New Fiberglass Build SW Chicago

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have been lurking in the shadows for some time, doing a lot of research on pools. Finally decided to take the plunge (pun intended) and now wait patiently before our turn in what seems to be a very long line of others like me who decided this year was the year.

We are in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. First, we looked at above ground pools, then went and talked to a few pool builders about inground liner pools. Our yard is, not so straight, and not so wide for a big pool, so the inground vinyl would allow us for some creativity to fit the pool within the local restrictions of our space (10’ away from foundations, no patio extended 10’ from property line on back, 10’ away from utilities, etc.).

I really wanted a rectangle pool with an auto cover, the wife set on some kind of freeform, or L, or lazy L. But in the suburbs of Chicago, and a family who I know will love a heated pool in the early and late seasons, I wanted the auto cover for a lot of reasons.

After talking with one PB in particular, he measured out the space and talked about all the options we had. Luckily, he was on my side (haha!) and marked out the different places the pool could go, and the pluses and minuses of each one. In the end, it seemed a rectangle pool with the auto cover, in fiberglass was the best for our space. No debating with the wife which was a plus, and the price all in seemed to be right in our budget.

So, here is what we settled on, with September 1 as our tentative start date.

14x30 Majesty by Latham

viking-pools-rectangle-majesty-1.jpg

Ocean Blue “G3” color (upgrade over G2)
Pentair Intelliflo VSF Pump
Pentair Cartridge Filter
Pentair Mastertemp 200K BTU Gas Heater
3 LED lights
Coverstar Auto Cover with WiFi keypad in charcoal
Pentair SWCG (PB likes to install “Frog Mineral” systems, his tried and true success as he says, but we wanted salt and there was little debate over this)
Rough in for slide (Not sure yet if $4k is worth it for a slide, but roughing in will give me flexibility down the road.

Here is the “rough” drawing of the space. No fancy rendering here, but for us, what we needed to get moving.
New Pool Layout.jpg

For automation, this PB likes to install the Easy Touch with Screen Logic. I know the IntelliCenter is the latest for automation, and I’m a big tech guy and would love it, but for this I’m really not sure I am that convinced to change it up. This PB puts in the easy touch all the time with screen logic, understands the systems well, will set everything up, and seems they are just not that up to date on the IntelliCenter. I have read a lot that the Easy Touch is “fine” but if installing a pool today, IntelliCenter would be the way to go. This is really the only place we are going back and forth with in our heads. The price would be the same, and I lean towards just letting them install the system they know and love, and it is a simple pool setup, why change it now?

We talked about waterfalls, but in the end, just don’t want to take away from deck space, or battle any PH issues down the road. Maybe a few “water jets” that shoot across the pool (think they are called “Laminar”, or maybe a bubbler for the entry deck, but can decide on these things as we get closer, and if the budget doesn’t bust.
1591124842666.jpg

So I posted this in “under construction”, hopefully we will be soon! I'll be posting updates, I like pictures, and am sure will be asking a lot of questions along the way.
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Looks to be a nice project. Kudos for sticking to your guns and dumping the Frog. :goodjob:
Thanks! A few things for sure I've learned while lurking around. TP test kits, ABCs of water chemistry, and no mineral systems! I guess I understand why PBs like them and are part of their standard practices, and know a lot of new pool owners get them because they are not educated about the different systems, but nope, not for my family.
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Looking good! Nearly finished with our fiberglass install in Chicago proper. Looking forward to seeing your project progress.
Thanks! I have been watching your build as well. I have been checking to see when your cover gets installed, it has been a very cool project in such a unique space.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,889
Evans, Georgia
My only suggestion is to go for keyed autocover access. Wifi seems a bit overkill to me? And one more thing to break down or have glitches. The keypad ones (numbers like a push button phone) have had problems but never once heard of a problem with the keyed ones.

I'm a Luddite that way.

Maddie :flower:
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
My only suggestion is to go for keyed autocover access. Wifi seems a bit overkill to me? And one more thing to break down or have glitches. The keypad ones (numbers like a push button phone) have had problems but never once heard of a problem with the keyed ones.

I appreciate the tip, and agree the WiFi keypad may be overkill, but do like the idea of having alerts when the cover is opened, closed, or left open for a certain amount of time. We have so many interconnected systems at the house right now, push alerts, and automation are part of the daily routine.

The nice thing about the WiFi keypad is the cover will not open or close through an app or over wifi, you still need to enter a physical code on the pad, and hold the open or close button , the Wifi module only sends a push notification when an action occurs. So maybe no more issues to happen than a standard keypad station, at least that is what we are hoping for.
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Figured I'd keep this updated with anything that goes on, and try as best as I can, because one day I'll look back at this and probably be amazed at all that went into this.

Our PB first put together a plan where the best place the pool was going to go, and with some discussion, we liked it a little closer to our existing patio. We couldn't put it right off the patio, or on the other side because of easements, so this is where it was going to go.

Apparently, this would put the walkway on the opposite side of the house, 1.5 feet over the back 10' easement line. My property mind, you, and no utilities of any kind back there, and the pool itself wont be over the line. The city said, "that wont be a problem, but we need you to submit a grading/drainage survey to make sure everything is still ok". Fine, we did this, and then heard back today, nope, you cant go into that easement at all. No grading change of any kind, no drainage issues, nothing except one point five feet over an imaginary line!

If we left the pool in the first spot, we would be tight, but nothing over the easements. If the city would have just told us no in the beginning, we wouldn't have had to pay for the new survey. They really asked us to get a survey done to tell us no! Anyone else who would make you pay money for something worthless would be out of business.

OK, rant over, all is well. Our PB really knows how to work within the cards he's (we are) dealt, and all will be fine. Permit will be approved this week, and the waiting continues.
 

avenger_chicago

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
194
Chicago
It took us nine months, hiring an expediter, and multiple meetings with the city of Chicago to get our permit approved. I understand your frustration. Glad to hear you’re going to be able to move forward!
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
As I wait patiently for my build to begin (Still on track for Sept 1), I ordered a test kit (XL version) with a salt test, and really wasn't prepared for what actually comes in this thing. Really, it is a bit overwhelming to see all this stuff which I really don't understand all yet.

I mean, I have done all the reading, and understand the premise behind the TFP, and how all the tests "work", just didn't envision the "kit" until it came.

TF Test Kit.jpg

I wanted to have everything in one place so I ordered a double sided "parts organizer" from Amazon. This will probably change as I use the stuff, but here is the kit as it sits in the garage.

Test Kit 1.jpg

Side 2

test kit 2.jpg

Funny thing is I probably wont even get to use it this year. If the plan goes as "planned", the pool will go in, just in time to close it up for the winter. I have a couple neighbors who have pools who tole me to "go to town" in testing their water. Should be good practice for sure.
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
As I keep busy while I "patiently" wait, I am building a small shed on one side of the house so I can move the "stuff" that is currently house in small, plastic yard storage boxes. The current storage "sheds" hold my lawnmower, misc. yard equipment, extra supplies, etc. and will be in the "pool area" once the build is done. Since we will not have any grass on the side of the pool area, and the area will be closed off by a gate, I didn't want to have all the lawn equipment over there, having to go in and out of the gate any time I needed something. Plus it gives me an excuse to build something and keep busy as I wait.

Here is a rough Google Earth layout of where the current storage is, and where the new shed will go.

Shed Location.JPG


This will not be a large shed, just enough space to keep the outdoor equipment. 8' x 42". Here is the pad. And like a lot of pool builds, I spend my time during the day watering it! Will give it the week to cure, and start building the walls next week.

pad.jpg
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
We got bad news Friday that there is big delay in our timeline. Apparently, the Latham factory in Iowa has been running long delays because of COVID related schedules, and then a large storm that knocked out power a few weeks back really put them behind. We were told we are looking at a almost a four week delay now before the FB shell is ready. So from Sept 1 estimated start to now Sept 27.

The kicker for me is we decided to add two bubblers to the ledge (not lighted) and our PB called the distributor to check if these could still be added to the order. Instead of good news, we were told about the delay. Worse part is someone had to have know about this delay before a call was placed for the bubbler question. And the lack of concern for a "last minute" three week delay is very strange to me. Like its no big deal to drop this bomb with a week to go before the shell was supposed to ship. I get the backlog of delays in parts, shells, liners etc., with the big pool boom this year, but come on, a little better communication should be the norm. And since I'm at the mercy of Latham here, there isn't much we can do but wait. Like a lot of people around here, delays just seem to be part of the process. The good news is the Intellicenter was also backordered, and should be in now with the pool shell.

As I said, as I wait, and finished up the "shed". Its been hotter than normal around here, and between watering the base of the shed, to the heat, I really tore up the grass in the area, but it will pop back in a few weeks I'm sure. With the scrap materials left over, I also decided to "throw together" a rack for my firewood.

IMG_4893.jpg

Decided to add the sign my wife made above the firewood rack. Even added a light to the back to highlight it at night. Also put in some soffit lights at the end.

IMG_4898.jpg
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,889
Evans, Georgia
You can always ask and see if another model is available? We had a delay on our chosen color- they called us and said our chosen color wouldn't be run for a couple of weeks (I guess they do all the orders of one color at a time?) but would we want to consider the current color run. We did and liked it far better than what we initially picked out.

Just a thought.

Maddie
 
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gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You can always ask and see if another model is available? We had a delay on our chosen color- they called us and said our chosen color wouldn't be run for a couple of weeks (I guess they do all the orders of one color at a time?) but would we want to consider the current color run. We did and liked it far better than what we initially picked out.

Just a thought.

Maddie

Maddie, good advice on any "normal" occasion for sure. The problem right now is that every FB shell Latham is pumping out right now has someone's name on it. They are quoting 12-16 weeks right now for shells, so even if I wanted to pivot to a different color, I would still have to wait. and the model issue is a different story for us. This size and shape we have going is going to fit exactly within our easements so the model is the one we have to wait for. Add to this the wifey "upgraded" the color, and she has seen this in real life, even she is going to have to wait for her "perfect blue".

The wait really isn't bothering me so much now as is the way they came across with the news like its no big deal. A lot of excuses and finger pointing, but no real accountability. We placed the order back in May, it was on a schedule, they knew the schedule, and then somehow a week to go we find out about it? I could never get away with that in business, and most couldn't. We already had it in our heads there would be no swimming this year with an October completion in the Midwest, but I still would have liked to have it done a little earlier for some of the landscaping to be able to go in and take before the winter. As long as the pool is good to go by the end of the season, we will have a full season to enjoy it next year.
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That’s disappointing. Our PB says our ship date for our cover is 9/1, so hopefully we are approaching the end of our build.
This is the worst part. It gets better!

Wow, 9/1?!? That's a long delay, especially considering how long your build has been going on. I was told my cover was in (charcoal like yours), but not a lot of good it does me haha!

My PB just finished their "showroom" pool, and their cover (same as yours and mine) is delayed until October 1. They could have taken mine and then my cover would have been backordered, but didn't want to take the risk of it being further behind.
 

avenger_chicago

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
194
Chicago
I think the more you accept the delays as part of the process the less frustrated you will be. I have to continually talk my partner down a bit. I understand how stressful it is.
 
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CircaSurvivalist

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2020
77
Memphis, TN
Sorry to hear that news! It is definitely a struggle these days. We’re going on month 3 of our build with no real progress for the past 3 weeks..our PB is saying it will be another 2 weeks for concrete too. Just have to keep reminding ourselves it will be finished one day haha
 

gingrbredman

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2020
261
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Updated dig date is now Monday, so that is a bit of good news. The scheduled delivery of the shell is Friday, so there is also a bit of good news for a change.

The utilities were marked two days ago, but something isn't right with this. The utilities were marked back in May when we were finalizing details, and I even took pics back then to see the whole design, layout. The electrical line as marked now is a good 6 feet away from the markings in May, and the cable and phone lines are off in the back part of the yard by about the same. Just odd how they can be that far off, but I asked to have them confirmed, and the utility marking company said they will be out by tomorrow at the latest. None of this will change the pool layout, or even really affect the pool, but landscaping, or other stuff will change based on where the utilities really are, so I'll feel better when they confirm.

Was going to move one of my trees in the front so make room for the bobcat to come into the yard, but my landscaper said we should try to just trim it and tie it back first. This will give the tree a better shot at survival, and we really do like the tree where it is.

IMG_4952.jpg

Still have to move some edging in the front.

Quick shot of looking where the pool will go. Don't mind the grass, I kind of gave up on it with the drought we had, knowing it was going to be tore up. That will be all repaired when the project is done.
IMG_4945-min.jpg

Still have to take down one more tree in the back, and a large lilac bush where the equipment pad will go before Monday, but we are moving along.
 
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