Looking at building a pool / need some feedback

boomer2015

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Sep 25, 2020
23
Oklahoma City
OK, I see them now. Maybe a bit small? Give some thought to how many steps (which determines the height from step to step). If this is your forever home, you'll need an easy way out someday too (as will your grammy and gramps). I would think you'll get some traffic between pool and spa, folks and kids going back and forth a lot. Steps over there might be nice. You have a lot going on behind the pool: pergola and sitting areas, you do kinda need a path in and out from both sides of the pool.
Thanks for the advice! We'll certainly take a look at that. I'm sure our boys will be jumping off the wall for quite a few years as they grow up. But I do think steps over by the deep end would be a decent idea.




Is that a big stone feature overhanging the pool? A jumping rock maybe? My kids looooove the jumping rock. 👍 Just keep in mind: any stone work that penetrates the water (this goes for stone on wall and spa, too), can turn into a cleaning problem. Read here about effervescence. It leaches out of, and collects on, stone that is subjected to water and evaporation and is not fun to clean. That's why there is edge tile: a nice smooth, easy-to-clean material. Stone descending into water is a very nice look, just be aware of what you're getting into if your pool has a lot of that.

It is a jump rock! I'm super excited about it for our boys but my wife is indifferent. I don't really want it over hanging the water by more than 8-10 inches though....
 

Dirk

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Mine is back a few inches, so no overhang. No problem for the kids jumping off, they clear the coping easily. Kids and friends use it all the time. My middle one usually gets out first and just sits on it, like his perch, while he waits for everyone else to be done. Safer and better looking than a diving board!
 

boomer2015

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Sep 25, 2020
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Oklahoma City
Well we finally received the design from the other PB and to be honest we like it better. Still need to see some actual dimensions/list of equipment, etc. Here is the newest design....Screen Shot 2020-10-03 at 9.09.12 AM.png
He has the pergola sized at 12x12 but I'm sure we can need more room and trying to find a decent way to make it all fit. We will eventually have a back bar/grill/sink/fridge in there so we want to make sure we have the room when we build.
 

kimkats

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I like the overall shape of it and how it fits with the house. The one thing I am sure about is the wall between teh seating and the pool. It will block the sight line into the pool from there.

Kim:kim:
 

Dirk

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Kim's right. The wall, and the spa, too, are going to create blind spots where you won't be able to watch swimmers in the water, including kids under the dive rock, while sitting in certain spots on the far side.

Regarding the pergola size, are you going to have a table under there? Tables can be huge in terms of the space they need. And sometimes that's not obvious until it's too late. It's the size of the table, and all the chairs, but chairs pulled out a foot or more from the table, and then 3' of clearance beyond that (to allow folks to get in and out of chairs, lean or scooch chairs away from the table, and still allow traffic coming and going behind and around all that! It ends up a pretty large dimension, even for a smallish table.

Do you already have the table? Or one of similar size? Pull the chairs out and add 3' all around that and measure. You'll see what I mean. And if you're going to add sun shades over or along the sides of the pergola, that's something else that makes them feel smaller.

Personally, I don't have any use for a "roof" that consists of 2x2s spaced 6" apart (if that's what you've got there). Doesn't provide any relief from the sun, or protection from rain. First thing I did to mine when I bought the house was to put a proper roof on each. That's where we hide from the sun. And I like to go out and sit under them when it's raining, too. (Protects my furniture, too.) I added sun shades on the west side. Around 3 or 4 o'clock the roof doesn't block the sun enough, and after that the sun would be quite annoying without the shades. My landscaping provides some of the sun blocking, so that is something to consider about your landscaping and plant selection.

The rendering doesn't indicate what is bordering the pergola. So depending on what that's going to be, you might want to have the landscaping extend more towards the pergola, at least along that one side, to create a nice backdrop and possibly a sun block.
 

boomer2015

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Sep 25, 2020
23
Oklahoma City
Kim's right. The wall, and the spa, too, are going to create blind spots where you won't be able to watch swimmers in the water, including kids under the dive rock, while sitting in certain spots on the far side.

Regarding the pergola size, are you going to have a table under there? Tables can be huge in terms of the space they need. And sometimes that's not obvious until it's too late. It's the size of the table, and all the chairs, but chairs pulled out a foot or more from the table, and then 3' of clearance beyond that (to allow folks to get in and out of chairs, lean or scooch chairs away from the table, and still allow traffic coming and going behind and around all that! It ends up a pretty large dimension, even for a smallish table.

Do you already have the table? Or one of similar size? Pull the chairs out and add 3' all around that and measure. You'll see what I mean. And if you're going to add sun shades over or along the sides of the pergola, that's something else that makes them feel smaller.

Personally, I don't have any use for a "roof" that consists of 2x2s spaced 6" apart (if that's what you've got there). Doesn't provide any relief from the sun, or protection from rain. First thing I did to mine when I bought the house was to put a proper roof on each. That's where we hide from the sun. And I like to go out and sit under them when it's raining, too. (Protects my furniture, too.) I added sun shades on the west side. Around 3 or 4 o'clock the roof doesn't block the sun enough, and after that the sun would be quite annoying without the shades. My landscaping provides some of the sun blocking, so that is something to consider about your landscaping and plant selection.

The rendering doesn't indicate what is bordering the pergola. So depending on what that's going to be, you might want to have the landscaping extend more towards the pergola, at least along that one side, to create a nice backdrop and possibly a sun block.

I can see what you're saying. The pergola in a rendering is just a placeholder for the future as it's not currently in the budget. It could be a pavilion which we would rather have anyway. As far as size, what's in the rendering is too small but we're waiting on revisions for what it may look like if it were a 14'x14' inside dimensions.

I'll mention the walls blocking vision into the pool to the wife and see what she thinks and go from there.

Good news for us is this PB only installs SWCG standard. The other PB's it was an upgrade and they all had something bad to say about it.
 
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Dirk

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Gotcha. That's what the software had handy for a placeholder!

I can read a blueprint as well as anybody, but sometimes I need to picture things, too, especially when it comes to how dimensions translate real-world. I once built a kitchen island out of cardboard, and lived with it like that for at least a month before I finalized its dimensions. I was worried about clearances and how it would feel, the height, etc. I prepped on it, and ate off it, too!

If you're inclined, once you have the design close, you could plot everything out, full size, in the yard. Stakes and string style. Do both pool and deck. If you have furniture, put it in place. Or use stakes and strings for that, too. You could even simulate the wall and spa with some boxes. Sit in the furniture. Walk around it and the pool, etc. Now's the time...
 
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Dirk

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Did you decide against auto-leveling (auto-filler and overflow)? It's not specified. Also, there's no mention of a cleaning system. No mention of the type and brand of valves on the pad, or how the skimmer(s) and returns are to be plumbed. That quote is barely a parts list, doesn't include much in the way of details, details that can add up, or leave you wanting, in the end. Perhaps that's the way pool "contracts" look?
 

boomer2015

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Sep 25, 2020
23
Oklahoma City
Did you decide against auto-leveling (auto-filler and overflow)? It's not specified. Also, there's no mention of a cleaning system. No mention of the type and brand of valves on the pad, or how the skimmer(s) and returns are to be plumbed. That quote is barely a parts list, doesn't include much in the way of details, details that can add up, or leave you wanting, in the end. Perhaps that's the way pool "contracts" look?
I've added the pool equipment pool specs below not sure why they wouldn't have been included in the agreement.
 

Dirk

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Valves and robot look good. But those specs are not part of the agreement? Then technically the PB can substitute any way he chooses to...

I'd want to know if the plumbing (returns and skimmer(s)) will "home run" back to the pad, or be assembled in some other way.
 

boomer2015

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Sep 25, 2020
23
Oklahoma City
Valves and robot look good. But those specs are not part of the agreement? Then technically the PB can substitute any way he chooses to...

I'd want to know if the plumbing (returns and skimmer(s)) will "home run" back to the pad, or be assembled in some other way.
I completely agree and will have those things added to the agreement. I've been told they will be "home runs" but will also have that added as well.
 
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boomer2015

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Sep 25, 2020
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Oklahoma City
Our pool contract will be signed this week and then roughly 3-4 weeks before digging so I thought I'd start looking at all the other "things" I'll be doing around the yard/space myself.

1) - Landscape Lighting
I'm looking at Volt for this and currently have no desire in tying it into the iaqualink system. I would think a simple dusk/dawn sensor for them would suit us just fine, but maybe there are reasons I haven't thought of....?

Here are few beds we currently have that will need some lighting.... for the larger flower bed I was thinking a small spotlight on the Japanese maple and 1 path light on either side. For the smaller one I was hoping a small spotlight for the tree would do the trick.

I'm looking at options for the landscaping the PB will put in but I may wait until I see it in person to make those decisions. He will be running the wire for me while the ground is torn up. I also thought about adding a few lights under the cap on the 26ft retaining wall for walkway at night. I was curious on those if there is a certain length or spacing that may be best?

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2) - Audio/Visual

Currently we have a tv on the patio above the fireplace / Bose 151 (pair) speakers on the patio.

Here is a layout of what I'm looking to accomplish for the whole house...

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 7.58.59 PM.png

This was the initial layout but since we've moved everything around a bit I'll either scrap the pergola set of Bose 151's or the Bose Free Space. I'd prefer to keep the pergola set and add a subwoofer in the large flower bed behind the pool but I havent done any research as to an outdoor sub that'll do the job.

The underwater speakers weren't my idea and most likely won't be happening. Mostly due to the cost of roughly $2,000 per piece


With the HEOS system I should be able to control each zone separately which is important for me and for the family as its much easier for each of them to enjoy using.

The only items needed for the setup would be :
Bose 151 (pair)
in ground sub?
Denon HEOS Drive (purchased used, looks like they discontinued it and don't see anything about a new one yet)

After looking at it all again it looks like I could do everything on 3 zones but would be better off with 4 zones. I'll need to do a little more research on what Denon is currently offering in their lineups.

3) - Outdoor Grill/Fridge/etc

We have a space on the patio with electric and gas hookups where we plan to install an outdoor kitchen. Below are some drawings of our current ideas... I need to see about measuring the far right side for the possibility of a small ledge for a Big Green Egg.

Current layout has a trash can, fridge, grill, 2 drawers and access doors.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 9.02.55 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 9.03.19 PM.png



That should be it for now as we get this process started!
 

Dirk

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Lighting

I can't say enough good things about Volt. My yard is covered in them. Five years in and I haven't changed a bulb yet. Fixtures are gorgeous and rock solid. I expect them to last a lifetime (mine, anyway). Nothing else I've ever tried has come anywhere close. Crazy expensive, worth every penny.

If you want them to come on dusk to dawn, that's fine. Also plan some sort of manual override (like a switch in the house or smart home capability). You'll want to be able to turn them on and off at will. Buy more and/or bigger transformers than you think you'll need. You will add more lights. Overbuild the power supply, or leave room for expansion. Consider separate transformers and lighting groups. Volt lights can't be dimmed, but you could set up your system to allow more and less light based on how many groups you have on. I have five in my yard, which provide everywhere from very subtle ambient light to land-your-helicopter-here. Run the wiring such that you leave plenty of slack to move the lights around, like by a lot. Coil up several extra feet of it, bury the coils in mulch. You will move lights, and add lights, as your landscaping grows and changes. Use the water proof connections Volt supplies, but solder all those connections first. Take the time to do this seemingly unnecessary step (though it's a real pain). Doing that this time around has made this one of my many attempts at yard lighting 100% reliable, finally! All other forms of wire connections will fail, or at least compromise the brightness. Soldering is worth the trouble. And use 12 gauge wire throughout. You won't save much using a smaller gauge. 12G will give you the best results, brightest light.

If the PB is to run some of your circuits, have him add extras. Expansion, expansion, expansion. I went from one circuit to six, and still wish I had room for a couple more. I run garden lights, bistro lights, patio lights, flood lights, a bug zapper, a fountain, some citrus tree heaters and more. Your system will expand, putting extra wires in now will pay off. Or if he runs wires in conduit underground, double or triple the size of the conduit so you can someday pull more wires through yourself.

Music

No specific advice about equipment. My setup is pretty simple, just two overheads. But here is what I first did wrong. I placed them where everybody could hear them. But not everybody has the same idea of what the volume should be. While sitting at the table, I'd get constant requests to turn the music down. To the point where it could barely be heard at the table, and not heard at all anywhere else. I ended up moving the speakers elsewhere. Your multiple zones idea is the way to go. And/or increase the number of speakers, and plot them throughout the yard. Doing so will allow better coverage at lower volume, as well as more volume when you need it. Mount speakers facing away from primary conversation zones.

BBQ

Your plan sounds fantastic! Be mindful or plan for smoke. Keep the kitchen away from the dining area, or factor in ventilation. Add plenty of lights for the kitchen.

All that for only 2¢! ;)
 

kimkats

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I would make sure to uplight the tree by the window so the light shine OUT from the house IF you do light up that tree. Sure do not want to have that light shining into that window at night time. Of course you have to make sure the light shining away from the house will be shining somewhere else. Make sure it is not going to shine in eyes at a seating or lounging area.
 

Dirk

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Volt has some great up-lights. I have a bunch of them shining right up into my trees, including a giant redwood tree. They look amazing. My camera can't really capture what this looks like at night. This is before I hung bistro lights along my back fence. Wow, I just noticed how big that tree has gotten. I'll have to update this shot...

night time 1.jpg
 

Dirk

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Thanks, but as I mentioned I couldn't figure out how to get my iPhone to capture a good lighted nighttime shot. "In real life" the bright spots are not that bright and the dark areas are not that dark, it's more even. And that pool doesn't look like that, with white highlight, it's an even blue color. Now that my landscaping has grown, and my new bistro lights are in, I'll have to give this another try. Google will have something about how to snap a good night shot with an iPhone...
 

boomer2015

Member
Sep 25, 2020
23
Oklahoma City
Thanks for the pics Dirk! We have a multi-trunk lacebark elm as well as an October Glory Maple that we'll want to light up for sure so this is helpful.

I plan on using some string lights for the pergola, hopefully that's not too much light out there but we'll just have to see.