My new build plan (NJ) - feedback welcome!

petepool

Member
Sep 1, 2019
24
North NJ
Hi all,
We are building a new pool in northern NJ (bergen county). In ground vinyl, 20x40. Working with a long-time local PB.

First step is getting signed off my a plan. Can you review the below from my PB and provide any suggestions?

I've included a north-facing satellite a pic of my backyard as well. 1 acre property, mostly flat, with a very slight grade from west-to-east/left-to-right (~3 ft total drop across full property width). You can see this grade on the PB's plans which is why he's included steps. There's an existing patio that is going to be replaced. Pool equipment will go right next to existing AC compressors at back of house.

Satellite view:
Capture.JPG

Backyard pics:
10902609_P53.jpg

10902609_P55.jpg

Overall plan:
Picture1.png

Zoomed in plan
Capture4.JPG


For reference, the light gray circular outline is the existing patio. The knee wall is added to facilitate the slope dropoff to the pool which sits 2' lower than upper patio and at driveway elevation, and provide seating around fire pit.

One of my concerns is the smaller size of the new "upper patio". Feels like it could get tight after seating/grill. Also I need more privacy from driveway (can see directly into pool).

I'm glad I found TFP before my build - so much valuable information here! Will use this thread going forward for questions.

thanks
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,476
Northern NJ
Welcome neighbor.

Why can’t you move the pool more back on your property to give more deck space and to the right to get it away from the driveway?

You have a deer problem in your area? I have my pool double fenced. Deer get over the street side fence but not over the pool fence.

How much privacy do you want around the pool? How much room for layers of privacy shrubbery around the pool? You have the room if you place the pool right.

You need a larger pool equipment pad.
 

petepool

Member
Sep 1, 2019
24
North NJ
The location of the pool is meant to optimize the following:
- Maintain as much of a continuous yard as possible (ie, putting the pool in center of property, or east/west would have made more of the yard segmented)
- Have it easily visible from kitchen which is just inside the back staircase (putting it on other side of property would have made that difficult)
- try to keep the size of the deck manageable for cost purposes. Bigger deck = bigger $$.

Not sure about deers. Just moved into the house.

Privacy is important but we already have a lot of privacy due to my neighbors existing fences/trees on either side, and a rock wall/trees in the back. I’ll need to add privacy on the driveway side, especially for the gate itself since it will be see-through aluminum. I don’t want the pool visible from the driveway. There should be enough room for whatever solution works best.

I hear you on the equipment pad, but there’s a good amount of space available there. This seems like the ideal location, next to the existing AC units (so I can hide it all together) and close to the house for easy electrical/gas runs. Not sure where else I can put it that makes sense.
 

newpoolbuild

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2019
82
NY
Pete, do you have a list of equipments picked out yet? We are in designing rt now too. I wish I have your yard:) My PB didn’t give any drawings. My husband did all the thinking;) agree w ajw22, so far the retaining wall and patio cost 2x of the pool:( we couldn’t build our pool to use our existing patio.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,407
Central MD
Great property for a pool! That will be fantastic.

I have three thoughts on the pool environment. I do understand that you are trying to keep the deck size in check, but I know at our house, we have enough room for numerous picnic tables on the house deck and the pool deck and it comes in handy. So I appreciate space. It tends to evaporate when you have a family party or kids sports team party, etc. My suggestions are:

1) Move the knee wall back to the red line and expand deck to it. This will create much more usable space along that side of the pool. As it is, your chaise lounges will hardly leave room to walk comfortably by the pool when extended and people will be getting splashed while sitting in them. I'd also include some outlets in the knee wall near the fire pit and also by the red line wall, assuming it's far enough from the pool for code.
2) Add space to your upper deck for another table area or four Adirondacks around a coffee table. This space will come in handy for parties.
3) You currently have no way to drive a vehicle into the back yard for whatever reason. I would recommend widening your opening on the right side to 8 or 10'. Perhaps one gate never gets opened but it's there if you need it.

 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,336
Morris Cnty NJ
Agree with the above 7.5 ft is not enough to use for lounge seats. A few feet there to 10+ is money well spent. You are scrapping all the existing patio? Why not use existing patio and tie off of that to save some decking money? I generally dont like to instal long pools lengthwise away from house but your yard is big enough and you have the room by the pics.
 

petepool

Member
Sep 1, 2019
24
North NJ
Thanks I'll discuss expanding the patio with my PB. Regarding the gate on the opposite side, it is actually going to be 10' double gate (PB wrote the wrong size on his plan).

Yes I'm scrapping the existing patio only because I don't love the sand/tan color. Prefer more of a gray look and want the old patio to match the new. I wonder if replacing an existing patio (where the base is already prepared) is cheaper than the starting from scratch.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,336
Morris Cnty NJ
Much cheaper the base is half the cost. Looks like pavers if so pull the pavers and the sand bed and just do a new screened sand bed with matching pavers. Easy peasy and attach new patio. 1000sqft of paver patio good quality is 15k+ in NJ
 

petepool

Member
Sep 1, 2019
24
North NJ
Here is where the estimated #s are coming out for the plan outlined above. The one change is that instead of embedded steps across full 20' of pool, we are doing 12' steps that start outside the pool rectangle. Would love some reactions on these numbers and where I can cut back since this is well north of my original budget.

20x40 vinyl pool: $41.5k
- includes 2 skimmers, 3 returns, jandy catridge filter, jandy flopro pump, rigid pvc, 1 LED light

Coping: $6.55k
- includes pavers set in concrete, 142'

Additional pool items: $15.25k
- includes: 12' step ($1.5k), jandy 400k gas heater ($3.5k), 2 more LED lights ($2.2k), polaris cleaner ($1.3k), deep end 4' swim out ($3k), Jandy Aqualink RS4 computer control ($3.75k)

Patio: $60k
- includes 2000 sqft of new pavers @ 15ft ($30k), removal/regrade of old patio ($4.5k), 2 new sets of stairs ($15k), retaining wall ($10k)

TOTAL COSTS FOR POOL + PATIO (CONTRACTUAL): $123.5k

Additional costs (all estimates, not in official PB quote):
- Site engineer: $2.5k
- Permits: $1k
- Gas/fresh water line: $4k (run through unfinished basement to back of house)
- Electric: $3k (run through unfinished basement to back of house)
- Draining/seepage tanks: $7k
- Fence: $12k
- Sprinkler repair: ??
- Landscaping: ??

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED COSTS (ESTIMATED): $29.5k + sprinklers + landscaping

So with everything above we are looking at $153k + sprinklers + landscaping! Yikes.

Any suggestions?
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
392
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Ouch. Make sure you get quotes from multiple PBs. I know here the price magically goes up the nicer the neighborhood, and it looks like NJ pool builders may do that too.
 

malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
63
Middletown, NY
Nothing picked out yet but this PB uses Jandy equipment, so we’ll see what he recommends. I’ll post it here when we get to that stage.

If you are the DIY type (ie. you want to be able to replace a salt cell or a pump motor by yourself in the future) stay away from Jandy because their equipment is not readily available for sale online, and if it is there is no warranty (this is all stated on their website). Since you are using automation you are basically tied to using the same brand of equipment for replacements.
 

chazas

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 4, 2007
74
Manassas, VA
That seems really high for a vinyl pool - more than $62K, even before you get to the patio. Second the advice to get more bids. Then at least you'll know.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,476
Northern NJ
Here is where the estimated #s are coming out for the plan outlined above. The one change is that instead of embedded steps across full 20' of pool, we are doing 12' steps that start outside the pool rectangle. Would love some reactions on these numbers and where I can cut back since this is well north of my original budget.

20x40 vinyl pool: $41.5k
- includes 2 skimmers, 3 returns, jandy catridge filter, jandy flopro pump, rigid pvc, 1 LED light

Coping: $6.55k
- includes pavers set in concrete, 142'

Additional pool items: $15.25k
- includes: 12' step ($1.5k), jandy 400k gas heater ($3.5k), 2 more LED lights ($2.2k), polaris cleaner ($1.3k), deep end 4' swim out ($3k), Jandy Aqualink RS4 computer control ($3.75k)

Patio: $60k
- includes 2000 sqft of new pavers @ 15ft ($30k), removal/regrade of old patio ($4.5k), 2 new sets of stairs ($15k), retaining wall ($10k)

TOTAL COSTS FOR POOL + PATIO (CONTRACTUAL): $123.5k

Additional costs (all estimates, not in official PB quote):
- Site engineer: $2.5k
- Permits: $1k
- Gas/fresh water line: $4k (run through unfinished basement to back of house)
- Electric: $3k (run through unfinished basement to back of house)
- Draining/seepage tanks: $7k
- Fence: $12k
- Sprinkler repair: ??
- Landscaping: ??

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED COSTS (ESTIMATED): $29.5k + sprinklers + landscaping

So with everything above we are looking at $153k + sprinklers + landscaping! Yikes.

Any suggestions?
@jimmythegreek what do you think about these costs?
 

newpoolbuild

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2019
82
NY
I am paying similar amount w only 1400sqft patio on a 20x44’ inground vinyl including automatic pool cover. I hope the coping are set in concrete base. With retaining wall it’s hard to get 2 different ppl in to do pool and patio cuz of excavation has to be done during digging. Try to find a PB who doesn’t do patios.

Here is where the estimated #s are coming out for the plan outlined above. The one change is that instead of embedded steps across full 20' of pool, we are doing 12' steps that start outside the pool rectangle. Would love some reactions on these numbers and where I can cut back since this is well north of my original budget.

20x40 vinyl pool: $41.5k
- includes 2 skimmers, 3 returns, jandy catridge filter, jandy flopro pump, rigid pvc, 1 LED light

Coping: $6.55k
- includes pavers set in concrete, 142'

Additional pool items: $15.25k
- includes: 12' step ($1.5k), jandy 400k gas heater ($3.5k), 2 more LED lights ($2.2k), polaris cleaner ($1.3k), deep end 4' swim out ($3k), Jandy Aqualink RS4 computer control ($3.75k)

Patio: $60k
- includes 2000 sqft of new pavers @ 15ft ($30k), removal/regrade of old patio ($4.5k), 2 new sets of stairs ($15k), retaining wall ($10k)

TOTAL COSTS FOR POOL + PATIO (CONTRACTUAL): $123.5k

Additional costs (all estimates, not in official PB quote):
- Site engineer: $2.5k
- Permits: $1k
- Gas/fresh water line: $4k (run through unfinished basement to back of house)
- Electric: $3k (run through unfinished basement to back of house)
- Draining/seepage tanks: $7k
- Fence: $12k
- Sprinkler repair: ??
- Landscaping: ??

ADDITIONAL REQUIRED COSTS (ESTIMATED): $29.5k + sprinklers + landscaping

So with everything above we are looking at $153k + sprinklers + landscaping! Yikes.

Any suggestions?
 

petepool

Member
Sep 1, 2019
24
North NJ
thanks. I am actually considering having two different people do the pool/coping and patio, but i'm sure that adds a lot of complexity and potential finger pointing in the future. Note that the "retaining wall" here is really just a short knee-high wall for seating and to help with the small grade transition. Not a typical large retaining wall for a steep yard. If that makes a difference...
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,336
Morris Cnty NJ
The #s are high on all but the pool. The Polaris isn't needed, ditch the lights and get 3 regular lights with led bulbs or similar. The aqualink is high the heater is high as is the coping. All that pricing should be slightly higher BUt with gas line and electric if going thru house. Even site engineer isn't needed for basic build unless town requires it. What about the drain basins? For the town or is the grade nad? What town are you in? And realistically what can you live without? I hate to say it but spending 150 large in NJ on a pool is not worth it. Our season is 3 months and can be longer but its expensive to heat with gas to do so.