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    New In Ground Pool - NJ (Dig has Begun)

    If somebody has more than 24" of topsoil, removing 23" and placing a geogrid before backfilling should be fine for a patio - keeping in mind there are other aspects to consider as well, but generally yes it is OK. There are many ways to stabilize soil other than removing the organic material (I...
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    New In Ground Pool - NJ (Dig has Begun)

    I used to work as a soils engineer in Jersey. We know how to do things correctly, we just have certain contractors who do things incorrectly (or just don't know any better). Years ago I was on a job site building a township library, I was rejecting almost every 4th load of fill as...
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    The Mess Is Now Plastered!

    Or just buy a hose end water meter for $20 Yeah, your house meter can do the job, but for $20 you can see the amount of water your hose is putting out at a glance and not have to worry about irrigation systems to toilets or anything else.
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    The Mess Is Now Plastered!

    Garbage disposal costs money. Garbage clean up costs time (money) Normally the General Contactor (your PB in this case) lets the subs know what they are responsible for when they are contracted, but that is not always the case. Nobody is going to clean up a site if they think some other...
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    Paver Digging

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    Paver Digging

    Masonry tools can be used for soils too. :) Seriously, if you get your hole within an inch with the shovel, use a masons trowel, margin trowel, or in a pinch a 3" putty knife to take out the rest of the soil. Much easier to take out small amounts and to keep things level.
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    Still happening...Decking complete (advice needed)

    Again, I don\t (and never did) build pools for a living. But, in a vertically loaded beam, rebar is not even needed in the top - it does not provide any additional strength. If there are horizontal loadings, or torsional loads, then it does help. It should not be left exposed when all is said...
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    Still happening...Decking complete (advice needed)

    Most of the time we brought our own lunch - you never knew what was around, your vehicles were not readily available, and frankly it is a lot cheaper. Normally I ate lunch while working. The drillers would actually sit down, stop working, and eat. I would go to my truck, work on paperwork...
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    Still happening...Decking complete (advice needed)

    Steel in concrete is there to provide tensile strength. Concrete has plenty of compressive strength all by itself (that is what they test when they take samples). The top of a typical beam is in compression, while the bottom is in tension. Think of bending something to look like a smile. The...
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    Still happening...Decking complete (advice needed)

    I used to work as a soils engineer, and we would contract drillers for soil sampling - think well drilling rigs, but not for water, Auger down a stick, drive a rod with a split spoon sampler, retrieve the sample, wash rinse and repeat. Lots of heavy, turning equipment, with lots of mud...
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    Glass Tile Spa

    If you want to see some amazing glass tile work, look up Jimmy Reed at Rock Solid Tile. That is all he does. Glass mosaic tile installs in pools, spas, and water features. He does a LOT of high end stuff and is a stickler for details. I forget exactly what product he uses, but I know it is...
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    New In Ground Pool - NJ (Dig has Begun)

    Anytime I hear something like this I get all twitchy. Maybe it's my background (BS in Civil Engineering - concentrating in soils, MS in Civil Engineering concentration in construction engineering management) but "let it settle and water around it" is like a doctor saying "I don't know what is...
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    New In Ground Pool - NJ (Dig has Begun)

    DE is Diatomaceous Earth - It is made of the fossilized skeletons of diatoms. If you inhale large amount of the right (or wrong) kind of DE it can cause silicosis of the lungs. Unfortunately, the pool kind is the "wrong" kind. That is why it works so well in the pool filter. The sharp edges of...
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    Buried Pool renovation

    Certain stone coping, such as limestone, don'y play well with salt pools - but you can seal them. You just have to maintain the sealer, and good sealer is not cheap. Other than that, anything that would rust with the Cl and salt levels in a "normal" pool is going to rust the same in a +/- 3000...
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    Buried Pool renovation

    That house is next to my next door neighbor (who has lived here quite some time). According to him, that large patio with the basketball net, used to be in ingound pool. Apparently the old owners nephew or some other family member almost drowned in it. The owner decided that since they never...
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    Radiant Pool semi-inground...concrete blocks for the collar?

    I will cast an other vote for looking into a concrete pump. It is going to be tough to make a monolithic pour with just two small mixers (they are electric, so they must be what, 2 maybe 3 sacks max) 500 bags is a lot of stress on both the body, and the mixer itself. I have a one sack electric...
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    How much foam is too much?

    When I put a new liner in mine two seasons ago, I went with wall foam and cove, with no bottom pad. The easy answer - foam cove, that is a no brainer to me. So easy to use, and such great results. Wall foam - meh. I guess it's nice. It is a bit of a PITA to get in place smoothly, especially...
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    Suggestions on how to cut deck boards

    If he wants the boards to overhang the trim, he could always screw a strip of luan (or those plastic lattice strips work well, and are a lot cheaper) onto the facia, let the bearing on the bit run on that, and then remove the luan afterwards. I agree, the best way to make this look good is to...
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    How Do I Know If My Pool Is Grounded?

    The thing is, the bond wire needs to have no insulation on it at all, when it is in contact with the ground. The purpose of the bond is to keep any two conductive objects that you may touch at the same time at the same potential. The ground is one of these objects, so wherever the bond wire is...
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    1963 pool resurection

    That makes sense. I thought it was something about the glass tile itself, not the difficulty of installation. Google "Rock Solid Tile" (he is based in CA) and look at some of the pool installations he has done (he has a gallery on his website). If I was rich (very rich) I would have a pool...
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    1963 pool resurection

    Why? Tiling (not just pool tiling, but walls, floors, showers, etc) is something I am interested in. Who knows why, things like that just appeal to me. Anyway, check out any of the work done by Rock Solid Tile. He specializes in glass tile, glass mosaic pools. His work is, in a word...
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    1963 pool resurection

    That right there - that made this thread. -dave
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    Seeking opinions on a bad situation

    This - Get some orange snow fencing and some metal posts. Butcher knows his stuff. Never leave a test pit open and unfenced. Dig your two test pits and have other PBs come by, look at them, and give you firm quotes based on the now visable subsurface conditions. -dave
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    Seeking opinions on a bad situation

    It is hard to tell without seeing your property, but I am of the opinion that something is not right here. While I am not a pool builder, I do have a BS and MS in Civil Engineering with a minor concentration in soils engineering. I haven't done it in a while, but I used to be a field engineer...
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    Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threads?

    Re: Any good suggestions to remove plaster from return threa it would be tedious, but what about a dental pick or probe? Just pick it out. I would leery of trying to chase threads with a tap (or die) on PVC. It could easily turn into cutting new double threads. -dave
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    Pool placement

    Exactly (I am in NJ too by the way). My guess is that the builder did not want to build near the easement for just such a reason. It is one thing to have to take up and replace a driveway or deck. It is entirely another to have the wall of your pool cave in. The builder SHOULD have explained...
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    Pool placement

    I see you have easements marked on your plat, but do you also have setback requirements? An easement is a granted right for another party to utilize your property. For example I have a sanitary sewer easement on the corner of my property. The Water and Sewer Authority can service the manhole in...
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    Retaining wall delima

    1) Nothing is "self-compacting" or more to the point, everything is self-compacting to a point, but all will compact more once overburden is placed on it. 2) #57 is clean stone, crusher run has fines in it. The crusher run needs more compacting because the fines need to "sift" their way into...
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    Am I being unreasonable asking for all the details?

    Maybe I am reading this wrong, but my understanding is that you had speced out something in your original bid. You then asked him how much ti UPGRADE to the Pentair Laminar (I assume you had some sort of other fountain selected in the original contract). He said the cost to UPGRADE was $1,700...
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    Am I being unreasonable asking for all the details?

    Having dealt with a number of contractors in various types of work, I can just say - be careful with the online pricing things, the "you say the XXXX is $500 extra, but I can get it for $450 on line. " Just as you may want to go with a PB that is not the lowest price because if the quiality and...