New pool build in California....Best deal I have?? HELP??

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
My pool has moss rocks around it.. its been there for 30 years. Here's a link to a pool owners build in the Sacramento area last year. He went to the quarry and picked out the rocks he wanted.
Awesome Thank you! Is there anything you'd change/do different with your pool?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,748
Tallahassee, FL
What an interesting design! Funny how the kids picked out what they did. Did each one pick out one?

That bridge-while it is neat it worries me (momma bear here):
-can an adult walk under it? How far up is it from the floor of the pool?
-What is the depth of the water on BOTH sides of the bridge? Anyone who has kids know they WILL try to jump off the bridge into the pool at some point.

I LOVE that the deep end is 8'! Now that is going to be fun to jump from the grotto into! Loving the slide as well!

Kim:kim:
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,336
OV, CA
Awesome Thank you! Is there anything you'd change/do different with your pool?
Now there is a loaded question... I've lived with 4 pools, only one was I a part of the building process and that was my mom's pool. My current pool was a part of the house we bought. yet I maintain a perpetual wish list of things I want to do to my pool come the time I win the lottery or I can budget my reno....

-benches under the waterfalls, I dunno, kids like to sit under the water falls and let the water pelt them in the head.

-cabo shelf-I waffle on this one. I think it would be novel for awhile and then just take up room. my pool is only 20K

-more cascades. I love my waterfall. And would love to have more cascades integrated into the rock backdrop of my pool. I know it wreaks havoc with my pH.. but they are worth the cost of a jug of MA. I like the little cascades in JJ's pic. Look at this one:
That one always reminded me of the Cascades de Aqua Azul or the Travertine Terraces of Pamukkale

-Those lighted deck squirty things. I was at a friends house and he had them turned on for a party. Pretty memorizing. I have another friend with them and he leaves them off. he could never them to work.. The lesson is the more bells and whistles.. the more stuff you have to keep working.

-Custom tiles.. I saw this in another thread..(can't find it) They made little custom tiles with designs for the kids and then they were integrated into the plaster in various parts of the pool... This is Bobby's tile, and to visit it you have to dive to 5 ft in the deep end. This is Wendy's tile, its hidden on the steps..

-I see you have a free form pool, so do I, but there is an imaginary line between two opposite walls that gives me the longest stretch for swimming laps. And make it deep enough to do a kick turn. I lived with one pool that was so shallow I would hit the bottom on a kick turn.

When I bought the house the pool had a DE filter, a broken UV system and the most inefficient heater I've seen. After living with if for about 5 years I pulled out all the equipment and replaced it (see my sig) added an SWG and switched to a cartridge filter. The biggest change was relocating the equipment pad. That was the thing that annoyed me the most. It was placed where it was easiest for the pool builder... right in the middle of high traffic area of the yard. I moved it to the back corner where it was out of the way visually and bushes provided a sound barrier. The old pool equip area is now the vegie garden.
 
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mlggator

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2020
89
Carlsbad, CA
Interesting didn't think of the rock issue with iron. Is there any type of rock that doesn't have iron besides Granite that won't flake off? Does Flagstone work well?
Okay, as a geologist, I can give a little information on rocks. I can't speak to rocks in pools as I am building my first pool at the moment. I do have large boulders being placed around the pool, but all are above the waterline. I will also have quartzite flagstone in a spill basin that will be underwater.
So this is what I can say about rocks, almost all rocks will have some form of iron in them. A lot of earth's basic minerals contain iron. I think what you really have to look at here is the type of rock and how it formed and what kinds of minerals it is made of. When you think of granites, these are igneous and all the minerals are tightly interlocked. Additionally, granites are made of minerals that are very resistant to weathering and erosion. Quartzite, another rock type used in pools, is also made of interlocking minerals that formed from extreme heat and pressure over millions of years. Like granites, the minerals in most quartzites are more resistant to weather and erosion.
What you really want to stay away from are sedimentary rocks (no interlocking crystals) and early stage metamorphics (platy and can fall apart). Another thought would be rocks that are very dark in color (black) are usually a little more likely to weather and erode.
We have tons of granite here in California. You should be able to find some beautiful granite boulders that are locally sourced.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,888
Central California
I am usually stunned by how much PBs will charge to add this or that. Just be aware: If you buy three of a select list of Pentair equipment on the same invoice, they'll extend the warranty to 3 years. That 3-year bump applies to the rest of the Pentair gear you buy at the same time as well (there might be some exceptions, like lights, not sure). If you install the SWG yourself, that won't be included, and might even miss the one-year warranty criteria, so only 60 days. Be sure you understand Pentair's somewhat convoluted warranty policy as you strategize purchase costs vs DIY.

I think your pool looks amazing, especially the surrounding landscaping, if you can even get close to that look it will be awesome. Really stunning. That said, I can't help but think it was designed by someone that hasn't ever maintained a pool, or a garden! Others have already discussed the rock. I agree with what was said. Your pool has a deck walkway around only about 50%. Try to picture what it's going to be like to brush the sides and bottom of that pool, with all the obstacles: grotto, bridge, rock coping, etc. Brushing sucks for pools with the best access, that task will be pretty tough in your pool. Also picture how you're going to maintain the garden, especially the areas so close to the water: weeding, trimming, planting, etc. Splashing salt water onto those areas will also be an issue. Plant selection might solve for that. But good luck trying to get kids not to splash! Think those aspects through carefully.

The bridge, love/hate the bridge. Consider incorporating it into the garden somehow, not over the pool. Where to begin. I've seen a bridge or two I liked. One in particular spanned a lazy river that surrounded a spa. But that bridge did not span the primary entry to the pool. How are your adult guests supposed to navigate that? What is the water depth there? And "square footage" of that area. It's spanning what would otherwise be a major gathering area for folks, short or tall. And how much space is there between bottom of bridge and water level? Will adults have to stoop to get under it? But not too much or their face will be in the water? How many people can pass under at the same time? Single file? Are you expecting everyone to swim under it to get into your pool? Depending on air/water temp, sometimes I want to walk in slowly to acclimate, sometimes halfway across pool. In your pool, I couldn't do that, and I'd be stuck in what looks to be a very small area while others are clamoring past me? I think the dimensions of all that area of the pool are going to be critical to how well that all is going to work, both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Then there is the issue of kids jumping off the bridge into a shallow end? Not just from the deck of the bridge, but from its rails! Yikes. "If you build it, they will jump!" Water refracts light: you can't judge where something is underwater, it won't be where you think it is. Same from underwater, too. Someone surfacing near the bridge will not come up where they think they're going to. Head-clonking hazard? What about someone that's coming up fast and forgets about the bridge? Even if you think there is enough clearance for the bridge in the middle, what about where the bridge gets very close to the water. Love the bridge, just not over the water. Sorry... I know, contradict much?!

I do like the little "hiking adventure" aspect you have going, how you get to the back deck. Over the bridge and through the woods, rock path and all, etc. Very cool, romantic. Though not sure I like that you can get back there only over the bridge. OK, I beat you up enough. My over-arching concern: the pool design seems to be very visual-centric, and satisfies that in a spectacular way. But the design falls short, equally spectacularly, in terms of its real-world use and maintenance. Do try and imagine what all the various activities, including the chores, in and around your pool, will actually be like, not just how everything looks. And then decide if the trade offs that have been built into your design are going to be worth it.
 
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JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,638
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Unfortunately that was just a google image, but there were quite a few "grotto slides" and the filters removed the Hugh Hefner grotto pics.

I have seen some similar grotto's on here, so I'm hoping they will chime in. I would think the calcium build up could be managed by maintaining your chemistry and CSI levels (use pool math to get it right).

Hope that helps and good luck with your design.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,888
Central California
If I'm understanding this correctly, there's multiple things going on with the staining of rocks near pools. Good pool chemistry might solve for some of those. But there are at least two that can't be: I have perfect water, but am just now seeing a little tinge of build up about 2" above my water line (on my tile). That's from evaporation. And since plaster pools have to have calcium in the water, when it evaporates it leaves calcium behind. There's nothing a plaster-pool owner can do about that, except clean it off. The second, that also has nothing to do with pool water chemistry: when the rocks get wet, they can leech their mineral goodness out, and that compounds the cosmetic problem. That's a "feature" of the stone, and would happen even if the rocks got wet with distilled water.

So some of these calcium stains happen to all of us plaster-pool owners. Good chemistry minimizes it, but likely won't eliminate it. It's just that edge tile is so much easier to clean than rock. The more rock that is near the water, the more maintenance there will be.
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
Okay, as a geologist, I can give a little information on rocks. I can't speak to rocks in pools as I am building my first pool at the moment. I do have large boulders being placed around the pool, but all are above the waterline. I will also have quartzite flagstone in a spill basin that will be underwater.
So this is what I can say about rocks, almost all rocks will have some form of iron in them. A lot of earth's basic minerals contain iron. I think what you really have to look at here is the type of rock and how it formed and what kinds of minerals it is made of. When you think of granites, these are igneous and all the minerals are tightly interlocked. Additionally, granites are made of minerals that are very resistant to weathering and erosion. Quartzite, another rock type used in pools, is also made of interlocking minerals that formed from extreme heat and pressure over millions of years. Like granites, the minerals in most quartzites are more resistant to weather and erosion.
What you really want to stay away from are sedimentary rocks (no interlocking crystals) and early stage metamorphics (platy and can fall apart). Another thought would be rocks that are very dark in color (black) are usually a little more likely to weather and erode.
We have tons of granite here in California. You should be able to find some beautiful granite boulders that are locally sourced.
Great points! Thank you for this. So any idea how much granite boulders will cost compared to other types of rock like river rock boulders etc..?

Thanks!
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
Okay, as a geologist, I can give a little information on rocks. I can't speak to rocks in pools as I am building my first pool at the moment. I do have large boulders being placed around the pool, but all are above the waterline. I will also have quartzite flagstone in a spill basin that will be underwater.
So this is what I can say about rocks, almost all rocks will have some form of iron in them. A lot of earth's basic minerals contain iron. I think what you really have to look at here is the type of rock and how it formed and what kinds of minerals it is made of. When you think of granites, these are igneous and all the minerals are tightly interlocked. Additionally, granites are made of minerals that are very resistant to weathering and erosion. Quartzite, another rock type used in pools, is also made of interlocking minerals that formed from extreme heat and pressure over millions of years. Like granites, the minerals in most quartzites are more resistant to weather and erosion.
What you really want to stay away from are sedimentary rocks (no interlocking crystals) and early stage metamorphics (platy and can fall apart). Another thought would be rocks that are very dark in color (black) are usually a little more likely to weather and erode.
We have tons of granite here in California. You should be able to find some beautiful granite boulders that are locally sourced.
Also is Quartzite easy to find here in central California? And if it were between the 2 which would you choose and why?

Thanks!
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
217
Byran TX
On the deep end -- We had a pool when our youngest was 8. We took out the diving board - We could see an accident in the making. So the deep end was mainly for cannon balls and mad jumps. I wished the shallow end was bigger, making playing catch with those soaked water throw balls more fun. Farther spread out. Instead I was always treading water in the deep end and waiting for the ball. He was on the steps, darting out to catch. Good times.

The older the kids are the less they use the pool. Unless you have an open door policy and friends are in and out.
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
I am usually stunned by how much PBs will charge to add this or that. Just be aware: If you buy three of a select list of Pentair equipment on the same invoice, they'll extend the warranty to 3 years. That 3-year bump applies to the rest of the Pentair gear you buy at the same time as well (there might be some exceptions, like lights, not sure). If you install the SWG yourself, that won't be included, and might even miss the one-year warranty criteria, so only 60 days. Be sure you understand Pentair's somewhat convoluted warranty policy as you strategize purchase costs vs DIY.

I think your pool looks amazing, especially the surrounding landscaping, if you can even get close to that look it will be awesome. Really stunning. That said, I can't help but think it was designed by someone that hasn't ever maintained a pool, or a garden! Others have already discussed the rock. I agree with what was said. Your pool has a deck walkway around only about 50%. Try to picture what it's going to be like to brush the sides and bottom of that pool, with all the obstacles: grotto, bridge, rock coping, etc. Brushing sucks for pools with the best access, that task will be pretty tough in your pool. Also picture how you're going to maintain the garden, especially the areas so close to the water: weeding, trimming, planting, etc. Splashing salt water onto those areas will also be an issue. Plant selection might solve for that. But good luck trying to get kids not to splash! Think those aspects through carefully.

The bridge, love/hate the bridge. Consider incorporating it into the garden somehow, not over the pool. Where to begin. I've seen a bridge or two I liked. One in particular spanned a lazy river that surrounded a spa. But that bridge did not span the primary entry to the pool. How are your adult guests supposed to navigate that? What is the water depth there? And "square footage" of that area. It's spanning what would otherwise be a major gathering area for folks, short or tall. And how much space is there between bottom of bridge and water level? Will adults have to stoop to get under it? But not too much or their face will be in the water? How many people can pass under at the same time? Single file? Are you expecting everyone to swim under it to get into your pool? Depending on air/water temp, sometimes I want to walk in slowly to acclimate, sometimes halfway across pool. In your pool, I couldn't do that, and I'd be stuck in what looks to be a very small area while others are clamoring past me? I think the dimensions of all that area of the pool are going to be critical to how well that all is going to work, both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Then there is the issue of kids jumping off the bridge into a shallow end? Not just from the deck of the bridge, but from its rails! Yikes. "If you build it, they will jump!" Water refracts light: you can't judge where something is underwater, it won't be where you think it is. Same from underwater, too. Someone surfacing near the bridge will not come up where they think they're going to. Head-clonking hazard? What about someone that's coming up fast and forgets about the bridge? Even if you think there is enough clearance for the bridge in the middle, what about where the bridge gets very close to the water. Love the bridge, just not over the water. Sorry... I know, contradict much?!

I do like the little "hiking adventure" aspect you have going, how you get to the back deck. Over the bridge and through the woods, rock path and all, etc. Very cool, romantic. Though not sure I like that you can get back there only over the bridge. OK, I beat you up enough. My over-arching concern: the pool design seems to be very visual-centric, and satisfies that in a spectacular way. But the design falls short, equally spectacularly, in terms of its real-world use and maintenance. Do try and imagine what all the various activities, including the chores, in and around your pool, will actually be like, not just how everything looks. And then decide if the trade offs that have been built into your design are going to be worth it.
Wow some great info. Our old pool was just a little smaller but was basic as far as features, the only "feature" it had was a raised wall on the back side. I will be getting a Dolphin robotic cleaner like we had for our last pools and it did some great things. We actually met with the PB today again and asked him to add steps to the shallow side on the left side of the bridge and have the pool bubble out a little to add those steps.

So not to throw a wrench in all this, but I did inform the PB that I had 2 completely different designs in mind. The first was the one I uploaded and they designed for us. My original was to have a free form pool probably same shape but without the carribean shelf and bridge on the far right. Then have a swim up bar/bbq area on the top right area where the cement pad is now maybe a little more to the right and possibly move it to the left top side of the pool so it can serve both the people at the house and the pool and that way the bbq is closer. Then off the edge of the roof of the bbq island have a long around 12' ft. or so Sheer Rain Arc that flow out and over and behind the people sitting at the bar in the pool. Then with the extra savings the kids may enjoy a spa instead of the grotto and slide to keep costs about the same or cheaper? I know crazy thought but what do you all think?

Thanks!
 

mlggator

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2020
89
Carlsbad, CA
Also is Quartzite easy to find here in central California? And if it were between the 2 which would you choose and why?

Thanks!
Almost any rock supply place in your area would have some choices for you. I just googled in your area for boulders for sale and there were a bunch, for instance Element Landscape Materials. I would take an afternoon and go over there and tell them what you are looking for, boulders or flagstone. Tell them it is for a pool so you are looking for rock types that would be compatible with water and pool chemicals. No sedimentary rocks like sandstones. They are pretty, but not good around pools. I would look at igneous rocks like granites and metamorphic rocks like quartzite and some schists. They will know, trust me. Don't do slates (a low temperature metamorphic), as they will flake off. I'm sure there will be a variety of all of these there.
 

mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
Almost any rock supply place in your area would have some choices for you. I just googled in your area for boulders for sale and there were a bunch, for instance Element Landscape Materials. I would take an afternoon and go over there and tell them what you are looking for, boulders or flagstone. Tell them it is for a pool so you are looking for rock types that would be compatible with water and pool chemicals. No sedimentary rocks like sandstones. They are pretty, but not good around pools. I would look at igneous rocks like granites and metamorphic rocks like quartzite and some schists. They will know, trust me. Don't do slates (a low temperature metamorphic), as they will flake off. I'm sure there will be a variety of all of these there.
If I went with Granite or Quartzite will I still have the issues of minerals being deposited into the pool water from the water flowing over them or is it much less likely?

Thanks!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,888
Central California
Wow some great info. Our old pool was just a little smaller but was basic as far as features, the only "feature" it had was a raised wall on the back side. I will be getting a Dolphin robotic cleaner like we had for our last pools and it did some great things. We actually met with the PB today again and asked him to add steps to the shallow side on the left side of the bridge and have the pool bubble out a little to add those steps.

So not to throw a wrench in all this, but I did inform the PB that I had 2 completely different designs in mind. The first was the one I uploaded and they designed for us. My original was to have a free form pool probably same shape but without the carribean shelf and bridge on the far right. Then have a swim up bar/bbq area on the top right area where the cement pad is now maybe a little more to the right and possibly move it to the left top side of the pool so it can serve both the people at the house and the pool and that way the bbq is closer. Then off the edge of the roof of the bbq island have a long around 12' ft. or so Sheer Rain Arc that flow out and over and behind the people sitting at the bar in the pool. Then with the extra savings the kids may enjoy a spa instead of the grotto and slide to keep costs about the same or cheaper? I know crazy thought but what do you all think?

Thanks!
I read it twice but can't wrap my head around the description. I think we would need a rendering of that. I really like the swim up bar idea. I think all ages would like that. I hadn't noticed the shelf before in the pics, I see it now. I'm not a fan of spas, in-pool in particular, but I know kids love 'em. I wonder if you gave them the choice if they'd rather have the spa or the grotto.

As you move things around in your head, keep this in mind: you need to be able to see virtually all of the water when kids are involved, from where you'll be watching them. From in the house, too. Don't plot the grotto or the spa or landscaping such that you can't "count heads" regularly. Even if you have confidence in your own, ya gotta watch their friends, too. The parents of those little guests can't be relied on for that. They'll be watching their phones more than their kids. So it will fall to you (as would the liability). The better your view, the less you have to stress about it.
 
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mlggator

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2020
89
Carlsbad, CA
If I went with Granite or Quartzite will I still have the issues of minerals being deposited into the pool water from the water flowing over them or is it much less likely?

Thanks!
These are both very resistant to weathering and erosion, however, I'm not sure about the chemicals In the pool, but I would think it's not a lot. Anyone with these rocks have comments?
 
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mlggator

Bronze Supporter
Jul 18, 2020
89
Carlsbad, CA
These are both very resistant to weathering and erosion, however, I'm not sure about the chemicals In the pool, but I would think it's not a lot. Anyone with these rocks have comments?
Please remember, I am a geologist who knows a lot about rocks, but almost nothing about pools. So take my opinion for what's its worth.
 
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mihzyd777

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2009
81
Manteca, CA
Can anyone else answer on what type of rock they have used on their water feature or around the pool or is it sculpted shotcrete, and how is it holding up especially to calcium build up?