Pre-Bid Help for build in Montgomery, TX

Aug 1, 2014
Spring, TX

I'm trying to gather up all I need before I start reaching out to some contractors for pool builds, and I figured I would reach out to the group for any ideas prior to finalizing my plans for a new pool, and get some opinions on if the pool I want to build will fit into my budget.

My pool experience: I owned an older home with a 40+ year old pool about 15 minutes from here for 5 years. I added a SWG to the pool immediately after I purchased, and had very few issues with the pool as whole. Had some equipment that required replacement, fighting the pool pressure side cleaner to work, and my own bad landscaping ideas that added extra leaves to the pool year round.

I purchased a home in rough shape in December, and now that I have the inside in livable condition, and spring is around the corner, it’s time to look outside. I purchased this home with a large back yard with the plan to extend the back covered patio and add a pool to the back yard. As the backyard had been neglected for years, it’s going to be cheaper to go ahead and dig up the back yard than landscape it and then come back later and put in a pool. I've attached a picture of the backyard and the survey so you can get an idea of the space I'm working with.

My maximum budget at this point in the process will be $65,000. Could I go over? Yes, but I don’t want to. I'd really rather reduce my budget and be able to cover the patio extension at the same time.

There are a few components to the project:

1) Pool- I would prefer an L-shaped pool with a larger shallow end, a just large enough to safety dive deep end (no diving board or stone) with two swim outs, and an attached spa( likely 6x6 square). The swim seasons are long here in Houston, but I'm leaning towards a smaller spa due to use of the spa year round and wanting it to heat up in a reasonable period of time. I'm trying to make an all-around useful pool for a family, for adults, etc. I will likely go with plaster, as I don’t think pebblesheen or another pebble finish will be in the budget. I will probably place some tile markers at the bottom for anyone swimming laps. Here is one diagram I made to give you the idea of what I'm looking at.


I do want automation with this pool, along with automated PH control since I have some experience getting to add acid due to the SWG. I also will likely only elevate the spa 12'' from the pool level to not drive up my PH so quickly. I also would like to add a chiller, due to those long Houston summers, nobody likes a 95 degree dip in the pool. My tentative equipment list (All Pentair, but I'm not specifically stuck on the brand or this specific equipment) would look like this:


All of these prices are from INYO pools, so I haven’t shopped around for any deals. My last pool had a much cheaper SWG and Raypak heater, so I may not throw away this much money, but I want the automation to work as seamlessly as possible. I do not have interest in another pressure side pool cleaner, and I will be investing in a plug in robot. The second pump would be to increase the number of jets in the spa from 6ish to 12ish.

Should I still oversize the SWG with a variable pump that will be on all the time?

Will I need two spa blowers, one for each pump?

I’m thinking I will need at least two skimmers, along with two main drains in the deep end. I would insist on 2.5’’ plumbing for the skimmers / drains, 2’’ at the equipment pad. I will want unions at all the equipment. I also will want an automatic pool filler. The in pool lighting I will place facing away from the home.

As for finishes, I'm probably going to go with the cheapest looks okay tile. My last pool had this, so anything is an upgrade.........

2) Flat work- There are 3 components to the flat work. First, I am planning to extend the rear patio 12 feet further back by 20 feet wide (the width of the widest portion of the existing covered patio). It would be great to go ahead and cover it, but I don't think it will be in the budget at this point, and I can come back and cover it later when I reroof. Second, I will need a pool deck around the pool. I'm tentatively considering 8ft on the end towards the home, with 6ft on all other sides. Last, I want a path from the front driveway to the pool, 4 feet wide. If I have it in my budget, I’d like to place the pool equipment on the far side of my home, and also have a walkway to the equipment pad. In total, I’m looking at 2600-3400sqft of flat work. In Houston, I’m confident I can do the flatwork around $4 a square foot for regular concrete, but if I want to upgrade to stamped or pavers, it’s going to cost more money.

Flatwork Esimate.jpg
I've attached an illustration of what I'm thinking of, along with preferred equipment location (likely too expensive) and likely equipment location (closer to gas and electric)

Pool with Flatwork.jpg

3) Tree removal- The yard also got 20+ larger trees in the back yard, that when I got trimmed back I also got bids to remove all of the trees but a few of the nicer trees that would cost me around $5000. This definitely be a portion of this project, as I'm removing all of the sweet gum trees because nobody likes those little spiky balls in the pool or in the yard. I'm not planning to remove any trees until I know the exact footprint of the pool so I know which trees I can grind down and which need to be totally dug out.

4) Drainage- Some of the issues with neglect of the backyard is due to drainage in the yard. The yard slightly slopes uphill away from the rear of the home, so as part of putting the pool in I will need to direct all the water flow around it and the home. On the side with the walkway, I will need to put 3 downspouts into PVC and move them to the far side of the walkway. On the opposite side of the home, I will need to put at least 2 downspouts into PVC and bring out to the front side of the home. And obviously there will be final grading for the whole project.

Do you think I can reasonably expect to build this large of a pool with these features at my budget?

Is there anything I’m missing?


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
Regarding the trees- the ones that need to entirely *go* can be cut down leaving about a 3 or 4' stump. The stump makes it easier for the bulldozer to push the stump over in its entirety with root ball attached. Tree removal is costly and you've got a lot. Consider that you don't want any of those trees too close to the pool as they'll shade it and drop junk into the water.

Love the 9' depth. 3'6" is shallow but since you're gonna have a deep end you'll have something for everyone. I like "L" shaped pools.

Have you considered a stand alone hot tub instead? So much nicer to sit in and the jets are primo. You might also budget it in later than the pool. I like hot tubs better because they can be closer to the house for those winter time soaks and the lids keep the heat in between soaks.

I suspect your budget will not quite be enough for all you want..... lets hope I'm wrong! I would start talking to pool builders soon though because their calendars are getting filled quickly for this year. EVERYONE and their uncle wants a pool since the Covid kept us all stuck home.

Pentair is good stuff. Thats all I can add about equipment. Others will chime in, I'm sure.

Keep us posted.

Maddie :flower:


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
First of all welcome, that is a beautiful large backyard.

It looks like you have done your homework and we can tweak your equipment list further down the line but it looks pretty good.

My biggest concern is your $65k budget. I am always envious of Houston pool prices, so maybe it could work, but my gut tells me you will be $10-15k over your budget. Unfortunately most pool builders are slammed right now and it is a builders market so they can charge higher prices. The only way to tell for sure is to get quotes. Good luck.
Aug 1, 2014
Spring, TX

Yeah, that is my concern, that I'm looking at a 75-80k pool. Honestly I'll probably make the pool smaller and delete some features before I will pay more.

As for the trees, there are about 5 trees in the whole back yard that will stay. Two may be within 25 feet of the pool, all the others are going. Its a matter of determining which need to be dug out and which can be ground, and until I have a final plan I won't know on some of them.
I really don't want to consider a hot tub in addition to the pool, as I don't want to have to manage two bodies of water independently.


Active member
Oct 20, 2020
Montgomery, TX
Just went through bid process in Montgomery last fall. Dig date is sometime next week. My pool is a postage stamp compared to yours and is not much more that a 15 x 26 ft rectangle either a spa. No water features or raise walls, but pool is on Lake Conroe so required some beefing up of the structure per the engineer that I hired to vet the plans. Received 4 quotes ranging from 68k - 78k. Happy to share more details on who I considered and feedback from my bid process. I had two strong contenders but could have worked with any of them. Biggest threat now may be equipment availability given the damage from the freeze. Choosing someone with buying power may be a benefit. Good luck.
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