New Owner Build in FL near Orlando

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
Florida, the home of the dinky filter.. :poke: Is your pool going to be in a screen room?

Make sure you buy an EasyTouch with built in SWCG power supply. It comes with an IC40 and two actuators. You will also want ScreenLogic which does not normally come with a real EasyTouch..

Make sure you do not buy an "lite" version EasyTouch.. They are a cheap knock off of the real thing. And often come with ScreenLogic to trick you into buying it.. PSL4 or PL4...

Make sure your cell is at least 2 X the volume of your pool...

Thanks,

Jim R.
Hey Jim,

Yes, we are getting a screen enclosure. So there shouldn't be anything clogging the filter besides my spilled drinks. LOL. Can you explain if needed why to get a bigger filter? If you can sway me, I will get the bigger one. Let the debate begin.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
17,883
Bedford, TX
B,

With a screen room your filter will be fine..

I do not have a screen-room, not sure they even exist in Texas, but I have a CCP-520 cartridge filter. The bigger the filter the less often you have to clean it. I could go for a year between cleanings, but my OCD makes me do it every six month or so. :mrgreen:

Jim R.
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
B,

With a screen room your filter will be fine..

I do not have a screen-room, not sure they even exist in Texas, but I have a CCP-520 cartridge filter. The bigger the filter the less often you have to clean it. I could go for a year between cleanings, but my OCD makes me do it every six month or so. :mrgreen:

Jim R.
There are way too many "love" bugs and mosquitos and other irritants here is swampy FL. I don't want the screen enclosure, but it is a must. You can't sit outside and enjoy food without flies and other pests bothering you. I'm even paying more for the finer mesh screen to keep the no see um's? out! :)
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
Make sure you buy an EasyTouch with built in SWCG power supply. It comes with an IC40 and two actuators. You will also want ScreenLogic which does not normally come with a real EasyTouch..

Make sure you do not buy an "lite" version EasyTouch.. They are a cheap knock off of the real thing. And often come with ScreenLogic to trick you into buying it.. PSL4 or PL4...

Jim,

I think I was looking at the EasyTouch "heavy" version. I went on the Pentair site and I see the "lite" version. What are main differences? I see there are breakers in the full , the swg transformer, and some diagnostics. I didn't see any comparisons when I searched the forums.

Thanks,
Josh
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
In the past month I have hit the quote trail hard. It is a time consuming process with lots of emailing, calling , and doubts if you can get this done. But with some perseverance, you can get everyone to send you quotes. The more you talk to people, the more you will understand the process and what to ask for in your quote. Reading these forums is a good place to start, but unless I am mistaken, we do things differently here in FL. LOL :sneaky: So let's start with the layout, dig, steel, gunite portion. Locally, I searched for these gunite companies. There are not many in town. Three to be exact after searching and also running into one doing a neighbors pool. So I gathered my 2d drawing, engineering plans and profile of the depths and shot off emails. The first two quotes I received back were gunite only quotes. They didn't do any of the excavation type work. So with the better of the two quotes, I called back and asked if they work with any excavation companies. I was directed to a supervisor and gave them a call. They were happy to share an excavation company they work with normally. So I called the excavation company and got a quote back pretty quickly for the layout, dig and steel portion. I'm feeling great at this point to get my first quotes back on a big portion of the pool work. Next I called the third company I had seen doing a neighbors pool and got a contact email there. I shot off all my information and got a call back from their sales office. Come to find out, this company does all components of the job (layout, dig, steel, and gunite). I'm excited about this all inclusive company. When you are acting as the builder it is nice to consolidate some of the people and schedules into one. One of the good things about this is I get a call back with questions about my pool plans. I only had 4 steps into the pool and a 3.5 foot depth. I hadn't put a ton of thought into the step depths at this point. So we have a 3 foot 6 inch water depth plus 3 inch tile line plus 1.25 inch coping for a total of 3 foot 10.25 inch so lets just round that up to 4 ft. That means each step is 12 inches. I promptly go to my staircase and measure my stairs. They are 8 inch steps. I have two small kids and I know the smallest one can do the 8 inch steps barely, so adding 4 more inches I am thinking this is not good. I start stopping by neighbors houses and asking them how their deep are ther pool step. I find that most pool builders keep the depth a 3 feet to keep the steps from being large (this equates to 10 inch steps when you have 4). I think 3 foot depth is kind of small so I want to stick with the 3.5 foot depth. One of the main items driving my depths is my sun shelf, baja shelf, kiddie shelf, beach area or whatever you call it locally. :p My engineering plans call for a max bench depth of 20 inches below the waterline. I have seen some pools where the shelf is the first step into the pool. This means that there is 6-8 inches of water on the shelf once you add in the 3 inch tile line and the coping 1 to 2.5 inch. I do not understand why you would add this shelf with barely any water depth. I feel like it is a large waste of space and cost just to be able to put a chair in 6-8 inches of water. I wanted to maximize that 20 inches of water depth for my bench and also connect my sun shelf to it. So for me I had to add a 5th step. To avoid using up swimming space in the pool I opted for two corner steps that lead down to the shelf area. So from the top of the coping the first step down will be 8.25 inch (1.25 inch travertine + 3 inch tile line, + 4 inches of water). Second step is 8 inches. Third step to the sun shelf is 8 inches. That gives me 20 inches of water for the kids to run around in and a bench where you are sitting in the water. My bench that runs the length of the pool acts as a swimout as well which you need once you have a 5 foot pool depth. The fourth step is 11 inches and the last step to the pool bottom is 11 inches. If I did my math correctly that is 42 inches under the water (3.5 ft). I am fine with the 11 inch steps because your body should be in the water by then to lessen the stress of making those bigger steps. So with my stair depths squared away I got the quote back. It came back higher than the separate companies doing quotes. So after chewing on it for a couple days, I sent an email and asked if they would meet the other quotes. They kindly asked me for an apples to apples comparison and to let them know exactly what work was quoted. First thing I zoned in on was the 12 yards of rock. They use this under the gunite shell when your water table is higher so the water can drain off. 10 yards were included in my excavation quote so they removed this 900 line item charge that was separate. Next we revisited the pool plan and realized they had quoted double wall steel. This was not needed after all. If your pool is further away from your house than the depth, you do not need double wall steel. Meaning if your pool is 5 ft depth and 5 feet away from your house, no extra steel. But it you have a 6 ft pool and it is 5 feet away from your house, you need double wall steel to meet code. In my case I am 7 feet away from the house so no extra steel. That saved about 400 bucks. So the lesson here is to question what you are being quoted. So now that we have reduced cost on the last quote it is only a little higher than using the separate companies. For me it is well worth the extra money to only deal with one company versus two. I down select the gunite company! Woo Woo! A week later I start asking questions about scheduling. I am totally expecting at this point that after the steel install, I will bring in the plumber to do his work and then we will gunite. I mean this is what I have been reading all over the forums. Come to find out, the gunite company starts asking me for all the locations of the lights, returns, vacuum lines, skimmer, etc etc. I ask them why they need all that and they said it's so they can cut holes in the gunite for the plumbing. I call the plumber immediately to ask if this is the order of operation and it is confirmed this is how they do it. Only in Florida! LOL. I am thinking they do this because it rains here a lot and cannot have cave-ins all the time. That is my guess!?
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
One other item that came up during my gunite quotes that I noticed was in the engineering plans they call for 4000 psi concrete. The gunite quotes I received back were for 3000 psi concrete and 3500 psi concrete. I called them on that right away and got the explanation that they use 3000 psi concrete on 100 percent of residential pools. They would only use 4000 psi concrete on commercial pools. I hit the interwebs about this topic and found that there are arguments between engineers and these concrete companies that go back years. I am interested to hear what the forums have to say on this topic. Let the debate begin!
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
This past weekend we got the show on the road and finally broke ground. Kids were glued to the glass while the bulldozer stripped the grass. No spray paint layout as I have seen on other people's threads. They just marked the outside corners of the deck and got to work. Filled up two dump trucks with the grass and dirt. They seem to have taken about 4 inches out. My son wants to be the bulldozer guy. Bulldozer guy said he said the same when he was a kid and has no regrets about his job choice. sod_scrape.jpg
 

John John

New member
Aug 21, 2019
1
Florida
So let's go back to the beginning. I am going to state the steps I went through incase someone in the future wants to do it themselves. So after getting quotes from pool builders, we felt like we were being pushed into a pool design that was not ours. We never got to discuss what we really wanted due to sticker shock from the pool builders. I can tell you that over 3 years of debating, prices have gone up a solid 10k. We tried to get the same basic design from the different pool builders and those designs came in at 47k to 100k and really these were just basic pools. So you can see it is the wild west here in Florida. Luckily we had a friend who decided to build his own pool in the past and helped put the idea in our heads that we could do it ourselves. So we picked up where the pool builders left off and tried to come up with the pool that we wanted. So after 100 design iterations with the wife, I decided I wouldn't let her change one more thing and sent my plans to engineering. It's a nice way to say your done once you have to pay for engineering! LOL There is no going back! Or at least that is what I said. We ended up with a 35' x 17' pool which is approximately 15.5k gallons. Then we took to the internet to find engineering. You want to search for aquatic engineering. We located one on the west coast of Florida and this is all they do (commercial and residential pools). They have ala cart pricing so I wasn't quite sure what I needed. I had my 2D plans handy and ended up ordering their standard engineering package which includes the ANSI 15 and ANSI 7 TDH calculations. One of the main items I needed to choose was the exact main drain I was going to use. They need that for the calculations so I ended up with a Heyward 8 inch dual drain. I also asked them to give me an idea of what equipment sizes I needed and they included that in their report. Once again it was decision time as they charge different rates for paper and digital packages. I picked two hard copies as that is what I needed for the permit package and then just scanned them for my own records. It took them about a week to turn it around and arrive at the house. So what's included in these engineering plans? It is the minimum safety requirements and design minimums to meet the 2017 Florida Building Code. One thing that caught my eye was 1 skimmer per 800 sf. I know I have seen a lot of questions on that in these forums. Also the returns are a minimum of 1 per 300 sf. It has the shell and beam size and rebar sizes for the Gunite. It has lot's of information and definitely will help guide you on the rest of your journey.
I would like to know about your process, thinking about controlling my own pool build also.
 

bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
Yesterday before the rains came through we had some forms installed. I went out and double checked the dimensions including the 6 inch shell and all was good. We might have had an extra foot on the length, but who am I to complain? LOL The dig is scheduled for tomorrow so go away rain! form work.jpg
 
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bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
I'm going to skip ahead to the interior finish. After researching and contacting different companies around town I found out pebble tec is the brand name version. Most people call it pebble tec around here, but that is like Kleenex or Bandaid which are brands and not the actual product. So stating what everyone knows on here already and I found out , it really comes down to Pebble Tec, Wet Edge, or PebbleScapes. There might be more options where you live but those are the main 3 companies by me. So to summarize without getting into a long speech since I will touch on this experience later, it is pebbles added to the plaster finish and they expose the pebbles at the end by acid washing the plaster. From an experienced pool builder, rocks are rocks and why pay more for a name brand. If you follow other threads, you want to make sure you hire a good plaster company. So in my planning phase trying to get quotes ahead of time, that just did not work out. Most of them don't want to quote the job until the shell is built. I understand that, as things will change up until they pour the concrete. Mostly I wanted to know what colors were which level and it was like pulling teeth. I did finally squeeze the information out of one of the installers for Wet Edge. If you watch the Wet Edge videos the guy states that white and gold pebbles are sourced in the US and black and gray outside the US. Also, the more Kobalt (blue) they add to the plaster the more money. That will help guide you on selections. But if you are wondering about colors and levels I was able to get the Signature Matrix defined:
Standard: Gold, Gulf White, and Coastal Blue
Tier 1: Caribbean, Tahoe, and Plum
Tier 2: Cadet Blue, Picasso Blue, Aqua, Summer Sky, and Brilliant Blue,
Tier 3: Crystal Blue, Black, Black Magic, Grey, and Sage
Tier 4: Bali Blue, Laguna Blue, Midnight
Tier 5: Tropical and Blue

Hopefully this will help you out if you are local. I'm sure it varies place to place. In the end, these are mixtures of rock so don't be surprised if you don't see a bag show up on site that isn't the name you picked. Another thing to consider in the price is they clean out the pool and cut and set all the pipe features. So do understand what they are quoting you if you plan on doing some of that work yourself.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,475
Tallahassee, FL
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bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
Here is a set of link I put together to help pick and get the best plaster out there!

Plaster links:
Ten Guidelines for Quality Pool Plaster Best one of all
All Plaster Finishes Should Last 20 Years
Not All Color Pigments are Good for Pools How to pick a good color for plaster.
A Plastering 'Watch List' | Professional Watershaping | Watershapes
Trouble Free Pool
Trouble Free Pool

It is a LOT of info but........it is a lot of money you are spending.....might as well get your moneys worth!
Thanks Kim! I just read all of that. All good information. I am going to make a cheat sheet to quiz the plasterers when they come out to quote.
 
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bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
We dug today after days of raining. I was really surprised there was no standing water below the ground. I was totally expecting a big mud puddle and it was dry. So I guess the sand does drain pretty well here.pool dig.jpeg
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,475
Tallahassee, FL
Sand is great about that! The playground at the school I just retired from had a sand playground. We could have the kids back on it within 15 mins of a big rain! It was wonderful!
 
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bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
Searching around the interwebs, I found these neat skimmer covers. They look awesome and I am going to get it installed. I sent it to the decking company I have been talking to and they have never seen them, but they are going to install it for me. These are made by HIDE. 1590966855965.png
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,475
Tallahassee, FL
Look at these for inside the pool!


Some good decking people can make the skimmer cover out of the stone being used for the decking and cutting finger holes in it for easy lifting.
 
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bbqjosh

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
60
Orlando, FL
Today, we got the steel done. They put a wire mesh around the outside of the forms and then installed the rebar. Installed the dual main drains and light niche. Also wired up four ground wires to the steel. Took three guys about 4 hours and they made it look easy. Early in the day I was looking online how to set up the inspection. I couldn't figure out how to schedule it so I called building services. Apparently, you need to submit the NOC to them before they allow you to schedule inspections. That was no where in their documentation so lesson learned. Luckily I was able to email it in and then I was able to schedule my inspections. I scheduled the rough plumb, rough electric, and pool steel. Hopefully everything passes and we can schedule the gunite! I spoke to the Gunite company and they are running behind schedule due to the rain so probably won't be seeing gunite till the end of the week at the earliest. steel.jpg