New Pool - Bidding Phase - Indiana

bo4uofm

Member
Feb 26, 2017
7
Indianapolis
I am building a new pool in Indianapolis, Indiana and feel very overwhelmed by all the decisions that need to be made. So many people have told me certain things are essential and then others will tell me that you don't need any of that stuff. There seems to be a lot of knowledgeable people here, so I wanted to ask you guys.
What is essential to a new pool? I know I can add water features, slides, in floor cleaning, diving boards, etc. I just don't know what I have to put in right now in order to not limit myself in the future. I tried to research on this site, but there is so much information it is a lot to take in.
Thanks for your help!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,308
Bedford, TX
Hi bo,

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all your pool questions... :snorkle:

Well, almost all the things you listed are things that the pool has to be initially build with..

1. In-floor cleaning can't be added after the pool is built... At one time, an in-floor system made some sense, but, in my opinion, today's DC powered robot cleaners are a much better option.

2. You can't have a diving board, unless your pool is wide enough, long enough, and especially deep enough. You obviously can't add these features after the pool has been built.

3. You could add some water features after the pool is built, but not many, and in my opinion they will look like you added them..

4. Slides fall into the how deep your pool is and even though they can be added later, plumbing and appearance issues are a concern.

We have all kinds of members here, with all kinds of pools, so stick around and we will try to help you make up your mind..

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

BeachHead

Gold Supporter
Mar 22, 2016
182
Las Vegas, NV
Welcome to TFP! I agree, there are so many options it can seem very overwhelming. And it's a big project, with many details, so research like you are doing is a key to success. Don't be afraid to take the time you need to be sure you are getting what you want. It will pay off in the long run. Some pool builders want you to sign that contract, and then lock you into something you're not quite sure about.

For me, I'd start with the design. This will answer many of your questions of what's "needed" beyond the basic pool structure, plumbing, and filter equipment. This will take into account how you plan to use your pool, the size of where you want to put the pool, the physical characteristics of that site, and what you want it to look like when it's all done. Spend a lot of time reading the build threads here, and looking at the pictures of how a pool is built. That will really help you understand how one thing is tied to the next. Then ask all the questions you want in this thread. I'd really concentrate on pool builds in/near your area, as it'll help with how things look in your region.

Draw stuff on paper, outline your ideas with a water hose, or string, or stakes, or even rocks (what I used!) in your yard to see what the physical size might be. It'll help a lot. And post pictures and ideas. Lots of people will chime in with little ideas that you may, or may not use. As your "look" gets clearer, a lot of your decisions become easier, and you can move onto material and equipment choices.

Just take it in little steps, and it will all make sense. You can eat an elephant one bite at a time (so the saying goes!), just approach this like that. While I'm in cliché mode, this is really a journey, and can be fun in itself..;)
 

GaryT58

Gold Supporter
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TFP Guide
Jul 26, 2016
571
Monroe, GA
Welcome. Yes it can be overwhelming. Take your time and think it through, as it is definitely easier and less expensive to do things at the initial build. Some things can wait, but others are hard to do after install.

Some suggestions

1) Our shallow end is 3 1/2 feet, which is a good shallow depth for kids. Our deep end is 8', which is basically a minimum if you want safe diving.

2) I highly suggest either a 2-speed or variable speed (vs) pump. A single speed pump is expensive to operate compared to the others. A variable speed is great way to go as it can save you lots of $$ as you can dial it back to lower speeds and save electricity (I replace a 3 month old - working perfectly - single speed pump with a new VS. Wish I had found this site before my build and I would have save couple thousand $$ replacing equipment so soon.

3) Install as much decking as you can. You will be surprised how much room loungers, chairs, walking space for people, ... take up. Much easier to do at beginning and cement is one of the least expensive parts of a build.

4) Consider some built in umbrella mounts. We have a built in table with one that sits between two built in lounger (in the water) and great to have our 11' umbrella open at times so we can relax in shade while having a drink, and then open when we want sun.

5) Install a surge protector like the Square D HEPD80 with your pool's electrical sub-panel. Its pricey to replace pool equipment. Mine protects pump, lights and salt water chlorine generator (SWG)

6) Not sure if in your area the pool will heat up much or not, but my pool gets quite warm in the summer (in NE GA) - into the 90s. I bought a couple of low cost fountains which I insert into two of my returns at night. They really work well, keeps water in 82ish range. Another reason I went to VS pump since running over night. I wish I had known this before I built and I would have built in a couple fountains instead, so I would not need to insert there every night.

7) Think about how you want to add chlorine to the pool. You can read here for options on how to chlorinate your pool. Part of the decision will if you want to pour some chlorine in daily, get a chlorine pump, or use a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWG) - which is what i have.

Again, welcome!
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Central MD
I would recommend throwing a few pics of your current backyard up here to get the creative juices flowing and any napkin drafts you might have of what you are thinking now. Also tell us about your family and how it will use the pool and surrounding areas. Many have strong feelings that diving board pools leave half the pool "unusable". Others like me think if half of your body is out of the water, why be in the pool! Realistically, if you want a diving board, how much pool length you have will determine if it is feasible. Much shorter than 36' leaves a small shallow end and steep slope (but can be done). Generally 8' is the minimum depth, but 8 1/2 or 9' is that much safer. Ours is 8 1/2'.

+1 for a robot (see here for example - https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/120447-First-Robotic-Cleaner-Doheny-s-Discovery) and definitely no in-floor for your region. The only areas i think there is a reasonable argument for them is perpetually windy/dusty regions where constant "sweeping" of the pool bottom is a good thing.

I always throw out a plug for lots of bench space. We have a ton and love it. We have 44' of benches and 112' of perimiter. And I LOVE our standing benches in the deep end. Ours are 36" deep though I'd recommend 42" deep.

I also recommend becoming a supporter of the site - as you have already seen it's an incredible resource. You will get some discounts and much more space for photo storage/posting. https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/144-CLICK-HERE-to-Become-a-TroubleFreePool-com-Supporter!
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,702
Pacific NW
knowing what I know now, I would likely never do an in-floor cleaning system, even if I could easily afford it.

Today's robots work great.
 

bo4uofm

Member
Feb 26, 2017
7
Indianapolis
Here are some photos of my back yard and a sketch of what I am thinking about doing. I am on a unique property. It is a small subdivision that all has small lots. I wanted room for my kids to play so I bought the 4.5 acres of land behind my house to expand. I am not worried about selling my house, we will die in this house.
We are thinking of a 20x40 vinyl pool with a diving board and a slide (but that will wait a year or so). As you can see there is a rock wall, in front of that will be the pool. We are planning on putting a firepit area on the other side of the rock wall elevated above the pool. We will be digging out the hill and putting a retaining wall in. We are going to remove our existing deck and put in a 3 season room with storage and a bar underneath. The patio in front of all that will be stamped concrete with paver seating walls. The patio will have steps that lead down to the firepit area and then down to the pool. For the pool deck we are thinking aggregate to save some money. We are planning on having a large amount of pool decking because everyone says that's their biggest regret. I would love to find a way to incorporate the hill into our pool somehow without breaking the bank. We have a ton of landscape boulders and would love to use them somehow in the design.
Our pool builder is suggesting that we have a propane tank brought in to service the heater and the firepit because running a gas line from the house is over a 100 ft. He thinks it would only need to be filled once a year and could be done in the winter when the grass is dormant and the ground is hard. It wouldn't tear up our grass that way.
The huge tree in the picture that shows the property from the back facing the house is going away. We wanted to use the grassy area for a field for the kids to play sports on.
Please forgive my terrible drawing. I did it on sketchup and I am not very good at it. I would love to hear some feedback on the plan. Also I would love to hear what people think about lighting in the pool. I have never heard of lighting costing so much!

Thanks!

IMG_5024.jpgIMG_5035.jpgSeason Room with Pool.jpg
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
4,540
Central MD
Very cool property. You may want to check out our pool build (link in my signature) as we also have a destination pool as I call them. Not up by the house.

Regarding propane, it is significantly more expensive to run than natural gas. In the long run, which you are clearly there for, I'd encourage you to bite the bullet up front and get the gas line.
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
37,403
Tallahassee, FL
Your sketch up is great! It really gives us an idea what you are thinking of.

Here are what jumps out to me:

-the fire pit wall between the house and pool-you will not be able to see the pool over it. I would move it to one side or the other so you can see the pool from the house area. That will also allow you to have a screen with projector that can be seen from the pool and fire pit area on starry nights!

How deep are you going for the board? Have you talked to your home owners insurance about it yet? Please do so before you get any further along.

I LOVE the idea of using the area rocks!

Kim:kim:
 

bo4uofm

Member
Feb 26, 2017
7
Indianapolis
The pool area is at the bottom of the hill and the fire pit area is just above that then the patio is above that. There is line of sight all the way down even after we excavate for the fire pit and put up a retaining wall.
I have a question about heating the pool. We are looking at a heat pump or biting the bullet and going with the natural gas line. The natural gas line will cost us $1,000 alone to run. We like the energy savings of the heat pump and there isn't a big difference in price when you factor in the gas line having to be run. What are your thoughts and advice?
Thanks! I can't wait to get started.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,403
Tallahassee, FL
For the heating you need to factor the cost to use/run. I have no experience so am no help really.

I am glad you have thought through the sight line to the pool! I can't wait to see you start digging!

Kim:kim:
 

bo4uofm

Member
Feb 26, 2017
7
Indianapolis
I want to install a lot of the pool equipment myself because the markup from the pool builder is crazy and I want to see if I really need some of the equipment. Are there serious drawbacks to doing it this way? I am thinking of doing the heater and SWG later. For the necessary equipment, I was thinking of a variable speed pump, a sand filter, robot, and a couple of lights. I don't think we are going to do fountains but I heard that they are great to use for cooling down the pool. Is that true? Thanks for all the help, there are so many decisions to be made.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,403
Tallahassee, FL
If you do it yourself you may run into warranty issues. You need to check with the company to see who does what as far as that.

Fountains are good for cooling pools but with were you are I don't think you will be cooling your pool as much as you will be trying to heat it.

Necessary equipment=pump, filter, vacuum. Lights are very nice but you can have a pool without out.

Pump-if you have a simple pool you can get by with a 2 speed. If you have waterfalls, spas, any other kinds of extras then that is when you move up to the VS pool.

Kim:kim:
 

bo4uofm

Member
Feb 26, 2017
7
Indianapolis
I got this email from my pool builder regarding the SWG.

"We would not warranty any damage to parts of the pool or pool equipment caused by salt. All of the pool parts and equipment parts are made with sacrificial anodes now and are much more long lasting than when salt systems first came out. Having these sacrificial anodes certainly helps prolong the life of the pool and pool equipment. However, at some point once those anodes have been deteriorated, then the corrosion will set in elsewhere."

Is this something I should be worried about with this builder? He doesn't recommend the SWG and tried to talk me out of it, wants me to go with a Rainbow Chlorinator and a UV/Ozone combo. From everything I have read on here so far, these sound terrible for your pool.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,308
Bedford, TX
bo,

Your PB believes a myth and there will be no talking him out of it. I know of no equipment that has sacrificial anodes as part of their construction.

I would think hard about getting a new pool builder. How many quotes did you originally get?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
37,403
Tallahassee, FL
The sad part is EVERY pool is a "saltwater" pool. You add it when you add chlorine. With a SWG wellllllllll it has the word "salt" in it so people who really don't know the chemistry of pool care get scared.

I would worry about your PB's comment for sure! He will use that to wiggle out of ANY warranty work :(

Please do not get the uv/ozone. That is really only for indoor pools or spas IF at all. The rainbow chlorinator could be used on trips and such IF you do not get the SWG.

Kim:kim:
 

bo4uofm

Member
Feb 26, 2017
7
Indianapolis
I'm looking at a new pool builder. Their company is smaller but comes highly recommended from friends. I was wondering about the equipment pad. I would like to have the equipment about 40 feet from the pool and elevated maybe 3-4 feet above it. Is this going to cause some issues for my 20x40 pool? I am trying to keep the pad out of the flood area. I will ask the new builder when he comes next week but I would love to get some feedback before then.
 
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