New Build - Lucas, TX

taylorm007

New member
Feb 19, 2020
2
Lucas, TX
Howdy everyone –

I’ve been following the forums for a few months now as I finalize my plans on a new pool build and figured it’s about time I start my first thread. To give you a little background, we bought a 1980’s ranch style home on 2 ½ acres in Lucas, TX about 2 years ago now and have been busy giving it the fixer upper treatment inside and out. The next phase includes transforming the outdoor living space with the addition of a pool, extended patio and full gable patio structure. We have a great property with lots of mature trees and good privacy all the way around. My biggest gripe however, is with the way they originally graded the lot when they built the house. There is about an 8” drop from the high point of the backyard sloping toward the house to the edge of the existing patio. There is a swell back there that carries the water to the west side of the house where it eventually makes its way toward the front of the property and down to a creek across the street. We’re actually pretty fortunate to have a lot that drains well during heavy rains, it’s very flat here and you’ll typically see a lot of standing water throughout the city after a heavy rain. Anyway, I likely would have done some re-grading to the backyard already if it weren’t for the fact I had plans to put in a new pool. All this to say, as we were starting to research pool designs addressing the grade and drainage in the backyard were key priorities for the design.

Fast forward to today. I’ve spoken to several pool builders and ultimately narrowed it down to three candidates. 2 of which are large “name brand” PB’s that are well known in the area and the third is more of a one man band but has worked in the industry for 20+ years and builds his pools with a lot of standard features that would be considered upgrades elsewhere. I have two good friends that have built pools with him and they’ve both turned out great, one about 2 years ago and the other just finished up with his about 2 weeks ago. I’ve been leaning toward going with the “little guy” and was planning on coming back from an early March spring break trip to finalize the details and sign a contract with him when all of a sudden the Covid thing erupted. Definitely has me reevaluating whether or not to go with one of the more well established PB’s in the event I ever have a structural issue that would be covered under their warranty. The small guy builds his pools in a similar fashion to what one of the PB’s calls their upgraded “super structure”. ½” rebar on 10” centers throughout the shell of the pool with additional breaker bars through the bottom, shotcrete w/ 8-10” thick walls and a 12”x12” box beam with ½” rebar around the perimeter. And possible chemical injections depending on what we find following the excavation. Our soil conditions are bad out here, we get a lot of movement in the summer months when things dry out but with all that steel I’d be surprised if the structure didn’t outlive me. Any thoughts/suggestions from the community are appreciated.

Regarding the design, we’re looking at about a 34’ X 17’ Geometric pool with a raised spa and raised back wall that will also serve as a retaining wall for the elevated portion of the yard. We’re looking at using a Lueder coping with a travertine deck. Still trying to decide the color combo that will work best with our white brick house with cedar accents. Either Buff Lueder and Light Walnut travertine or a silver lueder with Ivory travertine. The silver travertine decking looks nice but we’d like something a bit lighter. If anyone has used a silver lueder coping with a light colored travertine deck I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or see some pics!

I like PB1's design the best but there are some elements of PB2's design that I might try to incorporate as I think they are nice additions. Specifically the layout of the tanning ledge/entry area, bench in front of the spa and the slightly recessed raised wall. I also like how this particular PB designs their spa with a small lip just below the water line that you can rest your arms on.

From an equipment perspective, one of the big PB’s is all Jandy and the other is all Pentair. The builder I’m leaning toward isn’t tied to one brand and uses a combination of Pentair, Jandy and other equipment he’s had the best luck with while building and servicing pools over the years. Specifically, Pentair (VS pumps 1 pool & spa/1 water features, master temp heater & commercial sand filter), Jandy (RS controller & valves), J&J ColorSplash lighting, WaterWay Poly Storm jets, etc.

We’re on septic, and for the filter he recommends using a commercial sand filter with glass media. My buddy is running one and his pool is always crystal clear. The other two PB’s looked at me with a blank stare when I asked about a sand filter and were either recommending DE or cartridge, but without a sewer line I’d basically have to pump the DE out into the yard and I don’t want to mess with taking apart the cartridges to clean them regularly.

They all want to sell me on the Polaris 280 over a robot, which I’m going to start out with, but I’m also going to have a GFCI ran to the backside of the pool wall in case I change my mind down the road.

For the pool finish out, looking at using NPT’s Quartzscape in Tahoe Blue and a TBD standard 6” tile to minimize grout lines. Haven’t ventured out to the tile supply stores due to the lockdown, but hoping things will start to return to normal by the time we get to that point.

I apologize for the obscenely long post; I tend to over research/analyze these sorts of things. Sharing the two renderings I referenced, the patio structure will be similar to the full gable structure pictured on PB2's design but with a light-colored stain to match what we’re using on the house shutters. Comments and suggestions are always welcome!
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,162
Northern NJ
A few comments to get things started...

How many gallons will be in your pool?

How do you intend to chlorinate the pool?


Specifically, Pentair (VS pumps 1 pool & spa/1 water features, master temp heater & commercial sand filter), Jandy (RS controller & valves), J&J ColorSplash lighting, WaterWay Poly Storm jets, etc.
Your VS pump and automation should be from the same vendor. Probably also your LED lights if you want full color control.

I prefer Pentair equipment to Jandy. Jandy has done a lot to shutdown DIY maintance of their equipment and internet sales. If you get the Pentair VS pump then get the Pentair IntelliCenter automation.

We don't recommend glass media in sand filters. Start with good pool sand and it will last many years.



 

taylorm007

New member
Feb 19, 2020
2
Lucas, TX
Thanks for the info! I'm looking at right around 20K gallons with the current design. Leaning toward using an inline chlorinator with trichlor or liquid chlorine (blasphemy I know). I have talked to PB3 about using the Intellicenter based upon what I read about it on these forums, I should have mentioned I'm probably headed in that direction assuming it's not a huge uptick in cost. He did say all lights and valves are controllable via the iphone app but I still like the idea of using the Intellicenter instead. Curious what the concern is with glass media? As I understand it sand only gets you to around 30 microns vs 10 or less with the glass media and it doesn't require replacing near as often.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
16,162
Northern NJ
Thanks for the info! I'm looking at right around 20K gallons with the current design. Leaning toward using an inline chlorinator with trichlor or liquid chlorine (blasphemy I know).
Liquid chlorine works fine as long as you can get it. Eventually many folks get tired of lugging jugs of chlorine and install a Salt Water Chlorine Generator.

Trichlor cannot be used continuously without draining water to eliminate the CYA accumulating in the water. I suggest you read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry



I have talked to PB3 about using the Intellicenter based upon what I read about it on these forums, I should have mentioned I'm probably headed in that direction assuming it's not a huge uptick in cost. He did say all lights and valves are controllable via the iphone app but I still like the idea of using the Intellicenter instead.
I dont know what the iPhone app has to do with the decision between Aqualink and IntelliCenter.

The IntelliCenter is modular and easily upgradable. We don’t recommend connecting VS pump and automation from different vendors. Things don’t work smoothly.


Curious what the concern is with glass media? As I understand it sand only gets you to around 30 microns vs 10 or less with the glass media and it doesn't require replacing near as often.
Sand lasts 20 to 30 years. How much longer do you expect glass media to last?

You will not see any difference between 30 and 10 micron filtering.