Need help planning a build in Richardson, Tx

HooverDFW

Member
Jun 11, 2020
9
Dallas, Texas
Hello all - this site is awesome! Over the past few months I've soaked in more than I ever thought possible about designing/building/maintaining pools. And looking for your help as we start the process to build.

Below is what I drafted for what we would like to build - there are pics of the my SketchUp mock up of the pool and of our actual yard. We have started to get a few estimates from local builders, which have ranged from $115k - $157k. Those have included a covered patio roof which I have decided build later. So removing that should reduce the cost by about $15k but even then all the estimates are still above $100k. Originally we were hoping to budget around $80k but realizing that getting under $100k with this design might not be possible without reducing the size.

I am looking for any input on the design - (maintenance considerations, usability, ways to reduce cost, etc). Few things to consider... we are trying to keep as much yard as possible, so placing the pool and deck to the one end as much as possible. And we have two boys and a girl all under four - they are already very active and know we'll only be more active in the future. Let me know if you think this pool is "too big". We are not looking for anything crazy big or fancy, just want to make sure we have enough room to enjoy it. Thanks!!
  • 147 linear feet perimeter (pool & spa)
  • 1030 sq ft area (pool & spa)
  • About 1200sqft of concrete deck - can be standard (brushed or salt finish)
  • 18" elevation drop from house to back fence
  • 80ft of pool fence
  • Diving board
  • Yard irrigation rerouted
  • Coping of pre-cast concrete - just want it to be straight, clean, durable, economic
  • Plaster - looking for a quartz with medium color (or possibly PebbleSheen)
  • Color lights (prefer multiple nicheless lights such as Pentair Microbrites - i.e. 4 in pool, 2 on tanning ledge, 1 in spa)
  • Thinking 3 bubblers on the ledge
  • Saltwater generator chlorination - i.e. Pentair IntelliChlor IC60
  • Electronic controls - interested in Pentair Intellicenter automation
  • Variable speed pump - i.e. Pentair Intelliflo
  • Heater - i.e. Jandy JXi (or Pentair equivalent if brand needs to match)
  • Sand filter - i.e. Pentair TR-100 (or possibly a cartridge)
  • Robot cleaner - i.e. Dolphin M500 (not planning to have booster pump or plumbing for pressure cleaner)
  • Was originally going to include a covered patio (17ft x 15ft) extending off the roof but have decided to build that later once the pool is complete. Might end up have footers poured with the deck, then doing it myself.
606 St Lukes Pool Dimensions (lights and skimmers.jpg
606 St Lukes Pool 2.JPG
606 St Lukes Pool 3.JPG
606 St Lukes Pool 4.JPG
606 St Lukes Backyard 1.jpg
606 St Lukes Backyard 2.jpg
606 St Lukes Backyard 3.jpg
606 St Lukes Backyard 4.jpg
 
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TexasRain

Well-known member
May 19, 2020
119
San Antonio, TX
LOVE that shelf! :love: What water depth are you thinking for the shelf? I am looking at getting mine even with 2nd step, between 12"-16" water depth. Also are you planning on having any bubblers or returns on the shelf to help move that water around and keep it a little cooler?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,119
Bedford, TX
Hoover,

I don't think it is too big... But need to know how may gallons it will hold..

I am not a fan of the "notch" for the bench seat.. I suggest the you put a swim out bench in each corner of the deep end.. it will look better and won't be in the way.

Have you ever been in a gunite spa? Only ask because you really need to try one before you buy one.

In my area DE and Sand filters must be plumed into the sanitary drain.. This may or may not be possible depending on your sewer's location.

Everything else looks pretty good to me.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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HooverDFW

Member
Jun 11, 2020
9
Dallas, Texas
LOVE that shelf! :love: What water depth are you thinking for the shelf? I am looking at getting mine even with 2nd step, between 12"-16" water depth. Also are you planning on having any bubblers or returns on the shelf to help move that water around and keep it a little cooler?
Thanks! We’re thinking to have the water on the shelf at 9” deep. We might consider going deeper but then would probably need to add a step to get down to the shelf. And yes, thinking 3 bubblers... will add that to the list above.
 
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HooverDFW

Member
Jun 11, 2020
9
Dallas, Texas
Hoover,

I don't think it is too big... But need to know how may gallons it will hold..

I am not a fan of the "notch" for the bench seat.. I suggest the you put a swim out bench in each corner of the deep end.. it will look better and won't be in the way.

Have you ever been in a gunite spa? Only ask because you really need to try one before you buy one.

In my area DE and Sand filters must be plumed into the sanitary drain.. This may or may not be possible depending on your sewer's location.

Everything else looks pretty good to me.

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks so much Jim! Based on the calculation in SketchUp it should hold about 33k gallons.

Point taken on the “notch”, I’ll adjust to inlclude the benches on each side of the deep end. Any tips on how big... 3’-4’ long and 18” deep?

Our neighbor has a 6’x8’ finite spa. We have liked it whenever we’ve used it. Theirs is level with the pool and ours would be raised 18” (he said it can be harder to heat if the pool level is high).

Our city does require sand filters to be plumbed to the sanitary drain, but our sewer cleanout is only ~20ft from the equipment pad so should be fine. Only thing is that one builder said they only install cartridge for residential. I’m not opposed to cartridge, but read that sand (especially with glass media) will filter better. Any tiebreaker to tip me to one or another?
 

HooverDFW

Member
Jun 11, 2020
9
Dallas, Texas
Also, concerning the diving board. I’m looking at the Salt Pool Jump System from SRSmith. But see in the manual that the deck pad must be a minimum of 4’ wide and 8’ long (away from pool). We will only have 5’-6’ from the fence to the pool. Any idea if that is enough space to install a diving board?
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
647
Katy TX
This is a great layout. Lots of space and still have yard for playtime. The tanning ledge/sun shelf is nice and spacious. You may want to have a umbrella sleeve (or 2) on the shelf for little ones to play under in heat of the day. I have a Pentair Filter (DE) and Pentair 400btu heater - both work great and most say it is best to keep all same equipment manufacturer if you have Intellicenter controller (I have not upgraded to that yet). We have Primera Stone pebble by Wet Edge Technology. It was hand sanded after installation for smooth finish. We also added some small glass shells in it that glisten in the sun. We have it in pool as well as spa and really enjoy the finish. Ensure your subcontractor is authorized installer for whatever plaster you decide as this affects warranty longterm. I see the 2 skimmers but no mention of bottom drain. Will you have a separate water feature anywhere? If not now, you may want to plan for it (if that is a future option) by laying pipework and space on the equipment pad for another pump. We have a waterfall that has its dedicated intake and pump that flows into the pool. Just something to think about for the future. Have fun.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,119
Bedford, TX
ut read that sand (especially with glass media) will filter better.
Hoover,

In my opinion that is all Magic and no Wabbit... :mrgreen:

Total bull, not sure where you read that except from someone trying to sell over-priced glass.. Sand filters with sand are just fine.

I have a large cartridge filter and love it, but it is a little like "My Ford is better than your Chevy" kind of thing.

On the swim outs I would make them whatever size suits you.. I would make it a semi-circle joining the back wall with the side wall..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,697
Tallahassee, FL
Thinking 3 bubblers on the ledge
If you are looking to save some money this is a good place. Bubblers are more like party toys than anything else. Used every once in a while then no more after the novelty wears off.

Spa placement-I worry about you not being able to see over it into the pool. With kids you HAVE to be able see every inch of it when you are relaxing by the pool. I would think about flip/flopping it and the shelf. BUT one thing wrong with that is if, down the road, you decide to remove the fence..........then the spa will block the view from the house into the pool.

Lets talk depth of the shallow end. How deep are you thinking of for it?
 
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HooverDFW

Member
Jun 11, 2020
9
Dallas, Texas
If you are looking to save some money this is a good place. Bubblers are more like party toys than anything else. Used every once in a while then no more after the novelty wears off.

Spa placement-I worry about you not being able to see over it into the pool. With kids you HAVE to be able see every inch of it when you are relaxing by the pool. I would think about flip/flopping it and the shelf. BUT one thing wrong with that is if, down the road, you decide to remove the fence..........then the spa will block the view from the house into the pool.

Lets talk depth of the shallow end. How deep are you thinking of for it?
For the bubblers, we have just assumed that it would be nice to have them on the ledge. But I guess we could put a couple returns up there.
Good point on the spa placement. Agree that either way it will block the view some. Will think through the trade offs on that.
For depth, thinking 3’6” (4’ from top of coping) shallow end and 8’6” deep end. And maybe have the shallow transition from 3’6” to 4’ where it starts to slope to the deep end. Thoughts?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,697
Tallahassee, FL
I would do NO LESS than 3'6" but will say 4' is even better in the long run. Measure where 4' of WATER will hit you. Like that you are already thinking about the WATER depth. 4' is better for a good crawl stroke and playing Watermelon Ball (look this game up! It is the best pool game out there!). It will also ease the transition from the shallow to the deep.

A return will work to mix the water and push stuff off the shelf much better than the bubblers. The bubblers will just push the stuff to the back of the shelf.

Spa-maybe have it bumped up a bit but not that high?? Sit in one of those chairs and have a board propped up at 18", 12", etc to see which one you think you can see over while sitting on the patio area.
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
113
Chicagoland
I like the layout of the back yard a lot. I really like that you already have the privacy fence around the yard, and adding some kind of aluminum fence to close off the pool area.

We made the decision to add a fence to the pool area as well, I just like the safety aspect of keeping the area "off limits" if you will, for the kids, if they are back playing in the yard, but not the pool. We will have some room in the yard left for the kids to play in, and maybe don't need to keep such as close an eye on them if they are in the play yard, and out of the fenced area where the pool is.

I'm guessing you will also have to "re-route" your lights that you have strung up in the back yard. I like the look of these, but guessing you will not have them strung up over the pool.

Looking forward to the updates.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
391
Houston, TX
I like the design of the pool. One thing though, have you checked into your easements and restrictions? We are not allowed to build 7 feet from the back fence and 3 feet from the side fence where there is a neighboring property in our neighborhood here in Houston.
 

HooverDFW

Member
Jun 11, 2020
9
Dallas, Texas
@kimkats @Jimrahbe ...and anyone else!

Well I have spent the last few days re-working the design. The feedback here has helped a lot. My main goal with the changes was to reduce cost by having less perimeter feet, but we actually like the design better. For example, the spa no longer blocks the view, the ledge goes along the side of most of the pool, and have included a step-down in the deck. Deep end bench is in the pool now. Filter will be cartridge. I have the sides of the deck as narrow as possible while still being comfortable, so that we can preserve the yard. Wondering if the spa is too far from the equipment pad now? Will the microbrites be bright enough? What size pump for this many gallons?

Let me know of any suggestions or input on this version! Below are updated details and pics.
  • 126 linear feet perimeter (pool & spa)
  • 956sqft area (908sqft pool & 48sqft spa)
  • 35k gallon pool / 950 gallon spa
  • Raised 6'x8' spa (design has 12" raised with two spillovers)
  • About 1050sqft of concrete deck (includes a step down, poured retaining walls, turndown on far end, and removing ~150sqfr of existing patio)
  • ~18" elevation drop from house to back fence (thinking to have a step down off the patio)
  • Decking can be standard brushed concrete
  • Coping can be pre-cast concrete (whatever is straight, clean, durable, economic) - considered benefits of limestone but trying to avoid the increased cost
  • 3ft bench in deep end corner (with radius)
  • Plaster - looking for a quartz with medium color (or possibly PebbleSheen)
  • 5 umbrella sleeves (3 on ledge, two on deck)
  • 2 bubblers on ledge (still considering using returns instead)
  • Two skimmers. Pair of pool drains. Pair of spa drains.
  • Overflow drain
  • Fill line plumbed to pool from hose bib
  • Depth - Ledge water level will be 9" deep. Shallow end will start at 3'6" (water level) but start sloping slightly deeper so that it's not too shallow. Deep end will be 8'6" (water level).
  • Diving board
  • Yard irrigation rerouted
  • Color lights (prefer multiple nicheless lights such as Pentair Microbrites)
  • Saltwater generator chlorination - i.e. Pentair IntelliChlor IC60
  • Electronic controls - interested in Pentair Intellicenter automation
  • Variable speed pump - i.e. Pentair Intelliflo
  • Heater - i.e. Pentair MasterTemp
  • Blower for spa - what goes well with the Pentair equipment?
  • Cartridge filter - i.e. Pentair Clean & Clear Plus 520
  • Robot cleaner - i.e. Dolphin M500 - could buy myself if needed (not planning to have booster pump or plumbing for pressure cleaner)
  • Was considering a covered patio but decided to hold off and build that later (removed it from my design)
  • Planning to purchase 80ft of pool fence myself and not from builder - leaning toward mesh but want to make sure gates work well
606 St Lukes - Pool 1 - Dimensions.jpg606 St Lukes - Pool 2.jpg
606 St Lukes - Pool 3.jpg
606 St Lukes - Pool 4.jpg
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,697
Tallahassee, FL
NAILED it!!! Now that is the purrfect pool for that area!!!!! Can I "lock" you in on it??? This address everything! Full swimming lane and no blocked sight lines! SWEET!
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
113
Chicagoland
I like the new design as well, of course I did like the first one.

My only question would be do you need that extra light on the short side wall of the shallow end, that faces the diving board? You have four lights along the back wall, one in the spa, and one on the ledge. You did not have a light there in the first design, and all the other lights seem to be pointed away from the house. Probably not a lot of money there in one light, just something I was curious about.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,119
Bedford, TX
Hoover,

I also like it.. But, just to nit pick...

The larger and more spillover places you have on the spa, the faster your pump will need to run to get the water to actually spillover into the pool.

I think limestone is a poor choice for coping.

Sorry, I can't help with the lights as I have a single white bulb. :mrgreen: Keep in mind, that for every light you want to individually control, you will need a relay and a transformer. If you want all the lights to be the same color and on at the same time, then you only need one relay.. You need to figure out how you want to lights to work, before buying the automation.

Any blower will work with the IntelliCenter, it will just need a relay in your IntelliCenter automation..

You equipment pad will need a light above it.. That is another relay.

I'd add two more relays as spares as you never know what you might want to add later.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
391
Houston, TX
Love the design!! One thing I would add would be more umbrella holders. We are adding one in the hot tub, and a few on each side to be able to shade part of the pool during the hottest part of the day. We don't want to have to run a chiller to keep water temp down and are hoping the extra shade will help. Our builder is only charging $20 each for umbrella holders, so it seems like it is worthwhile.