New pool build in Allen TX

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
And away we go... can't believe we are actually doing this right now but we signed our contract the last week of January so here we are. Elevation and location is set and 11 steel piers are set. Was supposed to get gravel base as well but will see what the engineer says about the soil. We had to move the pool about 1 foot towards the patio making it somewhat tight at the middle of the steps but still have over 4.5' at the tightest spot and it opens up quickly on either side.

Definitely excited but also a little bummed that all my sprinkler control wires are cut ... the wrong time of the year in Texas to loose all the sprinklers. Even more reason to do this all over the winter. Next time ... if there is ever a next time.


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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
Steel in in... plus a little water.

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Close-up of the top of a helical steel pier. We went with piers on the recommendation of the builder and the fact that our house had foundations issues. And there is a 5 foot retaining wall on the other side of the fence. After digging we hit much more solid "rock" at the bottom and I don't think we needed piers at all. Next time - I will not get piers until after excavation and we absolutely see that we need them.

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,863
Tallahassee, FL
SWEET!! That is fast!! Now here is your first pool owner job..........run out there with a tape measure and the plans. Is it wide, long, deep, etc enough? Add about 6" for the shell and plaster. NOW is the time to fix or tweak as needed.

I LOVE your tile picks!! SO rich looking!! Now think about this.................every once in a while put a strip or two of the 1x1 tiles between the the 6x6 tiles. Just as an accent every once in a while. I think that will look awesome!

What color grout are you thinking of using? White will make each tile pop where medium gray will allow them to blend together more. Both are very pretty so there is no wrong answer.

The step and shelf tile-do NOT use grout between them. Have them use the plaster. It looks MUCH better than the grout for these.

Guess what time it is!!! YOUR set of links!!!

Plaster links:
Ten Guidelines for Quality Pool Plaster Best one of all
All Plaster Finishes Should Last 20 Years
Not All Color Pigments are Good for Pools How to pick a good color for plaster.
A Plastering 'Watch List' | Professional Watershaping | Watershapes
Trouble Free Pool
Trouble Free Pool

Pool care links:
Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
Trouble Free Pool
Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

Now is also a good time to ask what test kit your PB will be providing so we can fill in any holes.

Kim:kim:
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
kimkats - Thanks for all the suggestions.

Do you have any pics of 6 inch and 1 inch strips mixed in the waterline? I have been looking and hadn't seen any yet. I will be going grey grout - definitely not white and will make sure to use plaster for the bench/ledge trim tile.

I have the tf100 testkit or what ever it is called and a speed stirrer from my other pool and have been practicing the tfp water method for a 6 years - since I put new plaster in my old pool. Didn't want any algae on my new pebble finish!

We checked all the measurements when they formed up with wood. I checked the depth and it seems good. I have a lot of patios and walls being built so a ton to keep an eye on and have to adjust.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,863
Tallahassee, FL
Do you have any pics of 6 inch and 1 inch strips mixed in the waterline?
No not yet :( I came up with that idea on another pool where they are doing 6x12 tiles for the waterline and 1x1 BLING tile for the benches and shelf. I came up with mix for his pool. He has not done it on the pool yet.

What you can do is put them next to each other outside by the pool and see if you like it. I think it will be very eye catching!

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,863
Tallahassee, FL
SWEET!!! That looks great! Have you started bonding with it yet? aka watering it to help slow down the curing.

It is time for your set of links! The first set is all about what to do and ask about to get a great plaster job. The second set is all about how to care for your pool after you get the plaster.

Plaster links:
Ten Guidelines for Quality Pool Plaster Best one of all
All Plaster Finishes Should Last 20 Years
Not All Color Pigments are Good for Pools How to pick a good color for plaster.
A Plastering 'Watch List' | Professional Watershaping | Watershapes
Trouble Free Pool
Trouble Free Pool

Pool care links:
Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
Trouble Free Pool
Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

Now is also a good time to ask what test kit your PB will be providing so we can fill in any holes.

Kim:kim:
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
It's been a while, will upload more pics later. Had an issue with the build. When electrical came in and wired everything up (after a delay since I switched to a 10 relay intellicenter) I realized just how small microbrite lights are.

Panic ensued and I was in a tailspin, starting to think I completely messed up my build. Wondering why I didn't install regular intellibrites or traditional niche style lights??? I saw lots of recommendations for microbrites here and decided to use them, never thought about how bright they were vs regular sized lights. I should have they start with the word MICRO !!!

Long story short - we have 3 in the pool and 1 in the spa. The microbrites are 500 lumen and the intellibrites are 1000. Plus the intellibrites have a different spread on the light. So I was concerned about it. Some here and my pool builder felt three would be plenty.

According to pentair -

A pool should have 4 lumens per square foot of pool surface. This is 6 Microbrites. They are 500 lumens each. 37x19=703sf X 4=2812 lumens / 500(1l light)= 5.624 lights so 6 lights.

My actual square footage is 625 which is still 5 microbrites.


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Finally pool builder gave me a reasonable number to drill 1 1/2 inch through gunite and add new light/lights before we are done so I am feeling much better. Now question is how to get to five...

Here is how I get to 4 - the lights are located at the arrows. The one at bottom right will be new.

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Could I fit another on top of the bench? I can't get one over the tanning ledge as I don't think there is enough room there. But maybe over the bench... I will try to post a better pic in a bit.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
Here is a shot with the 4th location marked with paint.... I am thinking about adding one over the bench but wife thinks it will be too much and not look balanced. I think if it was near the return it would be ok... and would help light the deep end really well.


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Sparks22

Well-known member
Apr 17, 2020
114
Austin, Texas
People never complain that they have too much light in their pool, so I would err that way if you have any concern. If you end up not liking the extra light at the bench, just pull it out and cap the PVC.

What I've finally decided to do with my pool is to go with 3 Intellibrites, but have 6 1 1/2 inch lines preplumbed in case I want to switch to Microbrites (or some other light) at a later date after the Intellibrites die.
 
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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
People never complain that they have too much light in their pool, so I would err that way if you have any concern. If you end up not liking the extra light at the bench, just pull it out and cap the PVC.

What I've finally decided to do with my pool is to go with 3 Intellibrites, but have 6 1 1/2 inch lines preplumbed in case I want to switch to Microbrites (or some other light) at a later date after the Intellibrites die.
Great plan on your pool. If I could restart I would have just added the intellibrites and been done. Although there is an argument to be made about using a traditional 120v pentair light and just swapping in an LED bulb. I got pretty good at switching bulbs at my old pool and that does seem easier than having to repull a whole new light when the microbrites go out. I have read you can replace just the light board in the intellibrite so maybe they aren't that bad either.

Now I need to talk the other half into adding the light over the bench. I could always just disconnect one back at the pad if it was "too" bright. But I have a feeling that the cool colors that I will like will be dimmer anyway as all the lumen ratings are for "white" light mode for the RGB LEDs.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
Decided to add the light over the bench for a total of 5 microbrites. Only adding at the white cross marks (two additional). We have one under the diving board and one on the spa facing the deep end. Also one in the spa itself. Hope that the bench doesn't create too much of a shadow; hoping the other lights will help hide it. Couldn't add another further down as that would be another light facing the house which I am not wanting. If I had to do all over again I would have really planned out these 5 lights and made sure none were facing the house/patio area.

Can't wait to see it all at night with the landscaping and landscape lighting in place.

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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,306
Central MD
Have you confirmed that your homeowners insurance (both your primary coverage and your excess/umbrella coverage) are OK with the diving board? If not, you may have to change companies. I did. Primary was OK, but the umbrella said no. If you are wondering if you should have an umbrella policy (if you didn't have one before) the answer is yes now that you have a pool.

I really like your design and am glad it's moving along now.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
226
Allen, TX
Have you confirmed that your homeowners insurance (both your primary coverage and your excess/umbrella coverage) are OK with the diving board? If not, you may have to change companies. I did. Primary was OK, but the umbrella said no. If you are wondering if you should have an umbrella policy (if you didn't have one before) the answer is yes now that you have a pool.

I really like your design and am glad it's moving along now.
I haven't checked with the insurance company... will sometime soon. I have had umbrella policies in the past and never had issue with the diving board in the two previous homes, they just recommend higher liability limits which is what happens with an umbrella anyway. But it will be interesting to see how it changes... I am sure it will end up costing me more money... everything about this pool seems to be doing that :)
 
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