New Pittsburgh pool owner (soon)

BrittBackyardOasis

New member
Aug 18, 2020
3
Pittsburgh, PA
Hi everyone! I have never in my life owned a pool yet Covid-Craziness hit my husband and me and here we are, a few weeks away from breaking ground!

We are still finalizing a few details but in general, we are planning:
  • POOL
    • An 18' x 34' mountain lake (aka freeform) pool with one side "straightened" to add a 7' x 10' tanning ledge. Pool depth will run from 3.5' to 6'.
      • The other wise has been a point of contention between husband and I and PB hahaha (see pics below)
    • Our PB does a Kustom Krete (poured concrete) pool with a vinyl liner. We are leaning towards the Garrett Mesa Tile / Clearwater liner.
    • Chlorine pool - I know people that have salt love it, but I don't know, we feel like going "old school" ha
    • Electric heater (though we are now considering switching to gas... so confusing ha)
  • ADDITIONAL FEATURES
    • We plan to add a Rico Rock waterfall feature -- currently a tossup between the Tennessee Ledger and 4-Piece Ledger.
    • Pool currently only has one "regular" light and the current debate in my house is if we should add any AND if we should add $$ to go LED (already over budget soo..... 🙃 )
    • Planning stamped concrete decking
  • TBDs
    • Exact pool pump, filter, heater
  • Other
    • In a separate area of our yard we are also adding a hot tub, so I'll have lots of water chemistry to keep an eye one!
All of this is so new to me (husband owned an AG growing up but times have changed and clearly IG is different) so I'm happy to have found a place where i can absorb as much information as possible. I love seeing people's pictures as i search through posts with my current questions.

if anyone by chance reading this has any opinions on heater type, RicoRock features or lighting, i am all ears!!

Our immediate debate that we HAVE to resolve early next week is pool shape. As noted above, we started with a mountain lake shape. We added the tanning ledge and that, unbeknownst to me upfront, required a completely STRAIGHT edge on that side. The result was, in my opinion, a flat back kidney bean which i explicitly did not want. After some back and forth we settled on an updated design that resulted in a longer, but thinner pool. I hope I'm making the right decision.... :unsure:

Opinions are free so sling 'em at me!! :)
 

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BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
445
SW PA
Greetings from Monroeville!
I too have a freefom liner pool with seperate hot tub.
You do seem to have some decisions to nail down sooner rather than later. On pool shape, Tex gave you the best advice...decide how the pool is going to be used or what ambience you want to create. For example in our case, we knew we wanted something casual with a nice relaxing, informal feel. No straight lines, right angles, etc.
If you're still on the fence about salt, I for one, whole heartedly recommend it. Best decision we made. Actually at the time i knew very little about it, but our PB was almost insistant on it. Glad we listened. It makes pool maintence much easier....water is always crystal clear and easily maintained.
At one point, we considered Rico rock for our waterfall / grotto. If your water feature will be for ambience only, it's a good choice. We needed something a little more custom that would allow us to embed a slide, and that we could walk all over and jump off of. Friends said their RR could get quite hot and slippery walking on it, so we went a differnt direction. As i said though, for a stand aĺone feature, its probably a good choice. They look great.
Fwiw, we use an electric heat pump and are happy with it. Our vs pump runs 24/7, so the heater is free to kick on or off whenever it needs to maintain temp. The pool could be used any time of day with no notice, so we like to maintain a constant temp. If you think your use may be more routine, and can plan ahead a little, gas may be your better bet. Again, comes down to how you wangt to use your pool.

Hope any of that is helpful.
 

BrittBackyardOasis

New member
Aug 18, 2020
3
Pittsburgh, PA
We finalized the design last night!

BMK, appreciate the thoughts and opinions, particularly on the heater! May I ask what different direction you went in for your water feature? We aren't planning a slide but if there are options outside of Rico Rock I'd like to explore!
 

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BMK

Bronze Supporter
Mar 29, 2016
445
SW PA
Our PB used steel frames and rebar, then shot with shotcrete. After several layers and embedded rubber in places, a topcoat layer was shot and 'sculpted' .
Its very strong.... you could drive a truck up on that thing.... and non-slip. Kids and adults climb all over it (by design) and jump off. Theres seating sculpted into the inside of the grotto, to hang out behind the waterfall. Its the same process they use at zoos, theme parks, etc. to get that look. Might not be the best process for your application, but it works wonderfully for us.
 

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