New Pool Build - Porter Ranch, CA

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#1
Hi all - I wanted my first post to be my build post, but I've been pouring over this site for months. What a wealth of info! A little background...

Did you all hear about the catastrophic natural gas leak that So Cal Gas caused in late October, 2015? Yep, that's right in my back yard. That was fun! Well, we moved in to our new construction dream home right before that happened but we're natives of the area so we just fought through it. The gas leak is capped, our yard is a blank canvas and we're now ready to build (we have to do front and back yard $$$). I've enjoyed reading other build threads so I'm excited for you all to weigh in on mine.

I'll post some pictures to bring you up to speed. We started excavating on 4/7/16 and it's been really slow so far while we fought through the permit process, etc. I have a PB that is a friend of mine so we've worked out a relationship where it's an owner-builder job with his consulting expertise. He's running the job and using his 44 years of expertise to help us through the process, recommend sub-contractors, etc.

Here's a concept drawing. I'll point out some highlights



  1. The house came with the luxury outdoor living space and it has a concrete patio. We'll cover that patio with our paver material and it will be a seamless transition to the pool deck with no steps
  2. The pool is about 40 x 25, 3.5' to 8' depth and about 38,000 gallons, or so I'm told. That should be including the 8 x 10 spa.
  3. The semi-circle seat shelf at the top center of the pool will be the same depth as the Baja shelf (depth TBD). Our designer initially had a fountain there, which we hated, but we like the niche for the kids to play in so we're going to add 3 bubblers and a light (more on that later).
  4. There will be an aluma-wood patio cover the width of the house, represented by the four black square footings; footing locations are not accurate but you get the idea
  5. We're going to use travertine pavers in a French pattern, with 2" bullnose travertine coping; there are some unique challenges with the coping that I'll ask you to weigh in on later

The before:


Here's the progress so far. I will just say it now, the Nest cam is the best idea I ever had! Here the excavation is complete. We didn't hit any rock but it took a little longer because we have limited clearance on the side yard. The deep trenches along the back wall are additional footings that the engineer/city required.


The amount of steel in this pool is insane! The deep end:


And the shallow end/Baja shelf/spa


I'll end this post here for now. Plumbing is coming on Monday and I'll post my thoughts and ask a few questions about that tomorrow. I've done tons of research on automation/pool equipment so I'll save those for a later post as well.

Thanks in advance for sticking with me on this. If the progress-to-date is any indication, we're in for a long ride together!

Let me know what questions you have!

Greg
 

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#7
That's a great looking design! Please show us what materials you've picked out when you get the chance. Are you putting in any water features?
Thanks! There will be sheer descents on the wall on either side of the seat shelf. What's not really pictured here are two square columns right at the corners of the small seat shelf that go down into the pool (hard to explain but I'll post more pics). We'll have fire bowls on those columns. We're also going to put some lit bubblers in that little seat shelf as an accent (more on that with some plumbing questions later). That area is central to the yard and will be a focal point when we look out of the house.
 

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#8
Hi all - since my plumbing is starting on Monday I thought I'd tell you my plan and ask a couple of questions since I don't have much time.

First, pool automation is really important to me. I had a Jandy Aqualink in my old pool, pre-iPhone days. While I realize Jandy and Pentair both offer iPhone control, it still seems like an afterthought. I really like what Hayward has done with the Omnilogic; the user interface looks awesome. I don't want the better automation to drive me to substandard equipment but after all my research, I believe the Hayward equipment will be just fine. I think their stuff has come a long way recently and they're probably suffering from a mediocre reputation in the past. Feel free to weigh in!

The reason I bring up the automation in the context of plumbing is that now my lights also need to be Hayward. In that back semi-circle seat shelf, I was thinking about using the Pentair LED bubbler until I made the Hayward decision. Hayward doesn't make an LED bubbler and, since that shelf is a focal point, my PB wants to put 3 bubblers in there that we will light with a Hayward 320 LED light from the middle of the cluster. I think it'll work out OK.

Here's the rest of my plan:

  1. Main drains will be piped directly to the P/E pad; My PB thinks it's a waste but I want the flexibility. It doesn't cost that much to run it now and I found out about this option thanks to TFP.
  2. Deep return - the plumber recommended this especially because we might do solar. I think I'll only do one deep return because I don't want any more grates in the bottom. If we don't do solar, I'm sure I'll still heat the pool occasionally.
  3. Skimmer - just one; not a good place to put a second one since the opposite side is raised
  4. Solar - we're probably going to stub for it at the foundation of the house but I'm not sure if we'll do it yet. I have a solar guy coming next week but I don't know if there's enough room on the roof because I have solar electric already.
  5. Pool returns - We'll place two on the large Baja to attempt to blow debris off; won't be perfect but better than none - probably have 2-3 other returns in the pool.
  6. We'll have a suction side pool cleaner port.
  7. The two sheer descents and the bubblers will be on their own pump so they can be run independently of the spa
  8. Spa - It's pretty big but I'm not planning on going crazy with the jets. Probably 8 and I might stack a couple of them for mid and lower back. Someone recommended that a variable speed pump for the booster is worthwhile because it would allow us to vary the pressure of the jets - we love the spa and will use it a lot so I'm thinking it's a good idea. Has anyone done that and can weigh in on the benefits?

Can you folks think of anything else I'm missing? BTW, I've seen other's pictures so I'm not the only one that's been done this way, but I don't see how the heck they're going to get plumbing for the main drains under all that rebar. It seems like they should have run that first but that would be too easy. Anyway, it'll be fun to watch!

Here's another look at the design. Don't mind the material selection, they're not accurate.




Thanks in advance for taking a look and for your feedback!
 

bmoreswim

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 16, 2012
4,273
Central MD
#9
Our Hayward equipment has been problem free. Likewise our Color Logic 4.0 lights have as well. One time in 3 years they got out of sync but following the sync procedure was a simple fix. We do not have the Omnilogic piece.

I really like your design. Looking forward to following along.
 

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#10
Our Hayward equipment has been problem free. Likewise our Color Logic 4.0 lights have as well. One time in 3 years they got out of sync but following the sync procedure was a simple fix. We do not have the Omnilogic piece.

I really like your design. Looking forward to following along.
That's great feedback on the equipment. Thanks.
 

Frank Rizzo

Silver Supporter
Nov 13, 2015
176
Woodland Hills, CA
#11
Hey Greg. Im local so if you want any opinions/subs feel free to let me know.

· Gas line(s) - if you even remotely think you might want patio heaters or a fire pit, run the lines now. It's tough to do later.
· Electrical - think about where you want some strategically placed outlets. I ran 12/2 low voltage cable everywhere (in the retaining wall, up the columns, and even the vinyl fence posts) so I can add LED lighting later if I want to.
· I ran a 3" surface drain extension to my equipment pad area. I don't even think my guys even charged for it. Better than having the water spilling out!
· I ran a separate pool drain. My pool plumber thought it was a waste, but did it anyways.
· Im all Jandy including the automation. No comment because it is not operational yet, but I was a Mechanical Contractor for many years, and when I looked at the specs I liked them the best based on past experience, especially on the equipment.
· I did not run the pipes for solar under the pavers and I'm wishing I did. Pipe is inexpensive.
· FYI: If you don't buy the equipment thru an authorized dealer, you can have warranty issues. Just like HVAC/R equipment - the manufactures don't sell direct to consumer.
· I installed an in-floor valet cleaning system and regardless of what other opinions are, even if it fails I still have deep returns.
· Call Andy Gump and get a porta-potty. The subs appreciate not having to drive over the the gas station to go to the bathroom.
· There is a $500 LADWP rebate for a variable speed pump on a new installation. Check the website and see if yours is on their "approved" list.
· Do you want to install a shower? Check outdoorhshower.com.
· Make friends with your subs. Check in frequently and tip generously. My subs love working at my place (I think). I leave lots of gallon bottles of water out for them and buy lunch a couple times a week.
· All my infloor cleaning and drains piping were run before rebar:

 

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#12
^Thanks, Frank! I'm curious on this one that you said above
I ran a 3" surface drain extension to my equipment pad area. I don't even think my guys even charged for it. Better than having the water spilling out.
What do you mean by that?

Update on plumbing today: It was a great day. We laid out the equipment pad and discussed the fire/water features, electrical outlets, etc. I'm amazed at how much they did in one day. They'll be done tomorrow. Inspection to follow Wed/Thurs and then we shoot gunite!

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
 

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#13
The subcontractor finished up the plumbing today. All in all, a great job. Here's a few pictures:

Standing in the deep end, here's the main drains, DP return and hydrostatic relieve valve. The first thing I did was to text the sub to ask him why these aren't in line. He said he noticed it and that he can tweak them, plus the 8" grates allow for some leeway to get them in line.



Skimmer and auto-fill. They weren't quite level with each other and the autofill bucket wasn't completely level itself, but they are now ;) After reading Titan7's build http://www.troublefreepool.com/thre...this-morning-New-build-Orange-County-CA/page9 I've also decided to eliminate the wide overflow in the pool and just rely on the overflow in the auto-fill bucket. It's only 1/2 inch but if I ever really needed to lower the water level from a heavy rain, I could do it from the skimmer/main drains. I had one in my last spa and didn't care for the look of it.



You can't see it here, but like Titan7's, they can't seem to follow instructions and the auto-fill fill pipe isn't straight off the bucket, but rather bent down at a 45 and then straight into the pool. Any concern?

Here's the 3 bubblers stubbed for the water feature on the back mini-Baja. I haven't seen the spec on the bubbler (that should be flush with the finished pebble) but I was surprised to see 2" stub pipe. Anyone else surprised?



They had to sleeve the gas line that runs under the future patio cover:



That's probably all of the interesting stuff for now. Inspection is tomorrow.

I do have a question though since gunite will be soon. Will you guys weigh in on the merits/drawbacks of an umbrella sleeve in my main Baja? Someone said that they're just prone to getting algae and gunk down in there and it needs to be cleaned (but so does the rest of the pool). If I just plunk the sleeve in the middle of the Baja somewhere, will I just wish it was in a different spot anyway? We have one of those cantilever umbrellas with the base that will roll. Assuming it will fit under the patio cover, we're thinking we could just roll that to the edge of the pool and swing it over.?

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
 

Julieleek

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2015
117
Pasadena, CA
#14
We really enjoy our umbrella sleeves. We have one in the Baja step and 4 around the pool built into the decking. They come with covers so when you don't have an umbrella in them you can put the cover on to keep debris out of the holes. I haven't noticed ours in the Baja step getting gunky but we've only had it since September 2015. I don't find that it's in the way but rather if we don't want the umbrella we just take it out, or close it and let it sit there like a stick. I like this option much better than an umbrella stand which always get spiders, dirt and leaves under them. When you move them, they leave their mark on the decking. Get a tilt umbrella for the Baja step so you can chase the sun and not struggle with the decision of where on the Baja step to place the sleeve. Also, make sure you choose a rust resistant umbrella. I got mine from Bed Bath and Beyond.
 

Titan7

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2015
654
Fullerton, CA
#16
my friend has them in their pool they always seem to be where you don't want them. Also, real pain walking around them, I bump into them every time I am there, YMMV.

- - - Updated - - -

Also, if you are using 3" drains for your deck, you will need to tie the overfill to the drains, we did it was a lot of connections. I can post a photo this evening.


Looks like they encapsulated the auto fill with the shell of the pool, that's a good idea. I could not convince my PB this was a good idea.
 

atttech-2

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
1,174
Central Valley CA
#19
We are enjoying or sleeve as well and found an unexpected benefit. When not using an umbrella a piece of PVC in the sleeve serves as an anchor point for pool float and I plan on making a table for drinks. Late in the day the shelf is the only part of the pool in the sun so it's nice to not float off into the shade.
 

Flowersga

Gold Supporter
Apr 19, 2016
82
Porter Ranch, CA
#20
whats the deal with the "T" coming from the gas line sleeve?

The T must just be a safety vent in case of a leak. The pipe coming out of the tee is connected to this elbow at the equipment pad (far right):


- - - Updated - - -

What is the depth of the gas line at final grade?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
I'm not sure how deep the trench is but there must be a standard depth (24"-36"?) for the plumbing. This trench is through the main patio, immediately adjacent to the lower right corner of this photo:


- - - Updated - - -

We are enjoying or sleeve as well and found an unexpected benefit. When not using an umbrella a piece of PVC in the sleeve serves as an anchor point for pool float and I plan on making a table for drinks. Late in the day the shelf is the only part of the pool in the sun so it's nice to not float off into the shade.
Ha! That's a great idea! :cheers: