New Pool Build - Bells and Whistles in Jacksonville, FL

shartman

Bronze Supporter
Sep 15, 2020
5
Northeast FL
Hello everyone, long time lurker here saying that I'm glad I found this place after looking on /r/pools to get the information our family needed to make informed decisions on a pool build we have been contemplating for almost 3 years now. Being in NE FL we wanted to have an outdoor area that was an entertainment and relaxation space for family and friends. At first we decided on pergola and outdoor kitchen but after the pandemic hit it became clear we wanted a pool for the future. We love our area and our home and feel we could be here for at least another 5 years, possibly 10 pending any family changes. 2 adults and 1 child for now.

The images are an estimate that our choice of PB made after talking to 3 companies. This builder is one of the few in our area that doesn't subcontract most of the work. In-line with most pool builders, this PB will sub out the gunite, plaster, gas, and electric work. I would like to get some opinions before we dive into this journey and would appreciate any feedback. Note that any redaction within the paragraphs and descriptions are either prices or identifying information. Additionally, the PB's approach is an "all-inclusive" approach, and the estimate seems high for us and we are looking to cut some cost from the build. It includes a paver deck and fire pit as well which we think would go a long way in the "cold" months in FL.

A few notes on the build and some questions we are going to ask on our estimate clarification discussion in 3 weeks:
  • Pool
    • Change from 5' to 5.5' deep
    • 2 skimmers instead of 1
    • No tanning ledge or LED bubbler to reduce costs (we don't think we will use)
    • EasyTouch 8 vs. Intellicenter cost and advantages
    • Size of the glass media filter? Should it be oversized?
    • Home runs for all returns?
    • What is the size of the plumbing? 45-45 bends?
    • Abalone
      • We will likely forgo this due to cost and abalone being a natural product and the concerns of others posted here.
      • Possible glass pebble alternative?
    • Glass Tile
      • May be too costly (all labor), perhaps only along the spa near the coping and where the spa meets the pool.
  • Spa
    • 3" plumbing provided?
    • We are looking to have a spa that is flush with the pool instead a raised spa with a water feature.
  • Lights
    • Do we need 10?
Once again, thanks to everyone for the wealth of information. We are quite excited to build!
 

Attachments

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
144
Tampa, FL
Did you ask for Sand filter vs Cartridge or DE? I personally would be hesitant with anything that's listed as "Cost plus." Appears there is only 1 light in the pool, I would ask which one and is 1 sufficient? How many returns? Will there be main drains? Do you want them? A lot of people on here recommend skipping the Polaris with booster pump and get a robot. You do need alarms but there are a few different options and I don't believe it's "required" to get it thru your builder. Are you getting a cage?
 

shartman

Bronze Supporter
Sep 15, 2020
5
Northeast FL
Did you ask for Sand filter vs Cartridge or DE? I personally would be hesitant with anything that's listed as "Cost plus." Appears there is only 1 light in the pool, I would ask which one and is 1 sufficient? How many returns? Will there be main drains? Do you want them? A lot of people on here recommend skipping the Polaris with booster pump and get a robot. You do need alarms but there are a few different options and I don't believe it's "required" to get it thru your builder. Are you getting a cage?
  • I asked for a glass media filter.
  • In terms of the pool lights, the builder made a verbal confirmation of either "4 small lights or 2 large lights" but we will discuss in our follow up and get it in writing.
  • I'll add the returns and main drains question to my list. I figure you need two drains at least for the pool and one for the spa, right?
  • I was looking at a Warrior SI robot cleaner the other day. I'm on the fence but if the price is right I may not get the Polaris.
  • No cage, I'm going to install a tankless misting pest repellent system once the pool is built.
  • I'll ask about getting my own alarm.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
22,153
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Delete Pentair IntelliChem if you want to save money. It is more trouble then it is worth and needs periodic maintenance. Try managing your pool without it. You can always add it later.

I don't like 25% cost plus. There is no incentive for electrician or plumber to give you good prices unless you can get competitive bids from electricians or plumbers.

Delete the Polaris 280 w/booster pump and independently buy a Dolphin robot cleaner from Marina Pools.

Specify you want a heater bypass as described in Heater Bypass - Further Reading

Get the IntelliCenter. If you get the EasyTouch you need to add ScreenLogic2 for PC and remote access while IntelliCenter has it standard builtin.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,185
Evans, Georgia
I'd skip putting anything in a sand filter *but* sand! It works, is cheaper and almost never needs replacement. Cleans up nicely.
Glass media offers no improvements that I'm aware of.

Good call ditching the abalone shell...we've had reports from folks who say it degrades (since its natural)and has left brown spots on their pool.

I've got that Warrior robot and it works like a beast! $699... I suspect a Polaris with separate pump will cost much more and work far less effectively.

Good call for home run pipes... assures your circulation down the road if ever one pipe gets clogged.

Confirm that 5.5' is water depth and not wall height. In *my* opinion deeper is better for pools- both for safety and in warm climates it helps keep the water cooler. Shallow water is swampy water come July.... y'know?

Can't confirm is price is out of line with it all blacked out. :(

Maddie :flower:
 

shartman

Bronze Supporter
Sep 15, 2020
5
Northeast FL
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll ditch the Polaris considering there isn't much tree cover and look into the robotic vacuums, plus that won't get in the way while swimming which is a huge plus in my book.

I'll ask if there about the price difference on sand vs. glass media. I figured that there a particular filters only for glass but it makes sense that you can choose the media instead of one working with a certain type of filter.

Also never saw anything on the heater bypass, I'll definitely add it to the list. 25% plus cost worries me too so I'll have to ask about choosing vendors vs. their standard subs. Not sure how that conversation will go 🤔

Intellichem looks good on paper but if it's more hassle than a time saver after a few years I'm not sure. If it's easy to add later I'll definitely cross it off the list, I'll look around for more info.

Maybe 6 depth' then? I like jumping in.

In terms of price, pool is about 50k and the spa is 12k to give an idea.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,185
Evans, Georgia
Being in Florida with frequent torrential rains, you'll appreciate the ease if just using a sand filter's backwash feature to lower the level as the pool will rise with rain.

If you like jumping in (so do I!) you might appreciate a pool that allows for diving- 7+ feet. 8' is ideal!
More shallow pools don't allow for safe diving, and even cannon balls can bottom squash literally.