Getting started! Owner Build in SoCal

WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
So, here is some additional info on the project:

We had to build an enormous retaining wall due to a slope between us and our neighbors who are above us. Because of the upward slope, we designed the pool to have a few different heights. So the front is ground, then you step up +18 on either side (one is a jump off and the other side is a sitting area with a fire pit), the top park is +36 and has a large bench that will have two planter on either side that match the fire pit and a large tiled wall above it (handpainted tile from Arto that is beautiful). The top of the tile wall will have a wood mantel look that matches the furniture we had made and will hold lights. Right now it looks like a thrown, so I’m hoping to soften the look with landscape (it still needs to be stuccoed and tiled).

Concrete- we did a medium topcoat and I love it. Looks like aged concrete.

Pavers/coping - modern concrete pavers from StepStone

Pool tile- Heath tile

BBQ area- we have a large built in bbq area with a smooth white stucco (which matches the small retaining wall in front of the planter). The bar will hold 13 barstools and is equipped with Blaze equipment. We got a large grill, a few storage doors, pull out trash can, a large fridge, an ice maker and after inspection we will add a little sink.

Wood furniture- we had made locally but they used the plans from Ana White’s blog for outdoor seating. Not hard to make, just takes time we didn’t have.

Speakers- our friend is an electrician and got us a deal for a few rock speakers and some large speakers that hang on the house.

Lights- still deciding on which ones to buy, but Er had it all wired and ready to go.

Paint- we still need to paint all the back walls to match and patch the house from taking down the old patio cover

We still need a cover over the bbq and our 12ft table, but we have killed our budget and will be waiting a while.

After tiling, we just have some minor hardscape stuff to finish up and then eventually start planting. We are still needing to finalize our plaster and get the guy out to do the retractable gate.

It’s finally starting to come along and Kimkats- they are getting to the finger rail. It’s what they should be working on tomorrow or the next day. I expect to hear some curse words, but I think t was a great decision to add.

Here are some pictures. Can’t wait for it to be completed. I have a house full of furniture looking to be put outside. I’m attaching our sectional that will go up on the +18 right side around the fire pit. We picked it up this weekend and it’s so beautiful. Can’t wait to add cushions and throw pillows
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,803
Tallahassee, FL
It DOES look like a thrown! That could be fun to pretty up!!

LOL on the adult words over our finger holds! They will get over and do a good job in the process!

Kim:kim:
 
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WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
We are almost done tiling! Just the top of the spa (spillover) is left. Which actually took a while to debate on how to arrange the tile. SO many of the tile have to be cut at a 45degree angle that it has made the tiling process very long. After this, we move on to grout and as they wrap up some hardscape issues I will be getting our fencing up and a pool alarm installed and finishing for final inspection.

So close to being done!
 

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WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
Hardscape is pretty finished. Guys just wrapped up today and will be back after plaster to finish. Preplaster inspection on friday morning. Couldn’t get a fence company to install in time, so we are using door alarms and the pool alarm for passing inspection. Fencing will come late July.

If all goes well, we pass inspection on Friday and plaster will be 1-2 weeks after. I haven’t bought a water kit yet 🤦‍♀️ so I’m looking at those this afternoon and getting everything ready for start up.

Yard stuff still to finish (not pool)-
Hardscape stuff like installing planters on the side of the bench and a bench topper, installing fire pit, acid washing concrete, install sink in bar, etc. Then we will have painters coming to finish the walls and the back of the house. Landscaping will be a slow process. I’m trying to find some nice succulents with a blue coloring to bring in the blue in the pool tile. So hard to make sure I get landscaping that is pool friendly. Fell in love with a non fruiting olive tree which should also work well in the yard.

This has been such a HUGE process. But it’s truly looking beautiful.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,803
Tallahassee, FL
EVERY one should take note of your tile work!! Those corners alone are awesome!!! So much time and care was taken by the people doing that work!!! SUCH a wonderful thing to see someone who has such pride in their work! Artist with a big saw to the MAX!!! WOWZER!!!

Now get to clicking and order the test kit! Look in my siggy below for where to buy it from. You might want to order the Whale Wall brush. It makes brushing your pool easier to brush as the "tail" does all of the work for you. Now if you want to get fancy go ahead and get the Speed Stir. It makes the testing even easier! Don't forget you have a discount code from becoming a Supporting Member for TFP (THANKS!).

Kim:kim:
 

WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
Thank younKi
EVERY one should take note of your tile work!! Those corners alone are awesome!!! So much time and care was taken by the people doing that work!!! SUCH a wonderful thing to see someone who has such pride in their work! Artist with a big saw to the MAX!!! WOWZER!!!

Now get to clicking and order the test kit! Look in my siggy below for where to buy it from. You might want to order the Whale Wall brush. It makes brushing your pool easier to brush as the "tail" does all of the work for you. Now if you want to get fancy go ahead and get the Speed Stir. It makes the testing even easier! Don't forget you have a discount code from becoming a Supporting Member for TFP (THANKS!).

Kim:kim:
[/QUOTE


Thank you Kim for everything. Looking at the TF-100 and see numerous add ons available. Any of them you recommend we purchase? It is a salt water pool.

Thanks.

Add ins:
pH Meter-FREE with the purchase of the TF-100 while supplies last
Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer (Add $40.00 )
Borates Test Strips (Add $9.95 )
Salt Test Strips - Aqua Chek (Add $11.95 )
Taylor K-1766 Salt Test (Add $27.00 )
XL Option (Add $20.00 )
Standard Sampler (Add $16.00 )
 

WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
That didn’t post correctly!

Thank you Kim for everything. Looking at the TF-100 and see numerous add ons available. Any of them you recommend we purchase? It is a salt water pool.

Thanks.

Add ins:
pH Meter-FREE with the purchase of the TF-100 while supplies last
Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer (Add $40.00 )
Borates Test Strips (Add $9.95 )
Salt Test Strips - Aqua Chek (Add $11.95 )
Taylor K-1766 Salt Test (Add $27.00 )
XL Option (Add $20.00 )
Standard Sampler (Add $16.00 )
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,803
Tallahassee, FL
I would add on the Speed Stir-I call it the "magic stirrer" it is that awesome! (go ahead and get a couple of extra magnets just in case you send them down the sink or toss them out)
-salt test BUT will tell you you should "listen" to your SWG as it will tell you if it is happy or not. The test kit is a ball park figure
-whale brush-the tail helps take the "work" out of brushing your pool

Happy shopping!

Kim:kim:
 

WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
Preplaster inspection is completed and we passed!! Got a text from the plaster company that they could possible come on Thursday. They will be confirming later today. So, fingers crossed!

Not pool related, but on the elevated level by the spa is where we made a large seating area around a fire pit. We wanted the fire pit near the spa so we can all still socialize. The smaller pony wall in the area is also low enough for additional seating as well. This weekend the fire pit was installed and I started to drag out all the furniture in the house I’ve been collecting. Thought I would share my new favorite spot in my yard.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,803
Tallahassee, FL
I can see why that is your new fav spot!! I LOVE it!!!! WOWZER!!!

On plaster day do your best to be there to check to make sure it is the correct color and they have any extras you asked for. A couple of years ago there were a couple of pools that got or almost got the wrong plaster :( Better safe than sorry!

Kim:kim:
 
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WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
We got plaster!!!

Tomorrow they will be back to acid wash it, we’re also meeting with a start up guy the plaster company recommended, and then... WATER!

We picked the Micro Fusion in Tahoe and then added glass to it. We originally liked the Radiant Fusion, which seemed to be the same except with glass already added to the mix but received a decent amount of negative feedback about the product. One company said it clogs up the hoses a lot, another guy said the glass is so mixed into the product that you pay for a lot that you don’t even see. So they hand tossed the glass in and saved us about $2500.

The color was more blue than I expected. I was going for a darker gray, but I’m hoping the acid wash will really change the look of it. Either way, I’m so excited to start swimming!
 

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WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
I can see why that is your new fav spot!! I LOVE it!!!! WOWZER!!!

On plaster day do your best to be there to check to make sure it is the correct color and they have any extras you asked for. A couple of years ago there were a couple of pools that got or almost got the wrong plaster :( Better safe than sorry!

Kim:kim:

I have to tell you that we asked no less than four times about the color. Then when it was first sprayed it looked SO different that I went outside with the sample (it was okay, but I had a heart attack). I think the poor guys thought I was nuts. At one point the guy installing spilled his red Gatorade on the plastic and I came out with paper towels wiping everything up. I was so worried I would end up with a pink stain on the plaster!!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,803
Tallahassee, FL
That will look really grey when its under water. Should be beautiful!
There you go! This guy knows his stuff!!! THANKS AGAIN B!!! :hug:

I am going to share a link with you about starting up plaster. Even if the PB says they will do it in the beginning you should follow up test behind them. They may only be coming out once a week to take care of it. That is NOT enough for new plaster or for good pool care.

Now here is your "job" for when the the water starts flowing:
-Put socks or such on the end of your hoses. This will help filter the water and protect the new plaster from the metal on the end of the hose
-Make sure the hose end is right at the lowest part of the pool. That will keep it from forming a channel or such as it flows.
- Do NOT stop the water flow for any reason!!!! If the water flow stops it could case a ring around that pretty, new plaster.

Kim:kim:
 
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WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
So there is still a bunch of little projects (landscaping, the bench topper and planters, acid washing the concrete, etc) to finish up- but, we are mostly done!

It has been a serious process and I appreciate every single person who has helped us or encouraged us along the way. I never in a million years thought we could design and build something like this. But putting in all the hard work makes us love it even more.

I wasn’t able to upload a video of the yard, but here is a link to my open Instagram account I started to use when we took on this project. Hopefully I’m allowed to share the link so you can see the whole yard currently:

http://instagr.am/p/B0BgBaHnjF6/
 

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WalkerTribe7

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2018
85
Mission Viejo, ca
I should also say the pool looks a little cloudy in the video. It was in the morning before our start up pool guy came to adjust everything. We did hire someone to help us get started. He is coming daily in the beginning and then slowly tapering off after the salt is able to be introduced. He’s been great to have. But soon the torch is ours to take over, so we are still finishing stocking up on equipment to have. A robot purchase will also be happening in the near future. And we made sure to add an outlet on the side wall near the pool for when it’s added.