Atlanta Suburb Pool Build

Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
Ok. Tomorrow they will start the dig on our pool. I’m more than just a little anxious. I think we have the ”big picture” covered. But it’s all the details that make me nervous. Plus, we’ve been in regular contact with the salesperson for our pool buidler, but some things he says makes me a bit nervous. He had never heard of LED bubblers. He’s never heard of a rolled beam spa. And he keeps saying we can’t customize our jets on the spa...on a custom spa. The project manager and owner will be here tomorrow for the dig, so I feel we can discuss some of this then.

This leads me to a couple of questions for the group though.
1. What are the best LED bubblers you have seen? We are using Hayward equipment and I’ve seen Hayward LED bubblers, but also see they’ve been discontinued. I’m not sure whether because of a newer model or if phased out because of issues.

2. What’s the best way to get a more customized spa experience? We’ve got 6 jets. Not sure which ones, but the plumbers will be out later this week. There will be an air blower as well. I’m 5‘2” and my husband is 5’10”. We have friends and relatives of various heights. We were told the jets will be on 1 loop which sounds like the only way they’ve ever done it. Anyone care to share pics of multilevel seating bench in the spa??? Or should I push for jets placed at different heights the way we want them?

I’m sure we will have more questions until my nerves calm down a little.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,324
Northern NJ
The more spa jets you do, the more pump power you need. Will you have a dedicated spa jet pump? I find high water pressure is more important for therapeutic spa experience then number of jets.

Here is my spa with multiple levels of seating, including the steps.

 
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Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
The more spa jets you do, the more pump power you need. Will you have a dedicated spa jet pump? I find high water pressure is more important for therapeutic spa experience then number of jets.

Here is my spa with multiple levels of seating, including the steps.

Thanks! The pics of the tiered seating is very helpful. It concerns me that my salesman never heard of this before. But at least it's not too late to get the spa we want. He seemed to be more understanding of the tiered seating idea rather than jets at different heights. He kept saying the system wouldn't prime correctly and either the upper ones or lower ones would suffer in pressure. I couldn't understand how that would be true based on what I've seen here on the forum. I also want to know what type of jets they are using as I have seen there are different types instead of the basic jets which are really just pool returns.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,324
Northern NJ
The good thing about simple return jets is they always work. Some folks have had fancy spa jets installed and find their PB can never get them to work correctly. So beware of asking your PB to do things they have no experience with.
 
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poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
479
Seminole, FL
Thanks! The pics of the tiered seating is very helpful. It concerns me that my salesman never heard of this before. But at least it's not too late to get the spa we want. He seemed to be more understanding of the tiered seating idea rather than jets at different heights. He kept saying the system wouldn't prime correctly and either the upper ones or lower ones would suffer in pressure. I couldn't understand how that would be true based on what I've seen here on the forum. I also want to know what type of jets they are using as I have seen there are different types instead of the basic jets which are really just pool returns.
My lying idiot said the same thing about jets at different heights. I insisted the he verify with an engineer that it wouldn't work, and lo and behold, it wasn't a problem.
I STRONGLY recommend that you ask for different supervisor for your build. This is just the beginning of the guy just saying incorrect info and your having to get the right answers elsewhere. Trust is lost. Fire him and demand that the PB give you someone who is knowledgeable and honest.
If I had done that, I wouldn't have the few remaining regrets about our pool that I do.

Best of luck.
 
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Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
So the guys got started yesterday! My nerves were calmed a little after I spoke to the pool builder and officer manager about customizing the spa.

Most of the day was dedicated to grading the yard. We had a nice little swell of a hill in the middle of the pool area that they had to cut down. They used some of that dirt to bring up some of the low areas in the yard.

We had a bit of problem that I was wondering if anyone else encountered. Our ground here in Atlanta is mainly shale. Once the pool and spa were shaped, a large crack formed across the middle of the spa floor. Minutes later, the ground just slid down into the pool at that crack. The pool builder says they will just have the shotcrete crew build that area up and reinforce it well with rebar also. Does this seem like the best solution? It sounded like they've encounter this before.

Next step is choosing lights and the new jets that I want for the spa. They typically use Paramount LED multicolor lights. But, he says they'd have to switch to Hayward if I want the LED bubblers so they can all be the same brand. Any suggestions on brands? I've seen the Jandy line and they look promising.

Here are some pics of our dirt hole.

20201102_155129.jpg20201102_155208.jpg20201102_155210.jpg
 

Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
Ok a week has passed since our pool and spa was dug. Things were put on hold because we had some customizations we wanted with the spa. Long story short, the pool builder wanted $1900 to slope the backrest of the spa about 12-15-degrees. We were told the plumber and the gunite guys were up charging to do that. When we asked what that price was based on (materials? labor?) we got nothing. So plumbing and rebar were on hold until we came to a consensus. Consensus is...we’re not getting the sloped backrest, but are getting the tiered bench seat. We’re ok with that, I guess. I was not ok with paying $1900 for no good reason though.

It’s suppose to rain this week, so they’re sending someone out to “flash” our hole with cement tomorrow. Is this a thing?

The plumbers should be back out Thursday or Friday and the rebar crew the next day. So I guess we’re back on track.
 
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Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
The plumbers came out last week and did their thing. Two skimmers, 4 returns, 8 jets in the spa, 2 bubblers on the tanning ledge. The equipment is here also. I came home from work this morning and they already had most of it done. I wasn't crazy about the equipment being placed on vibration pads instead of a solid concrete pad, but the PB insisted that's their norm and they've never had any issues.

This week, the steel crew came out. They worked their butts off for 3 days. Most of the time was spent building up the sides and floor of the fallen spa. Shotcrete is scheduled for Friday. Looks like we're moving right along, but I feel a slow down coming after the shell is shot. Especially with the holidays approaching.

We are heading to the NPT showroom Friday to select waterline tiles and confirm our pavers for the deck.

 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,815
Evans, Georgia
I really like your pool build. I just know that once its finished you'll be counting the weeks until spring! :swim::snorkle::paddle:

Please tell the PB to just leave the bags of salt with you and you'll add them in the spring. Some builders rush and put it in but if put in before 30 days it can have a negative effect on your plaster.

Maddie :flower:
 
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Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
What is a vibration pad?
Best I can tell, it's a preformed pad they just level and set the equipment on. When I had my heat pump replaced a few years ago, they used one. I'm not sure what it's made of, but I'm guessing something shock absorbent to cut down on the vibration of the equipment.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,815
Evans, Georgia
Best I can tell, it's a preformed pad they just level and set the equipment on. When I had my heat pump replaced a few years ago, they used one. I'm not sure what it's made of, but I'm guessing something shock absorbent to cut down on the vibration of the equipment.
huh. never heard of one before for pool equipment. <shrug> learn something new every day. let us know how it works out.

Maddie :flower:
 

Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
Shotcrete happened yesterday! It was really cool watching these guys work from my upstairs window. From up there, I could see that the swim out area to the right of the spa looked pretty steep. I called my guy and asked him how high it was and he said 18 inches below the water. It’s the same as the spa. When I did the calculations, that’s a 23 inch climb! I’m not getting any younger, so I knew that wasn’t ok. Talked about raising the swim out 5 inches higher than the bench and it seemed doable. When we talked to the gunite boss he suggested just making a step. He did it and we love it. Later that night, thought about the spa, which is really the same seat height. Should’ve asked for a step to get out of there too. Oh, well.

 
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Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
We had to go to the tile and paver showroom to make our selections while the guys were finishing up. I would’ve loved to stay and watch the whole process.

The designer at the showroom was really helpful. She was able to show us a lot more pics of the various pebble finishes. Our builder likes Stonescapes. We thought we wanted Tahoe Blue prior to going there. We ended up going with Aqua Blue instead. We made the change because of the appearance in shallow water as compared to deeper water. With the Tahoe Blue, the tanning ledge looks gray and the water medium blue. With the Aqua Blue, however, the ledge looks closer to the blue of the deeper water. I know some people prefer the two-tone look, but we wanted something less contrasting. Especially since we plan on adding the ledge marker tiles. This depends the price the builder hits us with. It wasn’t in our original quote. The marker tiles will be either one or 2 rows of the 1 x 2 tiles. They don’t add much shimmer, but we like the color combo. We also plan to add some abalone for more shimmer. We’re going with the regular pebbles too.

I’d love to know what you guys think. Should we go with the mini pebble? Is there a huge difference on the way they feel underfoot? We just felt them dry, so we don’t really know what to expect wet.

The waterline tile we chose is Safari Multicolor. We didn’t want the really deep navy blue and we needed a little of the brown and tans to pick up our deck color. The coping will be crab orchard flagstone and the deck with be Belgard Lafitt Avondale.

 

Slaru

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2020
17
Atlanta, GA
When we finally me it back home, I couldn’t wait to see it finished. It really looks like a pool now! I could finally walk around in it and get an idea of the size. The shallow end is 3.5 ft, but standing in it, feels deeper. We’re gonna measure tomorrow to check it out. I’m only 5’2” and we have a one year-old that won’t be able to stand up in the shallow for a while.

And, of course, my husband allowed me to bond with the pool first. It was dark out, so he gave me his head lamp. I enjoyed it a little too much, I think. I know we’ll do it daily 2-3 times, but what do we do if the forecast is for freezing temps? We’re in Atlanta, so I don’t expect that anytime over the next month, but you never know.

 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,815
Evans, Georgia
Remember you'll lose a few inches once the plaster is on top of the shotcrete.

Be aware that we've had a couple of new pools have problems with the alalone- its a natural product so it "decomposed" some and made brown stains in the plaster.

Maddie :flower:
 

Nikilyn

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2018
227
Gilbert, AZ
Be aware that we've had a couple of new pools have problems with the alalone- its a natural product so it "decomposed" some and made brown stains in the plaster.

Maddie :flower:
I’ve read that on here before and now I think about it every time I see the shells. They are pretty but I would hate to have that happen. One company we looked at has their own finish. One of their options is crushed pyrite. It’s almost a dust. It looks really good in the pool. So much sparkle. I wonder if they have any problems with it.
 
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