Houston pool build - plumbing is in!

Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
73
Houston, TX
Hi there everyone, I'm very happy to have discovered this forum a few months ago. Having a pool has been a childhood dream and I'm so excited to be able to swim every day that I'd like to.

Pool specs: 16'x40' with a 6'x9' spa on one end and a 6x9 tanning ledge on the other 685 sq ft for the pool. Depth 3'6" to 6'0". It comes with Pentair equipment & a heater but no chiller, LED lights, pretty much the standard stuff I'd expect nowadays.

We signed our contract late June with a schedule to start august 4th. We lost our original gunite company but luckily my PB found one with a single date open in August so we can keep schedule. We took a risk and are going with a very small new pool builder that has been in the Houston pool business for 20 years and his main job is cleaning pools/maintenance. His brother has been a pool builder for years and he has been involved with hundreds of pools before starting his own company. Hopefully this doesn't come to bite us in the butt but big companies in Houston quoted us 90-110k for this same pool design where he is doing it for 73k. He does it all himself which I really like. He did the initial quote, design, marked the pool for the dig, and is out here overseeing the crews personally which I really like so far. He also put in temporary fencing for our 4 dogs himself to ease our burden of letting them outside during the build.

I look forward to reading and learning more, and I already have my water testing kit in along with some upgrades like the speed stir. Now I just need to do more research now that we're a few weeks out. A big thank you for all the people providing free science backed information here, it's really appreciated.
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
512
Katy TX
Congratulations fellow Houstonian. It is a nice design and sure to provide much enjoyment. At 40ft you can really do some good laps. Keep us abreast of your progress.
Tell us about the equipment you will use, type of cleaner, any automation, etc. (I see some of it in your signature) Your graphic doesn't highlight it but how many skimmers will you have, how many pool lights, do you have a bottom drain? We all like to understand how you setup your equipment and plumbing to provide you flexibility in maintaining the pool. Good Luck and look forward to your next update.
 

Jimmie48

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2019
135
Frisco, TX
Really like the shape! Spa on one side and ledge on the other...seems really cool if you have the room which of course you do after seeing your yard. BTW I like your name ;). Making me thirsty! Keep the pics coming
 
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Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
73
Houston, TX
Tell us about the equipment you will use, type of cleaner, any automation, etc. (I see some of it in your signature) Your graphic doesn't highlight it but how many skimmers will you have, how many pool lights, do you have a bottom drain? We all like to understand how you setup your equipment and plumbing to provide you flexibility in maintaining the pool. Good Luck and look forward to your next update.
It was easier to just screenshot everything, let me know if there are any glaring issues please, or anything I should add that won't up the cost a ton! I'm still a giant noob and a little overwhelmed having never owned a pool before. My mom has one and my uncle did a new build with all the same equipment 5 years ago and his pool is wonderful. I'm currently battling a decision between Pebble Fina and Pebble Sheen. My uncle has the Sheen and I really want the smoother surface pebble offers.

For a TL;DR if you don't want to read through the pictures, 2 skimmers and a bottom drain in the deep end, hopefully that's enough. There are 2 lights in the pool and 1 in the spa.
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,445
Evans, Georgia
Howdy WF- the pool is gonna be top notch! I really like the size and how the ledge and spa aren't cutting into the actual swimming space.

My only concern that I see on the plan is the outdated cleaner (ditch that, save the cash and electricity by getting a robot instead) and the puck chlorinator, You would do far better by having a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWG) to handle the chlorine needs. We always recommend one that is at least 2x the size of the pool.

Holler back with any questions :) And congrats on the new pool!!

Maddie
 

Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
73
Houston, TX
oh yes, sorry I forgot to mention that when linking but it's in my sig. i told him not to do that cleaner and am getting a dolphin instead. im confused on the SWG part, I wanted to stay away from salt water due to corrosion issues. so I don't understand if salt water pool = swg, or if they are different things.
 

agjr85

Active member
May 12, 2020
37
Spring, Texas
SWG = Salt Water Generator , so yes a Salt Pool.

I just had mine built, and will tell you that the PB hardly builds the pool. Mine only designed it and marked it, after that it was all different trades. Out of the 7 pool companies I got quotes from only one stated that the crew for excavation/plumbing/rebar was in-house staff. Hopefully your PB is good about keeping an eye on it.
 

Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
73
Houston, TX
SWG = Salt Water Generator , so yes a Salt Pool.
Figured as much but hadn't seen the term till yesterday, thank you. And yeah I know the PB is just managing the orchestra which I'm fine with as that is normal like you said and at least he's on site daily. Anything you wish you'd done differently or had to watch out for during the build?
 

GDN

Bronze Supporter
Oct 17, 2016
450
Dallas, TX
There are several long term members that will come along with lists of things to check and How To's to read, but the one thing you need to do today is double check measurements to make sure they are going to be to your liking. Remember the gunite is about 12" thick at the top of the wall/bond beams. The part to likely look at here is really the depth of the tanning ledge and the dimensions of the spa area. After they put the rebar in it will become more evident of the depths and thickness of the gunite, but you want to make sure the dig is deep enough to get the depth you want out of the tanning ledge, etc.
 
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wilkj1

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
175
okc/okla
hi n welcome to TFP . @kimkats should see this.......... time is right now to measure for sure. also my 2 cents on SWG it is a big yes yes yes did i say yes the inline tab feeder is a sure fire way to problems thats is the #1 reason i found TFP please listen to the experts here your pocket book will love you (after we help you spend cash on bling lol) again good luck in watching for sure jimmie
 

Bvacchiano

Silver Supporter
Apr 6, 2018
274
Sugar Land, Texas
oh yes, sorry I forgot to mention that when linking but it's in my sig. i told him not to do that cleaner and am getting a dolphin instead. im confused on the SWG part, I wanted to stay away from salt water due to corrosion issues. so I don't understand if salt water pool = swg, or if they are different things.
I’d rather stab myself in the eye with a fork than not have a salt water generator (SWG) in HOUSTON. You will be lugging liquid chlorine bottles to your pool EVERY DAY from May-November here. It will become a chore/burden. As you read on this site, the SWG makes sanitation of your pool much easier over conventional chlorine pools which use tabs/powder. You will want to enjoy your pool not make it your second full time job.
Also damage to stone or surfaces in/around the pool is a farce created by pool builders. I have travertine everywhere for my pool (coping,decking,water tile) and I haven’t seen a SPECK of damage anywhere from salt in 2.5 years. Your pool will be in the 3500 ppm range not 45,000 ppm range like the ocean.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,391
Tallahassee, FL
You rang??? LOL

YES now is THE time to measure! Take the plans and a tape measure out to the pool. Is it wide, long, deep, ect enough? Add about 8" for the steel, shell, and plaster.

Kim:kim:
 
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Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
73
Houston, TX
Rebar was done today along with plumbing. can't wait for the gunite! also im looking into a SWG now. my pool builder is against it but said he will install it if i want it, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of people supporting it on this site vs liquid chlorine so i'll get it.
 

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Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
73
Houston, TX
While waiting for gunnite(I hate delays!!) We decided to 100% go with an intellichlor as well as the intelliph to easily handle the acid.

We picked tumbled marble for our coping as well as exposed marble around the hot tub/back wall from NPT. It's not slick marble like around a fireplace but felt just like the travertine next to it in the show room. I can't find much info on people using it for coping and my PB is saying that with the SWG we switched to I will need to regularly seal the coping and exposed stone. Does anyone have any comments?

The reason for the marble is it is guaranteed to not have any brown in it like the silver travertine has. Our whole color scheme is grays and black so the brown clashed(+ I just hate brown)
 
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wilkj1

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
175
okc/okla
by regular sealing that could mean every year depends on sealer used i.e. some sealers are water based they do not last as long but are not a heavy coating and not near as slick as acrylic can be and uv exposure is a factor also . some water based will fade away and you would never know it was there.and they are kind of cheap imo. i think in the Houston area a good power wash or two a year would a good plan . @HermanTX is in your area lets ask him what he did on his flagstone ?

also glad to hear your sold on SWG.:)
 

Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
73
Houston, TX
After a 2 week delay and a possible hurricane due Wednesday we are so excited to finally have gunite going in! Too bad I have to go in to work today before it's done but I can already tell how happy I am with the back wall IMG_20200821_131535~2.jpg
 
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