New Pool Plan Richmond, VA - suggestions/recommendations?

BigD23

Member
Jun 7, 2020
15
Richmond, VA
We are finalizing plans for our backyard with pool. Would love member suggestions/recommendations. I've thought about this a ton but may be missing something.

FYI the current pool in my sig is my in-laws' pool.

Pool_Layout.png

Pool:
40x16 Fiberglass w SWG, heat pump, and autocover
Aspen model by Thursday Pools Aspen Fiberglass Pool Design - Thursday Pools

Backyard layout explanation:
  • Please see attachment. I planned it in Excel since it was easy to change. Each cell in Excel is 1 sq. ft.
  • 40x16 pool is the big blue thing, obviously. Pool builder includes 4' wide brushed concrete around the perimeter of the pool.
  • Light gray is brushed concrete patio. Medium gray is outline of house (accurate to +/- 1'). Dark gray is proposed fence (see bullet later in this list).
  • We have a walkout basement. Door is light blue to the left of "Screened in porch above" text.
  • We are finishing the area underneath the "Screened in porch above" and "Deck above" areas. We already have a hot tub under there (thanks for the hot tub cover recommendation @cowboycasey !) and are adding a built-in kitchen with grill, storage, an area for my Kamado Joe, and other grills. The steps down come down from the 1st floor walkout deck. Fans, lights, heaters, and speakers wired to inside AV receiver.
  • There is a retaining wall in red labeled "Retaining wall." The lot slopes down on that side from the driveway pad. The retaining wall is being extended to the edge of the steps down area.
  • The big 8x4 dark red box (width by height) is a fireplace. We haven't picked a model, but most are 4' deep and 8' wide seems right as a feature given the size of that part of the patio.
  • Purple 4x6 is outdoor dining room table. Mostly doing that to measure spacing since to the bottom of the diagram (the "deck above" light yellow area) there will be bar height seating.
  • Dark gray 1' lines are proposed fence. I am going to run it out as far as possible given topo (the left of the diagram slopes down hard to the left, the back slopes down lightly).
  • Area much further past this image on these 3 sides is wooded with mostly pines. We are in a cul-de-sac back lot. We back up to a stream which is visible from the patio/"deck above" if you look just right of the fireplace.
  • Equipment pad location was just to keep it away from the patio/kitchen/deck area. Not married to that.
  • Future shed is almost max size (10x14) allowed in my neighborhood. Figure we can make it look nice with regular door and windows to the pool, then the large door opening to the swingset side. For storage of pool and minor landscape stuff.
  • Brown edge with green is a bed and shrubbery (I need a shrubbery!).
  • Swingset location is not my favorite, but it's about the only area big enough and flat enough to do it. The swingset is currently where the pool is in the diagram.
 
Last edited:

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,879
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I like the layout and pool selection. Can you post a few pictures of the backyard as it is today? Have you decided on pool equipment? We'd be happy to review that as well and it is very important to how well your pool functions. PB's aren't always on the best practice side of equipment selection and setup - and that's a huge benefit of asking questions here.

I had to laugh when I saw your cool Excel layout. That's exactly how I put mine together initially as well.
 
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BigD23

Member
Jun 7, 2020
15
Richmond, VA
Here's the base package. He uses Hayward pool equipment. He installed my in-laws' pool as well back in 2012.

base package.jpg

I want to get a bigger/oversize cartridge filter. I also want automation installed ideally covering pool cover, lights, and heat pump/temp setting.

I can get more details if you let me know what you are looking for.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,879
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
You may like to look at my layout because I added furniture blocks all around which really helped on the deck sizing.

Pool Build - Baltimore

Excellent pics of the setting. Thanks. I was picturing the slope on the right side going the other way.

16X40 is a good sized footprint. I’d want two skimmers, in the two most common wind directions to receive debris. VSP - your pool doesn’t require a 3HP VSP, but most people get a “full-size” VSP. Hayward does make both in their Tristar (1.85 and 3 HP). I would get the Tristar versus the lower models they have. Although mine literally started making a noise today, the Tristar’s are well regarded. Oversized would be a 4030 or 5030 for the cartridge filter.

Kudos on the autocover. You will love it. Especially with all those pines in the spring. I’m sure the pollen is thick. And during needle season. An autocover allows you to easily open early and close late, which is huge for maintaining a clear pool over the winter. You’d ideally close early-mid Nov and open by April 1. Though with a solid winter cover, you also are getting a bit of extra time/insurance to open clear. Water temp should never be above 60 while closed. I‘m in MD and opened last weekend at 48. My pool stays cooler with the winter cover on (no water/cover contact). This week, fairly warm out, and it’s 58 today.

Do yourself a solid and get a channel main drain, not the dual round ones. They look better and no robot will get stuck on them. Confirm the lights are ColorLogic full size lights. Both should go on the house side of the pool facing away so you get no glare. Please don‘t get the UV - totally unnecessary - look up at that round ball in the sky! Get a SWG, the other option they mention. No mention of automation. It’s not required but I have a similar pool and like having it. Control SWG, lights, pump and landscape lights by phone or schedule. A special module is needed to directly go to a color on the Color Logic lights. Goldline may be the standalone Hayward SWG. It’s usually called something different with the automation, but the SWG cell itself is the same. You want the T-Cell-15, nothing smaller.

I don’t like composite pads. They can shift and lift or settle. I greatly prefer a nicely sized concrete pad with all pipes coming up in front of the concrete. 4 x 6 with no heater, 4 x 10 with a heater.

Get all proposed model #’s though I did reference come above either by model or specification.
 

BigD23

Member
Jun 7, 2020
15
Richmond, VA
You may like to look at my layout because I added furniture blocks all around which really helped on the deck sizing.

Pool Build - Baltimore
I will check that out - thanks!

Excellent pics of the setting. Thanks. I was picturing the slope on the right side going the other way.

16X40 is a good sized footprint. I’d want two skimmers, in the two most common wind directions to receive debris. VSP - your pool doesn’t require a 3HP VSP, but most people get a “full-size” VSP. Hayward does make both in their Tristar (1.85 and 3 HP). I would get the Tristar versus the lower models they have. Although mine literally started making a noise today, the Tristar’s are well regarded. Oversized would be a 4030 or 5030 for the cartridge filter.
Got it. I'll have to figure out wind direction but probably to the left and at the top (when viewing the diagram). I'll check on the 3HP VSP.

Kudos on the autocover. You will love it. Especially with all those pines in the spring. I’m sure the pollen is thick. And during needle season. An autocover allows you to easily open early and close late, which is huge for maintaining a clear pool over the winter. You’d ideally close early-mid Nov and open by April 1. Though with a solid winter cover, you also are getting a bit of extra time/insurance to open clear. Water temp should never be above 60 while closed. I‘m in MD and opened last weekend at 48. My pool stays cooler with the winter cover on (no water/cover contact). This week, fairly warm out, and it’s 58 today.
Yes - that's exactly why I want it! This is good info since my in-laws pool doesn't have an autocover. They usually go early/mid May to mid September. I'd love to extend the season a couple weeks on both ends.

Do yourself a solid and get a channel main drain, not the dual round ones. They look better and no robot will get stuck on them. Confirm the lights are ColorLogic full size lights. Both should go on the house side of the pool facing away so you get no glare. Please don‘t get the UV - totally unnecessary - look up at that round ball in the sky! Get a SWG, the other option they mention. No mention of automation. It’s not required but I have a similar pool and like having it. Control SWG, lights, pump and landscape lights by phone or schedule. A special module is needed to directly go to a color on the Color Logic lights. Goldline may be the standalone Hayward SWG. It’s usually called something different with the automation, but the SWG cell itself is the same. You want the T-Cell-15, nothing smaller.
I was going to add 2 lights to that, and set them up 2 up and 2 down in the diagram (the long sides of the pool). You're saying the 2 on the top side of the pool would have glare inside? Inside the walkout basement I don't know if I care since that is a media/bar/pool table area and we are getting blinds. There is a guest bedroom but that is at the far left of the house in the basement, also with blinds.

Definitely getting SWG. My in-laws have one and I know how to balance the pool with it. It is great.

I've requested a quote on the automation.

I don’t like composite pads. They can shift and lift or settle. I greatly prefer a nicely sized concrete pad with all pipes coming up in front of the concrete. 4 x 6 with no heater, 4 x 10 with a heater.
Yes that is another upgrade I requested. He's getting pricing for me. Thanks for the size of the pad, I just guessed based on estimates of my in-laws setup.

Get all proposed model #’s though I did reference come above either by model or specification.
Will do! And many thanks for all the help so far!
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,879
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
On the lights, I have two of the Color Logic large lights in my 18 x 38' pool, both on the house side. It is lit pretty well. Deep end between the light and the end of pool is the only darker area. The glare is mostly about when you are sitting on the deck looking at the pool. It could also be from inside if you have nice windows you like to be looking out. The idea is that looking at pool lights directly on can be annoying. If you are going with the nicheless style lights, I would get 4 along the house side.

Be sure to consider/discuss the pool coping elevation. Meaning the height of the top edge of the pool relative to everything else. Hugely important. This will be key to tying back to your existing patio/steps, but also for allowing proper drainage away from the pool in all directions. I'd suspect in your setup, you'd have the pool coping at the same level of the grass at the bottom of the steps. This would give you some downslope to the decking out from the steps, then a channel drain in the decking, then an upslope section towards the pool. If you see my build thread, you'll see the same concept. Downslope from retaining wall to drain, upslope from drain to pool. And the other three sides just slop slightly away. All of that assumes you have no other pre-existing drainage issues to address. So you'd like be a foot or two out of the ground, maybe more? on the backside of the pool. Is the PB comfortable properly compacting the soil (preferably raised with gravel not soil) for any decking back there? Our back side deck is supported by a subterranean retaining wall (or also known as turned down concrete), though it was 2-3' above grade.
 

GaryParr

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
85
Rhode Island
I'm going to add another vote for automation. I have Hayward and managed to haggle for a Tristar VS pump package that included the OmniHub. It doesn't come "out of the box" in that package with the SWG controller, but a $35 daughter board I picked up on Amazon and installed myself solved that. Considering the requirements of a modern day pool with all the accessories, automation is well worth the upfront expense in my opinion.
 
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