Fresno Pool Project - COMPLETED WITH LOTS OF PICTURES

RS220

Gold Supporter
May 24, 2019
87
Fresno, CA
It was such a scramble to get the pool done last fall, then we were too busy trying to cram in as much fun as we could before it got too cold and I never updated my Construction Thread. Here is a recap of what I learned and the finished pool.

Lots of photos to follow.

I love how everything turned out, thanks to all the lovely people here and the wealth of information in these forums I feel like we went into this very well prepared. There are only a few things I would have done differently, and some things that surprised me along the way that others may find helpful.

THINGS I LEARNED THE HARD WAY
  • The equipment pad is around the corner of the house in the side yard, which is fine. It’s out of sight, but I now wish I had put it between the pool and the yard so we could have built a shed and had electricity out there for a poor man’s pool house. Lesson to dream big for future plans you never think will be in your budget. I was too limited looking at the existing space.
  • I wish I would have realized the pool light was going to be a harsh ultra bright white, all the rest of our lighting is soft white tending towards incandescent shades and I feel like it doesn’t match. The hubby says nobody will notice or care, but I still feel the entire space would be more cohesive if all the lighting was in the same color family. It sticks out.
  • I love our pool full of right angles, but I was surprised at how much water splashes up in the corners. It makes perfect sense, I just hadn't considered that when designing it. Knowing that I wouldn't change it still, but it is a definite thing for anyone weighing pros and cons of rectangular vs. curvy pools to consider.
  • I have three umbrella sleeves in the deck but I wish I had more. I honestly would have put them every 10’ around the whole deck. They’re cheap, so why not? Then I could have used them to hang shade sails, container gardens, string lights, string volleyball nets, anchor basketball hoops, and of course, umbrellas. Still glad I didn’t put any in my sun shelf though, they're much more useful on the deck.
  • I wish I would have had a small one person bench / swim out in the corner under the slide
  • I put 5’ of decking around the pool, and it’s workable, but if I had to do it again I would have gone 6’ to allow more walking room once you set up chairs and things on that decking
  • I wish I would have recessed my last step into the ledge instead of it sticking out into the shallow end. We were happy to discover we can actually create a whirlpool by jogging around the shallow end (Wheee!!!) but that step now presents a tripping hazard when doing that.
  • We put in a Bullfrog hot tub, and I was surprised how much energy it took to keep hot in the winter, far more than the pool took. I can’t imagine the energy bill on trying to keep an in ground attached hot tub warm all winter.
  • Sometimes I wish we would have sunk the above ground hot tub in a spa vault, but I’m not sure how much more that would have cost. I wish sometimes that I could sit on the deck and just put my feet in. I worry someone is going to take a fall getting in and out of it.
  • When I was testing every week I used up all my cyanuric acid regent far sooner than the rest of my chemicals. It’s a pretty stable reading without much in the way of fluctuation, so I wish I would have only tested it every other week.
  • I wish I would have bought a toilet brush to keep the steps clean as soon as the pool was done instead of a week ago. It now lives in the toy bucket within reach of the pool now and is a game changer
  • I wish I would have had some more conduit run to the outer deck for future use as well, when we get to the landscaping I'll have that done.

THINGS I AM PLEASED WITH
So there are some decisions you just go into a little blind and hope for the best, here are the things I was sort of guessing on but am very happy with.

  • We went with a 9’ deep end and I’m so glad. For a bit I was worried it wouldn’t get used, but with our friends and family there’s always people hanging out in the deep end. I'm either on the ledge or in the deep end, very rarely in the shallow end
  • I love our Bella Blue Pebblefina, it’s exactly what I was hoping for in terms of water color, and the feel of the quartz is great. No regrets.
  • I love how big the ledge is, lots of room for little kiddos to play without worrying they’re too close, while still leaving room for us to hang out
  • I'm glad we put in the hot tub and slide at the same time instead of waiting
  • I'm glad I had the patio cover go out 14', I was worried it would be too deep, but especially in the winter with the low sun it's just perfect. We have very mild weather, so we used the patio many times a week except in January when it was really cold. With the curtains drawn and fire table running it is such a great outdoor off season spot for entertaining and is nice and spacious.

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String2005

Gold Supporter
Mar 27, 2020
121
Granbury, Texas
Beautiful pool and your comments on what you would change and what you are happy with are wonderful. Are those reclining chairs and benches from Ikea? If so, are you happy with them?
 
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RS220

Gold Supporter
May 24, 2019
87
Fresno, CA
Which umbrella sleeves did you use?
I'm not sure how to answer that, haha. Whatever my contractor put in? Would pictures help? Now that I looked really closely at them I realize they've got standing water in them...so probably need to do something about that before the mosquitoes move in.

sleeve1.JPG

sleeve2.JPG


sleeve3.JPG
 
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RS220

Gold Supporter
May 24, 2019
87
Fresno, CA
Beautiful pool and your comments on what you would change and what you are happy with are wonderful. Are those reclining chairs and benches from Ikea? If so, are you happy with them?
Thank you! I really hope this helps some people.

They are Ikea Applaro. We initially bought these to use with the dining table (which I love!), but the bench was really hard for people to get in and out of, and the chairs were very awkward at the table. I love the bench in its new shady spot ledge location, and the chairs work much better as just general seating not dining seating. The way the arm mechanism works to recline them and being folding chairs made them difficult to deal with at the dining table.
 
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String2005

Gold Supporter
Mar 27, 2020
121
Granbury, Texas
Thank you! I really hope this helps some people.

They are Ikea Applaro. We initially bought these to use with the dining table (which I love!), but the bench was really hard for people to get in and out of, and the chairs were very awkward at the table. I love the bench in its new shady spot ledge location, and the chairs work much better as just general seating not dining seating. The way the arm mechanism works to recline them and being folding chairs made them difficult to deal with at the dining table.
My plan for the reclining chairs would be to be around a fire pit, do you think they would work well in that scenario? The price on the Ikea chairs and chaise lounges in unbelievable compared to other outdoor furniture but I want to make sure it is decent quality as well.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
1,667
OV, CA
That is an awesome list of pros and cons... Good feedback for others to use.
I wish I would have realized the pool light was going to be a harsh ultra bright white, all the rest of our lighting is soft white tending towards incandescent shades and I feel like it doesn’t match. The hubby says nobody will notice or care, but I still feel the entire space would be more cohesive if all the lighting was in the same color family. It sticks out.
I'm not sure what brand pool light you have but you may be able to find some colored diffuser lenses to attach to the lens. Then you can change them to whatever color or hue you want.
 
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RS220

Gold Supporter
May 24, 2019
87
Fresno, CA
My plan for the reclining chairs would be to be around a fire pit, do you think they would work well in that scenario? The price on the Ikea chairs and chaise lounges in unbelievable compared to other outdoor furniture but I want to make sure it is decent quality as well.
I've been eyeing the lounge as well, the whole collection is on sale right now through the end of the month. It's a good sale. I think for the price this Ikea furniture is unbeatable. It needs to be tightened seasonally, but we've been using these since before the pool (about three years now) and they've all held up great. Also we are not tiny people. The Applaro collection is actual wood you could stain or paint as well. I've heard people had issues with the stain chipping off, but ours have been fine. We haven't been particularly careful with them, they've been out in the elements year round and we've never restained them.

Because the base of the reclining chairs is so large they might get crowded around the firepit, and if they're being moved around they can start folding in on you. I would get the stationary chairs before the recliners for around the firepit, and maybe a bench or two. You can fit like 3 or 4 kids on a bench and save some space and money. You can also use the lounge as a large bench and it can serve dual purposes. Before we got the circular sectional we used the cheap plastic $14 Adirondack chairs from Lowe's and they were serviceable, you might want to try something like that before committing to any larger purchases, figure out how you're going to use the space first. We're big fans of mocking things up with what we have or can purchase for cheap to see how we will actually use a space rather than make big purchases for how we think we will use a space, if that makes sense.

No sure what brand pool light you have but you may be able to find some diffusers to attach to the lens. Then you can change them to whatever color or hue you want.
Thank you!! I will look into that! The mismatched lights make me crazy. If they were the same hue I would use the light a lot more when we're just outside entertaining for ambiance.
 
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JJinNM

Member
May 27, 2020
13
Albuquerque, NM
Hi, beautiful backyard you have!
I’m thinking of an L shaped pool with a deep end as well. But I was thinking the short end of the L be there deep end and the long arm being 4’-5’ But now that I see yours I’m wondering if a tanning ledge would be nice.
Please tell me your experience, do you use it? Would you do it that way again? TIA
 

RS220

Gold Supporter
May 24, 2019
87
Fresno, CA
Hi, beautiful backyard you have!
I’m thinking of an L shaped pool with a deep end as well. But I was thinking the short end of the L be there deep end and the long arm being 4’-5’ But now that I see yours I’m wondering if a tanning ledge would be nice.
Please tell me your experience, do you use it? Would you do it that way again? TIA
Thank you! The yard is a work in progress, for sure. The pool distracts from the rest of the work the yard needs.

I love my layout, we use the ledge all the time, and I would do it that way again. The ledge is the nearest point to the door so it's a natural entry point. It's nice to have the ledge to just walk around in the water even if I'm not actually swimming. We have a rectangular solar cover that covers the rest of the pool, but the ledge is always uncovered, which I like. It's become the natural gathering spot where we sit and chat in the water when not actively swimming. Not sure if you have kids, but it's been a hit for the little kids who come over as well, lots of room for them to play while still feeling secure. I also like that it's tucked away a bit from the main pool, a bit more sheltered from the splashing.
 
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