Pool Build - Keller, TX (DFW) *Gunite*

Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
Hey All,

New to the site, wanted to share the pool build we have started. 1st pool for me. We are using a local PB in Keller, and so far so good. They are extremely responsive to many many questions I have had. We have our construction meeting on Tuesday next week, and then they will commence digging. I am not sure all the information everyone is curious about, so I will give the info I know.

The pool design was actually designed by me. My wife and I built an outdoor living area a few years ago, and I had always wanted to add a pool in the future. I have worked on the design for over a year, and I finally had it the way I wanted and went to a pool builder to have them put it into a CAD program. The design I will show below does not have all the little tweeks and changes, but does give the overall impression of what the pool will look like. Further the landscaping will be kind of similar to what they have in, but a lot nicer with 3 Sabal Palms, 2 Pindo Palms, 2 Windmill Palms, and 5 Banana trees, plus my existing plants being laid in areas. The new pavers will be between the palm trees. And river rock 3-5" will fill in the entire area like you will see in the design below. This rock matches the look we currently have. I will also add a few photos of our existing porch so you can see the ledger stone that will go on the grotto and spa and the way the rock will look. These photos were taken a few days after construction and landscaping ended, so grass hasn't grown back in etc.

The size of the pool, as I found out after taking it to 5 different companies for bids (and I did not take the lowest, I took the one I trusted the most, was most responsive, and rendered something that was what I had envisioned.) was larger than a typical pool. REMEMBER I AM NEW TO THIS. But I liked it and was set on what I wanted.

So we have an L shape 14' wide on both sides of the L but roughly 37' long and 43' long. The 37' side will have a tanning ledge and will go from 3.5' ft to 4.5' to allow some volleyball to be played. The other side will then go from 4.5' to 6' to allow jumping off the grotto. The grotto was a MUST HAVE for me, and I wanted a huge one.. I also wanted it to be able to be a tanning ledge on the top. The problem is, I did not want boulders, as I thought they would look silly in my backyard and not natural at all. So I wanted a modern or contemporary grotto. However, I couldnt find squat I liked online at all. I am happy that what I drew actually looked good in CAD. So it was engineered and has a 14' wide sheer waterfall that spills over it. And about 9' from front to back with seating and a table underneath. The wall in the grotto shows stone, but noone will lean against ledger stone, so are going to do tile water to ceiling. The spa is also rather large, as I have a MASSIVE family (9 brothers etc) and didnt want my legs touching anothers haha.. So it is 11'5" x 11' 1/4" with a ZERO edge, roughly a 41' perimeter.

Anyway I can update some more later. Let me know what you think, BE NICE.. This is my design and my feelings on personal art is fragile haha!

AGAIN ... IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE CONCEPT ART ETC BELOW WITH LANDSCAPING ETC ARE NOT TO SCALE YET AND HAVE EDITS.

Del Ozone Eclipse with Inline Chlorinater & UV.
525 Cartridge Filter
OmniLogic w/Smart Device App Capability & Touchscreen Control System
3 Variable Speed TriStar 950 Pumps. (One for our Grotto, One for Spa, and One for pool which has 2 bubblers and a 6 foot wide water feature.)
Polaris Quattro Robot with booster pump.
500K Gas Heater
4 LED Color Accent Lights (3 in pool, 1 in spa).. Both bubblers on tanning ledge will have LEDs as well.
We are doing Travertine for the coping, and the new pavers roughly 7x5 ft (5 of them) will have the travertine laid on concrete to match the pool. We have a lot of existing pavers the pool will fitting into.
Wet Edge Prism Matrix - Deep Blue Sea (which I have seen some other builds on here, and I am so glad I picked it as theirs looks amazing.. even in a photo.)
The tile is 1"x2" and I added a couple pics.. The sample on my counter looks really dark because it wasnt photoed in the light. It is AMAZING tile.. TONS OF COLOR. In the sun it is incredible. Anyway ENJOY!!!
 

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Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
Rest of Photos
 

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Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
Tile Samples
 

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Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
That is going to be gorgeous!! Your existing patio is awesome. An L-shaped pool is my dream pool...wish I had room for one!
Thanks! I am quite excited and nervous at the same time.. I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew!!! And the L shape (well Stealth Bomber shape almost with the Spa) just naturally fit the area.
 

Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
Love the modern grotto and design in general! +1 for looking forward to seeing this build happen!
Thanks, like I said above, it is super hard to find some examples of modern grottos. But I sure hope this one turns out. I’ll post pics once digging and everything commences. Hopefully we start this or next week.
 

Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
So I received another doc from my PB. It is the General plan that has placement of lights etc. And some equipment details. (Hayward).
 

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Snoobug

Silver Supporter
Jun 2, 2020
371
Iowa
Pool Size
19500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Beautiful! I love all the umbrellas! It looks like a resort!
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
975
MA
"Wow" would be a understatement... Very cool design. A few thoughts on the grotto...

The table looks like it might be safety concern with swimming into the Grotto and coming up under the table.

Is the table supposed to able to be used from the bench or more for for standing?

Have you given thoughts to the waterfall lighting. I am finding it a bit challenging to get my (now small and insignificant) waterfall lit the way I would like. That Massive falls of yours would be absolutely stunning with the proper lighting.

One thing I wish I had planned for in my small grotto was a hand sprayer to hose down any webs or critters that like to accumulate in there. Instead of having to drag a hose in every so often. Something permanently in the Grotto hooked to the pool pump with plenty of pressure to spray down with chlorinated pool water. This will also aid in removing any of the green goblin that like to grow in those shady areas.

If possible it would be nice to have a way into the Grotto without having to swim into it. This is very handy to get some drinks or even food in there and get more use out of the grotto. Even a small window in the hidden side.
 

Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
"Wow" would be a understatement... Very cool design. A few thoughts on the grotto...

The table looks like it might be safety concern with swimming into the Grotto and coming up under the table.

Is the table supposed to able to be used from the bench or more for for standing?

Have you given thoughts to the waterfall lighting. I am finding it a bit challenging to get my (now small and insignificant) waterfall lit the way I would like. That Massive falls of yours would be absolutely stunning with the proper lighting.

One thing I wish I had planned for in my small grotto was a hand sprayer to hose down any webs or critters that like to accumulate in there. Instead of having to drag a hose in every so often. Something permanently in the Grotto hooked to the pool pump with plenty of pressure to spray down with chlorinated pool water. This will also aid in removing any of the green goblin that like to grow in those shady areas.

If possible it would be nice to have a way into the Grotto without having to swim into it. This is very handy to get some drinks or even food in there and get more use out of the grotto. Even a small window in the hidden side.
Hey Rich,

Your waterfall looks awesome! No, the table is not really meant to be used from the bench. I didnt want the whole corner booth feel when trying to get in. The inside of the grotto is 14ft wide with a 9 ft back depth. So I am not too concerned about swimming, but my wife did want something to put drinks on and the table was also something the engineer was on board with. So the grotto was intended to also be a tanning deck, and it was originally engineered without the table so that it could support a ton of weight. The table now helps out the structure.

In regards to lighting. Yes, I would love to light the waterfall, however, We already have multiple transformers going in etc, and well I am already over my initial budget by more than I anticipated. I think if I am ever to light it, it will have to be in the future. It does look awesome, but well, I cant have everything haha!
 

Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
So 3 months and 1 DAY after I signed the contract, we finally started digging. That was yesterday, and we finished today. They said steel and plumbing is about 5-7 days out due to demand, and 3 weeks after green tag for gunite. So here we go with another long wait, but could be worth it. We have added some stuff since the initial design, but I will update that later.. One thing though is the entire side of the pool between the raised beam at the turn and the grotto, will now be raised beam in order to drain correctly, so that will be nice!

Enjoy the pics.. BTW.. it is WAY bigger than I thought it would be haha.. Pictures do it no justice. Keep in mind the square pavers you see are 6' x 6'.
 

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Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
"Wow" would be a understatement... Very cool design. A few thoughts on the grotto...

The table looks like it might be safety concern with swimming into the Grotto and coming up under the table.

Is the table supposed to able to be used from the bench or more for for standing?

Have you given thoughts to the waterfall lighting. I am finding it a bit challenging to get my (now small and insignificant) waterfall lit the way I would like. That Massive falls of yours would be absolutely stunning with the proper lighting.

One thing I wish I had planned for in my small grotto was a hand sprayer to hose down any webs or critters that like to accumulate in there. Instead of having to drag a hose in every so often. Something permanently in the Grotto hooked to the pool pump with plenty of pressure to spray down with chlorinated pool water. This will also aid in removing any of the green goblin that like to grow in those shady areas.

If possible it would be nice to have a way into the Grotto without having to swim into it. This is very handy to get some drinks or even food in there and get more use out of the grotto. Even a small window in the hidden side.


So @Rich D , we are adding a couple of lights on top of the grotto now, and having the entire grotto now on its own transformer. Which allows us to control the spa, grotto, and pool (with bubblers) each individually in lighting. Also with the networking function in the Hayward lighting automation, it allows for more options and fun stuff.

Thanks for the bug ya gave me ... HAHA!
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
975
MA
So @Rich D , we are adding a couple of lights on top of the grotto now, and having the entire grotto now on its own transformer. Which allows us to control the spa, grotto, and pool (with bubblers) each individually in lighting. Also with the networking function in the Hayward lighting automation, it allows for more options and fun stuff.

Thanks for the bug ya gave me ... HAHA!
Nice you were able to work in some lighting.. I found that back lighting the waterfall has a much nicer affect then lighting the falls from outside the grotto. The only issue with my grotto is any light I put in the Grotto to back light the falls will shine into the pool when the falls are not on and if the surface of the water is still, then you see a annoying spot of light reflecting off the surface. So I needed to wire the back lighting so it could be turned on just when the falls were on. I now have a few blue lights that illuminate the back rock of the Grotto an inside the Grotto that stay on all night and gives a kind of eerie cave look.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
975
MA
I like the look of your patio. Do you find your feet catching the tops of the river rock sometimes? I did a similar thing for a walk that also doubles as a deck drain. I have river rock in other places and even knew of the potential 'catch' issue but I built it anyway and tried leaving the steppers a bit high, However I still catch them once in while.IMG_20200816_083359.jpg
 
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Kahler33

Active member
Jun 11, 2020
30
Keller, TX
Nice you were able to work in some lighting.. I found that back lighting the waterfall has a much nicer affect then lighting the falls from outside the grotto. The only issue with my grotto is any light I put in the Grotto to back light the falls will shine into the pool when the falls are not on and if the surface of the water is still, then you see a annoying spot of light reflecting off the surface. So I needed to wire the back lighting so it could be turned on just when the falls were on. I now have a few blue lights that illuminate the back rock of the Grotto an inside the Grotto that stay on all night and gives a kind of eerie cave look.


Well we have two underneath that they say should light it up very well, and we will have two on top (all niche LED 80's i believe) that will add light to see where the edge is at night, as we have lights on the stairs but I didnt think about the top, and then the light will filter through to the falls a little. I am ok with it.. Wont look as great as yours, but I have seen some LEDs you can buy and stick on your self with out them being wired, and they are supposedly really nice and work with a remote control.

I am very anxious to get this all done.
 

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