Starting a new pool project.

Hi. I'm new to this forum. I was on another site a long time ago that seems to be inactive. Lots of the same info is here. I don't know much if the 2 sites are related but I won't mention another forum on here. Anyhow I had a vinyl liner inground pool when I was married. Got divorced, lost the pool. Anyhow now I've found the perfect woman, we've bought a house and she wants a pool. We are in our 50s, so doing this now seems counter to what most people do. But I loved my pool and didn't mind taking care of it.

This project will take a while and should be done in the spring of 2020, but I guess a lot depends on where budget is and when. We live on Mount Wachusett in Massachusetts. So we have a slope of a back yard. Luckily our pool company does site work, decking, etc. So the entire project will be overseen by one person. We start this fall with a huge retaining wall. I'll post pictures and updates once we start (late October). We will be getting a fiberglass pool, somewhere around 16 X 36, although we haven't chosen the model yet. We want stamped concrete as I had that before and loved it. We will use a SWG for chlorinating. The pool guy quoted one with an ozonator but after my research I think I'm going to save that $400 and go with the the SWG. Also planning a cartridge filter. I'm open to advice on these things since I have plenty of time.
 

Divin Dave

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Oct 2, 2013
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Hi j,
welcome toTFP!

Yeah, we know what that other forum is, but like you found out, they are for the most part, inactive.

Anyways, we're looking forward to your updates and if you have any questions, just ask away.
Oh yeah, and good call on nixing the ozonator!
 
Okay here are a couple of pictures of the yard. It's hard to describe but my yard angles inward as you move away from the house. The swing set thing is on my neighbor's land. The picture looking at the basement slider shows the huge slope. If looking from the yard at the slider the retaining wall will start on the left side of the house about 12 feet out, come straight out to the yard but start to curve in and then come to the back of the shed. The shed will be lower than the pool/yard. So there will be sort of a tiered system where the shed has basically a grass driveway. Hard to describe I guess. Once the wall is in we will figure out the best placement of the pool. The retaining wall design has been done by an engineer, it's the large 48" blocks.



 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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Looks like a beautiful location and great sounding project. Those blocks should be sufficient. :) That's what they used on a factory near us to build up land over 20', with concrete and a building on the upside. It will be fun to watch that being done. I think it's great to work with a one company approach on such a project. That is similar to ours in that our builder was actually a site work/decking guy too - necessitated by our slope as well. Then he used a one-man PB as a sub, but that guy did all of his pools.

If he knows the exact placement of the wall and the elevation, it should be no problem to get the whole layout down on paper including the pool placement, though you do have time.

I will enjoy following along. You can see our site work and retaining wall in my build thread in my signature if you are interested. Have you considered an autocover? Being up north, and also with some elevation, it may serve you well to retain heat. Will you also have a heater? If so, you'll want a cover of some type anyway to reduce evaporation (heat loss).
 

kimkats

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Jul 10, 2012
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You sure do need to make friends with your engineer! Good call!!!

How much land do you have? Where is the neighbors house in the pics?

What kind of fence will you be doing?

Kim:kim:
 
I have really horrible drawing skills. It's still hard to see all the space in these pics, but maybe it gives an idea. We haven't confirmed the pool design yet, but we have a good idea on size. We want to build the wall, then pick a pool and spray it out to make sure it works for us. We have time to do that after the wall is up.


How much land do you have? Where is the neighbors house in the pics?

I have 7 Acres. In the pictures I drew the property line that angles in and goes back to the woods, most of my land is in the woods. I will have access to that area by going behind the shed. I have neighbors down the hill on one side and up the hill on the other side. They aren't too close and we have plenty of room for the setbacks for the wall and pool.

What kind of fence will you be doing?

Most likely we will have black aluminum. We want it attached to the top of the wall, we think. But again we will design that once the wall is in.

Here is the basic idea showing the wall in gray. Property line and pool in blue.



Same thing from the back. The wall will be right along the back of the shed, no space like in my bad drawing.

 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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You are gonna want to build the wall and dig the pool at the same time. The overdig will backfill the wall as you raise the courses. If you use commercial blocks you can stack it and backfill less but still needs geogrid most likely
 

Rich D

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Aug 3, 2018
568
MA
Nice project... Do you have a plan from the engineer with elevations? Your excavator needs to be carful to make sure your wall or pool is not built on fill. When they dug the house they simply put all the spoils in the back yard. Typically all the scrub/ boulders and a lot of times "stumps" end up down the base of the slope and then are filled over. Most of the times the stumps that were behind the house are simply filled over and then all that nice clean looking fill is placed on them, so when you dig for your wall footing or pool you might see what looks like good solid earth but 3-4' below that are rotting stumps and layer of organics. You might to check into how much a few test boring would be. This will tell you exactly what is below where you will be digging. The problem with just having the excavator do it when they start the project is you have no idea what costs you will incur and the excavator will need to dig down fairly deep to ensure there are no unsuitables buried below and then compact the test hole back up in lifts and this only guarantees there is nothing buried in that exact spot.

I have encountered more than one stump dump in that exact situation which lead to some very costly extras.
 
I should have had more detail. The wall design was done by an engineer. We have the plan, with all the specs for drainage, gravel, heights, depths, etc. The builder didn't do anything in the back other than spread the crappy root filled dirt over the top. The stumps are not buried. I know this because they are in the brush about 50 yards away. LOL. The house is new, we built it and moved in this past March.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
568
MA
Being able to see a pile of stumps sounds very encouraging.
do you remember seeing how far back they stumped the lot before they dug the house Foundation?
Did you discuss the pool build with the engineer? Has anyone mentioned digging down to Virgin ground where the pool is going and what they will be using for backfill material to bring it back up?
I'm a bit curious why you're leaving the shed down in a hole.
 
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Luckily I know exactly how far back they stumped the lot as I was looking at the lot before any site work was done. It is stumped behind where my wall will be. So no stumps where it's going. If by "virgin ground" you mean ground not requiring fill after the house build then it's about all virgin ground with the exception of maybe a couple of feet that they spread from the foundation excavation. They did not dig or add much to the back yard. It was actually something I wasn't happy with as I thought they were going to make it more level for a bit.

Here are details on what they will do for the wall from the pool company...

"***Pools, Inc. proposes to furnish materials, equipment and labor to erect an engineered Recon concrete retaining wall approximately 865 sq. ft. We will excavate present ground, prepare a crushed stone base to set block on a stable base. Set block as detailed on engineer plan. Provide crushed stone for backfill and drainage, along with quality compactable soil to bring up to grade. Rough grade lower section of wall and newly raised area. "

The pool builder is working with the engineer. They have both been in contact with each other to discuss options.

The shed is another story altogether. We considered moving it out of the way, bringing the wall over and making it all level, then putting the shed back. But what you can't see is 10 feet behind my shed the neighbor's property starts. The land starts sloping up at that point to his house (we are on a mountain). So if we level the shed there will be a sharp slope behind the shed. It will connect with the neighbor's land in basically a V. It would be awkward, but the actual issue is that behind my shed will be my access to the rest of my land. I will need to get tractors, ATVs, etc below the wall to get into my forest land. So they are going to use stone material to keep fill from going under the front of the shed. The back will still be up on blocks. I will be adding better footings to the shed later. I'll get some pictures in daylight to show better, but basically I need to be able to drive down the hill behind my shed.
 

Rich D

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Aug 3, 2018
568
MA
Thanks for posting the plan. Unfortunately the resolution is to low to read the details. Perhaps you could post a better pic of the final plan when you get a chance. More pics would be great. "virgin ground" means undisturbed soil. From your excavation or any previous work done on site. Basically you want the undisturbed earth after removing the A+B layer of organics from the top. I would have expected more of a fill in the back from all the dirt from the excavation, however it is very hard to tell these things from just pictures. Has the pool builder mentioned using all clean 3/4 stone for backfill around the pool?
 
Well I haven't updated in a while. The wall has had numerous delays to being started due to weather and scheduling issues. Today they arrived to start. The builder went over the engineer drawing and painted out the outline and we hit a snag. The wall was supposed to go past the shed. But once the builder lined up with the house it was clear the engineer was wrong when he told us that. Not really sure how this happened, but the wall wouldn't be long enough to go on the far side of the shed.

Soooo...with the pool builder, the wall builder, and my girlfriend, we decided on a different plan. Kind of wasted money on the engineer. The wall will follow the property line, sort of following the blue line on the left in my last picture in the thread. We will step it down and then we are going to use fill to taper down into the back yard. The yard itself will be a bit of a tiered system. No back wall basically. It's going to save us money, give us better access to the rest of the property, allow my shed to be level with the ground, etc. All measurements were done today. The excavator is here. Just waiting for them to calculate the blocks needed and get going. Should be soon.