and rarely lets you build in it.

    So we hired a landscape architect that specializes in urban and commercial type projects (I had a work affiliation). I knew they would deliver a good design. After some considerable back and forth, this was what we had as a starting point for bidding:



    I should mention some of the other issues we faced:

    • Drainage issue where all the water would go to the left rear of the lot and sit.
    • A two-story column that needed to be removed in order to open up the rear deck.
    • Did I mention that the whole pool could be no more than 10' wide, including whatever offset that the pool builder was comfortable with off our patio?


    So with that, a bidding we went!

    We looked at about 6 PB's and got bids from 3. One pool builder would not do salt, and his design was essentially a rectangle. Very plan. Second builder was about the same price, would do either salt or chlorine, and had a perfect plan. The third builder was $10k more (with some pretty snazzy pentair equipment) and would have been even higher when we added in the extras we wanted. Plus, in order to install a SWG, we had to sign our life away. We asked him to provide a price on the extras we wanted....and we never heard back. Eh?

    So we went with guy #2. Checked out well, done pools in the neighborhood, spoke to current owners, full insurance, etc. Signed the contract and away we went. Specs we ended up with. yeah, they're probably overkill, but I'm an overkill kind of guy:

    Inground gunnite geometric pool
    Approx 8,000 gallons.
    Triple weir water feature
    30' x (6.5' at one end and 8.5' at the other)x 3.5-6.5' deep
    Hayward Swim Clear 425 Cartridge
    Hayward TCell SWG
    Hayward TriStar VS Filter Pump
    Hayward Super II Water Feature Pump
    Polaris 280 Cleaner with Booster Pump
    Hayward Color Logic 4.0 LED lights (2)
    Hayward Pro Logic 4 Automation
    Hayward Aqua Pod remote control
    Wet Edge Satin Matrix - Antigua



    While we were waiting on the permits, I had the column removed. This involved installing a double 16" LVL with approximately an 18' span to carry the roof load.

    The column to be removed:



    Double LVL:





    Column gone:



    Pool staked for inspection:







    Digging: Unmarked power line!



    This is our house service line. We are lucky we didn't kill the meter pan, or start a fire as it arced when the line was cut. Yikes! Our electrician re-built the meter pan, and ran a new service line and we had our meter back on that night. Good to know people....



    Digging Done.











    Rebar!







    I was getting worried they were going to gunnite with the conduit still there!





    Will be continued on next post....
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Continued....




    It was about here that things came off the rails a bit. First, the project foreman told me..."hey, tomorrow we are doing your gunnite" to which I replied, "by the way, at what point are you going to tell me where to go to pick travertine, tile, and stone?". He was flabbergasted that I didn't already have it picked out! So he gave us the location of the yards....at which point I had a major GI issue causing me to go to the ER. Then it was Easter, then we went and couldn't decide on a stone so we ordered samples, etc. Essentially, the gunnite got a good long chance to cure as it sat for about 5 weeks!

    Finally, we decided on a stone, and a tile, they ordered everything and got back on track.

    Gunnite (sorry for lack of pics, this was when I was in the ER and laid up for a few days).










    Travertine choices:



    Tile:



    Stone:



    Together:



    Waterline tile up. Stone going on!:







    Plumbing done, and equipment set:





    Travertine coping starting:









    Travertine decking started. Note how the original deck has been expanded.



















    And done!











    Wet Edge Satin Matrix Antigua installation:







    Starting to fill!



    Full and shocked, pumping for several days.








    Nighttime shots:





    So now, the landscaping is going in! I will update as that is completed over the next week. Right now we're running on chlorine, and I'm a bit worried about what I'm doing using tablets. The PB gave me the most rudimentary kit (FC and pH only) and I have ordered a lamotte colorq pro 7 digital test kit. It will be here Tuesday. We can't turn on the SWG as the Wet Edge warranty prohibits that for 28 days. Fortunately that's only a little over a week away. Yay!

    Some issues we have had:

    The weirs for the water feature weren't really well sealed, and water leaks out behind the travertine spillway, causing water to leak out of the face of the stone wall. They've sealed them once, and two worked, but the third still leaks.

    I was not happy with the Wet Edge installation. I thought it was very crenellated and uneven. I was told "they are all like that" and truth be told, you don't see it with the pool full. You do feel it with your feet, but only really because I know what I'm looking for. Also, there are some streaks of the polymer remaining that show up as bright blue with no aggregate showing. They are coming back to supposedly fix this. I'm still holding a good bit of $$ on them.

    The lights were centered on the main body of the pool, not the extended part to the left with the steps. So that part of the pool is a bit dark at night. I'm going to try to shim the one light to the left a bit to gain some additional coverage.

    Other than that, can't wait to be running on salt!

    I've read pool school, the ABC's, etc., and am really waiting on the test kit to get things really rolling.
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Hmm, what happened to part 1?
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Welcome to TFP. What a compact pool! It's very nice!

    You should add an FAS/DPD test to that kit you ordered so if and when you need to read a higher FC level, you can. This FAS/DPD can read up to 50ppm FC. You can order it at tftestkits.net. The link is in my signature.

    As far as CYA, I would watch it since you're using pucks. You don't want to get over 70ppm since you're going to be running a SWG in about a week or so. I would encourage you to keep reading pool school and the links provided as you have time.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
    Hmm, what happened to part 1?
    Can you see it now? That may have been my fault as I was approving your messages, I thought the first one was already approved.
    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: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey View Post
    Welcome to TFP. What a compact pool! It's very nice!

    You should add an FAS/DPD test to that kit you ordered so if and when you need to read a higher FC level, you can. This FAS/DPD can read up to 50ppm FC. You can order it at tftestkits.net. The link is in my signature.

    As far as CYA, I would watch it since you're using pucks. You don't want to get over 70ppm since you're going to be running a SWG in about a week or so. I would encourage you to keep reading pool school and the links provided as you have time.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Can you see it now? That may have been my fault as I was approving your messages, I thought the first one was already approved.
    Yup, it's back. Phew!
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    We like to make you sweat when you see long post like those disappear, thinkin you have to do them over... now you can go cool off in that awesome pool of yours!

    I'm just kiddin.... It was my fault.
    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: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Haha, indeed.

    In any event, we are enjoying the heck out of it for now!
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Awesome! It's a nice little pool and not unusual for Texas as there have been a few come across the forum over the years. There is one going on right now...

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...nd-skinny-pool
    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: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    They did a great job and I love the travertine

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Beautiful - the night shots look so inviting!
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by martinkennedy View Post
    They did a great job and I love the travertine
    Thanks. It was a bit of a splurge, but with so little SF it didn't bust the budget. We figured that in such a compact space, we needed to go with premium materials or it would look cheap.

    The stone on the wall is a real dry stacked stone. We had looked at many samples of Coronado stone but up close! it all looked very cheap. Plus none of the colors really worked.
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Hi Needsdecf, I think that we should have our special little forum on having a small pool or form a small pool club! Congratulations on your new pool, and love the lay out. Very nice and modern!
    72' X 10' IG pool with infinity edge spa and in pool dry deck completed Nov 2014. Pentair 3 HP VS pump for pool and spa. Pentair Challenger 3 HP for three 3 feet sheer decent water features. Pentair MasterTemp Heater and QUAD D.E. Filter.

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Your pool looks very nice. The color of the water looks great against the stone work and tile. Enjoy!
    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

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    Brentr's Avatar
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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Love your small pool. We have a SPOOL aka Social Pool and everyone who comes here wish they had a smaller pool too. You will love it as it is very easy to upkeep. Look at the links in the signature bar.
    6,000 gal, IG free form,Beach Series Antigua by Marbletite Pebble finish,Sheer Descent, IG Fountain, Dolphin / Mermaid Statues,Dura- Glas 1.5hp pump,Hayward Pro-grid DE4820, Aqua Rite SWG with T-Cell 15,Heat Siphon Heat Pump DX 5.0 109,000 btu, Pool Cage, 1800sq ft Tremron Estate Pavers,Aquatherm Ecosun Solar Panels 192 sq ft with GL-235 Controller,Pentair IntelliBrite, Apollo Magnetic Stirrer Our New Poolbuild, Jacksonville, FL yr 2009 Solar install Outdoor kitchen upgrade

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by cchopkins View Post
    Hi Needsdecf, I think that we should have our special little forum on having a small pool or form a small pool club! Congratulations on your new pool, and love the lay out. Very nice and modern!
    Thanks! I wish that I had been able to get closer to the house or closer to the rear property line as you had. The irony is that the rear easement is to control drainage...and you do not need that much space. There is also a utility easement that's 3' shorter, so I would have 7' of space for drainage, which is more than enough. But in the end, we decided not to try for a variance as everyone I spoke to said you'll never get one, and I didn't want to wait months to be told no, and then have no pool. In the end, a mistake? I don't know. Once the landscaping is in I probably won't notice the extra space back there.

    Your pool is awesome...and very ambitious! I didn't read your whole build but skimmed through and caught up to where you are now and it looks great!
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Great looking little pool, I love how seamless it looks off the patio.

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Nice pool.
    Approx 11K Gal. 10'X30' Semi free-form IG - 6 ' raised spa w/6 jets - 10' circle sun shelf with 1 bubbler - Waterfall - 3 / 1.5 HP pumps - Polaris 280 Cleaner - 3 Pentair Color LED Intellibrite Lights - Pentair 400K Master Temp - 2 Valve Actuators - 5 Fiberstar Mini Laminars - 1 Fiberstars 2004 Illuminator - 2 Skimmers - 6 Returns - Caribbean Blue Pebble Tech - 600+ sq ft kool decK - Auto Fill - 2 Boston Acoustics VOYA RK5 Outdoor Rock Speakers - 2 TIC Corporation TFS5CN 6.5-Inch 150-Watt Terra-Forms Rock Speakers - Apple Airport Express - 1 Awesome View.

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Quote Originally Posted by daytimedrama View Post
    Great looking little pool, I love how seamless it looks off the patio.
    Thanks, that's EXACTLY what we wanted. I tried to get them to roll the Versailles pattern into the coping but they said they wouldn't do it. Oh well. You don't notice it.
    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    So the landscaping is done. Love, love, love it! Man, it was a lot of stuff. Especially since we included the front yard. But in the end, totally thrilled with the result!

    So just need some fine tuning on some of the pool issues (the water feature and potentially some of the Wet Edge) but otherwise we're done.



















    8,000 gallon in-ground gunnite geometric. Wet Edge Satin Matrix. Triple overflow water feature.
    Hayward - TCell 15 SWG; TriStar VS Main Pump; SwimClear 425 Cartridge Filter; ProLogic 4 Automation, SuperII Water Feature Pump; Polaris 280 w/ Booster
    Link to my Build

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: A Small Pool is a Good Pool.....The Woodlands, TX

    Looks great!
    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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