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Thread: New Build being bid, Lots of questions

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    New Build being bid, Lots of questions

    Hello All,

    Hopefully my maze of confusion with our Pool Bids is not uncommon.

    We have relatively close bids for our new pool except for a few major options, varying local opinions of options, and diversity of differing products. ( This is where I am going crazy on trying to compare apples to potentially oranges. I hope those with better pool understanding on this forum can be of help )

    Questions;

    Inground pool cleaning system ( a close to 5k option )
    > Some say that due to our location ( southwest Arizona ), the amount of wind sand and dust may adversley affect such equipment and that regardless of the sand potential, these options are not that effective ?

    True ? False ? is it worth the 5k ?

    Pool Finish

    Now this has truely been driving me nuts,

    One bid has options of the following.. Pebble Tec, Pebble Sheen, Pebble Fina. .....Pebble fina comes with the price , tec is more and sheen even more. The only advice from the seller is that the more expensive the better ?

    True ? False ? worth the extra ?

    Other bids has QuartzScape, StoneScape, Diamondbrite, and 3m Quartz. The least expensive being 3M then quartzscape, then StoneScape and Diamondbrits.

    I can't find independant reviews on really any of these and really any solid warranty information except for on the actual aggregate, so if the Quartz or pebbles go bad ( a bad stone ? ) or maybe turn into something other ( hopefuly Diamonds the way this is going ) then the warranty is validated.

    Thoughts ? Ideas ? Aspirin ?

    Now, What about the value of a spa and the varying types of way to provide effective heat ? I cant get Natural Gas to the area I want it without buying ownership into the Gas Utility company, I contacted the Propane company who would only be able to legally place a propane Tank 10' from property lines and structures ( It may have to be submersable as it would have to be in the pool.. ) Regardless, My wife and I aren't too excited about the landscaping benifits of a silver propane tank...

    SO we are told a Heat Pump can heat both the Pool and the Spa, you just need to turn a valve. To a layman in the pool building arena it doesnt sound quite what we were hoping for, we wanted to hit a button and have the spa heat up and enjoy. SO the Spa / Heating questions...

    Can a Heat Pump effectively heat a spa so that it is hot and also be easy to regulate ?
    Is all the money for a Spa and the associated equipment issues a justifyed hurdle to recognize and go with a portable multi jet spa instead ?

    I apoligize for the length of this message, I beleive the actuall writing of this aleved some of the frustrations I am enduring with analyzing these options. I look forward to any advice from all of you whom have already endured these choices.

    THANK YOU and I gratefully look forward to your input.

    THANKS

  2. Back To Top    #2
    stever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA (near San Diego)
    Posts
    285

    Re: New Build being bid, Lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by arizonaheat
    Inground pool cleaning system ( a close to 5k option )
    > Some say that due to our location ( southwest Arizona ), the amount of wind sand and dust may adversley affect such equipment and that regardless of the sand potential, these options are not that effective ?

    Pool Finish
    One bid has options of the following.. Pebble Tec, Pebble Sheen, Pebble Fina. .....Pebble fina comes with the price , tec is more and sheen even more. The only advice from the seller is that the more expensive the better ?

    Now, What about the value of a spa and the varying types of way to provide effective heat ?

    SO we are told a Heat Pump can heat both the Pool and the Spa, you just need to turn a valve. To a layman in the pool building arena it doesnt sound quite what we were hoping for, we wanted to hit a button and have the spa heat up and enjoy. SO the Spa / Heating questions...

    Can a Heat Pump effectively heat a spa so that it is hot and also be easy to regulate ?
    Is all the money for a Spa and the associated equipment issues a justifyed hurdle to recognize and go with a portable multi jet spa instead ?
    Hi and welcome!

    I'll try to give you bits of advice here and there as I see it, but others will chime in as well:

    Cleaning system: In-floor cleaning systems are not too popular in SoCal, so I don't know anybody with one personally, but I have heard they are a high-price luxury that works great for a while and then starts to give you problems that are a pain to track down. With all of the sand blowing in all the time maybe it's more standard there...

    Pool Finish: Be very careful with this one. Some of the finishes (tec I think) are extremely rough on the feet -- even after a number of years (I know from friends with this). The Fina I believe is much better, but as the 'pebble' size decreases, it starts (IMHO) to resemble a colored plaster -- why spend the $$? They say it'll last longer, but I strongly believe that a correctly balanced pool with typical plaster will last 20 years (note your area has high calcium in the water, so it won't be trying to leach out of the plaster like in some areas). Call me boring, but I love the simple bright-white plaster -- looks most refreshing to me.

    Heating the pool can be done with gas, heat-pump or solar. I believe heat pumps and solar don't work as fast. In my opinion, anything heating a pool with electric in high-rate areas will be regreted. Assuming you are in the 'hot' side of AZ you won't be needing to heat your pool in the swim season. I'm sure you could have the solar heat the spa, but there would be issues to resolve with circulation (if the spa is being heated over an extended period of time, there is no circulation/filtering of the main pool). A seperate set of equip. for the spa would fix this, but at a nice cost.

    As for a button or a valve -- any valve can be easily automated and turned into a button. I highly recomend some sort of automation. Most say to match the brand of your equipment for best compatability.

    Have you considered a SPOOL -- a pool with a jetted cove-area directly in it. I hear people in your area (with pools over 90 deg naturally in the summer) like this as a good alternate. I can't find the thread by searching -- but I know it was in the last month.

    I understand your frustrations -- and there's so much more! Not to distrust the PB, but look carefully at the choices for pump, filter, chlorinator, and pipe size. These are things that many PBs will sell you the 'safe' competitive product, but you might want something a little bit better. It's too late after it's done!

    I hope this helps!

    Steve
    Pool: 625 SF Free-Form In-Ground Shotcrete Pool w/7.5' dia spa.(8 jets), 24" raised bond beam (22,500 gal)
    Pentair Equip: Intelliflo VF Pump, MasterTemp 400 Heater, IC40 SWG, Quad DE 100 Filter
    Automation: IntelliTouch i7+3 (+ extender panel), 6 Jandy Automated Valves (S, R, Spa Bypass, Solar, Cleaner, Spillway)
    Other: 75% Solar, Kreepy Kruiser Cleaner, Tan Hip-Hop Diving Board (a bit curved) on 606 Cantilever Base (SR Smith)
    Links: [TFP Pool Build Thread] - [TFP Landscaping Thread]

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rocklin, Ca
    Posts
    467

    Re: New Build being bid, Lots of questions

    I would recommend walking on the different finishes first hand. Don't settle on a small sample you hold in your hand. After holding samples of Tec, Sheen and Fina, I was convinced I wanted Sheen. At first, I thought Pebble Sheen was a happy compromise of smoothness and durability.

    My PB has a very nice showroom about an hour away where they display most of the products they sell. After actually standing on Pebble Sheen my wife and I both decided we didn't like the roughness of Pebble Tec or Sheen. In the end we elected to go with Pebble Fina in a Tahoe Blue like color.

    We also elected to go with a standalone spa because of heating cost as well as comfort. Most gunite spas look very nice but they are very uncomfortable to us. Not to mention each person only gets one or two jets. The spa we bought has 57 jets and cost about the same as a gunite spa.

    For heating I would consider solar. My dad lives in Vegas and can easily heat his spa to 103 by running the pump through the spa during the day and then filtering the pool at night. He also has an in floor cleaning system and seems to like it. They are not at all common here in northern California. Not to mention solar can be used to cool a pool by running it at night.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Kevin
    11000 Gals, Intelliflo, Sta-Rite Cartridge, Polaris 360

    Pool I built in my old house: my-new-pool-build-t4534.html

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Forney, TX
    Posts
    162

    Re: New Build being bid, Lots of questions

    Regarding the in-ground pool cleaning, some people swear by them and others don't. My boss has one and doesn't care for it. He said he has to vacuum his pool out constantly. We have a pressure-side cleaner and it is quite effective. It's not perfect- it gets the hose knotted up a couple of times a week and we remove the cleaner when we're swimming so it's not in the way. But it does keep the pool nice and clean. We don't even own a vacuum attachment. Considering the cost of in-floor, personally I don't think it's worth the 5k.

    Quote: "One bid has options of the following.. Pebble Tec, Pebble Sheen, Pebble Fina. .....Pebble fina comes with the price , tec is more and sheen even more. The only advice from the seller is that the more expensive the better ?"

    Ha! Figures they'd say that. That's not true, the more expensive versions have a smaller aggregate but that doesn't make them better. Pebble Tec is a little bumpy, most people describe it to be like the surface of an orange or basketball. Sheen has a smaller aggregate and is therefore a smoother surface.

    Quote: "Other bids has QuartzScape, StoneScape, Diamondbrite, and 3m Quartz. The least expensive being 3M then quartzscape, then StoneScape and Diamondbrits."

    3m quartz is what we have, but be advised it is not a pebble finish. It is colored plaster with small bits of quartz aggregate. As far as durability it is inbetween plaster and pebble. We ended up going with it because we have a lot of mosaics in the pool and pebble finishes are likely to scratch mosaics when they are installed.
    Our pool adventure... click here

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    Re: New Build being bid, Lots of questions

    THANK YOU ALL !!!!

    Everyone has been Incredibaly helpfull, THANKS THANKS THANKS

    SO, Here is where we are at so far....

    We have decided NOT to go with the in-floor cleaning system, HOWEVER, we are waiting on the costs of a Water Circulation System ? This is too provide better water circulation and provide for a cooler pool in summer and warmer in winter by the distribuion of additional pool water intakes and outputs in the pool ?
    Again, this is supposed to do this according to the rep.

    True ? False ? anyone have one ?

    Also, we have decided NOT to due the inground spa but have incorporated the new design with a Streamer wall for the front of a CalSpa and a matching Tile wrap around the CalSpa.

    HEAT PUMP, still trying to decide,

    We have seen ones that heat and cool and go up to 127KBTU, am not sure abou all the brands e.t.c.

    FINISH, still trying to decide,

    THANK YOU STEVER It makes alot of sense what you had to say regarding the finishes and water chemistry e.t.c. The one company includes "Pebble Fina" with all their pools at no additional charge, still deciphiring the others and potential values, but I am thiniking clearer now with the advice Stever. I am thinking all of the sales pitches and increases of Thousands are not worth it and just get a cost effective finish we like and maintain it well.... THANKS

    Heat Pumps still working on, Confirming the best cost effective final on the pool finish and costing out the Circulation System

    Continually grateful for the input so far and look forward to any more !!

    THANKS THANKS THANKS

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