check out our design plans for new build - we love them but what are we missing? (newbies to process seeking feedback :)

Apr 18, 2022
1
Dripping Springs, TX
hi TFP community! we've recently bought a home outside of austin, tx in dripping springs and have a big blank slate of a back yard to work with for our new pool build. this will be our first time owning a pool (or a home for that matter) so this forum has been hugely helpful as we start out on this process. we've engaged a hip "design&build" type company to put together a schematic design that we will then have that company as well as other builders bid on constructing for us (side note: we knew going into it - in part from things we read on this forum - that this can sometimes be a rip off but we decided to splurge because we were having trouble getting the ball rolling on the project any other way and wanted to have something specific to price out with different companies so we could compare apples to apples rather than trying to compare quotes from different companies that all had different design plans in mind). we've just received the draft schematic design which i'm attempting to include with this post as redacted to remove identifying details. we are really happy with how the design turned out and don't have much of anything that we want to ask the designers to change from this first draft they've presented to us but i am wondering if anyone from this group has any changes to suggest we consider...

a bit about us and the house in case helpful: the pool will be used by me, my husband, and our two tiny children, currently ages 22 months and 10 months, as they grow up (hence the inclusion of the safety fence in one of the images). the only aspects of the design that currently exist on the property are the house itself and the covered patio that extends off the back of it and the front yard landscaping including the black gravel (which you'll see the designers have tied into the backyard design in a few places).

any and all feedback this group has to offer regarding this design plan (or other tips regarding the planning phase of the new build process generally) would be most appreciated!
  • is there anything you see here that is part of your setup which you wish you would have handled differently in your build if you had it to do over again?
  • do you have any features or design elements in your own set up that you love and would recommend we add to our plans?
  • do you see any drawbacks in the way they've laid everything out in the design, either as a practical matter (i.e. your kids will constantly be banging their [heads/shoulders/knees/toes] on X if you put it that close to Y) or from a technical perspective (i.e. your X will [take forever/cost a fortune/get dirty so fast] if it is that far away from your Y)?
  • the only specific design choice i find myself going back and forth on is the black tile... i like how it ties in with the house and creates a cohesive look and feel between the different aspects of the property. that being said, it did strike me as a somewhat unconventional choice for a pool...which i suppose could work out to be a good thing. i'm curious if anyone has seen this done before or can direct me to any pics of black tile features that may help sway me in one direction or another?
again, any and all input is most welcome and thank you all in advance for helping us navigate this process! New Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_001.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_002.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_007.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_008.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_009.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_010.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_011.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_013.pngNew Pool Build Schematic Design Presentation - redacted_014.png
 

Herkimer

Gold Supporter
Jul 26, 2020
83
Houston, TX
Pool Size
10000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Welcome to the forum! Your design looks great and will be an amazing project! We recently finished a build, so I am no expert, but offer the following; 1. Think about how the sun moves across your backyard and how you will provide shade, as you know, it's hot in the summer, sometimes I think how we couldn't enjoy our pool without shade. 2. Your kitchen area, I would suggest to cover it (protected from rain), if it was covered you can add fans/lights/etc, I would add a TV outside, we really enjoy ours, either watching a movie in the hot tub, or streaming music. 3. SWG for chlorine production. 4. For your tile, if you like black, go for it! Pick what you want and you feel would look good! We did a darker tile and we enjoy it, it such a personnel preference. 5. Sheer decents, we enjoy looking/hearing/swimming under them.

OK, my other dream item...if I had the space is a covered outdoor kitchen, with a built in equipment/storage room, bathroom and an outdoor shower.

Good luck on your build and enjoy the ride!
 

bertschb

Bronze Supporter
Dec 11, 2021
379
Arizona
Pool Size
13600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Beautiful design!!!!! If it were my pool, I would cover the kitchen area for sure and add fans and lights. I would want more space around the perimeter of the pool so I could easily walk around it without worrying about falling in. Maybe 24" minimum? The design looks narrower than that. I would not use black tiles because I wouldn't want any calcium build up to show. Maybe add some umbrella pockets near the kitchen seating area that borders the pool so folks can escape the hot sun while sitting there? Maybe some soft lighting along the steps going down into the kitchen area?
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,490
Bedford, TX
Drip,

I like it but see a couple of things that you need to think about.

You really need to be able to walk around the pool with a leaf net once in a while, your design makes that pretty hard to do. Balancing on the thin wall will be exciting in the winter. :mrgreen:

Bar stools in the pool look cool but will rarely get used and they get in the way of any pool cleaner.

Looks like the spa spills over on all four side. How do you plan to keep the tiny slot between the spa and decking clean?

I don't see any place for your skimmers. You need two of them.

It could just be the pics, but where do you plan to run the plumbing for your pool returns? You really need at least one of each wall of the pool.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

darkrider

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2021
230
North Atlanta
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Overall, I like the design, but it will definitely need tweaking at least for the skimmers. Here's my "money no object" list of ideas:

1. Skimmer locations - Widen the wall nearest the planter (far right facing backside of the pool) and pull the steps closer to the kitchen which will give you room just off the tanning ledge for 2nd skimmer.
2. Love the cover over the kitchen. I'd extend it out over island and perhaps over upper seating area. People will be on the loungers if they want direct sun.
3. The 4 sided spa spillover is not ideal in this location. I'd do a single sided spillover toward the pool and have flat tops on the other side for those who just like to dip their feet in the hot tub. It will make for a better conversation area between the wet and dry decks.
4. Consider the possibility of doing an infinity edge on the backside of the pool for even more visual interest. You have the perfect layout for it!
5. I can't tell from the drawings, but will the main access be through the safety fence? If so, you may want to add a stepping stone path through the turf, as turf can get very hot in direct sun.
 

davecraze

Member
Nov 26, 2019
18
DFW
This is a great looking design.

You are getting good advice above. I am in Texas also and I think you will 100% get more use out of the outdoor kitchen if you cover it.

Biggest thing I see is that I would certainly change out that front portion of the child safety fence between the pool and the house to an all glass aquaview type fencing to significantly improve the aesthetics of the view of your pool from the house. Glass Pool Fences & Glass Railings | Aquaview Fencing My neighbor has it and I am going to eventually incorporate it on our build that is just getting started (drilling the piers next week).

1654179337033.png
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
278
Greenville, Texas
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Great design and I think it was worth the splurge! I agree with the others on a lot of the edits and this is probably due to the designer lacking a little in the pool knowledge. You will for sure want a little more room around the pool so you can brush walls and skim for leaves. Although 24" is probably optimal I had 18" on our back wall of our last pool and it worked fine.

I would be a little nervous about the drop offs with your kids age. I'd maybe look at re-grading with a gradual slop on the back and side instead of what you have now or possible extending/raising the planters they have in the design. Alternatively adding a fence all the way around and I really like the idea someone posted above doing glass to maintain the view. You may also want to check local codes on this as rails are sometimes required at a certain drop off on porches/patios which I'd think would include pool decks.
 

jedigrover

Gold Supporter
Sep 13, 2010
326
Plano, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
A couple of things:
Where is the equipment pad going? Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see it on the drawings. Make sure it both isn't too far, but is also out of sight. Maybe near your A/C units (which would open the possibility of using one of those cool heat reclaimation heater things).
I understand the black tile from the perspective that you seem to have a lot of black as a feature color. But I would worry about how to keep it clean enough not to notice a waterline.
Consider a false bottom for the spa that makes it a kiddie pool. I have one. It's great with the little ones. You can remove it when you want to spa.
As others have said, get some more decking around there for walking all the way around the pool.
Consider some posts to allow for erecting shade sails. It's going to get awfully hot in full sun. I have that issue now & I know we'd get a lot more use out of the pool if I had more shade.
 

Oona

Well-known member
Oct 20, 2021
168
Texas-Hill Country
Surface
Plaster
Gonna play “devil’s advocate” here with regards to needing more walking room around the pool: my pool has the deck on 1 side and on the short sides there is only coping (12”) with a 4-6ft drop that I walk on to brush the sides-it was a bit harry initially but after 2/3 times I have gotten very comfortable and haven’t had any issue brushing the sides of the pool. On the other long side opposite my deck are my fire bowl columns and faux infinity edge and I only brushed those sides the 1st 2 weeks with a step ladder as it is a 6ft drop off-still very doable. My pool has been crystal clear and spotless since filling as the dolphin does a phenomenal job getting the floor and walls. So my suggestion is that if you do go with it as is just make sure you get a good robot!!!!!!
 

SCpool44

New member
May 23, 2022
4
san clemente
I would push the pool to the back corner. I’ve never liked how people put there pool right outside there back door. I would take the bottom right corner and rotate it down and to the left. So it goes along the wall towards back of property and kitchen and hangout are closer to house still.
 

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jedigrover

Gold Supporter
Sep 13, 2010
326
Plano, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I would push the pool to the back corner. I’ve never liked how people put there pool right outside there back door. I would take the bottom right corner and rotate it down and to the left. So it goes along the wall towards back of property and kitchen and hangout are closer to house still.
That's a good thought. My current grilling station (not really a kitchen) is far away from the back door & I have dropped food along the way. If I had a blank slate to make my dream home, I'd have an outdoor kitchen adjoin the indoor kitchen with a passthru window.
 

SCpool44

New member
May 23, 2022
4
san clemente
Yeah. I don’t know what budget and or costs would be. But that grass area in the pics right outside (between house and pool) I would do as a covered patio with the kitchen stuff to the side. All covered. Huge hangout, outdoor living type space.

Then I’d put the pool down in that corner. Easier to fence if you want fence too. Still have a ton of yard space for play set, running around. Etc.
 
Last edited:

blackout

Gold Supporter
Jun 16, 2019
37
Upstate NY
Pool Size
16400
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I live in NY and the thing I dislike most about my pool is it’s in my backyard that faces south and there’s nowhere to hide from the sun. I can’t imagine my same setup in TX, so I would echo the “more shade” sentiment.

Notwithstanding, your design is awesome- please post pics of before, during and after! No pics, didn't happen!
 
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