New Pool Build Greenville, TX

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
216
Wylie, Texas
So last time I built a pool 4 years ago I didn't find this site until after I started. Building a new house and we will be building a new pool. I learned a lot the first time on what I want and do not want so I think I have most of the things covered but thought I would run it past you guys to see if there is anything I am missing or any feedback. I'll admit I had some serious sticker shock this time around compared to 4 years ago I am spending about $23k more (luckily I am about to sell my house at an amount I never thought it would be worth). We are doing a bigger pool and adding a spa this time so some of this is expected but we also built a 20'x12' pergola, sheer decent , raised beam wall and had twice as much paver decking.

Pool/Spa
38'x16' 3.5' to 7' deep
All Pentair equipment- 520 Cartridge Filter, Pentair IC-40 SWG, Robotic Prowler 920, 400k BTU Master Temp heater, Easy Touch controller and Intelliflo VSP
Cast Stone Coping
Pebbletec Plaster (currently have it priced as a "premium" color I can save $1,600 if I go with standard color)
Belgard Paver Decking

I am on the fence about the spa. I currently do not have one and not sure how much it will be used. It cost about $8k the way I have it now or $11k if I want it raised. I am thinking if I decide to keep it I will go with the level one like the rendering to save some money. Pros and Cons of a level spa vs. raised? Anyone in Texas or another hot location that cant live without their spa? I could see using it early spring of fall just not sure about other times.

Anything I am missing or you think I could potentially cut?
 

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Last edited:

kevinskii

Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
171
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
1
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If I could do ours all over again I would not build a raised spa, though my complaints about it are pretty minor. We envisioned it providing extra seating for people gathered around outside the pool, but so far we've never really used it for that. The one really good thing is that it gives you a raised vantage point to better observe swimmers in the deep end while you're in it. This might be a consideration if you plan on having a lot of young kids in your pool.

The problem with a raised spa is that for any decent waterfall effect, you're probably going to need to run your pump at a high speed and waste a lot of electricity. We rarely do it. Also, on ours the return is in the floor of our spa, so the pipe tends to trap air when our solar first turns on. This greatly reduces the spa circulation until I get a chance to clear it, and the spa chlorine can drop to nothing if I'm not careful.

As for even having a spa at all, I'm sort of ambivalent about it. Your pool is pretty big so you don't have to worry about sacrificing swim space. A lot of people advised us to build a big spa because that's where they spend most of their time. Well, that's because their pools are freezing! If I had to choose between spending $8k on a spa versus $8k on a good solar array, the solar would win hands down. However, I do regularly sit in the spa for a while after every swim. Even if your pool is 88-90 degrees it's still really nice to sometimes soak in water that's just a few degrees warmer. Is it $8k-$11k worth of nice? Tough to say. Maybe for the resale value if nothing else.
 
Last edited:

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,771
Bedford, TX
M,

Spas are the most oversold and underused items in any pool build.. About 50% of the people love them and that is great for them.. But that leaves about 50% that never use them at all, or just once or twice a year. There is no doubt that a pool with a spa makes a better visual statement.

This question comes up quite often.. My advice is... if you have never used a gunite spa, please try one before you buy one, so that you will know which 50% you will be in before spending the money... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
216
Wylie, Texas
If I could do ours all over again I would not build a raised spa, though my complaints about it are pretty minor. We envisioned it providing extra seating for people gathered around outside the pool, but so far we've never really used it for that. The one really good thing is that it gives you a raised vantage point to better observe swimmers in the deep end while you're in it. This might be a consideration if you plan on having a lot of young kids in your pool.

The problem with a raised spa is that for any decent waterfall effect, you're probably going to need to run your pump at a high speed and waste a lot of electricity. We rarely do it. Also, on ours the return is in the floor of our spa, so the pipe tends to trap air when our solar first turns on. This greatly reduces the spa circulation until I get a chance to clear it, and the spa chlorine can drop to nothing if I'm not careful.

As for even having a spa at all, I'm sort of ambivalent about it. Your pool is pretty big so you don't have to worry about sacrificing swim space. A lot of people advised us to build a big spa because that's where they spend most of their time. Well, that's because their pools are freezing! If I had to choose between spending $8k on a spa versus $8k on a good solar array, the solar would win hands down. However, I do regularly sit in the spa for a while after every swim. Even if your pool is 88-90 degrees it's still really nice to sometimes soak in water that's just a few degrees warmer. Is it $8k-$11k worth of nice? Tough to say. Maybe for the resale value if nothing else.
Thanks this is helpful info regarding raised vs. level. I am pretty much at my max budget I wanted to spend so that is an easy savings. Yeah that is a good point on water temp. Here on our current pool our water is almost too warm by late July/August it is in the high 90s. Our new pool will be on the North side of the house with virtually no cover at all from sun all day so I am guessing it will be pretty warm. I was thinking I would use the spa more in early Spring and late Fall then the summer but just not sure it is worth the additional cost. I also experience back problems and thought it may help with that.
 
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Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
216
Wylie, Texas
M,

Spas are the most oversold and underused items in any pool build.. About 50% of the people love them and that is great for them.. But that leaves about 50% that never use them at all, or just once or twice a year. There is no doubt that a pool with a spa makes a better visual statement.

This question comes up quite often.. My advice is... if you have never used a gunite spa, please try one before you buy one, so that you will know which 50% you will be in before spending the money... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.

We did not put one in our current pool because we did not think we would use it and we built a smaller pool. So to add a little more to this it all started when I was debating adding a heater to the pool. We are on propane and to heat a pool like this would be pretty dang expensive. We do not have a heater on the current pool and this shortens our swimming season. We have a few months (combined) where we have nice daytime temps but the nighttime temps drop the water temp to where you do not want to get in. So all this made me think a possible compromise would be to add a spa that would cost a lot less to heat and we could use it when the water temp in the pool is too low. I completely agree though we could end up spending a lot of money on it and not even use it.
 

kevinskii

Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
171
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
1
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
For what it's worth, we also have never used our spa during the off season. If it's too cold to swim then most likely nobody is going to want to be outside in a chilly wet bathing suit.

Have you perhaps considered getting solar? If you have decent sun and a south facing roof, I would highly recommend it. It is the best pool investment we made. I would not only choose solar over the spa, I would even choose it over other backyard renovations like a pergola if I had to. Our backyard looked like a construction site for a few months due to the pandemic. We had a brand new pool surrounded by dirt with no shade and no place to sit. But we had solar, and it was amazing.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
216
Wylie, Texas
For what it's worth, we also have never used our spa during the off season. If it's too cold to swim then most likely nobody is going to want to be outside in a chilly wet bathing suit.

Have you perhaps considered getting solar? If you have decent sun and a south facing roof, I would highly recommend it. It is the best pool investment we made. I would not only choose solar over the spa, I would even choose it over other backyard renovations like a pergola if I had to. Our backyard looked like a construction site for a few months due to the pandemic. We had a brand new pool surrounded by dirt with no shade and no place to sit. But we had solar, and it was amazing.
I am actually considering solar for the entire house but will be a separate project probably a little ways down the road.
 

kevinskii

Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
171
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
1
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Sounds good. You probably already know, but a pool solar system is nothing like the solar electric panels that most people think of when they hear "solar." With pool solar you're simply pumping water through a bunch of small tubes that get heated by the sun.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
216
Wylie, Texas
Sounds good. You probably already know, but a pool solar system is nothing like the solar electric panels that most people think of when they hear "solar." With pool solar you're simply pumping water through a bunch of small tubes that get heated by the sun.
Oh are you talking about solar pool heating? That I have not looked in to but I ma intrigued especially since I am on propane.
 

kevinskii

Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
171
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
1
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Yes, that's what I'm referring to. The money you save by not having a raised spa will probably put you about halfway towards a good solar pool heating system. Like I mentioned, though, it does need a fair amount of direct sunlight to be worthwhile.
 

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Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
216
Wylie, Texas
Yes, that's what I'm referring to. The money you save by not having a raised spa will probably put you about halfway towards a good solar pool heating system. Like I mentioned, though, it does need a fair amount of direct sunlight to be worthwhile.
The south side of our house is the front of the house and no way my wife would let me put solar panels on that lol. The best side of the house looks wise would be the back above my covered patio but that faces North. I could possibly talk my wife in to putting them on the west side of the house which is above the garage and a huge area 80' long.
 

kevinskii

Gold Supporter
Aug 6, 2019
171
Los Angeles, CA
Pool Size
1
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
When you drive around your neighborhood, do you see any pool solar heaters on the roofs? If not, then that may be a sign that they're not worth the money in your area.