Spa / Pool "Spool" - Inception Phase

HouTX

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2015
53
Houston, TX
Hello All, I have not posted in years as I sold the house with the 30k gallon pool listed on my profile. This forum had proven invaluable as a first time pool owner, and I had the water chemistry down! Anyway, we are in a patio home now and want to put in a “spool”. Due to the generic nature of the search terms I am not having much luck narrowing the results down to “spools” ending up with pool info only.

We are looking at approximately a 8’ x 14’ (+/-) rectangular design with no water features. It will be primarily used as a spa or just to float around in during hot Houston days (not much swimming). Are prefab vinyl or fiberglass shells available / recommended for such an application? I want to start there and narrow down the size first. Also will narrow access on the side of the house (about 3’-4’) restrict my options?

Thanks for your suggestions as always
 

avenger_chicago

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
171
Chicago
Check out my build thread.
We are finishing up a 10 x 16 foot Latham Milan pool, 4 feet deep.
Access is a huge issue. We had to cut a hole in our garage to allow access.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,744
Morris Cnty NJ
Plenty of small fiberglass pools out there. You can get mini machines thru there. And a crane to hoist over the house. If you have enough room a small shell can be rolled on pipe to get thru the side they're not too heavy. Hardest thing with wanting a spa feel is the plumbing and pumps. It takes at least 2 pumps to get good jet action in that size and finding a bench style may be hard
 
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HouTX

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2015
53
Houston, TX
Yea, after some research no doubt it would need to be crane dropped. It is apparently a more common procedure than I thought. The questions now is if they can get the digging equipment etc. through there or will that be a specialty job as well. The PB's in the area are super busy understandably, and some of the well rated ones are not even scheduling sales appointments right now.
 

HouTX

Well-known member
Apr 13, 2015
53
Houston, TX
I found a 16' x 8' FG Shell and filled out the information to be assigned to a local dealer, who called me the following day and this is how the conversation went.

PB: I see you are interested in the XYZ pool can I answer any questions you may have?
ME: Yes, I have 3' of access and interested in this pool, is that doable
PB: We actually have that pool in our showroom and many others, would you like to come by Saturday and take a look?
ME: Before I do that, how much access do you need to install one?
PB: 6'
ME: but I have 3'
PB: Then we can't build you a pool (!)

Since then, I found some old threads on this Forum and some have had them installed with 3' of space using mini-excavators. I then searched for pool excavation companies, and some do say that they need access the size of a "typical doorway", and they can use specialty equipment which adds to the cost but doable. So I am back to square one, I guess find a different shell / PB and hope to have better luck.
 

avenger_chicago

Gold Supporter
Jun 22, 2019
171
Chicago
I found a 16' x 8' FG Shell and filled out the information to be assigned to a local dealer, who called me the following day and this is how the conversation went.

PB: I see you are interested in the XYZ pool can I answer any questions you may have?
ME: Yes, I have 3' of access and interested in this pool, is that doable
PB: We actually have that pool in our showroom and many others, would you like to come by Saturday and take a look?
ME: Before I do that, how much access do you need to install one?
PB: 6'
ME: but I have 3'
PB: Then we can't build you a pool (!)

Since then, I found some old threads on this Forum and some have had them installed with 3' of space using mini-excavators. I then searched for pool excavation companies, and some do say that they need access the size of a "typical doorway", and they can use specialty equipment which adds to the cost but doable. So I am back to square one, I guess find a different shell / PB and hope to have better luck.
I’m disappointed to hear that. I would keep looking! Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Our site had major access issues. You have to find a creative builder.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,744
Morris Cnty NJ
Guys that are busy dont want to deal with it right now. I wouldnt either I'd push you back to winter or next season. The other way is to get an excavating contractor and have him handle the dig and let PB take over
 

spd500

Well-known member
Jul 20, 2020
313
Houston, TX
My builder told me that he had hand dug pools with limited access in patio homes when we were talking one day. They are completely booked at the moment, but maybe you can get in during the off season to have it done. We are up in Summerwood, what part of town are you in?