New build in PA


Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
Well, I'm back...
This is actually a resurrection of a previous thread. Originally this build was to start last spring, but when it became apparent that we would lose the swim season, we opted to use our existing pool for the summer, and push the build back until fall. Well, here we are! Potentially, we'll start in about 15 days.

First, some background.... My wife and I purchased our house in the east suburbs of Pittsburgh about 7 years ago. 2 kids, a 14 year old and a 6 year old. We entertain a lot and we're that home that friends, family, kid's friends and teammates, school fundraising mtgs, football parties, etc. always seem to end up. We'd have it no other way.
We bought the house knowing that sooner or later we were going to 'blow up" the back yard, even though there was an existing (very) small in ground pool.

At any rate, this is what we're doing. I'd appreciate any feedback or comments, as we have a meeting scheduled with the PB in a few days to finalize.

Freeform pool, approx 880 sq.ft. depth: 3.5' to 8'
48" steel walls
28 mil liner
Solid concrete floor, 1/4' foam on walls, 1/2' foam on steps and shallow floor
'Fractured face' concrete coping
100% stone backfill french drains pool parimeter + 30'

Pentair 3hp vsp Intelliflo pump
StaRite PLM 300 cartridge filter
Pentair IC40 SWC generator (Should I bump up to the 60, or will the 40 be sufficient?)
Heat syphon 5.75hpo heat pump
Pentair 521213 load center w/ Intellichlor transformer
Pentair i9+3s brain
Pentair520500 Screen Logic kit controller
100 amp sub panel tied into house

3 skimmers, 4 returns

3 Globrite LED/color low voltage pool lights
150 sq. ft. stamped concrete 'flagstone' tanning ledge w/ recessed umbrella rec. and 2 Colorvision LED 12v color changing bubblers

Faux rockwork, poured and formed on site w/ integrated 15' (l) water slide, waterfall and jumping ledge.
Whisperflo XF 5hp waterfall pump
whisperflo 2hp slide pump

Hydrostatic line under pool

Approx. 1619 sq.ft additional decorative concrete
Stainless steel handrails
Dolphin Axctive 20 robot cleaner
Solid or mesh winter safety cover

Slab and electric for stand-alone hot tub (I buy the hot tub, hardscape surround extra)

Possible ClearDek system

A couple notes: this was the preliminary rendering. The perspective is a little off in that the pool is actually a bit bigger in relation to the rocks than it shows here. We also added 4 feet to the 'middle' or shallow area. Also, the spa is moving from the top of the rocks, to a stand alone closer to the house.

Again, welcoming any and all comments and feedback.



Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
Quite the hike up to that Spa!

Four returns seems a little light.. I would have expected 6 for the size at a minimum.
...Which is why the 'hot tub on the mount' (as it had come to be known) will not become reality! Being up there in the spa on a cold snowy night would be very nice. Getting out and back to the house from up there without turning into an ice sculpture...different story!

I'll question the PB on the returns. Do you think the 4 returns may not be provide sufficient circulation?


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

We always recommend that a salt system be rated for at least 2 x the volume of the pool. This is because cells are rated when running at 100% output 24/7.

How many gallons of water will your pool hold?

Make sure you can electrically control the waterfall and other water features.. I know at this point you can't even envision not have the waterfall on, but once you find that it will drive your pH through the roof, you'll quickly find that you will only want to run it to impress guests.

Good job on moving the hot tub closer to the house.. it will get a lot more use that way...

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.


Active member
Sep 7, 2012
Looks like a wonderfull pool.. i have had a pool in pittsburgh for 6 years and have had a heat pump which i got rid of for a gas heater which works much better here and is much more useful for last minute pool parties. Just a thought for tou.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
HI again! I thought I had commented on this but see I did not! I can't wait to see the build really happen now. Did you have a good summer with your old pool?