Gunite Pool/Spa in woods in Wake Forest

Mermaid Mama

Member
May 16, 2019
10
Wake Forest, NC
Hello All,
I have been a long time lurker and feel like I know alot of you from all the reading. We have never owned a pool before so I am struggling with the very basics like size and exactly what features would be best especially with spa. It would be really helpful to know what things you love about your pool or if you have any regrets about the size? Really love the idea of a rope swing if it could be done safely.



Our backyard is slopped woods and we have a walk out basement. Many trees over 50 foot. We cleared a large spot for the kids to have to play and thinned it out a bit (see pics). Bc of all the trees we felt like gunite was only option. We can't put pool on either side of house bc of garages on both sides. After all my reading only serious way of doing is doing a poured pool where one side is even with ground and other side is built up. There are a couple of these I have seen being built in Austin. We were leaning toward putting it in the vesinity of where the door is to the walk out basement.

I read an article one of the pros on here posted about making comfy gunite spas but as someone who is not familiar with gunite spas I have no idea what I want or how to make it comfy but loved the idea of a hydrotherapy tube but leaning towards a possible Immerspa option that is like a inground stand alone. I should also mention I am only 5'1" and most hot tubs I get in are over my head and hubby is also on shorter side.

Our fearless son is 4 and daughter is 8. Hoping it's big enough to have family/friends over and good for mingling and can still do laps. I think we are going to have some issues with water. We are on a community well and I have an inflatable hot tub and when I used the test kit the TA was weird and not sure if I have a defective kit or if I repeatedly did something wrong. And I care that the pool matches the style of the modern farmhouse style of the house. It was actually on Love It or List It in the last couple of weeks as the house they almost listed it for...they made it sound like that but we were under contract at the time so not sure how all that works. If anyone watches it, it was with a couple where husband was in wheel chair.

Thanks so much for any help getting started! ...tried to post pics but will try to add them
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,804
Northern NJ
It would be helpful for you to post pictures of the house you want the pool to match and a plan of your property with dimesions showing where a pool might be placed.

On a sloped property where one side of the pool will be out of the ground the pool builder needs to ensure that the proper engineering gets done to support that exposed wall.

Closing the Comfort Gap in Spas - Aqua Magazine gives a good overview of what is possible. Its not uncommon to have angled back rests, foot supports and rolled bond beams. There really is no limit to what is possible.

Attached spas are 100% customizable. A spa was built for a very picky lady. She put on a tyvek suit and lay in the wet plaster in the spa so it was contoured to her body.

The bottom line is you can get whatever you ask and are willing to pay for.

Paramount JetPaks are essentially removable jetted seat backs that are engineered to deliver what you want; therapy options and comfort for concrete spas.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,581
Tallahassee, FL
They are working on the pics. Trying to find a way to shirk them down some. I think they were shot with HDR turned on. I can't wait to see what we are working with!

Kim:kim:
 

Mermaid Mama

Member
May 16, 2019
10
Wake Forest, NC
It would be helpful for you to post pictures of the house you want the pool to match and a plan of your property with dimesions showing where a pool might be placed.

On a sloped property where one side of the pool will be out of the ground the pool builder needs to ensure that the proper engineering gets done to support that exposed wall.

Closing the Comfort Gap in Spas - Aqua Magazine gives a good overview of what is possible. Its not uncommon to have angled back rests, foot supports and rolled bond beams. There really is no limit to what is possible.

Attached spas are 100% customizable. A spa was built for a very picky lady. She put on a tyvek suit and lay in the wet plaster in the spa so it was contoured to her body.

The bottom line is you can get whatever you ask and are willing to pay for.

Paramount JetPaks are essentially removable jetted seat backs that are engineered to deliver what you want; therapy options and comfort for concrete spas.
Yes, that's the article I read. The 2nd and 3rd picture shows the area behind the house where we are leaning towards putting the pool. If you can see the black basement door...I was thinking roughly 10 feet in front of that would be the pool so we could put a bathroom in the basement there somewhere.
 

Attachments

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,581
Tallahassee, FL
These came through great! I like the idea of it being at least 10' away so some crazy people like my husband will not try to jump off the that pretty deck into the pool :roll: LOL

I will think about design in the morning when I am fresh.

LOVE the front of the house! So pretty and interesting looking! I want to see more!

Kim:kim:
 

Mermaid Mama

Member
May 16, 2019
10
Wake Forest, NC
These came through great! I like the idea of it being at least 10' away so some crazy people like my husband will not try to jump off the that pretty deck into the pool :roll: LOL

I will think about design in the morning when I am fresh.

LOVE the front of the house! So pretty and interesting looking! I want to see more!

Kim:kim:
Awesome Sauce! Another thing we have going for us with this is my brother in law is a PE and is an owner in the firm so the plans will be solid. One big concern I forgot to mention we are in a really low spot for the area. So low that we get horrible cell service despite all the towers near by. The community well is only 150 feet away from where the pool will be so I was very concerned about digging too far down. When it rains we have a river run through half of the yard between the grassy area and where the trees are. Here is another pic from side and the area from the deck. There are two big trees in the area that beautiful and I don't want to cut down but the area is big enough it shouldn't be a problem.
 

Attachments

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,581
Tallahassee, FL
Low area and river when it rains may = a retaining wall. We will have to work with that in mind. Where does the water come from and go to? Maybe draw it on the picture using paint.

So looking at the house I am thinking geometric for sure. That will match the house the best. Straight lines to match the lines on the house.

You DO want to build the pool right in line with the doors leading to the house. How close is the bathroom there? What kind of flooring with people walk on to get to it?

Trees=leaves=extra work and thought about the skimmers and drains. We will work with what you have but I will say you may rethink keeping them close when you are scooping leaves.

I want to get in your brain some more..............what are your thoughts about pushing the pool length going from the doors to PAST the house on the right side as you are looking at the house. I am a worry wort about putting the pool along the deck. I KNOW my husband and his brother WOULD try to jump from the deck to the pool as they were working on jumping from the roof of our pool house into our pool :roll: THEY ARE CRAZY :crazy: I stopped them as they were putting the ladder against the roof line!

Saying the above the pool could go from the end of the house toward the other end of the house and make a great SWIMMING pool! You will have plenty of room for playing "watermelon ball" (look it up! SO FUN!!) and swimming.

Put the spa on the door end of the house with a shelf off of it and some pretty steps. If you can take a pic from those windows looking down getting as much of the ground were you want the pool to go I can draw up some ideas.

Depth-diving or cannon balls?

Kim:kim:
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
11,804
Northern NJ
When it rains we have a river run through half of the yard between the grassy area and where the trees are.
You may need more then a retaining wall to control the water and direct and drain it so the water goes around the pool area. You don't want a river of mud running into your pool with a heavy storm. We recently had a thread from someone who bought a house with a beautiful pool and only after the first heavy rain did he discover the pool was full of mud from the runoff.

Get a landscape architect or engineer experienced with water management to look at your situation. Don't rely on the pool builder to engineer a good solution for your property. You may need some underground drains as well as walls to keep the water away from your pool area.

Also consider how the leaves from your trees will block your drainage when you get windy wet storms. Have two or three skimmers in your pool with a main drain so that one or more skimmers can get clogged with leaves and your pump will not run dry. Consider which way the prevailing winds are in your property for the way leaves and dirt will be blown into and around your pool.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kimkats

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,572
Central MD
Decide how many trees you think you should cut down, then double that number. The leaves will still challenge you but the fewer leaves, extra space and more sun will be your rewards.

Your backyard reminds me somewhat of @YippeeSkippy 's yard. Wooded and sloped.

Honestly since you have a blank slate, I'd go rectangular with an autocover. That would make leaf management more manageable. Though at a cost of say $12-15K. Also retains heat well with the cover. You can cover any pool with a solar cover but there are a lot of cons with them, mostly relating to convenience and child/pet safety.
 

l1ltaral1l

Bronze Supporter
Jul 16, 2019
361
Walnutport, PA
We just finished our IG vinyl pool a few months ago. We haven't had a full season of swimming, but here are a few things:

-go the biggest size you can budget/upkeep wise. We did an 18x36 rectangle with 5x11 walk out steps in each end, and I already wish we went 20x40. We have a 3 and 6 yr old, an can just imagine it filled with kids!
-go with as much patio space as you can. We wound up adding 900-100 sq ft of concrete patio. While the $$$ was a big hit, I am SO glad we did it.
-know the complete and utter mess your yard will be during and after construction. HOLY FREAKING DIRT. Landscaping is a giant part of the budget. We had our lawn hydroseeded after construction, but being fall it didn't take. So we have a muddy mess of a yard to deal with since Sept (and probably til April). With dogs and kids, there is mud everywhere 😭We did a boulder wall, which we love. But rocks are expensive.
-I also secretly wish we went deeper. Our deep end is only 6', which I was originally all about. But wish we went diving depth (even though we wouldn't get a diving board).
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
12,045
Evans, Georgia
Hey there.... I do see your yard being somewhat like ours was. Yours doesn't appear quite as sloped as ours, but when you mentioned your nearby community well and such it got me to thinking! <puts thinking cap on> Your pool could be built up along the back so that the back end is actually almost "above ground". I've seen quite a few of these in pics here on TFP, and it might be ideal for you. The side closest to the house appears normally "in ground" (or slightly raised?) but the back takes up the sloped area.

I'll look around and see if I can find some pics like this.

I also agree a rectangle shaped pool with an autocover would be a good choice among those trees.

Maddie :flower: