Let the games begin...

PlaysARobin

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
78
Mont Belvieu (East Houston)
Just met with PB 'D'. Very different than expected (warned?), and he's 100% on the same page as this forum. He said go larger than what we had in mind (which was mainly driven by other PBs recommendations). He made a few comments about easements and a couple of things he's seen in our neighborhood that have surprised others. Automation, VS pump, Salt systems and Pentair equipment are his standards of choice. Had a good discussion about our area's water, and PH. He said once they dial it in for us, the salt will do its thing, and I'll really only need to monitor PH. He also mentioned that he uses the 40k salt cells, even if the pool is only 15-18k gallons, as that is where he's found the best life span, and capabilities. We'll have direct sunlight to the pool from about 10am to 5pm, the majority of the year, unless we incorporate additional sales/shade.

Should have his proposal by Thursday, along with PB 'B'.


Jim, and Skippy, thanks for the comments. I do appreciate the input. I've emailed PB 'C' about the Ozone item, and asked what its purpose is, and if it would be possible to replace it with the booster pump, and they can keep the ozone equipment.
 

PlaysARobin

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
78
Mont Belvieu (East Houston)
It was recommended by PB 'C', and mainly around the waterfall feature (on the back raised wall), bubblers, spa heatup, and spillover, all at the same time. He said its possible that it would be fine, which is when I asked about stubbing it out, but leaving it off for me to install at a later date, if I chose.
 

PlaysARobin

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
78
Mont Belvieu (East Houston)
PB 'D' sent over his proposal. Here are the details as provided, and some pictures.

22. x. 36. up to 6' deep. (this is about 15% larger than PB 'C' which has been our current front runner)
Spa size 6x8. kidney shaped (rolled edge option to be added in revision 2)
stacked stone spillover into the pool
Travertine coping, stacked stone accents, water line tile standard selection
Gunite: 4 bar box beam with #4 rebar continuous, Beam 12" maximum and 8" cove. Walls/floor #3 8"x8" on center both ways with #3 alternates. 6/1 cement to sand ratio and walls/floor will be minimum of 6" thick
2" suction, separate lines, separate valves. Schedule 40 PVC on all pool piping and Sch 80 on all pump connections. 2" returns to 1st 'T'
4 main drains, separate lines and separate valves
5 pool return inlets
6 hydro air venture spa jets with 1hp Polaris QT blower
24' of 6" raised wall with 4 spray/jets and 1 12" sheer decent waterfall

Equipment
Pentair 60sqft FNS Plus DE Filter (questioned this over a cartridge type due to sewer location and clean out location being in front of the house. I was told our city requires backwash to be tied to main sewer, but this builder has 20+ pools in our neighborhood alone, so theres some trust factor here to consider)
Pentair 2HP whisperflo pump (already requested the VS to be spec'd as discussed in person)
Rainbow inline chlorinator (already requested the SWCG to be spec'd, as discussed in person)
Pentair legend pressure side cleaner (asked if this can be cut, as we'll go robot on our own, with their recommendation for brand/type)
Pentair 400k MasterTemp NG heater
Pentair EasyTouch 8 wireless remote (thoughts?)
2 skimmers
Ozone Joe (questioned this, again, per our discussion in person)
1 Pentair Intellibrite pool color LED
1 Intellibrite Spa color LED
Never lube valves

Spray deck - 647sqft



113346
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,984
Tallahassee, FL
I like that design! Good swim lane and lots of fun benches!

Make sure they are putting unions on both side of all equipment so you can remove for service or replacement.

I am going to call in an equipment guy. That is my weak so leave this up to him. @Jimrahbe what says you?

Kim:kim:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,186
Bedford, TX
TLC,

Pentair 60sqft FNS Plus DE Filter (questioned this over a cartridge type due to sewer location and clean out location being in front of the house.
... My city requires a DE or sand filters to be connected to the sewer, but not cartridge filters.. I would check with the city.. Either filter will work for you, but I have two pools with DE filters and if they bite the dust, I will be replacing them with a large cartridge filter.. I find it easier for me...

Pentair 2HP whisperflo pump (already requested the VS to be spec'd as discussed in person)
... the EasyTouch can only control the IntelliFlo style VS pumps.. If you have a SWCG, you really need the IntelliFlo... Do NOT get the one with the SVRS option and don't let the pool builder tell you it is required.. It is not!! I would get the VS model P/N 011028.. They will want to sell you the VSF for more money, it is a VS and a VF (flow) pump.. The is really no reason to have a VF pump.. Just more money for no real gain..

Rainbow inline chlorinator (already requested the SWCG to be spec'd, as discussed in person)
**** I agree dump the tab feeder and get a SWCG..

Pentair legend pressure side cleaner (asked if this can be cut, as we'll go robot on our own, with their recommendation for brand/type)
**** I agree, but I would have them plumb in a suction side vacuum port.. Should be next to nothing for cost..

Pentair 400k MasterTemp NG heater
**** We always recommend the RayPak, but either will work

Pentair EasyTouch 8 (with) wireless remote (thoughts?)
**** You need to get the EasyTouch package that comes with the internal SWCG power supply and the salt cell.. Make sure the cell is 2 x the pool volume.. Like this .. Pentair Easy Touch Control Control System with IC40 Chlorine Generator 520545

To get control by your phone, PC or tablet your will need ScreenLogic.. See this link.. Pentair ScreenLogic Interface and Wireless Connection Kit 522104
That said, if I were building a new pool I would get the new IntelliCenter.. Either will work for you, the IntelliCenter is new and expandable..

You can also get Pentair wireless remotes, but I personally see no reason to have them if you have ScreenLogic

2 skimmers
*** Good

Ozone Joe (questioned this, again, per our discussion in person)
*** This is just magic without any rabbit.. All you need is a SWCG period...

1 Pentair Intellibrite pool color LED (I am not a fan of color LED light because they do not seem to last long... But I am in the minority here..)
1 Intellibrite Spa color LED

Never lube valves
*** yep

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

PlaysARobin

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
78
Mont Belvieu (East Houston)
Quick update. We've nailed down a few additional details, and so far the PB has had his quirks, but been very quick to respond and provide revisions.

IC40 SWCG
Pentair Intelliflo VS pump
Confirmed screen logic with the pentair easy touch setup spec'd is no additional charge (we choose either the remote or screen logic, pricing covers either)
I questioned the 6" wall and how effective a water feature would be, and he agreed. He upped the wall to 12" and says he's only charging for additional materials, which is probably just a polite way of working the costs into everything. No worries. I prefer the 12" height and the emphasis it adds for the sprayers/sheer descent.

Cut the cleaner and booster, and cut the cool decking and will go with brushed concrete for now. We cut these because I'm not about financing something that can be done ad-hoc at any time, whenever we're ready. I intend on purchasing a robot (which one is TBD), but he did say he'd plumb up for the pressure side, and booster, if we ever changed our mind. Thumbs up from me!
Focusing on the far more 'permanent' elements of the pool, and getting that 100% right, now. After the cuts, we got the price back down to a number I'm pretty comfortable with, knowing I'll come out of pocket for a few things over the next year. Right now, we're sitting at roughly $58k, which is a bit over my original intended amount. I think its going to be an even 60k, after plaster choice (read below), and so far we feel very good about this PB. Worth noting, the others have not followed up on anything, but we've also not signed a contract yet with PB 'D'.

We went to the showroom and picked out Silver travertine for the coping. Split faced silver travertine for the wall face, spa and spillover. Mix of 1x2 and 2x4 tiles.
Waterline tile is Master Tile - North Ocean Elo Nor Blu 6 and the rolled edge of the spa will be Master Tile - CVK Mix 2 1x1 tile.

When we started talking plaster, NPT quartzscape was the only option presented. We reluctantly chose 'blue', but everything we saw felt pretty bland. I was a bit disappointed at that moment. After reading more, I'd inquired if they offered stones capes from the same company and she replied "No, he doesn't like the product but we do offer Wet Edge. Here are ALL options, their pricing tiers, upgrade costs and full break down for your pool". ..................Really wish we would have led with that!

So now that I've read up on Wet Edge, I think we're sold on either their Luna or Signature lines. I want a medium Aquamarine color, and I want to feel like there is some depth in the color. We'd agreed that we were not going to settle on plaster, so even though its a $2000-2500 up charge, a pebble finish is likely what we're going with. I've been searching the forum, but not a ton of info, but I've probably only just scratched the surface. Not going to lie, the 15 year warranty is really a huge selling point. Anyone have specific inputs on the product, or the feel? Obviously would appreciate it!

Once we decide plaster, we'll revisit our stone/tile choices just to ensure we like them, and the details should be done. PB is working on a second layout option for us that effectively mirrors the most recent 2D model, placing the spa and tanning ledge more centered, which ties it all into the entertaining space a bit more cohesively.
 

Rq120

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
54
Florida
We just had signature matrix installed last month. It’s pretty rough on the feet. I would feel it in a pool on your feet before choosing it. Not saying we wouldn’t choose it again (it’s a beautiful finish). I’m just surprised when I stand on the steps sometimes how much the pebble pushes into my feet.
 

PlaysARobin

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
78
Mont Belvieu (East Houston)
We just had signature matrix installed last month. It’s pretty rough on the feet. I would feel it in a pool on your feet before choosing it. Not saying we wouldn’t choose it again (it’s a beautiful finish). I’m just surprised when I stand on the steps sometimes how much the pebble pushes into my feet.
Hah.. Well, this is our only potential concern with the product. Will try to make some phone calls and see if we know anyone with that finish, or comparable, in the Houston area. Their luna line is a little more than half of the upgrade price of the signature series, so that isn't out of the question. Still we LOVE the look of the pebble mix/Signature.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,984
Tallahassee, FL
I am going to link to a thread started just for plaster colors and finishes. Feel free to reach out through PM about how they plaster feels once it is done.
 

Rq120

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
54
Florida
I'm happy with the Wet Edge finish. It is beautiful and no mottling. I love the look of the pebble too. Wet Edge installers did a fantastic job.
We put down pavers over concrete and the pebble finish. My two year old's feet are getting torn up. She has a new little sore or her toe every week. However, I'm not sure if its from the pavers or the pebble. It's hard to tell because she can swim already and are jumping in 50 times a day. She has a twin and he doesn't seem to have this issue. I float most of the time in the pool so I don't notice it as much. If you have kids or play sports in your pool, it may be more of a consideration. We have (older) neighbor kids come over and I've never heard them complain.
 

PlaysARobin

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
78
Mont Belvieu (East Houston)
Alrighty, gang.. Just got the updated layout/proposal from PB 'D'. We've all but decided we're going with this builder so I've no need to bother hiding the name or anything else at this point. This was the 2nd time Premier pools and spas had "An email issue and just now saw this message" and I honestly don't feel like dealing with anything along those lines during a build. Not to mention his reply ignored 2 major questions I asked. Intentionally or otherwise, it left a bad taste.

Layout is mirrored, and tweaked based upon his opinion and experience. Theres 190sqft of decking, 36x23' pool for roughly 15,150 gallons. We'll tweak the benches slightly at dugout, but I want to make sure I'm not missing anything before we finalize. We're likely going With Silver travertine, 1x2 split face on the wall, 2x4 split face for spa exterior. 12" raised wall with 4 sprayers and a 24" sheer descent. Spa is tiered spillover. All pentair equipment (VS Intelliflo, 60sqft DE filter with fiber fill, IC40, Easytouch8 with screen logic).
Currently he has 1 LED (pentair) in the pool, and 1 in the spa. The Wet Edge Prism Matrix upgrade is $4100, and while we LOVE Deep Sea Blue, we feel its too dark and our brutal sun would keep the pool far warmer than we want. Kaleidoscope is what we've settled on. An additional LED is $500 on his price sheet. Would anyone say I'm out of line to ask if he will do an additional LED and the Plaster for $4k on top of this proposal? I haggle services a lot, so I don't mind, but he's been fantastic to work with to this point. We've cut every element out of this bid that I don't want to finance (cleaner, Kool decking, etc)

Would love opinions on the layout and if there is ANYTHING at all I may not be considering. We flipped the layout simply because it puts the tanning ledge and spa near the area that is already purpose built for entertaining space.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,984
Tallahassee, FL
I really like how you have the shelf and steps over there. VERY good thinking! Can your rotate it a little more so the spa .............wait! I got it! Take the bump in for the plants OUT and curve the decking out so people could pull up a chair to lounger by the spa! The decking line will be cleaner that way!!

As for pricing and how he would take your offer..........every person is different. He might have a set amount he needs to make on the pool. If you talk him down on one thing he might find a way to make it back up on another. You have seen him face to face. I will leave that up to you.

Kim:kim:
 
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Rq120

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
54
Florida
Yeah I agree with kimkats to remove the planter. We had one with our pool and just removed it with a remodel. The palm trees would drop seeds (and other debris) directly into our pool. It was so hard to keep the flower bed clean of weeds. Also we worried about the palm roots pushing against the concrete pool walls long term. When we removed the palms, the root ball was very constricted.
Now we have a new seating area and really love it over having a planter by the pool. Also, we can walk completely around the pool. That's helpful for cleaning. Before we would get poked/scratched by the palms when trying to brush that area of the pool.
 

PlaysARobin

Gold Supporter
Jul 18, 2019
78
Mont Belvieu (East Houston)
Absolutely! All of the landscaping is just for visual reference, and not actually included in the bid. I'll be responsible for anything/everything beyond the decking and pool, itself. I plan on doing a planter area, but it'll be set a few feet off the pool, as I'm certain that ledge is going to become more of a jumping platform than anything else, and I don't want kids or the landscaping being a nuisance to each other.

PB had no issues discussing haggling. We've signed the contract and he's working on getting permits submitted and I'm getting the HOA final approval. This builder is known for moving quickly once the green lights hit, so here goes!

I'm assuming I should leave this thread in tact, and start a new thread dedicated to the build? What would the typical protocol be? I've seen it both ways on TFP.