New Build Advice - DFW, Texas


New member
Jun 27, 2021
Hello TFP community,

I need some advice on a pool contract and to get a general idea of what you think of it. Dig is yet to start. It is a play/sport pool with 4” depth on either side going to 5.5” in the middle.

  • What do you think about the depth/size of pool?
  • What about equipment specs? I was considering changing it to Pentair line but wasn’t sure. I did ask about SWCG, but was recommended against it.
  • What do you think about the heater size? How would a hybrid or a heat pump version compare?
  • Plaster wise, currently I decided on Finest Finish Radiant Fusion either in Regal Blue or Blue Jay. Any idea how this compares to other alternatives? I feel the PebbleTec lines are too “busy.”
  • Coping I’m planning on changing to Travertine

Thank you for your input.

POOL SIZE: 16’ x 32’ Depth: 4’ to 5.5' Area: 480 Square Foot Perimeter: 102’ Linear Foot Shape: Rectangle

1. Contractor will supply pool layout plans (Attachment A) and obtain swimming pool construction permits
2. Contractor will lay out the pool at excavation
3. Contractor will excavate the pool and remove soil on the day of excavation only
* Refer to rock clause within Structural Guarantee numbered 13
4. Contractor will concrete-gunite reinforced steel structure
5. Contractor will meet or exceed city or county codes for gunite / concrete schedule
6. Contractor will install 6" X 6" standard frost-proof tile
7. Contractor will install Limestone Leuders coping
8. Contractor will plaster with waterproof Quartz Fusion (Color TBD by Client)
9. Contractor will install 10’6”L x 21”D x 18”T water feature wall with qty.5 water spouts.
10. Contractor will supervise construction
11. Contractor will provide concrete pad for pool equipment
12. Deluxe 18" curved nylon brush, skimmer, telescopic pole, test kit.
13. Start up, brush down and pH control for 5-7 days
14. Complete instruction on pool equipment and maintenance procedures

1. Filter: Cartridge Size: 580 Quantity: 1
2. Pump Model: Jandy Vari-Spd HP: 2.5 Quantity: 1
3. Feature Pump: Jandy Vari-Spd HP: 2.5 Quantity: 1
3. Heater Model: JXI400NK Quantity: 1
4. Pool light (UL Listed): LED Jandy Pool lights Watercolor Quantity: 2
5. Automatic Surface Skimmers with Brass Cover Quantity: 2
6. Automatic Cleaner: Polaris 3900 Quantity: 1
7. Booster Pump - Model: Polaris HP: 3/4 Quantity: 1
8. Automatic Timer: Jandy Aqualink RS-PS8 Quantity: 1
9. Sanitizer: Nature2Fusion Chlorinator Combo Quantity: 1
10. Dual Main Floor Drains

SPA SPECIFICATIONS (Includes Items 1-5)
Spa size: 7’ x 8' Area: 56 Sq. Ft. Perimeter: 30 Linear Foot / Number of Jets: 8
1. Raised 18”.
2. Spa light (UL Listed): LED Watercolor Quantity: 1
3. Spa Blower - Model: PSB215 HP: 1.5 Quantity: 1
4. Spillway type – Custom

1. All lines to be schedule 40 - PVC
2. All suction lines to be plumbed separately
3. P-Trap and backwash line - TBD
4. Pool fill line and pool overflow line to be stubbed
5. Gas line permit and gas line to heater: Natural
6. Gas line reroute: TBD Sewer reroute: TBD Sprinkler reroute: TBD

1. Electrical bonding of pool and GFCI installation
2. Electrical service from existing meter base to pool equipment
3. Electrical reroute: TBD Electrical sub-service panel: TBD


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

I would not even consider working with a pool builder who does not offer a saltwater pool. Just points out how little he knows about maintaining what he sells. :mrgreen:

I have the same "sports" pool depths, and it works for us, but keep in mind there is no diving allowed.

Good size filter
Good size pumps

Useless Mineral Sanitization system

Stone age, vacuum system, requiring a booster pump. 1960's tech.

If you have never been in a gunite spa, I urge you to try one, before you buy one. About 50% of buyer love them, but the other 50% almost never use them. A lot of money for something you might not like. Try one beforehand, just to make sure.


Jim R.


Gold Supporter
Feb 27, 2022
Pool Size
Liquid Chlorine
One, you want a SWCG. Texas builders are morons and for some reason tell every customer not to go that route. Ignore them, and go with a SWCG, and pick the biggest one (at least one rated for double the capacity of your pool) you can reasonably afford.

For as long as I have natural gas available, I will never have a heat pump. They take entirely too long, and with a built-in spa, it's a huge annoyance.

Do NOT put a mineral system in your pool.

Jandy is anti-DIY and you will be at the mercy of a JaNdY AuThORiZeD pool builder/maintainer (or eBay, like I am) if you ever have equpiment issues years from now. For that reason, I do not recommend Jandy under any circumstances. I will likely move to Pentair equipment in the future.

I personally do not follow the near-religious hatred of pressure side pool cleaners that many do on here, but I also would not put one in a brand new pool in 2022.

I personally love my built-in spa and would never get rid of it, but again, I'm seemingly the minority there. I think it's awesome. However, the reality is that many people don't use theirs more than a handful of times a year. Ours gets used constantly due to my fiance having serious joint issues that the heat helps with.

Our pool is very similar to what you're describing (except free-form), and I think the size is just fine for us, but we also don't have a huge family or giant pool parties.
Last edited:


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

We have many, many people here who love their integrated spas. But they love them because they use them, which makes perfect sense.

That said, if you have never been in a gunite spa, it would be like buying a car without a test drive, or shoes without knowing your shoes size.

I am not against integrated spas.. I am against buying something that has a 50% chance of never being used.

You might talk to your neighbors and see how many of them actually use their integrated spas.


Jim R.
  • Like
Reactions: dfwnoob


Bronze Supporter
Jun 14, 2021
Wylie, TX
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I have almost the exact same size pool, and equipment you are getting. See my build thread in my signature.

For depth, it you have kids or want to do cannon balls, 5 feet is not deep enough. I have 6 feet and can sometimes hit bottom jumping in the deep end. If this is important to you go deeper .. If it Did it over I would go 6.5-7 ft

Another vote for the saltwater Chloring generator. I am a first-time pool owner, and it makes it much easier to maintain. Also recommend removing the pressure side cleaner and go with a Dolphin robotic cleaner.

I have travertine coping and its very slippery when wet, I slipped a number of times and so has my kid..

Remove the nature 2 fusion.. It costs hundreds of dollars a year to replace the cartridge and its debatable if it even provides any benefit.

What is the reason for two pumps? Do you have a water feature?


Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
Greenville, Texas
Pool Size
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I had this pool almost exactly same size/depth wise in our last house (also in the DFW area). I did not like the depth but mainly because kids would inevitable jump in to the middle section because it is the deepest and with 32' adults on either of the shallow ends got splashed. Also by the time it is late July early August your water temp will be in the mid 90s. We are building a new pool that goes from 4'to 7' deep end. We put benches on both sides it is 38' long. So the kids can jump in all they want while the adults can hang out on the shallow side that has a tanning ledge and spa. Also hoping the extra depth will help with the water temp.

I really wanted a heat pump mainly because they can also chill the water but everyone I talked to about them in our area talked me out of it so we went with a gas heater but really only plan to use it for the spa.

Oh and we got talked out of a SWG in our last pool and every tie I had to go buy liquid chlorine and spend $4.50 a day putting it in the pool I regretted it. We are doing a SWG on our new pool. I literally just told the PBs when getting bids don't waste my time if you will not do it.
Last edited:


Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I have a 4-5-4 depth profile and really like it. 5.5' is slightly too deep because most people can't comfortably stand at that depth. Or, you can go with a true deep area.

Get a SWG. Delete any mineral system.

Ditch the pressure side cleaner and get a robot.

I would change to Pentair equipment.

Do you have a sketch of the design or 3D rendering?


Gold Supporter
Sep 13, 2010
Plano, TX
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I echo almost all the other sentiments here:
- go deeper. Mine is 6' and when doing a cannonball, I hit bottom.
- SWG is the way to go. That mineral system won't do anything for you but cause you problems. I honestly think the reason so many DFW builders are anti-salt / pro-mineral is that most of them also operate pool supply stores and are looking to be selling you a lot of "help" down the road. They know a good SWG is going to eat into their tablet sales.
- I have & like my pressure side cleaner, but am looking at the new robots for the future. I would suggest to have the line run, make sure it is at least 1.5" and if you don't do a pressure-side cleaner, could plumb in as a dedicated (hand) vacuum line (my planned future use for my pressure side line if I switch to a robot).
- You need, need, need to get them to be specific with the plumbing. How many drains, how many skimmers, how is the spa plumbed? What size of lines? This is your chance to get decent sized lines put in the ground to support better flow to take advantage of those variable speed pumps.
- Are you sharing equipment with the spa? Seperate heat and jets? Mine is old & just has 4 returns to the spa. It is not anything like you might expect from a "hot tub". If I were building from scratch, I'd consider a shared line with the pool in the lower portion of the spa for heat and daily chlorination / waterfall, but a dedicated pump and returns for the jets. There are lots of things that can be done with the jets now to make it more like a real hot tub if you're willing to spend the money on it & the builder is willing to do it.
- Jandy is the reason all the DIY'er friendly internet sales went away. They didn't like that cutting into their dealer network profit model and cut it off. That prompted the other big guys to do much the same. On the good side of things, nature abhors a vacuum. There will now be newer, more agile companies start trying to win business. I think the big three may have shot themselves in the foot with this move--the pool equipment industry is absolutely ripe for disruption & if I had a big pile of seed money, I'd be trying to take advantage of it.
...that said, Jandy makes some decent equipment, but so do Pentair. I have a mix of Pentair and Hayward stuff. I like the Hayward heaters and SWGs, and the Pentair everything else. Except valves. I like the Jandy valves.


Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
did ask about SWCG, but was recommended against it.
I always hate reading this because it just implies that something isn't quite right with that PB, and have a hard time getting comfortable with a builder who is in charge of this big, expensive, project, and I may not be able to trust their opinions. Recommends against it, but why? Because they want to sell stuff out of their stores...then that's just shady. Because they don't want to change with the times...what else are they stuck on doing that is not best practices any more? Because they think they are smarter then all the major pool product brands that manufacture, and warranty salt water products.... maybe not as bright as they thought?

Deluxe 18" curved nylon brush, skimmer, telescopic pole, test kit.
I do always like reading this in a proposal, but it does give me a chuckle. Not kit is "deluxe" as a start up kit, and the "test kit", or strips as well call them, are useless, but somehow they add this in a proposal as if it means something.

Pool light (UL Listed): LED Jandy Pool lights Watercolor Quantity: 2
With a 32' long pool, you probably are going to want more than just two lights. Probably at least three, but more than two.

Sanitizer: Nature2Fusion Chlorinator Combo Quantity: 1
See my first comment. Same applies

Do you have a sketch of the design or 3D rendering?
Also would like to see how this is all going to turn out, and curious if there are any updates. Been a while since the first post and a lot of good comments since then, but noting from the OP.


Active member
Oct 17, 2017
Driftwood, TX
Built 5 years ago in Austin area.

We were also told no salt so went with chlorine. Limestone leuder coping which has seen some deterioration in several areas.

Opted for robot cleaner because I don't like the pressure type cleaners in the pool all the time. Works well. Still plumbed for other just in case.

We are 15x30 rectangle. 3- 5.5 ft. I agree you want 3 lights. We have one at steps and 2 along one side.

We were sold a UV unit in our package. Mistake. I don't think it made any difference especially with TFP liquid chlorine method.

I recently added a heater. We are on propane so it was more convenient and cost effective for an electric heat pump. We got the model that also has a chiller which can knock a few degrees off in mid summer and keep the water temp below 90. If you get full sun all day like we do, with the depth you are considering, that can be beneficial. For heating, it doesn't heat fast (about 1-2 degrees per hour) but since we don't have a built in spa it works fine for us. We have a portable spa near the pool. Probably would not work well with built in spa.

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support