Gathering Quotes for New Build on LI - Pool Base Material?

mpiliero

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2018
77
East Northport, NY
Hi all,

We are in the research/quote gathering phase for an inground build on the north shore of Long Island (Suffolk county). I did a search for the topic of sand versus vermiculite bases, but didn't come up with much. We are looking at a 20x40 rectangle with 4' shallow end and 8' deep end (in case that affects things).

At any rate, my current question is specific to pool bottom material: I have had one PB say they do vermiculite shallow end and part-way down transition to deep, then sand for the rest of the transition and deep end; one PB say the do vermiculite everywhere; and one PB say they do sand everywhere.

I'm trying to figure out whether or not the sand bottoms are acceptable? I'm actually feeling a little nervous about the vermiculite being bumpy based on some posts I've seen.

Unrelated (I think), two of the companies are cement wall and one is steel wall (the steel wall guy is the one that wants to do all sand). Based on my reading there, it seems either wall type is acceptable as long as you have a good installer. Opinions welcome on that front as well.

Sorry, I should clarify that all of these pools are vinyl lined.

Thanks in advance!
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
108
NY
Im in your neck of the woods - our engineering plans call for tamped and rolled sand bottom - i too have some concerns, but it seems sand is very common for long island - I plan on talking to our pool builder some more about it, (i didn't know enough to ask before we were in contract). I asked around and both of the people who I know with vinyl pools have sand bottoms. Right now I am waiting on the town to approve the permits (get your permits submitted before sept 1 and the permit fees are waved).
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,827
NY
+2 on being in the general area. Most inground vinyl pools use sand here because it’s there when they dig. A few feet of soil and *poof* we are on an island and all.... both sand and vermiculite have their +/- . It takes less of an artist to sculpt sand and it’s free on most job sites here, but if properly done, vermiculite will settle less over time leaving less divots. Either way will show ever imperfection like a neon sign at night with the light on.

Growing up every last pool here was steel wall and they have fared fine all these years later. You might not care much if it fails 40 years from now. When I built mine 8 years ago everyone local had shifted to cement. I was happy to have a forever pool and didn’t mind the extra cost. As it turns out we are moving and somebody else will have it forever. If anyone does it by me and it’s considerably cheaper, the next one will probably be steel.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
108
NY
i had a new cesspool well installed last year and it took 30 ft to hit sand - on the south shore where i grew up it was about 6 feet down.
 
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mpiliero

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2018
77
East Northport, NY
Im in your neck of the woods - our engineering plans call for tamped and rolled sand bottom - i too have some concerns, but it seems sand is very common for long island - I plan on talking to our pool builder some more about it, (i didn't know enough to ask before we were in contract). I asked around and both of the people who I know with vinyl pools have sand bottoms. Right now I am waiting on the town to approve the permits (get your permits submitted before sept 1 and the permit fees are waved).
Lol! I just want to say that I love your signature!

Your pool will be sand both shallow and deep end (assuming you have both)? Can I ask what pool builder you are using and which type of sides?

Also, as far as permits, I doubt we will be that far along by then. I've had 3 meetings so far and expect to have about 3 more. And we are infamously indecisive about projects. At any rate, some of these builders are already booking out to summer 2021!! It's incredible around here right now. I'd like to think we aren't simply one of the "corona pool builds" as we've been considering this for some time, but our timing suggests otherwise lol.
 
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mpiliero

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2018
77
East Northport, NY
+2 on being in the general area. Most inground vinyl pools use sand here because it’s there when they dig. A few feet of soil and *poof* we are on an island and all.... both sand and vermiculite have their +/- . It takes less of an artist to sculpt sand and it’s free on most job sites here, but if properly done, vermiculite will settle less over time leaving less divots. Either way will show ever imperfection like a neon sign at night with the light on.

Growing up every last pool here was steel wall and they have fared fine all these years later. You might not care much if it fails 40 years from now. When I built mine 8 years ago everyone local had shifted to cement. I was happy to have a forever pool and didn’t mind the extra cost. As it turns out we are moving and somebody else will have it forever. If anyone does it by me and it’s considerably cheaper, the next one will probably be steel.
Thanks Newdude! Since you are local, let me know whether you might be willing to share your pool builder and overall satisfaction. I hear you with the permanence thing. Part of me is like "will I even WANT a pool that many years from now??? If I'm even alive." Lol.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
108
NY
we are using steel wall - the builder is cavalier pools (originally we were going to do fiberglass and they were recommended to us for the job- we started 2 months ago and at the time I was having a hard time getting callbacks from other builders) - there is a bit of a delay on materials but they are coming on Thursday to drop off the steel and some other equipment that came in - still waiting on the permits.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
108
NY
also keep in mind that from everything i have heard huntington requires a dry well - i submitted engineering plans with a dry well and a plot plan both with and without - i am waiting to hear back from the town if they will require one. My property is definitely big enough to contain water runoff. We will see.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,827
NY
Thanks Newdude! Since you are local, let me know whether you might be willing to share your pool builder and overall satisfaction
My builder did right by us and we will use them next time for sure. I have told a dozen or more people to use them since and they tend to not like the price of doing it ‘the right way’. Many of those friends had headaches due to the cutting corners of the places with better quotes. *or* when they ‘upgraded’ to the stuff that was standard on my contract, the prices matched.

Sadly I’m on the other end of the county and I don’t think they would come that far for a build.
 
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mpiliero

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2018
77
East Northport, NY
also keep in mind that from everything i have heard huntington requires a dry well - i submitted engineering plans with a dry well and a plot plan both with and without - i am waiting to hear back from the town if they will require one. My property is definitely big enough to contain water runoff. We will see.
Yes, my understanding is that TOH requires the drywell (no matter what). All my quotes so far have included that cost. Seems to run around $1600 for that.
 

Kjp300

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2018
129
Canfield ohio
In Ohio sand is not routinely used so mine is vermiculite. It is 3 years old and still smooth and soft feeling on the bottom with no rough spots. @Newdude is correct mine looks great during the day but at night with the light on you can see the imperfections.

I know you didn’t ask this but I would recommend that you make sure your PB backfills with clean stone and brings the pool up to grade using the same material. Much better for drainage and whatever kind of deck you choose. A little more expensive but well worth it.

Because My pool was built on a low spot in my yard the pool walls were about 12 inches above grade. The entire area under the decking was brought up to grade with stone.
 

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mpiliero

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2018
77
East Northport, NY
In Ohio sand is not routinely used so mine is vermiculite. It is 3 years old and still smooth and soft feeling on the bottom with no rough spots. @Newdude is correct mine looks great during the day but at night with the light on you can see the imperfections.

I know you didn’t ask this but I would recommend that you make sure your PB backfills with clean stone and brings the pool up to grade using the same material. Much better for drainage and whatever kind of deck you choose. A little more expensive but well worth it.

Because My pool was built on a low spot in my yard the pool walls were about 12 inches above grade. The entire area under the decking was brought up to grade with stone.
That's interesting. Thanks for the advice. Around here, it seems to be common/routine for the pool surround to have 4" cement pad and then pavers on top. Is that the same for you? I am worried that the pool is a little lower than some surrounding areas of the yard (basically it will start at the bottom of the grade away from the house, then the rest of the yard is flat).
 

Kjp300

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2018
129
Canfield ohio
My deck is concrete. Pool builder included 4’ around pool then a charge per square foot for extra. I purchased extra. But I believe concrete is poured and then the paver stone is set on top of the concrete. You just want to make sure the base doesn’t settle. And if you backfill with dirt you may have to wait a while before you can put in your deck. Ask him about that.

If your pool is being built in a low spot seriously talk to your pool builder about raising the pool walls. You do not want water from a storm running into your pool. I got three bids on my pool and the builder I went with is the only one that brought up building the pool higher and backfilling with stone. Was he more expensive? Yes but he was honest about my drainage and the problems I would have if I just put the pool in the low spot. We get pretty bad thunderstorms here and all of the water runs away from the pool.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,827
NY
If your pool is being built in a low spot seriously talk to your pool about raising the pool walls
That never crossed my mind until the dig crew asked me on the spot how high I wanted it. The yard sloped downward away from the house and we were using the fill to level off most of the backyard so they didn’t care if a little extra went between the house and the pool. On a whim I chose to split the difference between the original high side and the house foundation height which was about a foot taller. (So pool got raised 6 inches). At least 5 times we had such torrential rains that the pool would have flooded with muddy runoff had i not randomly chose to raise it a little.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
3,827
NY
@Newdude is correct mine looks great during the day but at night with the light on you can see the imperfections.
If it makes you feel any better, my sand does too. It’s a tough choice because the vermiculite is harder to get right but generally stays that way if they do. The sand is easier but will probably change over time with water weight, bugs, critters, roots, drips, etc.
 

Kjp300

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2018
129
Canfield ohio
OP can search for threads about muddy runoff into a pool. There are several. And that situation never sounds good!

Of the three bids I got, two never talked drainage. The one I chose spent a lot of time talking about it. He also put drainage around the pool. That was included in his bid and not in the other bids. To the OP, make sure whatever PB you choose puts in a drainage system and ask a lot of questions about that. Too many posters here with vinyl pools and I have friends here in Ohio with vinyl pools where rain water runs into their pools or they have problems with groundwater and floating liners.
 
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mpiliero

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2018
77
East Northport, NY
OP can search for threads about muddy runoff into a pool. There are several. And that situation never sounds good!

Of the three bids I got, two never talked drainage. The one I chose spent a lot of time talking about it. He also put drainage around the pool. That was included in his bid and not in the other bids. To the OP, make sure whatever PB you choose puts in a drainage system and ask a lot of questions about that. Too many posters here with vinyl pools and I have friends here in Ohio with vinyl pools where rain water runs into their pools or they have problems with groundwater and floating liners.
Thank you! I always gain valuable information from this forum!!