Maryland - Pool, Spa, Grotto, Waterfall Owner Build

andyoi630

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2013
108
0
Maryland
#1
Hey All,

I know I've asked a bunch of questions leading up to this, and we finally got started. About 5 years ago, I did an owner build on a 700 sq ft inground with spa and waterfall. The process was a nightmare, but the pool turned out great - few things I would have changed. We then moved, and now here we are doing it again - bigger and better.

Here was our design that I drew up:



It is a 900 sq ft pool. 9 ft diameter spillover spa. Partially out of the ground. Loads of rock work. Wet laid bluestone patios. Techo bloc walls.

Twelve hours before the dig was set to start, we decide to scrap the lower basin and infinity edge in fear of having a body of water our kids could get in without us being able to see them. Lots have agreed with us there, but curious of thoughts. It also would have been really tight in the yard.

Regardless, the dig started yesterday and took about 6 hours. In my previous pool, we hit solid rock - it took weeks to get through - in combination with me hiring an absolute clown.















Dog approved:



Next up:

- Install main drains
- Backfill and form up pad for the waterfalls - I'd love to see examples if folks have them, have seen some, but still deciding on best course of action
- Steel should be in on Weds, so need to get the above done by then!
 

andyoi630

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2013
108
0
Maryland
#3
Curious here. How deep are most folks spas? 36 or 42"? Looks like this was formed up at 36", but questioning whether we should have gone deeper?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2012
35,467
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Tallahassee, FL
#4
Go sit in it and see what it feels like. Add about 8" for the steel, shell, and plaster.

I LOVE your design and your thought about no hiding places for the kids! Well done!

Kim:kim:
 

andyoi630

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2013
108
0
Maryland
#6
The other big thing I’ve got to figure out is how to best pour the pad for the waterfall base. It’s an issue because back side of pool is currently 4 ft out of the ground, so it needs to be backfilled. Unfortunately I don’t think that can be done right until gunite is in.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2012
35,467
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Tallahassee, FL
#9
But your water will not be that high. It will be to the middle of your waterline tile so you will lose even more depth that way. Lets wait until your steel people get there and have a talk with them and go from from there.

Kim:kim:
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
306
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36
Thornton, PA
#10
As for the waterfall pad I agree it would be best to wait until the gunite is done. That's how ours was done (actually it was after backfill, tile/coping) and they got it nice and level -
20181031_200838361_iOS.jpg
 

andyoi630

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2013
108
0
Maryland
#11
But your water will not be that high. It will be to the middle of your waterline tile so you will lose even more depth that way. Lets wait until your steel people get there and have a talk with them and go from from there.

Kim:kim:
Correct, you lose another ~3" with the waterline. Did a lot of searching on here and virtually everyone I see has a 42" depth spa. There's actually a lot of gravel they used in the spa (why so much I don't know), so I will just be raking it out tonight.

- - - Updated - - -

As for the waterfall pad I agree it would be best to wait until the gunite is done. That's how ours was done (actually it was after backfill, tile/coping) and they got it nice and level -
View attachment 88986
Great, thanks! That picture is very helpful. Did you have the steel crew install rebar ahead of time, or just wait until after the gunite?


--- Side question - How many lights would you all use in a 900 sq ft pool? I was thinking three, but worried some of the coves may not really be lit up. We had 2 lights in our 700 sq ft pool before, and there were a lot of dark areas.
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
306
0
36
Thornton, PA
#12
- - - Updated - - -

Great, thanks! That picture is very helpful. Did you have the steel crew install rebar ahead of time, or just wait until after the gunite?

--- Side question - How many lights would you all use in a 900 sq ft pool? I was thinking three, but worried some of the coves may not really be lit up. We had 2 lights in our 700 sq ft pool before, and there were a lot of dark areas.
We did rebar separately thankfully - since we decided to expand the waterfall size a bit later in the process. :) Originally it was intended to be about 11' wide x 5' deep and we moved it closer to 20' width given the proportions of the pool.

Your setup looks very similar to ours - 900 sq foot when considering the pool/sunshelf and another 50 for the spa. Placement wise each of the 2 main lights projects toward a curve in the pool. We have 2 Pentair intellibrite lights in the main pool area, 1 Pentair globrite in the sunshelf, and another in the spa. Had we added a third main light I'm actually not sure where I would have placed it? The pool isn't filled yet but I have tested the lights and they seem to provide decent coverage.
 

PoolGate

TFP Guide
Gold Supporter
Jun 7, 2017
2,426
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Damascus, MD
#13
Where in MD are you? Pool looks really good. 2 lights is probably enough (for just the pool area) but you might want to go with 3. For sure get color changing LEDs. What brand equipment are you going with? Also I assume a saltwater pool?
 

andyoi630

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2013
108
0
Maryland
#14
I'm over in Eldersburg. All pentair. Yes to saltwater hands down. Our old one was and it was so easy to take care of.

My equipment list right now will be:

3x Intellibrite pool light
2x Intellibrite spa light (spa and grotto)
2x Globrite in ledge

4x Intelliflo
Pentair Quad DE 100 sq ft filter
Intellichlor
Intellitouch
Need to select a heat pump and heater though.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
4,266
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Central MD
#15
To your original post, an infinity edge pool can be beautiful, but the complexity, safety, cost, energy usage & water usage considerations (and I'm probably missing some) are certainly not insignificant. I could get behind that decision despite the loss of coolness factor. You've got plenty going on there for an amazing retreat without the infinity edge.

Are you going to get it shot then leave it sit for the winter? Or will your builder tent it/heat it and keep going? I've only ever heard of one guy doing that, but it let him keep his guys busy year-round. I like the shell in fall approach then get an early spring start. We started late winter.

With all the trees, I'm curious which direction is north in your setup?

Looking forward to watching your progress.
 

andyoi630

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2013
108
0
Maryland
#16
To your original post, an infinity edge pool can be beautiful, but the complexity, safety, cost, energy usage & water usage considerations (and I'm probably missing some) are certainly not insignificant. I could get behind that decision despite the loss of coolness factor. You've got plenty going on there for an amazing retreat without the infinity edge.

Are you going to get it shot then leave it sit for the winter? Or will your builder tent it/heat it and keep going? I've only ever heard of one guy doing that, but it let him keep his guys busy year-round. I like the shell in fall approach then get an early spring start. We started late winter.

With all the trees, I'm curious which direction is north in your setup?

Looking forward to watching your progress.
It was more than just safety that let me be okay with ditching the edge. The design challenges and costs are far from trivial.

We are aiming to get it shot ASAP and let it sit. Steel went in today, will put up pictures. Need to get plumbing done. Our landscapers have been working on other sections of the patio away from the pool, but it's going to get too cold for them soon. Was 20 degrees this morning.


We took out a few of the trees. North is towards the house (the angle I'm taking the pictures from).
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
#17
We are aiming to get it shot ASAP and let it sit. Steel went in today, will put up pictures.
Good news is that there are hardly any below freezing temps in the next 10 days. Though some rain at one point.

Our pool was shot below freezing in February and it hasn't crumbled yet.
 

andyoi630

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2013
108
0
Maryland
#18
So my plumber is recommending the following setups - curious if you guys think it's nutty overkill (which happens to be my style anyway):

Main filter pump - will power 4 calf jets in spa footwell when in Spa mode
Waterfall Pump 1
Waterfall Pump 2 - One medium waterfall and 2 Bubblers
Spa Jet Pump 1 - Half the upper spa jets
Spa Jet Pump 2 - Other half of spa jets - including some double jet sets
3 Blowers (I think this is insane)
 

PoolGate

TFP Guide
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Jun 7, 2017
2,426
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Damascus, MD
#19
Your electric bill is going to be huge with 5 pumps. I would think you could get away with properly designed valving and maybe 2 variable speed pumps.
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
306
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36
Thornton, PA
#20
Your electric bill is going to be huge with 5 pumps. I would think you could get away with properly designed valving and maybe 2 variable speed pumps.
+1, our setups are similar and using 2 x 3HP VS Intelliflos along with one dedicated air blower for spa. These will run the pool, spa, 2 feeds to waterfall, and 3 bubblers/splash downs. The PB and plumber both thought this was way overkill as well, haha.