New Build Proposal Critique

scottrc

Member
May 18, 2018
20
Houston
Hi-
I am new to this forum and know little about pools (except that I know I want one). This is my very first proposal from the very first PB builder I have interviewed:
Can you all critique this offer and let me know any feedback and/or questions I should be asking or things I should be adding/removing.
(NOTE: I intentionally left out getting a heater after talking to many neighbors on how seldom they use it)

Pool Specifications: Estimated Size

Perimeter: 67
Area: 320
Depth 3 ½”x 4 ½”
Gallon: 8,700

Structure:
Beams: 12” Gunite beam with #4 rebar
Walls & Floor 6” Gunite with #3 rebar 8” O.C
(Gunite will be 4,000 PSI and Take 7 to 10 days to cure)
25 years on structural integrity of the pool

Equipment:
Pumps (1) Intelliflo Variable speed Pentair
Filter (1) Cartridge filter 420
Chlorinator: (1) Inline Chlorinator
Lights (4) Color light Low Voltage
300 wt. Transformer
Controls: Easytouch Pentair
Cleaner: Polaris 280
Fill: Manual with vacuum breaker

Plumbing
Skimmers: (2) Tan lid
Main Drain: (2) per pump VGB Compliance
Returns: (5) 1 ½ Pipe and wall fitting
Fill line: Yes
Overflow: 2” line to connect to Drains

Pool Finishes
Tile: Standard (8.00 allowance)
Coping: TBD
Trim tile: 2x2 (TBD)
Plaster: (TBD) Quartz Finish

10-year manufacture warranty

Tanning Ledge: 9” Deep Connected to steps

PB will provide all permits. Any additional plans or survey will be paid by the customer
Electrical easement must be arranged by the homeowner
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
564
Houston, TX
Hi neighbor, we are also in Houston. For all of the equipment you will want to get the model numbers. For the skimmers you will want to make sure they are plumbed with home runs all the way back to the pad. You will probably want to tell them to take the cleaner out of the package and buy your own. My builder was charging me $850 for a cheap vacuum, I had that taken out and ordered a robot instead. I would consider adding the heater, but personal choice. This past weekend we would not have been able to swim without it, but with it we were in the pool all three days.
 

hosseisemi

Member
Oct 20, 2020
15
Montgomery, TX
I'm in Houston as well and am looking down a design and contract in the next few days. Interviewed multiple builders and researched these forums. Put this list of questions together for used when I interviewed all builders. Hope it is helpful.

Also, I own another property and have a heater. I use the spa nightly and gain an extra
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,875
Bedford, TX
Scott,

What does " Controls: Easytouch Pentair" mean? If it means a Pentair remote, then you should move back to 1960.. Today, you want to be able to use your PC, Phone, or Tablet to control your pool.. To do this you will need ScreenLogic.. You'll get displays like this..







Better yet, get the new IntelliCenter, which is a much newer and better system for just about the same price.

Your pump is great, and your filter is great.. Just make sure they don't try to sell you an IntelliFlo with the SVRS option.. Very old and not required or needed. Will be a real pain in the rear.

Your Polaris 280 is another item from the 1960's.. Dump it and buy your own Robot like this...


Personally, I would not have a pool if it was not a saltwater pool.. The easiest type of pool to maintain..

Good luck with your new pool build...

Jim R.
 

scottrc

Member
May 18, 2018
20
Houston
maybe I need to get an education on all the various pool components, so that I can speak more intelligently about what I am meant to challenge the PBers on. Any good resources you all recommend that is for the beginner and doesn't take months to master?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,875
Bedford, TX
Scott,

1. You never want to buy any EasyTouch with an "L" in the model number.. "L" means lite as in the kind of salad dressing that no one can eat.. A lite EasyTouch has no load center for your circuit breakers, has a max of 4 programs, has limited functions, and only one or two feature circuits.

2. EasyTouch units can be controlled by a dedicated Pentair Remote that has buttons and/or by ScreenLogic, which allows you to use your PC, Phone, or Tablet.

3. This is why it is very important to get actual part numbers of what your pool builder says he is going to install.. Not everything is created equal..

Get the actual Part number and report back to us..

Thanks,

Jim R
 

scottrc

Member
May 18, 2018
20
Houston
Scott,

1. You never want to buy any EasyTouch with an "L" in the model number.. "L" means lite as in the kind of salad dressing that no one can eat.. A lite EasyTouch has no load center for your circuit breakers, has a max of 4 programs, has limited functions, and only one or two feature circuits.

2. EasyTouch units can be controlled by a dedicated Pentair Remote that has buttons and/or by ScreenLogic, which allows you to use your PC, Phone, or Tablet.

3. This is why it is very important to get actual part numbers of what your pool builder says he is going to install.. Not everything is created equal..

Get the actual Part number and report back to us..

Thanks,

Jim R
Got it! will do!
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
996
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hi fellow Houstonian. Welcome to TFP. There are a lot of good articles on TFP which I have linked below. Just reading through them will give you an education and also suggest you find another posting that has a construction in progress and follow it. You most likely will be asking similar questions when you get past selecting a PB so it will help guide you plus you will learn a lot from others.
There are always many options to equipment, pool layout, etc. but the responses on TFP provide you what has worked well and best for the long term. If you don't understand - just ask.

How to Pick a Pool Builder

How to Pick a Pool Builder - Trouble Free Pool

How to Select Pool Equipment

How to select pool equipment - Further Reading

Construction Tips & Best Practices

Construction Best Practices - Further Reading

Watering New Gunite & Concrete

Watering New Gunite and Concrete - Further Reading

Pool Start-Up Guidelines

Plaster Start-Up Guides - Further Reading
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,408
Tallahassee, FL
Hi and stay right here and ask any and all questions you might have! @HermanTX set you up with some good links and ideas about reading other build threads. Thanks Herman :hug:

Home run=each skimmer has it's own pvc pipe running back to the equipment pad (home) with its own valve for maximum control. It is also a good idea to have the main (bottom) drain on its own home run.

With your depths you might want to think about NOT doing a main drain. It will be toe stubber more than anything. Just know IF you have a main drain it HAS to be dual for anti entrapment BUT you do NOT have to have a main drain. Some PB confuse this.

Depths-make sure you are talking about WATER depth. Some people make the mistake of measuring the depth from the floor of the pool to the bottom of the coping. If that is done you lose about 3" of water. The water depth is measured from the floor to the middle of the skimmer face and waterline tile.

Like I said above ask ANY and ALL questions you might have. You don't know what you don't know and that is why we are here!

Kim:kim:
 

scottrc

Member
May 18, 2018
20
Houston
Kim-
Thanks so much for all the helpful information. I am told that I am limited to that depth if I do not want to get an engineering certificate that says I can go deeper as the water's edge will be 36" from my house wall/foundation. It supposedly cost about $800.00 and it could be denied. I wonder if I will regret not going deeper? Seems like 4 1/2 feet may not be quite deep enough? and surely only if that is the true water depth like you are saying
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
133
Tampa, FL
Thinking about the depth...you may want to ask the PB, assuming you are allowed to go deeper, how much would he charge to go to 5 feet or 5 1/2...if it's more than you want to pay anyway, you can skip the $800!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,408
Tallahassee, FL
Hold a tape measure up to the shortest adult in the house. Where does 4'5" hit them? Where does 5' and 5'5" hit them? Go from there to make your decision.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
578
New York
Hi Scott. Are you limited by space? The pool will be pretty small unless you only have a couple of people using it. I'm a family of 5 and my 16 x 32 is as small as I'd go for 5 at a time. Put Pentair or Jandy valves in the contract for sure. Some builders use simple ball valves that don't last over the long-haul (these are the shut off valves at the equipment pad just before the equipment). If you are staying at 4.5' I personally would go with an above ground pool. You could get the pool at 54" and a small deck for it for a fraction of the cost. I wouldn't go 3.5'. If you don't want it deeper than 4.5' I'd make the entire pool that depth of 4.5'. Get a salt water chlorine generator too. I'd skip the color lights and go old school and get a white light. They are more reliable and much cheaper (the halogen bulbs). My Jandy led lights failed after 4 seasons. Also the 420 filter is way, way overkill for a <9k gallon pool. My pool is about 20-21k and it's way more than enough. My .02 is to let the builders quote the very large filter and then negotiate down. These are personal decisions so do what your gut tells you to do. Either way you'll love it!
-Chris
 
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scottrc

Member
May 18, 2018
20
Houston
HI Chris-

Thanks for the feedback and recommendations.

1) I am indeed limited by space. that pool size is already pushing the limits of what the city is going to allow as one side is butted up against the 5 ft utility easement from my back fence and the other side is near the back wall of my house at just 3 feet from the foundation. I can go this close to the foundation unchallenged provided the depth of 4 ft is maintained. (my backyard is less than 13 feet wide in some places.) This is really is a small boutique pool.

One of the issues that could kill this project is if the utility line can be raised high enough to even get the pool outlined in the specs above.. If they can't raise the line at least 4 feet from the its current dip in the middle, then I can't get a pool at all. In the Houston city limits, you must be 22 .5 feet on the diagonal from the utility line to water's edge. I am paying for and waiting to have a power profile survey performed so that the utility company (Centerpoint) can determine where and by how much the line can be moved --- at a cost to me, of course which CP has not hinted as to how much it will be..... (I will know the price after the $500.00 profile is completed) . With that said, an above ground pool is out of the question. I am barely going to get enough clearance at the foundation level. I can't even get a raised wall or fountain feature for that reason... did not want one anyway.

I also have to move a gas line and and AC unit.... (a lot to do before I can even begin on this project :()

2) I think I do want to go with 4.5 feet for the entire depth and not slope to 3.5 as the PB suggested.

3) I spent the better part of last night trying to understand the differences between an inline chlorinator vs SWCG and there seems to be a lot of heated discussion on what is better; especially in my area with hard water and the fact that I have a flagstone patio that will butt up to one side of the pool. I can't make a judgement on that just yet as the information seems to be very conflicted. ..... someone even said it seems to be a "Texas thing" according to what I was seeing here
pbs don't like swcg and here texas and swcg and here.. stone vs SWCG

I would love to hear your thoughts or others in Houston who have one of these pools

4) I read in pool school, i think, that the large the filter the better... can't really make a mistake there... not true?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
14,972
Evans, Georgia
An "inline chlorinator" is just a tank you fill with pucks that contain both chlorine and (usually) stablizer. Water runs thru the device as it passes by and melts the pucks which then adds the chemicals to the pool water. The problem lies in the fact that the chemicals you *don't want* to build up in the pool ...do! That's the CYA Stabilizer. Each puck has almost the same amount of stabilizer in it as chlorine. When the stabilizer gets too high you either get algae or you know via testing you're going to have to drain the pool down and refill.

GO with the SWG instead. All it adds is chlorine to your pool. Truly a wonderous invention for pool owners. A little chemistry magic.

Maddie :flower:
 

scottrc

Member
May 18, 2018
20
Houston
Maddie-
Thanks got it..
So just to clarify:
When someone says they have a saltwater pool, are they talking about having a SWG (which generates chlorine from salt)?
OR is there such a thing as a "pure" saltwater pool that makes no use of chlorine...
Or do all pools have chlorine and it the difference is only how the chlorine is supplied/generated?

if the answer is the first one, then why is there such a heated debate on the pros and cons per the links I posted in my post above?