SF Bay Area build (done!!!)

NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
In the meantime...the pool work has not progressed as expected (we were hoping full speed ahead Mon July 8). Today we finally have the crew on site getting prep work done. They are laying out the jasper boulders for the weeping wall on the non problem side.

They stopped when I told them coping needs to go in first.

They didn't know we want coping under the boulder wall so that will be a slight delay. They didn't have their coping equipment on them.

We talked about options to address the slope and they are leaning Option 2 (extend the wall) as well.

After that they packed up and moved on. Will return tomorrow.

Here is a shot of the jasper boulders laid out for future work.

The colors of the design are really starting to pop and show when I walk around out there. Can really see the oranges, greens and purples of the scheme now.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,323
Tallahassee, FL
act as an access point to the top of the grotto for jumping into the pool.
This could be good or bad depending on the person doing the jumping LOL

I too like the wall extension. It will look cleaner and put together.

I am SO glad you are looking at this now instead of after the first rain messing up your pool!!

Kim:kim:
 
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NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
Coping is now 360 and goes around the ENTIRE pool. We were originally leaving space for GIANT boulders next to grotto but decided to tone it down after the wall redesign came up.

Wall has been extended as well.

They removed the ledger stone on the edge of the existing wall because it was a corner connection and they want the new pieces to overlap.

Tiny gap between old and new wall will be filled and sealed as well.
 

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NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
Had my first clash with PB and I am in scramble mode

Crew came to pour equipment pad Fri late afternoon and I stopped them. They said they were pouring a 3x6 pad and I said there is no way that will be enough.

I showed them all the equipment that was delivered and stored in my garage
Heater (3x4)
Filter (2x2)
Pump 1 (1x3)
Pump 2 (1x3)
SWG

and whatever else needs to go on the pad I am not aware of

They agreed 3x6 was no good but didn't have enough material to pour bigger so came back Sat. No big deal.

Came back the next day and cut into the slope to pour. This was all discussed in advance.

But then things fell apart.

I asked how they are going to shore up the dirt. Wooden retaining wall or blocks etc.

The crew on site said they aren't...they weren't told about it and have nothing planned.

I said you are joking right b/c that is not a safe installation location. First rain and the entire wall of dirt collapses on the equipment pad.

Tried to get hold of the PB on a SAT and no luck resolving. It is PENDING right now but I don't think they will fix it. The crew putting in the pad said the only know masonry solutions and a wall with footing might be expensive. I have an existing wooden retaining wall right next to the pad location and the PB crew suggested that as the best solution but said they don't know how to do that stuff.

What REALLY ticks me off is my LS work is done and the crew has moved on. The LS crew could have easily done this any time in the last 2 weeks

I am trying to make backup plans but since it is the weekend I can't get a hold of anyone.

I don't know if this is something I need to do BEFORE equipment is installed or if a crew can work around the items.

Monday morning is going to be a mad scramble of phone calls and I am not looking forward to it.



:mad:
 

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OGSW20

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2019
120
San Jose, CA
A wall is definitely needed to hold up that dirt, otherwise, it will just end up collapsing over time. The least expensive way would probably to build it out of wood similar to what is in your photo. However, for longevity, that might not be the best route. We had to build a retaining wall out of cinder blocks to contain a fence grading issue. I would carve out that area some more and just build it out of cinder blocks. I’m pretty sure they can work around it and done after the equipment is in.

Here is a photo of our equipment pad with identical equipment. Also, included one of our retaining wall.

Good luck this week!
 

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mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
759
OV, CA
Well that just sux... I hate it when the next round of contractors come in to do their bit without coordinating with the others. You are going to need to dig out your wall further than the edge of the pad. Trust me you will need room to work on things behind the pad. I made sure that I had 3ft around the pad so I can service the heaters and filters without standing in amongst the pipes and motors on the pad itself. It will be easy to build some kind of retaining wall that matches your other landscaping either the wood like you already have or blocks. But make sure you have room behind the pad to service the equipment on the pad. Just my 2 centavos.

Edit: I looked closer at your pics.. looks like the back edge of the pad is about 3 ft from the fence, I assume that is your property line. Is there a code in your county for how close you can build a permanent pad to the property line? Also you are going to be hard pressed to carve out 3 ft if its up against the property/fence line I see. But give yourself some kind of room back there. maybe split the difference.
 
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NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
Well that just sux... I hate it when the next round of contractors come in to do their bit without coordinating with the others. You are going to need to dig out your wall further than the edge of the pad. Trust me you will need room to work on things behind the pad. I made sure that I had 3ft around the pad so I can service the heaters and filters without standing in amongst the pipes and motors on the pad itself. It will be easy to build some kind of retaining wall that matches your other landscaping either the wood like you already have or blocks. But make sure you have room behind the pad to service the equipment on the pad. Just my 2 centavos.
to be honest I'm not sure how much more we can cut back. the fence line is currently 3 feet from the current edge of dirt
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
759
OV, CA
to be honest I'm not sure how much more we can cut back. the fence line is currently 3 feet from the current edge of dirt
I was editing at the same time you posted... see above. I'm curious are you going to build some kind of barrier to hide the pool equipment? It looks like its right up against the walk way.
 
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NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
I was editing at the same time you posted... see above. I'm curious are you going to build some kind of barrier to hide the pool equipment? It looks like its right up against the walk way.
that is our utility corridor but also our only access from front yard (gate currently removed during construction)

garbage yard and recycling go where existing retaining wall is and my AC unit is across the walkway from the pool equipment

maybe we put a privacy fence in the future but nothing planned right now


I am currently debating whether pool equipment can be installed on the walkway side now....it is 8 feet wide not counting the dirt buffer to pipes.

Gets equipment a roomy area and away from potential dirt cave in.

Makes the walkway kind of crappy but maybe that is a trade off worth making
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2012
41,323
Tallahassee, FL
Me? I would cut more dirt out of that wall of dirt and pour more pad to give you more room to walk around the equipment. I would take that bush out as well so you don't have to worry about it. Then you can build the "wall" like you already have for the cans. I would NOT put the equipment on the side walk. It will be a pain in so many ways.

Kim:kim:
 
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mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
759
OV, CA
well.. if you move the equipment to the house side of the walk way you get:
-closer power from the house for the equipment
-you can widen the walkway a couple of feet so its even with where the garbage cans go.. so its still the same width
-you get back that retaining slope where the raised fence is on the property line
- The house becomes a sound barrier for the pool equip
-I don't think changing the direction of the pipes and adding 5 feet is really going to change the hydraulics all that much.
-the best way to do it would probably be to break out the walkway and pour a new pad for the equipment and repour you walkway so its nice.

Just my thoughts. I'm thinking out loud here. Better we figure this out now rather than when the hillside slumps in the next big rain.
 
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NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
Me? I would cut more dirt out of that wall of dirt and pour more pad to give you more room to walk around the equipment. I would take that bush out as well so you don't have to worry about it. Then you can build the "wall" like you already have for the cans. I would NOT put the equipment on the side walk. It will be a pain in so many ways.

Kim:kim:
The problem is I am out of room to dig. Right now it is 3 feet from the fence/property line.

I don't know the EXACT number but I'm pretty sure that is the closest we can get for zoning etc.

The walkway is the lesser of 2 evils solution. Maybe split equipment on both sides so it doesn't take up the narrow part of the walk way.

Just brain storming here right now.
 

NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
well.. if you move the equipment to the house side of the walk way you get:
-closer power from the house for the equipment
-you can widen the walkway a couple of feet so its even with where the garbage cans go.. so its still the same width
-you get back that retaining slope where the raised fence is on the property line
- The house becomes a sound barrier for the pool equip
-I don't think changing the direction of the pipes and adding 5 feet is really going to change the hydraulics all that much.
-the best way to do it would probably be to break out the walkway and pour a new pad for the equipment and repour you walkway so its nice.

Just my thoughts. I'm thinking out loud here. Better we figure this out now rather than when the hillside slumps in the next big rain.
Can't put the pool equipment on the house side because of windows and air vents (not in frame but just above the green bushy plants on left) conflict with clearance requirements for gas heater. We did all of that measuring in advance before settling on the "dirt" side of the walk way.

Problem is we didn't go through all the details on the dirt side and now it is becoming a PITA
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
759
OV, CA
Yuck, don't split your equipment. I'm not a fan of that option. it will be a pain to plumb and wire if its seperated and hard to service if there is stuff running in conduits under the walkway. I think you can dig out a foot or so behind the equipment. If your code is similar to us here in Sac, you just cant't put the pad any closer that 3ft to the property line, but a retaining wall is probably fine. That is for erosion control.

Brain storm away!
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2012
41,323
Tallahassee, FL
Okay then here comes my wild idea that HAS been done before! See if you can "see" what I am saying:

-pour concrete pad on the AC side BUT leave room between the equipment pad and ac pad for the pipes to go there! They well all come to daylight at the END of the pad instead of in front like they would be now. That allows you to have a bigger work area. Your plumbers may give you some push back "We never do it like that" but it they are worth their paycheck they can make it work!

Can you see what I mean?
 
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NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
248
Brentwood, CA
Lots to mull over.

If i can confirm property line distance i think cutting back 1 more foot is best.

I just went and checked my neighbor and she has a 3 foot gap from my fence to her retaining wall. I dont recall seeing any narrower than hers.

If not then plan B is split up equipment somehow
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
575
MA
I would find out the exact code so you can get as much space behind the pad as possible. If the term "retaining wall" becomes a issue with the code then you could most likely at least terrace it to give some extra space back there.
They will certainly be able to install a wall or terrace after the equipment is in However it would be to your benefit to have the wall done first. It will certainly cost more to have to work around the equipment and there is always the possibility of a careless worker damaging something on the pad.
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
575
MA
I like the choice of brining the wall to the grotto. I would definitely have them build some stone steps (that don't look like steps) from the top of wall to get on top of grotto. You can place the steps so they are going away from the pool to give you more flexibility in the placement.

Be sure they install the proper drainage behind that wall, Grotto and your weeping wall. The back of the wall should be waterproofed and It should be backfilled with clean crushed (or round) stone with a 4" perforated pipe at the bottom of the stone that leads to daylight (the pipe should be encased with stone in filter fabric all the way to daylight ). I would put 30 mil poly between the backfill stone and dirt but a good quality filter fabric is also acceptable.
 
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