pool/landscape suggestions

Nov 2, 2018
11
Franklin, MA
#1
Hi

New to this site and have several questions.

We are considering putting an inground pool in our yard - we live in southeastern MA. We have a pool builder - someone who several of our neighbors used and is well known in our area and are looking at a 18x36 rectangle.

So our questions:
*how does one go about figuring out where to put the pool in their yard? Would people who do decks give that kind of advice?
*About how much do the the various decking options cost? I googled but not sure how reliable those cost estimates are. We are thinking about stamped concrete but will that get too hot in our area or is it mainly a concern more in the southern states? Based on our current rough plan - we would have 4 ft of walk space on one side, 8 ft on the back (where a diving board would be), 15 on another side and 10 on the other. Is that enough? So based on that we are estimating about 1600 sq feet of concrete.

Our budget is about $60K so while we want it to look nice, we cant afford all high end stuff.

Our pool builder basically said it could go anywhere - we have an open, flat backyard - not huge but big enough where we could have the pool on one side and still some yard to the other.

Sorry for the questions!

Thanks!

Cecilia
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,961
Tallahassee, FL
#2
Keep the questions coming! We love to help and spend other people's money! LOL

Okay lets do some small housekeeping. Please add your state in your location. That will be helpful to be able to see at a glance.

For the decking you can go to some pool builder's outside show room to stand on the different kinds in bare feet to see how they feel. With the sun shining down most anything can/will get hot so.......get what looks pretty and some cheap flips to keep around to throw on.

Where to put the pool? Take a pic or two of the yard. Tell us about your family. Dogs, kids, activities you like to do. We can go from there. Me? I am all about leaving some yard to romp in! The best of both worlds. Yard to play in then a pool to jump in and cool off!

Money-it is really going to depend on your area. We suggest everyone get at least 5 quotes and share them here. We will go over them with your and help out that way to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck for your area. Cost is VERY area dependent. We have an area in TX where there is "inside" and "outside" the loop. The cost between the two is oh so very different due to the different rules and such.

I can't wait to help you build this pool. You will LOVE having a pool!

Kim:kim:
 

NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
61
Brentwood, CA
#3
I'm 1 step ahead of you in the process and getting designs back from PBs now.

We let the PBs and landscapers we contacted suggest ideal placement based on their experience and asked why.

We are reviewing their ideas and modifying based on what we want now.

First thing I learned....whatever you imagine the project is on Day 1 will be changed as you start getting down to the details
 
Nov 2, 2018
11
Franklin, MA
#4
View attachment pool.pdf

Not sure if you will be able to see the attachment. Our quote was
$25800 for 18x36 rectangle pool with liner includes 2 skimmers, Hayward Glass 5220T filter, 1 stainless steel ladder, (three thread - not sure what that means), 1 manual vacuum kit with 35 ft hose and telescoping pole, a deep end swim out steel bench, solid winter pool cover with water bags (what is the difference between this and safety cover), a solar blanket 8 Mil.
Some additional items and costs:
Chlorinator - salt generator - $2300
Underwater lights - $850
Pool heater (figured we would need this in New England) - Hayward, Gas Fired 300 BTU/hour, Natural Gas $3175
Electric service (not provided by PB but he has people he recommends) - est $3000
Gas Connection estimated $1500

Thoughts? have not gotten another bid as this PB just did 2 jobs for friends and they said their prices were well within the range when they got bids. And have heard they do a nice job cleaning up after - not like our other neighbor who had a bit of a mess to do deal with after.

on the attachment (which hopefully you can see) - we were going with 4 ft decking on one long side, 8 ft toward the back (where there woudl be a diving board and a place to store the pump etc), then 9 ft on the other long side (thinking just for a couple side chairs), then about 10-15 closer to the house.

as for our family - we have 2 kids (9 and 11) = both fairly active. Both me and my husband are fairly active too and wanted the pool because our back yard gets so much sun in the summer and its too hot to be out there. hoping that with the pool we will use the yard more. We dont have family nearby so dont anticipate hosting a bunch of parties. Maybe a few each year for the kids - but most of their friends are not super close because the school they go is regional. Also my husband and I like water volleyball with the kids so decided on the 18' hoping the shallow end is long enough for that - while also going for the deep end which our kids will want for the diving board and jumping.

We are hoping to make a go, no-go decision this week as we have heard the PB are now scheduling for July of next year and if we do it we want to be able to have at least half of the summer next year. Have enough for a $60K pool (inclduing fence, pool, and decking) but not much more than that.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
35,961
Tallahassee, FL
#6
I think you are spot on with this placement! The best of both worlds-pool and yard to play in!

Question on the placement of the equipment. That is going to be a LONG run for the power and gas lines so plan on extra money for that.

I will check back when I have a little more time.

Kim:kim:
 

bmoreswim

Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 16, 2012
4,309
Central MD
#7
As a reference, our pool and deck are similar dimensions. You can see the link in our build thread in my signature. Concrete is hot but there isn't really a great cost effective alternative for freezing zones. We have essentially stamped concrete and it's fine in that respect. Get your feet wet or wear flip flops on the 95+ degree sunny days. You can also think about a brushed concrete finish. Then you don't have any slippery issues to be concerned about that can sometimes be an issue with stamped. On the brushed, a good concrete person can create custom brush lines to somewhat mimic stone which can look pretty good.

Keeping your package at $60K in MA will challenge you. But going with a tarp and water bags does save a few grand over a safety cover (the kind that is tight above the water using springs and goes down to it when covered with snow). At the "expense" of some hassle getting debris and water off in the spring. You will definitely want to plan to use a cheap bubble solar cover to reduce evaporation (how heat gets lost) if you heat. Otherwise you will see dollar signs floating up out of your pool.

Definitely invest is a SWCG rated at at least 40K (usually we say double your pool size, but in the northern latitudes, 1.5x is sufficient as my pool has proven). However, for cost efficiency of the purchase, a 60K cell if offered in your brand would be fine too.

Don't have them plumb in any booster pump for a cleaner. Nor use a suction vacuum. Plan to get a roughly $600-$1,000 robot for cleaning.

There is a PDF in post 14 of our build. It shows the pool/deck dimensions. That actual was pretty close to that. Though the house side did end up being one foot wider. We also didn't build the shed structure as noted in that diagram. But we did go with the pavilion, which is extremely beneficial for shade, along with a few roll down shades when it's not too windy. Umbrellas are good but not very large in the big picture. We have three and they are beneficial too, but as an addition to the pavilion shade.

My only comment on placement - I generally agree that the layout you show may be best. Only thought is that we play a lot of catch (baseball, football, etc.) in our yard. So it was nice to have a section of play area that was rectangular to account for that specific activity. As kids get to be teens, throwing a ball 30-50' doesn't cut it. Where that was going was possibly orienting the pool parallel to the house but off to the left like you have it. Just food for thought.
 

A1Texan

Silver Supporter
Jul 11, 2018
109
Austin, Texas
#8
My thoughts are on the line of bmoreswin. Placing the pool parallel with the house gives a larger play area towards the back and allows for the equipment to be placed closer to the house by the garage. Assuming most people that come visit you and the pool, it would be a closer walk around the back down the driveway. And you can see more of the pool from inside the house. Just my thoughts.
 

Gorilla83

Silver Supporter
Jul 2, 2017
308
Thornton, PA
#9
I think the placement and equipment questions are covered, here are some other budget considerations:

-Permitting, engineering, or other township fees
-Decking I'd guess $7-10/sq ft for concrete
-Upgrades to equipment (variable speed pump, oversize filter) / # of return lines / lighting (LED)
-Fencing (this can vary wildly depending on type, size, and number of gates)
-Drainage (if needed)
-Landscaping shrubs, trees, flowers, mulch/river rock (this can add up quickly)
-Robot as mentioned plan on 600-1000
-Landscape lighting (this could be phase 2)
-Yard cleanup/seeding
-Gas/electric utility upgrades needed to support pool (gas meter, electrical panel capacity, etc)
-Storage for pool equipment, chemicals
-Water / supply cost

Enjoy the journey!

Andrew
 

Dave31410

Well-known member
Feb 27, 2018
47
Savannah, GA
#10
I am saying this as a retired Landscape Architect. One thing I always thought a lot about was transitions between spaces; I like for things to seem to organically flow from one area to another. That said, your overhead shot showing the deck and walkway is a little vague. I would want to see some elegant transition from the deck to the pool, which may also function as a usable space. You may not get this from suggestions from a pool builder or landscaper.
 
Nov 2, 2018
11
Franklin, MA
#11
Thank you all for your comments. Clearly we have more to think about! I hadnt thought about the gas lines being far from the house or the walkway from the house to the pool. So this project may be more than we want to spend in order to do it right.
 

lazygirl1978

Active member
Oct 20, 2018
33
Southeast Missouri
#12
Unless you plan on putting in an auto-cover, I'd think about putting an L-shaped pool in that yard! You would be able to play volleyball in the shallow part of the L, and then you'd have a nice deep space for diving, too. My PB told me that an L would only add about $2000 to my cost. (I am doing an 18' x 40' vinyl rectangle.) I didn't have the room for an L, though, and I want an autocover, which is tough in an L-shape.... with all your space, I think an L would work well!
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,482
Damascus, MD
#13
Is your kitchen in the back of your house? How well can you see the pool from the house? I think that is very important to be able to check on things without going out there every time. Where it is now seems off to me I would prefer it in the middle of the property directly behind the house. Much of that is personal preference though. You aren't on septic are you?
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
493
New York
#14
Hi. I would only do 2 ft of decking the side yard side of the pool. I really think you'll congregate to one general area and not use that side of the decking. If you have kids they'll run around the entire pool but as for sitting it's like sitting on the side of you the house and just my experience people seem to gravitate to the back of the house (likely for privacy I guess).

Since you don't have a spa I would get a smaller heater. I have a RayPak that's 266k but and it's plenty ($2,500 installed, not inc gas line costs). I'd expect to save 500-600 going with a smaller heater. It's natural gas so it heats quickly even with a small heater. Expect one degree per hour (that's what I get). It's not work spending another 500 to heat 1.5 degrees per hour.

Also think of what you need vs want. You don't need a heater installed season one nor a salt water chlorine generator. But plum them now. Run the gas line at the time of the build and then shop around for the heater next season. Of course make sure the equipment pad is arranged to accommodate these add ons. You could easily add the swcg yourself. If you don't want to you can get a recommended system (40k gallon cell) for <2k installed. Let the builder think he's getting the future work, he'll set it up ready to install extras at a future date. The few hundred and there add up to money you can put toward a fence.

Lights? have to do them now. Decking? can easily add at a later date. My pool was all dirt around it the first summer. No one care, we loved it. The next year i did grass around 80% of it (just pavers by the stairs). I saved a ton of money and love the grass so seriously consider going grass. You can have the landscaper prep the ground and lay sod for 2-3k depending on how much you are doing. One thing is for sure your kids will LOVE the pool no matter what so focus on the memories you'll be making not the material things. :)
 
Nov 2, 2018
11
Franklin, MA
#15
thank you all for the feedback. I called PB and locked us in for install next summer :) I have research to do on the pumps, heater etc before our meeting with PB next Friday.

Necktarologist - I was wondering about going with a little less decking on one side. Maybe we will do that. Is it any cheaper to have pebbles vs actual decking? was thinking maybe 2 ft of decking plus 2 ft of pebble with the option of adding a little greenery down the road in those 2 feet as a way of getting us a little more room while saving a little on decking.

We will be able to see the pool from the kitchen window- and from my office so when the kids are home in the summer and I am working from home i can keep an eye on them. and no, we are not on septic. I would rather have the pool be off a little from the deck so kids can run around the grass during non-pool season without having to go through the pool area.

so is lighting in pool worth it? its not much and I figure it will add nice visual off our screened in porch at night when we move from the pool to the porch.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
2,718
Connecticut
#16
Scott - your cover plans should factor into decking design. About Poured 36” decking for an ATSM compliant Safety Cover.

* & the parent in me says supervise the swimmers from inside the pool area, not through the window.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
2,482
Damascus, MD
#17
thank you all for the feedback. I called PB and locked us in for install next summer :) I have research to do on the pumps, heater etc before our meeting with PB next Friday.

Necktarologist - I was wondering about going with a little less decking on one side. Maybe we will do that. Is it any cheaper to have pebbles vs actual decking? was thinking maybe 2 ft of decking plus 2 ft of pebble with the option of adding a little greenery down the road in those 2 feet as a way of getting us a little more room while saving a little on decking.

We will be able to see the pool from the kitchen window- and from my office so when the kids are home in the summer and I am working from home i can keep an eye on them. and no, we are not on septic. I would rather have the pool be off a little from the deck so kids can run around the grass during non-pool season without having to go through the pool area.

so is lighting in pool worth it? its not much and I figure it will add nice visual off our screened in porch at night when we move from the pool to the porch.
Are you required to have a safety fence in your area?

I for sure would get lights. That is one of the greatest things about our pool is the night swimming with the pool lights on. Would not be the same without them.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
2,718
Connecticut
#20
By safety fence do you mean a fence around the pool itself? We plan to have a the required around the pool except the area that butts up against the house.

Using the building for a barrier is compliant in Massachusetts.

As a parent I prefer full barrier, no access from the house.

I recommend having your alarm company set distinctive tones for the house windows & doors to pool area. Of course in addition to your code alarm mandates.