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Thread: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    We just bought a house with an in-ground kidney shaped pool that is about 35 years old or more. There are some major issues with the pool. Pictures of the pool area are attached.
    • Tiles and structure under coping is in bad shape
    • Cement around new skimmer is missing
    • Shallow end has settled more than deep end (around 5" or so difference)
    • Cement pool deck has separated and shifted away from pool
    • Marcite has chipped in certain spots


    IMG_20150512_203456559_HDR (Small) (Mobile).jpgIMG_20150512_203605965_HDR (Small) (Mobile).jpgIMG_20150512_203634328 (Small) (Mobile).jpgIMG_20140816_164608349.jpgIMG_20140819_183709384.jpg

    1. Pick which option you would do and what makes the most sense.
    2. Does $22-23k spent for options 2 and 3 sound reasonable for all of this? How much would a new pool even cost?
    3. Would you risk trying to save the existing concrete and putting in brick pavers in the gaps. Could save $7k or so.
    4. Do you feel it is necessary to redo the pipes since the pool was built in the late 70’s?
    5. Would you do the coping/tiles and marcite separately? There will likely be a line we have heard but not sure what this means. Or just do them together?
    6. Do you see any issues with the steps below? Are they in the right order? Are the costs reasonable?
    7. Anywhere else to save or other ideas on what you would do?
    8. Anything else missing or other comments?


    We don't really want to redo the entire pool and deck this year because of the cost (unless we have to). Here are the options as we see them:
    Option 1: New coping, tiles, retaining wall, brick paver gaps with old cement this year. New marcite next year. (Total $16k)
    This year ($10k):
    • Redo coping and tiles all the way around pool ($4-5k)
    • Retaining wall ($3k)
    • Cut cement along gaps the width of a brick paver and brick pave [could be more permanent and may not have to replace deck ($2k?)]

    Next year ($5.5k):
    • Chip off and re-marcite the entire pool ($4-5k) – is this wise to do separate from coping? We’ve heard you will see a line around the pool
    • Fully drain pool for marcite work and refill ($500?)

    *There is a risk that the old cement that we decided to keep gets worse over time and the issue was never fixed but is a much cheaper option.

    Option 2: New coping, tiles, marcite, and brick pavers with old cement this year. Nothing next year. ($16k Total)
    This year ($16k):
    • Redo coping and tiles all the way around pool ($4-5k)
    • Chip off and re-marcite the entire pool ($4-5k)
    • Fully drain pool for marcite work and refill ($500?)
    • Cut cement along gaps the width of a brick paver and brick pave [could be more permanent and may not have to replace deck ($2k?)]
    • Retaining wall ($3k)

    *There is a risk that the old cement that we decided to keep gets worse over time and the issue was never fixed but is a much cheaper option.

    Option 3: New coping, tiles, marcite this year. New pipes, new pool deck next year. ($22-23k Total):
    This year ($11k):
    • Redo coping and tiles all the way around pool ($4-5k)
    • Chip off and re-marcite the entire pool ($4-5k)
    • Fully drain pool for marcite work and refill ($500?)
    • Patch the gaps with Quikcrete between the pool and pool deck and around skimmer (few hundred $), caulk ($?)

    Next year (11k):
    • Replace pipes with modern pipes ($?) – recommended to us since pool is late-70s
    • Redo the entire pool deck with new cement all around ($8k??)
    • Retaining wall ($2k)


    Option 4: New coping, tiles this year. New marcite, pipes and pool deck next year ($22k-23k Total):
    This year ($5.5k):
    • Redo coping and tiles all the way around pool ($4-5k)
    • Patch the gaps with Quikcrete between the pool and pool deck and around skimmer (few hundred $), caulk ($?)

    Next year ($16.5k):
    • Chip off and re-marcite the entire pool ($4-5k)
    • Fully drain pool for marcite work and refill ($500?)
    • Replace pipes with modern pipes ($?) – recommended to us since pool is late-70s
    • Redo the entire pool deck with new cement all around ($8k??)
    • Retaining wall ($2k)

    *Doing marcite the next year could have a line around the pool because the tiles were done prior.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    My suggestion is to get the pool swimable for this season, use it, and see how your use patterns fit in with the style of pool, this will tell you what you may want to change better than any advice here may do. Afterall there is nothing worse than looking at a pool under construction all swim season and not being able to use it.
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  3. Back To Top    #3


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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    My take on this is your pool didn't settle but popped out of the ground at one point on the deep end. This cracked the skimmer so they cut it out and replaced it. Popping is not as unusual as it would seem.
    My very non-professional opinion is the preferred option is to remove the pool and start over. There are issues that can't be resolved like leveling the pool. I'll be interested in others opinions on this one. But maybe your approach(es) is feasible to make the best of the situation.
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    PoolESQ's Avatar
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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    None of your proposed options address the most glaring issue - the level of the pool. I certainly would not spend tens of thousands to rehab a pool that does not address the #1 most obvious problem. New tile, plaster, coping, decking will not mask the major glaring problem of the pool level. You need to include this fix in your calculations/cost. More knowledgeable folks here can chime in, but I wonder if the level can be remedied by pouring an additional layer of gunite around the top rim of the existing pool shell so that it will appear leveled. I also recommend that you not piecemeal the fixes and try to get all of the work done at the same time.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolESQ View Post
    None of your proposed options address the most glaring issue - the level of the pool. I certainly would not spend tens of thousands to rehab a pool that does not address the #1 most obvious problem. New tile, plaster, coping, decking will not mask the major glaring problem of the pool level. You need to include this fix in your calculations/cost. More knowledgeable folks here can chime in, but I wonder if the level can be remedied by pouring an additional layer of gunite around the top rim of the existing pool shell so that it will appear leveled. I also recommend that you not piecemeal the fixes and try to get all of the work done at the same time.
    Thanks for the reply. I am no pool expert but have talked to several people and said that the integrity of the pool structure is good. I am not sure what led to the popping of the pool, if that is what happened. If you believe the most glaring issues is the level of the pool, then how would pouring an additional layer of gunite around the top fix it? It may fix it aesthetically but if you think there is something wrong with the structure then not sure how that helps. If the structure is fine (not sure if it is but have been told it should be) then the glaring issue is probably just aesthetics - correct?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    My suggestion is to get the pool swimable for this season, use it, and see how your use patterns fit in with the style of pool, this will tell you what you may want to change better than any advice here may do. Afterall there is nothing worse than looking at a pool under construction all swim season and not being able to use it.
    Thanks. I think this is a very logical way to do it. Maybe fix the coping and tile this year, use the pool for the season and then go from there?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Any other suggestions to keep the costs down? Design suggestions, etc? If I am going spend a lot of money on this eventually I would hope to make it better than it was/is.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    PoolESQ's Avatar
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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    Yes, I'm talking aesthetically primarily. If you don't level the pool, then the water line around the pool tile will always be off balance. Since the pool is so far out of level, you may in fact have areas of the pool where the water doesn't even reach the tile line, and that can be problematic for new plaster - to leave it exposed to air rather than water. I don't think pouring an additional layer of gunite would be particularly expensive, esp. if you already have the coping and deck removed. I'm just afraid if you spend all this money doing the other fixes, you will regret not having leveled out the pool. Granted, I'm somewhat OCD, so it may not bother you at all. From a resale standpoint, (assuming you one day plan to sell the home) I think buyers would be very weary about buying a non-conforming pool. Consequently, you may be paying to level out the pool one way or the other (reduced sales price or repair as contingency of sale.)

    One other thing I forgot to mention, and haven't seen anyone else mention, is that you may need a sump pump, hydrostatic relief valve, or other mechanism for removing underground water beneath your pool - I suspect that is why it popped to begin with.

    Good luck with the renovation! Look forward to seeing pics of the progress!



    Thanks. I think this is a very logical way to do it. Maybe fix the coping and tile this year, use the pool for the season and then go from there?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Any other suggestions to keep the costs down? Design suggestions, etc? If I am going spend a lot of money on this eventually I would hope to make it better than it was/is.[/QUOTE]
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    Some of you guys were right. I had some pool experts come out and they believe the pool popped in the deep end, which caused the pool level to change and separate from the concrete deck over time.

    The solution now is to (this year) have the coping and tile redone and leveled by adding to the short sides and making even with the popped side. Further, we are thinking we should remarcite at this time to make sure everything matches and the pool will be almost brand new now. I was then thinking that I can mix some quickcrete and fill in the concrete deck separation cracks and use thresholds between the pool structure and concrete to allow for expansion. Next year, we can rip out and redo the concrete deck to match up with the raised coping. At that time, we may also redo the pool lines if they are the old black PVC which are prone to cracking. Is this plan better?

    I was quoted $10k to do wall, level, tile and remarcite. The pool deck will be near $10-12k and pool lines another $3k for next year. Do these quotes seem reasonable?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, some companies quoted concrete coping, others quoted clay bricks. What is best and what do you prefer?

  8. Back To Top    #8
    PoolESQ's Avatar
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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    The quoted prices seem good to me. I'm curious why you're going to put the new deck in before you do the new pool lines. I think this is the opposite way to do things. You don't want to have to risk tearing out any of the new decking to get to the old lines you need to replace. I know $$ is always tight, but if I were in your shoes, I'd definitely spend the extra $3k this year to have the lines redone before the new pool deck goes in.

    PS - did you speak to your pool contractor to ask about a sump pump or hydrostatic relief valve so that you don't face problems of the pool popping in the future, should the ground water levels rise? This is very important.
    Replastered 2015: Sunstone Quartz Midnight Blue 16x32 rectangular gunite with in-pool spa....18,000 gallons. Autopilot Total Control System with SWG and acid pump. Pentair Clean & Clear 420. Auto cover. TF-100.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Need help and ideas for an inground pool redo!

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolESQ View Post
    The quoted prices seem good to me. I'm curious why you're going to put the new deck in before you do the new pool lines. I think this is the opposite way to do things. You don't want to have to risk tearing out any of the new decking to get to the old lines you need to replace. I know $$ is always tight, but if I were in your shoes, I'd definitely spend the extra $3k this year to have the lines redone before the new pool deck goes in.

    PS - did you speak to your pool contractor to ask about a sump pump or hydrostatic relief valve so that you don't face problems of the pool popping in the future, should the ground water levels rise? This is very important.
    Sorry - maybe I wrote it wrong. The old deck is still in and was planning on replacing the lines after the tearout next year and before the new deck goes in.

    I haven't asked about a hydrostatic relief value but will mention it to him and see what he says. Thanks for all of the help!

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