New contract / New build - SE Pennsylvania, Gunite free form pool and spa

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
Gorilla - I just joined and did a search for Lehigh Valley, and read through your whole thread. Was your original PB Chris from Signature Quality? We were always considering a liner due to costs, but I reached out to him on a whim based on our fence installer recommendation. He was super quick to respond. I was very upfront about our budget and not wanting to waste anyone's time if it would out of line. He said he could work with it and came out promptly for a very lengthy in person discussion. After he left, my husband and I were pretty set on going gunite. Said he'd get back to us in 3-4 days and plan a next meeting for the following weekend. Then poof, nothing. No follow up, no email replies, no text replies.

Super frustrating, because I really liked him initially.

Anyway, your pool looks fantastic and I'm glad it's finally done!
Hi there - Yes, that was the original PB. I really liked him in person from the initial visits, but subsequently couldn't get much accomplished after that. I also agree gunite is the way to go though! We looked at all options as well.

And we are glad it's pretty much done as well. :) Still waiting on a few small fixes but nothing major.
 
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Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
Hosted our first (real) pool party this weekend with about 30 kids and adults, lots of fun! Water temp is really climbing with the heat we've had recently. Temps in the low 90s for several days now. So glad we're finally in the midst of enjoying it :)
 

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Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
Wow, looks FAB!
Thank you! Really appreciate it.

LOVE IT!! Looks like every inch of that pool was used if you look at the water splash out! How did the water look when it was all over?
Kim:kim:
Absolutely used almost all 1000sq ft during the party. Water and pool actually stayed quite clean! Chemistry looked pretty decent, of course PH was up a bit from running for the waterfall for 5+ hours but wasn't awful actually.

Adding a night shot when we had the torches out - the crowd loved it!
 

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Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
Small update on the original build: Autofill finally fixed and working!

Also..

Phase 2 initiated - working on extending pavers under the deck, small retaining wall, and a concrete pad for a future bar/outdoor kitchen area. They're doing a nice job with the drains so far as well. The crew had to dig all of this by hand in addition to moving 4 ton of river rock away - crazy amount of work completed in the last 3 days. I also picked up my upgraded Big Kamado Joe which has been sitting in the garage waiting for the new patio to be completed. :)
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2012
40,987
Tallahassee, FL
YEAH for the auto filled working!!!

So talk to me about the kitchen area...........they poured just a little bit of concrete.........so what did they use to raise up and fill in the other part? And why only do that little bit of concrete?

SO glad I did not have to do all of the prep! Bet they were wore out at the end of that work!!!

Kim:kim:
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
YEAH for the auto filled working!!!

So talk to me about the kitchen area...........they poured just a little bit of concrete.........so what did they use to raise up and fill in the other part? And why only do that little bit of concrete?

SO glad I did not have to do all of the prep! Bet they were wore out at the end of that work!!!

Kim:kim:
The pad that they poured is basically the outline of where the cabinets would go for the bar and outdoor kitchen to support the extra weight of framing, cement board, countertop, stone finish, and appliances. It's about 38" wide and spans about 30 linear feet in total. 18' 3" of that area will face the pool area. I would have done the entire thing with a concrete base, but costs were getting high especially needing the retaining wall and adding a paver pathway from the main decking area. The other area without the concrete was leveled in compacted crushed stone and screening to bring it level with everything else. They are supposed to come back later this morning to continue working. :)
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2012
40,987
Tallahassee, FL
Thank you for that info. That is what I thought but wanted to make sure. I LOVE to learn the hows and whys so I can help others in the future.........."hey did you know you don't have to concrete the whole pad...." kind of thing :hug:

Kim:kim:
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
524
MA
The one concern I would have is that It looks like any wind driven rain or melting snow might be trapped in that kitchen U .
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
The one concern I would have is that It looks like any wind driven rain or melting snow might be trapped in that kitchen U .
Good point - my plan as of now is likely more of an "L" shape and probably not utilizing the full area as I won't need all of the space, but worth considering the slope of the patio toward the drains. Thank you!

Also - the crew is back with about 8 men working on the patio and replacing some plantings that died over the year. :)
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
5,395
Central MD
Great transformation under the deck!! Beautiful flow. My transformations have moved on to getting a free outdoor table set on Craigslist and refinishing it. Or building a utility table out of scrap wood. Much less complicated but my point is there is eventually a time where it feels mostly done. We are 21 years into our property and it's feeling pretty settled. :) Then comes the maintaining/re-imagining.

And summer weather has settled in nicely. I look forward to the next update.
 
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Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
Well, getting near the end of the season but it was a great one. Scheduled to close October 28th and water temps should be well in the 50s by then. Currently sitting at 63-64 and dealing with a few leaves each day. :) Chemistry has been relatively easy to tame thankfully.

I did order some Polyquat via amazon for closing - anyone suggest anything else?

Also - about a month back began working on a bar/outdoor kitchen under the deck. The main area will have my Big Joe kamado and a stainless Blaze griddle. Pics attached, just put the doors in in today and finished the bar overhang. After I get the cement board on this section going to build another 7' section for a fridge and more counter space. Fun project so far!
 

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Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
418
Thornton, PA
Which cutout are you referring to? As you face the kitchen/bar, on the left is for a griddle which is a 10" drop and was test fit on Thursday. On the right is a 15" drop for a Kamado Big Joe which sits on a platform and not on the countertop. Countertops will be 1.5" poured concrete on top of 1/2" cement board.