New build in Bellaire

LigjtninB

Member
Oct 8, 2020
12
Bellaire, TX
We are choosing a builder in Bellaire, TX. I’ve been doing some reading here for a while now, and it’s been incredibly helpful. I’m hoping that everyone can give us some tips as we look at these quotes. I’ve tried to rearrange the actual quotes to make it apples to apples, but the result is a bit of a mixed bag still. We are definitely leaning towards PB1, and we would really appreciate any advice.

We had a pool at our last house that was there when we purchased it, but this is our first build. That was an older pool (snub nose brick coping, white plaster), and we replaced almost every part of it. So, durability is important to us.

We probably want to change the depth. I really want a deep end that's deeper than 5', ideally at least 6'. We're also considering having the shallow end at 4' instead of 3'6". We've gotten some pushback on this, I think because it's not a huge pool.

In anticipation of some comments, we know that people here are really big on SWG. Our house and patio are brick, and we just don't think it's a good fit for us. Also, I know a lot of people don't love the in-floor cleaning system. We've looked into it, and we think it's the right thing for us. My wife is adamant that she wants as little cleaning as possible for us to deal with. We don't have big tree overhangs or anything that drops a lot of leaves or debris in our backyard, so hopefully this will work for us.

I know that there's some detail missing in some of this. I'm in the process of going back and trying to get more information where we need it. I'm sure there's lots that we need help with, so thank you in advance!

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
774
Katy TX
Hi fellow Texan,
Welcome to TFP and pool ownership. I am a little confused on your comment
we know that people here are really big on SWG. Our house and patio are brick, and we just don't think it's a good fit for us.
Are you concerned about damage due to salt in the air? In a new pool a SWG should be a key consideration knowing that the alternative is use of pucks (which raise CYA over time) or use of Liquid Chlorine (which takes commitment to dose daily either manually or via automatic injection system).
I am sure others will chime in on this. Other parts look good with regard to Pentair equipment.
I cannot comment on IFCS as I do not have one but I did rent a vacation house in Florida that had it and I stubbed my toe numerous times so just be aware of that issue.
 

guinness

Well-known member
May 3, 2019
553
California
A couple of points regarding automation on PB1 & PB3. I think Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro main pump is dual speed, if so you should instead look for a variable speed IntelliFlo/IntelliPro to work best with automation. Likewise for PB3 confirm that main pump is IntelliFlo and instead of the older EasyTouch/ScreenLogic get the newer IntelliCenter which should be close in price.
 

LigjtninB

Member
Oct 8, 2020
12
Bellaire, TX
Hi fellow Texan,
Welcome to TFP and pool ownership. I am a little confused on your comment

Are you concerned about damage due to salt in the air? In a new pool a SWG should be a key consideration knowing that the alternative is use of pucks (which raise CYA over time) or use of Liquid Chlorine (which takes commitment to dose daily either manually or via automatic injection system).
I am sure others will chime in on this. Other parts look good with regard to Pentair equipment.
I cannot comment on IFCS as I do not have one but I did rent a vacation house in Florida that had it and I stubbed my toe numerous times so just be aware of that issue.
We are concerned about saltwater getting on the patio which will be near the pool. The wall of our detached garage and also a half wall between the house and the garage are also brick and will be fairly close to the pool. The patio is the main concern. My wife is very opposed to SWG (though we’ve considered/debated it).

We understand that chlorine means pucks and CYA or liquid chlorine. We had a chlorine pool at our last house.
 

LigjtninB

Member
Oct 8, 2020
12
Bellaire, TX
A couple of points regarding automation on PB1 & PB3. I think Sta-Rite Max-E-Pro main pump is dual speed, if so you should instead look for a variable speed IntelliFlo/IntelliPro to work best with automation. Likewise for PB3 confirm that main pump is IntelliFlo and instead of the older EasyTouch/ScreenLogic get the newer IntelliCenter which should be close in price.
Thank you. I did ask PB1 about the pump. He clarified that it’s the Intellipro variable speed. I need to get it clarified in the quote before we sign anything.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
774
Katy TX
Several other points and confirmation of some points you clarified.
PB1 said main pool pump will be Intellipro VS which is made by Pentair. Just wondering if he will consider changing the heater to a Pentair 400? If you go with the Pentair Intellicenter (not sure you have confirmed that) they say it is best if all the equipment is by same mfg. Not critical but thought I would highlight this since he change the pump mfg. Plus he already has listed Pentair lights and Pentair Valves (not sure if that includes the actuators)

It is great that the water feature will have its own circulation system as denoted by its specific pump and drains.

It indicates 2 skimmers. I suggest to have each be independently plumbed back to the equipment pad with each having a valve. This provides better control for skimming. It does show "2 inch direct piping from each skimmer" - just be sure they do it all the way back to the equipment pad and not join them together underground and only have 1 up pipe to the equipment pad.

I assume the separate cleaner pump is for the IFCS or have you decided to consider a pressure side cleaner or a robot? I have lots of trees (actually my neighbors but it falls into my pool) and I find my pressure side cleaner does a great job. Just a thought. Though most will say to go with a robot.

Keep us posted on which builder you select and when you plan to start. Good Luck.
 
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LigjtninB

Member
Oct 8, 2020
12
Bellaire, TX
Several other points and confirmation of some points you clarified.
PB1 said main pool pump will be Intellipro VS which is made by Pentair. Just wondering if he will consider changing the heater to a Pentair 400? If you go with the Pentair Intellicenter (not sure you have confirmed that) they say it is best if all the equipment is by same mfg. Not critical but thought I would highlight this since he change the pump mfg. Plus he already has listed Pentair lights and Pentair Valves (not sure if that includes the actuators)

It is great that the water feature will have its own circulation system as denoted by its specific pump and drains.

It indicates 2 skimmers. I suggest to have each be independently plumbed back to the equipment pad with each having a valve. This provides better control for skimming. It does show "2 inch direct piping from each skimmer" - just be sure they do it all the way back to the equipment pad and not join them together underground and only have 1 up pipe to the equipment pad.

I assume the separate cleaner pump is for the IFCS or have you decided to consider a pressure side cleaner or a robot? I have lots of trees (actually my neighbors but it falls into my pool) and I find my pressure side cleaner does a great job. Just a thought.

Keep us posted on which builder you select and when you plan to start. Good Luck.
Thanks. As I understand it Sta Rite and Pentair now have common ownership and are mostly the same, so hopefully it all works together. I’ll confirm though.

I believe cleaner pump is for IFCS.

We really like PB1 and will probably go with them if we can clarify everything.

One interesting point is that PB3 wants to put in piers. I asked why, and they said just because of the clay soils here in Htown they do piers for all of their pools. Apparently that’s $6k of the cost. I think that may be unnecessary as our house hasn’t had any foundation issues and has been here a while, but I want to ask PB1 about that.
 

LigjtninB

Member
Oct 8, 2020
12
Bellaire, TX
Several other points and confirmation of some points you clarified.
PB1 said main pool pump will be Intellipro VS which is made by Pentair. Just wondering if he will consider changing the heater to a Pentair 400? If you go with the Pentair Intellicenter (not sure you have confirmed that) they say it is best if all the equipment is by same mfg. Not critical but thought I would highlight this since he change the pump mfg. Plus he already has listed Pentair lights and Pentair Valves (not sure if that includes the actuators)

It is great that the water feature will have its own circulation system as denoted by its specific pump and drains.

It indicates 2 skimmers. I suggest to have each be independently plumbed back to the equipment pad with each having a valve. This provides better control for skimming. It does show "2 inch direct piping from each skimmer" - just be sure they do it all the way back to the equipment pad and not join them together underground and only have 1 up pipe to the equipment pad.

I assume the separate cleaner pump is for the IFCS or have you decided to consider a pressure side cleaner or a robot? I have lots of trees (actually my neighbors but it falls into my pool) and I find my pressure side cleaner does a great job. Just a thought. Though most will say to go with a robot.

Keep us posted on which builder you select and when you plan to start. Good Luck.
PB1 did confirm that the two skimmers will be independently plumbed back to the equipment pad, not joined underground.

I think we will likely go with PB1. Working on some final details.

One big decision is whether we want to put piers in under the pool. With our clay soils here, we do get some movement, though we haven't seen much with our house. It's an expensive add, though. We are weighing the pros/cons of up front spend vs wait and see and spend money to fix later if needed.
 

LigjtninB

Member
Oct 8, 2020
12
Bellaire, TX
PB1 clarified the model numbers for the pumps:

Pool/Spa Pump: Sta Rite Intelli Pro VSF Pump - 013004

Cleaner Pump: Sta Rite Max E Pro, 1 HP Pump - P6E6E206L

Water-Feature Pump: Sta Rite Max E Pro, 1 HP Pump- P6E6E206L

Blower: Silencer 1.5 HP - 6315241

We are leaning towards PB1.

Need to figure out how to comply with the local fencing requirements (6'). We currently have a brick wall along the breezeway that will separate the pool from the driveway to the detached garage that's a little over 4' tall. Probably need to add wrought iron on top.

I think we are not going to do piers, but we haven't made a final decision.
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
774
Katy TX
With regard to the 6ft fence. One idea is to remove the brick wall between your pool and driveway and simply put a gate on your driveway. You have to open and close the gate each time you depart/return but it opens up the space of your pool and driveway. I have seen many driveways like that in the neighborhood however most had just a wooden 4ft fence, not brick as you do.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,047
Tallahassee, FL
Some people have put in watering systems on their houses and pool areas. The idea is to keep the clay kind of moist so it does not dry out and shift.

Kim:kim:
 

LigjtninB

Member
Oct 8, 2020
12
Bellaire, TX
With regard to the 6ft fence. One idea is to remove the brick wall between your pool and driveway and simply put a gate on your driveway. You have to open and close the gate each time you depart/return but it opens up the space of your pool and driveway. I have seen many driveways like that in the neighborhood however most had just a wooden 4ft fence, not brick as you do.
Thanks. Bellaire does not allow the use of a driveway gate as part of the pool fencing.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
547
Houston, TX
One interesting point is that PB3 wants to put in piers. I asked why, and they said just because of the clay soils here in Htown they do piers for all of their pools. Apparently that’s $6k of the cost. I think that may be unnecessary as our house hasn’t had any foundation issues and has been here a while, but I want to ask PB1 about that.
We are not really very far from you in Summerwood and also have clay soil. We talked to 8 different pool builders and none of them suggested piers on our pool. Also with our builder, and most others that I have seen, there is a lifetime warranty one the shell. If it does have any issues later on it should be covered. I would ask about the warranty for sure. The only thing I am concerned with on our pool is if we do have an issue later on the builder may be out of business. We went with a smaller company that has been in the area for over 30 years, but it is a one man operation and the guy is a complete moron that I would never do business with again.
 

hosseisemi

Member
Oct 20, 2020
7
Montgomery, TX
We are bidding a pool that is nearly identical in size at 16 ft x 26 ft and is 400 sq ft and 88 perimeter. This is in the North Houston/Montgomery area on Lake Conroe. Pricing is in line with the quotes we've received (4 so far) and one builder is including piers. We are doing a SW pool instead of Ozone sanitization and will use robotics for cleaning instead of infloor. One though on depth as we wanted 4 to 6 ft. Lay out a tape measure the length of the pool and pick up one end the difference between shallow and deep. It will shock you when you see how aggressive the slope is. We elected to go 4 to 5-1/2 ft for that reason. Can't speak to your equipment selection as the package that is lumped in is Hayward. I like the fact that the pump being offered had a 4 yr warranty, though I've read Pentair is a solid choice. Good luck. I'll be following as I am planning to sign this week.