New Build - Sacramento area - Update - Patio is in (PICTURES)

steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Hello everyone! Very excited to start this thread, have been reading for months and now have a dig date scheduled - November 17th!

Attached is the site plan, which also lists the equipment schedule. We have two kids (6 & 8) so this build is designed to be a fun pool they can grow up in. There will be a lawn and play structure to the left of the path and the perimeter of the yard (~10ft) is mulched with young trees and shrubs against the fence line. I'll post pics as we progress.

Per my sig, I get the SWG vs. in-line and ozone debate and appreciate the majority opinion on TFP. Other than that, do you see glaring issues that we need to be on the lookout for? The yard gets a ton of sun so I'm thinking at a minimum we need another umbrella sleeve in the deck between the sun shelf and spa. I'm going to run conduit for lights and audio when the trenching happens.

Appreciate any thoughts and input from the group as we get moving along.



Pool plan.jpg

Pool plan 1.jpg
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,719
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Hi, and congrats on the new pool. Glad you posted about it before getting too far along, as you'll get lots of help with everything "new pool."

Starting with...

Just to be clear, there is no debate here at TFP about UV and Ozone, though it does get talked about a lot. You might be mistaking owners of those systems trying to justify their purchase as a debate, it's not. TFP doesn't recommend the use of either UV or Ozone in an outdoor residential pool. And that's putting it kindly. The unofficial opinion is that they are both a complete waste of money. The only real, measurable benefit to either system is to the PB and the manufacturer (as in: the profit they'll each make)...

If you'd like more details about why that is so (if you haven't found them already), I'll be happy to elaborate.

I'll come back when I have more time to take a better look at your plans. The UV/Ozone jumped out at me because you mentioned it. The inline chlorinator is also a product that is not particularly recommended here. It will ultimately lead to problems for you and your pool. There are much better systems for the automation of sanitation. More on that later.

And I'm sure others will drop by to give you a more useful critique.
 
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JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
128
Bay Area, CA
May I ask if those drawings are what is submitted to the city for permits or just what the PB drew up for you? I need to ask for something detailed like that, really great info. We are in the super beginnings of the quote stage, I've gotten 3D drawings/videos so far and a basic outline with some dimensions on it.
 

steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
May I ask if those drawings are what is submitted to the city for permits or just what the PB drew up for you? I need to ask for something detailed like that, really great info. We are in the super beginnings of the quote stage, I've gotten 3D drawings/videos so far and a basic outline with some dimensions on it.
Those are the drawings that we got to submit for HOA approval. I believe there is a separate set that will go to the city for permitting and be maintained on the jobsite. It may be similar/the same, but there will be additional custom engineering drawings for the waterfall/grotto build included in that package.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,719
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Identify your primary nighttime sitting/lounging area, and include the windows of the house from which you can see the pool: no light fixture should be in direct line-of-sight of either. You won't enjoy that. If there is no other way to light the pool, then those that point at your eyeballs should be on their own circuit, so you can turn them off when no one is swimming. If it were my pool, I'd want each light to be wired separately to the pad, so that I could later have the choice to have all, any number or each of the lights on their own switch. The kind, direction and amount of light you'll want for a free-for-all nighttime swim is likely very different from a nice, quiet evening of sitting by the pool enjoying a cocktail and pleasant company. With individual control over each light, you can have it any way that suits you.

Consider how the lighting plan for the pool works with the lighting plan for the landscaping (which you should have, in case you haven't thought that far ahead). The combo of the two can really make for an amazing scene.

You don't want a raised spa, or any other structure, to block your view of the water from wherever you're likely to be sitting to keep an eye on the kids (any swimmers, really). No blind spots. It looks like you're OK in that dept, just be sure of it.

You're mostly there, but at some point you might want to post a complete list of all the equipment, including model numbers. Folks here will look for any known issues, right down to the specific model.

There are OK, good and better ways to provide auto-fill and overflow capabilities. If you get me the exact model that is mentioned, I'll fill you in...

You don't actually need drains in a pool. They are getting to be "old school," and more and more pools are being built without them. They have a few downsides and not many up. Glad to fill you in there, too, if you're interested.

I would have wrapped the deck all the way around the pool, for a few reasons.

Flagstone is not a great material to use as coping. I love the way mine looks, but it is coming apart, as many folks' are. Be sure you are well aware of what you are getting into with flagstone.

Waterfalls and spa spillways over rock can present a maintenance issue (they can collect effervescence, a cleaning issue). Which might be worth the tradeoff to you, just be aware of it ahead of time. Any rock that is subject to the pools water, especially any that penetrate the waterline, will have a similar issue.

I wouldn't want line-of-sight between AC and pool pad and where I'll be at or in the pool, if possible. Sometimes you don't have a choice. They can be "hidden" in lots of other ways if they can't be moved.

I like the benches.
Love the shape.
Love how it's skewed from the house (at an angle). Really love that.
Love the overall functionality, and activity areas. Not a big fan of ledges and in-pool spas, but that's just me. They are very popular.
Loooooove the jumping rock (my kids use the heck out of mine).

That's enough for now, I expect. When you said "Appreciate any thoughts..." I hope that's what you meant! ;)
 
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steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Identify your primary nighttime sitting/lounging area, and include the windows of the house from which you can see the pool: no light fixture should be in direct line-of-sight of either. You won't enjoy that. If there is no other way to light the pool, then those that point at your eyeballs should be on their own circuit, so you can turn them off when no one is swimming. If it were my pool, I'd want each light to be wired separately to the pad, so that I could later have the choice to have all, any number or each of the lights on their own switch. The kind, direction and amount of light you'll want for a free-for-all nighttime swim is likely very different from a nice, quiet evening of sitting by the pool enjoying a cocktail and pleasant company. With individual control over each light, you can have it any way that suits you.

Consider how the lighting plan for the pool works with the lighting plan for the landscaping (which you should have, in case you haven't thought that far ahead). The combo of the two can really make for an amazing scene.

You don't want a raised spa, or any other structure, to block your view of the water from wherever you're likely to be sitting to keep an eye on the kids (any swimmers, really). No blind spots. It looks like you're OK in that dept, just be sure of it.

You're mostly there, but at some point you might want to post a complete list of all the equipment, including model numbers. Folks here will look for any known issues, right down to the specific model.

There are OK, good and better ways to provide auto-fill and overflow capabilities. If you get me the exact model that is mentioned, I'll fill you in...

You don't actually need drains in a pool. They are getting to be "old school," and more and more pools are being built without them. They have a few downsides and not many up. Glad to fill you in there, too, if you're interested.

I would have wrapped the deck all the way around the pool, for a few reasons.

Flagstone is not a great material to use as coping. I love the way mine looks, but it is coming apart, as many folks' are. Be sure you are well aware of what you are getting into with flagstone.

Waterfalls and spa spillways over rock can present a maintenance issue (they can collect effervescence, a cleaning issue). Which might be worth the tradeoff to you, just be aware of it ahead of time. Any rock that is subject to the pools water, especially any that penetrate the waterline, will have a similar issue.

I wouldn't want line-of-sight between AC and pool pad and where I'll be at or in the pool, if possible. Sometimes you don't have a choice. They can be "hidden" in lots of other ways if they can't be moved.

I like the benches.
Love the shape.
Love how it's skewed from the house (at an angle). Really love that.
Love the overall functionality, and activity areas. Not a big fan of ledges and in-pool spas, but that's just me. They are very popular.
Loooooove the jumping rock (my kids use the heck out of mine).

That's enough for now, I expect. When you said "Appreciate any thoughts..." I hope that's what you meant! ;)
This is exactly what I meant! Kinda stunned about the drain comment, never saw that coming. Might rethink the coping strategy and pivot to more standard concrete that matches the deck, and just keep the maintenance issues limited to the spa spillway and facing stone (plus the rockwork).

Our autofill is going to be tied to one of the sprinkler zones that is going to be demo'd in the install (4 zones on the lawn now, but lawn space will be cut down by appx 60% by pool). I'll get the model or some additional information on the autofill system and update.

Thanks!
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,719
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Our autofill is going to be tied to one of the sprinkler zones that is going to be demo'd in the install (4 zones on the lawn now, but lawn space will be cut down by appx 60% by pool). I'll get the model or some additional information on the autofill system and update.
Do. You can't run an auto-filler off of a sprinkler valve, if that is the plan. I'll share once you confirm that's what that means...
 

steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Do. You can't run an auto-filler off of a sprinkler valve, if that is the plan. I'll share once you confirm that's what that means...
Nah, i meant we are going to lose the zone (and valve), and "repurpose" the pvc water line to serve the autofill. So that water source won't be on the sprinkler system any more, but we are going to use the existing pvc to avoid a water line trench/install.
 
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JC707

Well-known member
Sep 5, 2020
128
Bay Area, CA
Those are the drawings that we got to submit for HOA approval. I believe there is a separate set that will go to the city for permitting and be maintained on the jobsite. It may be similar/the same, but there will be additional custom engineering drawings for the waterfall/grotto build included in that package.
Thank you. We have HOA as well and it didn't hit me until now that they need to approve of the pool build. Did your PB handle all that with your HOA?

For our front yard landscaping I created a basic outline of what we wanted and submitted the app for approval.
 

steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Thank you. We have HOA as well and it didn't hit me until now that they need to approve of the pool build. Did your PB handle all that with your HOA?

For our front yard landscaping I created a basic outline of what we wanted and submitted the app for approval.
Nah, I have to handle it myself, submit the plan to a committee once each of my neighbors signs the papers saying I made them aware of the upcoming work. I think the detailed plan is overkill for our hoa but this was part of the pb routine so I went with it. 😄
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,719
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Nah, i meant we are going to lose the zone (and valve), and "repurpose" the pvc water line to serve the autofill. So that water source won't be on the sprinkler system any more, but we are going to use the existing pvc to avoid a water line trench/install.
I plumbed my auto-filler to my water softener, because my city supply is hard water. It solves for some chemistry and maintenance issues. Do you have any idea if your water is hard or not? Do you have a water softener? I mention this now, in case you have both, so you could plan your auto-filler plumbing accordingly.
 

steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
I plumbed my auto-filler to my water softener, because my city supply is hard water. It solves for some chemistry and maintenance issues. Do you have any idea if your water is hard or not? Do you have a water softener? I mention this now, in case you have both, so you could plan your auto-filler plumbing accordingly.
Good thinking, our city water source is not hard. When we built the house 3 yrs ago that was a discussion with the builder, whether a water softener was needed and we determined it was not. Relatedly, I just ordered a TF-100 kit so I can get a jump on the fill water chemistry too.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,719
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Post TA and CH if you want. We'll have a look... But keep in mind those can change. Some municipalities get their water from different sources throughout the year, so the chemistry can change...
 

steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Hi all. The PB came out today and drew the pool in orange landscape paint. I wasn't able to debrief with him after he got done, but upon review, he missed the waterfall "grotto" designed, which is supposed to be a 3' deep by 3 1/2'-4' wide notch in the pool. Its hard to see in the plan, and as I reflect on the plan as drawn it definitely isn't drawn with the depth I had in mind when I worked with the designer. The next onsite meeting is with the designer and project manager on November 9th, about a week before dig.

Question: I happen to have a can of orange landscape paint in the garage. Should I measure and draw out the correct waterline so the pool shape matches (1) the site plan drawing (posted above) and/or (2) the intended design?

All advice welcome and appreciated!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,719
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Take charge of all dimensions. You might want to consult with the PB before you mark anything yourself, he might have a specific way of doing it that you could foul if you start spray your orange over his. But definitely double check all the dimensions, all the way through the build: H, W, D, depth of water, how the stairs work, any sun shelves, spa seat depth, everything. And not just once. We have all kinds of stories here: PB got it wrong, sub got it wrong, inspectors missed it, you name it. If they get it wrong, they'll shrug and give you a blank stare. Better you make sure it's right, every step of the way. During the process, it's hard to know what to measure, and what to allow for. Where the finish will be is hard to determine when it's just a dirt hole, or just rebar, or even just gunite. But those are all dependent on each other, if one is wrong, it'll be wrong all the way to the plaster. So discuss on site with the PB how to measure. Not only is that a way for you to learn and confirm, but it sends a clear message to the PB that you are watching the dimensions throughout the process, and more importantly, you are expecting the dimensions to be correct.
 
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steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Met with the PB for pre-construction yesterday. They seemed very comfortable with making sure the shell is per the design. The spray job was a rough-out (makes sense, b/c they are going to have to grade the area and that will remove the paint). It was a good meeting, we worked out utility runs that are going to be more convenient for the equipment pad, and they confirmed the dig dimensions will be larger than the designed swim area, by about 9 inches on each side.

UPDATE: Just got word they have a cancellation and will be digging TOMORROW!?!? Terrifying that it is upon us, but also exciting. I'll snap some before pictures and then in-process for an update tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!
 

steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Ok. It took one extra day (PB contract was for 1.7 days, they took about 2.7). They dug 1 foot extra on each side and said they went 9" deeper on the bottom to accommodate steel and gunite. It certainly looks that way, because it is pretty big, and the deep end is deep. I'll go out there with a tape measure this afternoon. I don't think they are "done" yet, since the deep end ramp is not backfilled. I assume that will be post gunite and they will use forms to spray. The construction manager hasn't been out to see it, but via text he said they would backfill and use gravel if necessary. Since they hauled all the dirt away, i'm pretty confident that they won't use the disturbed soil, but i'm on the lookout.

Other development, we decided to move the equip pad about 18 ft further away from the pool, to avoid heater placement too close to windows in a back bedroom. I think it will reduce the potential for noise from the pumps. Some pictures attached, the crew did a pretty nice job and were pretty respectful of the rest of the yard. Helps to have had coffee and snacks every morning, and to buy lunch. Some good advice around these TFP parts. :cool:
 
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steved76

Silver Supporter
Aug 4, 2020
31
Davis, CA
Here are some pictures of the dig days:

Had to break down the play structure. Plan is to reinstall on the lawn to the left of the pool.
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Dig started:
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62683997330__230B44A8-DEE9-48B8-BFFE-456F12A5E1B9.jpg

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