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Thread: If you were to build another pool...

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    If you were to build another pool...

    If you were to build another new pool...

    What features/equipment would you insist on...or get rid of...

    I'm trying to finalize some plans/ideas for a pool build in the spring. IG gunite, ~30-35K gal, roughly 38' long x 16-24' wide x 3 1/2'-8' deep freeform, SWCG, ~1000 sq ft concrete decking, beach entry and suntan shelf/baja step, 2 color changing lights, pool finish undecided as of yet...

    I live in south Louisiana so I'm not considering a spa, it just woulnd't be utilized much. I'll probably add a couple small water features from a raised attached planter and bubblers in the beach entry and/or baja step. No large waterfalls or grottos (in south LA, I'd call that a critter sanctuary). I'll wait a year to consider a heater unil I know if it's needed or not, but would probably be more interested in gas heat than heat pump, for occasional fall/winter use.

    I'm up to 4 PB estimates now and most are coming in at the same price range give or take a few $K, not enough $$ difference to make a decision on other than getting a good warm and fuzzy feeling and checking the BBB and references, but none of them itemize the pool equipment by name and model, just general "pool pump, sand filter, SWG, PVC plumbing" etc... I want to be able to pin this down to specific items to request for installation. I'm a detail guy.

    So if you had it to do all over again (minus all the anxiety and waiting) what equipment would you insist on? or against...

    Plumbing configuration and sizing? Filter type and brand? SWCG type and brand? Pump size and brand? Lights, drains, returns, scuppers, automation and controllers...

    I've been trolling TFP for a couple months now and have learned a tremendous amount. There's a wealth of un-biased knowledge here that I'd like to keep absorbing. I already feel much more educated. Thanks in advance for any responses on this.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Guest
    i didn't build a pool. but if i were to, i would change mine completly. I like my pool but there are alot of things i wished it had.



    1. make is smaller and more odd shaped
    2. pebble tech insted of vinyl
    3. a spa and one that has action
    4. make my yard an oasis
    5. out door kitchen
    6. pump and filter better and closer to pool with pool house
    7. have a ton of features (i.e. in ground cleaning, heater, robotic cleaner, and a ton of other cool things
    8. have fountains
    9 have it all controled by a cool touch screen computer system.

    i would love to do all this and when i sell my old house and make some money again i think i may very well RIP out the vinyl and make an awsome back yard oasis. Or i may just change around my yard already. add a spa and a kitchen and get a robot cleaner.

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    I don't plan on actually building it myself, although I may try to do some of the legwork to reduce costs. And possibly just buy all the components upfront, but need to discuss this with the PB.

    I'm going for the backyard oasis also. I'm leaving areas open for the masonry drop in gas grill and adding a screened patio/gazebo feature to the back of the house with a view of the pool and my pond out back. I like the idea of the poolside firepit, but again in south LA, just not cold enough, often enough. I'll settle for a chiminea.

    I'll be able to use that line from caddy shack...I've got a pool and a pond...pond's good for you...

    Thanks for the input Thunder.

    I'd also be interested in some specifics about plumbing sizes and configurations from some of you guys with PB experience. Thanks...
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Guest
    well i didnt have it done for me, but one of my local friends just had a pool build, inground pebel sheen, love the look, any way,

    they used 2" for suction in the pool, 1.5" for pool returns 3" for spa suction on two suction lines in the spa, and 2" returns in the spa. their PB said it was how they configure all of their pool regardless of size shape and what ever.

    i was thinking of having two firepits put next to the pool with a water fall coming out of them. That would be awsome.

    im in the precess of adding a spa and changing out my my pump and filter, i would insist on a intelliflo 4X160 or 3.2K, 3.2k is what im getting, i dont know about brands for filters but i want a de because it filters down the smallest there by a cleaner pool, also little stuff like fountains and bubbler, which i want make a huge difference in feeling of the pool.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    ktdave's Avatar
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    Love my Intelliflow 4x160. We use a LOT less electricity than we anticipated.

    Get a HUGE filter. Our filter, pentair clean & clear plus cartridge is sized for a pool 50K gal and more and we have a 11k gal pool. I'll probably only have to clean the cartridges once a year.

    Wish I would have installed a umbrella sleeve in beach entry.
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
    Intelliflo 4x160 pump
    Intellichlor IC-20 SWG
    Pentair cartridge filter 420 sq. ft.
    Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Legend Platinum cleaner
    Pool School
    JasonLion's Pool Calculator
    TF Test Kits

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Huge filter...check.

    I was planning on putting a couple umbrella sleeves in the tanning ledge. I think I'd hit my head on it at the entryway. I do really like what you did with your colors from shallow to deep Dave.
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  7. Back To Top    #7
    mbar's Avatar
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    I would love to have an automatic cover - this way it could be used whenever I want to keep the heat in, the leaves out, and no more little surprise dead animals in the morning
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    I would go with a darker plaster instead of the white quartz that we settled for. I think it would help retain just a little bit more heat. My wife insisted on the white plaster because she thought we'd have trouble seeing our kids with a darker bottom.

    I would spend more time with the PB to discuss the location of returns and skimmer(s). Especially with an Intelliflo, you really need to optimize skimmer efficiency to maximize energy savings. I wind up having to run my pump at high speed for about an hour a day to keep the surface clean.

    I have no regrets with the equipment I selected (see sig), but I think I would probably go for the 8-circuit Easytouch instead of the 4-circuit model that I got. It's always nice to have room to grow.

    I would seriously consider getting a spa. Even though you might not use it much, it could make a significant difference to a potential homebuyer sometime in the future. A spa could also be a good place to hang out when it's not quite warm enough yet to swim in the pool.
    ~13500 gallon gunite pool, Pentair Intelliflo 4x160, Pentair 520 SF cartridge filter, Pentair MasterTemp 400 NG heater
    Pentair Easytouch with IC40 SWCG, Hayward Navigator on dedicated suction line

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    I would insist that the pool builders itemize the equipment by brand, size etc. Then check out the manufacturers web sites to learn more. It can make a big difference. Confirm any doubts or questions from members of this forum. I've had one pool built, about 13 years ago, and just had another completely renovated. Both times the builders seemed to be in more of a hurry to finish than in the quaility of their work. Most builders use sub contractors on almost every phase... plumbing, electrical, excavation and gunite, deck, plaster, sometimes everything. Ask if they will be using subs, and if so who. Then check them out. I've found that good communication with the subs was more beneficial than with the pool builder. If you live where you have to obtain a permit, the city inspectors will take care of some issues... but nothing cosmetic. Get as much in writing as you can, especially warranties. Ask for references and check them out.

    ADD THE SPA and HEATER. We live in Texas, and felt the same as you. We didn't include it on our first pool and really regretted it. It doesn't cost much to heat our spa with propane, and we use it all year long. It's the best feature of our pool. Heating the pool can get expensive. We have a 39k gallon, and rarely add heat to the pool. Get a QUIET BLOWER for the spa. We have the 2HP Polaris QT and I love it. It really adds force to the return water. The old blower we had was so loud it was annoying.

    Add the AUTOMATED CONTROLLER. We have the Polaris EOS, and it controls all aspects of the pool from an easy to use keypad installed inside the house. If you add optional features such as outside lighting, music, water features, etc, they can be added to and controlled by the EOS. It has an optional remote control that we didn't feel we needed. It also has a mini controller in the deck next to the spa that controls the blower, lighting, and heater. You can even adjust temperature up or down without leaving the spa. The control box at the equipment has the same features as the keypad in the house, so you can control from outside during routine maintence. Check it out at the Polaris web site.

    Good Luck, Dan
    My pool… 30K gunite free form, 3 ft. to 11 ft. deep, with 700 gallon spill over spa. White plaster, Jandy 60 sq. ft. DE filter, 2HP Jandy Stealth Pump, 3/4 HP booster pump, Jandy color changing lights, Jandy 400,000 BTU heater, Polaris EOS command center with in-house controls, and shortcut remote next to spa. Hayward goldline valve actuators. 2HP Polaris QT blower for spa. Dolphin Dynamic robotic cleaner. Inline Chlorinator which is used with trichlor pucks ONLY when I need to raise my CYA, which I try to keep around 30 to 40 ppm.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Thanks for all the responses. Maybe I'll rethink the spa for awhile longer. I have a fairly good budget, but gotta draw the line somewhere too.

    I need to do some more detailed research on all the equipment. I'd almost rather just buy all the equipment up front myself and having it waiting for the PB. Here...install this stuff...
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  11. Back To Top    #11
    I would have added two drains into the tile line one near the top of the tile and another under the tile so that when it rains the water will have somewhere to go. I would like one below the tile line so that I can keep the water level below the tile during the winter when the pool is closed.
    ~Megan

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Guest
    ok, if i was to build right this min, i may have a budget of 25000 right now with out having to finance, but have other things i need to do with that like things for the pool and what not,

    so lets set the budget at 25000, this is hipathetetical(SP!!) just to give you and idea of what you can do

    inground gunite probably 15X30, 6' deep 3' shallow with a beach entry, bubbler and attached spa, intelliflo 4x160, and extra booster pump for spa, SWG, HUGE filter, automated system, Aqua Comfort heater, and an inground floor cleaner, you could add or take a way stuff, i would add an outdoor kitchen and make it s big one, my house is set up with so much potential for anything i want, But like you my budget has its limits.

    i would love to do this to my back yard but would have to add 10K to get rid of my old pool.

    Take this For What its Worth.

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    My budget for this build will be around $50-55K. I'd like to get the most bang for my buck, so I really want to get this all planned out ahead of time, and avoid the costly back end surprises.

    I think I know what I want as far as pool size and shape go, I'm really interested in the equipment now. I seem to keep hearing about the Intelliflo 4 x 160, and AutoPilot SWCG's. I'm undecided on cartridge vs. sand filters. And I guess I don't understand what a DE filter is yet.

    JasonLion gave a great review of the Total Control system awhile back. That sounds perfect for me and my offshore schedule...if it only the FC sensor worked properly. I wish they sold the acid injector portion as a standalone unit.

    I'm getting some good input here though!

    Thanks...
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  14. Back To Top    #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterl1365
    I would spend more time with the PB to discuss the location of returns and skimmer(s). Especially with an Intelliflo, you really need to optimize skimmer efficiency to maximize energy savings. I wind up having to run my pump at high speed for about an hour a day to keep the surface clean.
    After I got my Pentair IntelliFlo variable-speed pump, I also noticed that the surface was not getting clean like it used to with my older pump. The older pump was 1 HP and around 1800 Watts and with the solar on was outputting around 50 GPM, but with the solar off it was at around 68 GPM which was enough to create a small vortex in the skimmer that sucked the surface oils through the filter. With the IntelliFlo I only run the solar at 48 GPM and with the solar off I run at 26 GPM so the surface doesn't get clean since the surface tension doesn't seem to get broken (i.e. no vortex).

    I could run the pump at a higher speed for a short time, but would prefer not to waste that energy. I'm going to see if putting a scum ball in the filter will help. I'm betting that it would -- otherwise, I'm not sure what to do. I tried using an enzyme, but it didn't seem to work or at least not well enough to be that noticeable.

    It seems to me that with this trend towards more efficient pumps and lower GPM that skimmers should be redesigned to not only take in water from the bottom of the skimmer, but to also have some sort of water level "float" that sucks water just below the surface to create a small vortex. It's tricky, because it needs to be enough to pull surface contaminants down, but not so much as to suck air or larger objects that should rightly go into the skimmer basket. Another alternative would be to have a built-in scum ball-like "filter" as part of the skimmer and that gets removed and cleaned at the same time one cleans the skimmer basket.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    I need to do some more detailed research on all the equipment. I'd almost rather just buy all the equipment up front myself and having it waiting for the PB. Here...install this stuff...[/quote]

    The pool builder bought most, if not all of our equipment through Leslies, and had it delivered to our house. Luckily I was home when it arrived. I never was told, or had a clue when it was coming. Buying it yourself might be better. When you decide on the equipment you want have the builder quote you a price. Then again, if some conflict in scheduling came up due to no equipment on site, be it real or an excuse for the builder, it would be your fault, and it could push you farther behind other customers. I would get a good feel from the pool builder on this.

    Dan
    My pool… 30K gunite free form, 3 ft. to 11 ft. deep, with 700 gallon spill over spa. White plaster, Jandy 60 sq. ft. DE filter, 2HP Jandy Stealth Pump, 3/4 HP booster pump, Jandy color changing lights, Jandy 400,000 BTU heater, Polaris EOS command center with in-house controls, and shortcut remote next to spa. Hayward goldline valve actuators. 2HP Polaris QT blower for spa. Dolphin Dynamic robotic cleaner. Inline Chlorinator which is used with trichlor pucks ONLY when I need to raise my CYA, which I try to keep around 30 to 40 ppm.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    ....I definitely will go with 2 sp pump, larger filter and travertine pavers again. I would difinitely go with everything in writing and be more demanding of my pool builder. I agree with UnderwaterMan about the subcontractors and getting the equipment models. I had a tight budget, so I placed more emphasis on things that I could not upgrade later, like I defferred on a SWG to be able to go with more decking. Iwent with a deeper pool(for my area) and larger pool rather than automation. The things I did not get can be easily added later on. I love my deepend bench and the upgrade for my Colorlogics (which cost me $200 apiece after buying them myself and getting credit for the lights that came with my pool). I'm not too crazy about my DiamondBrite and wondering if I should of upgraded.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    I've not really investigated pavers vs. concrete decking yet. I just assumed pavers would be very expensive. Although the stamped/stained concrete I like isn't exactly cheap.

    I will be very specific and demanding with the PB before signing. I guess I probably know more now (thanks TFP) than most first time pool buyers and will know what to ask for and insist on. If they don't like all the questions, then they won't get the job...
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  18. Back To Top    #18

    In the Industry

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    Re: If you were to build another pool...

    Quote Originally Posted by Belldiver
    If you were to build another new pool...

    What features/equipment would you insist on...or get rid of...
    Actually I didn't build the pool, it came with the house. But I LOVE this question!!

    My pool is enclosed, which is exactly the way I would choose to build one. What I DON'T like so much about it: the enclosure is a distance from the house and it's not very tight. There are places where rain leaks in and leaves, etc., can blow in during a storm. I don't have any automation, and the only timer is one on my solar heater. That timer isn't a clock timer, it's one that runs a number of hours from the time it's turned on.

    If I built my own: I would have it built in a screened/enclosed porch. I'd have it set up so that it could be opened for breezes in the warm weather and pretty well sealed up against the cold in the winter. Some sort of ventilation fans would be set into the lower walls of the porch. I even toyed with the idea of having a roof that could be opened to let in sunlight directly on the pool; pretty much decided that would be more trouble than it was worth.

    I'd want solar heat and a heat pump, with thermostats and automatic regulators to keep the pool at 84 degrees year-round. An auto-cover sounds like a nice idea too! I would like a LIQUIDATOR, not an SWG. Definitely time clocks on the pump, etc.

    I might go with a cartridge filter, but I'm pretty fond of my good ol' sand filter. I don't think I want DE. Two-speed pump or Intelliflo, something like that.

    Separate portable spa, not an in-ground spa.

    I don't know whether I'd want a BIG pool or a cozy small one. Guess the actual amount of my budget would dictate that! Either way, I'd want rectangular, or rectangular with steps off to the side (hope that makes sense). No deep end, depth from 3.5 to about 5 ft. If I went with a smaller pool, prolly fiberglass; larger pool, prolly gunite with pebblesheen, in a light blue color.

    I'd have a changing room & bathroom opening from the house to the pool porch. That would be a good place to keep my testing supplies too.

    I'd really like to have porous paving or some system to prevent having the floor become one huge puddle. . . the plastic grid thingies help, but they're sort of a pain. . .

    So basically, what I DO want:
    --automation, efficiency, timers
    --a pool suited for swimming and water aerobics, not just playing
    --pool lights, but not necessarily the multicolor LED's (might be fun, tho!)

    What I don't want:
    --fancy-schmancy decorations, mosaics, etc (I do think they're lovely, but I'm a practical soul!)
    --SWG (they don't seem like they're worth the cost; I like my bleach!)
    --free-form (give me a nice practical rectangle so I can swim!)
    --automatic cleaners (expensive and not really necessary for an indoor pool)

    Fun thread!
    ~Jules~

    My pool: INDOOR 13x27 rectangular fiberglass, built ~2001, BBB, TA-60 sand filter, Hayward two speed pump (1 hp/0.33 hp), 3/4 hp booster pump for solar heater
    Taylor K-2006 test

  19. Back To Top    #19
    ktdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belldiver
    I've not really investigated pavers vs. concrete decking yet. I just assumed pavers would be very expensive. Although the stamped/stained concrete I like isn't exactly cheap.
    This reminds me; I have stamped concrete (that I really like). I just wish they would have put some anti-slip additive in the sealer that they applied. It is a bit slippery when wet, so I'll be re-sealing it soon with the "sharkskin" additive. It's funny, cause we've gotten accustomed to walking around the pool on the coping for sure-footedness.
    11,000 gal. gunite w/midnight blue and white pearl PebbleTec
    Intelliflo 4x160 pump
    Intellichlor IC-20 SWG
    Pentair cartridge filter 420 sq. ft.
    Mastertemp 400K BTU heater
    Legend Platinum cleaner
    Pool School
    JasonLion's Pool Calculator
    TF Test Kits

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Greetings--

    1) I'd have a ground level spa, attached to the pool. We had a "portable" spa at the other house. It was OK, but we perfer friends' spas that are at ground level. I'd also have plenty of action/jets

    2) I'd have an automation control. Be able to fire up the heater, switch over the spa valves, lights ect from inside and on the patio. PRevious house used an X-10 control to turn on the lighting ect around the backyard-- that was nice.

    3) I'd probably try a salt water system with an automatic control as well.

    4) Our last house had an automatic water level device. Cant be beat. It also had an overflow tube so that the rain wouldnt overflow the pool when out of town. New house's pool doesnt have one ( we didnt build it) and I miss both already.

    We also loved out large rock waterfall at the other house. The sound of the water flowing over the rocks masked all of the outside street noises. New house's pool has a small waterfall. It has its own seperate pump-- I'd do that if I built a pool so the main pump /valves wouldnt have to be fooled with to turn on the waterfall.
    - Reji

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