Southern CA New IG pool: Steel framing complete

RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
158
Escondido/CA
Pool builder is making a ton of profit....bubblers is just plumbing + pump, same with spa - 14 jets needs two pump btw (and if have top of the Pentair pumps, and they were $1200 I think! )

This is where “owner builder” saves money, cause we are not paying for features, plumbing is one price, equipment install / hookup another etc.
 
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Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
Well, some unexpected costly turn of events. PB came by after excavation was complete yesterday and he suggested a soils engineer to come out to ensure we were on bedrock. One day and $3K later, my dig has the baja shelf, stairs, spa and sections of pool all taken out to get to bedrock. PB has no idea what its going to cost me to build it back up with rebar & gunite. :-(

In terms of spa, does anyone have any suggestions on spa jet placement and seat design? I did a search on here and didn't find anything...which I'm sure has to be user error on my part. I have 14 jets to configure. PB suggested the 6 tied to pool pump go on feet given they will be heated water. The other 8 are tied to a booster pump. I was thinking 4 on feet and other 2 pool pump ones on calves. Given my neck, back and shoulder issues, I'm thinking there has to be some hydrotherapy type layout I can do. Also, PB said I could upgrade the jets to therapy jets but they are like $200 a piece and require different plumbing....so another $1 -1.5K. I'm thinking jet nozzles can be replaced without plumbing to give same effect but I have no idea.
 

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Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
Pool builder is making a ton of profit....bubblers is just plumbing + pump, same with spa - 14 jets needs two pump btw (and if have top of the Pentair pumps, and they were $1200 I think! )

This is where “owner builder” saves money, cause we are not paying for features, plumbing is one price, equipment install / hookup another etc.
I thought it shouldn't cost so much! But what's my alternative? I told him I'm thinking of removing the $5K bubblers. He thought it would be a mistake as he thought I should have some sort of water feature.."to help keep water flowing". Isn't that what the returns are for?
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
Automation: Qlink looks like a typo. Jandy's top system is Aqualink RS. You need to seriously discuss your expectations and his on this system. There are numerous options with it. I'm not an expert but know that automation can be complicated and needs to be discussed in detail so it does what you expect. Here's a link to some documentation (scroll to the bottom). I found the one titled Aqualink Automation Selection Guide to very informative, if not overwhelming.

Spa booster pump: I'm assuming that line is referring to your whole spa, including equipment. Clearly that price is not just for equipment related to the spa.
Yes, that was a typo..thx for catching it. It is the Jandy Aqualink. And the $4.6K is just for the booster pump that allows for the additional 8 jets. Thx for sharing the link!
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
250
MA
Well, some unexpected costly turn of events. PB came by after excavation was complete yesterday and he suggested a soils engineer to come out to ensure we were on bedrock. One day and $3K later, my dig has the baja shelf, stairs, spa and sections of pool all taken out to get to bedrock. PB has no idea what its going to cost me to build it back up with rebar & gunite. :-(
YYYYouch... And you thought you were done paying for that beautiful mountain side view after buying the house.. :(

You definitely do not want to take any chances on the ground beneath the pool.. Was the engineer there for the rest of the dig or did he come back after to test again?
 

RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
158
Escondido/CA
I would look for another pool builder...this guy is charging you if the sky is blue. Why are you paying for the extra dirt removal - he should have known, while he was excavating, that he is on fill dirt, and needs to remove it, or the pool shell may crack in the future. Gunite is approx $1200 per truck.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,024
Tallahassee, FL
WHAT???? They thought they could just shot the gunite without any steel? That does NOT make sense at all.

Spa jets-Look what a couple of people has put in their spas!!! JetPaks - Paramount Pool and Spas

Ditch the bubblers and pump for them. That is outrageous. The returns do push the water while the skimmer will pull the water back to the filter.

I think Roy is on to something :(
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
YYYYouch... And you thought you were done paying for that beautiful mountain side view after buying the house.. :(

You definitely do not want to take any chances on the ground beneath the pool.. Was the engineer there for the rest of the dig or did he come back after to test again?
The joys of homeownership! The PB lives across the street and he and a few neighbors are having issues with their houses sinking. Luckily for me, my lot was a cut pad and is on bedrock. So understandably, when he came and saw the the spa section dirt looked diff, and given what he is going through, he suggested it was worth the xtra dollars to 'just be sure' vs cost of raising pool later.

The engineer was there for the remainder of dig and didn't leave till we got the greenlight from him.
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
I would look for another pool builder...this guy is charging you if the sky is blue. Why are you paying for the extra dirt removal - he should have known, while he was excavating, that he is on fill dirt, and needs to remove it, or the pool shell may crack in the future. Gunite is approx $1200 per truck.
For most of the pool, you could see the bedrock. It was just by the spa he was concerned about. When excavation on Day 3 was done, that's what he said is how all 700 pools in the area he has built look. So whatever additional recommendations the soils engineer recommends is on homeowner, per his contract.

As for Gunite, he told me it's $100-$125 per ton depending on the company. He told me he would pay for 75 tons and anything over I have to pay. He also said he would show me the invoice and I could pay the gunite co for the overages directly. Same for the rebar.... he said I have to pay for the additional cost of raising the pool back to where the original Day 3 excavation elevation.
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
WHAT???? They thought they could just shot the gunite without any steel? That does NOT make sense at all.

Spa jets-Look what a couple of people has put in their spas!!! JetPaks - Paramount Pool and Spas

Ditch the bubblers and pump for them. That is outrageous. The returns do push the water while the skimmer will pull the water back to the filter.

I think Roy is on to something :(
No, sorry if I miscommunicated. They plan to do steel tomorrow prior to Gunite.

Those spa jets look pretty cool...just afraid to ask the PB what that would cost me given everything seems to have a huge markup.

As for the bubblers, I think I will have to ditch them. My neighbor said she never uses hers bc they are too loud and suggested I ditch as well. $5k seems like a lot but I'm having trouble with thought of having no sound of water. Any other suggestions to get sound of water? I thought about a separate fountain somewhere else but feel like that would be one more thing to manage as those seem to get algae and pumps always have issues. Sigh....so hard to make this decision.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
4,969
Central MD
As for the bubblers, I think I will have to ditch them. My neighbor said she never uses hers bc they are too loud and suggested I ditch as well. $5k seems like a lot but I'm having trouble with thought of having no sound of water. Any other suggestions to get sound of water?
I think the sound of water is overrated around a pool (though it is nice visually). It's might be hard to get it to sound like a background sound when it's so close, but actually be moving enough water to look nice. It's not like a babbling brook that softly projects.

I personally like the sound of music. Ha! See what I did there? Both the sound of music and The Sound of Music. I always have music on by the pool and water would be competing with it. Just like my stove's vent hood compete's with music in the kitchen. Now if you need sound to drown out your voices and/or the neighbors, that's a different story. Then I'm all for it and stocking up on muriatic acid for the pH rise.
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
Will you have a spa spillover? This will give you all the noise you need...free.
No spillway. It's a 1 and 1/2 sided infinity edge. I'm wondering if that infinity edge is overrated and I see if I can change to a simple spillway. I'm not even sure with the baja shelf if that can be done now...may be an added 'redesign' cost.
105168
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
I think the sound of water is overrated around a pool (though it is nice visually). It's might be hard to get it to sound like a background sound when it's so close, but actually be moving enough water to look nice. It's not like a babbling brook that softly projects.

I personally like the sound of music. Ha! See what I did there? Both the sound of music and The Sound of Music. I always have music on by the pool and water would be competing with it. Just like my stove's vent hood compete's with music in the kitchen. Now if you need sound to drown out your voices and/or the neighbors, that's a different story. Then I'm all for it and stocking up on muriatic acid for the pH rise.
Wow! THANK YOU for sharing your insights! This makes me feel SO much better about dropping the bubblers! It's priceless to have everyone share their experiences so newbies can benefit!! I was having a hard time b/c the neighbors below me just put in a pool and they have 3 small children who are quite loud. Thought the water noise would help drown out but music would do the same!!!
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
799
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
No spillway. It's a 1 and 1/2 sided infinity edge. I'm wondering if that infinity edge is overrated and I see if I can change to a simple spillway. I'm not even sure with the baja shelf if that can be done now...may be an added 'redesign' cost.
The infinity edge should give you nice sound. I think the infinity edge would be awesome.
 

RoyR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 31, 2018
158
Escondido/CA
You will have ample water noise from those three wall spilovers….and the infinity edge of the SPA will also add some water noise. Don't remove that infinity edge - going to make the pool look awesome!

You don't need 14 jets - where in the spa would you like to sit - I would recommend putting in one "therapy station" looks like the edge along the back wall would be best suited.

SPA JETS:

1. Back wall - 1 therapy station (rear wall) - 3 way manifold, two calf jets, and 1 foot jet. Run these six jets on their own pump, and make sure you select foot and calf jets that are adjustable. These jets will only circulate the SPA water. The other 5 jets can be connected to the circulation pump / heater.
2. Left wall - wall will be lower due to infinity edge - add two singles
3. Front wall - add 1 single. and 1 double (vertical).
4. Right wall (stairs) - no jets, leave open.


PS. Don't ask the pool builder what it would cost to add / change anything - that's just giving him the opportunity to add cost! Nothing you change at this point should add any significant cost, and he already ripped you off with the 3K for removing that bit of dirt....that was his bonus! Plus, you are simplifying the SPA plumbing, he owes you money now!

6-6-2019 7-44-48 AM.jpgmanifold_3jet_9in_210-3410G.jpgspa jets.jpg
 
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Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
You will have ample water noise from those three wall spilovers….and the infinity edge of the SPA will also add some water noise. Don't remove that infinity edge - going to make the pool look awesome!

You don't need 14 jets - where in the spa would you like to sit - I would recommend putting in one "therapy station" looks like the edge along the back wall would be best suited.

SPA JETS:

1. Back wall - 1 therapy station (rear wall) - 3 way manifold, two calf jets, and 1 foot jet. Run these six jets on their own pump, and make sure you select foot and calf jets that are adjustable. These jets will only circulate the SPA water. The other 5 jets can be connected to the circulation pump / heater.
2. Left wall - wall will be lower due to infinity edge - add two singles
3. Front wall - add 1 single. and 1 double (vertical).
4. Right wall (stairs) - no jets, leave open.


View attachment 105169View attachment 105170View attachment 105178
Hi Roy! Wow, THANK YOU for the layout and all the detail! My view is from the two sides that has the tile so I'd prefer to sit on either of those sides. I have a few questions if you have a few mins...
1. My spa is 11' x 7' (stair side is 7). Even with that size, you don't think I should do 14 jets? If so, is it b/c less pressure to have 8 on the booster pump?
2. PB recommended putting all 6 from heater pump on floor to help heat up spa as my equipment is far from spa and spa is so big. What do you think?
3. I'm a little vertically challenged as I'm 5'1" on a good day. Do you have any recommendations on seat height? Also, I saw some people reclining the back wall so it's not vertical and more comfortable(see pic)? Would that really help? I have major neck, back and shoulder issues and wondered if there was a way to make it so my neck is not hitting the ledge and had some support and my arms have some sort of way to rest.
4. You said adjustable jets? Do you mean the waterway therapy ones? How do they adjust...turning of a knob or via spa controller?
5. Do you recommend the singles be put at different heights? If so, any suggestions?
6. Have you seen stand up water well in spa? If so, any thoughts on doing it?

Lastly, we removed the back spillways as back wall was only going to be 6" given the elevation. The designer who did that rendering suggested they build up in back but I didn't like how it would look. So now entire pool is zero line and spa is raised 12"105181
 
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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
250
MA
I would look for another pool builder...this guy is charging you if the sky is blue. Why are you paying for the extra dirt removal - he should have known, while he was excavating, that he is on fill dirt, and needs to remove it, or the pool shell may crack in the future. Gunite is approx $1200 per truck.
Building on any hillside can be tricky and very expensive if it is to be done correctly.

It is hard to say if the PB was incompetent or overcharging without being there and knowing all of the facts. It is difficult to say if the material that was removed was fill or if it was virgin ground but just a different layer. I feel he did the correct thing by calling in the engineer when he started to question the soils. Whether he or his excavator should have known if this material needed to be removed is questionable. But calling in the engineer was the correct move. As far as the price goes Digging to a extra depth because of a unknown circumstance is certainly a billable extra. I know things are just plane expensive in that neck of the woods and I am sure the engineer did not volunteer his time. If I recall correctly it looked very difficult just to get the dirt out of the back yard. Again, difficult to judge not knowing the facts.
 

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