Help a total newbie out with design ideas

Chungus

Member
Jul 14, 2019
11
Texas
Hello,

I just stumbled on to this site and it seems like an amazing resource. I am sure these type of questions have been asked a thousand times but my quick searching and browsing threads didn't give me the answers I was looking for.

We live in the country in West Texas on 25 acres and have decided we want a pool. We think we have settled on a 18x36 in ground gunnite rectangular pool with an automatic cover. We love the looks of a free form pool but we are surrounded by farm fields and don't want all the Crud and critters getting in the pool so we think rectangular with a cover is the way to go. We are open to other sizes but this seemed like a good fit.

We have two kids 8 & 15 and the pool will be for them as well as my wife and I. We don't do a lot of entertaining but anticipate once we get the pool friends will be over.

This is about where our decisions end. We are leaning towards a hot tub in the corner of the pool and are trying to decide what to put in the other corner beside it. I have attached two pictures of what we are considering - a sun shelf or a table with benches. Not sure which we would like better.

We are really stumped on the depth of the pool. Our PB says his most popular is a sports type pool with 4-5-4 but we really think we want a deep end for jumping in and possibly a diving board. He recommends 10' deep if we get a diving board but says the slope might be too much going from a 4' on the shallow end to 10' on the deep end on a 36' long. He also cautions it might not give us enough shallow zone as he says all deep is good for is jumping in. Seems to make sense.

What are good profiles for a deeper pool? Does it have to be a continuous gradual slope from shallow to deep or could you basically have a deep hole on the deep end? Say for example 4' going to 5' over 25' of the pool and then a steep slop down to 10' for the last 11'?

I know there are a ton more things to consider like the maintenance stuff and plumbing but I am thinking if I can nail down the size and shape I will let him generate a quote with what he recommends and then I can post it up here for you guys to review and give us advice.

Thanks in advance.
 

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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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You may want to check out our build thread in my signature. Our pool is similar to what you are envisioning, minus the spa/ledge. Keep in mind that the corner of the spa will challenge your cover if it's sharp at at. If I had an internal spa, I'd definitely go with a rounded outer edge to eliminate that dragging/sharp point issue.

Our pool is 8 1/2' deep with a diving board. The pool is still at 8' about 10' from the deep end wall. I don't disagree on the 10' idea. My neighbors pool is shorter and also 10' with a serious slope. That's why we went 8 1/2' versus only 8'. Our profile does get you close the floor with out much effort on the upslope. For more safety, 10' or a longer pool will help. The most likely point of contact in my experience with our pool is probably 12-18' from the deep end wall.

Standalone spas are super comfortable and always hot. I'd be tempted to do that if I wanted a spa. But built-ins do look cool.
 

YippeeSkippy

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Jan 17, 2012
11,160
Evans, Georgia
I've got to agree with Bmoreswim above- a stand alone hot tub is far nicer, IMO. You get way more heat, comfy seats and lounge spots, great assortment of powerful jets for each body part.

I love that you're planning for a deep area. Those kids of yours, along with their guests, *will* love diving in, cannon balls and other deep water activities. The ability to safely dive and jump in saves you from constant reminders to them that your pool isn't deep enough for diving. And in hot Texas a pool with deeper water is more refreshing feeling when those shallow sport only pools start to feel swampy warm.

I think the autocover is ideal. Rectangle pools are classic, and you can get them larger without spending more.

Keep us posted as you move on with this new project....

Maddie :flower:
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
775
NY
36 is a tad short for diving in most pools. Bigger teens or adults can easily hit the slope. Not tremendously hard but hard enough to realize it. Most of the older pools in my area were 16X32 or 18X36 rectangles. The newer pools mostly are the same measurements but either kidney shaped or 3 circles with one shallow, one slope and one deep. We were the only ones going with a big boring rectangle at 20x40. My rought estimate is about 12 ft of shallow end, another 12ft of slope and the rest in the deep end. At the halfway mark its about 6 ft deep. I can hit the slope if i specifically try diving foward, but any kind of cannonball is free and clear. It was also trendy at the time i built mine for everybody else to extend the shallow end for lounging purposes, but they sacrificed deep end and safer diving to do so. 'Well everybody usually just floats around so its no big deal' they said. Have your first party with 2 or 3 families over and there will be a line of kids the whole day at the diving board. All trying to go higher and further having contests. At elementary school age it didnt matter. Now that i get overrun with teens and tweens, i even wish i went bigger. 4 foot longer for jumping in and 4 foot wider to make more safe zones to jump to when there are 15 people swimming around. Not everybody has the room for 24X4044, and thats also a heck of a lot of water to maintain and vaccuum, but for me it would have been worth the extra effort.

In the end, my friends with 18' round AG pools have people over too and they all get just as wet as we do. But if you have the space and the investment funds, now is the time to go big.
 
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bmoreswim

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36 is a tad short for diving in most pools. Bigger teens or adults can easily hit the slope. Not tremendously hard but hard enough to realize it. Most of the older pools in my area were 16X32 or 18X36 rectangles. The newer pools mostly are the same measurements but either kidney shaped or 3 circles with one shallow, one slope and one deep. We were the only ones going with a big boring rectangle at 20x40. My rought estimate is about 12 ft of shallow end, another 12ft of slope and the rest in the deep end. At the halfway mark its about 6 ft deep. I can hit the slope if i specifically try diving foward, but any kind of cannonball is free and clear. It was also trendy at the time i built mine for everybody else to extend the shallow end for lounging purposes, but they sacrificed deep end and safer diving to do so. 'Well everybody usually just floats around so its no big deal' they said. Have your first party with 2 or 3 families over and there will be a line of kids the whole day at the diving board. All trying to go higher and further having contests. At elementary school age it didnt matter. Now that i get overrun with teens and tweens, i even wish i went bigger. 4 foot longer for jumping in and 4 foot wider to make more safe zones to jump to when there are 15 people swimming around. Not everybody has the room for 24X4044, and thats also a heck of a lot of water to maintain and vaccuum, but for me it would have been worth the extra effort.

In the end, my friends with 18' round AG pools have people over too and they all get just as wet as we do. But if you have the space and the investment funds, now is the time to go big.
I agree with all of that. Ours is a compromise size - but not heavily weighted towards a big shallow end. Ideally I'd like at least 4' longer all devoted to deep end for diving safety.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
775
NY
Thanks for the help. There are a million viewpoints and even more opinions. Everybody has to find there own sweet spot. And then be able to pay for it too. Personally i have about 6 months left on my loan and would glady have taken 12 more months if i knew then how it was gonna play out now. We werent the blowout party house when it started. Quiet get togethers and hanging out with a few people. Well 7 more years of the circle getting bigger and 3 of my closest friends have 3 kids each. And we have a pool that most people consider huge, so now we are the blowout party house. Wouldnt change how it went down for anything but i cant make the pool even bigger now.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
512
Alamo, CA
All that sharp-edged stuff in the “table” image will definitely wear out your auto-cover as @bmoreswim alluded to. Ask me how I know. Oh, all right, my integrated spa dam was squared-off, and my cover vinyl lasted only 5 years. We could watch the pinholes (which are not covered by warranty) develop and grow over time. When we re-finished the pool, we used nice smooth quarter-round tiles anywhere the cover would drag. No pinholes so far, knock wood. Definitely get the auto-cover, but treat it nice.
 

DrawlGuy

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2019
54
Ohio
A lot of pool conversations can end up sounding like a Ford or Chevy argument. Ultimately, it comes down to what works for you and your family. I'll offer what I did any why. Feel free to do with as you'd like.

Our old house had a pool. Our new one didn't when we bought it 3 years ago. I'm doing a DIY build as we speak. I used our old pool to help me decide what to do with this one. I was SOO close to doing a hot tub. Ultimately I passed because I read too many comments that said you get more from a traditionally hot tub. I ended up doing a swim up spa instead. (Probably wouldn't work with your auto cover.) It's the same temp as the pool water but gives you someplace to sit and some jets to fight over. I'll add a hot tub next year close to the pool. On the diving board / pool depth question. My old pool and this one are both a constant slope to 6'. (Actually 5'-something at the water line.) There's no diving board but there's a TON of room for everyone to stand around with their favorite beverage. Plus plenty of volleyball room. We had (and will have) a 2-3' tall "jump rock" in the deep end for cannon balls and can openers. Our high school son would have the football team over and no one ever seemed to miss head first diving or back flips. As parents we loved not worrying about split skulls! The sun shelf / tanning ledge was a must have for my wife. Our younger kids would / will play for hours on it. The other kids and my wife put the loungers in it. Grandparents sit on the steps coming off of it and chat. In our opinion, it's a must have!

Congrats on the pool!
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
775
NY
There's no diving board but there's a TON of room for everyone to stand around with their favorite beverage.
Man, you have me beat there. All the adults at my get togethers have to cling to a side of the deep end with one hand so they can have a tasty beverage in the other. The kids completely take over the shallow end and diving area.
 
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