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Thread: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

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    Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    We are getting ready to start the process of remodeling the pool, pool deck, and back yard patio. Was hoping to get some recommendations and advice on how to go about the process. Initially we figured we would just find a few well reviewed pool builders in the area and have them bid on the entire project. But now I'm thinking we may want to include a landscape architect/contractor or even break it up into multiple parts (demolition, patio, pool, yard, etc) to cut down on costs.

    We want to resurface the pool/hot tub, change out all the waterline tiles, upgrade the pool equipment (filter, heater, pumps, etc). We won't be changing anything in terms of shape or layout of the pool. We also want to update the existing backyard patio & pool fence. Finally we want to expand the patio around the upper level of the pool, cut a little into the hillside with a retaining wall, and provide more "lounge space" around the pool and hot tub (see pictures). There's little to no work we'd have done in the rest of the yard, and we're not looking for plants/trees/lawn work.

    We are about 7-10 months from wanting to start construction, so I'm just trying to learn a little more right now about what to look for in a contractor, how to break up the project, and any tips or recommendations on how it should be done.
    1. Should we contract the entire job of demolition, pool remodel, and patio build to a pool company? Should we go strictly with a landscape architect/builder and have them subcontract the pool part? Is it best to divide this between a pool company and landscape architect?
    2. We live in the SF Bay Area (California) and were thinking of having this done in the winter or early spring. Is rainy weather going to be an issue, or do these types of projects usually not get done in the winter? I assume that spring/summer is busy season for these types of projects.
    3. I'm going to take some time to read through posts in this forum, but are there any specific considerations I should focus on in terms of decking, resurfacing, re-tiling on the pool?
    4. Right now we're budgeting around $20k-$25k for the project. For northern California (San Jose area), does anyone know if I'm in the ballpark for this type of project? We'll eventually get quotes from contractors but that's probably a few months away.



    pool1.jpg

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    Kpag's Avatar
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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    I think your budget is way too low, honestly. We just redid our pool (pool ONLY) in Dallas and used up almost all of your budget, LOL. And we didn't have to replace any equipment (as my dh had already done that over the years). We did have a gunite crew out to add benches which added $$$ and we picked "higher end" finishes for coping, waterline tile and pool surface. I would start getting some quotes now to prepare yourself for the sticker shock. We paid cash for our remodel so we broke it into two pieces, JUST the pool this year and we will redo decking/yard next year.
    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    Agreed. It just sounds like a $50K+ project to me.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking | Merlin SmartMesh winter safety cover
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    The resurface, retile and new equipment portion will eat up pretty much all of your budget.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    Thanks for the feedback, and we have some flexibility to go up in budget but were hoping $25k would be a good start. $50k is going to be too high but $30k-$35k would be possible. Breaking it up into two projects a year apart would be something to explore. Resurface/retile/equipment this year and decking/patio remodel next year.

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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Yacoxx View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, and we have some flexibility to go up in budget but were hoping $25k would be a good start. $50k is going to be too high but $30k-$35k would be possible. Breaking it up into two projects a year apart would be something to explore. Resurface/retile/equipment this year and decking/patio remodel next year.
    $10-$15K for decking and $10-$15K for fencing. Not sure why I put $10 in there (other than to give you false hope), just assume it will go to $15K.
    Geebot
    Chicago, IL
    30K gal, InGround Plaster Finish, 3.5'-9.5', Maytronics S300 Cleaner

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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    Yeah, these projects cost quite a bit more than the "average person" estimates We are in the middle of ours right now, and it'll be a 3-4 year project in total given what things cost. My initial estimate was around 60% of what I think it's actually going to cost now that I've had time to get some bids and start phase 1. Obviously, whatever labor you can provide will dramatically reduce those costs, but when it comes to concrete, stone, tile, etc... materials add up fast - sometimes CRAZY fast.

    As folks here suggested - your pool will likely eat up your initial budget. I would suggest that you really plan out the entire thing first. That will provide the ability to really understand how things are going to work out (ensure you get drainage, irrigation, electrical, etc...). If you end up bringing in any heavy equipment, you'll want to do it once! Trench it once, drop pipes once, etc... All of that underground work can add up in a hurry.
    In Ground Gunite Pool - UNDER CONSTRUCTION. 40x15 rectangle 3.5/5/4 sport, plus 20x5 shelf.
    Pentair TR-140 Sand Filter, Intelliflow VS Pump, Easy Touch 4, 6 GloBright LED's, Rebel Cleaner with Autofill

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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    So I thought I would chime in based on my current build and getting different quotes
    1. I would price it out with a pool builder letting him do everything and also price it out by project (ex pool, deck, patio, etc) and see how close the totals are and then decide what your time and convenience is worth. You might be surprised at what your PB comes back with for price and maybe it beats doing everything separate or maybe he is WAY over priced ( the second would be my guess) but it's still worth a try, no need to short change yourself.

    2.you might just want to consider being your own general contractor and to give you an idea of how much you might save ..... let's say the PB comes with a price of 60k for all the bells and whistles on your wish list and you figure out a way to settle on not having certain items and you get the entire project down to 48k. I would say by being your own GC and hiring the same subs you could do your entire project for 35-40k with all the bells and whistles. Reason why I say with all the upgrades is from personal experience and everything I read when people GC and save the money they still find a way to put extra money back into the project because of all the overall savings lol. So maybe if you have the discipline of a Kung fu master you could maybe even get your project into the 30k range lol. If you just ask I'm 100% positive that members on here have a sub list for you and we have several OB that can tell you where to start

    3. Being from CA and working in the Fremont area for a few years I completely understand the weather and with that said YES it will delay your project with rains HOWEVER, you will have all winter for the subs to do there work so as long as you are diligent you should not have any problem completing it by spring. So if a normal build would take 8 - 10 weeks yours could take 12-18 weeks. It's also possible due to the time of year and in that area since construction slows down you can broker a better deal on different phases of your project especially if you pay cash and do the different phases separate.

    4. Unfortunately your initial quote is a little low unless you go with "basic and bare minimum " everything. And we all know once we get going on a project at some point we see something shiny and the little kid comes out in us and we need to have it lol. I have laid out some cost of things in my build thread so feel free to take a look. Just from reading the equipment you will be 6-8k alone right there and your decking looks about 1000-1300 sqft so your looking at 5k minimum there and that's on the REALLY low end. Now deals are out there but you just have to always be looking. I have read threads were guys were on Craigslist daily (looking on near by cities also) on eBay all the time and they had a ton of success but it just took time. So if your pocket book allows it you can start now and buy things a little at a time so you don't absorb all the cost at one time.
    Feel free to ask as many questions as you have this forum is fantastic and people are ready and willing to help you out.
    Good luck
    Will




    current build<--free form gunite 34x21 18k gallons 4ft-7ft deep,Pentair 3HP VSP, wisperflo 2hp, 520 cartridge filter, 400k heater, ez touch 8 with screen logic, ic40 swg. 4ft sheer decent, 2 led deck jets, 5 globrite leds,rock spa waterfall. Mocha travertine deck, noche coping. Tropics blue custom mix with LOTS of beads and shells

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    Re: Pool & Backyard Renovation, Refresh, and Remodel Process

    Will makes a great point. If you are willing to trade time for cost (more time, lower cost) you may be able to shave some costs off. If timeline to completion matters, it'll be a lot harder.


    In Ground Gunite Pool - UNDER CONSTRUCTION. 40x15 rectangle 3.5/5/4 sport, plus 20x5 shelf.
    Pentair TR-140 Sand Filter, Intelliflow VS Pump, Easy Touch 4, 6 GloBright LED's, Rebel Cleaner with Autofill

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