Design Input - C & C welcome!

Lateralus

Member
Jul 24, 2019
8
Dallas, TX
Just following up from my initial post here. We met with a local PB and were very impressed. Here was the free rendering they provided based on our wants in the estimate appointment. We really like the concept, as it fits our wants and needs and does not seem overly excessive given our budget and lot size. We did discuss possibly finding a way to eliminate the 90 degree corners on the coping (south end of baja pad & ends of deep end bench) since we have small kids and don't anyone catching an edge.

We have not nailed down specific equipment yet, but they said they use all/any brand we'd like as they are not bound to any specific manf. or dealer. So we are def. open to comments or preference for recommended equipment. Also, I was prepared to be brow beaten about the SGW...but the PB brought it up early and said that they highly recommended doing it. They own a SWG pool, their dad owns a SWG pool, etc. and said that it is def. worth the investment. Based on what I've seen lurking on this site, and the PBs advice, it seems like SWG is the way to go. As a reg. chlorine adder for 20+ years, I am stoked! They project a 4 week build time (weather pending) and usually dig, rebar, and gunite back to back to back after inspection so that you don't have a vacant hole in your yard for months. They did 75 pools last year, and are already on 50 so far this year...which is re-assuring knowing that this isn't their first rodeo!

All that being said, here is what we are thinking -
SWG!! (I've read that we should prob. get 2x the pool volume for longevity?)
15' x 30' Freeform
3.5 ft to 6 ft depth
7' x 7' raised spa w/ spillover feature
Baja pad/Tanning ledge w/ 2 or 3 bubblers
6 pool returns
6 spa jets
2 skimmers
1 pump (not sure if VS or SS yet...I think it will depend on what water features we end up with?)
Over-sized Filter!!
Gas Heater
Twin main drains (city code)
1 LED in pool / 1 LED in Spa
Spa will be on isolated loop for quick heating, etc.
Autofill / Overflow
Raised wall on backside, as our lot slopes 6' to 7' ft and the fence doesn't cover much at that point...(prob. going to axe the wall waterfall)

Also includes -
Permits, HOA, inspections
Fence replacement
Sod replacement
Sprinkler system capping
Tree removal/moving


There may be more I am forgetting, but this is a pre-caffeine post, so forgive me!

Any insight on design, equipment, SWGs, raised walls, spas, or preferences, etc is appreciated!
 

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d_red1

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2016
54
Keller, TX
A 4 week turnaround is pretty quick! A couple notes on design, what size tanning shelf (it looks a bit crowded in the rendering) and what depth? Same with the bench, it looks big enough for one person, may want to lengthen that a bid. Decking included, what type? Last thing, you might want to consider going to a 4ft shallow end instead of the 3.5ft. Overall nice design and good start. Did he give you a price yet (no need to post $)? You have at least 2 other pool builders lined up for talks and quotes?
 

Lateralus

Member
Jul 24, 2019
8
Dallas, TX
Yeah, 4 weeks is quick. they streamline their process from the get go, which I like. I can appreciate their planning and foresight, I think it bodes well. I assumed they were wrapping up their builds for the season because of the time of year, and he said their sched. is available for whenever works for us at this point. Initially I had suggested Feb. or Mar 2020., just in time for the summer. The only reason(s) I am thinking sooner than later is - Spa, year round! And also because the lot next to us is currently vacant and not sold to anyone, so the PB's equipment could come in on that plot and access our fence with minimal yard/fence damage etc.

For the tanning shelf when we discussed it, I said prob. 7' x 12' (or whatever the width across the shallow end equates to). He said they never make them below 7' long since there's not enough room for a chair if it is shorter than that. We will prob want the water depth at 1 ft so that it can be used as a splash pad for the dogs and kids...I would think 18" max. Either way, it will prob. rarely see chairs and more likely be a floating toy box, for the first few years anyway.

Decking is included, and we can add more as much as we desire. We prob. will add long steps to the ends leading to the back of the wall and grassy area instead of the drop. We're looking at Rock Salted concrete with lueder coping, and white/Austin chop stone wall and accents

I was mulling over 3.5' or 4' ft for the shallow end. Our other old pool wedding cake stairs into 3 ft, and it was never really an issue. I thought maybe a little deeper would make the slope more gradual without being too deep for the kids right off the bat, hence the 3.5...I am torn if the extra 6" will either help or hurt the kids.

Spit-balled at low to mid $50s grand total, depending on specific equipment, and additional water features, etc.

We did initially reach out to 3 total builders, but have not met with the other 2 yet. We started with the one that we thought was the best, in terms of reviews, reputation, completion photos, location, etc. We JUST got this quote late last night, so nothing else is scheduled yet.

Thanks for the reply!!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,950
Bedford, TX
L,

I'm surprized that you can get that pool and spa, with an automation system, and heater, for less than $65K..

I ask this all the time.. Have you ever been in a residential gunite Spa??? If you have, and like them, then that's great.. If you have not used one, you should "try one, before you buy one"... Spas are the most oversold and underused items in a pool build.. A spa generally adds $10 to 20K to a pool build and that is a lot of money to spend on something that you might not be happy with... They are visually appealing, but often lack the comfort and functions you might be expecting..

In my opinion, if you get a SWCG, a VS pump is mandatory.. SWCGs have to run a long time to generate the amount of chlorine you need.. You do not want to do that with a single speed pump.

If you have a pool and spa, an automation is almost mandatory..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,315
Central MD
My automation recommendation is not based on any personal experience, but something much better IMO. There are currently numerous very satisfied and helpful forum members that can help design/troubleshoot/ease worries of new buyers. Obviously it's nice to get good support from your PB on automation, but honestly, having it available here is free, more friendly and more accessible. Oh, the recommendation is Pentair. They are one of the big three, Jandy, Hayward and Pentair, but also seem to be as much on the leading edge of technology as anyone. That said, pool automation is somewhat behind other areas of technology implementation. There are other helpful users of the other two, but Pentair support has stood out recently to me.
 
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d_red1

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2016
54
Keller, TX
Also, if you are going to have bubblers on your tanning shelf, 15" (water depth) may be to deep. All the bubblers I researched were rated for a max of 12" of water and it seems most shelves on here are in the 9" - 12" range
 
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Lateralus

Member
Jul 24, 2019
8
Dallas, TX
I am not certain about the levels of automation and their associated packages, I did not mention it at our prospective meeting. My other pool was built in the 80s, so it was sort of what was available at the time..it is what it is...I was not sure if the extra expenditure would be worth it if I was making due without it for all these years. But..it was just a pool, no spa with it. So maybe this is something to consider.

As for the spa, I have been in some gunites in the past, and they do the job. I know they are not as nice and contoured with jets all over the seats like an above ground FG spa is. We never had our own spa (built in or otherwise) and now that we have a blank canvas, we’d like to put one in. Here’s the REAL rub, the wife wants a spa with the pool this time. No spa = no pool for me, ergo spa it is!! ;)

Good to know about SWG pump being VS for the best bet, I will lean that way if we move forward.

The PB said they use and have access to all 3 of those brands, Jandy, Pentair, and Hayward. I imagine all 3 are respectable for SWG. I see a lot of people that love Hayward while lurking...should I insist on this brand, or will the other 2 work/last just as well?

Also, it sounds like 1 ft. will be the optimal tanning shelf depth then!

Thanks!!
 
Last edited:

Coach_1

Well-known member
May 10, 2016
159
Duncan, Ok
I wish we had a tanning shelf and extremely happy we don’t have a built in spa. I’d rather have separate hot tub with jets and all the works right off the patio or in a sub room. The ones I’ve been in and seen in pools just don’t seem big enough and always seem dirty.

Oh and definitely go with a VS pump. I just switched from a single speed and wish I’d done it a long time ago.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,950
Bedford, TX
L,

If you get automation, then your really need to get the automation, the VS pump and the salt cell all from the same manufacturer.. This is because those pieces need to "Talk" the same language.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
212
Prosper, TX (DFW)
This is minor compared to the total pool costs, but it struck me as odd that they just said sprinklers capped, not re-routed and replaced.

We started last week and the amount of sprinkler damage is ~3/4 of the yard, including through the front yard to get to the sewer line for the backwash. If our bid just included capping, I would have to pay an extra thousand or two out of pocket to get it operational. I would at least get clarity on what they intend to do to your sprinkler system when all is said and done.

You might also consider an additional light or two in the pool or on the tanning ledge. For reference, we are building a similar pool and have 1 spa light, 2 pool lights, and 1 tanning ledge light.
 
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d_red1

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2016
54
Keller, TX
You can always get the led bubblers for additional shelf lighting.
Back to the 4 week turn around. I was always under the impression you needed to allow the gunite to cure for a full 4 weeks before applying plaster (pebbletec, etc). I know in my industry we are not able to apply positive side coatings to concrete structures until a full 28 day cure is achieved. Is it not the same with pools??
 

Chickinvic

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2017
209
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I also recommend going 4' for the shallow end. Anything less is no good for swimmers (I use my pool for laps). The actual water is only filled to about 3.5' of course - and this works for me for swimming. Anything less would not. It may be more of an issue as your kids get older if they want to swim the length of the pool.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
5,315
Central MD
I also recommend going 4' for the shallow end. Anything less is no good for swimmers (I use my pool for laps). The actual water is only filled to about 3.5' of course - and this works for me for swimming. Anything less would not. It may be more of an issue as your kids get older if they want to swim the length of the pool.
Let's be careful when discussing depths. All pool depths mentioned should be water depth. Anything else is not consistent between pools due to various factors.

So are you saying that a 3 1/2' depth (of water) is OK?
 

richard-ssv

Member
Jun 17, 2019
18
Denton, TX
I was thinking the same thing about the sprinklers being capped vs. rerouted. I had initially planned to handle the sprinklers myself until I saw how utterly destroyed the entire system in my backyard was after excavation. I gladly paid the $1500 they wanted to replace my sprinklers . It was worth every penny, as the crew who did the job did a far better job than the builder did when our house was built.
This is minor compared to the total pool costs, but it struck me as odd that they just said sprinklers capped, not re-routed and replaced.

We started last week and the amount of sprinkler damage is ~3/4 of the yard, including through the front yard to get to the sewer line for the backwash. If our bid just included capping, I would have to pay an extra thousand or two out of pocket to get it operational. I would at least get clarity on what they intend to do to your sprinkler system when all is said and done.
 

Lateralus

Member
Jul 24, 2019
8
Dallas, TX
Thoughts?

Got another quote today -

33’ x 16’
Tanning ledge 2 bubblers and 1 umbrella holder
30” raised wall w stone, 12” thick
3.6’ to 6’ deep
15k gallons
7’ x 7’ spa , 18” raised

Covers
All plans and permits
Review pump location/access/stock pile
Fence Removal & Replacement
Trees/Shrubs removed
Concrete/asphalt removed
Trash/debris hauled off
Sprinkler system re-route/repair
**All landscaping and sod by bid only


Sched 40 pvc
2 skimmers on independent 2” line w valve
2 drains on independent 2” line w valve
6 returns plumbed to insure no dead spots in pool
2.5” suction on spa plumbing
Plumbed for pool cleaner
refill/overflow install

Pentair VS
Cartridge CL420
Easy Touch iphone
400k BTU heater
QT Spa Blower
2 LED pool lights
1 LED spa light

Pentair Platinum pool cleaner
Chlorine Sanitizer (need to ask about SWG)

Leuder coping
Rock salt decking

$60k

Thanks!
 

Coach_1

Well-known member
May 10, 2016
159
Duncan, Ok
If you have kids I recommend swapping out the spa with more pool/swimming space and making the deep end deeper with a diving board. Just my .02
 
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JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
212
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Its hard to tell without seeing it, but I would look at the heights of the wall and spa to see if they should be more uniform. I read you wall is 30" tall, while your spa is raised 18".

If you want them more uniform, you could either raise the spa to 30" or have varying heights of the wall and have one of the sections the same height as your spa.
 
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