Looking for advice on vinyl pool--short vs long-term

Bill1974

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2014
106
Hauppauge, NY
Pool Size
32000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thank you @Bill1974 , helpful to hear you’re in a similar situation.
I think our problem is that the string of related projects continues starting with the pool, i.e. if we don’t address the pool, especially the underground portion, we can’t do the pool patio. If we don’t do the patio, we impact the rest of our hardscaping project. But, I think we definitely need to do the coping, which wasn’t the case. The company that bid the $25K won’t even do the coping...so not only will I pay more, I also won’t get what I want. The search continues...I also nod the want to leave the pool drained for a year either
I had to do some searching to find a contactor that was will to do the minimal amount of work this year at a reasonable cost. I understand it's the busy season and contractors may have more work available to them so they can pick and choose what work they want to do. I ended up with one company to do the liner and another to do the stone coping. And I took on replacing the skimmer, suction lines, light niche and conduit. Next year I'll do the return lines and run new conduit and power to the pool equipment (I'd like to add a heat pump at some point) and the small fortune in hardscaping (it's dominoed into replacing everything since it's a hodgepodge of failing retaining walls, settling/cracked concrete with no easy fix). I should have been more prepared for a liner replacement and the collateral of everything else that goes along with it. If I had not had to add water a few time over the winter I might have lived with it for another year or two. But I did the math and what I would be spending in water would probably be half the cost of a new liner if not more.

Money is cheap to borrow right now. I know I could borrow and could swing the payment, but I don't want the added stress from having to be more conscience of my spending. I know how to manage my finances, I fight the urge to pay off loans sooner, because I know I actually make more by investing the money than paying my current debt down. If I had more time, I would consider doing all the hardscaping myself, it's just a lot of for one person and not sure if I could entice friends into being laborers.
 

Lilz

Member
Mar 30, 2021
12
MA
@TheRaven thanks for sharing! Congrats on finishing up that work it looks great! Just in time to enjoy for the summer. Slightly jealous :LOL:

@Bill1974 thanks so much for your insight. We ended up moving forward, for anyone still following along! Working with 2 different companies; hardscaping all around the pool (along with other work), and a local pool builder to fix our shotty walls, put down stone coping, replace all plumbing lines, and drop a nice new liner and converting to salt! Turns out one of the patches was an old skimmer...mystery as to why this was moved.

Costs for everything=yikes, but very comparable and competitive for this time of year, but worth it for what we expect to get at the end of the day. Fingers crossed we get to use it this summer, even just for a few months!
 
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jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I’m doing my hardscaping myself. The coping came out nice so now my wife trusts me to do the pavers. I estimate this is saving me about $12k doing it myself.
 
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Lilz

Member
Mar 30, 2021
12
MA
@jamjam i hear pavers aren't too bad--coping was probably the hard part so you're probably a seasoned vet! Good luck!
Not sure what pavers you are using, but the paver system is the big part of the cost (lots of materials, labor intensiveness), along with the sq footage you are looking to cover.
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I’m doing a little over 400 sq feet. I’m going with a permeable base. Probably Techo-bloc but still deciding. I’m gonna finish grading tomorrow and then go out and paver shop with the wife. Gonna use 6 yards of 3/4 crushed stone for subbase and 2 yards of 3/8 crushed stone for the base and geotextile fabric under it all.
 

Lilz

Member
Mar 30, 2021
12
MA
@jamjam Nice. Same system for us, except we went with Unilock (very similar to Techo-bloc)--it's what our contractor swears by. $12K sounds about right for 400sq ft from my estimate. We went with some accent borders too!
 

Snoobug

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jun 2, 2020
800
Iowa
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
What unilock pavers did you choose? Our landscaper is putting in the unilock artline this week for us. Unfortunately only 10 of the 22 pallets arrived (we ordered in March). We're hoping it's enough to pave from the house to the pool...
Ok this post got messed up...
 

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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,879
Morris Cnty NJ
That's not gonna be good enough. Water will migrate down the the pool with heavy rains. Its imperative in an open base to install drain pipe and have it end up somewhere. If you dont have impervious coverage restrictions it's easier to do traditional install and pitch to a channel drain or drain points. Open base makes poly sand unavailable and crud will pack the joints and grow weeds after many years. I only go that route if jurisdiction requires it. You want to keep water as far from pools as possible
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
That's not gonna be good enough. Water will migrate down the the pool with heavy rains. Its imperative in an open base to install drain pipe and have it end up somewhere. If you dont have impervious coverage restrictions it's easier to do traditional install and pitch to a channel drain or drain points. Open base makes poly sand unavailable and crud will pack the joints and grow weeds after many years. I only go that route if jurisdiction requires it. You want to keep water as far from pools as possible
according to unlilock they advise to use poly sand with an open base - it is impermeable on permeable base - they advise for all installs to use a permeable base regardless of permeability of the surface - they no longer recommend a sand base.


 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,879
Morris Cnty NJ
Its getting common to use clean stone under walls and under pavers. Easier to have 1 type on the job when doing walls. The issue is in freeze country. With no drainage the water has to leech naturally. Here in my area its clay rich. It drains slow. Here's my example I've seen happen. It rains or snows and the base absorbs the rain or a warm day absorbs the snow melt. Then sun goes down quickly with winter angle amd temp drops. That water hasn't leached yet amd freezes.....what happens to a can of soda in the freezer that's forgotten? That's now you paver patio surface. You have to have drainage under open base via pipe to daylight or a simp pit/drywall. I'd much rather have mechanically compacted road base that water wont pass thru. A properly pitched/draining old school patio will live a long long life when done right. I have several ICPI certs
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
The clean base has 30-40% air. According to Unilock that space absorbs the 9% expansion of the water. They only recommend a drain if you have a negative slope against a structure. Unilock also claims compacted road base gets saturated and is much more likely to heave and erode in a northern climate than an open aggregate.

Not many people want to watch 35 minutes on paver bases but I think we have a few nut jobs here that will

 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I know your method is the gold standard - and the permeable base with impermeable surface hybrid is not widely practiced but the Unilock videos I’ve watched make sense and I’m willing to roll the dice. im Undecided if I need a drain my sub grade is sloped away from the pool and being on Long Island I have sandy loam soil.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
3,879
Morris Cnty NJ
Roll the dice if you have sandy soil. Graded base is proper but has to abutt soil that accepts the water amd permeates. I've seen many of those vids. One thing I notice is they all have nice hands. Mine don't look anything like theirs 😉
 

jamjam

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2020
668
NY
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
I have to assume Unilock doesn’t have ulterior motives since they don’t sell paver base. They claim that with an open base installers can extend their warranty. Anyway I’ll document the job and I’ll ether be asking for your help in a few years or we can use it as a case study in emerging base systems.
 
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