New Build in Central Texas - Patio Build Out

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
456
TX
Makes sense, although my goal here was to limit the daily attention needed. If I were to go LC, I'd want the Stenner (or Liquidator) to automate it ... but would be wasted $$ if I did that, then switched to SWG.

It sounds to me like the arguments on both side are anecdotal. No proof the salt does damage, but no proof it doesn't either.

Ive been away for awhile, but it seems like the mantra is that salt doesnt damage stone. There is absolutely scientific evidence that salt damages stone. Yes softer more porous stone is more susceptible. Essentially what happens is salt water enters the pores. As the water evaporates the salt crystalizes and expands. High heat/sun, lack of rain, and local limestone/leuders make pools in texas particular susceptible to this.

Ultimately the question is, is there enough salt in a saltwater pool to cause this effect. Does the accumulation of salt in a bleach pool have the same impact? I think pool builders around here have had enough warranty claims that they wont use salt water pools unless the coping is concrete. They dont have those warranty claims with the same stone and pucks (which are more the standard than liquid chlorine).

Most other areas of the country dont have our high heat, lack of rain, and limestone used as a building material of choice.

.


also stenner pumps can be quite high maintenance. Much more than a SWCG.
 

Stenner Tech Support

In The Industry
Apr 14, 2020
66
Florida
Ive been away for awhile, but it seems like the mantra is that salt doesnt damage stone. There is absolutely scientific evidence that salt damages stone. Yes softer more porous stone is more susceptible. Essentially what happens is salt water enters the pores. As the water evaporates the salt crystalizes and expands. High heat/sun, lack of rain, and local limestone/leuders make pools in texas particular susceptible to this.

Ultimately the question is, is there enough salt in a saltwater pool to cause this effect. Does the accumulation of salt in a bleach pool have the same impact? I think pool builders around here have had enough warranty claims that they wont use salt water pools unless the coping is concrete. They dont have those warranty claims with the same stone and pucks (which are more the standard than liquid chlorine).

Most other areas of the country dont have our high heat, lack of rain, and limestone used as a building material of choice.

.


also stenner pumps can be quite high maintenance. Much more than a SWCG.

Our pumps really only require tube changes **at least** annually - when pumping chlorine you may also want to routinely check your injection fitting for calcification. I've attached our basic service manual to answer any maintenance questions you may have.
 

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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
More progress on the coping. All the boulder coping is done, and 1/2 the waterfall is done. He also got all the flagstone cut and dry-fit.

It's really looking great! The mason is quite the artist ... we are VERY happy with his work :) His artistic eye, and attention to detail, is very refreshing to find in a sub. I'm actually hiring him to do some weekend work on the side, since I love his work so much. We're going to do a boulder outline of the 4 trees for a nice planter area, and a large flagstone deck in an arch from the deep-end step around to the deck step. You can se where he trenched down a bit to pour a footing. Also having him pour footings around the equipment, so I can build an enclosure, and have protection of the equipment, but also a place to store pool tools/equipment.

1597249267200.png


We extended the deep end step to span from the waterfall to the skimmer, as a 6ft step just looked strange. It'll be topped with flagstone, as the flagstone patio will meet up at the bottom of this step.

1597249606440.png

I also purchased some step lights for the mason to integrate into the mortar. I'll tie them into my landscaping light transformer, and think It'll definitely add a nice touch



The mason has done a great job in forming the flagstone around the curves and really minimizing the grout line sizes. I'm so glad we went with the "Select" package for a couple hundred dollars more, instead of standard flagstone which uses a lot of irregular broken pieces.

1597250172996.png


Our plan at this stage is to backfill along the waterfall, and then get some larger moss rocks to use behind it, to create more of a natural look/feel of the waterfall being there.

1597250294017.png


I also spoke to our construction manager today, and he said decking is scheduled for this Friday, SunDek for next Thursday, and plaster for the week after!

So we may be swimming by Aug 29th! I can't believe how quickly our job is moving, and smooth it's been running.

I only have two issues at the moment, which the construction manager said he will rectify.

One issue is the backflow preventer in the plumbing is placed between where the SWG will go and the inline chlorinator. He said it should have been installed before the SWG dummy cell.

1597250533621.png


The 2nd issue is the light installed in the tanning ledge. The pipe wasn't straight when they shot the gunite, so it's crooked. He said they would cut the pipe back and allow the light to sit deeper, and then use the plaster to fill in the side of the light that'll be set deeper in.

1597251717040.png


The mason doing the boulders, coping, tile and decking looked at it, and said he would rather chip out the gunite and fix the pipe than have the plaster dipping and bulging. He said it wouldn't be a problem pouring a concrete patch over it, and getting it to bond with the cured gunite.

The Gunite was installed on July 28th, so it's been curing for 2 weeks now. I'm not sure if it'll be a problem or not, but based on my experience with the mason thus far, I'm inclined to trust his judgement.

What do you think @Texas Splash? Who is the resident gunite expert who could provide some guidance on if chipping this out and patching it would cause an issue in the future?
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Here's a wider shot of the tanning ledge and light

1597252698950.png
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Honestly if it were me, I'd probably just tell them to scrap the inline chlorinator (may never use it anyways) and put the cell on that top run since it always seemed awkward down below at ground level anyways. Then that would free-up plenty of room down below for the backflow valve. Just a thought.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Honestly if it were me, I'd probably just tell them to scrap the inline chlorinator (may never use it anyways) and put the cell on that top run since it always seemed awkward down below at ground level anyways. Then that would free-up plenty of room down below for the backflow valve. Just a thought.
Ya, I thought about that ... but I think I want to keep it in there for "just in case".

My plan is to start off with trichlor tabs while the plaster cures and the PB is monitoring everything during that initial period. If I have any initial issues with the stone, coping, tile or decking, I don't want them to be able to blame salt. Then after a couple of months, once the CYA is up and the water stabilizes, I plan to switch over to the SWG.

For the piping, I'd thought they would have turned right as soon as it came out of the filter, then have a small section (with backflow preventer right there), then turn toward the house (put SWG in this section), then up, then right, then back out away from the house meeting up with the chlorinator. Then the SWG could go right next to the chlorinator, just flowing the other direction, and it would be at a better height than the dummy cell is now.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
You don't have a heater so it doesn't matter where your check valve is... you don't even need one there.

As for the light I would just get it as best as possible and contour the plaster to make it look like it was supposed to be that way
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You don't have a heater so it doesn't matter where your check valve is... you don't even need one there.
Thanks. If I were to add a heater in the future, where would the optimum placement be then?

As for the light I would just get it as best as possible and contour the plaster to make it look like it was supposed to be that way

That's what the construction manager initially wanted to do, but now he wants the mason to chip it out and adjust the PVC to be straight. If they do this, will the concrete patch have any issue bonding to the surrounding gunite? The mason said he would drill sideways in the hole to ensure he can tie in additional rebar to the surrounding structure. The shell has been curing for 16 days now.
 

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bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
Thanks. If I were to add a heater in the future, where would the optimum placement be then?



That's what the construction manager initially wanted to do, but now he wants the mason to chip it out and adjust the PVC to be straight. If they do this, will the concrete patch have any issue bonding to the surrounding gunite? The mason said he would drill sideways in the hole to ensure he can tie in additional rebar to the surrounding structure. The shell has been curing for 16 days now.

After the heater but before the chlorine feeder. If you only have a SWG then you don't need the check valve.

Moving the conduit shouldn't cause any issues.
 
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spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
564
Houston, TX
You are making alot of progress and it looks great !! I wish I could be swimming by the end of the month, but we are still waiting for dig date :(
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You are making alot of progress and it looks great !! I wish I could be swimming by the end of the month, but we are still waiting for dig date :(

Definitely impressed by the speed at which it is moving! Even my construction manager said he rarely sees a project move this fast, which is quite amazing considering the state of pool building right now.

I guess having no HOA, no permits, no spa, and a fairly simple design (meaning no raised bond beam, no multiple sheer decents, no heater, minimal decking, etc, etc ..) is working in our favor. Plus I have to say, our construction manager has been rock solid, anticipating everything well ahead of time. As an example, he called the gunite sub 2.5 weeks before he thought we would be ready, and told them we were ready at that time. They put my job on the schedule, and it landed exactly where it needed to be (6 days after plumbing was completed). So he's definitely mastered the art of predicting the schedule dates.

Not to mention all of our subs have been great as well. Minus the two issues above (check valve placement and the light being crooked), we haven't run into any other issues along the way.

I suppose the fact I work from home (since 2010 though, not due to Covid), helps too. I've definitely caught several things as the subs were working, and was able to correct it real time ... otherwise we would have had many more issues which would have required rework and schedule delays.
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
564
Houston, TX
Our main delay so far seems to be with all of the contractors being so busy, or that is what we are being told. We should have a dig date of the 24th, so hopefully we will be moving along soon . My wife and I also both work from home full time so hopefully we can keep it moving along. Having been in project management most of my career I have learned how to plan ahead and avoid delays, hopefully that will come in handy.
 

Jimmie48

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2019
143
Frisco, TX
Love your build progress. Question on the light is the beam pattern level with where you want it to throw? If you end up moving the conduit will that change it? That seems like a lot of feathering the plaster but I am not an expert by far. Are you still watering your gunite in this Texas heat? I would honestly error on the side of caution with the heat wave we are having...I know we are not getting much rain in DFW and its blazin. If I had bare gunite a couple weeks old I would still be watering but will leave that question to the experts. Looking great though!

FYI on the pavers...we are loving having pavers and I really like the fact that they dont have to be "perfectly" level everywhere...gives us a bit of a rustic look imo. I have 2 neighbors one on each side of me that both have 10yr old pools or so and both have cracks in their concrete. Our soil is junk btw up here in DFW area, so I am happy I will not have that problem and could reset some pavers if I need to. Just my 2c.

Looking great!
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Love your build progress.
Thanks! Were really excited about the completion. The guys are out there right now working the deck concrete, and installing the waterline tile as well. I'll have an update on progress later today :)

Question on the light is the beam pattern level with where you want it to throw? If you end up moving the conduit will that change it? That seems like a lot of feathering the plaster but I am not an expert by far.

We have 3 lights, and this one would be fine with it moving to the right, just due to how the other two lights are positioned. Good point though, to consider the throw and coverage of the 3 lights ... The mason actually mentioned it too, but then he realized I had two other lights in the pool, and have great coverage between the three.

Are you still watering your gunite in this Texas heat? I would honestly error on the side of caution with the heat wave we are having...I know we are not getting much rain in DFW and its blazin. If I had bare gunite a couple weeks old I would still be watering but will leave that question to the experts. Looking great though!

I am not watering the gunite anymore. We did it for 10 days, and then the coping and other work started, so I stopped at that point. Today makes 17 days since the gunite was shot, so I hope we're good to go now. No issues have presented yet :)

FYI on the pavers...we are loving having pavers and I really like the fact that they dont have to be "perfectly" level everywhere...gives us a bit of a rustic look imo. I have 2 neighbors one on each side of me that both have 10yr old pools or so and both have cracks in their concrete. Our soil is junk btw up here in DFW area, so I am happy I will not have that problem and could reset some pavers if I need to. Just my 2c.

By pavers, do you mean our coping? If so, that's Oklahoma flagstone; it's just really dusty in the pictures, so it may look like concrete pavers. When cleaned up, they have some great browns/golds in them, and blend very nicely with the moss rock.
 
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Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Another very productive day completed by the mason and crew! The deck was poured today, waterline tile was installed, and more progress on shaping the waterfall. The light was also chipped out and realigned so it'll be flush with the tanning ledge step now.

We expect the mason to finish up on Tuesday, with grout for the tile, patching the tanning ledge light, finishing the waterfall details, and the last few pieces of flagstone at the deep end step and ledge.

1597438813868.png


The tile really picks up some of the colors from the flagstone, and will work well to tie in the pebble color too.

1597438703949.png


I'm really glad we went with the pour-a-lid covers! I love how they blend with the decking.

1597438606900.png


We're going to use moss rock on top of this footer, to create a planter where the 4 trees are. On this side of the footer, will be flagstone decking, stretching from the deck step (on the right) all the way to the deep end pool step (on the left).

1597438977199.png


I had him pour another footer over here by the waterfall, to build a small retaining wall out of the moss rock, and then backfill behind it and the waterfall. The small moss rock retaining wall will prevent the backfill dirt from washing down onto the flagstone patio when it rains, but will also be a nice design touch. You can also see the conduit I had him place into the long step, for low voltage under-step deck lights.

1597439101450.png


The waterfall is really taking shape now. He had initially created just 4 rows of rocks, staggered top to bottom. But we thought it was too obvious of a pattern, and wanted something more organic and natural looking. So he started adding small pieces, to break up the pattern. It really makes it look a lot more natural now. He only has a few more pieces to add on the right side to complete the look. I think I also may have him add one more small piece on the far left, to ease the slope down to the deep end flagstone coping which will go on top of where the tile is ...

1597439347295.png


So he'll be back on Tuesday to finish up his work, and then SunDek is scheduled for Thursday.
 

Stoopalini

Gold Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
493
Central Texas
Pool Size
14060
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
More progress :)

The waterfall is now ready for the cap

1597927528991.png


The waterline tile is now grouted, and the trim tile has started installation. They also got the light angle fixed (so it's flush with the ledge now), and the gunite has been patched where they chipped out for the light.

1597927661217.png


The final coping was put into place at the deep-end bench/exit, and flagstone is now in place on the large step. I also had him install these lights, which I think look awesome! I'm using SCH40 PVC for conduit all around the pool (and under the decking), which is why you see pipe in the picture. This will be bent to follow the curve of the step, and placed under the flagstone patio which will extend out from the step into the yard and around to the deck.

1597927860576.png


The SunDek folks are supposed to come today and start their work, with pebble still on track for next week :)
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Agree, the Pour-a-lids look great, not to mention the whole project!
 
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