Build thread: Vinyl in-ground, 18x40, Fastlane, Autocover.

lazygirl1978

Gold Supporter
Oct 20, 2018
99
Southeast Missouri
#1
So here's where the pool/pool house are going. Pool house construction has started, and we're going to dig in a couple weeks!

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The red X marks the sunroom where we usually hang out in the house --- drinking morning coffee, reading, hanging around before dinner. The little red dot shows the location of the door we'll mostly use to access the pool/backyard. The larger circle/squareish thing to the right is where the hot tub is going, up against the house. Pool house will be mostly covered patio but will have a bathroom and an outdoor shower (shower will be on that bit of concrete running along side the poolhouse.

Shallow end will have full length vinyl covered steps. Deep end will have the autocover housing, fastlane swim current generator, and maybe a diving board. Initially, I was dead set on having the shallow end on the end FURTHEST from the pool house. I wanted to be able to leave my main house and walk right into the pool because everyday pool use will basically be going from the house to the pool. Even when we decided to go ahead with the poolhouse, I'd wanted to do it this way because I figured people would use the pool house AND the other end of the pool deck that way. I'm having second thoughts now. I think that maybe I want the shallow end/steps by the pool house because (1) it'll be prettier to look at from the sunroom than the autocover housing/fastlane (on the other hand, the cover will mostly be closed?), (2) it'll be easier for people to use the poolhouse bathroom if they walk up the steps and are right there by the poolhouse patio. I'm afraid if steps are where I really want them --- by the door to the main house ---then people will want to walk right into the house for the bathroom and drip all over the floor. Same thing for leaving towels and goggles and stuff around. Maybe I'd rather have all that stuff all at the poolhouse end?

Would love some thoughts! I hope it's not too late to tell my builder, but I think I'm fine as long as I tell before the dig starts.... (Also testing to see if my Gold Supporter badge starts showing up!). Thanks everyone!
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
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Evans, Georgia
#2
I like the steps closer to the house....and everyone only needs to be told to go to the pool house bathroom once. The short walk over to there lets some water drop off before they get there.

The autocover lid can be quite unseen if you get it done so it matches your coping.

Maddie :flower:
 

bmoreswim

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#3
I vote for steps by the pool house. When folks leave the house and go to the pool, they will have towels/drink in hand. You will go to the pool house to set your stuff in the shade (covered patio) and then go into the pool. Don't try to force usage of the other end of the deck. It will get used as needed. Trying to force usage seems to be opposite the natural flow of the space. Autocover view is a non-issue.

Other reason, now that I'm thinking about it. BIG ONE. You don't want to be intentionally jumping off the cover (if it's stone - and NO WAY if its something cheaper) into the pool. That will be a constant source of aggravation if you put the autocover by the pool house where everyone will congregate. Honestly, that's why I love having a diving board over our autocover end. The other pool rule beside the following running/glass, is no entry via that end of the pool except by way of the diving board. Works great.

For the bathroom - pool rules include only using the pool bath. Problem solved. Just like no running or glass by the pool.
 
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lazygirl1978

Gold Supporter
Oct 20, 2018
99
Southeast Missouri
#4
Thanks to you both! My husband and I talked at lunch and he thinks we should keep steps by the main house (Team Maddie/YippeeSkippy) for various reasons. Likes the steps oriented more toward center of house generally. The autocover housing will be whatever the standard housing is...not stone. Coping for pool will be 24" x 6" bluestone, but I think will generally be same color as autocover housing. bmoreswim, hadn't thought about people jumping off the housing! I was holding off on the diving board b/c I was worried about it being used with the Fastlane on (which would be a prohibited practice, but still...), but now I'm more concerned about someone accidentally jumping off the side and hitting the Fastlane. Maybe Fastlane would be better/safer under the diving board (and then the diving board takes the hit instead of autocover housing). ... If the autocover were on shallow end, doesn't that mean people are constantly stepping/sitting on it?

I'm still sort of on Team Bmoreswim. Agree about the drink/towel/poolhouse situation. Sigh.

Builder says it'll be about $1000 extra to move the shallow end to pool house side due to electrical/plumbing considerations. (Which is a drop in the bucket at this point.) I just want to be happy longterm with the decision.

Maddie, tell me more why you like the steps closer to the main house door please?
 

bmoreswim

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#5
Just for reference, take a look at our pool in my signature link. We also have bluestone coping and bluestones on the autocover. It looks great but was an upgrade. I don't think the standard pit covers are meant to be walked on but I could be wrong. That would be a real hassle of a pool rule to say no one can even walk on the autocover lid, with kids. I don't let people jump from our autocover lid stones, though you can actually do it. Because they do overhand the SS brackets by an inch or two and there is possibly a pivot effect over the bracket if a heavy or robust jumper were to perch on the edge. There may also not be a stone option for autocover lids with vinyl. Ours is gunite.

I'd do some more specific research on the exact autocover lid you will get (or could upgrade to). It is often a mistake to do things for a design/aesthetic reason (steps more towards the middle of the house) if that doesn't also align with the practical aspects. Practicality rules in my book.

I'm not familiar with Fastlane installs and don't know what it means when you say that you could hit the Fastlane. I would have thought it is all buried in the walls and the big honkin' jet of water is the only intrusion, but I've never looked them up.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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#6
My vote is with @bmoreswim You are going to walk out the door and turn right to the hot tub, pool house, or steps into the pool. Your design makes the right side be the natural area to hang out. It also keeps traffic away from the autocover.

A few more steps out the door to the pool steps will not be noticed by anyone.
 
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lazygirl1978

Gold Supporter
Oct 20, 2018
99
Southeast Missouri
#7
Thanks again. Re: fastlane, it will protrude into the pool by maybe 18". I've seen some installations (gunite) in which there's a little recessed area for it, which looks fantastic, but that isn't an option for me. Having it under the diving board would be kind of perfect unless there's something I'm missing.

@YippeeSkippy please make your case and save me some money! (And further debate with my husband.)

@bmoreswim , your pool is beautiful! I'd actually read your thread already but enjoyed looking back at it.

Pool builder says that the autocover housing lid is fine to walk on and jump from. It'll be gray. Poolbuilder feels like either way works for the pool orientation, though she was a proponent of Team Bmoreswim at first --- just so people are oriented toward the poolhouse. She says most people have the steps closer to the main house as a matter of convenience...

Really appreciate all the input, everyone!
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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Tallahassee, FL
#9
Where will a TV be? My guess it will be hung from some where under the pool house overhang. If so then that is where the steps should be. Imagine hanging out on the steps and enjoying a football game or movie! If you put the auto cover by the pool house you WILL have people walking on it and jumping off of it. Yeah your PB says that is okay but is he the one that will have to worry about fixing it if/when it gets broken down the road? I would ask to see the paperwork that goes with it and see what that says about walking on it!

Kim:kim:
 
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lazygirl1978

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Oct 20, 2018
99
Southeast Missouri
#10
Thanks, kimkats! Good point. We don't plan for a TV out there, but I did think I could set up an outdoor movie screen sometime under there! I told the guys today that we're doing steps by the poolhouse... we have freezing rain here right now, so I think they're waiting for the precip to stop before they start my patio demo.

@bmoreswim I saw that you have a basketball goal, and on someone else's thread you suggested putting sleeves in the decking to accommodate one that can be installed in the decking. Where do you recommend we put the sleeves? Middle of shallow end? Somewhere in between shallow and deep? I think we'd all love using it!
 

bmoreswim

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#11
@bmoreswim I saw that you have a basketball goal, and on someone else's thread you suggested putting sleeves in the decking to accommodate one that can be installed in the decking. Where do you recommend we put the sleeves? Middle of shallow end? Somewhere in between shallow and deep? I think we'd all love using it!
You can't put it on the cover end (would be set back too far). You can't put it on the Fastlane end, since it intrudes into the pool. I'd put it on either long side right in the middle. Far side from the house would be most aesthetically pleasing since you are looking at the front of the backboard. Believe it or not, shooting from the deep end is a lot of fun. It's an incredibly good workout to shoot repeatedly (and retrieve the balls) without being able to touch bottom. That placement gives you a good distance for a straight shot of 18' across the pool and nice baseline shots from the corners too. I always highly recommend standing benches in each deep-end corner like we have, but I'm not sure how steps like that would work in vinyl. We use them ALL the time when shooting hoops. The far corners are our 3 pointers! As a note, our pool is 5' deep where the basket is which is great. We are all adult-sized now but even when the kids were bit shorter, it worked fine. Our hoop is adjustable in height as well. I'm not sure if I've seen adjustable hoops that are mounted in anchors like those SR Smith ones I linked elsewhere.
 
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lazygirl1978

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Oct 20, 2018
99
Southeast Missouri
#12
That's the side I was thinking --- just wasn't sure if it should be right over the shallow end. I love your description of how you use it! We do have corner benches in the deep end, so that's perfect -- I hadn't thought about what a great workout it would be shooting from the deep end! SWEET. I'll tell my contractor (he's doing the concrete instead of the pool builder) to put the sleeves right in the middle. Thank you!
 

bmoreswim

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#13
Make sure the sleeves get included in the electrical bonding of the pool. I'm sure they will but just make sure. I'd get the highest quality of whichever hoop option you choose. Since you are getting an anchored variety, it would be ideal if the original version could last a very long time.

Shooting floating from the deep end may not go along with your username though!!
 

BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
240
SW PA
#14
That's the side I was thinking --- just wasn't sure if it should be right over the shallow end. I love your description of how you use it! We do have corner benches in the deep end, so that's perfect -- I hadn't thought about what a great workout it would be shooting from the deep end! SWEET. I'll tell my contractor (he's doing the concrete instead of the pool builder) to put the sleeves right in the middle. Thank you!
I agree that would be the best location for the hoop. The only thing I would add is that if your fence will be much further back from the deck, you may want to consider some plants or shrubs behind the hoop. This will help cut down on constantly getting out of the pool to retrieve the errant shots that miss completely. Trust me, during an intense game of HORSE, where shots will be taken from inside the hotub and the roof of the garage, they'll be plenty of misses. Not only is our fence far back, but the lawn slopes downward slightly away from the pool area, so the ball rolls. My 15 year old bribes my 7 year old with ice cream to stand behind the hoop and retrieve the ball when necessary. This year, tall ornamental grasses will act as a backstop.
 
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lazygirl1978

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Oct 20, 2018
99
Southeast Missouri
#15
Lazygirl can use a pool float too. :) In my non-lazy moments, I train for triathlons, but I'm always looking for ways to make exercise fun!

Thanks for the bonding reminder! I will add that to my list...they'll need to put in sleeves for the handrail(s), too, I guess. I was looking at this hoop, which you'd linked: https://www.poolsupplyunlimited.com...ential-salt-friendly-basketball-game/147691p1 There's a less expensive one that doesn't have anchors, but I'm not sure what that means...why would you not want anchors? I'm assuming anchors hold it in place?

Thanks, too, @BMK -- I hadn't thought of the lack of a backstop! Lazygirl REALLY doesn't want to run after the ball! Right now we'll have a big expanse of grass behind the ball... need to think about that!
 
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bmoreswim

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#17
Lazygirl can use a pool float too. :) In my non-lazy moments, I train for triathlons, but I'm always looking for ways to make exercise fun!

Thanks for the bonding reminder! I will add that to my list...they'll need to put in sleeves for the handrail(s), too, I guess. I was looking at this hoop, which you'd linked: https://www.poolsupplyunlimited.com...ential-salt-friendly-basketball-game/147691p1 There's a less expensive one that I think is vinyl instead of stainless?
So not really that lazy after all! Just when the time is right.

Both of those are reasonable salt friendly options. Presented with a $200 difference, I sometimes get pulled towards the better option if I truly believe it will offer better long-term durability. That would be how I'd analyze them.

Our hoop is on the uphill side our area. Good point to consider. Or just get better at shooting! Ha, I laughed at the video on the link below that shows the crazy horse shots!

Better to view the options directly at SR Smith. SR Smith hoop options
 
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BMK

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Mar 29, 2016
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SW PA
#18
I believe that is the one we have also. We leave it in all season and only removed it when we closed the pool. It held up wonderfully, fully taking whatever my son and his LeBron wannabe friends threw at it.

The less expensive one is still vinyl coated stainless, its just a little different frame design (not continuous), and I believe the backboard is a little thinner and smaller. Either one should work well.
 
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lazygirl1978

Gold Supporter
Oct 20, 2018
99
Southeast Missouri
#19
Thanks for the feedback. The SRSmith site helps a lot! Another question, @BMK -- Is it worth it to get the bronze anchors, or are the plastic OK? I figure I need to buy this thing and have it on site before my contractor puts in the sleeves.

Demolition (of an existing patio/wall) started this morning and was more traumatic than I expected! I'm going to need to start my build thread soon.
 

bmoreswim

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#20
My only thought on plastic anchors was after seeing that video. The hoop does have some back and forth with each shot. A little more than I'd like, but that's another story. But with sun and that back and forth, I'd wonder if that would create a tendency for the plastic sleeves to degrade over time (10+ years). It's not something that would be a quick/easy fix to replace them. Bronze would seem to be a forever option.