Starting a new pool build in austin (like everyone else..)

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
Because of covid it seems like everyone is building a pool in austin. PB are slammed. I built a pool in 2012 and said I would never build another pool. Unfortunately we moved in 2017 and bought a house without a pool so now Im faced with building another pool.

Austin is backlogged so it is going to take 2 months to get the permit. The utility guys came by today to mark utility lines with flags. He also mentioned that pool equipment is starting to be out of stock. He is hoping that in 2 months things will be better.

I noticed that everyone is using pentair. We had hayward before and it was fine. Is pentair much better than hayward? Here are the rough specs and equipment. The total cost is 75K. Dimensions are 14x30, we are trying to get about 17X30 but our property starts to severely slope .

It comes with the rainbow, but Ill install a stenner pump and 15 gallon carboy for bleach into the port. He really wanted lueders coping and lueders and saltwater dont mix.

I didnt like the steps so we are switching to triangular corner steps or a square with steps down both sides. He thought triangle steps were too 80s.

Is the rebar too small, are 10" centers not close enough together? He didnt spec the PVC diameter, should i push on that?
1596265692468.png


Permits & Layout:
- submit for permit’s (permit and inspection fees included)
- Layout for inspection
(HOA deposit not included)

Excavation:
- set elevation
- dig pool as designed
- form pool and spa , and haul off

Steel:
- 3/8 in. (#3) rebar on 10 inch centers
- ½ in. continuous 4 bar beam
- 24” deck dowels


Plumbing:
- Anti-vortex main drains
- 2 Skimmers
- 3 returns
- Hayward Sharkvac
- All work done with schedule 40 pvc
- Pressure test @ 40 psi
- Valves as required
- bonding wire and clamps to code

Gunite:
- All Gunite 12” thick (+/- 3”)
- Lifetime Warranty

Electric:
- Hook up as required

Equipment:
  • - 2 hp Hayward Tristar two speed pump
  • - 5030 Hayward Cartridge filter
  • - Hayward E-4 automated control with wireless remote
  • - Rainbow 320 in-line chlorinator
  • - 2 Hayward Chrome ring light(s)
  • - 1 ½ hp blower
  • - Hayward 400K BTU heater

Decking:
- Concrete 3-4” thick with 3/8” rebar reinforcement


Tile/Coping:
- Waterline tile and pool coping to be determined by homeowner


Plaster:
- Quartz (diamond brite midnight blue)
- Matching wall fittings, drain covers, and returns

Gas:
- Gas hook-up as discussed with homeowner


Yard Repair/Irrigation/Drainage:
- 6 to 12 yards of loam will be spread and ruts will be smoothed and filled
- Sprinkler and drainage will be discussed on a job to job basis

Fencing:
- Fencing will be discussed on a job to job basis

Warranties:
- Lifetime gunite shell warranty
- 3 year Equipment
- 2 year plaster
- 2 year tile and coping
- 2 year plumbing and electric
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2012
49,212
Tallahassee, FL
Sigh...................so 80s??? So what?? If you like that look go for it. I think it will look purrfect for your pool!

One thing I would do is change the 3' depth to at least 3'5" is you cannot do a full crawl stroke in 3' of water.
 
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HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
2,667
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
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Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Nice layout. I too like the triangle steps as it provides access to enter or exit to either side. But it is a personal preference for y'all to decide. Ensure your skimmers are independently plumbed back to the equipment pad with valves. The bottom drain should also have its own line back to the pad. This way to can control circulation between them and also with the bottom drain. Either Hayward or Pentair are reputable brands. I like your idea on the stenner pump and your injection port. I would like to see more info on that separately if you have it. You probably should ask about the size of sch. 40 to ensure you have sufficient flow capacity. good luck
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
Is the rebar thickness and rebar spacing sufficient?

Also it seems weird that he doesnt use the computer software that literally every other builder uses.

what should the size of the sch 40 be?

I would do the stenner pump myself (did it at my last pool). The ony thing I didnt like about the stenner pump is the extremely rapid accumulation of calcium which clogged everything up within 2 years.

Also my pool builder suggested not doing a wifi control system. He said it is very expensive for little benefit. He said he personally just has the puck (which I had in my old pool). The one thing we couldnt do with the puck was set the spa temp.

Is 3 returns enough? Our old pool had like 6 returns or something.
 

HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
2,667
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I had read in another post for a pool construction to have "Minimum 2” suction and all equipment plumbing with 1.5” returns". Others may have confirmation of this.
My pool has 5 returns into the pool and 1 primary (non-jet) in the Spa (my spa constantly flows into the pool). I think with your size it should have minimum 4 returns. Placement will be key.
From my investigation in other pool construction forums - 8-10 inch centers on rebar spacing is acceptable norm.
 
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bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
7,010
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
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Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
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Plumbing sizes mentioned above are correct. 2" suction, 1 1/2" on returns. Get 4 returns (or more). One one each side. Filter size is very good. Replace 2-speed Tristar with a 2.7 HP Tristar VS or Tristar VS Omni (smart control via Alexa, etc). Not my area but blowers are not needed for spas if designed properly. Go with a channel style main drain versus circular. Circular drains are so 80's (tell your PB). ;)

+1 on the 3' depth. Too shallow for anything. 3.5' should be minimum shallow end depth.
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
Plumbing sizes mentioned above are correct. 2" suction, 1 1/2" on returns. Get 4 returns (or more). One one each side. Filter size is very good. Replace 2-speed Tristar with a 2.7 HP Tristar VS or Tristar VS Omni (smart control via Alexa, etc). Not my area but blowers are not needed for spas if designed properly. Go with a channel style main drain versus circular. Circular drains are so 80's (tell your PB). ;)

+1 on the 3' depth. Too shallow for anything. 3.5' should be minimum shallow end depth.

thanks, we are working out the details, but the contract is signed and the permits are submitted. The city came out to flag the utilities last week which surprised me since permits are taking like 8 weeks to approve.

I think the pump is actually a VS ( can you even buy a two speed?). when I last built a pool (8 years ago) two speed was much more cost effective than VS so the rec was 2 speed. Has that changed?
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
7,010
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Prices have come down though it also depends on utility rebates.
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
Just bumping, it took about 3 months to get the permit approved by the city of austin. Once the permit was approved it was another 3 weeks to get in the queue to start. The pool outline is painted. Excavation starts tomorrow. The back hoe and bobcat were delivered this weekend.
 
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march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
First day of excavation (monday), they arrived about noon and worked for about 4 hours. Is that typical? They were able to dig about 2 ft of dirt before hitting limestone.
1st day excavation.jpg

They quickly were digging into the typical austin limestone. This is the second day (also only worked about 4-5 hours)
2nd day excavation.jpg

Off to the left is a steep slope. I want the pool to be a bit wider which means going into the slope. Im not 100% sure the excavators are going to do that. The line on the left is right where the slope starts and I want to go two feet past the start of the slope. The drop is only about a foot at that point so it shouldnt be a big deal. We will put a deck on the back side of the pool. I tried to get them to put the pool fill on the back side with a retaining wall, but they are mainly focused on pools and didnt really want to do that.
2nd day slope view.jpg
 
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ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Salt Water Generator
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Nothing is typical with pool construction.

I hope your pool is properly engineered to support the wall on the slope and you have the necessary footers. We have seen Texas pools built on slopes with a wall out of the ground cracking.

 
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march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
Nothing is typical with pool construction.

I hope your pool is properly engineered to support the wall on the slope and you have the necessary footers. We have seen Texas pools built on slopes with a wall out of the ground cracking.


the pool will almost be fully in ground with only a few feet on the back side out of the ground. The area the pool is on is flat.
 

Sollace

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Aug 16, 2020
541
Bryan TX
I bet you're happy the dig has started! I love your view -- Once the pool is there, it'll be spectacular!
Your build is a lot like ours. We did the rectangle 4' - 5' - 3.5/4' by the stairs. We didn't want or need a deep pool.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,212
Tallahassee, FL
That back wall/part of the pool wall will NEED to be properly supported and connected to the rest of the pool. If thinks are not done to make sure the wall is supported you could have failure there. We have seen it on other threads. Of course I cannot find those threads right now :roll: but will keep looking. You NEED an engineer on your plans and pool build.
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
That back wall/part of the pool wall will NEED to be properly supported and connected to the rest of the pool. If thinks are not done to make sure the wall is supported you could have failure there. We have seen it on other threads. Of course I cannot find those threads right now :roll: but will keep looking. You NEED an engineer on your plans and pool build.

I really thought they were going to dig deeper. I thought the back wall was going to be about 3 ft in the ground and 3 ft above ground. But they put the wood up and the back wall is going to be entirely out of the ground. they are digging a big footer and said they are going to put double the rebar. Im going to reach out to an independent engineer to have them look at it.

Does anyone have a pool engineer recommendation in Austin?

I have read the other threads (the big one is in austin..)
 

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Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
541
Bryan TX
You might also read this thread. I had to hunt for it. I have no idea if the original poster went ahead and started his pool. You could message him and compare notes. He's also in Austin. He may have some tips on an engineer. My thought is if it's to be inspected, won't the inspector know structural requirements? Could you call somewhere and ask?

(1) Bad Soil Conditions - Should we do this? | Trouble Free Pool
 
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march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
474
TX
You might also read this thread. I had to hunt for it. I have no idea if the original poster went ahead and started his pool. You could message him and compare notes. He's also in Austin. He may have some tips on an engineer. My thought is if it's to be inspected, won't the inspector know structural requirements? Could you call somewhere and ask?

(1) Bad Soil Conditions - Should we do this? | Trouble Free Pool

they must be on the east side of town. Im on the west side and we are solid limestone. They needed a jackhammer on the backhoe to dig the hole.

I dont know if the inspector will know the requirements. But I guess they would know if an engineering report was required.
 

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