Pool build & baja shelf depth questions


New member
Aug 1, 2020
Southwest Florida
So our build its under construction now and I'm having trouble understanding what I'm seeing. The rebar is in place and inspection at this stage is supposed to be today.

My question revolves around the ultimate water depth of the sunshelf. I'm just trying to get educated before causing an issue with our PB. First off, what does the top edge of the perimeter board represent? The top edge of the waterline tile?

I'm measuring approx 14" from the top of the perimeter board to the rebar. How thick is the shotcrete + pebble finish above the rebar, and what would the final water depth end up being based on this measurement?




Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
Find the place where the skimmer is to be put. It should be towards the top of the pool. The middle of that spot is where you water level will be. Then translate that to the shelf and see what the water depth will be. You will need to add about 6" for the shell&plaster. When you do that you will not have much water on the shelf looking at your pic.


New member
Aug 1, 2020
Southwest Florida
Skimmer isn't placed yet so don't have that to go by.

Here's another pic. String line stretched across the top of the perimeter board, measured to the flange of lighted bubbler which is already fixed in position, is 9-1/2". If the top of the perimeter board represents the top of the waterline tile, then this results in only about 6" of water depth which is definitely not what we want.

Am I interpreting this right?



Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
Central California
I think it's great that you're on top of this, checking for yourself how it's going to work, and in effect gathering some ammo for a conversation with the PB. That's your next step: call a meeting at the pool, include a witness (any other person) and make your expectations about the water depth crystal clear. Have the PB demonstrate how you are going to end up with the depth you want. Also make it clear that failure to provide that will be on the PB and he'll need to make it right. He may hem'n'haw, or declare that he can't provide an exact depth, leaving himself an out. My instinct would be to call BS. His job is to dimension the pool as per specs. We may have to ask our experts what a reasonable measurement tolerance is for a pool, in general, and water depth specifically. @JamesW? @jimmythegreek? What do you guys say? If the plans say the shelf is to be 6" below the waterline, how close can a PB be expected to get to that?

Then follow up that conversation with an email that describes the meeting: date, time, who was there and what was agreed to. Short and sweet. Then it's all on the PB to get it right. And I suspect he'll be dern careful after that that he does. Plus, you'll have a paper trail if he doesn't.
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TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
Morris Cnty NJ
The board is usually the top of bond beam and will be very close to the future underside of the coping. Judging by the bubbler pic you will have about 6" of water depth there. Do you have a plan of the pool you can post


Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
Puerto Rico
Shotcrete is usually 6" at those levels and rebar is at the middle, so lets say 3" concrete + 1" plaster = 4" that will be raised from that rebar. So you have 14" there with the ruler, we substract our 4" to that we get 10" but that is only if the water reaches the bottom of the coping but since that is not the case, waterline tile is usually 6", usually water remains in the middle of those 6" so from our 10" we have to remove 3" = 7" of water depth in that area... Depending on what type of coping you are going to get, it usually gets about 1/2" - 3/4" or mortar and that would be added to our 7"..