South Florida - New In-ground Large Build

John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
237
Sunrise/FL
Hello. My name is John. I am in the infant stages of designing a large backyard pool. I would like to document it here for all to enjoy and more importantly.... get every ounce of information i can out of you guys!!!!:D I will be joining up so pictures can flow and I want to support this great site, as it has a wealth of information.

The first attachment is my plot plan with the pool area highlighted.

So my thoughts that led me down this road are as follows:
- I have a good size backyard that is a clean slate..... the only thing back there is a brand new fence I just did myself (to new pool codes). I Left the gate area open (+\_- 15 feet) for large heavy equipment
- I did not want to divide the backyard by putting pool in the middle of yard - that is why I offset it to the left. It is visible from the entry of the house, in the living room, and the kitchen.
- I did not want to put a small pool in as it would not fill the space.
- I would like to put a gazebo or sitting area on the other side of the yard in the future.

I am going to do Owner/builder (I am good with my hands and have had construction experience). I figure with the money I save by acquiring my own subs and doing some work myself, will allow me to buy top of the line equipment and NOT cut any corners.
I am certain that by me overseeing every aspect of this build, I will have a much better product.

Again, I seek any and all thoughts, concerns, questions, etc. I am learning from you guys every thread.... Thanks in advance!!!
 

Attachments

John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
237
Sunrise/FL
Overhead Rendering.jpgThis is the design my wife and I are thinking of going with.

- We love a LARGE sun shelf.
- We want a sitting area, but did not want a raised Jacuzzi. So we came up with the sitting area (that has pool temp water) with jacuzzi jets around the area. A three sided Jacuzzi....if you will....
- we want something modern. Everything in our house has clean straight lines, so i figured this layout would look nice.
- Fire bowls and water features Galore!!!! (spending the money I save as OB)
- separate large areas around the pool for seating, lounging, dancing, etc

Dimensions will follow in a bit.......

John

- - - Updated - - -

Another view....Actual placement of pool is more towards the part of the house that doesn't have the covered patio. One of the other reasons we did this is that there is a cabana door leading to a bathroom there.
 

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John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
237
Sunrise/FL
Here are a very generic set of measurements.....

Nothing is set in stone - but - these measurements have been laid out in the area and it fits perfect. When you walk out the sliding glass doors of the living room....you have the start of the sun deck area.....But the distance from door to sun deck is at least 15 feet. Plenty of space to not give that cramp pool feeling. All other parts of the pool are at a minimum, 10 feet from a house wall or fence line.
 

Attachments

John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
237
Sunrise/FL
Thoughts on features and equipment:

- 2 LED bubblers on sun deck
- umbrella/table holders on sun deck
- 6-8 jacuzzi heads in sitting area
- Table in sitting area
- 2 LED lamnar deck jets
- 3 Fire/Water bowls raised on pedistalls (tile the pedistals with waterline tile or perhaps a tile to match what ever flooring we use)
- Returns EVERYWHERE!!!!! I want no dead spots (well as little as possible). I even want some low returns (possibly for heated water circulation)
- Heat Pump possibly with chiller ( I do not like hot pools - here in south Florida)
- No in-floor cleaning system or any positive or negative cleaning port.......strictly water movement and robot.
- 2 skimmers in opposing areas (so if wind changes direction)
- 2 main drains
- 2 large lights in main pool area
- 1 or 2 smaller lights in sitting area
****all lights will be on the house side to avoid glares****
- Toying around the idea of a dedicated swim jet system (actually was thinking of using the pump for the swim jets to run the Jacuzzi also)
- SWCG
- DE Filter
- All will be on independent actuators and automation

What have I missed????:D
 

wilkj1

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
122
okc/okla
First hello and welcome you are in the right place to get help umm spending money err getting advice lol. I will add a WOWZER TOO looks awesome. Looking forward to watching your build .
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,802
Tallahassee, FL
You rang?? HI and welcome!!!

Well it is easy to tell you have been doing some reading!

I like what I see so far. I like the idea of the some returns being lower down like by the seating area. That will help get or even keep stuff out of that area and help mix the water even better.

I do not see anything about water depth. What are you thinking?

Oh and I LOVE how you have the pool off to the side! That gives you the best of both worlds-pool AND yard! Nice job!

I bet you know what I am going to ask for next.............a shot or 5 of where the pool will be going!

Kim:kim:
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,213
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Wow! It looks like you have put a great deal of thought into your build. I love everything about it. I particularly like the way it’s offset in your yard and the geometric design. I think it looks perfect!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
I just now took a very quick peek at your thread. I'll be back to take a better look after my crazy weekend. But the in-pool table/sitting area caught my eye. I find those somewhat frivolous, impracticable and unnecessary. And I really, really, really wish I had one just like it!! :suspect: (Green with envy!)

Congrats on your build, looking forward to following along!
 

sehrmude

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2017
192
Tampa, FL
That's an awesome use of the space you have - great design. I can't wait to see the progression! Our build just wrapped up - Just getting into the enjoyment phase!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
I just now took a very quick peek at your thread. I'll be back to take a better look after my crazy weekend. But the in-pool table/sitting area caught my eye. I find those somewhat frivolous, impracticable and unnecessary. And I really, really, really wish I had one just like it!! :suspect: (Green with envy!)

Congrats on your build, looking forward to following along!
Here's some devil's advocate stuff, with the understanding that I tend to nitpic and that I really love your design as is.

I think the idea of sitting around that table, with friends and drinks etc is very appealing. I'd sure like to. I think that jacuzzi-like jets idea is brilliant and unique. I would only caution the trouble the pedestal is going to be for your robot. And that that table is going to get thrashed if there's even moderate activity elsewhere in the pool (splashing and waves).

Ditch the drains. They're likely not required. They do nothing for circulation that your many returns, high and low, won't to better. They're ugly, and potentially dangerous. They're good for stepping on and catching toes. And they generally aren't used to drain a pool! With your plan to have no other suction ports, you'll have the safest pool around in that regard. They'll be two blisters on your otherwise beautifully clean motif.

No hydraulics expert here, but my gut about it is: several well placed returns might provide better circulation than a whole lot more. Remember, each is going to be "stealing" flow from the other, so there must be some point of diminishing returns (get it?). Do you have a resource for engineering your hydraulics?

Plan for auto-leveling, either draining or filling or both.

Determine prevailing wind in your area and/or yard and place skimmers accordingly. I like the "opposites" approach your thinking. Throw a couple of beach balls out there now, and observe where they end up each day for a while.

I'm following your logic about the placement. I'll just pose this. I have several seating areas around my pool. One in particular is very nice, with some very comfortable furniture, a fire pit, close to kitchen and bath. Shaded, landscaped, running fountain, beautiful flagstone floor, end tables, lamps, the works. The apple of my yard! No one ever sits there during swim time. Prime seating is under the patio, closest to the pool. Hands down. Not out in the yard, but under the patio, where people (mostly parents in my case) can watch and interact with other people enjoying the pool (mostly kids in my case), in the shade. So, hypothetically, if you set up four otherwise equal tables, one where that beautiful couch area is now under the patio, another to its left (where I think you said your door is, and two more out in the yard... the one by the door, closest to where the "pool action" is, would fill up first. And people would pull chairs over from the other tables to sit with everyone else there. I think it's a similar phenomenon to people gathering around the kitchen while cooking is going on, even if there's a more comfortable area elsewhere. People want to be where the people are. Right now your prime seating/gathering area is, in essence, a walkway instead.

Speaking of which, and maybe it's just a rendering software thing, but you have no outdoor table plotted in those renders. You definitely want one, and they take up a lot of room (with chairs and room to pull them out and walk around them). Seating for six bare minimum, the more the better.

Your pool doesn't have a swim lane.

Light glare? Check! Nice. I'm going to pretend you got that from one of my posts!! ;) I wish my pool lights were on a dimmer. I don't know if there is such a thing. I use the various colors of my LED light to achieve the different levels I want, from subtle up to bright, but that's not the same thing.

Going to have a deep end? That would be a must for any pool I'd build. Diving in is luxurious and fun.

Kids, and big kids, love to dive, and love to jump, into a pool. Some sort of jumping structure (platform, rock, etc) would really punch a hole into the elegant design you've got going (which I reeeeheeeheeealy love), but something to jump off of is a lot of fun. I can imagine something could be done with the three fire pits and some progressively taller accompanying structures maybe?

More later, I'm sure, as it comes to me...
 

John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
237
Sunrise/FL
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. Please keep input coming!!!
I have done some reading, but not even near where i want to be before making things permanent.

I have soooo many questions....i don't know where to start!
Water Depth....lets start with that....I know I like the 3'6" depth for the areas at both ends. perfect for just hanging out or if you are my height (5'9), you can be on your knees and still have head out of water.
Maybe go to 5'6 or 6' towards the middle? Not sure but I thought there was a insurance issue if pools are too deep. Any input?
Dirk, in regards to diving...will that be sufficient? My wife and I do not and are not having kids, but nieces and nephews will be hard to get out of this thing! But mostly it will be a "adults only pool" We really like the idea of one level plane around the pool except for the fire/water bowls. I see your point on jumping off things, but we like it clean....I think people tend to used more of the space if the "playing field" is level. My thinking is perhaps on the northwest corner of pool (north is up on the survey and to the right on the rendering)
to put up one of those sun shade triangles...I have 3 palm trees right there that would work perfect for it. Its removable, replaceable, and easy to install. Hopefully - "if you build it...they will come" type thing. We will see.

The table...understood about activity knocking drinks over. will have to think of something (maybe a telescoping/locking pool attaching to a base?)This way it can be either umbrella or table?
The robot....I was looking into (researching) wireless...Anyone have thoughts?

"Ditch the drains" - Dirk, you lost me on that one.... Why aren't they needed? Wouldn't the provided water flow in them be needed for pumps (which I haven't even got into yet)...and they work in conjunction with the skimmers, right?

Return placement will be evaluated, but would like to know everyone's problem area (steps, bench, etc) and how to handle potential problem places in this pool.

Auto drain and fill for sure!

And the rendering does not have proper placement of anything! Sorry, I should of mentioned that. The pool design is the only thing that is correct. I like your thought process on people sitting under the patio. I believe, like you Dirk, that will be a prime area. I thought about putting some sun setter shading (retractable) attached to the tie beam of the patio. That would extend the shaded area a lot, moving people away from the sliding door.

Swim lane - thinking about installing a swim jet system in the end wall. North is up in the survey....
all the equipment will go on the west side of house (see survey above). Thought process on that is the swim jets will only be used by my wife and I. There will never be a chance that the spa and swim jets will be used at the same time. So why not tie them together on the same pump...And if I go with a swim jet system, wont i need the main drains to provide volume to Pumps? Thinking of pumps - I got a lot of water features (lamnars, water bowls, blubbers, etc.) What's everybody's thoughts on pumps? I was thinking that I might have to go with a pump for circulation/heater/returns, a pump for water features and then the swim jet system pump for it and Jacuzzi jets???

I like the dimmer idea - wonder if pool automation system will take care of that?

And lastly, I don't think the step out bench on the west side is gonna make the cut....Any ideas to improve this area. How about something on the south/west area (near the cabana bath). Maybe a cut-out bench instead?

Thanks for all the input already, but keep it coming!!!! No punches held!

John
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,802
Tallahassee, FL
With you having not kids living with you I say build the pool for YOU! You are the one that will be there 90% of the time unless the kids right down the road from you and will be dropping in all of the time.

-Depth-no insurance rules so long as you do not have a slide or diving board. Go as deep or shallow as you want BUT no lower than than 3.5' so you can do a full swim stroke. Make sure it is WATER depth when you are talking to the the PB. Water depth is half way up the skimmer face.

-jumping area/rock/thing-you would need at least 6' and could still bump your fanny on the bottom. NO diving at allowed though.

-you will want of some sort of step out by the bathroom

-table-have not seen these in real life but looks neat: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KX2446Q/ref=asc_df_B00KX2446Q5448810/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B00KX2446Q&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167151535350&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17092978576701328443&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9011580&hvtargid=pla-310203900133

-robot all of the way!!! I just got my first one and am in LOVE!!! There are several threads about them. The white search box at the top of each page will show you the different treads. Dolphins are tending to be the going ones now.

-main drain-you do not have to have them. The rule is IF you have a main drain it must follow this rule: https://www.doh.wa.gov/portals/1/Documents/Pubs/333-119.pdf With you having two skimmer and the returns you will have plenty of water movement so you could do without them. If you DO want main drains here are some to think about : http://www.poolfittings.com/ I love the channel ones.

I think I hit it all. If not let me know. This is fun!!

Kim:kim:
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
I have a 3'6" shallow end. Seems fine for me, and I'm about the same height. Good point about kneeling. But when I push off in the deep end and swim to shallow, all underwater like I like to do, it's kinda hard to stay underwater in 3'6", as I tend to break the surface with kicking feet. Not a big thing, just something I noticed.

I think my pool is about 6' deep, and Kim is right, the bigger "rock jumpers" will touch bottom if they cannon ball high enough. That's off my jumping rock, not from the deck. I take a little jog/step, along the side, from shallow to deep, and dive in across the shallow-deep transition and swoop down into the deep end and then kinda float to the surface. 6' is fine for that, I'd like to go deeper if I could. I just like that feeling. I have to pull up short, fast, because my pool is not that long, with the deep end is at one end. If my deep end was in the middle, then that would be less of an issue. No one is allowed to dive off the jumping rock, as my 6' depth and deep end shape would make that a head-banger. Even without a raised platform, I would think dives where you're going straight in, from top to bottom, would be compromised by a 5'6" to 6' depth. That depth feels right for the shallow diving I do. But again, I wish my pool was deeper.

Regarding the "one level." That is a big part of the look of your pool. And being able to walk the perimeter, and use all that permitter like that is nice. Landscaping or waterfall-type features that run right up to the pool (including jumping platforms and fire pits) add a nice feature, but do impeded that "walkway". So it's a trade off.

Sunshade triangles! Yes. I have one. Love it. But I use that to shade my pool, not the deck. I find, even on a moderate day, that I like to be able to hide my "evolving" forehead from the sun. I wouldn't want an umbrella pole anywhere in my water for several reasons, so the shade sail was the ticket. It's shade moves across the water in about six hours, then my trees take over shade duty. You can create a stunning visual effect with two or three triangular shade sails, if that doesn't spoil the aesthetics for you. Some over deck, some over water, would give you a nice area to be in for both pool and deck. I take mine down in the off season to reduce sun exposure and extend its life.

A removable table/umbrella would be practical. I like the removability aspect. But not the pole. Trade off. It won't be as stable as a permanent structure. Either way, kids will want to climb on it and jump off it. Not sure it that qualifies pro or con.

Robots, inarguably I believe, clean best. I don't have one because I don't like the cord, I don't like the idea of having to remove it each time from the pool (different thinking on that topic), and I definitely don't like the cord running across the deck into the water. I've kinda-joked before, but this is technically possible: I'll get a rechargeable robot when it can drive itself out of the water and find its own charging garage, hidden in the yard somewhere. That would be the ultimate cleaning solution! An idea just waiting to be invented!

Regarding drains, my lack of plumbing/hydraulics engineering knowledge prevents any answer to your question about flow, for swim jets or other, including how to configure pumps. Someone else here will know. I just know I'd add a skimmer for that before I'd add a drain. How the swim jet system impacts the amount of intakes needed is something to research. The only real concern that I've come across is the notion that a water intake lower in your pool can protect pumps from going dry should the water level of the pool drop below the skimmer intake. A leak? Or ignored evaporation? This can happen, of course. The auto fill provides a layer of protection against that, but those things can fail and allow water level to drop. But that's a lot of random things to go wrong, all at once: leak, autofill failure, and you don't look at your pool every few days (like while away) and/or you fail to notice its water level. I have no drains and I'm not going to worry about my pump. It's not a non-issue, but I choose to make it one.

Your benches, steps and and sun deck will be your problem areas, for cleaning. Some robots can deal with steps, I'm pretty sure none will vacuum the shallow deck, if it's at a certain height or less. Don't know for sure, robot commanders weigh in. Either way, I suspect some brushing is in your future, the frequency dependent on what tends to fall into your pool, and how long you're willing to let it lie there.

I don't know how a dimmer would fit in with pool automation. I haven't read anything on that, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I'm currently thinking of removing my light from the automation system, and just connecting it to a regular switch circuit in the house and/or yard. I'd rather be able to turn my pool light on and off, from multiple locations (like a switch in master, one in kitchen, one near pool), than to have to fumble for my phone or iPad just to turn on my pool light. I'd use my light more if the switch was on the wall. In which case, if there is such a thing as a dimmable pool light, that could be easily controlled from a regular dimmer switch or two or three.

Are you talking about nixing the L-shaped bench opposite the table? I have something similar, and use it as my oasis getaway from the "throng" that tends to gather and splash and such by my shallow end near my steps. I like the idea of a secondary bench away from the other benches and gathering areas.

I had to install some down-shades to extend "sitting time" around "sunset time." Your auto-extending thingie would be a nice solution for that. The one I'm thinking of is obnoxious looking when retracted, though. I'm sure there are nicer solutions for that than the one I know of.

I don't disagree with Kim about making the pool your own. But the flip side, if I may: I wish I had more friends and family visit to swim and enjoy my pool with me, and if I could conjure that up by having things in my pool or yard that I wouldn't use myself, then I'd consider them for that reason alone. I don't use my jumping rock, and it has questionable eye-appeal. But virtually everyone that visits my pool jumps off it and has fun with it. So it's function wins over its form.

Did I get 'em all?
 

John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
237
Sunrise/FL
Holy poop, my head is spinning!!!!

I was under the impression that drains were used to bring water back to the pump. But you guys are saying that the 2 skimmers might be ample enough water to go back to pump/pumps....interesting. I am assuming when I go to engineer to draw this up - it will get calculated of off how many gallons, pipe size, etc.

Question - would you put a jet pushing water on every step, bench, lower portion of sitting area, sun shelf? Also if you had jets hitting every corner...wouldn't that eliminate dead spots and kinda direct dirt to open area for the robot to eat?

Yes - the little bench opposite the sun shelf/sitting area....not sure if i like that design. I put it there because i know i need something on that end....just not sure what. Open for ideas.....
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,377
Central California
Holy poop, my head is spinning!!!!

I was under the impression that drains were used to bring water back to the pump. But you guys are saying that the 2 skimmers might be ample enough water to go back to pump/pumps....interesting. I am assuming when I go to engineer to draw this up - it will get calculated of off how many gallons, pipe size, etc.

Question - would you put a jet pushing water on every step, bench, lower portion of sitting area, sun shelf? Also if you had jets hitting every corner...wouldn't that eliminate dead spots and kinda direct dirt to open area for the robot to eat?

Yes - the little bench opposite the sun shelf/sitting area....not sure if i like that design. I put it there because i know i need something on that end....just not sure what. Open for ideas.....
Oh, good, engineer. Yes, he should figure all that out. Yes, drains can be used in that way. We're just saying don't assume you have to have a drain. That's old school. If you can get the flow and circulation you need otherwise, then you have the option of deleting them.

Can't weigh in on the circulation/return location thing... maybe your engineer can help with that, too? Though, I have the impression that robots don't need much help from jets to do their thing.

If I may... that bench is the one part of your design that does seem out of place. But (to me) not because it's there, but because of those 45s. Your design is "anti-freeform," all rectangles, which I think is cool and attractive. The angles are creating visual tension. That affect will be different, of course, when viewed from the deck, but still a factor, I'd guess. Maybe try it as a rectangle, in keeping with the theme, or an L, to offset its counterpart in the opposite corner. Or maybe a set of steps? That area has it's own deck seating area, you need some way to get out of the pool down at that end. A bench will work for that, for the more agile, steps would maybe be less attractive and eat up more pool, but easier to use.

Oh, speaking of which. Think about adding a hand rail. Awful look, but you might want one someday. They can be removable, with sleeves that can be somewhat concealed. Then store the monstrosity elsewhere. Bring it out for your elderly friends/family. And you might like having it ready to go for yourselves, someday.
 

John_and_Val

Gold Supporter
Mar 30, 2018
237
Sunrise/FL
Well, thank you all for sharing your input. Anyone wants to chime in...please do. I will take some pictures of the area tomorrow and post them (as per Kim)....then Tuesday I meet with the engineer to figure some things out. After that I should have a better idea on final design and function!
 

wilkj1

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 27, 2017
122
okc/okla
Oh they will for sure. We are starting our second swim season and wow am i glad i found TFP last nov. I would have been spending more cash on pool guys now im buying things for our back yard/pool. As a mater of fact in a couple of minutes 8 slabs of ribs will be done and 40 or so people will be here with kids we will ea...t kids will hit 90 deg TFP water. Salt water i might add with the help and advice from these great peeps here.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,802
Tallahassee, FL
I am going to play with your pool. I save a pic and will play with my toddler photo shop skills LOL. I have an idea for the L bench area from something you said earlier. Back with it soon.

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,802
Tallahassee, FL
Overhead Rendering.jpg Now my plaster is not as pretty as yours LOL but this shows a swim out instead of the L bench. I think it is a better balance. What do you think?

I am going to work on the skimmers and returns later. My drawing finger is wore out LOL

Kim:kim: