New Pool Build - Two Quotes - Houston, TX

Games_People_Play

New member
Jun 15, 2022
1
Houston
We are building a new home and have received two pool quotes. Both are for chlorine (which I know is unpopular in this forum, but my husband is concerned about corrosion, and we have some experience with SWG, as my sister has one). One quote is for Jandy and the other is Pentair; I understand it's like Ford and Chevy--Jandy people like Jandy (though maintenance is restricted to Jandy), and Pentair people like Pentair, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

The two quotes are below and are about $35k apart (with Option 2 being the more expensive one). We welcome any feedback on the equipment, and also whether the $35k difference is justified. I've done some research on here, but am new to this.

Another thing we're considering is volleyball-style vs. traditional shallow and deep ends. We have one daughter who will be 5ish when we move in, and we expect to have kids in the pool frequently. Any thoughts on this are also welcome.

Option 1
Pool description: approximately 20’ x 40’ in size, depths 3’-6” to 5-6” deep, with 7’x8’ hot tub, 9’x8’ sun
shelf, (4) Multi-color nicheless pool and (1) nicheless spa light, (3) scuppers in the water feature wall
with 2 fire bowls set on top, PebbleTech Level 1 plaster or Wet Edge Sig Matrix Cat 1 plaster, and final
design and plaster selection is TBD. Decking selection and area are TBD.
Scope of work: Utility location services, Dig, Steel, Gunite, equipment pad, install waterline tile, hot tub
tile, raised beam wall tile install, coping install labor, setting materials for tile and coping, Plaster
(pebble), Plumbing labor, Electrical labor, Permit fee, tie pool into existing backyard drainage, pool start
up, and initial chemical balance.
Equiment list:
Jandy Cartridge filter
Aqualink pool/water feature controller and power center
Aqualink network interface module (phone app system)
Jandy 2HP Variable Speed pool/spa pump
Jandy 2HP Variable speed for the water feature
UV / Ozone Sanitizer combo pack
1.5 HP air blower
Booster pump for pool cleaner
Polaris pool cleaner
Jandy 400K BTU heater
(3) scuppers – water feature
(2) skimmers
All drains for pool and hot tub – 2017 VGB compliant
(4) Multi-color nicheless Low voltage pool light
(1) Multi-color nicheless Low voltage spa light
Transformer(s) as necessary
Autofiller

Allowances for homeowner selections budget:
Coping material (travertine) $1,344
Waterline tile material (porcelain tile) $1,217
Hot tub tile material (porcelain tile) $433
Raised beam wall tile ($10/sf – +/- 60sf needed) $650
2 Fire bowls - $400/each $800
Delivery and taxes $454
*allowances are due when ordered
*glass tile is an upgrade

Options (include labor and material):
Badu 2 jet swim system $8,589
Badu 3 jet swim system $11,954
Shipping estimate for Badu system $288
Level 2 PebbleTech – additional $2,530

Option 2
BASE POOL
Geometric 40 x 20
Depth 3.5 x 6.
MAIN DRAINAGE
Dedicated Suction to pump from drain to equipment 2.5in pipe
SKIMMER
Bermuda Skimmer 1
POOL RETURNS & OVERFLOW
Overflow is permitted by City
POOL FILL TYPES
Pentair auto fill
MAIN POOL PUMP
Pentair Inteliflow Variable Speed Pump 3hp
FILTER TYPE
Cartridge Filter Clean & Clear 520 sq ft 1
LIGHTING
Intellibrite 5g led pool light Color 3
AUTOMATION
Easy touch 8 with screen logic bundle

HEATERS - CHILLERS
400,000 BTU Pentair Master Temp Heater

STRUCTURAL FEATURES - STEPS, BENCHES, TANNING SHELVES, BEACHES
Neg Edge with Catch Basin Pentair Variable speed pump 3hp
Tanning Ledge with Unbrella sleeve with steps in the Ledge
Deep end bench
WATER FEATURES
Fire and water bowls manual Water Feature Pump 1.1hp 2
3cm travertine buyer to select $10 allowance
POOL WATERLINE
Waterline Tile TBD $7 Allowance
Level 1 Finish Tile - Upgraded Finish to be extra
TILE & COPING - GROUT & EXTRAS (Pool & Spa)
Coping - Colored Grout

DECKING
Decking and Drainage done by builder
SPA
Spa raised 12" with 8 Jets, 2hp Blower, and Pentair Variable speed pump 3hp
SPA COPING
3cm Travertine buyer to select $10 allowance
Buyer agrees that natural stones can vary in shades and can change with exposure
to minerals in rain and sprinkler water
Any stone with a hole the size of a quarter or smaller is considered acceptable
SPA WATERLINE
To be selected by the buyer $7 allowance
SPA LIGHT
Intellibrite 5g Led light color 1
SPA SPILLWAYS
Open

INTERIOR SURFACE
Pebble Tec / Pebble Sheen
Color: Level 1

SANITZERS
Inline Chlorinator
AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANERS
Infloor Cleaning system



ADDITIONAL ITEMS
Pebble Top Main Drains
3 chaise Ledge Loungers
Back side of raised wall raw gunite
UV System
Fire bowls are match light with Black Lava rock
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
3,800
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Welcome to TFP. You will find a wealth of information for assistance during construction, and future maintenance.

It is hard to determine the $35k difference because some items need to be compared line by line.
Also, ask for recommendations and try to visit previous customers to see their pool. There are lots of difference between PB's other than price. How well do they manage the process, will the PM show up when work is being done to ensure all is per plan, do they keep to their schedule, do they pay their sub-contractors on time so work is done timely and professionally. Remember you have to live the pool for a lifetime. The PB will likely never see you again after the build and final payment. Speaking of payments, what are the payment plans. You want to hold back at least 10% to the very end, when everything is completed and your punch list is empty.

Suggest you have 2 skimmers and each are independently run back to the equipment pad.

Overall either Jandy or Pentair is good selection. However do not recommend the UV system. For a little more money the SWCG will be much better in the long run. Many people have saltwater pools and do not have corrosion issues. Currently I have use liquid chlorine for sanitization and my salt level is 2200 ppm. Not too far from where a Salt water pool needs to be (3000-3500ppm). I plan to upgrade to SWCG in future. So don't be fooled that there is no salt in standard "chlorine" pools.

If you go Pentair, it would be better to upgrade to the IntelliCenter automation as that is newer technology and more adaptable to future requirements.

I am sure others will chime in.
Again welcome and hope all goes well.
 
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gingrbredman

Gold Supporter
Jun 10, 2020
697
Chicagoland
Pool Size
11200
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I agree with @HermanTX , deciding on the price difference is tough to just say it is, or is not worth it, without comparing each quote line by line. Much more to it than just the line items on top of that for the whole package.

Just a couple thoughts from looking over the options...
UV / Ozone Sanitizer combo pack
I mean, if a builder is gonna frown upon a legitimate upgrade like a SWCG, at least don't recommend something like that. A salt water pool or not, that's everyone's options, but at least don't bother with the magic with no rabbit stuff.

Intellibrite 5g led pool light Color 3
AUTOMATION
Easy touch 8 with screen logic bundle
If you go Pentair, go with the Microbrite for the lights, newer tech, longer lasting lights and the Intelliceter vs. the proposed automation. Seems like this builder likes Pentair but hasn't stayed on top of the newest products, and maybe not interested in learning the one ones. But in 2022, you probably want the Microbites and Intellicenter.

Inline Chlorinator
Not as bad as a proposal as the UV system, but should also be avoided unless you need to use it for longer vacations. The use of pucks as sanatazion will only lead to CYA creep and water change outs.

Looking forward to see more comments on this build!
 

dfwnoob

Gold Supporter
Feb 27, 2022
341
DFW
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
A salt water pool is a chlorine pool. There are no corrosion issues.

You live in Texas. A SWCG is 100% the way to go, no questions asked.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
3,800
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
With regard to cleaners - there are 2 proposed options but completely different in equipment needed, maintenance, etc.

Booster pump for pool cleaner
Polaris pool cleaner
This is a pressure operated cleaner that stays in your pool (can be removed as needed), it requires a booster pump (that turns on with your main filtration pump). to push the cleaner around the pool. Obviously, this is more costly to purchase (an additional pump) and to operate. The PB did not state which Polaris pool cleaner and those can range from $600 to $1500 depending on model and capabilities - so it would be good to have that defined. These types of cleaners capture debris in a net or basket and must be emptied as required.
I own this type of cleaner (came with the pool 20 years ago - have changed out the pump twice and the cleaner once plus numerous repairs over time. However, it is efficient for my needs. I run it 2 hrs a week in the summer and more when in fall or early spring because of all the debris.

Another option would be a suction type cleaner (same function of this pressure type cleaner) but does not require the booster pump as it uses your main filtration pump.

A newer technology are electric driven robots. There is a wide assortment to choose from but only needs a power outlet within a short distance of the pool (within electrical code). Most put the robot in and out of the pool as needed. It has a basket to capture the debris. This is a favorite by many on the forum. I don't like having to take it in and out of the pool (because the electrical cord would be across where people walk for my set up) but it does seem to be efficient in cleaning.

AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANERS
Infloor Cleaning system
This is a completely different system. It has pipes laid below the floor of the pool. They have nozzles that pop up and push debris via water pressure to the drain area where it is sucked up to the filter. There are mixed reviews on the forum to the effectiveness of these in-floor systems. Appears to be a love-hate relationship by many of the contributors. There is more to go wrong when you consider you may have 10-20 nozzles that need to be maintained over time. It is good that it creates circulation deep in the pool which can be advantageous.

This is my views and sure others will add theirs. But as you can see, the cost of each system is very different which is another factor to consider between PB quotes.
 

pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
813
The Woodlands, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Welcome neighbor!

Both are for chlorine which I know is unpopular in this forum
Chlorine is extremely popular on this forum. I would estimate 99.9% of the pools here are sanitized with chlorine.

3’-6” to 5-6” deep
3.5' is a bit too shallow for the shallow end. I'd suggest 4'.

5.5' is too shallow to dive, but too deep for most people to comfortably stand. I'd suggest 5' or commit to a true deep end.

UV / Ozone Sanitizer combo pack
Not recommended. Put that money into a SWG.

Booster pump for pool cleaner
Polaris pool cleaner
Ditch the pressure-side cleaner and get a robot. It cheaper to buy, much cheaper to operate, and cleans better.

SKIMMER
Bermuda Skimmer 1
Go with two skimmers. Main drains are optional.

LIGHTING
Intellibrite 5g led pool light Color 3
If you go the Pentair route, get MicroBrites.

AUTOMATION
Easy touch 8 with screen logic bundle
Get IntelliCenter (which is the current generation of Pentair automation).

SANITZERS
Inline Chlorinator
Not recommended. There are two sustainable methods of chlorinating: liquid chlorine or SWG.

AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANERS
Infloor Cleaning system
This adds a lot of cost, complexity, and potential problems to your plumbing. A robot cleans better at a small fraction of the cost to buy and operate.

Do you have sketches or 3D renderings of the plans?
 

jcushman

Active member
Oct 17, 2017
35
Driftwood, TX
My one biggest regret is only one skimmer instead of 2. Had a freeform pool before with only one and it worked fine. Now have a 15x30 rectangular and one skimmer is not very efficient. With the hard corners, I find it difficult to set up a circulation pattern with the jets that moves everything to the one skimmer.

I also much prefer the electric robot. I put it in when necessary, usually every 2-3 days for a couple of hours. The rest of the time there is not a cleaner with the attached tubing in the way. Makes for better swim experience and looks much better visually.
 

PaAmanda

Gold Supporter
Feb 26, 2021
7
Lehigh Valley
Pool Size
16500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
3.5' is a bit too shallow for the shallow end. I'd suggest 4'.
I've been seeing this suggestion a lot lately but no one is taking height into consideration. I am under 5' and have a 3.5' shallow end - anything deeper would not be comfortable for me or my kids to stand in.

Please remember that people come in all shapes and sizes 😀
 
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agjr85

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
53
Spring, Texas
The second quote is perhaps laid out in a confusing manner. Sounds like it is way over pumped.
Regardless... ditch the booster pump style cleaner, get a credit towards an electronic robot.

Not a fan of auto fillers, they can break and then become more hassle.
 

.ben

Well-known member
Jul 28, 2020
97
Katy, TX
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
Welcome from Houston!

What is the reputation of both builders? Does either have any recent bad reviews on Google? Do you have any recommendations from neighbors or local facebook pages. In Houston we have a ton of options. I suspect a big line item on #2 is the in-floor cleaning system. Do you really want that? I don't have one and I don't feel as if I am missing anything.

Does #2 include glass tile (excluded on #1)? Do you want glass tile? I love mine but it's a personal choice

#1 only includes pebble tech and #2 included pebble sheen. Pebble sheen is more expensive. I love my pebble sheen. How much does #1 increase if you upgrade to pebble sheen.

#1 does not list the size of cartridge filter. Get the biggest you can.

You do not need a SWG to have a clean and trouble free pool. Just make sure you realize how much liquid chlorine (LC) you will need to add on a daily basis. If I did not have a SWG, I would be adding 0.65 gallons of LC every day to keep up with demand at a price of $4.63 per gallon at Walmart. This equates to $90+tax monthly. Not to mention the hassle of storing and transporting 20 jugs every month.

My SWG produces chlorine a daily basis. If I need to slightly adjust my output, I press a button on my phone. I never have to worry about running to the store if I run out of LC.

If my SWG died I am ordering a new one immediately. If [hypothetically] the prices of salt cells increased 5x the normal cost I would still not hesitate to purchase one.
 
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poolnoobgrandma

Gold Supporter
Sep 15, 2018
840
Seminole, FL
Pool Size
17000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
“We have one daughter who will be 5ish when we move in, and we expect to have kids in the pool frequently. Any thoughts on this are also welcome.”
I just spent hours in the pool with our 4 year old grandson. The whole pool is a deep end for him, and he swims like a fish. If you want a volleyball pool go for it, but you are going to have swimming littles in no time, so if you want a deep end, go for it. Little guy and his 20 month old sister and one year old cousin start this summer’s swim less next Friday.
 
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