New Build please let me know what is wrong and what you would change

TCB

Member
Feb 17, 2015
21
Aledo/Texas
Pool Build in Fort Worth, TX Cost:$65,600
Free form play pool 34.5x19/ Pool/ 98' perimeter Pool/8'x6' semi oval Spa-rolled neck
3'6"-5'6"-4'6"
Rebar-#3 on 10 OC
plumping Sch 40
Gunite by Prestige- Lifetime warranty
Plaster- White Plaster/1 yr warranty
Coping-Okl. Flagstone/Standard Tile/veneer
Flatwork-Washed Ag-665sf-plus (3) 5' steps
Table(18" coping with in the water stools)
Firepit
-----Pool equipment----
Pintair FNS Plus 60 D.E. Filter
Pintair 2.5 hp Whisperflo Pump
High Flow Multiport
Intermatic Dual Timer with Freeze
Polaris 280 Cleaner/Booster
chlorine
400k BTU Propane heater
(1) Pool Light-(1) Spa Light *regular light not LED

* If I add salt the charge is a extra $1,400
** If I add automation the charge is a extra $2,200
*** If I add Pentair intelliflo variable speed pump the charge is a extra $600


Thanks for the time in advance,
V/r
TCB
 

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Razorhog

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2013
663
Northeast Arkansas
That mock-up looks fantastic. Not sure I would have a flower bed right next to the pool like that though. Also, while I love my Polaris 280, if I was building from scratch I wouldn't go with a pressure cleaner. Take that out and you reduce the complexity of your equipment. I'd get a robot cleaner instead. I don't know much about plaster but you should check the level of calcium hardness in your fill water before so there aren't any big surprises. I would go for the salt and intelliflo options. Not sure what automation is.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,201
Bedford, TX
TCB,

In my mind it should be illegal to build a new pool and use a single-speed pump.. :mrgreen:

Have you ever been in a gunite spa? If not, I suggest that you try one before you buy one.. Many people love them, but they are the most oversold and underused items in a pool build. If you have never used one, it is about the same as buying a new car without a test drive.. It may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but then again, maybe not...

I would not have a pool/spa combination without automation..

I would not build a new pool unless it was a saltwater pool.. I have three saltwater pools and could not take care of them all if they were regular chlorine pools. Saltwater makes the pools very easy to care for.

Water powered cleaners, like your Polaris, are 1960's technology.. Kind of like using an old black rotary dial phone instead of using a cell phone. I suggest that you move up into this Century and go with a Robot cleaner, which does not require your pumps to be on to clean your pool.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 
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BigSwede52

In The Industry
Jul 12, 2015
7
Austin
What is your soil like ? A lot of soil in the Dallas - Ft Worth area is highly expansive clay (Las Colinas, Frisco among many other areas) & the Balcones fault zone runs pretty much right up IH35 - a single mat of #3 bars may not be enough steel. For high PI (plasticity Index) soils (say PI >50), we often use 2 layers of reinforcing with #4 @ 12" ocew each layer (Grade 40 so it can be bent - Grade 60, although stronger, is hard to work with and seldom used in residential pools).

What is the shell thickness? Again, if high PI soil, double mat with a 12" thick shell is not uncommon. Gunite or shotcrete ? Recommend shotcrete - less curing shrinkage and less rebound ? Although for a pool this size, gunite is fine - just make sure the rebound is taken away and NOT re-used in the pool (e.g., steps or seats).

Double mat reinforced 12" shell is cheap insurance considering the cost of the pool. Double mat gives up to 3x the strength and 12x the stiffness against deflection compared to a single mat with the same shell thickness. And strength increases as the square of the thickness (from roughly the surface to the steel - not the whole cross section). I get called in to look at lot of the single mat 8" shells when they have cracked a couple of years later - I am in Austin, but look at pools from San Antonio to Dallas .

Make sure you have good site drainage so that you don't trap standing water around the pool area.

I agree with Razorhog above - don't put a planter right next to the pool. This is a fad with landscape designers right now who don't consider what the introduction of water right next to the pool shell does (locally swells the soil beside and under the pool) while the rest of the perimeter is semi "protected" from over saturation by the pool deck - leads to uneven (differential) movement that will crack a pool.

What is your pool volume ? I am guessing around 22k gallons (34.5'x19'x 4.5' av depthx 7.5 gal/cf)? If you are looking for a 6 hour (360 min) turn rate, you pump should push about 60 gpm (22000 gal / 360min)? (Check these numbers with your pool builder). The 2.5 hp pump sounds a little large. Would recommend variable speed (VS) pump. Can run on high for a couple of hours to clean surface then reduce speed for chem mixing. At 1/2 of full speed, you only use 1/8th of the amp draw (inverse cube rule), so you can run a low speed for a long time without using much power. Check with a pool shop of call/email Pentair and they should be able to advise you on the payback time.

Salt pools are great, but can dissolve stone coping unless sealed periodically - so either seal the flagstone or choose another coping material if you go the salt generation route. You mentioned chlorine as sanitizer - assume you are hand feeding ? There are several automatic feeders that will save you time of routine chemical addition. Although you need to check the pool chemistry weekly - get a good kit like TFP recommends in their pool school section - you will need to add chlorine every 2-3 day in the summer depending on heat and use. Auto chem feed can be added after the pool is done without much extra trouble, so you may want to start manually and if you get tired of it, add an auto-feed system later.

Good luck.
 
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TCB

Member
Feb 17, 2015
21
Aledo/Texas
TCB,

In my mind it should be illegal to build a new pool and use a single-speed pump.. :mrgreen:

Have you ever been in a gunite spa? If not, I suggest that you try one before you buy one.. Many people love them, but they are the most oversold and underused items in a pool build. If you have never used one, it is about the same as buying a new car without a test drive.. It may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but then again, maybe not...

I would not have a pool/spa combination without automation..

I would not build a new pool unless it was a saltwater pool.. I have three saltwater pools and could not take care of them all if they were regular chlorine pools. Saltwater makes the pools very easy to care for.

Water powered cleaners, like your Polaris, are 1960's technology.. Kind of like using an old black rotary dial phone instead of using a cell phone. I suggest that you move up into this Century and go with a Robot cleaner, which does not require your pumps to be on to clean your pool.

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
Jim Thanks for the reply and comments...

- Yes I've used a gunite spa not sure why your asking is that because unlike a free standing of 70-125 jets you are only getting 6 jets? I feel that when I but my house on the market in 3-10 yrs most people will turn there nose up at a free standing more than a gunite pool/spa combo. My feeling for the underused comment for the last pool I only really used the pool for 5-6 months because where I'm at the water was to cold and if i now have a spa I can use it 12 months if I wanted.

- Last pool built I had a robot pool cleaner it was the Dolphin. I just didn't like having to go out a plug it in placing it in the water when I need to use it. I want something that can stay in the pool and when pwr(pump) is applied it goes to work.

Thanks again
 

Oly

Gold Supporter
Jun 28, 2017
1,149
Fresno, CA
Your reply reinforces the adage "everyone is different". Welcome and you are doing the right thing by getting out in front of this project and by soliciting everyone's opinion.
I like the robot because it does not sit in the pool and I only need to run it once, maybe twice a week, that's me.
Regarding power usage and cost you may not have the same price issues as us in CA, so carry on.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,201
Bedford, TX
Yes I've used a gunite spa not sure why your asking
TCB,

If you have used one before, and like it, that is all that is important... I estimate that at least 50% of pool/spa owners use their spa less than twice a year and many not at all. A lot of money to spend for something they does not get used. I was not suggesting that it would not be the best option for you, I just wanted to be sure it was something to think about before buying.

Robots are the same way.. You either love them or hate them.. My comments were really intended for someone that has never had a pool before and was just taking what the pool builder said they needed.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,396
Laughlin, NV
If you are looking for a 6 hour (360 min) turn rate

Salt pools are great, but can dissolve stone coping unless sealed periodically
Be aware that TFP does not support the 'turnover' myth in pool circulation and pump sizing.

Also the salt pools damage stone is also not supported here on TFP. Soft stone is soft stone, any pool water, salt water or not, could impact it. Pools chlorinated with liquid chlorine have significant salinity levels.
 

Razorhog

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2013
663
Northeast Arkansas
About the robot, no matter if it is a pressure side polaris or an electric model, I wouldn't leave it in the pool at all times. This is just my opinion of course. I seem to see a lot of people having lots of problems with robots when they leave them in all the time. I put mine in when needed, let it run a few hours and take it out. My 280 is about 13 years old. It was 7 years old when I bought the house and I have replaced nothing. Except the collection bag, replaced it this year due to the velcro wearing out.
 

TCB

Member
Feb 17, 2015
21
Aledo/Texas
About the robot, no matter if it is a pressure side polaris or an electric model, I wouldn't leave it in the pool at all times. This is just my opinion of course. I seem to see a lot of people having lots of problems with robots when they leave them in all the time. I put mine in when needed, let it run a few hours and take it out. My 280 is about 13 years old. It was 7 years old when I bought the house and I have replaced nothing. Except the collection bag, replaced it this year due to the velcro wearing out.
I was in the same boat aways took my robot out after cleaning duty. Simply because I didn’t like the idea of something plugged into pwr just sitting on the bottom of the pool when teenager kids are screwing around.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,083
Connecticut
I was in the same boat aways took my robot out after cleaning duty. Simply because I didn’t like the idea of something plugged into pwr just sitting on the bottom of the pool when teenager kids are screwing around.
All cleaners need to be removed when pool is in use; they are entanglement hazards.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
9,742
Northern NJ
I like my pressure cleaner and if I was getting one today I would get the Polaris Quattro | #1 Swimming Pool Cleaner Worldwide | Polaris Automatic Pool Cleaners . It looks to be a major improvement over the Polaris 280/380.

Add the Pentair Intelliflo 011028 VS pump.

Add Pentair Intellicenter automation. You can then delete the Intermatic timer. You don't want to be going to the equipment pad turning valves and turning the heater on before and after you use the spa.

Get a SWG. Teaxas installer don't like them for some reason. The rest of the country does.
 
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Dan-H

LifeTime Supporter
May 28, 2011
173
No. CA
Looks like a beautiful pool.

I scanned the replies and generally agree with most of the comments. I'll add my .02

100% agree adding automation that can be accessed via a phone or tablet. Being able to pre-heat the spa, and remotely watch the temp from inside the house has ten-fold increased the spa usage at my house. When done soaking being able to head into the house and reset things before bed saves a cold dark trip to the pool panel. Adjusting other settings like the schedule and all without having to click through the front panel is another huge benefit.

I think the pool cleaner choice is an interesting one. my 1999 built pool came with a Jandy Ray Vac so I had a dedicated valve to a single threaded return in the center side of the pool. When the ray vac died and parts became unavailable I tried a robot for a couple of years but for me it was not the right fit. I now have a Polaris 360, a pressure side cleaner that doesn't need a booster. With the automation and a variable speed pump its easy to dial in for my pool. It runs a few hours a day and handles the leaves and small debris pretty well. For me I liked that I didn't have another cord coming into the pool and also didn't need a booster. I leave it in the pool all the time except when the kids are swimming.

Completely agree on a salt pool with SWCG. I will not have a pool without one. Softer skin feel and less uncertainty on the chlorine. When the water gets too cold to generate salt I use 3" tabs and liquid and its a pain in comparison.

That said, the up-charges for the salt and automation seem high to me.

Good luck with your build.
 
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LgHorn

Active member
Nov 21, 2016
39
Cedar Park, TX
Nice looking pool - especially like the bar & stools.

We've had our pool for just over 3 yrs now (3rd summer) and although I was on TFP prior to the build I wish I'd asked more questions and feedback first. I'd have changed a number of things, but much is personal preference and just not really knowing unless you've owned one before...kind of like buying your first hours and down the road building a custom home. Good thing is you've already been there, so have experience and personal preferences.

At any rate, you have some good feedback here so I'll just toss in my .02 as well - again, it's all personal preference.
  • In general the $ seems fairly in line with what I've seen considering the size of your perimeter, bar feature, and deck area, though perhaps slightly on the higher end.
  • Highly recommend automation as well especially with the pool/spa combo. Being able to control everything, and remotely away from home, is a big plus.
  • We also have a pool/spa combo and while after the first couple of years the adults to not use it quite as much as the first couple of years, we're in it nearly a dozen times/year and our kids are in it even more. We have friends our age even with older kids and they wish they'd added the attached spa during the build because quotes have been ~$25k to add it afterward. That's cost prohibitive to most, so their only option is a stand alone which they don't personally care for. They also wish they had the option to heat their pool a few times/year; another benefit of the combo and heater.
  • We also have a pressure side cleaner (Letro Legend) and for us it's almost a necessity as with a robot I'd have to put it in & take it out multiple times per week due to the vegetation we get in our pool (back up to a greenbelt, plus the previous home owner decided a dozen crepe myrtles would be lovely bordering the back yard). Ours runs for a couple of hours/day and keeps the floor clean of dirt and debris.
  • Go with the IntelliFlo VS pump.
  • Again, personal preference, but if I had it to do over I would go with a Clean & Clear cart filter or Quad D.E. filter over my FNS Plus. With all the debris we get in our pool and a lab who swims almost daily year round, I have to clean that thing out at least every 3 months (backwashing is only a short-term delay of the inevitable tear down/clean/rebuild) and it's a major PITA. I detest the grids, taking the filter assembly apart, rinsing them, and reassembling those Dang things. I did it at the start of summer and almost tossed them in the street. I've actually just started the process to look at replacing it with a cart or quad (cart + D.E.) filter.
  • Go with the SWCG - I didn't (was talked out of it by my PB) and regret it to this day. Also now getting quotes to convert to a SWCG after 3 years of using bleach and trichlor pucks. :( I look forward to the day I have more reliable and stable chlorine levels without having to test and balance as often, plus I have salt and borates in my water anyway...all I'm missing is the SWCG. Considering the equipment alone for the Pentair IC40 and power is around $1k, $1400 doesn't seem like a bad deal considering that's installed. IIRC, that's about how much the option was from my PB.
  • Looks like you don't have a plaster finish such as PebbleTec, but straight plaster? In today's age such a finish seems to be almost standard. When we got quotes from 4-5 PBs every one of them had a pebble finish as standard even if it was just a plain whitish one. As you made the comment of considering your home's resale value in the future, the finish may be something to consider. We chose the smoothed (grinded pebble) as an upgrade over tile as a trade off and we love the smooth but colored and sparkle finish compared to the rough pebble pools we've been in.
Congrats and enjoy your new pool once built!
 

TCB

Member
Feb 17, 2015
21
Aledo/Texas
What is your soil like ? A lot of soil in the Dallas - Ft Worth area is highly expansive clay (Las Colinas, Frisco among many other areas) & the Balcones fault zone runs pretty much right up IH35 - a single mat of #3 bars may not be enough steel. For high PI (plasticity Index) soils (say PI >50), we often use 2 layers of reinforcing with #4 @ 12" ocew each layer (Grade 40 so it can be bent - Grade 60, although stronger, is hard to work with and seldom used in residential pools).

What is the shell thickness? Again, if high PI soil, double mat with a 12" thick shell is not uncommon. Gunite or shotcrete ? Recommend shotcrete - less curing shrinkage and less rebound ? Although for a pool this size, gunite is fine - just make sure the rebound is taken away and NOT re-used in the pool (e.g., steps or seats).

Double mat reinforced 12" shell is cheap insurance considering the cost of the pool. Double mat gives up to 3x the strength and 12x the stiffness against deflection compared to a single mat with the same shell thickness. And strength increases as the square of the thickness (from roughly the surface to the steel - not the whole cross section). I get called in to look at lot of the single mat 8" shells when they have cracked a couple of years later - I am in Austin, but look at pools from San Antonio to Dallas .

Make sure you have good site drainage so that you don't trap standing water around the pool area.

I agree with Razorhog above - don't put a planter right next to the pool. This is a fad with landscape designers right now who don't consider what the introduction of water right next to the pool shell does (locally swells the soil beside and under the pool) while the rest of the perimeter is semi "protected" from over saturation by the pool deck - leads to uneven (differential) movement that will crack a pool.

What is your pool volume ? I am guessing around 22k gallons (34.5'x19'x 4.5' av depthx 7.5 gal/cf)? If you are looking for a 6 hour (360 min) turn rate, you pump should push about 60 gpm (22000 gal / 360min)? (Check these numbers with your pool builder). The 2.5 hp pump sounds a little large. Would recommend variable speed (VS) pump. Can run on high for a couple of hours to clean surface then reduce speed for chem mixing. At 1/2 of full speed, you only use 1/8th of the amp draw (inverse cube rule), so you can run a low speed for a long time without using much power. Check with a pool shop of call/email Pentair and they should be able to advise you on the payback time.

Salt pools are great, but can dissolve stone coping unless sealed periodically - so either seal the flagstone or choose another coping material if you go the salt generation route. You mentioned chlorine as sanitizer - assume you are hand feeding ? There are several automatic feeders that will save you time of routine chemical addition. Although you need to check the pool chemistry weekly - get a good kit like TFP recommends in their pool school section - you will need to add chlorine every 2-3 day in the summer depending on heat and use. Auto chem feed can be added after the pool is done without much extra trouble, so you may want to start manually and if you get tired of it, add an auto-feed system later.

Good luck.
Big52,
On the double matting is that just the floor or the entire pool? What about putting #4 rebar on 10” centers for the extra strength?