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Thread: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

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    Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    Hi all -

    Bought our home and accompanying 25-year old kidney-shaped vinyl-lined pool with all original equipment last August. Couldn't believe when I went to winterize that I was to use a tarp, water tubes in poor repair, and a huge unwieldy leaf net. Solar cover in the garage is in questionable condition. Husband says the only thing the previous owners did to the house was defer maintenance .

    As soon as the snow melted it revealed this ugly contraption and my new #1 problem. We have an almost 1-year old and almost 4-year old so safety is foremost and we foresee many pool parties with all the neighborhood kids in the future. I wanted a cover that could be an all-in-one safety cover, winter cover, and help keep the heat and chlorine in and leaves out during the short season here in Madison, Wisconsin. I called a few pool guys about a automatic safety cover. Two different companies say there's not enough room on the deck to square off the kidney shape without running into landscaping. Wouldn't be too much of a problem except the landscaping in question includes 2-3 foot diameter boulders at two of the four kidney "corners" and moving those suckers would be a chore and the pool deck might need patching to match the stamped concrete. The inside curve of the kidney also has landscaping - just dirt and flowers, no boulders, but that is really the only area for deck chairs to go (perhaps previous owners just liked to look at the pool from afar, not sure why there's no place to put a deck chair!). That large area would also need concrete patching. Also, the wide fiberglass stairs (which are in really rough shape) are exterior to the kidney shape, and there's no way to add them into the rectangle running into the house foundation, so the stairs would need to be moved interior to the pool and the existing stair location filled and again patched with something that resembles 25-year-old stamped concrete. Basically my problem is there's no room to draw a rectangle over top of my kidney shaped pool. So, my options are:

    1) Install automatic pool cover over top of existing pool. Would entail removing interior curve landscaping, moving stairs to inside of pool, new vinyl liner, moving boulders and landscaping about 2 feet to accommodate track. Concrete would need to be patched in 2 large areas (stairs and interior curve) and 2 small areas (near boulders).

    2) Have a "trampoline" (is that what they're called) cover for winter and install a safety fence around the pool.

    3) Take out kidney pool, rip up deck (which actually is in pretty good shape) and reinstall a rectangular pool with automatic pool cover. Install all new pumps, filter, etc. (salt water!).

    Option 1 might cost a small fortune and might end up looking patch-y. Option 2 doesn't do anything for the aesthetics of the pool. Option 3 will cost a fortune but obviously some of this is money that we'd be spending in the not-so-distant future due to the aging equipment.

    Any other clever ideas out there? Is it possible to square off a kidney pool by cutting down the panels by a foot and shooting gunite around the top to make a rectangle for the auto cover? If that's possible, it would lose the cost of the excavator and we'd obviously be replacing the whole deck but I wonder if the corners can be made tighter to the existing shape than the retro-fit pool cover - it needs 1" extra on one side and 3" extra on another. I don't know if it's even possible as the top of the liner would essentially be encased in gunite but I'm trying to be creative.

    Any ideas?

    Lynn

    18K kidney-shaped, vinyl-lined, 20+ year old in-ground pool with all original equipment. Trouble-free pool it is not

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Option #2 is what most people go for. This is easily the least expensive approach. Those covers are generally called safety covers.

    One variation on option#2 would be a child net safety cover, these are designed to be put on and taken off by hand (which can be a pain) but have a fairly open mesh, enough to prevent kids from falling in, but no where near the weight or enclosedness of a winter safety cover.

    Remember that you can "tilt" (rotate) the cover rectangle relative to the pool, which might be one way to avoid boulders.

    Option #3 is the one that will cost a small fortune. Option #1 is in the middle.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    Post a picture. There might be alternatives once a visual is seen.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    Thanks for replying, I really appreciate it. I need to look at the difference between a safety cover and mesh cover, these terms are new to me as the only other times I've owned a pool I lived in Florida and our "cover" consisted of a big giant screen enclosure over the entire pool! Here are some photos. Hopefully these are in order...one shows the Eastern edge, this is the "broad" side of the kidney bean that has a waterfall feature flowing into it (and skimmer on that side). The North and South end of that are where the track would run into the landscaping boulder.

    House (West) edge with soccer ball in front shows inside curve of bean that we want to make into deck. One step down from there onto smaller wooden deck that is a good dining area (that is a child's size picnic table for scale). Also shows pool stairs that are in ill repair and I'm basically standing on the edge of where the track could go before running into the house foundation.

    Photo from house shows landscaped area with waterfall and hopefully shows the potential of what this could be!

    east_edge.jpg
    west_edge.jpg
    fromHouse2.jpg

    In some ways it's lovely enough to keep repairing...new safety cover and safety fence this year, new liner in a few years, new pump and salt water conversion whenever the pump goes, presumably a new heater (hopefully in next year before home warranty expires), and patchwork concrete this year or next in the landscaping area. In other ways, it would be beautiful to have the whole deck consistent (including wooden deck near house that has some rotting and dogs tear up the paint), and get all new equipment in one fell $woop so it can be designed to work together. Not to mention ease of maintenance and heater cost savings and safety and aesthetics that would come from digging a new pool.

    Any comments? I know it's fun to spend someone else's money!

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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    An auto cover could be done. Remove boulders from in the way. Break out existing deck. Repour a rectangle deck that would allow the cover to be attached to it. Then reset boulders to finish the landscape. Coverstars will build a leading edge up to 30' in length. Another thought what about installing the cover lengthwise for the mechanism.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    Swimcmp, you're my favorite person today for saying it CAN be done, but what do you mean by re-pouring a rectangular deck - what goes between the existing pool edge and the deck? Don't think the lengthwise cover will work as it is 32 or 36 wide - will have to re-measure but first pool guy looked at that and didn't think it was an option.

    Thanks!
    Lynn

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    Have you looked at the auto cover websites? There are a few companies. The websites show lots of pics you might get a better idea from. I love my auto cover.
    Good luck!
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    YippeeSkippy, not sure if you understand my question. The auto cover sites all show rectangular covers over kidney-shaped pools when there is room to do so, but there is not room in my case. What are you suggesting I look at for ideas?

    Still wondering if my cut-it-down and build a gunite ledge to rectangle shape is an option. Has anyone on here done that before?

    Optimistically,
    Lynn

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    You can build up a rectangle platform of deck around the pool that gives the auto cover's tracks a place to sit. I saw some pics of how it could be done when I was shopping for my cover. Perhaps it is only for new construction? I dunno? Just thought I'd share the idea.

    - - - Updated - - -

    http://www.coverpools.com/cover-your...existing-pools

    http://www.pcs-se.com/Portfolio/Auto...-Recessed.aspx
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Kidney + small children + not enough deck = reinstall as rectangular?

    An auto-cover is certainly possible if you move the bench, portions of the boulder retaining wall, and make other landscaping changes to allow a rectangular deck area. Unfortunately that is fairly drastic. Changing the shape of the pool would work, but will be significantly more expensive than the landscaping changes.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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