Pool In Font Yard?? Sketch & Pix, Please Advise

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
4,601
NY
I did 9 ft on 2 adjoining sides and 5 ft on the 2 far sides for a walkway. The 5 ft is plenty for 2 people to walk past each other. The 9 ft is plenty for loungers and walking past them but it is tight for a table and chairs. In the hangout corner it’s 9x9 and the tables that fit were too small. I did find one or two but they were more custom-y and several thousands of dollars. so I built my own but it was still tight. Everybody can sit fine, but sliding the chairs out to get up is tricky.
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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A few thoughts come to mind. Placing the pool in the front yard is bold, but I think it would be a harder sell for me if it was 20-30' from the house versus the 100' you are proposing, and well done. And if the lot is as secluded as it looks and sounds from your description, I wouldn't have a lot of concern. Regarding tree debris. Maine. The tree debris in Maine will fall mainly on your pool. It doesn't matter how far they are away (within reason), if they are tall. It will get in there. I'd seriously consider an autocover on a rectangular pool in that setting. You're also in Maine, clearly, so heat will be at a premium, so the autocover wins on the heat retention front too. Where it's a tough sell is price. Expect $12-15K for that option. Dirk has never been known to be short of words, and his words above are good ones. I'm thinking specifically of the deck discussion. Below I've included a few pictures of our pool for spacing perspective and then what's in those spaces. Dimensions are as follows, excluding the 1' coping. Diving board end - 10'. Skinny side - 4'. House side - 13' (7' to visible drain line, 6' from drain to retaining wall). Pergola side 5' to pergola and 10' for pergola. I wouldn't change a thing regarding our dimensions. It's plenty big without feeling excessive. And lastly, placement for maximum sun would be a priority for me. Not only for water warmth, but swimming in shade on less than hot days isn't my ideal.


 
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KJohn

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Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Update following very helpful meeting with landscape architect: he felt the pool in front would not "tie into" anything else in the landscape; it would be "orphaned" in a hole carved into the woods. And he agreed with me about the oddness of it from the perspective of the house. So we looked at the side location, and he suggested extending an existing stone retaining wall, which would connect the pool to the side of the house, and would move the pool area up the hill, which would mean cutting fewer trees, which would mean better screening between us and our next door neighbor. And crucially, the wife approves. So I have a track to run on. We also spent time going over pitch and drainage. I'll draw up and post a sketch.

Dirk, thanks for the numbers and the pointer about not skimping on the decking. On building projects I usually double my cost estimate and triple my time :) And I'm totally with you about doing visuals and mock-ups before setting in stone.

Those are good dimensions to have Newdude, thanks. I also was interested in your concrete wall suggestion from my other thread, and am trying to see if anyone nearby installs them.

Bmoreswim, what a sweet layout, and thanks for providing dimensions. I had actually noticed those pictures on other threads. I've been charting sun and shade for a few days to figure out how much clearing is needed. It should get unobstructed sun from 8 AM to 4 PM (bankers hours). And yeah, Maine leaves are epic - one of my best purchases was a walk-behind blower. So an automatic cover will keep leaves out of the pool. What happens to leaves with a solar cover?

Thanks all for this great info, so nice not having to reinvent the wheel.
 
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bmoreswim

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So an automatic cover will keep leaves out of the pool. What happens to leaves with a solar cover?
I like the thought process on the location. Yes, autocovers are fantastic for keeping pools clean, and warm. You spend a bit of time brushing remaining water towards the cover pump before opening and then a quick scoop of those leaves having been pushed towards the pump and then open the cover. But it is a very standard process each time and you know that nothing will be in the pool, save for a few diehard leaves that manage to get by the cover's leading edge. I have never used a solar cover, but I read here that leaves and debris on them are a real pain. It's tough to get them off without dumping them in the pool. Though I'm sure there's a best practice to that as well, but it seems more work for sure. And then there's the issue of the solar cover itself not being the easiest to deal with anyway. Our autocover was one of the must haves for our build. So in that respect, I never considered an alternative at the time. You can also 100% assure no one will use your pool while you are away or sleeping (think teenagers). Unless of course they have the key or code. One thing that would be nice, which is available on some automation systems now, is a setting that will change the pump run time and/or SWG cell percentage when the cover is closed (maybe only cell %). There is value in that feature. I have to account for that manually. I use our cover ad hoc as opposed to all the time. It's on the last few days as the nights are in the 60's and yesterday was only mid 70's. It also allows me to easily open my pool early and close late (because it captures all spring tree trash and fall leaves), allowing me to easily open before it reaches 60 degrees and close after it drops below 60, which is the algae growth tipping temperature. And my dogs like to swim, so having it open an extra two months for them (when we are not swimming as we have no supplemental heat) is nice. Autocovers are expensive but beneficial, and even more beneficial in wooded environs.
 

KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Sorry for the slow response, got snarled up in some other things. Thanks for the detailed autocover overview - very helpful get a picture about what it's like to have one. Sounds like the way to go, for keeping heat in (it's 51 degrees as I write this) and leaves and children out. And I'll definitely look into coordinating the SWG via automation.

On a side note, while PB's have seen a lot of demand due to Covid, the recent tragic shark attack here in Maine has apparently caused demand for pools to spike even further.
 

batesjer

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Jun 26, 2019
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East Lansing michigan
Just my two cents here but I think for northern pools aesthetics are almost more important than the south because we aren't able to use the pools as much - less a necessity so it can't stick out. Mine is part of my landscaping and an enjoyable place to hang out in the fall and spring, even when we aren't swimming. Assuming the side lot works my thought would be a design where the pool isn't really obvious. Natural looking decking and a ton of landscaping that allows the pool area to blend in with everything else. You want people to be surprised that it is there rather than spotting it coming up the drive.
 

KJohn

Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020
14
Maine
Good thoughts batesjer. I think the side location will be easier to blend with the landscape, and we can think about adding more hangout space with firepit etc. It'll be fun to design. Do you have pictures of yours?
 

batesjer

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Jun 26, 2019
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East Lansing michigan
I can take a couple when I get home and post. Ours is surrounded by trees which sucks for 12 months out of the year but honestly I'm ok dealing with the leaves to have the sort of private setting we have on a small .5 acre lot. My only short term change is to tear up the concrete decking and replace it with something that has a more natural feel. Ours is freeform but it fits well because the landscaping doesn't have many straight lines.