Help with new pool design (SoCal...south OC)

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
120
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
The back of the house had a big picture window looking out the view from the kitchen and then a set of double sliders as the main exit to the backyard. I liked the idea of being able to walk straight out from the indoor kitchen to the outdoor kitchen so we're replacing the picture window with a slider...and then replacing the double slider with a matching 3 panel slider (more glass & "hidden" screen). The double sliders opened to a covered patio (open on all three walls). We're extending that across the whole back of the house so that the new slider by the kitchen will also be covered. Pic below shows an earlier plan that is still largely accurate.



When we had the engineering done, I asked if we could get rid of the existing post that would now be in the middle of the patio and the engineer gave us the thumbs up. So, that half-round table in the pic is gone (and the post it was going to built around). May just put a regular rectangular table there for the time being. You can see on the left side of the patio as you head out from the kitchen is the sink, grill, and trash... If you keep walking, you hit the fire pit area and then the spa.

The grill area will have "most" of a wall...it won't go all the way to the pitched roof of the patio, but most of the way. The other side of that wall is an outdoor shower area. The pool equipment is going on the left of the house, "below" that shower area in the pic...

Between the sliders will be a small counter area where I planned on putting a fridge and having some outdoor taps (connected to an indoor kegerator). May forgo the outdoor fridge and just do a rolling cart with an ice chest or something. I dunno. I'll have to figure it out soon though!
 

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
120
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Well, the decision to remove the middle post of the patio extension has really thrown the project off-kilter. The engineers were late getting their work done and submitted to the county...then the county switched over to an all electronic process. Our permit got lost in the shuffle for six weeks...then we had to resubmit as they made us replace the existing corner post of the patio with steel. Now my builder is saying there is no way to retain the existing patio structure and instead we'll have to demo and build a whole new one.

"In order to get the 42 feet beam on the top of the new steel post installed, there is no other way to undo the existing structure and putting back the whole thing. How could we hold the all existing structure, digging footing, installing new steel post, that is one thing but from there putting on the top a beam close to 1700pds, that can't be done."

It doesn't sound right to me...but I'm not doing construction every day so I'm not in a great position to challenge the statement. I'd think you could crane the beam back there, use some jacks and standard construction materials to temporarily support the existing roof, demo the existing posts/beam, install the new posts, and then lift (presumably with mechanical help) the new beam onto one end and slide it down onto the other.

I'm trying to get a second opinion while the builder provides an estimate to demo/rebuild...depending on those answers, I may have to go back to engineering and have them put that middle post back and get it all re-approved.

I can't believe we're into April and I'm likely many months away from having water in the pool. :(
 
Last edited:

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
120
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
If there's beer there I'll swing by and take a look....you're just up the road :cheers:
That would be pretty cool if you are up for it! I know you have your own things going on so I hate to put you out...but if you did come by sometime, I certainly have beer available! The kegerator is still a few months off based on my current progress unfortunately. ;-)

The PB came by again today because apparently the company he had planned on using backed out of the project...he was explaining the issue to a new person today. I still don't have my head around it fully, but it sounded like the issue related to the brackets and beams.

I think he was saying they would normally weld the brackets onto the posts and then put the beams in place but he didn't think that would be feasible here because the roof can't lift sufficiently to allow the clearance necessary for this monster 40' 10x16 beam...so it would have to be slid in or something which he didn't think was going to work.

Each bracket will actually support two beams -- the long one and then a short one from the post to the house, and those are different sizes. I think he was suggesting that complicates things, presumably because it may be too difficult to get the beams/bracket to line up precisely enough...ie, if you pre-weld the bracket to the installed posts, which he seemed to say had to be done, the beams may not go in properly.

At least, that's what I think he was saying -- he has a very thick accent and again, this isn't really my area of expertise so I may have misunderstood.

I don't think he's trying to put one over on me or anything -- I'm sure he wants this project done as soon as he can too. I just don't know if he's working with super-competent people or not; based on the work I've seen to date, it doesn't appear we're getting top-notch talent on the job. But that doesn't mean he's wrong.

The new guy he brought out didn't give an outright opinion on whether it would be feasible to leave the existing structure in place or not. He seemed to ask a few probing questions but it seemed he probably agreed with the PB. At the end he just told the builder, "Well, let me know what you want me to do and I'll give you an estimate."

The PB seems to be planning to take the existing structure down and rebuild it from scratch.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,459
Morris Cnty NJ
Looks like steel I beams and posts from reading it quick. My question is what is the payment terms on this build? Like is this a package deal already contracted or is this additional work with a price to be determined? I ask because if this is contracted based on original construction planning the guy is gonna lose his shirt getting new bids to sub it out elsewhere and rebuild it all. Hes gonna have to hit you with a hefty change order and often corners are cut to save the pain on his end in situations like this. Just be careful whatever you end up doing. Personally i like the design posted with the table around the post i wouldnt go through the expense and trouble to remove if it was out of my pocket but I'm a simple guy lol
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,215
San Clemente, CA
It's steel posts for sure but you normally don't use Saddles with steel beams. My thought is if it is a glulam and he switches to you a steel beam that it might make it easier to slide the beam in without demoing the entire structure.
 
Last edited:

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
120
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Steel posts. No glu-lam...Douglas fir 10x16 for the main beam.

The original quote only provided an estimate for this part of the project because of uncertainties re: engineering. I should have had the engineering done first so that the quote could have been firm (and I'd have encountered this issue before we started building instead of halfway through the project).

I'm not the kind of person that would try to hold the guy to a price in a situation like this anyway. If the scope changed and it wasn't simply gross incompetence on his part, then I'd pay the difference (as you said, they'd just cut every corner they could otherwise)...and if it was gross incompetence, I'd be finding a new contractor! I put the blame on me for using a pool builder instead of doing an owner build. Next time I'll know better...adding a middle-man complicates it all, it doesn't simplify it!

I like the original design also...but not as much as not having the post there in the middle. I think the flexibility we'd have with the space without the post is valuable. So is getting the work going. If I go back to the original design, I'm back to engineering, back to county...I'm probably 6-8 weeks away from starting that work, which just kills me. I never would have agreed to go to the single post if we knew these problems would arise.

If I stick with the plan as it is today, I could at least start the work "immediately". And maybe it looks better/more consistent than it would to extend the existing structure? Having this done for summer is worth something to me...it will kill me if we can't get in the pool this season.

So, I just need to get an estimate re: what the price and timeline difference is...

Regardless, thanks for participating in the thread. Just talking about it helps a bit.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,459
Morris Cnty NJ
Gotcha on that. I dont know if you thought about it, but what about getting your own guy in there to tackle this. Leave the pool to the PB and get a contractor to take over and deal with him directly. The PB is gonna throw a percentage on it anyway you may save some money and get someone motivated to make some money dealing with it. Maybe Bdavis can give you a recommend on someone he uses to come mop this up for you. I do alot of this type of mopping here in NJ I see all kinds of wierd stuff getting done that shouldnt
 

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
120
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Yeah. The PB has been open to that sort of thing in some cases (and very upfront about how this works re: him having to mark up other subs because of the liability he takes on). This would probably be a piece of the project he'd be fine or even happy to let me tackle with people I find.

I'd love a recommendation from @bdavis466 if he had one to give.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,215
San Clemente, CA
Yeah. The PB has been open to that sort of thing in some cases (and very upfront about how this works re: him having to mark up other subs because of the liability he takes on). This would probably be a piece of the project he'd be fine or even happy to let me tackle with people I find.

I'd love a recommendation from @bdavis466 if he had one to give.
I'll take a look next week. I have to work this weekend👎
 

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
120
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Ok, so, they put down the tile in the side yard and we need to make some grout decisions. It is rectified tile so there aren't going to be large grout lines. I generally prefer to minimize the look of the grout. Here is a pic of the ones that we thought were the closest matches to the tile color:

99458

The lighter grout is called "chateau", the darker brown is "sable brown" and I forget what the lighter brown is... My big questions are:

1) do you think it will look weird to hav two different grouts or would it maybe be even more strange not to use different grouts?

2) I feel like darker general means less pronounced grout so we're thinking the darker brown for the wood-look tile...or would it make more sense to move away from brown entirely and go with a darker grey or something?

3) the "chateau" seems to match the tile color very closely although obviously there is only so much you can tell from a plastic sample...but is matching what we should be going for here? I'm pretty certain I don't want something lighter than the tile but would it make sense to go with something 'darker/deeper beige' if we can find something?

I know...it's just grout...but over-thinking decisions is what I do best! :)
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,519
Tallahassee, FL
You almost have to have two different color as the tiles are so different.

Wood tile=darker grout
whiteish tile=the grout stick

Now for where the two meet..............put all three sticks there so I can see it there. I am uncertain which one would be best. I am leaning towards the white tile grout stick but am not sure.

Kim:kim:
 

dotbombjoe

Silver Supporter
Aug 9, 2017
120
Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Went with the darker brown for the wood tile -- I think it came out great; you don't really notice the grout at all which is great. They haven't done the beige tile yet.

99830

Also, posting a pic of the water feature wall by the spa which they tiled.

99831

...it is crazy how different the tile looks depending on your angle and time of day, it is really neat. We hadn't planned on having coping on the top of the water wall -- they just did that on their own...it was supposed to be a bit taller and just have that wood tile on top, but I think I'm ok with what they did.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
  • Like
Reactions: WalkerTribe7

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
42,519
Tallahassee, FL
The BLING, oh the BLING! I love it!!

I like the height and how they put the coping up there. It makes it look like a fireplace mantel.

Kim:kim: