Automatic Pool Cover Lid for Pavers - Ideas for cover to hold pavers

stevepoint

Member
Apr 29, 2021
6
Waterloo ON
I've just had a fiberglass 28'x14' pool installed with an automatic pool cover brand (AutoGuard Under Track System | Automatic Pool Covers) auto cover.

The pool builder also installed a fiberglass container to hold the pool cover and mechanisms, however they provide no support beyond that. We are awaiting the actual cover and some brackets they called Atlas brackets (I think https://automaticpoolcoversnewengla.../2017/11/atlas-lid-bracket-specifications.pdf), not sure the spacing yet, they mentioned maybe 15" spacing between brackets but it's up to us how to put them to support whatever.

So my question for everyone is what's the best way to support coping + bricks on top whilst still being able to remove it for servicing/repairs?

I've seen coverstar has these walk on lid trays that look interesting (Coverstar Lid Tray Walk-On with Mesh 24" Long x 17-3/4" Lip Side | A0230) that may do the trick however it'll be at least a month to order + it's pretty expensive too, and may not fit our brackets (still waiting on them).

We are doing bullnose coping stones - barolla round edge (Best Way Stone) and techobloc blu 60mm pavers on top.

My landscaper was thinking of doing plywood on top of the atlas brackets, but I think that won't be good with the water. I was looking at maybe some Aluminum Sheets 24"x24" maybe GA22, do you guys think that would hold all the bricks on top? I'm worried maybe I'm underengineering it and it won't hold people's weight.

Any ideas?
 

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bmoreswim

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I like the idea of those Coverstar trays. So you'd use mortar underneath and in between. Then there would just be small gaps between the trays. Though the trays will be god-awful heavy when removing for maintenance.

Another option (and I know it may not be a popular one) would be to use bluestone, which is or can be similar in color to those coping stones, as the cover for that end of the pool. It's simpler because they just rest right on the brackets and span whatever length the stone is. Ours are 24", but we also have bluestone around the pool. And perhaps you could use a stair tread bluestone, but to 24" wide, then you'd have a round edge.

Here's a picture of ours.


2013-06-24 22.15.52.jpg2015-08-15 10.41.54 Resized.jpg
 

stevepoint

Member
Apr 29, 2021
6
Waterloo ON
Thanks for the input bmoreswim. I like the idea of using a larger coping unit to fit on it, however the the issue then is the box is still pretty wide to the pool edge, it's around 22-24" (whilst at the sides it's around 14.5"). I wouldn't want a wider coping (more than the 12.3" the current coping selection is), albeit it could be longer. The landscaper thinks we can just use aluminum sheets (24"x48" cut down where needed) on top of the brackets, then place coping near the pool edge and fill the rest with pavers. I guess the other option is we go further in and place the coping right up against the back wall of the cover box but then you would see 10-12" of the cover when open, and not sure we want the box too exposed to rain/etc, would rather have it more covered and coping closer to the pool edge/end of cover.

I'm a little worried if we use aluminum sheets and fill in 22" of stones (coping+pavers), that's going to be a lot of weight, coupled with the brackets hold less weight as they are extended further.
 

bmoreswim

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Can you put measurements over top of the original picture? Where will leading bar rest when fully open? You only need the lid to go to the back side of the leading bar like mine. I think you may be overstating how much the lid should be expected to cover. Most lids don't go to the water (though some do - they are pricey options). You'll have to be very careful if you are using just flat sheets of aluminum. I have no idea what gauge you'd need to span what ever spacing you are planning. But the Coverstar trays have lipped edges which causes a major increase in weight carry capacity before deflecting.

BTW - I'm disappointed that your cover dealer isn't taking care of this aspect for you in consultation with your PB/deck person.
 

stevepoint

Member
Apr 29, 2021
6
Waterloo ON
Can you put measurements over top of the original picture?
Here's a picture with measurements, hope it's visible.

The leading bar will rest just on the left of the pool edge/lip at 23.5" from the brackets. If we place pavers/coping to the track edge it'll be 19.25" of material. I think the atlas brackets (https://automaticpoolcoversnewengla.../2017/11/atlas-lid-bracket-specifications.pdf) can extend to 24", so perhaps we could extend them to 19" but then they hold less weight at 370lbs.

The PB told me we'll have 9 brackets, and I can order more for around $200 USD each. At 9 brackets, it's around 21.2" apart for each bracket. I'm thinking about perhaps ordering some more to help hold the weight. I'm not looking at changing the coping at this point, they've already mounted all the other coping and waiting on this/brackets. If we place coping out to the track 19.25", the coping is 9.75" wide and 12.5" deep and 26lbs, so around 55lbs for the width + pavers, I'm guessing each bracket will have to hold around 75lbs of coping/pavers. So assuming 375lbs - 75lbs gives a good 300lbs margin of error/people walking on.

Unfortunately I have no communication with the cover dealer through our PB. I could ask, or ask the cover dealer directly. I'm not so happy with the PB as they only ever give vague responses and "your landscaper will know what to do". Well unfortunately I don't think these covers are so common here not to mention not every landscaper has worked on it and mine has never.

Thanks for the feedback, PS your pool looks amazing! Really like your bluestone and how you hid the mechanism well!
 

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bmoreswim

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Excellent picture with dimensions. So even though I understand wanting to cover as much of the cover as you can, I don't think you want the pavers/lid going out all the way to the rail at 19.25". The reason is that at that point, your fiberglass is quite high and close to the rail. If you think about the cover attaching to the leading bar, and being pulled taut back to the roll, including some folds of the material due to the slack needed side to side, the cover will be very close to touching the underlying brackets/tray. Though I don't know how far out the paver would overhang the tray/bracket. Mine goes over maybe 1 1/2" (though I'm doing that from memory). You don't want much overhang, because if someone dives/jumps off of it (highly discourage - it's a pool rule here), there could theoretically be some tipping. I know the tray will be heavy, but 200+ pounds on the very leading edge of the paver is a lot of leverage.

But the key to my point is the space between the cover being drawn back and the closest point to the underside of the bracket/tray being sufficient. I'm suggesting that the paver edge should perhaps only come out to maybe 18" and the tray/bracket come out to 16.5" or 17". However, I would absolutely get in contact with the cover dealer. They do/see this stuff every day. No better reason to call them than that.
 

steve_NY

Well-known member
May 22, 2020
56
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
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here is a link to a similar post I had started on this subject.

I will also post the pics here. I had a similar dilemma.
Cover people left us brackets when they installed, with no guidance at the time.
We picked a natural blackstone, and had it fabricated to fit over the brackets, and cover box.

Here is a pic before the stone, and some pics with the stone.
 

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stevepoint

Member
Apr 29, 2021
6
Waterloo ON
Cover people left us brackets when they installed, with no guidance at the time.
We picked a natural blackstone, and had it fabricated to fit over the brackets, and cover box.
Thanks @steve_NY that is exactly the situation I have. The fiberglass pool people created and installed a custom fiberglass cover box, but the gap is large I will need 19" hangers to hold it. They give not a lot of guidance on it, it's pretty disappointing. I spoke with the cover people technical support, they also sell 'lid trays' that come in custom sizes that can hold it but are quite pricey. I could do large bricks like yours to would cover the gap, and looking at your pictures that works pretty well. I'm also considering having my own 'lid tray' created using 0.25" aluminum so I can make them the exact size for the existing stones. Will keep you guys updated how it turns out.

@steve_NY how does the area feel, can you walk on it? Does it feel safe? That's my biggest concern they say the 19" brackets hold 350lbs each, but the bricks are 100lbs every 20-24", seems like not much room for a couple poeple to stand on without it breaking. Or if someone 'dove' off that side that would put a lot of pressure on it.
 

steve_NY

Well-known member
May 22, 2020
56
Long Island, NY
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Thanks @steve_NY that is exactly the situation I have. The fiberglass pool people created and installed a custom fiberglass cover box, but the gap is large I will need 19" hangers to hold it. They give not a lot of guidance on it, it's pretty disappointing. I spoke with the cover people technical support, they also sell 'lid trays' that come in custom sizes that can hold it but are quite pricey. I could do large bricks like yours to would cover the gap, and looking at your pictures that works pretty well. I'm also considering having my own 'lid tray' created using 0.25" aluminum so I can make them the exact size for the existing stones. Will keep you guys updated how it turns out.

@steve_NY how does the area feel, can you walk on it? Does it feel safe? That's my biggest concern they say the 19" brackets hold 350lbs each, but the bricks are 100lbs every 20-24", seems like not much room for a couple poeple to stand on without it breaking. Or if someone 'dove' off that side that would put a lot of pressure on it.
@stevepoint
The area feels safe, and the stones feel sturdy.
You can also add more brackets if you feel you need them, could probably place them 12 inches apart.
Part of the weight also rests on the concrete around the cover box. The 2 ends have concrete around 3 sides, which probably provides all of the support for the end pieces. We walk on them, and they do not move at all. We only have around 5 feet between the fence and the pool wall (and that 5 feet includes the cover box), so we planned this as the area we will walk on.) We decided not to add pavers or a border behind the cover box, and will add landscaping in the future. Everything took longer than expected, so we are waiting until the spring to do landscaping. The 2-3 feet between cover box and fence will be landscaped, and the stone on the cover box is the are people will walk on when they go in that area.
I have no idea how much the stones weigh, but the stones in the middle of the cover box are probably at least 4 feet long and 2+ feet wide, and 2-3 inches or so thick, so they are probably very heavy.
In regard to diving off them, for our pool, our deep end is not made for diving, and we also have a deep end bench/corner stairs the width of the pool in front of the cover, so hopefully nobody attempts to dive off the cover box (or anywhere in our pool), as that would be dangerous.

When deciding on the stone, we looked at what we wanted our coping to look like, including how it looked with pavers we liked, and we went to a few masonry supply yards to see what they had, and can do. We had to pick the cover box stone first, since that was not a standard size.
I think it is also important to find a masonry company who has done a cover box before.
 

stevepoint

Member
Apr 29, 2021
6
Waterloo ON
Thought I'd give an update, hopefully also can help some others. Unfortunately the weather has turned, it's now all snowed on, so I'll be stuck for a bit, the automatic cover hasn't been installed however I finally received the brackets and installed them.

I was considering a larger stone like @steve_NY (and thanks for the ideas) but in the end I had 10 trays custom made in 5052 aluminum 0.25" plate, folded/welded on 3 sides to make a tray. If I could go back I'd probably have ordered a thinner aluminum like 0.12" probably would have been fine. The issue is they are rather thick so there will be a 0.5" gap between pavers/coping. In order to make it less noticeable, I cut the coping stones from the bottom around 0.25" in and 1.5" deep (to go over the 'lip' of the tray). Another issue is it sounds like my electrician will have to bond each and every tray, so perhaps the larger stone would have been much more simple. I'm not sure yet if it's bonded how it will be removable or if there will be slack on the copper line, TBD.

IMG_0385.pngIMG_0433.pngIMG_0442.pngIMG_0445.png

I also added some brickstop aluminum edging (BrickStop prevents the shifting and movement of pavers.) around the trays mounted with 3/8" wedge anchors (instead of stakes which can't go into cement at least after the fact), which hopefully give an easy way to reposition the trays back when removed. Also hoping the edging will allow the landscaper to properly put polymeric sand between external pavers without all the sand washing out toward the trays and into the cover box.

IMG_0453.png

Hopefully the weather gets better and they install the cover, I'll update with pictures.
 
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TheOdyssey

Member
Aug 8, 2021
5
Maine, USA
Pool Size
7000
Surface
Fiberglass
Can you put measurements over top of the original picture? Where will leading bar rest when fully open? You only need the lid to go to the back side of the leading bar like mine. I think you may be overstating how much the lid should be expected to cover. Most lids don't go to the water (though some do - they are pricey options). You'll have to be very careful if you are using just flat sheets of aluminum. I have no idea what gauge you'd need to span what ever spacing you are planning. But the Coverstar trays have lipped edges which causes a major increase in weight carry capacity before deflecting.

BTW - I'm disappointed that your cover dealer isn't taking care of this aspect for you in consultation with your PB/deck person.
Hi I am experiencing the same problem. I installed a Leisure Pool and used the only authorised installers in my area and its almost a year and a whole lot of stress and no resolution yet. It's been really stressful and I wish we had not done the auto pool cover.
 
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