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Thread: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

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    Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    After nearly two years of hemming and hawing, we've signed a contract and the pool build is underway. Hurray!

    Just in time for hurricane season.



    For the moment, I choose to ignore the city inspector's dire warnings about getting the gunite done before the weeklong downpour that is being forecast for the Houston area.

    Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

    Oh and FYI there are two other earlier threads relating to this project. (Much thanks for all the feedback so far!!!)


    Ultimately (and quite by accident), we happened upon a responsive PB who came back with a reasonable quote and solid references. I was pretty determined to go the OB route, but my husband was more interested in remaining sane and married. So I guess the answer is 'not to DIY'.

    Though I still think it's very doable.

    Onwards...

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    So here are some pictures to get started...

    BEFORE:
    backyard before 2.jpgbackyard before 3.jpg

    THE PLAN:
    1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Here it is!! THE beginning! You have worked long and hard to get here! I have had fun watching your plan and learn!

    You will find you are still going to need to be in the know and hands on even with a PB. Trust yet verify!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    I've not been very good about posting progress to date, so here's the abridged version:

    pit.jpgwater.jpgready.jpg

    After three weeks of delay, it's finally gunite day.
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    I spoke too soon.

    Gunite had to be stopped because the depth is off. Have to remove rebar and re-dig.

    Is it too early in the afternoon to start drinking.

    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Pool builder is concerned he would need to break contract because of potential costs to fix issue.
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Oh my lord. It's too early for problems! Part of me wants to say you should work it out with the PB and the other part says if he's trying to run now, what happens where there are problems down the road? I'm sorry you're having to go through this.
    40x15 IG 15,000 gallons /TF100 Test Kit / Ocean Blue PebbleSheen / Jandy CV460 Filter/ Jandy PLC1400 Salt System / Jandy VSSHP270AUT VSP / Jandy JXI400N heater / Jandy PSB215 Pool and Spa Blower / iAqualink / Polaris 280 / New Geometric IG Pool in DFW

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Gunite has resumed!
    Here's hoping the compromise (raising pool walls/patio 2") doesn't flood the back of our house. Time to go back and re-read all the drainage threads.

    gunite.jpg
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    I'm getting ready to place the order for our heating equipment. Based on conversations with pool equipment reps and threads on TFP, seems like a heat pump with chiller option is the way to go. Possibly adding solar down the line. I'm looking at Pentair's UltraTemp 120K heat pump with chiller. Anyone have any experience with this or similar units?
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Kim, you are very right about the hands-on part.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    Here it is!! THE beginning! You have worked long and hard to get here! I have had fun watching your plan and learn!

    You will find you are still going to need to be in the know and hands on even with a PB. Trust yet verify!

    Kim
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    ur better off with a higher pool and deck you always want it higher than the house. you should have some kind of drainage whether a perimeter drain or zip drain in the deck anyway its all supposed to slope AWAY from the pool......reason is if it didnt every time it rains the dirt would get washed into the you know what.....
    14x30 IG 13,000gal "full DIY in progress" hayward automation, aquaplus swg T15, hayward swimclear 525 sqft. cartridge filter, hayward ecostar vsp3400, raypak 266btu NG cupro-nickel heater, dolphin S200 robot

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    no words just and Did your heart skip a beat?

    When did this all happen? Over what kind of time line?

    What does the PB say about the drainage?

    Kim (NO cheering on this one yet!)
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Kim, we originally had gunite scheduled for the first week of June. We got bumped because of a backlog - just in time for five solid days of rain. We have moderately expansive clay soil, so it was a bit stressful watching it get soaked. We were rescheduled for this past Friday. Beforehand, I reiterated to the PB that getting the depth and slope right was really important to me (b/c of the whole water exercise/running in the pool thing). He had some guys come by to scoop out some of the dirt that had settled under the gunite the day before, so all seemed good. About 30 minutes into to the gunite being applied, the gunite crew said the water would be about 3-4" too shallow, which was enough to be a deal breaker. Cue panicky phone calls to PB. In all fairness to the PB, I would have been pretty stressed at the thought of having to re-dig, re-rebar, and pay for gunite twice, too. He contacted the head of the gunite company right away, and they were able to determine that the problem was the main drain location, which was fixable. (It wasn't as far into the deep end as it should've been.) So while my husband and I nearly had a heart attack at the thought of being out however many thousands of dollars and starting over, our PB came through. It helped that he hires a really good gunite company to do the work.

    So now we're in 'watering the pool' phase for five days. It's forecasted to start raining again on Day 6.


    Onto tile/coping/patio materials...
    gunite done.jpg
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    There it is!!! Looks just like your plans!!!

    Kim Cheering again!
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Yes, jimmythegreek, the drainage thing is pretty key. After watching 50+ inches of rain fall during Harvey, I'm a bit skittish about accidentally flooding the back of our house. Our biggest challenge is that there are only five feet between the pool and the side of the house, so there is only so much raising and angling we can do. Initially we considered a raised beam around the whole pool, but based on those first few quotes, it was cost prohibitive. We're going to add more gutters to the back of the house and drains down both sides of the pool. That and pray our way through hurricane season each year.
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    So here it is, almost 2 in the morning. Somehow I've managed to spend another four hours poring over tile brochures and surfacing websites and making little to no headway. I've decided the best bet is to take a picture of a pool style that I really like and go from there. So I found one that I'd saved and would appreciate any feedback on materials for patio/coping/tile/surface.

    Patio/coping: There are two small patio areas and a walkway that need to be done. I'm shooting for something cool on the feet and something that can handle a SWG pool. Our PB's quote includes travertine coping and pavers, though he's suggested looking at harder stones for the coping. I would like to stick with neutral tones without a lot of yellow or orange in them. I rather liked the Freska limestone I saw at one tile place (of course I did - it's a soft stone) but wonder if it would be too light.

    Tile: We need water line tile but also need to consider a small raised beam along back side (adds 6") and the raised spa with spillover (12"). I like the idea of tile that adds some interest but something neutral and less likely to seem too dated five or ten years down the line. I've found some pretty cool 'agate' tile (it's actually glass). It's pricey, but perhaps we could get away with finding a 6" tile that matches it and only add agate tile to the raised sections? Not sure how that would look.

    Surface: I've been going back and forth between Diamond Brite and Pebble Sheen. I think the DB would probably be fine and about $1500 cheaper. I think I want to go light - to minimize water temp increases and obvious contrasts between shallow and deep sections. Most people on the threads seem to favor medium and dark colored surfaces. Want to make sure I'm not going to regret the choice to go light. Any TFPers with light-colored surfaces? Maybe DB's Blue Quartz or Cool Blue?

    Here's the picture I'm using as a starting point. I believe it's originally from a magazine called Veranda. And here's a picture of the tile, too.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    We have a light mini pebble (not pebble sheen). Itís salt and pepper. I love the colour but think I loved it more in the beginning. It had a slight green tinge to it that I loved but now the water has settled and the pebble cured itís pretty much the colour of your inspiration photo water. Sometimes I think it looks a little.... underwhelming and washed out. Having said that I would never go for a dark or even medium colour due to the high risk of mottling. My ocd nature couldnít handle that. If I had my choice again I would pick the same I think.


    3.2 x 6m | inground concrete | ~27,000 litre | 1.2 - 1.8m | salt and pepper mini pebble | SWCG Atral eq35| Viron xt 1.5 HP VS pump | Astral CA280 sand filter | DB3 robot | 2 x LED lights | travertine coping and paving | ceramic waterline tile |

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    I like your ideas........the glass, blingy tile matching up with 6x6 ceramic tile in the same color family.

    Follow Liz's lead on the color of the plaster. The darker you go the more likely it is to not be even in color in the end. It all depends on the skills of the installers.

    Coping and decking...with as little area as you have I would use the same thing for it all.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Time for me to jump in - the fun part! As Kim would say, "Helping you spend YOUR money!". Lol!!

    I love your inspiration photo!! I think it's perfect for your space and pool design.

    Patio/coping: Stay with the travertine. That's what I have (with the SWG), and it's been fabulous. My coping is lighter. It's the 'honed and filled' which is less porous. It feels great when in the pool, and you grab it. Nice and smooth and never hot. It looks the same as it did 3 years ago. For the decking, I have a shade darker (but still light) travertine tumbled pavers (very porous). They've been wonderful. Very cool on the feet, and beautiful. They will get warm, but not burning-your-feet-even-as- you-run hot. As soon as the shade hits them, they are almost instantly cool - very little holding of heat.

    Tile: Get what you love, and don't worry about it looking dated. Everything becomes dated looking eventually. If you wait long enough, it comes back in style. (a designer told me she loved my 'new' wallpaper - 29 years old. Lol!!!). You're smart not to get glass tile for the waterline - too much upkeep. I like your idea of a neutral 6". That's what I have, and I think it looks great. Mine looks much like travertine and is oh so easy to keep clean - virtually no work during the 3 years. I can't tell if you have any sheer descents or other water features on your back wall. If not, definitely go with a glass tile. For me, I would be tempted to go with a soft color as in your inspiration photos. Something to accentuate that gorgeous soft water color. NPT used to have some great glass tiles in those soft colors in your dream photos. If there's a lot of surface area, then maybe a band of colored glass instead of the entire wall. I've also seen 12x12" blocks of colored glass generously spaced along a back raised wall that is lovely. (block size and spacing depends on the size of the wall) If you prefer greater subtlety, then the beige glass you show would also be nice. A better picture of the back wall would be good if you have the time.

    Surface: I think your idea of a lighter pool surface is spot on. The setting for the pool is cozy, and might be too dark with a dark water color. I think the smaller space will give a richness to the color - not washed out as it might be in a large open space. Your suggestions for colors sound great. On choosing a brand, go with the company with the best performance history and customer backup/support. I don't know who does Diamond Brite here in Houston. I have Pebble Tec installed by MMG (?), and they were amazing in prep, supervision, detail, and customer attention during installation. Pebble Tec as a company has a great reputation. The installation is so important, so you want crews who know what they're doing. DB may be fine - I just don't have personal experience there.

    I hope some of this is helpful!

    You have an amazing pool design!

    Have fun!
    Suz
    Suz~Cypress/Houston area~ My 2015 Pool Build. 24K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy; color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. TF-100, SpeedStir

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    Re: Let the wild rumpus start! (new Houston build underway)

    Need some equipment advice!

    We are about to place the final order for equipment - blower and heat pump.

    Our PB had suggested a blower for the spa, but I'm not so sure we want one after all. We have a 6 x 6 spa with six jets (two on each wall, none on the side that spills over into pool). The pool and spa are all plumbed with 2" lines. If we can do without the extra noise, extra energy requirement, and extra bubbles impacting pH, maybe it's better to forego the blower? I just want to be sure it seems like it's plumbed to be effective without it. Here are pics of the spa area. If one of the pipes is for the blower, is it a big deal to cap it? The long plumbing/pad equipment hasn't been done yet. There's a fairly straight, 40' run to the pad. Feedback on the whether or not the plumbing should be sufficient would be much appreciated! Also, does it make sense to go with standard jet attachments, or is it worth looking into specialized ones?

    pipes.jpgspa pipes.jpg

    As for heating equipment, it seems like a heat pump with chiller option would be the best bet for us. Anyone have any experience with Pentair's Ultratemp 120K with chiller? I figured it might be best to stay with Pentair from an automation standpoint.
    12.5' x 27' gunite pool with 6' x 6' spa, Pentair Intelliflo 3HP var. speed pump, Pentair Clean and Clear Plus 320 cartridge filter, Pentair IC40 SWG, Pentair Ultra Temp 120 heat pump/chiller, Pentair Amerlite and SpaBrite housing w/PureColors LED bulbs, Pentair Easytouch 4 automation, Air Supply Silencer 1HP spa blower, Doheney's Discovery robotic cleaner, Fastlane current generator, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen w/SS, Classic Light travertine

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