Fixing depth profile

Feaker

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
20
Austin
We're not happy with the way that our depth profile ended up. It starts at 3.5' and is a wedge down to 6.5 feet. We had asked for them to make us more shallow space and the way it is now, my youngest will only be able to have his head above water if he's right up against the shallow wall (he's 49" tall.) I'm pretty sure we're gonna be on the hook for paying for this as I was there when they did the Gunite and just didn't know that it wasn't right. They measured it in the middle at 4.5' (pool is 27' long rectangle) which seemed correct and that was the only measurement that I got. So we're having a meeting tomorrow with our contractor to see what we'd need to get it the way we want with more shallow and a sharper taper into the deep end. We're probably looking at adding about 200 cubic feet of concrete to the bottom at about 2"to 8 inches to and tapering into the deep end.

He has already stated that they would just add concrete to the existing bare gunite bottom. Is there anything that I need to know about this? Is there a concern about adding weight to the structure as much of it in at grade level? Is there a concern about it being completely bonded to the gunite and lasting for the long term?

Thanks in advance! we're totally stressing out about this and about how much it might knock us off budget. I've attached a couple pics so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about and where we're at.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,799
Northern NJ
Where are you measuring the water level to be?

Is this a vanishing edge pool?

Typically, the water level will be between the bottom of the skimmer and the middle of the skimmer, not the top of the pool.

How old is your son? He is going to grow quickly to where it will not be a problem.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,899
NY
How old is your son? He is going to grow quickly to where it will not be a problem
This problem pops up pretty much by every parent with little ones. Most of them realize eventually that the kids will grow into the pool quickly. In 6 months your little one will be 49 inches at the shoulders and the pool will be enjoyed for 30+ more years. It won’t be an issue again until grandkids are coming to visit. We put my little one in a life vest for the 2 years she needed it. At least half the time she would bob freely like a dolphin without the vest, and loving every second of it. Once she got a little tired we would then suit her up. The same went for friends kids. Nowadays they have ‘puddle jumpers’ which work so much better than life vests and the kids like them too.
 

DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
89
Austin, TX
Feaker,
I really went back and forth with depth, and similar to you, I felt my pool was too deep with too aggressive of a depth fall off. One issue I face in Austin with the direct sunlight my pool gets is the temperature. My neighbor three houses down has a similar pool in an almost identical configuration, and while his pool is notably smaller than mine, he told me by August his pool is uncomfortably warm (he explains it as swimming in pee). His is very shallow and has no deep end.

So that’s another thing to consider when lowering the water volume in a Texas climate.

My pool is supposed to be 3.5 - 6 ft., but I swear it feels closer to 7’ on the deep end. My pool isn’t plastered and I’m eyeballing it so it’s probably not as bad as I think. However, my shoulders (I’m 6’) seem to dip under the waterline closer to the shallow side than the deep side. I was concerned about it, but given the amount of seating/lounging I have and concern of water temps, I’m good with it now. Finally, my pool is on a cliff so volleyball and basketball aren’t really going to be too popular as getting balls may require a trip into the canyon, so consider how much standing real estate you need. My son is only 41” tall so I hear your concerns, but my kid isn’t going to want and stand until he’s much older. Ironically, our pools look VERY similar. Here’s my thread: Featured - Austin, TX - Above Ground Salt Water Pool in Canyon - Construction Started 09/30/19

I originally wanted a 9’ deep pool because I didn’t know what I didn’t know and thought diving for rings was going to be a thing. As my childhood friends’ pools (80s built pools) were all deep with diving boards, I thought deep pools were the normal.

Anyways, I’d consider the value of the water volume and how much standing area you really need. Floating chairs, animals, etc go a long way.
 
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Feaker

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
20
Austin
Where are you measuring the water level to be?

Is this a vanishing edge pool?

Typically, the water level will be between the bottom of the skimmer and the middle of the skimmer, not the top of the pool.

How old is your son? He is going to grow quickly to where it will not be a problem.
My wife is also on the shorter side and she isn't happy with it either as she could have her head above water in less than 1/3 of the length. Plus it would kinda suck for him not to be able to stand up at all.
 

Feaker

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
20
Austin
If there are any construction experts that could chime in, I'd sure appreciate knowing what the right way to do this would be.
 

DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
89
Austin, TX
@bdavis466 can the builder just add a layer of concrete to buildup the floor or does some rebar need to be put in it?
I had the same thought. I’m not sure I’d feel great about just pouring concrete. I’d be concerned about the plaster longevity. However, if they could tie in rebar mats into the existing gunite, I’d feel better. Looking forward to seeing Brad’s response.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,277
San Clemente, CA
Rebar isn't needed but it certainly doesn't hurt. If the gunite is older than a week then preparations should be made to prevent a cold joint between the existing and new surface.

You also cannot feather the edge of concrete or gunite right into the existing shell because there is no strength in the material to maintain a proper bond. The existing shell would need to be chipped down about 2" where you anticipate the new level to start and audio where it stops to allow for proper bonding.

I'm not looking to scare you though, this kind of thing is done all the time on remodels... whether or not it's done correctly is another story.

Good luck👍
 

floridapoolfan

Bronze Supporter
Sep 17, 2019
60
Port Charlotte, FL
I actually just had this done. We have a table in our pool and the bench at 18 inches deep was too low for us as we are short. We raised the bench 5 inches and the process they used was: drill holes into the existing shotcrete and they tied rebar into it also putting an epoxy in the holes with the rebar. They put a lot more rebar than I expected as it was only a bench and not the floor. In the picture you can see how many holes he’s drilling into the bench for the rebar. Good luck!
 

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Feaker

Gold Supporter
Dec 7, 2019
20
Austin
We decided to go ahead and do it as our kids and and their friends, cousins, etc can’t really touch the floor anywhere in the pool. I called a couple gunite companies in town and they said to make sure they are drilling into the existing gunite and adding rebar to bond the concrete to it. It’s WAY more than I was expecting but my wife also feels pretty strongly about it and while it’s a nearly 4% overage, it’s the only one we’ve had so far and if that’s the only one I’ll be thrilled. I’ll try to take pics when they do it if I’m home.

The real lesson: stand firm on what you want. When the gunite was going in everything was going so fast that I didn’t check as much as I should have. I was always concerned about having enough shallow space and still I let myself be talked into something. I’m very pleased with the guys running my build and he’s been great to work with. I just should have been a little more forceful.

In more exciting news, Our hot tub was delivered but finding an electrician who answers the phone has been nearly impossible. The pool installers want $1800 to install the line (the breakers are already in the breaker box) and that seemed insane. I should paid more attention in Analog Circuit Analysis in college...