Pool Build Finally Started - Bryan, TX (11/4/20)

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
Hubby's been outside since 7AM moving dirt around. He's reclaiming the excess and building up the side yard. Since our landscaper ghosted on us, we've been doing all that ourselves. Maybe that's for the best - We've changed things up.

Today was originally to be the gas line put in by the plumbers. Since the plumbers are with the pool company, their own in house guys, maybe they'll come with the gunite.
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
Pictures of the pool pad -- Not much changed from 11/4.
Truck that arrived and the gunite process!

The pool builder said a few jobs were bumped to do ours because. . . We were in town (They've been traveling all over so minus a 2 hour drive). . . We didn't have a spa (requires extra work) . . . Because our build was a simple design, they picked ours to begin sooner.
 

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Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
It's dark early - They arrived about 2PM and finished up around 5:30PM. Today they're back starting at 6:30AM and are working on the bench and the stairs. Gosh, we went round and round on the stairs, talking between the designer and the pool builder and what we want. Funny how you can describe a visual plan and it's still misunderstood.

The coping is 3" thick. So a 'normal' ten inch step down into the pool (into 4" of water) becomes eleven. That's huge. So I had to convey that concept to the pool builder and why we have the first step out of the water. The problem was how far out of the water. It didn't help that the designer wanted a thick stone slab over the top step. Nope, not with a salt water pool! I said so let's just leave it concrete. Nope, concrete stains and you can't get them out. So we went with the only other option and I'm not happy with little 2" tile, white, that is unglazed (non-skid). They should have more size options in unglazed!
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
930
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Pictures of the pool pad -- Not much changed from 11/4.
Just a thought looking at your equipment pad. It is hard to see in the shadows of the picture but it appears you have about 2 ft between the pad and the house (where the gutter pipe comes down). That will be a real pain to manage with grass or bushes. Suggest you extend the pad about half of that space and then put in gravel/river stone in that remaining space and extend down with that gravel/stone where your gutter exits.
Also were you planning to have a waste line (or backwash line)? If that is tied into a drainage line then also tie in your gutter downspout to it. It will reduce the amount of water you have around your pad when it rains.
You could even consider surrounding your equipment pad with those same gravel/stones to allow for good drainage and avoid being in damp grass while at your equipment pad. Also, you do not want to have to trim grass from around your plumbing pipes so gravel/stones around that area can help as well.
 
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Sollace

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Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
Just a thought looking at your equipment pad.
Love the suggestions - I'll have hubby read them. He's been working in this part of the yard, tapping down the dirt after the plumbing trenches and putting bricks and gravel around the A/C (which is nearby). We've always had bricks or blocks around our house foundation to detour termites. No plants or flower beds near the foundation.

The pad butts up to the house lengthwise but yes there is a gap - The dryer vent is there up high on the wall and the tankless water heater access is there along with the breaker box on the other side (in the garage). Everything is right in that one area. . . The only debate was whether to have the pad next to the house or a few inches away. We decided next to.

They used the rebound to start layering the equipment pad. Not in the pool - We kept an eye on that. Hubby did say they used it for scraping. I'll have to ask him exactly what he means by that. He was the pool watcher, loved watching them work.

Busy day. Hubby moved all the garbage cans out to a central location so the truck could pick everything up -- This is the second time the workers came on trash day. Actually, our neighbors thanked us for doing that, and putting their cans back when empty - We thought it was the right thing to do since the trucks took over our street. !!

Pictures coming soon. Funny how life is put on hold during a pool build. *grin*
 
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Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
I‘m pretty sure I’ve seen 1” unglazed. Or are you wanting bigger?
Yes, it was thinking of all those grout lines and keeping them clean. Just because that step is out of the water doesn't mean it won't get splashed and need scrubbing. The original idea was a one piece 12" X 7' stone slab with no grout lines. But it'd be a nightmare with a salt water pool and eroding.

I wanted 6" tiles or even long subway type tiles -- But the 4 companies the pool builder uses only came up with Aqua Bella unglazed. I could've looked longer but at that point it was the last decision in all of this. I had looked at tiles for weeks. . . I was so done!

It's funny. I've seen pools with steps out of the water. It's common, well maybe not real common, but it's a thing. I realize the plaster can't be out of the water so there's that. We'll see what happens in the tile plaster steps and what we come up with. We may need to put tile along the front edge, down the front side, and I'm okay with that.

I attached the final version of our stairs - The top step is a full step like the others, the second one is a foot larger, the third ties into the bench. That bench corner will be rounded, not a point. Depth is 3.5 feet on that end.
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
930
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
The pad butts up to the house lengthwise but yes there is a gap - The dryer vent is there up high on the wall and the tankless water heater access is there along with the breaker box on the other side (in the garage). Everything is right in that one area. . . The only debate was weather to have the pad next to the house or a few inches away. We decided next to.
I was wondering what was on that wall - could not make it out due to the shadows. The extra pad length is optional - sometimes it is best to have some space between items to work on - so you may want to mention that to the plumber when he shows up if you do have extra pad length. OK to have the pad butt up against the foundation - they will have a piece of wood there anyway as part of the form. Just ensure there is a slight slope to drain water away for the house.
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
Here is another picture that shows the dryer vent as well as the water heater -- In the background. That black thing is our portable composter. Yes, we get questions on it. And our row of fruit trees -- Two figs, two pomegranates, and a nectarine. This is the side yard being torn up )
 

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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
930
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Here is another picture that shows the dryer vent as well as the water heater -- In the background. That black thing is our portable composter. Yes, we get questions on it. And our row of fruit trees -- Two figs, two pomegranates, and a nectarine. This is the side yard being torn up )
Great. Looks like a good slope to drain water away from house. Another idea - which I did at my house - I laid edger rails about 8-10inches from foundation, covered that area with weed cover then put river rocks on top of that. That way I have no grass next to foundation. In one section, we also planted some plants/bushes on outside of that edge rail so it made a garden area but no soil next to foundation to deter termites as you indicated.
It's great you have all electrical and water nearby so it is handy to put it all together.
Looking at your pad form again, not sure why they stopped it short of being in front of one of the pipes on right side. They probably have a set dimension in their plan and just do that way.
Good Luck and keep us poste.
 
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Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
They finished the gunite yesterday afternoon after showing up so early. They had problems with the bench, had to add more rebar for the gunite to hold. Something. My hubby has specifics. There was trouble with the columns and I'm not sure what that was. For a faster simplier less complicated job wasn't what they thought. Hubby stood outside all day and watched them -- It was cold at 6:30AM -- 42 degrees! The supervisor started the top three steps and another guy took over with the rest of them. Pictures are still in my camera . . . Need to download, resize, save, and share.

Meanwhile the plumbers are back and installing the gas line for the pool heater. Piping going in. They did work on the trench two days earlier. The city comes either this afternoon or tomorrow morning to inspect it all. Watering has commensed on the gunit
 
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Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
Some of the photos. .. Pool pad and gas line. . . Side yard . .. . Some of the pool -- The ones I just took have too many shadows so will need to redo!
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,329
Tallahassee, FL
SWEET!!! That looks great! Have you started bonding with it yet? aka watering it to help slow down the curing.

So glad hubby was there and out to make sure it went like you wanted it to!

It is time for your set of links! The first set is all about what to do and ask about to get a great plaster job. The second set is all about how to care for your pool after you get the plaster.

Plaster links:
Ten Guidelines for Quality Pool Plaster Best one of all
All Plaster Finishes Should Last 20 Years
Not All Color Pigments are Good for Pools How to pick a good color for plaster.
A Plastering 'Watch List' | Professional Watershaping | Watershapes
Trouble Free Pool
Trouble Free Pool

Pool care links:
Print these out:
Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
Pool School - Recommended Levels

Bookmark these:
Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
Trouble Free Pool
Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

Now is also a good time to ask what test kit your PB will be providing so we can fill in any holes.

Kim:kim:
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
Once more thanks again, Kim! Yes, hubby watered it this morning and I ran a sprinkler on it in the afternoon. The builder said twice a day. . . But we'll be watering it more. The pad also has to be watered, right? !!
As each item gets done I mark it off on the first post.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
47,329
Tallahassee, FL
Watering new concrete is a good idea as it slows down the curing which helps keep it from cracking. Now some cracks may happen and that is normal!

Has to feel good to check it off as it gets done!!! :party:

Kim:kim:
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
A few more pictures - All out of order
 

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spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
564
Houston, TX
Is it the camera angle, or is that second step wider than all the others? If so, was that what you expected? Also, are they putting edge tiles on the steps to make them more visible for people who are not used to the step layout?
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
The second step is a foot wider than the others -- Yes, that is what we wanted. Nope, no stair tile at all, just waterline tile. I'm pretty sure it's discouraged with Wet Edge Prima Stone -- The tiles would be in the way of grinding the finish smooth. I don't think it'll be an issue as the top step is out of the water and the next is in water (the larger one).

Here's a few more I took tonight including the stairs that I worried over. They really built up around the bottom step and now it's really sloped there.
 

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