Building a pool in Austin, need advice *updated list of equipment*

theYpool

Member
Jul 12, 2021
11
Austin, Texas
Hello all. First time posting here. We just received a quote in Austin, Texas for a 16x32 geometric pool with Spa (not included in the 16x32) for $93k (not including the deck). It's expensive to build a pool in Austin right now, but the kids aren't getting any younger (5 and 6) so here we go!

We’ve weighed the pros and cons and will be keeping two 30+ year old live oak trees next to the pool (about 10-15 feet away), though we’ll be trimming them back so they don’t hang over the pool. We’ve hired an arborist to advise us on this. It will be tricky finding a patio design/solution to accommodate for the trees. Any advice here? Thinking salt rock finish concrete decking with wood decking around the base of the two trees.

We're also having to build the pool with a septic system and leach field in our backyard. PBs have said stay at least 10 feet away from the field, 25 feet from the pump, so we're good there.

Here’s the equipment, would appreciate your feedback.

Pool / Spa Specs
Pool perimeter: 102
Pool area: 532
Pool depth: 3.5 - 6 ft
Pool size: 16x32
Interior Finish Type: Stonescapes Mini Pebble Aqual Cool

Spa perimeter: 28
Spa area: 49
Spa size: 7x7
Spa raise: 12 inches
Spa Spillway length: 4 ft
Spa Jets: 6

Equipment Specs
Circulation Pump: Jandy variable speed ePump, 2 HP
Sanitation: Nature2 Fusion Inground
Heater: Jandy JXi 400P BTU Propane
In floor cleaning system: no (do we need this or a robot works better?)
This is a chlorine pool. For some reason Texas pool companies won't honor warranty on saltwater pools?

plumbing:
Photos below with unique plumbing factors
Skimmer: 2
Returns: 5
Auto fill with antisiphon valve
Filter: 450 SQ FT CV

Electrical:
Pool light: (2) Nichless Color 30 W
Spa light: (1) Nichless Color 30 W
Automation: Jandy RS-PS4
Control: Jandy iAqualink


we’ll want to purchase a robot on our own that works well with leaves/live oak debris. Any recs?

we’re also considering the katchakid system with leaf cover.

Finally, for those of you with kids and a deep end, any feedback on bench placement? We decided not to do the tanning ledge because we don't want to compromise that much swim space, which means we probably want to add more ledges around the pool and perhaps in the deep end.
 

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Last edited:

GreatScott

Active member
Apr 26, 2020
33
San Antonio TX
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
We are in SA and built around a cluster of oaks. Aug-Feb they dump leaves and acorns but the cleaning is worth it to us to have the trees. Empty skimmers and polaris daily and keep FC levels. Pour liquid Chlorine over any stains.
 
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joel98z

Bronze Supporter
Jun 14, 2021
77
Wylie, TX
Pool Size
24000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Nature2 mineral sanitizer
My research has shown the Nature 2 is not worth it, and you have to spend 300+ a year on cartridge replcements. My builder tried to add one to my design but I have the take it out
we’ll want to purchase a robot on our own that works well with leaves/live oak debris. Any recs?

My Builder recommended the MayTronics Dolphin M600, seems general consensus from the forum is these are good cleaners.

We may end up compromising at 6 feet depth.
I think 6ft is a good depth, not too shallow and deep enough to give you some piece if mind when the kids are jumping in
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,657
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hi fellow Texan. Welcome to TFP, You will find a wealth of information from the forum.

Below are my views.
Nature2 mineral sanitizer
Drop this and get an Jandy AquaPure 1400 saltwater chlorine generator (SWCG). this will serve you much better over the longterm and at a lower cost considering maintenance and purchasing chlorine and mineral packs.

the katchakid system with leaf cover.
This seems like a good idea with that big oak tree nearby. Oak trees can drop a lot of debris so best to try to keep it out of your pool. Another thought would be to put the spa level to the pool and position on end then use a proper automatic pool cover. It would be great to keep debris from tree during none swimming months and also a safety cover. Obviously that cover will cost quite a bit more.

plumbing:
Photos below
Great that they are using properly designed plumbing and no 90 deg elbows. Also, ask for 2 skimmers and have each independently plumbed back to the equipment pad. You most likely would have a main drain as well. You should have 3-5 returns to the pool. The spa will have a main drain and normally 6 return jets, but dependent on the size and shape of the spa
hubby and I are going back and forth about the depth. We have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. I wanted to go at least 7 ft, he wanted to go 5 feet where we can use the whole pool. I feel like the kids will think that’s boring the older they get. We may end up compromising at 6 feet depth.
Go with 6 ft. Plan for the future, especially if you plan to stay in the house until they are teenagers.

Other
There is no mention of automation. You would want to ask about that. Jandy makes a good AquaLink RS system that you can control by your phone app or by a handheld controller.
 
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theYpool

Member
Jul 12, 2021
11
Austin, Texas
We are in SA and built around a cluster of oaks. Aug-Feb they dump leaves and acorns but the cleaning is worth it to us to have the trees. Empty skimmers and polaris daily and keep FC levels. Pour liquid Chlorine over any stains.
Helpful! Yes, we're committed to living with both the trees and the pool too. They're gorgeous live oaks that frame our whole backyard.
 

theYpool

Member
Jul 12, 2021
11
Austin, Texas
Hi fellow Texan. Welcome to TFP, You will find a wealth of information from the forum.

Below are my views.

Drop this and get an Jandy AquaPure 1400 saltwater chlorine generator (SWCG). this will serve you much better over the longterm and at a lower cost considering maintenance and purchasing chlorine and mineral packs.


This seems like a good idea with that big oak tree nearby. Oak trees can drop a lot of debris so best to try to keep it out of your pool. Another thought would be to put the spa level to the pool and position on end then use a proper automatic pool cover. It would be great to keep debris from tree during none swimming months and also a safety cover. Obviously that cover will cost quite a bit more.


Great that they are using properly designed plumbing and no 90 deg elbows. Also, ask for 2 skimmers and have each independently plumbed back to the equipment pad. You most likely would have a main drain as well. You should have 3-5 returns to the pool. The spa will have a main drain and normally 6 return jets, but dependent on the size and shape of the spa

Go with 6 ft. Plan for the future, especially if you plan to stay in the house until they are teenagers.

Other
There is no mention of automation. You would want to ask about that. Jandy makes a good AquaLink RS system that you can control by your phone app or by a handheld controller.
Just got the contract and you were spot on about the # of returns, jets, and automation.

For some reason pool builders around here all push to stay away from SWCG? They won't honor warranties on saltwater pools? No idea why, but we got advice from 3 PBs and they all said the same thing?
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
2,657
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
For some reason pool builders around here all push to stay away from SWCG? They won't honor warranties on saltwater pools? No idea why, but we got advice from 3 PBs and they all said the same thing?
They all are wrong and use it to make their work easier i.e. plumbing hookup and automation or sometimes they just do not know how a SWCG works. Ask them what part of the warranty they won't support and ask them what is the risk? Just keep pushing them as I think you find them staggering for a response.

There are others on the forum who have built pools in Austin with PB that will install a SWCG. Please search for them. If I find one I will send to you as well.
 

DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
473
Austin, TX
Pool Size
30000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Every PB I worked with tried to sway us away from salt water. Most cited the corrosiveness to decking material as their reason. Reality is, salt levels are so low, and regular non-salt pools over time develop reasonable levels of salt anyways. As a result of going salt water, my PB said we'd do concrete coping instead of travertine as the coping gets the most wet during use. I've seen no issues with my travertine, but I do hose it down after a busy pool day.

Back to PBs, I basically came to the conclusion that I had to demand salt. Very simple and frank, "PB, I'm 100% committed to going with a salt water pool, so if you won't do salt, then let's save the time and I'll continue working with vendors who do."

That changed the tune on a couple builders while one larger/national builder opted out, but they were also struggling with other complexities of my design. If you sound wishy washy or appear to be buying into their mantra that your decking/materials are going to corrode away instantly upon having a little salt water hit them, then they've won the battle.
 
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theYpool

Member
Jul 12, 2021
11
Austin, Texas
We live in Austin and are in the middle of the pool build from h3ll. Most PBs are having issues due to lack of contractors and equipment but do yourself a favor and do not use Denali Pools. Contact me if you want more color.
Oof, that’s awful. We ended up going with Premier Pools. I know every vendor is struggling right now, but sounds like your situation is inexcusable.
 
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