Pool build DFW (another). Initial Design Phase. Comments welcome.

shaner2000

Member
Jun 17, 2014
9
Dallas, TX
Long-time member (mostly due to learning how to manage a SWCG for an above-ground pool), but we are in a new house now with larger yard and decided to take the plunge.

Here's what we have so far. I'm surprised by some of the DFW quotes I'm seeing here, because our quote is similar in size to others but quotes have all been >80k. I wonder if we have "cost is not an issue" written all over our faces. Trying to figure out how to get the price down in the 70-80k range at the least.

This is the quote we’ve liked the most. All the designs we received were basically the same. This is the only PB that gave us suggestions for: a) adding a door to our master bedroom so as to avoid water getting tracked in our our wood floors and b) getting rid of a column on our back porch to help open the area (providing the requisite steel beam to keep the rest of the distance reinforced)
(As I type these out after cutting & pasting from another post, I’m realizing I need a lot more detail from this PB…we are still relatively early in the process)

Thanks in advance for any advice!



Pool/Spa Specs
Pool: 34x16
Spa: 7’
Depth: 3.5' to 5’
Pool Area/Perimeter: xxx / 101
Spa Area/Perimeter: xx / xx
Pool+Spa Area Perimeter: xx / xx
Volume: 13,040
Turnover: xx

Equipment

In-floor cleaning system ? brand; lifetime warranty on parts
Pump: Pentair 2.0hp variable speed pool pump
Filter: Currently quoted for DE, but I think I want cartridge
Computer: “Wireless Control via smart device”
Pool Light: LED x 3
Spa Light: LED x 1
Heater: included, not listed
Sanitizer: Will be requesting SWCG
Cleaner:
Tools: Net, Pole, Brush, Thermometer, Test Kit

Stone

Coping: Currently quoted for Oklahoma sandstone. Thinking we need to switch because of the SWCG. He recommended Wildhose stone but not sure we like how “busy” the stone is for the coping. Worried about how slippery travertine would be.
Wall Cap: sandstone currently, see above.
Spa Cap: sandstone currently, see above.

Decking

Area: ~765sq ft + 350 sq ft to cap patio
Material: stamped concrete
Deck Drains: “as necessary”

Interior Finish

Mini Pebble Plaster
Plaster warranty: 5 years (I think other builders quoted longer)
Waterline Tile: 6”
Spa Waterline Tile: 6”

Yard Repair

Fence re-hang: ?
Fence Gates to Code: ?
Door Alarms: ?
Re-route Sprinklers: ?
Sod: 1?
Backfill and Grading: ?

Other features included:

Typhoon Slide (we requested a slide)
Raised wall & water feature with 3 water falls (our request)
Outdoor kitchen 7’ (appliances not included) (our request)
Eliminating column (their suggestion, cost is reasonable)
Prep wall for new door (removing a window), door to be provided by buyer (their suggestion, cost is reasonable)

Startup included:
Minimum 30d maintenance and balancing. SWCG pools receive 60d.
Lifetime structural integrity warranty
3 yr parts & labor for poll equipment
1 yr warranty on craftsmanship & material.

Smaller company. Design and quote provided by the owner himself. They are currently building a friend's pool ~2 miles from us.

attachments:
He claims the rendering software makes the pool look smaller than it actually is (maybe true since all the PB's said this?). I need to get a layout of the pool on the actual survey.
Regarding placement (see photo, never mind the junk on the porch) - the 3" chinese pistache will be moved (planted by previous owner). There is a somewhat older (?10-15yo) living oak to the right of the photo that I'm somewhat concerned about, but all the PB have said it won't be a problem. Large green space to the right (west) with tons of trees. First fall here, so not sure how bad the falling leaves will be yet. We have a prevailing southerly wind, so I'm hoping not too bad.
Landscaping not included
I would prefer a darker blue pool
 

Attachments

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,570
Tallahassee, FL
LOVE the design!!! Really neat how it wraps around the patio. That is going to be fun to use!

You talk about a tree. Where is it in relation to the house and where the pool is going?

Now lets talk depth. I like the 3'5" but worry about the 5'. It is too shallow to cannon ball into but too deep to walk in for the average person. Me? I would go 4' to 6'.

Make sure to get model numbers for all equipment!

Kim:kim:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,656
Bedford, TX
Shane,

Why in the world do you want an In Floor Cleaning System??? Using a water powered cleaner of any kind is like using an old Black Rotary-Dial Phone instead of a cell phone, technology wise.. Was this your idea or the pool builders??? I suggest you move up into this Century and get a Robot..

It may just be a typo, but Pentair does not make a 2 HP VS pump that works with Automation.. You will need the 3 HP IntelliFlo.

There are many different kinds of "Wireless Control via smart device" systems.. The one I have is the EasyTouch with built in SWCG power supply... It works great and I love it, but... If I were building a new pool today I would install the new Pentair IntelliCenter (With built in SWCG and WiFi system) for basically the same price as all the older equipment. The EasyTouch is not upgradeable... what you buy is what you get.. The IC is expandable by just adding modules.. The ET has a limit of 12 programs, the IC has 100.. The ET requires an additional ScreenLogic system to work, the IC has a similar system that is built in.. On and on.. the IC is just better.

Have you ever been in a gunite spa??? Best to try one, before you buy one, just to make sure you like it..

Good luck with your new pool build..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
16,599
In my opinion, the pool is too small and too close to the house.

I would go 20 x 40 and at least 10 feet farther from the house.

I would suggest an outdoor bathroom/equipment room.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,673
Evans, Georgia
I would go deeper all around. An adult will be bottoming out going down that slide (or doing cannon balls!). Make sure the slide is positioned so that with the momentum of the whoosh down the swimmer won't be too close to the distal side of the pool. You want them to land right in the middle deepest point for safety.

Maddie :flower:
 
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shaner2000

Member
Jun 17, 2014
9
Dallas, TX
You talk about a tree. Where is it in relation to the house and where the pool is going?
Now lets talk depth. I like the 3'5" but worry about the 5'. It is too shallow to cannon ball into but too deep to walk in for the average person. Me? I would go 4' to 6'.
Make sure to get model numbers for all equipment!
Kim:kim:
Thanks for the comment.
The tree is about 38' from the corner of the porch, shortest distance. The pool will extend between the house and the tree. I'm trying to get an overhead shot to get the exact distance away from the pool. They told us during our last meeting but I didn't write it down.

As far as depth...We still have a 7yo who is about 50 inchest tall. A 48" deep at the shallowest probably wouldn't be a lot of fun for her having to keep her head up all the time...That's the main reason to think about 3"6...

Working on the model numbers.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,673
Evans, Georgia
She is going to be taller in no time, and that shallow pool will still be....too shallow.

Kids hang out on stairs, then float on noodles and tubes and learn to swim. They don't just stand there.

Maddie :flower:
 

shaner2000

Member
Jun 17, 2014
9
Dallas, TX
Shane,

Why in the world do you want an In Floor Cleaning System??? Using a water powered cleaner of any kind is like using an old Black Rotary-Dial Phone instead of a cell phone, technology wise.. Was this your idea or the pool builders??? I suggest you move up into this Century and get a Robot..

It may just be a typo, but Pentair does not make a 2 HP VS pump that works with Automation.. You will need the 3 HP IntelliFlo.

There are many different kinds of "Wireless Control via smart device" systems.. The one I have is the EasyTouch with built in SWCG power supply... It works great and I love it, but... If I were building a new pool today I would install the new Pentair IntelliCenter (With built in SWCG and WiFi system) for basically the same price as all the older equipment. The EasyTouch is not upgradeable... what you buy is what you get.. The IC is expandable by just adding modules.. The ET has a limit of 12 programs, the IC has 100.. The ET requires an additional ScreenLogic system to work, the IC has a similar system that is built in.. On and on.. the IC is just better.

Have you ever been in a gunite spa??? Best to try one, before you buy one, just to make sure you like it..

Good luck with your new pool build..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks for the comments. Very good information regarding the control device. I'm trying to nail down what they are suggesting.

So, this particular pool builder primarily goes with an in-floor cleaning system. I've done a lot of reading and you-tube watching, and it seems people either love them or hate them. The biggest pro to me is consistent temperatures and speed at which the pool can heat up, since the water returns are all at the bottom. We like his design the best (specifically the surrounding suggestions of knocking out the support beam and adding a door - not sure the other PB's can do this), but this PB is the only one that is going for this in-floor system.

The spa question is noted. I'm not convinced we need one, but my wife really wants one.
 

shaner2000

Member
Jun 17, 2014
9
Dallas, TX
In my opinion, the pool is too small and too close to the house.
I would go 20 x 40 and at least 10 feet farther from the house.
I would suggest an outdoor bathroom/equipment room.
The thing that gets me with all of these quotes is - they all came in about the same price range (80-90k) and were all about the same size (all around 35x16; 100-105' perimeter) saying this was a "large" pool. My initial gut reaction on all of these is that it seems small for the cost. It's not like we're doing anything extravagant here.

Our compromise for outdoor bathroom/equipment room is to add the door to the master which would be easiest access to a bathroom. All the quotes we've heard about adding an outdoor bath put it way over our budge.
 

shaner2000

Member
Jun 17, 2014
9
Dallas, TX
I would go deeper all around. An adult will be bottoming out going down that slide (or doing cannon balls!). Make sure the slide is positioned so that with the momentum of the whoosh down the swimmer won't be too close to the distal side of the pool. You want them to land right in the middle deepest point for safety.

Maddie :flower:
Have been debating going with a traditional shallow to deep rather than volleyball style for just that reason. I'm concerned about the slide position as well...his next update is supposed to move it to the deeper part of the pool.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,673
Evans, Georgia
I'd go find a nice hot tub with customized seats and lounge areas, with all the various jets and temps they offer. Then go sit in a plaster pool spa with its hard, straight walls and seat. And just sit there. Nothing all that special or comfortable about them, IMO.

I'd go with a stand alone hot tub which can be close to the back door for those cold winter soaks over a pool spa any day! Easier to heat, much hotter, and come summer you just leave the heat off and the kids think its a child size pool!

Maddie :flower:
 

shaner2000

Member
Jun 17, 2014
9
Dallas, TX
I think you have lots of extras that add to the cost - outdoor kitchen, slide, 3 waterfalls.
You will cut down that oak tree near the pool eventually. You will get tired of cleaning the leaves from the pool.
Read about pros & cons of gunite spa - Gunite Spas - Further Reading
This may give you other questions to ask - Construction Best Practices - Further Reading
Thanks for the links.
It's a really nice oak. Wonder if we just need to rethink the position of the pool.
Yeah, kitchen adds around 4.5k, the waterfall wall is 2k. the slide is 2.7k. I think there are cheaper slides out there. May just need to cut the slide. Those options are about 10% of total quote.
 

Snikwah

Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2019
171
North Dallas Area
I am a vote FOR the attached spa, just so you're not getting so much one sided gunite spa hate. ;)

Being here in Dallas, I believe you'll use it a lot more than some gunite spa naysayers think. It's much more convenient than a stand alone spa. Sanitized by the SWG, filtered by the filter...and gets plenty hot IMO. Also can be a built in "water feature" if it's raised. @JJ_Tex is using his new super uncomfortable gunite spa all the time. 😂
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,656
Bedford, TX
S,

I am not against gunite spas.. I just think it makes sense to try one before you buy one.. A lot of people love them, but as many people are also disappointed in what they assumed they would be like.. Knowing ahead of time that you will love them, just makes sense to me. Gunite spas are the most oversold and underused items in a pool build.

I personally like the standalone spa, but that is just me. I have tried gunite spas, and found them to not be to my liking. A standalone fits my life style better. The wife and I can just jump in at the spur of the moment, we like the comfort, and the very low cost to run.. I have a saltwater spa and it is as carefree as my saltwater pool. Less so, actually, as nothing falls into it except me..

The real test of a gunite spa, is not how many times you use it the first year, but how many times you use it in year two, three, etc.. :)

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Snikwah

Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2019
171
North Dallas Area
Also, you're fortunate to have found this forum while still in the design phase. Because there is one thing that can be said with 100% certainty...you will end up with a better pool than you would have if you didn't. 👍
 

shaner2000

Member
Jun 17, 2014
9
Dallas, TX
Agreed! I appreciate everyone taking the time to comment.

Here are some more answers we have, and we're having another phone conversation tonight.

Just got this email, so I haven't researched them yet myself:

Pentair:
a. Pump 011057 - VARIABLE SPEED POOL PUMP WITH BUILT-IN SAFETY SYSTEM. Looks like 3.95 HP?
b. Filter 160332 - Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Pool Filters
c. Heater 460736 - MASTERTEMP HIGH PERFORMANCE POOL HEATER
d. SWCG 520555 - INTELLICHLOR® SALT CHLORINE GENERATOR

Pool structure:
1/2 inch steel 10" OC with 5" alternates. 12" on walls, coves and floor.

The in-floor system is A&A.

Is it kosher to talk about specific builders on this forum?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,847
Northern NJ
a. Pump 011057 - VARIABLE SPEED POOL PUMP WITH BUILT-IN SAFETY SYSTEM. Looks like 3.95 HP?


The 011028 VS pump will be a bit simpiler and less problematic.

The pool industry pushes a safety vacuum release system in their more complicated and expensive pumps as a secondary safety system. The primary safety system is the VGBA compliant safety drains. The problem is the sensor will false alarm and shutdown your pump unexpectedly. It may be hours or days before you notice it. So if you get the pump understand it needs to be checked on quite often to make sure it is working properly. It is best to skip these kinds of pumps.

Is it kosher to talk about specific builders on this forum?
We prefer the builder names not be mentioned otherwise talk away.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,656
Bedford, TX
Shane,

You DO NOT what that pump.. I know because I have one.. Any other IntelliFlo will work great, that one no so much.. I suspect it is old left over inventory they are trying to get rid of.. The Safety feature will shut off the pump if someone sits on the main drain.. That made sense 100 years ago when main drains only had one cover.. All new drains have two separate covers and unless your rear is over 6 feet wide you are not going to be able to sit on both of them.. The main problem is that the pump will go into a false entrapment mode and shut the pump off if someone walking by just passes a little gas.. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but it does not take much.. If you have any kind of surge in pressure it will shut the pump down, it can then be difficult to get it to come back up. Just closing your filter's air relief too quickly can shut the pump off.

I have two other IntelliFlo pumps and they work great and I recommend them all the time, but I never recommend the 011057... You need the 011018 or the 011028.. They are also cheaper.

I have the same filter.. It will be perfect.. it is a CCP 520

I have the same IC40 SWCG.. It will work well for any pool 20K or less..

Why are you getting an in-floor cleaning system? A huge waste of money in my mind and later in life a real pain when things start to go wrong. Makes plumbing twice a complicated as they need to be.. They "sound" nice but in reality no longer make sense with the invention of Robots.

Thanks,

Jim R.