Starting new Florida build

darksilkx

Active member
Feb 21, 2017
31
Tampa
Hi all, like many I've been hanging out here for a couple of years learning all I can. Currently interviewing pool builders. One issue I have struggled with is the whole in ground spa choice. I definitely like the idea for the therapeutic benefits since I get back aches but I just don't think in grounds over that much value from that perspective. I asked all four builders I've interviewed and to a person all four said yep while they look cool being incorporated into the pool build and all, they are just not that comfortable really and don't have enough jets typically if you care about therapy. At probably 15k or there about, its an expensive choice. That has led me consider the option of an above ground hot tub incorporated in some minor way into the hard scape since lets face it the above grounds just aren't that aesthetically pleasing. Did any of you folks have any similar concerns or considerations in your spa choice and which way did you ultimately go? Anyone out there with an above ground incorporated into their hard scape? Many thanks in advance folks and I look forward to sharing pictures, specs and questions as my journey progresses.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
5,956
Northern NJ
I have had a standalone spa incorproated into a deck near a pool. When you put the spa into the hardscaping plan for access on all four sides of the spa for maintenance. After a few years the standalone spas develop leaks or electornics or pumps fail. You need to consider the long term maintenace of the unit and how you may replace it someday with one of different dimensions.

You can get fancy theraputic jet systems for inground spas. Some links were posted on this a while back. JetPaks - Paramount Pool and Spas

There are pros and cons to both. You need to maintain two water systems wth a seperate spa. While an inground spa can be deeper and larger and give you more room to stretch out and share with others.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,024
Tallahassee, FL
Take a look at these: JetPaks - Paramount Pool and Spas I have seen two spas use these but did not get much feedback on how well they worked once the builds were done.

You would use a pretty lattice cover around the above ground spa. You could weave vines through the holes to soften the look up even more. Another idea would be a "tropical look" using bamboo around it.

To me a stand alone spa offers better options as far as seating and jets. The heating will be better also as it will have a cover on it to help keep the heat in.

Kim:kim:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,024
Tallahassee, FL
What is funny is that Allen is usually the one finding threads and stuff for me!!! LOL I have bookmarked that post so I can find it in the future!
 

darksilkx

Active member
Feb 21, 2017
31
Tampa
Great minds right? You guys are awesome, thanks a lot for taking the time to look into it. I'll keep you posted.
 

darksilkx

Active member
Feb 21, 2017
31
Tampa
Got my first quote. Boy is it a doozy see attached. Anonymized to protect the innocent. Now I understand why you should get as many as you can. I look at the design and I'm sorry I just don't see a 95k pool. Granted the screen accounts for a big chunk. Maybe you all can help me set my expectations. Waiting for the others.
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
10,187
Evans, Georgia
My vote is for stand alone hot tubs that have a variety of seat configurations and jets that are seat specific to hit on certain parts of the body. They also give you the opportunity to get much hotter than any pool spa I've been in.
Lounge type seats, high and low seats, and water I can get up to 104 degrees is ideal and placed in proximity to the back door (closer than the pool itself) allows for easier access in the coldest of weather.

Maddie :flower:
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
39,024
Tallahassee, FL
I am going comment as I look down the quote so follow along with me:

-Why the extra charge for your depth? Seems to me that should be part of the overall dig.

-extra pump for water features-I would get a VS pump so you can control the power of the features.

-valves-not mentioned-make sure they are NOT just ball valves. They should be something like these: Amazon.com: jandy valve never lube please note these are just one kind of good valve. There are others.

This should get you started.
 

darksilkx

Active member
Feb 21, 2017
31
Tampa
I am going comment as I look down the quote so follow along with me:

-Why the extra charge for your depth? Seems to me that should be part of the overall dig.

-extra pump for water features-I would get a VS pump so you can control the power of the features.

-valves-not mentioned-make sure they are NOT just ball valves. They should be something like these: Amazon.com: jandy valve never lube please note these are just one kind of good valve. There are others.

This should get you started.
Awesome thanks for the feedback. I did specifically say neverlube or similar but you're right not in the quote. Given Ninjanurse's similar experience above I think I'll move on.
 

tampatommy

Well-known member
May 2, 2017
256
Tampa, FL
The two things that jump out at me is the price of the feature pump, which is an absurd amount of money for a single speed 1.5hp pump and the cost for pavers, and the cost of the heat pump is astronomical from what ive seen. I spoke with Larsens a few months ago and i had specific equipment requests that they would not budge on (i wanted the pentair intelliflo and they said it was unnecessary and would only use the Hayward 2 speed).

Like Kim said, make sure they do not use any ball valves. Pay the extra money and get all rebuildable valves, that way if something goes bad you wont have to worry about having to cut and join pipes.

Darksilk, who else did you call?
 

darksilkx

Active member
Feb 21, 2017
31
Tampa
The two things that jump out at me is the price of the feature pump, which is an absurd amount of money for a single speed 1.5hp pump and the cost for pavers, and the cost of the heat pump is astronomical from what ive seen. I spoke with Larsens a few months ago and i had specific equipment requests that they would not budge on (i wanted the pentair intelliflo and they said it was unnecessary and would only use the Hayward 2 speed).

Like Kim said, make sure they do not use any ball valves. Pay the extra money and get all rebuildable valves, that way if something goes bad you wont have to worry about having to cut and join pipes.

Darksilk, who else did you call?
Thanks for chipping in tommy. Landmark, Ultra Custom, Natural Springs. Still waiting on multiple quotes. Must tell you I think the electric cost is absurd too. I had a 120/30AMP service put in with construction at the planned location of the equipment pad. There's also a 240/50AMP service not 10 feet from that in case I ever wanted an above ground spa. Who did you end up going with?
 

tampatommy

Well-known member
May 2, 2017
256
Tampa, FL
We ended up doing an owner build, for no reason other than to save money. The good thing about going with a builder is it takes all of the stress off of you, aside from going out and measuring things and making sure everything goes according to plan, you dont have to worry about constant site clean up and scheduling subs.

I had a 125amp sub-panel put in our garage over the summer and added a new wire to power a new double oven in the kitchen and install the oven for $600.

Landmark builds some incredible pools and most everything is done in-house which is great.

Get all of the quotes at the end and start trying to compare apples to apples, and post them all here. The knowledge on this website is much more than that of the salesman we speak to.
 

poolnoobgrandma

Well-known member
Sep 15, 2018
68
Seminole, FL
Got my first quote. Boy is it a doozy see attached. Anonymized to protect the innocent. Now I understand why you should get as many as you can. I look at the design and I'm sorry I just don't see a 95k pool. Granted the screen accounts for a big chunk. Maybe you all can help me set my expectations. Waiting for the others.
LOL - I feel your pain. That first quote gives major sticker shock, for sure.
 

darksilkx

Active member
Feb 21, 2017
31
Tampa
Updates: First I would like to share my question list that used to evaluate builders. Someone else posted a list containing those questions somewhere here and I just prettied it up for anyone to use as necessary.
 

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