Help w/ quote new pool - Houston, TX

Spacenuts

New member
Jul 25, 2019
2
Houston, TX
Hello All! Forum has been great so far. I figured I'd go ahead and get a post in asking for help/direction on a new pool build as I definitely need it!

We're in Houston and in the floodway, which apparently adds some additional regulations/requirements due to the flooding issues. We're looking for a pool/spa combo. Plan is to have a basketball goal at side opposite the spa (which will get the most use) and a setup for volleyball. Depth to be 3.5' to 5' in a V...shallow at the ends, deep in middle, with a tanning ledge by the spa (play area for little kids). It will get a ton of sunlight so we are a bit concerned about the water being too warm.
My wife wants to go saltwater due to the feel and to avoid skin irritation, and after most of the posts I've seen here, a SWCG seems to be the way to go. PB is recommending against it and has said the UV system reduces the need for as much chlorine, which other posts seem to dispute. So, any advice on what to ask the PB to change in regard to adding a SWCG would be great.
PB said they do 2 pumps as opposed to a variable speed pump. Seems like dedicated pumps for the pool and spa make sense, but I'm not sure if it makes sense to have a variable speed servicing the pool, or if that pump would just be a lower speed pump anyway so a 1 speed would work. I only see 1 pump in the quote but PB said they only do 2 pump systems when there is a pool and spa.
I'm not sold on the automation piece as we won't have water features, but if it helps to manage the SWGC as well, then I'm interested. Just not sure if it's worth the $1k price tag.
What are the feelings on in-floor cleaning systems. We were told that if we get that we wouldn't need a pool cleaner, but that just doesn't seem right, quoted $2500 not included in bid below.
Bid also doesn't include repairing sprinkler system, re-sodding, upgrade to gas line, etc.
Price quoted $70k.

I appreciate any and all input and thanks in advance!
2_002.jpg 2_003.jpg

DIMENSIONSPOOLSPA
WIDTH13.007.00
MAX. LENGTH34.007.00
Depth 13.50N/A
Depth 25.00N/A
Depth 3N/A
AVERAGE DEPTH4.253.50
PERIMETER94.0028.00
SURFACE AREA 442.0049.00
INTERIOR AREA841.5147


General Construction
  • Standard Plans and Pool Permits.
  • Insurance: Public Liability, negligent property damage and workman’s comp.
  • Pool Layout and Approval by Buyer
  • Jobsite Supervision.
Excavation
  • All dirt will be removed on day of excavation only.
  • If Buyer asks for dirt to be left on site, there will be a fee charged to move or remove it at a later date.
  • This price is based off of standard size excavation equipment unless otherwise noted in this document.
Pool Plumbing
  • Versa Plumb Equipment Set.
  • VGB Compliant Main Drains.
  • Dedicated Suction from Main Drain(s).
  • All plumbing pipe is schedule 40 PVC.
  • All pipe and valves are non-corrosive.
Steel Reinforcing
  • Steel reinforcing 4 Bar Box Beam 1/2" rebar.
  • Steel reinforcing grid @ 10" on centers 3/8" rebar.
Electrical
  • Electrical hook up of pumps, lights, controllers, etc. in required conduit unless Electrical is not purchased by buyer.
  • GFCI breakers for Pump(s).
  • Electrical Panel change or an upgrade, if needed, is buyer’s responsibility unless otherwise noted in this document. Minimum fee for this is $450.00.
  • Sanitation System and overhead or underground utilities to be re-routed by Buyer if needed.
Gunite
  • Pneumatically applied gunite structure per code.
  • 12" x 12" bond beam with 6" walls and floor and 8" coves.
  • Buyer to water gunite structure down 2 times a day for the first 7 days starting the day after gunite completion.
  • One set of steps.
Decking
  • All poured type concrete decking has fiber mesh in the mix.
  • Concrete decks have 3/8” rebar at 18” on centers for reinforcing.
  • Concrete decks are 4" thick.
  • Concrete type decks have deck dowels tied in from swimming pools.
  • If concrete type decking, mastic to be included.
Make Ready
  • Final Make Ready of Backyard and Interior of Pool.
Mechanical Startup
  • Full Mechanical Start-up of all components.
  • Customer Orientation to explain all functions and operations


CITY PERMITS
Houston
1​
ENGINEERING
Proximity
1 ea.​
Drainage Plan with Detention
If engineers recommend anything different than what is included in this agreement it will be at sole expense of the client.
1 ea.​
SURVEYING
Topo Survey
1 ea.​
FENCE
Fence up to 2 section and self closing gates up to 2
2 ea.​
EXCAVATION
Deep End Ramp (5' to 5'11" Deep)
1 ea.​
Dump Zone Fee
1 ea.​
PLUMBING SHORT STUB
Plumbing Short Stub Pool Only
1 ea.​
9' Raised Metal Equipment Pad
1 ea​
MAIN DRAIN FOR POOL
Dedicated Suction to pump measurement from drain to equipment 2.5in pipe
31 per.ft.​
SKIMMER
Ultra Quickskim Skimmer 3/4in ball valve
1​
Main Skimmer Run Total 2" and 1" pipe
21 per.ft.​
Pool Cleaner line must be purchased on all pools 1.5in pipe
35 per.ft.​
POOL RETURN(S) AND TYPE AND OVERFLOW
Pool Return Line 1.5in Pipe (measure 360 degree around pool then back to equipment - Per FT)
151 per.ft.​
Venture Eyeballs for high flow with low pump speed
1​
FILL TYPES MUST PICK ONE
Auto Fill Line
65 per.ft.​
MAIN POOL PUMP
Stealth 1 h.p Pump 85 gpm at 40 ft (Includes required GFCI Breaker)
85 gpm at 40ft of head
1 ea.​
FILTER TYPE(S)
Cartridge 460 sq.ft. max flow 150 gpm
1 ea.​
LIGHTING
Jandy Watercolor 12V. LED Pool Light 100'
1 ea​
Nicheless LED low 24 voltage light each
1 ea.​
100 Watt TRANSFORMER
1 ea.​
Water Bonding Nicheless Light
1​
TIMERS AND AUTOMATION
I-Q904 Pool Spa I-Aqualink
Client has gone over in detail that controller will handle all items needed to operate the pool in the manner they desire.
1 ea.​
HEATERS - HEAT PUMPS - CHILLERS
400,000 BTU GAS Heater and non corrosive check valve
Client understand they must get gas meter upgraded at their expense.
1 ea.​
GUNITE - STEPS-BENCHES-TANNING SHELVE(S) & BEACH ENTRY
Shallow End Steps Measurement
26 per.ft.​
Tanning Shelf (ea)
1 ea.​
CITY REQUIREMENTS FOR GAS DRAINS AND ELECTRIC
Drainage Permits Decking
1​
Master Plumber 4in. Area Drains With Downspout Connection (ALL CITY JOBS)
Client understands this is an estimate on the length of pipe needed anything less PB to credit back, anything more client to pay.
50 per.ft.​
City Gas Line - Includes up to 10 feet, City Gas Permit, T & P Gas Valve, and one Regulator)
70 per.ft.​
Electric Permits-and 360 Degree Ground
1​
POOL COPING (PER LNFT)
12X24 LIGHT PAVERS
Buyer agrees that natural stones can vary in shades any stone with a hole the size of a quarter or smaller is considered acceptable.
85 LnFt​
POOL WATERLINE (SQ.FT)
6X6 LAC DE BOIS PORCELAIN TILE
PORCELAIN
43 sq.ft.​
TILE AND COPING - GROUT COLOR,CUTS AND EXTRAS
Colored Grout Coping
Colored Grout: 03 Silk
1 Included​
Colored Grout Tile
Colored Grout: 78 Sterling Silver
1 Included​
DECKING AND DRAINAGE
Mastic
1 ea.​
Deck Coating per sq.ft. 400 sq.ft. min.
400 sqft​
SPA'S
Standard Spa With 4 Jets Venturi with 1hp Blower
1 ea.​
Extra Spa Jet for standard spa
2 ea.​
Spa Plumbing Runs
69 ln. ft.​
SPA COPING (PER LNFT)
12X24 LIGHT PAVERS
Buyer agrees that natural stones can vary in shades any stone with a hole the size of a quarter or smaller is considered acceptable.
24 LnFt​
SPA TILE LINE (PER SQ.FT)
Dark Blue Volcano 6x6
Water line tile
14 sq.ft.​
SPA LIGHT (ONE MUST BE PURCHASED)
12watt MINI Color LED Light for Spa
1 ea.​
RAISED SPA'S
Spa Raised 12in. w/2" check valve - Steel, Gunite and Plumbing
1 ea.​
SPA VENEER (PER SQFT)
2X4 LIGHT SPLITFACE
Splitface
33 sq.ft.​
SPA SPILLWAYS
Open spillway per. foot
4 sq.ft.​
SPA SPILLWAY TILE (PER SQ.FT.)
6X6 LAC DE GEMME PORCELAIN TILE
PORCELAIN
12 sq.ft.​
INTERIOR SURFACE
Blue
1​
SANITIZERS
Inline Chlorinator
1 ea.​
Bioshield UV
1 ea.​
AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANERS
Polaris 7240 Robotic Cleaner
1 ea​
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,177
Bedford, TX
sn,

I'm pretty sure it is your pool and you can just tell them what you want, and not take what they want you to have. :mrgreen:

I'm a rabid pro saltwater kind of guy, so I am slightly biased...

If you go SWCG, you need to get a VS pump... I can't think of any reason to have two pumps in a pool your size with no water features.

Get a large 3 HP VS pump that you can run slow when in the pool mode and fast when running the Spa. My cost to run 24/7 is less than $20 bucks a month.

An automation system will do a few things for you.. It will switch between the pool mode and spa mode with the push of a single button.. It will also control the speed of the pump to match the pool set up. And, as you suspected, it will control the Salt system. Does it cost more, yes it does, but the cost increase is not much when looking at the total pool cost.. But.. I suspect it will be much more than $1K... Not sure what they were quoting for that price installed. :scratch:

The only thing you need for sanitation is a SWCG... forget the UV, Ozone or any other magic.

I suggest that you get more than one bid..

Have you ever been in a gunite spa???

We have some hard core IFCS users, but I am not one of them... In my opinion, it just makes the simple much more complex and something I would never install in my pool.. Kind of like using an old black Rotary-Daily phone, when you could be using a cell phone... :)

Edit... Make sure any SWCG is rated for at least 2 x the volume of your pool...

Good luck with you new pool build,

Jim R.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,343
Evans, Georgia
-You get plenty of UV from the sun.... skip that device.
-The only people whom I've read being happy with IFCSs are those out west who get a lot of dust. Others seem to say the system misses spots and breaks down.
-A robot is cheaper and will do far more than just clean the floor- a good one will crawl up the walls and brush them too.
-Measure up 3.5' up your leg... kinda shallow. Too shallow to swim in without scraping knuckles. Consider 4'
-Deeper water stays cooler longer. Some folks splurge on heat pumps that also reverse to be coolers.
-SWG all the way!!
-I'm not a fan of built in spas... really kinda dull/uncomfortable IMO. Stand alone hot tubs with special seats and jets are far more comfortable, IMO.

Maddie :flower:
 

Spacenuts

New member
Jul 25, 2019
2
Houston, TX
Jim,

I'm still a bit confused on the pump situation. The Pump Basics post seems to suggest that it's a good idea to have a high HP pump dedicated for the spa, and then have another pump for the pool. If we go SWCG, is it correct that we'd want at least a 2 speed pump for the pool...low so that chlorine can be generated as needed without unnecessarily filtering/wasting energy, and a higher speed to do some real cleaning? So if going with a 2 pump system, we'd want a high HP 1 speed for the spa, and then 2 speed for pool? Or are you suggesting that a single 2 speed pump could work since the pool is small, high for spa, low for pool?
Would the variable speed be able to do both at a single time? Meaning, run the spa as well as low flow on the pool to generate chlorine? Or is there only ever one line active running to/from the pump...either it's running for the spa or the pool...regardless of a 1 or 2 pump system?

I also didn't catch the meaning of the gunite spa question. If you have time to explain, I'd appreciate it!


Maddie,

Good point on the 3.5' depth, and thanks for the feedback on the IFCS. It seems too good to be true. PB's point was that robots seem to have issues after 2 years so if you can get an IFCS for the price of a couple robots, it could make some sense.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,177
Bedford, TX
sn,

Many, many Pools/Spas have just one pump... As you say, you need low speed for the pool and high speed for the spa.. A 3 HP variable speed pump is what I would suggest... A VS pump can run at any RPM from about 800 to 3400... the automation just tells the pump what speed to run. I'll use my pool as an example...

I run at 1200 RPM most of the time, but not all the time.. The pump is scheduled to run at 1500 to improve the skimming a couple of times a day for an hour. I also have a waterfall that I never use, but it runs for 15 minutes once a day to keep the water in the pipes fresh.. It takes 2800 RPM to have the waterfall look good. I can also manually run the pump at any speed I want for some unexpected situation...

The point is, that a VS pump gives you all the options... A two speed pump gives you two options, which may or may not be the right options.

Normally, when you have a Pool/Spa combination, you can only run one system at a time... You are either in the Pool mode or the Spa mode.. This has nothing to do with the spa spilling over into the pool.. This is normally done in the Pool mode, by allowing a little extra water to flow into the spa, filling it up and causing it to spillover into the pool.

I almost always ask someone building a Pool and Spa, if they have ever been in a gunite spa... If they say no, then I tell them that they should "Try it before you buy it." While gunite spas are very pretty, they lack the comfort and functionally that you find in a standalone spa. My goal is not to talk you out of a spa, but just want to make sure that before you spend an extra $15 to $20 K on a spa it is something you will actually use.. Spas are the most oversold and underused items in a pool build. While 50% of the people love them, the other 50% hate them. As a result they are often used maybe once a year and in some cases not at all. I just want to make sure you know what you are getting...

Please let me know if you have any other questions..

Thanks

Jim R.
 

agjag06

Active member
Jul 30, 2019
38
Texas
I’m having a pool built out in league city and regulations could be different but it seems like this is overpriced and under-spec’d. I’m paying 65.7k for a larger pool with a decorative wall and two sheers. I have a 3hp variable speed main pump and two separate 1hp pumps for additional flow to the spa and water features (sheets and bubblers). I have 1100 sq. ft of decking vs your 400. I have two LED lights in the pool can vs. your one. Two skimmers vs your one.

You do have some fencing in there. Just my rule when I started this process was that if the pool builder suggested UV/ozone to me then I knew he wasn’t the most competent. I think you should definitely get additional quotes and PB’s to bid the project.
 

Bvacchiano

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2018
177
Sugar Land, Texas
I’m here in Sugarland. I have one Pentair 3HP VSF pump that runs the pool and spa and another single speed pump that runs the waterfalls. Builders down here all discourage SWG and will try to talk you out of it. I told mine it’s SWG or I’ll find somebody else. Plain and simple. I’d rather cut my arm off than be without an SWG in HOUSTON. As far as automation, it’s worth EVERY penny in my opinion. Being able to change schedules,SWG output,etc is worth the price. It’s like having a Firestick and giving up the VCR.
I have a Glacier Chiller. My water was 82-84 today. My friends was 93. No swimming in a giant hot tub for me. If it breaks at same point I’ll be getting another. No doubts about it.
 
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