New Owner Build West of Austin (near Hudson Bend)

Rabo

Silver Supporter
Apr 28, 2018
8
Austin, TX
After reading this forum the past several months and incorporating many of your ideas, it’s time to add our build to the list and request feedback from the TFP gurus! We are using BYOP for the design, have mostly finished the plans, and have started communicating with subcontractors. We have a relatively large family who will use the pool, including our four kids (ages 5, 7, 10, and 12), my brother’s kids (ages 11, 13, and 15) who live next door, and of course, all their friends and the grownups, too… that’s why everything is on the bigger side. Here’s what we’re planning:

Pool Specs:
Dimensions: 31’4” x 48’ Freeform
Perimeter: 134’
Square footage: 1072’
Depth: 3’6” to 8’
Total gallons: 43,500
Water features: 2 24” stone scuppers, 3 bubblers, small grotto, spa spillway
Raised wall: Split faced travertine

Spa Specs:
Dimensions: 7’8” x 10’2” Freeform
Perimeter: 28’
Square footage: 59’
Jets: 8 Super-Pro Hydrotherapy Jet Body and Super-Pro Hydrosteam fitting
Depth 3’6”
Spillway: 7’ stair step leuder stone (or travertine?)
Spa edge: Tiled rolled beam to coping

Equipment (all Pentair):
Pumps: 2 Tradegrade Pentair Intelliflo VSF Variable Speed & Flow 3HP 230v (1 for pool, 1 for water features)
Filter: Tradegrade Pentair 160332 Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter - 520 Sqft
Heater: Mastertemp 400K BTU Propane
Sanitation: Stenner Pump 45MPHP22 with 30 gal tank (note that we’re also going to pre-plumb for SWG in case we want to upgrade later)
Cleaner: Tradegrade Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 930 Ig Robotic Pool Cleaner w/caddy
Lights: 3 Intellibrite 5 g color led 12v, 1 Intellibrite spa, and 1 Globrite for grotto
Control: Intellicenter 8
Blower: Air Supply of The Future, Inc. 1.5 HP, 220/240v, Silencer Air Blower
Autofill: Pentair Water Pool and Spa T40FB Autofill with Fluidmaster valve
Drains: 2 32” light gray channel drain (1 for pool and 1 for spa)

Questions at this point:
  • Lighting:
    • Do you think the 3 intellibrites are the right choice or should we go with microbrites (6 for main pool, 1 for grotto, 1 for spa). The cost difference is not significant, we’re more concerned with the best look and lowest maintenance.
    • How should we light the relatively small grotto? Should we try to put a light (globrite or microbrite) in the grotto floor or in the wall below the bench and angled upward so it shines toward the waterfall?
    • Any ideas for lighting the raised walls on either side of the grotto? I’d like to shine light on the wall itself (split faced travertine), maybe like a step or ledge light that shines downward from just below the coping, but I’m not sure what type of light to use.
  • Drains
    • What do you recommend between a channel drain and 360 Paramount drain? Should the main pool and spa have the same type of drain?
  • Sun Ledge
    • When debating water depths, we ended up leaning toward a sloping sun ledge – from 6” to 9” of water. Is this a good idea or a pain? Any thoughts appreciated.
  • Step height in shallow end
    • Should we add an additional step to get in the shallow end? Right now, there are 2 steps, each with a 12” rise. If we add another, they’d each have a 9” rise.
  • Other thoughts?
    • Have you noticed anything on the design that needs adjusting?
    • How does the equipment list look?
    • Any other advice as we navigate an owner build?
Thanks in advance for your feedback. I’m attaching pics of our design and backyard and will try to update as we make progress. I’m sure it’ll take awhile to build, particularly since we’re the GC, but hopefully we’ll have a pool by summer 2021! 😊

Rachel
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
647
Katy TX
Howdy fellow Texan and Congratulations on your first post. You have a very nice pool layout & design. Wish you were my brother!!!

I think its interesting that you are going with a liquid chlorine injection system from the start and planning for a SWG later. Why would you do that? Just curious. My thoughts are most (me included) have moved to liquid chlorine because we originally had a puck chlorinator and have not made the jump to SWG due to either equipment set up or $$$. It would seem a SWG would be a small incremental $$ increase for the size of pool you are building.

You show that you will have lounge chairs on your sun shelf - if you have your shelf sloping 3 inches (6 to 9") I think that would affect the "relaxation" part of the shelf. Most go with 9" especially since your children are older so no need to have 6 inch depth.

Per your graphic, it appears you could add that 3rd step without affecting the room in the pool so I would go with a rise of 9" for each.

The channel drain are the newer technology and do not affect your robot cleaner (having it hang up on the drain cover). You can use in both pool and spa.

Have at minimum 2 skimmers and have each independently plumbed back to equipment pad with their own valves for better control. Your main drain will also be plumbed back separately as will the spa drain.

Have each of your water features have independent lines or minimum a valve for isolation for better control.

Good Luck and keep us posted.
 

Rabo

Silver Supporter
Apr 28, 2018
8
Austin, TX
Thanks Herman!! My husband grew up in Katy and we have family in Fulshear, so I know that area well.

We've gone back and forth on SWG but ultimately decided to try liquid chlorine first. We'll save some money up front, but we also just feel more comfortable with it and are hoping the stenner pump is a good middle ground. I know there are lots of SWG advocates here, so we want to build it in a way that allows for an easy conversion to SWG later if we so choose... any recommendations on how best to do that?

Thanks for the plumbing tips - I added them to my list! I also appreciate the confirmation on the channel drain and adding another step in the shallow end - we've been going back and forth on those ideas for awhile.

If we do a 9" sun shelf, it seems like we'd need to add an entry step, which we were trying to avoid. It's true the slope may make the loungers impractical though... hadn't thought about that. I'll put some more thought into it.

Thanks again, and I hope you don't get too much wind or rain from the storm tomorrow!
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
647
Katy TX
I do not have a SWG so not the best person to answer your question, however, I remember reading that you can insert a dummy SWG such that you have the plumbing properly spaced out. It is also best to use unions for this. Hopefully others will chime in.

On the sun shelf, I have heard that some put a step (about 10-12 wide) at 4-6 inches depth if your shelf is large enough. Not sure how practical this is but could be considered. As a comparison - how deep is your first step into your spa?

I would like to know more about your hookup for the Stenner pump. Maybe post some more information on that or send me a note via conversation on how you will set it up such as the timer and pump, the injection sub, etc. Thanks.
 

Rabo

Silver Supporter
Apr 28, 2018
8
Austin, TX
I'm meeting with the plumber tomorrow, so I'll ask him about the dummy SWG idea. I met with the excavation guy yesterday, and due to a delay on another job, he may be able to start on ours next week! Exciting and scary at the same time.

Adding a small step on the sun shelf is probably the way to go. Then it can be a consistent 9" water depth across the whole shelf and we won't have to deal with a slope. Our spa doesn't have a step, but since it is raised, the designer said people will just sit on the edge and swing their feet over onto the bench vs stepping down from the coping. Hopefully he's right about that.

As for the Stenner pump, I bookmarked a couple threads on TFP that show installation methods, but we don't have it all figured out yet. It'll be something like this: Stenner Single Head Adjustable Pump with 30 Gallon Tank #7 Tube 1.1 - 22 GPD System
 

Stenner Tech Support

In The Industry
Apr 14, 2020
59
Florida
I'm meeting with the plumber tomorrow, so I'll ask him about the dummy SWG idea. I met with the excavation guy yesterday, and due to a delay on another job, he may be able to start on ours next week! Exciting and scary at the same time.

Adding a small step on the sun shelf is probably the way to go. Then it can be a consistent 9" water depth across the whole shelf and we won't have to deal with a slope. Our spa doesn't have a step, but since it is raised, the designer said people will just sit on the edge and swing their feet over onto the bench vs stepping down from the coping. Hopefully he's right about that.

As for the Stenner pump, I bookmarked a couple threads on TFP that show installation methods, but we don't have it all figured out yet. It'll be something like this: Stenner Single Head Adjustable Pump with 30 Gallon Tank #7 Tube 1.1 - 22 GPD System
We appreciate you including a Stenner Pump in your application. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to call (800-683-2378 ask for Tech Dept.) or email: [email protected].
 

rumcglot

Silver Supporter
Feb 13, 2019
95
Texas
You have a beautiful home.

Maybe I'm missing it, but what is the coping going to be? I'm pretty unhappy with the coping on my pool which is some type of flagstone that seems to common around here (I think it is a native stone). It is flaking terribly.
 

Rabo

Silver Supporter
Apr 28, 2018
8
Austin, TX
You have a beautiful home.

Maybe I'm missing it, but what is the coping going to be? I'm pretty unhappy with the coping on my pool which is some type of flagstone that seems to common around here (I think it is a native stone). It is flaking terribly.
Thank you! And I appreciate the coping feedback. We heard a similar complaint from a friend who has the same problem. I think our build drawing says lueder, but we're planning to use travertine if we can swing it. I'm not sure what the cost difference will be.
 

Sparks22

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2020
175
Austin, Texas
Thank you! And I appreciate the coping feedback. We heard a similar complaint from a friend who has the same problem. I think our build drawing says lueder, but we're planning to use travertine if we can swing it. I'm not sure what the cost difference will be.
Our builder had no cost difference between Lueder and travertine for the coping. I'm sure there probably is an actual cost difference, but if the PB is rationale, that at least implies the two should be relatively comparable in cost.
 

Whiskeyfox

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2020
116
Houston, TX
Travertine for us at NPT was $8 per foot(included in our quote) and we upgraded to tumbled marble for $11 per foot. I like that the marble doesnt have the random pitting travertine often has along with travertine having huge color variance. It only cost us a few hundred extra for the marble
 

Rabo

Silver Supporter
Apr 28, 2018
8
Austin, TX
Is the 31 X 48 dimension for the deck and everything else, or just the pool? I'm trying to understand the math because 31 X 48 = 1488 sq ft yet you have 1072 sq ft.
Good question. The dimensions listed are the widest and longest points. Taking the sun shelf out and rounding out the little bump out in the shallow end, it's closer to 25 x 42, but since it's freeform, it's hard to do the math looking at those data points. The designer provided the dimensions and square footage, so I assume those calculations came from his software.

I'm attaching the revised plan. We made the sun shelf 9" with no slope, added an entry step on the shelf, added an extra step to get down into the shallow end (riser heights will be 8-9 inches), and added another step out in the deep end.

Questions: We are planning to have 3 Intellibrites in the main body of the pool, 2 microbrites on the sun shelf, and 1 microbrite in the grotto bench. Does that sound right? Any feedback on lighting is appreciated!

I talked to the excavation sub, and it looks like we may begin digging this week. :)
 

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Sparks22

Gold Supporter
Apr 17, 2020
175
Austin, Texas
Good question. The dimensions listed are the widest and longest points. Taking the sun shelf out and rounding out the little bump out in the shallow end, it's closer to 25 x 42, but since it's freeform, it's hard to do the math looking at those data points. The designer provided the dimensions and square footage, so I assume those calculations came from his software.

I'm attaching the revised plan. We made the sun shelf 9" with no slope, added an entry step on the shelf, added an extra step to get down into the shallow end (riser heights will be 8-9 inches), and added another step out in the deep end.

Questions: We are planning to have 3 Intellibrites in the main body of the pool, 2 microbrites on the sun shelf, and 1 microbrite in the grotto bench. Does that sound right? Any feedback on lighting is appreciated!

I talked to the excavation sub, and it looks like we may begin digging this week. :)
Check out this thread for some lighting discussion: Pentair IntelliBrite vs GloBrite vs MicroBrite

One of the comments said that Pentair recommends your total lumens from your lights be 4 times your square footage. So rounding for you and say 1,000 sqft, that results in a target of 4,000 lumens. Each color IntelliBrite gives 1,000 lumens (see the chart of data by light in that thread). If you assume that your Microbrites are really more for accent lighting and don't count their lumens, that would imply that you might want one more Intellibrite in the main body of the pool.

Note that all of this analysis is based on Pentair's recommendation of total lumens = 4 x sqft, so if you find a different recommendation then adjust your calculations accordingly.
 

Rabo

Silver Supporter
Apr 28, 2018
8
Austin, TX
Check out this thread for some lighting discussion: Pentair IntelliBrite vs GloBrite vs MicroBrite

One of the comments said that Pentair recommends your total lumens from your lights be 4 times your square footage. So rounding for you and say 1,000 sqft, that results in a target of 4,000 lumens. Each color IntelliBrite gives 1,000 lumens (see the chart of data by light in that thread). If you assume that your Microbrites are really more for accent lighting and don't count their lumens, that would imply that you might want one more Intellibrite in the main body of the pool.

Note that all of this analysis is based on Pentair's recommendation of total lumens = 4 x sqft, so if you find a different recommendation then adjust your calculations accordingly.
Thank you!