1st Pool Build | Sugar Land - Update 04/01 Electrical Re-Route Day

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
So a little update bump. I have added new things to the first post. Don't know if it's better to post it here as well.

The final builder we are talking to so far came up with a design we liked, we tweaked it a bit and think it works better with our backyard. Would love to hear your thoughts on this version. We are meeting with them tomorrow so see where they are at numbers wise. I'm sure they have gone over our budget so we will have to negotiate and see what we can do to lower costs into our budget range if they have gone over.

Thank You
 

JJ_Tex

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Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,288
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I like the pool design, do you also have the depths and the equipment list?

I will say I'm not a fan of the patio broken up with rocks. I know that is popular now, but I just hate that it breaks up the useable space of your patio, and you know those rocks will end up in your pool. Thats just my 2 cents though.
 

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
I like the pool design, do you also have the depths and the equipment list?

I will say I'm not a fan of the patio broken up with rocks. I know that is popular now, but I just hate that it breaks up the useable space of your patio, and you know those rocks will end up in your pool. Thats just my 2 cents though.

Thank you for the feedback.

We are meeting with them tomorrow for us to see the exact breakdown of what they are proposing which I will share here. They only use Pentair equipment.

In regards to the rocks, he mentioned they do something where they pour like a bonding agent concrete or something that essentially locks the little rocks in place. Depending on the cost of that vs turf or grass in that section we will switch it up. We aren't opposed to green area between those paver styles.

We didn't do it anywhere else on the patio just on the front edge figuring that area isn't really used as much and the side would get the most use.
 

JJ_Tex

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Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,288
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Pentair is a great manufacturer. In watching these boards, there are a couple of areas where pool builders may be stuck in the past and we try to help guide you before you sign on the dotted line:

Pump - I would recommend a VS pump, ideally the Pentair Intelliflow VS or VSF
Automation - Pentair makes a couple of models. Easy Touch w/ Screen logic is a good system, but it is 10+ year old technology. Their newer model is the Intellicenter and I would go with that for a new build since it is only a few years old and will be supported by Pentair long after they retire Easy Touch.
Sanitation - We generally recommend salt water or liquid chlorine for ease of use and they do not cause problems down the road. Inline chlorinators are not for long term use, and sometimes pool builders try and put other gizmos in their builds (Mineral systems - These are really metals that can cause long term staining, UV - we got that covered already with the sun, Ozone - these are supplemental at best and still need chlorine in the water to work properly, so why bother.)
Cleaner - Robots are king, since they generally do a better job and do not need the pump to run at all. Pressure cleaners (polaris types) clean okay, but are older technology and need your pump to be running when they are in use and many times need a second pump to operate them which is just one more thing to go wrong/replace down the road.
 

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
Pentair is a great manufacturer. In watching these boards, there are a couple of areas where pool builders may be stuck in the past and we try to help guide you before you sign on the dotted line:

Pump - I would recommend a VS pump, ideally the Pentair Intelliflow VS or VSF
Automation - Pentair makes a couple of models. Easy Touch w/ Screen logic is a good system, but it is 10+ year old technology. Their newer model is the Intellicenter and I would go with that for a new build since it is only a few years old and will be supported by Pentair long after they retire Easy Touch.
Sanitation - We generally recommend salt water or liquid chlorine for ease of use and they do not cause problems down the road. Inline chlorinators are not for long term use, and sometimes pool builders try and put other gizmos in their builds (Mineral systems - These are really metals that can cause long term staining, UV - we got that covered already with the sun, Ozone - these are supplemental at best and still need chlorine in the water to work properly, so why bother.)
Cleaner - Robots are king, since they generally do a better job and do not need the pump to run at all. Pressure cleaners (polaris types) clean okay, but are older technology and need your pump to be running when they are in use and many times need a second pump to operate them which is just one more thing to go wrong/replace down the road.

Thank you very much for that simplified break down.

I have been lurking and reading for months to try and get as much info as I can and definitely learned a lot but still have a lot to learn. I know for sure being a tech guy and loving the latest in that realm I will definitely push for the Intellicenter system. I have seen the other builders put the ozone and UV in there and I always tell them i won't be interested in that after reading the board. My backyard gets enough sun and I live in Houston area so I would figure we get plenty of it lol. I'd rather use that money somewhere else.

I will mention and liquid chlorine if we go that route. This builder we like won't do SWG, only one company so far said they would be willing and they were out of our price range. So I have to compromise somewhere. Is there a specific liquid chlorinator equipment I should be on the lookout for?

I have started to see that Robots are the way to go from everyone that is talking on this board and the money essentially I save on the pump for pressure side or otherwise can just be used to get a better robot. I have read some things about people not liking the idea of a power cord just in the water, but it seems to really not be much of an issue I guess.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,346
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
So I have to compromise somewhere. Is there a specific liquid chlorinator equipment I should be on the lookout for?
You can set up a Stenner pump for liquid chlorine (LC) but usually this is a DIY project. The alternative is manually pouring LC in your pool. An alternative is to work with the PB on the plumbing design and plan to install your own SWCG in a couple of months after the pool is up and running. I think it is interesting that a PB just refuses to install it. I can see where they may increase the price or try to reduce warranty but simply to refuse is interesting.
 

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
You can set up a Stenner pump for liquid chlorine (LC) but usually this is a DIY project. The alternative is manually pouring LC in your pool. An alternative is to work with the PB on the plumbing design and plan to install your own SWCG in a couple of months after the pool is up and running. I think it is interesting that a PB just refuses to install it. I can see where they may increase the price or try to reduce warranty but simply to refuse is interesting.

Let me word it differently. They basically advise against it and say if they install it they won't warranty any of the equipment.
 
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stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
I love the new design! It makes it look much more modern!

Thank you very much. I think it's a lot more in the direction we wanted to go. Only took 7 PB's to get something close to what we think the final product should be. At this point I think i'll take this design and tell the PB's I like what their bid would be on that setup.
 
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stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
So we had a sit down meeting with the PB that did the design we like. If we weren't confused going in on what we want we definitely got a bit more to think about now. After discussing things and pricing and what we could do to also work with the shape of our backyard. I think we will have a new version of the design coming up to share with you guys that will fit more what the wife wants in a more clean rectangular look haha.

If we go through this many changes before picking materials I am really thinking we will be having the same tough choices as we did with our house build at the design center. Speaking of materials.

The builder ( who does a lot of modern style pools) was leaning towards using large format 12x24 tiles on the water feature walls in the contrasting colors. Also would be used on parts of the spillover of the spa. He also said that they would essentially use the same style 12x24 tile cut in half to use as the water line tile. They had a lot of choices, but I was curious why he was saying to use this style and this was his response.

"Large format along even the water tile will be a lot more modern looking as well as minimize the grout lines for cleaning and over all just has a more uniform look compared to mosaics etc"

I am sure there is a savings by going with the large format, which we don't mind. But is that a bad idea to use that type of porcelain/ceramic tile as the water line as well? I thought there was a specific size and kind you want to stick to.

The deeper I go down the rabbit hole learning and reading, the more questions I have and I appreciate everyones input. I just want to get to the point I can share a ton of pictures daily haha.
 

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Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
779
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Here's a build that used large tiles on the raised wall.

 

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
Thank you!
Here's a build that used large tiles on the raised wall.

It has a lot of similarities so it definitely helps!
 
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stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
DRAIN QUESTION - This PB Has listed 4 Inch Drain Heads at a cost of 612 ( I guess for the run), then he said based on how things are we should do an area drain before the foundation and patio area which he has at about $2300.

Is the extra 2300 essentially becuase of the broken up paver style that we are doing in the front? Or can this be somehow left off to and still have the proper drainage? Trying to see where costs can be trimmed without losing a ton on the pool end.

This was our inspiration and the drain I guess.

EDIT UPDATED RESPONSE FROM PB - That accounts for all of the drain heads in the decking, a channel drain along the house (beneath the rocks), and connections between all of those and run to the street. It won’t be the thin corrugated black pipe that most builders use, as that could be damaged over time. It will be the thicker 4” SDR piping run throughout that will hold up over time. There really isn’t another way to ensure all water will be sent out of the backyard to the street.
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,346
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
DRAIN QUESTION - This PB Has listed 4 Inch Drain Heads at a cost of 612 ( I guess for the run), then he said based on how things are we should do an area drain before the foundation and patio area which he has at about $2300.

Is the extra 2300 essentially becuase of the broken up paver style that we are doing in the front? Or can this be somehow left off to and still have the proper drainage? Trying to see where costs can be trimmed without losing a ton on the pool end.

This was our inspiration and the drain I guess.

EDIT UPDATED RESPONSE FROM PB - That accounts for all of the drain heads in the decking, a channel drain along the house (beneath the rocks), and connections between all of those and run to the street. It won’t be the thin corrugated black pipe that most builders use, as that could be damaged over time. It will be the thicker 4” SDR piping run throughout that will hold up over time. There really isn’t another way to ensure all water will be sent out of the backyard to the street.
I have 5 drains on my patio and deck that are all hard piped as your PB states. They all connect to the main drain to the city sewer. Even several of my gutter downspouts connect to it. In my opinion, you can never have enough drainage. Having standing water on a patio or deck or nearby yard can be a slip hazard as well as other issues with water accumulation.
 

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
I have 5 drains on my patio and deck that are all hard piped as your PB states. They all connect to the main drain to the city sewer. Even several of my gutter downspouts connect to it. In my opinion, you can never have enough drainage. Having standing water on a patio or deck or nearby yard can be a slip hazard as well as other issues with water accumulation.

I appreciate the feedback. You are absolutely right. The last thing I would want is to deal with that standing water. Especially in mosquito country.
 

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
UPDATE 2/11/21 - We had a face to face meeting with the PB and Designer where we got to work real time with him on changes and ideas. Towards the end the wife asked if she could see the pool symmetrical becuase she just loves simple lines. He quickly whipped up a draft and she fell in love with it more, so now we are on version number 3 of the design. I also have a list of items being used. I know I know, SWG. I'm gonna have to try and figure that out. The wife really likes the flow a bit better and she gets her way in terms of design (she wasn't a fan of all the different cutups in the design) in that it's a clean simple rectangle.

Would love everyone's thoughts. Thanks! If you need more information from the bid let me know and I'll add it.

Some key things

  1. The pool is now essentially 12' X 35 Feet (Interior Measurements)
  2. Tanning ledge is shortened since there is no spa behind it now to 6' wide and the spa remains 4.5' wide so that gives us essentially 24.5 feet of swimming area in the middle.
  3. Currently we have the depth going from 3.5 - 5.5. I'm wondering from the experts here to leave it like that, or go something like 3.5-5.5-3.5 so it's easier for both sides to hang out?
  4. The wife got what she ultimately wanted a simple rectangular pool, water feature aligned directly with the patio as well as the glass doors and windows in our house that open out and can show everything.
  5. Since we have to use 400 SQFT of Decking with spray deck he put in a little seating area up top as well near the spa. Not 100% on that one but I think it's a nice addition to just a little green area back there.
  6. Currently the 3 walls on the back are 18", 12", and 6" I am thinking about raising each of them 6" to give it a little more effect. So making the feature wall with sheer descents to 24"
Here is the equipment list currently in their bid.

Equipment - ALL PENTAIR


Pentair Easy Touch 8 w/Logic - $2,410 (Asked him about Intellicenter and he said that would be about $300 more than this, if anyone can chime in on normal pricing)
Valve Actuators to have water feature work separately - $230
Pentair Cartridge Filter (420) - Included
Cleaner Pump (3/4 HP) #LA-01N - Included
PENTAIR Racer Cleaner - Included
Intelliflo VSF #011056 - $652
Whisperflo 3/4 Booster for sheer descents - 1,105
3X 18" Sheer - $1105
2X Bubblers - $300
In-Line Chlorinator - Included
Auto Fill System - $322
Pentair Racer Cleaner - Included
MicroBrite Color LED Lights - 3 Total (2 in pool, & 1 in spa) - $1649
Pentair Heating System - Included in the Spa Pricing

LATEST DESIGN - V3

Pool_Draft_Ghorbani5.jpg


Pool_Draft_Ghorbani4.jpg

Pool_Draft_Ghorbani1.jpg


Pool_Draft_Ghorbani3.jpg




Pool_Draft_Ghorbani6.jpg
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
256
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Asked him about Intellicenter and he said that would be about $300 more than this,

For $300 to upgrade to the Intellicenter would be a no brainer. Much newer tech, a much more robust system that can be customized over time. All those water features could be controlled with actuated valves, and the programming is endless. Would be a great investment for so little. If you can decide on the SWCG now, it would tie in perfectly with the Intellicenter.

Really like the new design. Important the wife gets what she wants I've learned, and more important is you will still have a great looking pool. No sacrifices there, she's happy, you'll be happy.
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,288
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Agreed, the $300 for the intellicenter is a no brainer.

Did you talk to him about a robot? Right now you have a pressure side cleaner with its own pump. It will clean fine, but a robot will clean better and not have another pump to buy/run/maintain.

And salt... you know our preference already :)

Also, if it makes you feel any better I was wanting a free-form pool and the wife wanted straight lines. That is what we went with and I have to admit that I like it better now.
 

stack24

Well-known member
Aug 16, 2016
46
Sugar Land, TX
For $300 to upgrade to the Intellicenter would be a no brainer. Much newer tech, a much more robust system that can be customized over time. All those water features could be controlled with actuated valves, and the programming is endless. Would be a great investment for so little. If you can decide on the SWCG now, it would tie in perfectly with the Intellicenter.

Really like the new design. Important the wife gets what she wants I've learned, and more important is you will still have a great looking pool. No sacrifices there, she's happy, you'll be happy.

For sure I will move up to the newer version. I wasn't sure if that prices was right or they were overcharging so hopefully someone can chime in on that. Right now he has one actuator setup with a booster pump for the sheers. So we can turn that on and off independently. The bubblers will be with the spa, so those can't go on at the same time, should I look into paying more to have a pump for that one? I feel like that would be overkill for just those two.

Agreed, the $300 for the intellicenter is a no brainer.

Did you talk to him about a robot? Right now you have a pressure side cleaner with its own pump. It will clean fine, but a robot will clean better and not have another pump to buy/run/maintain.

And salt... you know our preference already :)

Also, if it makes you feel any better I was wanting a free-form pool and the wife wanted straight lines. That is what we went with and I have to admit that I like it better now.

Yes I will for sure upgrade being a tech guy and wanting the new stuff, just trying to see the cost and if it's normally around 2700 for that setup. So if you have an info I would appreciate it.

100% after a month of lurking and looking at everyones builds salt is definitely the one that wins in this group. I need to really sit down and have that talk with them and ask them what they won't honor in terms of warranty. I guess maybe their own stuff? Because the equipment can't be the ones that wont get a warranty because Pentair makes SWG systems. So that for sure is just to scare people off. They can't make something for SWG and then say your warranty doesn't cover anything the SWG does.

I've talked to 10 companies so far 9 of them won't even touch SWG systems here in Houston area. This is a higher end builder as well so it's not like they are just some random company.

I need to talk to him about the robot because after your comments and what I have read it seems that is the best option for cleaning. The question is, the way they have itemized the setup the robot and pump are "included" in their setup. If they are willing to give me a credit for those items and I go my own route then that will be the way I go.

Yeah we were both wanting geometric, i was okay with all the differences in shape since it was straight lines ultimately, but i think with this simple shape she is right and it fits our backyard better and allows the sheers to be seen right through the middle.

Thoughts on keeping that seating area up near the spa? We are back and forth on that. We can allocate that deck space on the side of the house to put deck boxes etc if we wanted. That way it leaves more green space for kids if we wanted now that it's thinner. On the flip side it adds a little depth and seating near spa if people are hanging out. I could always make it a bit thinner. At the moment it's essentially 7' x 13'
 

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