Pool, Patio, Fire-pit Build - So. California

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#1
Hi all,

I joined this forum a few months back and did LOTS of reading. I went from knowing nothing about pool design, construction, equipment options, etc. to knowing just about the same, but with a little more direction thanks to the handy Search Function in the toolbar up there, and of course, all of you awesome contributors! We moved into our house last January and planned on having a pool built in the future, but not necessarily this soon. But, you know the story, one thing led to another...yada yada. I know usually people start these threads at the literal beginning of their project, we are about 1 week out from finishing a 5 week yard build. YES, 5 weeks! (Now, this doesn't include the landscaping, that will be when MY job starts!)

Selecting a builder
Searching local builders on Yelp!, We met with 5 highly reviewed builders beginning in the summer to get some ideas on paper and get some pricing together, a few were pretty similar, within +- $5,000 with same general build but slightly different sizes. Another, one was much more pricey and one flaked off after I requested a revision as there were some design problems with the first rendering. I found the process to be really informative and learned quite a bit. In regards to meeting with the builders, I was focused on effectiveness in communicating, attention to detail, responsiveness to my questions, and responses to hypothetical problem situations that may very well occur in any build. In the end, we were advised by several locals to check out a company that's not even on Yelp but have been building pools in the area since the 60's(father, then son) and after our first meet, we knew they were the right builder for us.

The Build
20x34 Free Form pool with a 3.5ft-5.5ft depth, Shotcrete, Baja Shelf, poured in place colored coping.
7ft Dia Spa, Raised 18" with 6 Jets and seating wall
Stonescapes MiniPebble Color TBD
Concrete Pool Deck in Wash Finish, Natural color
Pentair V.S. Pump, Quad 100 DE Filter, Pentair Master Temp 400k Heater, Intelichlor IC40, EasyTouch 8 with ScreenLogic, 5g lights-2 pool, 1spa, 1 Glo-brite
Fire pit with Seating wall
Patio, spa deck, and fire pit deck in Cobble Paver
Yard drainage to street curb
Concrete side yards re-poured, wash finish concrete

I will update this thread with progress pictures and some description of each phase, my work started a couple months ago with moving my underground electrical which ran right across the path of where the pool was to go(DOH!)

20171101_170218.jpg
Penny, project manager taking one last look at her playground before construction



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"X" marks the spot. This is the new panel location and route of my new electrical feed to the house. It originally ran from the back corner of the yard diagonally across the yard and up into the wall in the patio.


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And awaaaaaaay we go! I ended up renting an excavator (Never used one of these things before!) to dig this electrical trench after being pushed back on scheduling by an operator I had hired, twice. I think my job was smaller and maybe not as profitable perhaps. Pool fever on the mind...

More to come. Stay tuned...
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#3
I ended up putting in a new main panel and turning the old main panel into a sub-panel. This house was over due for a panel change as it had the pushmatic style breakers that tend to be a bit hazardous
20170919_171152.jpg .
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#4
We have a bit of an odd shaped lot in that it's shallower on one rear corner and deeper on the other. On the deeper side of the lot there is a huge pepper tree that's been here much longer than we have and we couldn't bring ourselves to mess with it for the sake of the pool. Pepper trees can be a bit messy (or maybe it's most trees?) so we decided to place the pool on the narrower side of the yard with a couple advantages, the spa is much closer to the house than we would have placed it in the other scenario and the view from the house gives us a little bit more of something to look at from the living room with our water spillway off the spa into the pool. Most importantly for Penny Lane our Choco Lab, she will have a large enough area for grass to play catch and run around - she is running this project after all!

Here is the design our PB came up with for the pool, patio, and fire pit area. We also are having the side yards re-poured as it currently consists of a patchwork of concrete and dirt planters done at seemingly different times over the decades.
Drawing Dimensions.jpg topview yard.jpg
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#6
Looks great so far! It’s great that you just dug the trench yourself!
Thanks! I think I'm a bit impatient with details and this was one of those details that had to get resolved before I could move forward. In fact, the process from beginning to end was about 2.5 months for this electrical job starting with pulling the initial permit to finishing the job. It's constant checking and rechecking with the engineer at the power company. They want to inspect for correct depth, correct layer of sand depth, correct wire duct install, mandrel test to verify clean duct, top coat of sand, then backfill. Then it's ready for the cable crew to pull the new lines. It's not a fun DIY project at all!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2012
35,526
6
Tallahassee, FL
#7
Penny Lane! Girl you have done a great job so far. Good job getting your two legged pet a digger. Your paws would have been very sore if you did all of that digging on your own!!

I really like the design and how it fits in the yard and leaves room for fun and games.

Kim:kim:
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#8
Penny Lane! Girl you have done a great job so far. Good job getting your two legged pet a digger. Your paws would have been very sore if you did all of that digging on your own!!

I really like the design and how it fits in the yard and leaves room for fun and games.

Kim:kim:
Thanks, She's got me trained well! Penny is really the reason we are doing our backyard now instead of addressing our much needed Kitchen, kitchens aren't as enjoyable as a pool anyway!
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#9
So the build began a few weeks ago, they promised a 5 week build and it looks like they are just about going to make it though we did lose a couple days work with Thanksgiving and one other small delay.
Day 1 consisted of Demo, mainly lots and lots of concrete from the large patio, to both side yards and a driveway that went well into the backyard.

Day 2 consisted of digging the pool
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Day 4 was steel work:
20171106_160615.jpg

I'm still in a bit of disbelief at how fast my builder is able to pull this off and it looks like it just comes down to good scheduling. The other builders I spoke with gave me about a 12 week time frame.

More to come...
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#11
Right around the time of our steel work our equipment arrived.
It was difficult to not rip the boxes open to check out all the new goodies! I decided to be patient for a change. 20171103_121440.jpg
The next step was plumbing which turned out to be a 2 day process and they did a really nice and neat job.
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We used 2.5" piping for the suction
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Attachments

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#14
This was the part of the process that I feared most because there are many, many choices with tile, stone, pavers, and coping. We ended up finding a tile we liked that had the color mixture we were looking for. We went back and forth between a gloss and matte finish and decided on the matte finish ultimately. The stone somehow was an easy one for us and we decided quickly on the sandstone color for our poured in place coping and seating walls. Everything seemingly fell into place after we got past the tile. We ended going with an Angeles Paver for the Patio, spa, and fire pit decks in a tumbled sandstone mocha. The pool deck is a natural wash finished concrete.
20171128_083834.jpg 20171128_083827.jpg 20171128_083754.jpg 20171120_112715.jpg
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#16
The next steps in our build were the shotcrete, poured in place coping, and the stone work at the raised spa and fire pit.

Kelly, I think Penny is over this project and wants her yard back. She's been in a funk since this began but little does she know what magic that hole in the ground will be filled with...
20171115_085745.jpg 20171115_121509.jpg 20171121_160912.jpg 20171130_161251.jpg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2012
35,526
6
Tallahassee, FL
#17
Ohhhhhhh look at that stone work!!! Will you have benches around the fire pit? What a fun back yard that is going to end up being!

Penny........you will LOVE it when it is done! Now it can still be fun.....running and rolling in all of the dirt!

Kim:kim:
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#18
Kelly,
Yes, there will be some space for chairs opposite the sitting wall. As for the dirt, I can already see Penny jumping out of the pool and doing the running dive right through the dirt before trying to jump back in the water. I think I would have a mud pool if I left her to her own devices for a day ��

Our pavers got here last week and check out that tight squeeze with the forklift! The delivery guy was awesome and willing to give it a try instead of just dropping them in the driveway.
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We also had our pool deck and side yards poured the day after paver delivery. The concrete is an acid wash finish in natural color.
20171208_163940.jpg 20171208_163949.jpg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2012
35,526
6
Tallahassee, FL
#19
Now that is some mad driving skills right there! :shock: that would have been my face the whole time watching them! THEN :cheers: where they got done! SWEET!

That looks like a great pour right there! Well done!

I will have to dig up my "mud puppy" pics! Oh me oh my they were a MESS!

Kim:kim:
 

GregInClaremont

Silver Supporter
Jun 25, 2017
128
0
Claremont, CA
#20
Now that is some mad driving skills right there! :shock: that would have been my face the whole time watching them! THEN :cheers: where they got done! SWEET!

That looks like a great pour right there! Well done!

I will have to dig up my "mud puppy" pics! Oh me oh my they were a MESS!

Kim:kim:
I would like to see those pics! Dogs are some of my favorite people!

The driver was able to squeeze through confidently after the 2nd pass. The roofline on the house was cut back by the previous home owner to get his trailer into the backyard and probably the only reason this worked out, we have big overhangs on this house!

I'm late posting these Pool Build/progress pictures as I got caught up with work during this build and it's moved so quickly that i haven't had much time between stages. I will get up to present day within a couple more posts. As I type this my pool plaster is being put in!:whoot: