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Thread: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

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    Eddd's Avatar
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    About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    At first I wanted a ton of bench space, but after lots of discussions with the wife, and friends, I think i want to balance maxing my swim space with sitting space. So... I would love your thoughts/opinions on this topic.

    In case you can't see in the attached image, there are currently 3 benches. One is in the curve on the deck-side (will double as a swim out for jumping off elevated edge), second one extends from the stairs a little bit (off the sun-ledge), and the third is in the deep-end between the middle scupper and elevated edge.

    FYI: Our pool will be about 33' long and 15' wide at deep-end and about 18' near the shallow area. 8' deep on deep end, 3.5 on shallow end.

    Your input is certainly welcome

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    Gallacher, Keith4_004.jpg
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    My build is in process so I can't speak from actual use, however, I can tell you based on past pool experience and what everyone is telling us, I'm glad we went with 47' of benches and that's not including the stairs which I'm sure people will sit on as well. Like you we did not do a attached spa and it seems that people like to sit in the spa, so we did the additional benches.

    BTW, I love how wide your pool is in the shallow end. Wish I would have done the same or at least paid more attention to my gut.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    We have in the 40's as well and love them all. I recommend a deep end standing bench or two at 36-40" deep. Extremely useful for playing catch, shooting hoops, etc. Guaranteed I'd do those again. I wouldn't make any changes to our benches after two years of use. You can see them on page one in our build thread in my signature.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    We have benches that go 3/4 around our pool ( from entry to spa and then start again other side of spa ) Wish now we would have put in front of spa spillway. The little ones love it ( can walk around ) and the adults like to sit and hold their drinks !! We also have a Beagle who can not swim but if she falls in she can walk the benches to the exit.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    I prefer a larger sun deck to the benches, as I think people prefer to lay more than sit, but that is just me. You pool looks nice, and I think your design is solid. To offer my one though, the raised deck where you have a small table and chairs seems off to me. It is a lot of money for a feature area, adn then have such a small table up there. I would make it a bit larger to at least accommodate 4 chairs and a 42" round table.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    I thought about doing a bench all along the back wall. Part if the problem is that our pool, although nit small, is certainly not large enough to consume too much swim area.

    And thanks, I decided to fatten the shallow area for more 'hang out' space, and I like the way it looks, too

    -Edd
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoreswim View Post
    I recommend a deep end standing bench or two at 36-40" deep.
    Very cool! Thanks
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    @Yev: Thanks for the thoughts! FYI, the primary purpose of that platform is to jump :P, we just made it big enough to put some chairs there too -- we won't have a table there at all (maybe a tiny drink one). I'll have to look at the design again (it has been tweaked many times), but I think the circle is 12' wide (9' from pool to mini-wall). It looks smaller, but I think it is sufficient. We have tons of space, but trying to stay close to our already blown budget.

    -Edd
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Eddd, sounds like you have thought about it, adn I just wanted to make sure that you had thought about it. I think that area will be great as a jumping in area.

    Is there any risk of jumping off that tall ledge and landing on the bench near that area? Could see that as a potential ankle breaker. As long as there is 3-4 feet, should be OK.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Thanks Yev -- trying to think thru all of it, lol.
    In fact I was going to put a bench in front of that circle, looked great, but that is asking for an injury when someone doesn't clear the step - so I moved it. The way it is now, someone would have to toward the back wall of the pool to hit it (the bench stops before the top edge of the circle).

    I am now rethinking it and may decide to add the bench back along the back wall, or at least half of it!

    -Edd
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Dont let me talk you out of yoru design. It is hard to see in yrou photos with the shadow effect exactly where the benches start adn stop. If I were a kid, I would climb to the top of the highest spot and jump in, which is the retaining wall at the back of the elevated platform.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    I LOVE your pool and deck design - fabulous! Our pool isn't finished yet, so I could be wrong..... But I wish I had more benches. It looks like you have plenty of room. I think in the deep end, it's important to have benches handy for that new swimmer who enjoys the deep end, but might get a little fatigued. You've done a great job thinking through everything, and it's obvious that safety is paramount with you. I think whatever you decide will be great.

    I really love Bmoreswim's standing bench idea. He posted the idea elsewhere, so I've been thinking more and more about it. I wanted a standing ledge - I had seen several across the internet. I think they might be similar with the bench being a little wider from pool wall to the bench edge. The ones I saw were 9-12" - maybe more narrow than the benches. For me, I wanted them to run continuously around the deep end so I could continue walk therapy the entire perimeter of the pool. After reading Bmoreswim's uses, I can see how there are many other benefits. I didn't get to my PB soon enough when they came to dig and gunite, so I don't have them. My pool is more narrow, so it works out for me. But in my next life.....

    My plans include two of the raised circular deck areas. Mine may not even be as large as yours. My goal was to add some elevation interest to my flat, flat yard. I really didn't need too much to do that. Also, I have space constraints as well as budget. Gotta stop somewhere, right?!

    You've done a wonderful job with your plans. And you're so smart to ask for input. Sometimes we can't possibly catch everything. Keep us updated on what all you do! It looks great! Suz.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Agreed on bmoreswim' deeper benches. Mentioned it to my PB and they said they'd never been asked to do anything like that before. Showed them his pic and said - "Do This!"

    Have asked a lot of pool owners and most tell me they wish they had more benches.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    i started reading the posts and stopped cuz i don't want to get too bumming about the lack of benches in my pool. my pool is 1/2 done so too late to add more baja step, but i do like that we kept the "lap" lane open. i would've just made it a little longer, but we were trying to save room for volleyball. i have one 4' x 7' shelf plus 3' x 4' steps, no other bench. i wanted my pool to be more of an active pool and i thought that people could always sit on the side. if i had your shape pool i'd also do different height baja shelves. we didn't know if we wanted 6" or 2d step. would be awsome to have one of each or have one that steps down into a lower one for folks who want to sit lower into the water. i love what one person said about having a shelf most of the way around the pool. my kids would definitely love walking on it. u have a nice wide space, so it might be nice to save the length for swimming like we did and u still have lots of opportunity for shelves.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yev View Post
    Dont let me talk you out of yoru design. It is hard to see in yrou photos with the shadow effect exactly where the benches start adn stop. If I were a kid, I would climb to the top of the highest spot and jump in, which is the retaining wall at the back of the elevated platform.
    Agreed Yev -- In fact we already removed the tiny 6" wall (mainly to save a few bucks - and although it looked kinda cool, was really just a trip hazard). Now the platform is 18" and the back 'wall' it level (also 18"), same as the back wall. Thanks again!
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuzfromTexas View Post
    My goal was to add some elevation interest to my flat, flat yard. I really didn't need too much to do that. Also, I have space constraints as well as budget. Gotta stop somewhere, right?!
    Thanks Suz!
    we have a slop in the yard, so we need an 18" retaining wall along the back, but i like the height element, too... so it works out. Someday we could add a fire pit behind the pool (yard is about 80' deep, so plenty of room. But of course there's that budget issue. This dang pool is breaking the bank for sure, LOL!
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorsgal View Post
    but i do like that we kept the "lap" lane open.
    This is one of my dilemmas. I have 2 swimmers (wife and 11 yr old on swim team), and although you can swim laps, it is not really long enough. It is 33', but that includes the sun-deck, so it is really only like 29' of a "swim lane". I want to go 35-38', but don't really want a narrow pool, and can't go much bigger due to the already-blown budget (due to a ton of decking for a future 12'x20' pergola).

    In regards to yours, with a 'sports pool' I think you will need fewer benches anyways, and the benches might interfere with the useable space... I am sure you will be good as you have it designed!

    -Edd
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddd View Post
    This is one of my dilemmas. I have 2 swimmers (wife and 11 yr old on swim team), and although you can swim laps, it is not really long enough. It is 33', but that includes the sun-deck, so it is really only like 29' of a "swim lane". I want to go 35-38', but don't really want a narrow pool, and can't go much bigger due to the already-blown budget (due to a ton of decking for a future 12'x20' pergola).
    Let say you were able to afford your pool to be 35-40 feet long. Do you know if that is long enough for your swimmers to want to actually swim laps in, and how often you think that they woudl swim laps? I woudl figure out that to determine if that pipe dream is reality or not. You have probably already considered this.

    Then look into your plan, and see if there is anything that you can wait on. For example, the SWG, that can always go in later, and that frees up maybe $1200 you can put towards a larger pool. Maybe there are some other things in the budget that would free up a little more money for now. Like not getting a heater for now, or skipping the solar cover. Or going with a winter cover that is not a Looploc.
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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    Great ideas -- we did think about some of those (such as not upgrading the interior of the pool - $2k), but at the end of the day, what you hinted at is likely true -- it's not like they will swim laps for hours. And if they really want to, we have a 50' square community pool, 500 yards away, perfect for laps.
    About to build an in-ground free-from gunite pool in the back yard (no spa). Currently estimated at 19,000 gallons. Likely going with a SWG.

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    Re: About to start the build! Benches -- enough, or not enough, that is my question.

    I was going to have a bench along my spa but dropped it at the last minute. I will never know if it was the right decision or not. I did not add out of fear of children jumping off the spa into the water and the potential clearance. We made sure one side had full clearance(no bench's) bmoreswim's standing bench's now make more since when he says standing on them in the deep end for catch. When we were designing, I saw his two level deep end bench and the utility was as an extra step out of the pool. I did not see the extra potential.
    We have two swim out bench's in our deep end and two 9 foot bench's off our stairs. I've discovered that you need to build a pool in order to know how to build a pool. Once we fill and swim for a while I'll know better. But past the point of regrets.
    One thing to keep in mind with benches is light placement. I suspect there needs to be some clearance between a bench and a light so it is not deflected.
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