New IG Build - Need Input on Layout

TFPNoobie

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Aug 5, 2020
14
Jamison, PA
Hello all,

We're scheduled for a summer install and we chose the Latham Carmel fiberglass pool.

I'm having a lot of trouble deciding on how much concrete to put around each side of the pool. I'm leaning toward putting 8' of concrete between the deck and the pool and possibly 4' around the other 3 sides. I wish I could put 8' around all sides and I know you're supposed to put as much as you can afford but we're also going to be close to the maximum impervious coverage for our property.

I'm curious about everyone's thoughts on this. Please see my current yard and proposed layout and let me know what you think. I haven't updated that design yet to reflect the 8' of concrete near the deck. I'm also trying to tie in my paver patio which I installed myself last June and a new deck that we plan on installing in the next year. Is it too busy? Too much going on with the deck, patio, and pool area? Any input or opinions are welcome.

Thanks
 

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Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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Greetings from one noob to another 😁

So personally I LOVE the walk-down-the-stairs and dive in approach. I am unable to enter the pool any other way. Well, cannonballs, bellyflops and whatnot, but you get the idea. The kids are with me and they won’t ever think twice either. The moms, grandparents and most guests will feel akward having to go around to the shallow end.

This could easily be fixed by cutting in another set of stairs close to the patio doors on the shallow side. Or flip the pool a 180. Or keep it how it is and hold my beer. *splash*.

Everything else to my untrained design eye is awesome.
 
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TFPNoobie

Member
Aug 5, 2020
14
Jamison, PA
Greetings from one noob to another 😁

So personally I LOVE the walk-down-the-stairs and dive in approach. I am unable to enter the pool any other way. Well, cannonballs, bellyflops and whatnot, but you get the idea. The kids are with me and they won’t ever think twice either. The moms, grandparents and most guests will feel akward having to go around to the shallow end.

This could easily be fixed by cutting in another set of stairs close to the patio doors on the shallow side. Or flip the pool a 180. Or keep it how it is and hold my beer. *splash*.

Everything else to my untrained design eye is awesome.

Excellent point! I redesigned it with the deck stairs at the shallow end. Another reason I like that idea is because the area around the steps into the pool will probably remain clear anyway. So why waste 2 areas that have to stay clear on the patio (1. Area coming down the stops and 2. area for steps into the pool). Consolidate that cleared area in one spot. Thanks!
 
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bmoreswim

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You are at what I think is the second most exciting part of getting a pool. The planning stage. The single most exciting time for me was dig/gunite. Followed in third by first swim. I agree with you on the step relocation and I'll raise you one. I'd make that whole corner of the deck a set of stairs. So wraparound corner steps. Steps are a choke point and removing the inner two sets of railings makes it more accessible. And steps also become ad hoc seating, so the larger the steps are the better. Is there a reason the pavilion is by the deep end? I usually think of them near the shallow end for the same reason as the stairs. People will go from pavilion to pool, and often that's the shallow end, as duly noted by and contrary to @Newdude and my preference to access quickly and directly into the deep end. But if the pavilion is over there for other reasons like being a getaway or place for groups to separate, or a particularly strong aesthetic reason, or due to not wanting shade on the pool, then it may make sense.

As for size of the deck between the pool and raised deck, I'd go with 12' (see left side below for what 12-13' looks like). Note, the chaise would stick out a little more if laid down flat. That gives you room for chaise lounges (6') and room for easy passage and congregating (6'). However, if you have plenty of room elsewhere for chaise, then I'd go 10'. The change being only needing 4' for a chair with a person in it with feet on a foot rest. Then either 3 or 4' (4' is my preference plus the 1' coping gives you 5') on the other sides. Our pavilion is roughly 5' from the water. A little more there wouldn't hurt depending on the overall vibe. Our right side is 4' decking plus 1' coping.

I also have a personal reason for thinking the pavilion goes by the shallow end...

 
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TFPNoobie

Member
Aug 5, 2020
14
Jamison, PA
You are at what I think is the second most exciting part of getting a pool. The planning stage. The single most exciting time for me was dig/gunite. Followed in third by first swim. I agree with you on the step relocation and I'll raise you one. I'd make that whole corner of the deck a set of stairs. So wraparound corner steps. Steps are a choke point and removing the inner two sets of railings makes it more accessible. And steps also become ad hoc seating, so the larger the steps are the better. Is there a reason the pavilion is by the deep end? I usually think of them near the shallow end for the same reason as the stairs. People will go from pavilion to pool, and often that's the shallow end, as duly noted by and contrary to @Newdude and my preference to access quickly and directly into the deep end. But if the pavilion is over there for other reasons like being a getaway or place for groups to separate, or a particularly strong aesthetic reason, or due to not wanting shade on the pool, then it may make sense.

As for size of the deck between the pool and raised deck, I'd go with 12' (see left side below for what 12-13' looks like). Note, the chaise would stick out a little more if laid down flat. That gives you room for chaise lounges (6') and room for easy passage and congregating (6'). However, if you have plenty of room elsewhere for chaise, then I'd go 10'. The change being only needing 4' for a chair with a person in it with feet on a foot rest. Then either 3 or 4' (4' is my preference plus the 1' coping gives you 5') on the other sides. Our pavilion is roughly 5' from the water. A little more there wouldn't hurt depending on the overall vibe. Our right side is 4' decking plus 1' coping.

I also have a personal reason for thinking the pavilion goes by the shallow end...

Wow. Is that your pool?! That looks amazing! Love the idea of the wrap-around steps for the pool/paver patio area so I will incorporate that into my design.

The biggest reason for putting the pavilion at the deep end is simply because I don't think it would tie in to everything if I put it on the other side with the paver patio there. We also like the unobstructed view from around the fire pit so we can watch the deer and fox walk by at night. And being that it's a fiberglass pool we can't change where the steps are without rotating the entire pool the other way. And I would definitely do 10-12' but I don't think that can be done without a variance. I'm allowed 25% maximum impervious surface and with 8,4,4,4 around the pool that puts us close to that max, unfortunately.

Should I sacrifice the 4' around the other 3 sides and go with 10,3,3,3,? With the 10' being closest to the deck?

I've been using this tool which is pretty awesome at helping figure that out.
 

bmoreswim

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That’s a tough call on the deck area sizes. For me, I’d have to do a complete layout of how I expected my furniture to be arranged. I know you won’t be certain what layout you will like, but you can probably nail down what pieces of furniture you want. Then work on the possible arrangements within each of those size layouts. To be clear, when you say 3’ of deck, is that 3’ of total hard surface, meaning there is no separate coping? 3’ total is fine for access, but tight for two people to pass, and tight for one to sit feet in the pool and one to pass. 3’ is totally blocked by one occupied chair unless it’s sideways, then still tight. Just giving a few real life examples. But if you are able to do some river rock in addition to 3’, then that changes it. Or even grass can be access space. My back side of the pool is landscaping so wouldn’t work as well for passing if the deck were blocked.

I see your points on the pavilion on the left. I sit by our fire pit A LOT. So views from there are very important for me too. Also carefully consider that tree near the fire pit. Plan on the 20+ year size. Time flies. For example, if you were thinking standard or even a smaller variety blue spruce, I’d give pause to that as it will close in your fire pit area. Just be careful with selection for that site.
 
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TFPNoobie

Member
Aug 5, 2020
14
Jamison, PA
Yeah, the blue spruce needs to be changed out with something smaller. I think it would look great until it gets too large.

What is your opinion on tying the paver patio together with the pool deck? Right now I was planning on having river rock separate the two partly because I need to add a french drain around the edge of the patio and run it over toward that white fence which is the lowest point in the yard. I also think it would look funny if the concrete butted right up against the pavers so I'm hoping the stone ties them together nicely. I'll add a few stepping stones in river rock to get from patio to pool deck.

We're also leaning toward brushed concrete mainly because I've read that stamped can be slippery and requires maintenance every couple of years. Also, if I went with stamped I'd either have to try and match the pavers exactly or contrast it entirely. I know it'll never match so I think it would look odd and obvious that we tried to match it. I think pavers would be too costly so it's out of the question. If I do go with stamped it may just be the stamped concrete without any of those patterns that make it look like pavers.
 

bmoreswim

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Before I forget again, you may want to put a second set of steps off the side of the raised deck going towards the pavilion.

No problem for me with the pavers in the river rock, but I’d make them big and put a lot of them. If you need three to get from one place to the other, I’d do 6 or 9, by putting three rows all evenly spaced. It will be a busy pathway. I suspect those same stepping stones would be repeated as needed elsewhere which wilL look nice. Like possibly from the secondary steps to the deck on that side if you do that.

Brushed concrete is cost effective, ties things together well by not being busy and can be made more stylish by brushing in grout lines either geometrically or freeform. See @PoolGate ‘s build for an example of this. I would, however, see a sample of the brushed concrete from the concrete sub prior to installation. There are small differences in the level of roughness that can make a big difference, from perfect traction to rough. And if you are the detailed type, ask them to draw out their full expansion joint and control joint plan. More than once owners have been unsatisfied with the outcome due to their placement. They serve specific purposes, but can also be aesthetically designed into the plan as well.

As a note, our stamped and carved concrete is both perfect and slippery in parts. Some of it set up too firmly before they stamped it and so there’s not enough traction. Thankfully that section is the minority of the surface area.
 
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PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Check out my build (pics in sigline below) for ideas on stone-marking. It is an inexpensive alternative to stamped concrete at $1/sq foot. We generally hang out at the shallow end but our yard and pool enclosure naturally lend itself to this configuration.

Here is a video I shot with a wide angle lens it shows the pool area well.

 

TFPNoobie

Member
Aug 5, 2020
14
Jamison, PA
Hi @PoolGate. I checked out your build after @bmoreswim suggested it. It looks great and I really like it. Not really sure how to find someone near me who does that kind of work. How is it holding up? Do the faux grout areas stain easily? I'm in the Philly area and the only stonemaker contractor I found was in South Jersey and it doesn't appear that they have an active website anymore.

I really do like how the light gray stamped looks in the photo below but my PB is charging 13.50 sq ft vs 8.00 sq ft for brushed.

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TFPNoobie

Member
Aug 5, 2020
14
Jamison, PA
My PB also reached out to me today to let me know that he and the surveyor will be out at the end of the month or early next month to complete a topographical survey. Kinda exciting since it's the beginning of the process :)

One thing I really liked about this PB is that he said he has 1 crew and that he trusts his guys to do the work right. He's already booked through all of 2022 and is only accepting referrals as clients. So instead of subbing the work (To people he doesn't trust) out to build more pools and pocket more money, he just books out further in advance which I kinda like but I'd rather not wait for a pool, haha. Anyway, I noticed on their facebook site that they are hiring full/part time heavy machine operators and I'm cautiously optimistic that the install may be moved up a month or two. Right now we're scheduled for August but by the time the job is done it's time to close the pool which means we're waiting until next year to swim. It would be nice to get a solid 1 or 2 months in this year.
 

PoolGate

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Hi @PoolGate. I checked out your build after @bmoreswim suggested it. It looks great and I really like it. Not really sure how to find someone near me who does that kind of work. How is it holding up? Do the faux grout areas stain easily? I'm in the Philly area and the only stonemaker contractor I found was in South Jersey and it doesn't appear that they have an active website anymore.

I really do like how the light gray stamped looks in the photo below but my PB is charging 13.50 sq ft vs 8.00 sq ft for brushed.

View attachment 313707

View attachment 313706

I watched the guy do it you could almost do this yourself. You literally just trace a stone pattern in the concrete using a stainless steel grill brush after it has been brushed. I don't think it is super specialized. I have no staining at all in the grooves but all they really are are sections of the concrete where the brushed and floated areas are scraped off. We went with this because the stamping was so expensive.
 

bmoreswim

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Our deck was done with Stonemakers which is usually used primarily for walls or structures. Unless they do it differently than our PB did with Stonemakers, the stain was a sprayed on stain. And the grout lines were carved wet and then "painted" with a runny mortar mix. The stain, though sealed once or twice early, is nearly gone. And I won't bother with more. I could and it would look awesome, but it fades. The only time I might do it is before I sell. It has a big wow factor when new.

I think the two are separate things. Brushed (with or without artistic brushed grout lines) or stamped (standard with integral color, or Stonemakers and sprayed stain). My PB gave us a good price on the deck in the stamped because he had never done Stonemakers on a deck before. Brushed concrete well done is a steal. But its all personal.
 
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