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Thread: Another Texas Pool Build

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    Another Texas Pool Build

    Such a great site and wealth of knowledge I've decided I need to give back some and go ahead and post my build, we are well into it so this will be on fast forward but I hope I can offer some insight to others who are considering a build and possibly help them at the very least get a little more comfortable with what they are doing. Here goes.

    To give a little background, we moved to Texas a little over two years ago, when house hunting a pool was on our wish list. What we found was that every house we looked at with a pool we just didn't quite like it enough to buy, so we decided to look for a house that we could build our own pool. We did that and then proceeded to get some pool companies to come out and take a look. To be honest I don't think we knew how much of an investment a pool really is. We then spent the next two years talking and working with different pool builders. Last November we finally dived in, pool and patio extension with kitchen design approved, contract signed and deposit check cashed our pool build adventure began. I'll go ahead and get this out of the way now, would I recommend my PB? My answer is I don't think I would feel comfortable recommending any PB, they each have their own Pros and Cons, I also believe their performance is really dependent on too many variables, but I am quite happy to offer anybody assistance with navigating the design and contracting phase, while this is my first I think we learned a lot.

    Here is some photos (I hope) of what we started with.







    Important things to keep in mind at this point are to take a look at the layout and make sure you are happy with it. This can be difficult because without the hole in the ground your perspective can be a little off. My suggestion is to make sure you are there with the PB and assist them with the layout, if nothing else you will feel like you are part of the build and you would be surprised at the questions you think of while going through the layout step by step.

    I believe it was at this point that we encountered our first "Change Order", I was asked if footings had been discussed, no nothing about footings why would I need them? As it turns out the slope in my yard is a bit more than would appear at first glance, this is something that I knew but didn't think to address it as I assumed the designer would let me know if anything needed to be done. The lesson there is if you have a question go ahead and get it out there. I'll go ahead and close out this post, hope everybody finds this enjoyable and informative, please don't hesitate to comment or ask questions, keeping in mind this build is well on its way so not much to be done in way of improvements but your comments may help others in the future.
    16,800 Gal IG, Luna Quartz Aruba, Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 4x160 Inteliflow VS Pump, Pentair Intellachlor SWG, Paramount PV3 w/ 1.5 HP Pentair WF, 2 HP Pentair WF supply Water Features, Easytouch Control System

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Welcome to the forum, with a great first post.

    I concur on many points, it is indeed a learning experience and it's too bad we can't all have a practice run. This forum is a great platform for that, and sharing experiences helps others. I know it helped me a tremedous amount before I built, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing. So much you have to learn OTJ.

    Since you are new, may I ask what you are doing with the chemistry? And where are the rest of the pics?

    We want to see the finished product, so by all means, please show us. Your pics uploaded fine!
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Dig Day

    Moving on to the the dig, as I said earlier we signed the contract back in November but after getting HOA approval and the holidays out of the way our dig started in late January. In order to get the machinery in we needed to go through my neighbors driveway, I am grateful to them for being so understanding through that whole process. Something to keep in mind for your pool build, there is no way to sugar coat it, this will be disruptive to you and your neighbors. That has probably caused me more stress than the other little things that come up through the build. Here are some dig photos.







    16,800 Gal IG, Luna Quartz Aruba, Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 4x160 Inteliflow VS Pump, Pentair Intellachlor SWG, Paramount PV3 w/ 1.5 HP Pentair WF, 2 HP Pentair WF supply Water Features, Easytouch Control System

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    So we are not quite finished with the build, I will get everybody caught up. My thought was to break up my posts into "phases", I thought that might be useful for people wanting to ask questions or comment on various steps in the process. The pool chemistry is really one of the reasons I ran across this site, I'm getting everything together and you guys will be with me step by step once our build gets to that point. I have gone ahead and gotten the TF100 test kit and even got the speed stirrer, I'm a gadget person.
    16,800 Gal IG, Luna Quartz Aruba, Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 4x160 Inteliflow VS Pump, Pentair Intellachlor SWG, Paramount PV3 w/ 1.5 HP Pentair WF, 2 HP Pentair WF supply Water Features, Easytouch Control System

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Another Texas Pool Build

    Nice looking dig ! Looking forward to pic's of the progress.
    Congrats on getting a good test kit.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Hi hckbrk,
    Welcome to TFP!

    good choice on the TF100 test kit. Keep reading pool school, and you will be good to go and many miles and $ ahead.

    Im gonna enjoy reading the build thread!
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    PV3, Rough Plumbing and steel

    We went with the in-floor cleaning (I wanted it, the wife not so much due to budget). The reason I did is probably because I like the concept of the system and feel it will work close enough to what is was designed to do that I will be happy. I am aware that there has been some reliability issues but I'm ok with that, it is after all a mechanical device so it will not last forever. Secondary to that is I feel it offers an excellent method to get water circulated around quickly, maybe not the most efficient option from a cost and power required but the gadget addict and engineer in me likes it. As I will get to in a future post, I should have gotten more involved with the plumbing side of things because I'm not going to get quite what I had in mind but certainly nothing that will cause me much trouble or that I couldn't fix at a later date if I wanted to take a weekend and do some plumbing modifications.
























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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Hey nice build! Is your home a Highland Home? The reason I ask is we used to have one and we loved it. Your neighbor's house looks very similar to what our house looked like (except in Austin). We are getting quotes right now for our pool so I am excited to see your progress.

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Yes it's a Highland home, we really lucked out that it was just about a week or two from completion when we purchased it and already had most everything we probably would have wanted if we had built it.

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Quote Originally Posted by hakbrk View Post
    Yes it's a Highland home, we really lucked out that it was just about a week or two from completion when we purchased it and already had most everything we probably would have wanted if we had built it.
    That is great! Ours was built in 2005 and we picked the lot and watched it get built. They were great the entire time and the house was great. I just wished we knew we would want a pool because the lot just wasn't good for a pool. We ended up selling it 18 months ago and bought a Drees home in our same neighborhood but the back yard is probably 3x bigger so now the pool is going to go in.

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Gunite

    On to the Gunite process. For us this was a two day event, started on Friday and finished up Saturday morning (crew arrived about 0700 so I'm sure we were once again being spoken well of by the neighbors). Not much in way of advice I can offer here besides it's loud and messy. Very impressed with the guys who applied.






















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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Plumbing, Equipment and Patio Extension

    The work that goes into the plumbing is quite impressive to me. I'm an engineer and have worked in and on rigs and ships, and shipyards so when I see guys who can run pipe like the crew we had I was very impressed. Here is another tip for those of you considering a pool build. If you feel you have the knowledge and feel you know what you want as far as pipe and pump sizing then you really need to get into the weeds on this one when discussing your build, design and pricing with the builder. This is something that I did not do to the level that I should have and I do regret that somewhat. Having said that I have no doubt that what I have will work just fine, it's just that I would have liked to do a few things differently, on the plus side my wishes would have no doubt raised the build cost. In general you need to make sure you are getting enough water to your pumps, as you will see my pumps are located possibly a little further away than the average build so things like 3" suctions were a no brainier for us, I would have liked to see some more efficient pipe sizing on the return line headers and also the ability to run my heater outlet through the PV3 in floor system, non of that is a real big deal in the big scheme of things but if you think you want to be more involved in that then get into the ring early on. Otherwise you will find yourself scratching your head measuring piping runs and counting fittings to do friction loss calculations and trying to figure out if you could have done this a little better . Also as you will see in the photos the filter ended up in an unfortunate location, that window is a bathroom window which has a shutter that stays closed 99.9% of the time so probably not the end of the world but we could have done better on that one. If you do not choose to be involved you really need to back off and let the PB do their thing, unless you see something that really does not look right or is not in keeping with your contract. Here are some photos of the plumbing going in as well as the start of the patio extension.
































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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Looks like nice work.
    It baffles me though why all of those beautiful NeverLube Jandy valves are installed in the the system, and then they put those 3 red ball valves in too. Lol. Why did they do that?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Looks like nice work.
    It baffles me though why all of those beautiful NeverLube Jandy valves are installed in the the system, and then they put those 3 red ball valves in too. Lol. Why did they do that?
    Dave - That was my same head scratching thought when I came home from work and saw those valves. So I checked my pool specs and sure enough three ball valves were called out so looks like that's what the plan was. After thinking about it more, those lines go to water features (x2 bubblers and a 6' Sheer), so I believe those valves are going to be set and forget once the system is up and running. I may in the future look at automating that, right now I can turn the pump on remotely via the Easytouch system but I'll have to see if we would ever want to run just the Sheer or just the bubblers.
    16,800 Gal IG, Luna Quartz Aruba, Pentair 420 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 4x160 Inteliflow VS Pump, Pentair Intellachlor SWG, Paramount PV3 w/ 1.5 HP Pentair WF, 2 HP Pentair WF supply Water Features, Easytouch Control System

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    THANKS for sharing! This is going to be fun to watch.

    I like how you are thinking it through and telling what you would have done different.

    Have to wonder why they did not move the equipment pad closer to the end of the house so that it is NOT right under the window LOL. Who placed it there and what were they thinking? I am sure they had a good reason.

    So nice that you already have your test kit! You will not have any problems with your water when you get it!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Tile and Coping

    As those of you who have built pools, I think you would agree that this is the point at which you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel confident it is probably not a train. So our coping is Travertine, and the accent tile is a dark blue. My wife gets all the credit for color choices, I am just not able to figure out what will and won't look good. The plaster will be Luna Quartz, this may sound hard to believe but we both cannot remember what color we picked for the plaster. That is on the list to confirm with the PB prior to application, we think it is Aruba, but I am also thinking it is like Aruba because I'm not sure they make that one anymore. Probably getting this all mixed up but those of you who have been down this road will understand. Looking at the photos it reminded me of the lighting issue and decisions we went through. So one thing we wanted was the tanning ledge to be lit up, this concept did not quite make it to the final design so we had some last minute back and forth and got the bubblers changed to lighted bubblers, there was an issue with the pricing but we got that worked out so my only annoyance is that I really felt this was already included but to be fair it was not in the documentation. We also had a lot of discussion on the pool light, we have ended up with one but I'm still wondering if we should have had two. Another builder we spoke to had told me most PB don't put a lot of thought into the lighting so his "standard" package included two or three lights and he really wasn't willing to cut down on that. In hindsight I think I like his attitude with that, his reasoning is that the pool ends up being darker than the customer had envisioned and leads to disappointment. I think at this point we were in the middle of the dig, dealing with extra cost estimates for footings and lighted bubblers and the additional pool light was just one more extra on top of that. It's done now so time will tell.














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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Decking

    Our decking is a concrete with a Comfortdeck coating, I believe Comfortdeck is another version off Kool Deck. Here is where we ended up making probably the largest change from a budget perspective. Once the decking was laid out it just looked too small in places, we have a fire pit going in and it appeared as though it may be standing room only around it so we enlarged that area, we had to contend with some build line restrictions but we are happy with how it came out. We made a few other additions to try and even things out around the outdoor bathroom which is also part of this project. Another item we had to tackle and resulted in more cost was our drains. This is something to keep in mind when working with the PB, they will give you an estimate of what they think they will put in or more than likely based on the size of your pool. In reality once everything is laid out and before they pour or set your decking you need to figure out if you need some additional drainage. In our case the slope in our yard is quite pronounced at the back, my concern was that after a good rain I'd have mud and dirty water flowing into the pool and onto the decking. We went ahead and had some more installed. I think you need to make sure you agree on the number of drains and the estimated pipe footage but be prepared to add to that at some point.














































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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Clean Up and from here on out we'll be live so to speak. Friday a crew showed up to remove excess dirt and try and clean the area up, I think they did a great job and considering they were only here about 4-5 hours things are looking good.





















    Stay tuned for more.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    Man those water features are nice to have.

    Just a FYI,
    You may not realize it now, but I bet you'll use those ball valves a lot more than you probably think.
    The water features are great, but man, they are usually fairly noisy too!

    Really nice pool and entertaining area. I like it a lot.



    Quote Originally Posted by hakbrk View Post
    After thinking about it more, those lines go to water features (x2 bubblers and a 6' Sheer), so I believe those valves are going to be set and forget once the system is up and runningf.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: Another Texas Pool Build

    I really like those steps and I saw a little one in one of your pics. Those steps will be great to play on.

    I do have to say, that's a pretty steep drop off from the tanning ledge though. I'd be careful with the kids on that and anyone new to the pool who doesn't realize it's a drop off.

    Looks good though and I love the blue tile.
    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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