Starting my build thread- North Texas- Lots of questions!

lgibson888

Active member
Apr 4, 2020
43
Texas
We are in the process of getting bids and I am so glad I found this site! Maybe i'm jumping the gun posting now, not sure which kind of pool we will end up with, but got our first quote back today! Please take a look and give me all the advice you have!

I thought we were set on a gunite pool. So originally I requested the same quote from 4 different builders.... 17x35 Gunite rectangle pool with a 10'x10' tanning ledge/steps. SWG with around 1200sqft of surrounding concrete patio. Sport pool, 3.5'x6'x3.5'. Nothing fancy, no water falls, just a nice stone coping.

We have 4 reputable builders in our area so I requested the same quote from all. After talking with one though, I am now entertaining a vinyl liner! I assumed it was out of the question with dogs, but he uses a 36 mil liner and told me about the colored steps and how he could do it with no white (I really don't like the aesthetics of the white stairs and trim). After more research, you can make a vinyl pool look just as beautiful as a gunite with the stone coping and grey steps. So now I'm back to square one!!! Don't even know which type of pool I want!

So now I'm getting 3 gunite pool quotes, and two vinyl liner quotes!
Question #1..... Anyone in North Texas/Southern OK have a vinyl liner? how often did you have to replace it? One contractor said they only last 5 years here and would cost $5k to replace. But of course he is pushing his gunite pool, so I'm not sure who to believe!

Question #2- This is the first quote back. This company is notoriously the most expensive contractor in our area. I expect all other quotes to be lower. But everyone swears by his quality. Does this look good???

SCOPE:
COMPLETE DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION PLAN, AND PERMIT PER CITY OF WICHITA FALLS
124’ PERIMETER SWIMMING POOL/ 695SQ. FT.
1 LOVESEAT
TANNING LEDGE
EXCAVATION:
TRACKHOE EXCAVATION
PREGRADE
DEPTH: 3’6” – 6’ - 3’6”
REBAR:
½” STEEL ON 10” CENTERS-5” IN STRESS AREAS
BEAM WITH 4 BARS
ALTERNATE BARS THROUGH THE BREAK
BONDING OF REBAR
PLUMBING:
DUAL DRAINS IN POOL
2 SKIMMERS IN POOL
2” SUCTION / 1.5” RETURN
7 RETURNS
1 CLEANER LINE
PRESSURE TESTING
ELECTRICAL:
1 JANDY LITE WITH NICHES
BONDING OF POOL, DECK, LIGHTS, AND ANY OTHER METAL ITEMS
GFCI PROTECTED LIGHTIN
GUNITE:
8” TO 12” 6 SACK MIX
100% NATURAL SAND MIX
TILE, COPING, AND STONE
6” WATERLINE TILE
STONE COPING
DECKING:
1200 SQ. FT. OF BROOM FINISH DECKING
CUSHION SAND BASE
3.5” TO 4” THICK

3/8” REBAR ON 18” CENTER
TAN DECK-O-SEAL MASTIC JOINT

PLASTER:
WHITE PLASTER
POOL EQUIPMENT: (3 YEAR PARTS AND LABOR ON JANDY, POLARIS, AND ZODIAC)
1.5 HP JANDY STEALTH
460 CARTRIDGE FILTER
1 JANDY POOL LIGHT
INTERMATIC SINGLE TIME CLOCK WITH FREEZE GUARD
AQUAPURE SALT WATER SYSTEM
POLARIS 280 POOL SWEEP
TAYLOR TEST KIT
POLE, BRUSH, RAKE
CLEAN UP/START UP:
FINAL CLEAN AND GRADE OF POOL AND ACCESS AREA
START UP AND CALIBRATION OF POOL EQUIPMENT
WATER BALANCE
WARRANTY OVERVIEW
POOL SCHOOL AND INSTRUCTIONS
POOL PRICE: $53,000.00
NOT INCLUDED: SEWER REROUTE IF NEEDED, SOD, LANDSCAPING, FENCING,SPRINKLER REROUTE
(THESE MAY NOT APPLY)
ROCK EXCAVATION IS NOT INCLUDED AND WILL BE BILLED AT $250.00 PER HOUR IF REQUIRED.
CHANGES: ALL CHANGES MUST BE SUBMITTED BY EMAIL. IF CHANGE CAUSES CREWS NOT TO BE ABLE TO
PERFORM THEIR TASK, A PULL OFF CHARGE OF $600.00 WILL BE ADDED TO THAT STAGE.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. WE DO TRY TO COMPLETE YOUR PROJECT IN THE MOST TIMELY MANNER, BUT MOST
IMPORTANTLY IS THE QUALITY. MOST PROJECTS TAKE 10 WEEKS TO COMPLETE. WEATHER, MATERIAL AVAILABLITY,
LABOR SHORTAGES, AND CHANGES GREATLY EFFECT SCHEDULING.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: (CONSTRUCTION TO NEXT PHASE WILL NOT CONTINUE UNTIL PAYMENT RECEIVED)
*OUR OFFICE WILL MAIL INVOICES. THEY ARE ALL DUE UPON RECEIPT. PLEASE MAIL CHECKS TO ADDRESS ON INVOICE.
1. DIG……………………
2. GUNITE…………………
3. DECK…………………….
4. PLASTER…………….
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,093
Northern NJ
It is a decent build quote, better then many we see.

Only thing that stands out is I would delete the cleaner return line and the Polaris 280 and install an electrical outlet near the pool and buy a robot cleaner like the Maytronics Dolphin S200. You an buy it independent of your pool builder at a better price.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
17,920
Bedford, TX
888,

If you get a liner pool you will be the third guy in the whole state of Texas with a vinyl liner pool... :mrgreen:

Ok maybe not that bad, but I suspect that 90% of the pools in Texas are gunite as apposed to vinyl...

3.5' is too shallow.. you want 4', 6', 4'

Not sure if a "1.5 HP JANDY STEALTH" is a single speed or VS pump. You do NOT want a single speed pump.. A VS or a 2-speed pump is almost a requirement if you have a saltwater pool.

Filter is good..

Makes sure the salt system is rated for at least 2 x the volume of your pool.. So, for a 20K pool your salt cell must be rated for 40K or more.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
6,161
Central MD
That handwritten spec sheet is almost comical in 2020. Maybe his computer has the virus. But honestly, it’s all about the relationship, not the quote form factor. Ask him for his T&C’s. That could be interesting.

Returns, skimmers, plaster brand. Again, remove booster pump and self-source a robot. I would decide what type of filter you want them tell them which type Pool Filter Comparison - Trouble Free Pool and model, depending on the brand of automation they use. And oversized the filter so it needs cleaned/backwashed less often.
 

lgibson888

Active member
Apr 4, 2020
43
Texas
What about this comment? This is from Bid #1. I was asking him a few questions about the build.
We are very close to the red river. Our soil is very sandy.
Are these pretty standard things to do? What the heck is “removing rebound” I’m going to learn a lot from y’all!

“ be sure you are getting 1/2" rebar on at least 10" centers. with the expansive soil in the area, 3/8" rebar will not suffice. also be sure that your other quote includes removing rebound from the gunite.
these things are really important to the life of the pool foundation.”
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
6,161
Central MD
Both items are quality comments. 1/2" is always better than 3/8". Necessary? Could be, seems reasonable. I'm not an expert there. On the rebound, absolutely. Rebound is what falls off of the walls as they are shooting the gunite. Only the gunite that is compacted out of the gun onto the wall is going to have proper cured strength. So when the stuff falls down on the floor, it should be removed, not stepped on and incorporated into the floor. Not removing rebound is a big no-no.

Trying to enforce the rebound practice could certainly be met with scowls onsite by the gunite team if not discussed ahead of time. If they are good, they will remove it on their own. If not, at least addressing it before they start will let them know you are watching and will likely be removed. Better than hitting them mid-shoot with a "remove that rebound" discussion. Just a practical people/sub management thought.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,093
Northern NJ
Gunite/shotcrete is applied under pressure from a hose to pack it densely around the rebar. Rebound is concrete that did not stick to the walls or floor. Rebound is not supposed to be picked up and spread over steps or ledges or other places to fill in spots. Rebound should be scooped up and discarded. Rebound does not have the strength of gunite and crumbles easily.

Lots of good information in Construction Best Practices - Further Reading
 

lgibson888

Active member
Apr 4, 2020
43
Texas
Oh boy, met with our third builder today and he had conflicting advice ??‍♀
He recommends a system called Ultra UV2 to sanitize the water. Said that salt water was “old technology “ and if we went with salt water it would corrode our stone coping within 7 years. But did agree to give me a quote with both options.
He also really talked up (came with brochure and all) a built in “self cleaning” system called PV3. They remind me of little pop up sprinklers installed all over the pool. They claim it cleans 99% of the pool, steps, ledges, walls, etc. He’s including this, and a standard cleaning system.

Really liked the guy, but I just wonder how much of what these guys say is based on the kick backs they get from selling the components over what is really best for your pool???
Anyway, do y’all have knowledge of either system?
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,093
Northern NJ
You get all the free UV you need from the sun in an outdoor pool - UV Systems - Further Reading

IFCS is old complex technology compared to a robot pool cleaner. IFCS is not worth the cost and complexity and maintenance for what it gives you. A robot will clean your pool better.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
45,521
Tallahassee, FL
Allen has you well taken care of with the Ozone system....just let Mr. Sun take care of that. SWG is the way to go!!!

I want to point out something about the pop up cleaning system.................think this.....they pop up and down.....that equals moving parts...........that equals parts that wear out over time............then it is almost impossible to get the same parts as they have moved on to another system. This system also mean more holes in your shell/plaster as well am MANY more pipes under the pool.

With a robot cleaner you just throw it in and let it do it's thing over night or when ever and call it done.

Just somethings to think about.
 

jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
2,467
Morris Cnty NJ
Cant add much they covered all your bases. Pretty much every pool out there has some salt levels it's a natural progression of sanitizing. People using pucks and shock have saltwater pools and dont know it. He is kinda right on stone. Any coping, cultured or real stone needs to be sealed and maintained. I'm building a waterfall right now and my guys are spending hours sealing every side of the stone veneer pieces prior to installing them.
 

lgibson888

Active member
Apr 4, 2020
43
Texas
Sounds like most people here are pro SWG....
anyone in favor of the regular chlorine system? (Not sure of the correct term...)
SWG’s are not nearly as common around here. Not sure if it’s just the area, PB’s, or cost ??‍♀
Husband is leaning towards the standard chlorine because that is what our friends use.
Is there a big up front cost to go SWG?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,093
Northern NJ
Sounds like most people here are pro SWG....
anyone in favor of the regular chlorine system? (Not sure of the correct term...)
SWG’s are not nearly as common around here. Not sure if it’s just the area, PB’s, or cost ??‍♀
Husband is leaning towards the standard chlorine because that is what our friends use.
Is there a big up front cost to go SWG?
What is the “regular chlorine system” to you? Tablets? Liquid chlorine? They all deliver chlorine in different ways but each has unwanted side effects you need to be aware of and deal with

 

lgibson888

Active member
Apr 4, 2020
43
Texas
I guess the question I should have asked... if you don’t install a SWG, what would you recommend? Is there a different cleaning system that folks are a fan of? Or is SWG the only way to go in your opinion?
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,181
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Most people in Texas have standard chlorine pools, and I would say they use the "convenient" way to chlorinate their pools by using pucks, shock etc. Long term that convenient way causes problems (high CYA, high calcium, etc) and is not recommended here.

For TFP we recommend either:
1. Salt Water Chlorine Generator - Basically you make you own chlorine from the salt water. This equipment costs a bit more up front, but you are essentially prepaying for your chlorine.
2. Manual dosing of chlorine, primarily with liquid chlorine as that does not add anything other than chlorine. Pucks are okay from time to time when you are away, but avoid them for your daily chlorine adds. Some people add a stenner pump that will manually dose the liquid chlorine and is a bit more convenient.

For cleaning, robots are the recommended cleaners here as they do a good job and plug into a standard electrical outlet so you dont have to run your pump to use them.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
18,093
Northern NJ
I guess the question I should have asked... if you don’t install a SWG, what would you recommend? Is there a different cleaning system that folks are a fan of? Or is SWG the only way to go in your opinion?
SWG or Liquid Chlorine.

There are different ways to deliver liquid chlorine on a regular basis - 1 gallon jugs, 2.5 gallon carriers, 55 gallon drums. If you want to sign up for managing that you have a regular continuous supply of liquid chlorine then it is an alternative.