New Pool Build in Northern California - Equipment Review Request

gregfl2001

Member
May 20, 2013
8
Chico, CA
Hi everyone -

Stumbled upon this site a few days ago - what a great place! I've jumped into all of the recommended reading and have reviewed a ton of build posts to get ideas flowing. I'll definitely be supporting soon to help keep this site such a great resource. We are looking at starting a pool project early next year, and are currently finalizing design and specs. Pool prices in our area are insane the last couple of years (Northern California), but we're excited to build one and enjoy it with our family for a long time.

Design
  • Freeform shape, 20' by 40'
  • Baja shelf - estimated 15' by 8' with umbrella sleeve
  • 3.5' in shallow end, 8' in deep end
  • Concrete flatwork (brushed) - minimum 4' of walkway around the pool but may extend this to 5' if budget allows. Also adding additional patio area for table/chairs and connecting all of this to our existing patio area.
  • Currently no water features or diving rocks spec'd, however, I do like some ambient water noise and possibly some jumping rocks (maybe build both in the same feature) so this is an area we are still looking at
Yard Configuration
We built our house last year, and have quite a bit of yard space (1 acre+). We do need to shift the pool to the left portion of the yard due to our septic lines, however, we shouldn't have an issue fitting everything. We'll move into landscaping once pool is completed - can't wait to have grass and plants instead of weeds and star thistle!

Equipment
  • Pentair Intelliflo VSF Pump
  • Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Filter (not planning on SWC system)
  • Pentair Easy Touch Panel w/ Wireless Control (would Intellitouch be better?)
  • Pentair Intellibrite Color LED lights (x2)
  • Pentair U3 skimmers (x2)
  • Superpro auto filler
  • Pentair Boost Rite Pump
  • Pentair Platinum Pool sweep (should we consider robot instead?)
Bids
We've had 4 bids from local companies, all coming in $68K-$75K. Our preferred builder (same contractor who built our house and is amazing to work with) is the $75K, but that includes a $14K allowance for concrete/flat work as we are still finalizing layout. These quotes are for regular plaster, but we'd like to go with Pebble Sheen finish so I'm working to see what that'll add cost-wise.

Any feedback is much appreciated! Pool design draft attached. Thanks!
 

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mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,780
Pleasanton, CA
Welcome to the forum!

If not using a SWG, what do you plan on using for chlorination? Hopefully not puck feeder. Worst thing you can do in CA as CYA will continue to build up rendering CL useless.

Also, I definitely would consider a robot. Any cleaner other than a robot will end up costing you a lot more in CA as the others require much higher energy use to run.

Lastly, I am not a big fan of VSF pumps. There is really no benefit to setting flow vs RPM and the pump usually costs a bit more.
 

dustin2471

Silver Supporter
Jun 19, 2014
112
Roseville / CA
I am not sure about the VSF pump, I have 3 VS pumps as in CA VS is mandated, as far as the water features I have a few, a grotto with a large waterfall, a waterfall/fire wall, slide, bubbler, and 4 laminars. When the grotto is on its loud like you must speak at a much higher level to be heard, the waterfall/fire wall is a trickle and I guess soothing, bubbler is the same as the waterfall/fire wall, but the laminars are what I would probably choose, just make sure they put the drains into them otherwise mold can be a problem. Regarding the easytouch/intellitouch I always choose the more expandable option (intellitouch) as unless you know exactly what your automation options are going to be its easy to have to many ports/module than not enough? and if you are installing a spa you probably wont have enough with an easytouch?
My own personal opinion on filter, get the biggest one you can I think its the 520 not that much more $ like $150?
Love our autofill any new build that is a must!
Not a big fan of umbrella sleeve in the pool, salt water reeks havoc on the poles (wood or metal) might want to put the umbrella sleeve (or two so you can have umbrellas on either side of your baja shelf) in the deck as this will raise the umbrella higher and it wont be an eye poke hazard?
We have the SWCG system and its so easy to take care of, absolutely love it, got the Pentair IC60.
We have a dolphin m500 robot, I run it a twice a week just because its so easy and I am never sure that running once is enough and again we love it too. We have the guts to have a vacuum but with the ease of use of the dolphin I don't ever think it will be used.
And lastly costs will vary but our pool is a similar size to yours and regular plaster bids were $3800-$4300 and pebblesheen style (everyone has their own) was between $8100-$8900. Good luck, we built our own house and 10 years later a pool, the pool was more stressful than the house :)
 

gregfl2001

Member
May 20, 2013
8
Chico, CA
I've updated the original post with a picture of our yard, as well as a draft pool layout. Feedback is welcome!

If not using a SWG, what do you plan on using for chlorination? Hopefully not puck feeder. Worst thing you can do in CA as CYA will continue to build up rendering CL useless.
Also, I definitely would consider a robot. Any cleaner other than a robot will end up costing you a lot more in CA as the others require much higher energy use to run.
Lastly, I am not a big fan of VSF pumps. There is really no benefit to setting flow vs RPM and the pump usually costs a bit more.
@mas985 - thank you for the input! The more I read about SWG, the more it seems like it would be a good fit. I'll research more but I think we're leaning that direction. I think we'll also go with a robot vac, but should we keep the pressure side pump and plumbing (or at least the plumbing)?

@dustin2471 - thank you as well; nice to hear your experience with the Pentair equipment. The plaster cost on our quote was around $7,800, so I ended up calling our regional Pebble Tec installer and found that as an owner-builder, Pebble Sheen runs $7500. I'm wondering if our quote was in fact Pebble Sheen, or if that plaster cost is just high. I'll figure out next week.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,780
Pleasanton, CA
I see no reason to keep the booster pump. Preasure side cleaners are so inefficient and given the price of electricity in CA, I would never own a pressure side cleaner.

However, it could be useful to have a dedicated suction port that could be used for manual vacuuming.
 

gregfl2001

Member
May 20, 2013
8
Chico, CA
I see no reason to keep the booster pump. Preasure side cleaners are so inefficient and given the price of electricity in CA, I would never own a pressure side cleaner.

However, it could be useful to have a dedicated suction port that could be used for manual vacuuming.
Perfect - I’ll plan on going that route and installing a dedicated suction port. Appreciate the help!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,310
Tallahassee, FL
That is a huge yard! It NEEDS a pool in it!!! What fun that will be!

I would like to talk to you about the design. With your shelf there you break up the "swim lane". If you were to shift the shelf to the left (towards the bottom of the picture you will have an open swim lane. I like everything else about what you drew out.

Kim:kim:
 

gregfl2001

Member
May 20, 2013
8
Chico, CA
Hi Kim -

Thank you for the suggestion! I’ll take that into consideration and see what we could do. I think the baja shelf would need a bit of resizing or reconfiguration of the steps to work, but it could be feasible.

Greg