Starting the OB process - Queen Creek

Sep 23, 2019
11
Queen Creek, Az
Hi All,

I've seen lots of my AZ neighbors in here lately so I figured I'd join the party! We just signed up with Pool and Spa Designs last week to work through the OB process. We should get the first set of plans back next week so I will have more details at that point but I figured I'd share some of the simple renderings I passed on to them to get you all started and hear any feedback you might have!

The renderings were just done in Sketchup so they arent coming out of a pool specific software hence the basic design but I feel like it gives us a good idea of what we are shooting for...there are still some pending items or things that have already changed slightly but like I said I am totally up for suggestions if anything stands out! I plan to have the deck extend a little further out into the grassy area than show here to give room inside the pool fence and then we are going back and forth as to whether or not to make the back wall (side with the gravel texture) flat with gravel/plants or a raised wall?

Equipment thoughts:
  • Pentair SWG - I think the general consensus is no to the ozonator and UV stuff is the true?
  • Natural gas heater not sure model or options yet
  • Pebble finish of some kind
  • Likely Pentair all the way around for most of the equip
  • Robotic cleaner (maybe hybrid with in-floor for the benches and spa? Realistically are those going to be dirty all the time or will I brush them frequently enough?) Need to look through the different models more
  • Likely a couple bubblers on the baja, we've got a couple little's still so they seem to enjoy that at friends
    • Did see this 'fun feature' from paramount that would add a little extra life to the pool for them as well but couldnt find any conversations about its practical use and not sure I want another thing to maintain? Airbar Water Feature - Paramount Pool & Spa Systems
I do have a close friend in the pool cleaning/maintenance business so I plan of having him chime in on the suggested equipment list as well but again happy to hear recommendations!

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Thanks in advance and I will keep this updated with pictures as we go!
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,002
Tallahassee, FL
That air bar looks neat. I have not seen it used in a build yet so don't know how it does in real life. I do worry a little bit about the installers messing it if they have not done one before..........something to think about. I also think it might push your pH more. You already have a lot of water features so that could be a problem. So long as you know where to get muriatic acid you should fine though.

Talk to me about the bottom. I think I know what is happening but want you to spell in out please.

Kim:kim:
 
Sep 23, 2019
11
Queen Creek, Az
That air bar looks neat. I have not seen it used in a build yet so don't know how it does in real life. I do worry a little bit about the installers messing it if they have not done one before..........something to think about. I also think it might push your pH more. You already have a lot of water features so that could be a problem. So long as you know where to get muriatic acid you should fine though.

Talk to me about the bottom. I think I know what is happening but want you to spell in out please.

Kim:kim:
Thank you both for the feedback! To both of you asking about the floor, that is the the nature of using a basic (non-pool specific) 3D program lol it will be a normal gradual slope from the 3.5' - 5' range but doing a sloped line in Sketchup was more work than I wanted to mess with :D

Total measurements are 19' wide by 28' (pool) ~31' (end of spa) so we are really trying to max out the space in a small backyard after the required setbacks.

Regarding the Airbar, the Ph level was a concern but much more was what you mentioned with the lack of experience/reviews on the product both on the user and installer side. Jamie from PSD threw it out as a cool option she had seen but it didnt sound like even she had seen it used in real life yet so I hate to be the guinea pig in the event it doesnt go well - it does seem cool though!

I am starting to second guess the hot tub vs. more pool space, just not sure if we would use it enough and if it will always be dirty with no in-floor...I'll ask how much they are estimating it adds to the cost but I would think I could just heat the whole pool for quite a few days before I breakeven on that one?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,002
Tallahassee, FL
Got ya on the depth and drawing! Good to know.

So lets talk about the depth some more. I say take the shallow end to 4'. That will make the slope to the deep end less. 4' most adult people can still stand and you can do a full crawl stoke even easier.

Spa-Me? I would go to a stand alone spa. It is made for maximum comfort. With the lid it will be cheaper in the long run to get and keep hot.

Kim:kim:
 
Sep 23, 2019
11
Queen Creek, Az
Got ya on the depth and drawing! Good to know.

So lets talk about the depth some more. I say take the shallow end to 4'. That will make the slope to the deep end less. 4' most adult people can still stand and you can do a full crawl stoke even easier.

Spa-Me? I would go to a stand alone spa. It is made for maximum comfort. With the lid it will be cheaper in the long run to get and keep hot.

Kim:kim:
Thank you for the feedback! Originally I had 3-5' but I went with the happy medium on depth and chose 3.5' lol with 2 little ones I want them to be able to touch the bottom before toooo long and my wife is just over 5ft so even 4ft is deep for her 😂 I am taking your feedback along with some others on the spa and opting not to put one in the ground - we'll see how much we miss it and can always add a stand alone at any point.

The all white screenshot is the first rev of the plans we got back - there are numerous things wrong from a layout perspective that are being updated but just focusing on the placement of returns/drains/skimmers does everything look to be in a good place?

Ignore the rest of the first plan, as you can see in the colored screenshot, they have to move the whole pool and all the corresponding items - the blue is the baja step/benches.

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Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
529
MA
I would still go with a 4' shallow end. They will be spending more time in the pool after the awkward pre-swim time then before and 3.5' is just a bit to shallow IMHO.. They will have the sun shelf to frolic on in the beginnings....

You will need to check your local codes as far as your steps go. I do not think you can have just 1 step into a 18" deep sun shelf. The water level is usually 3" below top of tile and then you have 2" of coping so trying to split that you need 2- 11.5" risers.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
982
NY
So whatever equipment brand you go with, get it for everything. Each of the big 3 brands have millions of happy customers. I have Pentair so I’m biased but it worked so well for me that I ran right out and replaced my IC60 without question when it reached its end of life. I looked up all the other options just to see what was out there, but it was solely for compairison.

everybody here swears by robot cleaners as the easiest, most efficient method and although I have yet to get one, I can vouch that vacuuming manually is a chore.

heaters are good too, but you need to decide how you will use it to decide on method. A heat pump is more efficient if the water is already warm and it won’t use as much energy to keep it that way. Once you shut it off and the water temperature drops below 75 degrees it may not be able to recover. A NG heater will warm a cold pool quickly but will cost a fortune to run 24/7 once it’s warm. It’s best as a method to use on demand when you know you’ll be swimming occasionally. A solar cover is pretty much a given for either option so you can save more of that heat that you spent so much to create.

I know you made the steps on the slope for ease of use with the 3D program but if you built it, that would be awesome. It would give everybody their own shallow area to hang out in. Kids up top, shorter adults/ teens on the next ledge and taller adults at the next one.
 
Sep 23, 2019
11
Queen Creek, Az
I would still go with a 4' shallow end. They will be spending more time in the pool after the awkward pre-swim time then before and 3.5' is just a bit to shallow IMHO.. They will have the sun shelf to frolic on in the beginnings....

You will need to check your local codes as far as your steps go. I do not think you can have just 1 step into a 18" deep sun shelf. The water level is usually 3" below top of tile and then you have 2" of coping so trying to split that you need 2- 11.5" risers.
All this 4' feedback is getting to me lol I feel like you must all know something so I think I am going to update it - I blame you all if we hate it! 😉

You are totally right on the steps, I didnt put them in my updated version but I told them in my response just to keep the steps as they were in their first rev but that is a good catch and we will have them!


So whatever equipment brand you go with, get it for everything. Each of the big 3 brands have millions of happy customers. I have Pentair so I’m biased but it worked so well for me that I ran right out and replaced my IC60 without question when it reached its end of life. I looked up all the other options just to see what was out there, but it was solely for compairison.

everybody here swears by robot cleaners as the easiest, most efficient method and although I have yet to get one, I can vouch that vacuuming manually is a chore.

heaters are good too, but you need to decide how you will use it to decide on method. A heat pump is more efficient if the water is already warm and it won’t use as much energy to keep it that way. Once you shut it off and the water temperature drops below 75 degrees it may not be able to recover. A NG heater will warm a cold pool quickly but will cost a fortune to run 24/7 once it’s warm. It’s best as a method to use on demand when you know you’ll be swimming occasionally. A solar cover is pretty much a given for either option so you can save more of that heat that you spent so much to create.

I know you made the steps on the slope for ease of use with the 3D program but if you built it, that would be awesome. It would give everybody their own shallow area to hang out in. Kids up top, shorter adults/ teens on the next ledge and taller adults at the next one.
I think we are going Pentair all the way around, it seems to be the consistent recommendation I'm getting so we will use that for everything.

I thought we had decided against the hot tub last night but we wake up this morning and things change lol so we may be back to having it in which case heating the pool will be a rare/special occasion type thing and we'll just be in the spa if we need to be in the water but NG is the option we went with since the plumbing is there for it and the cost vs. electric seems to be a bit better here in AZ but again I dont think it will be an everyday event.

Maybe I'm on to something with the shelves, its the new baja step, you heard it here first the Super Shelves are the next big thing! :)
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
982
NY
the cost vs. electric seems to be a bit better here in AZ but again I dont think it will be an everyday event
this is exactly why NG will be better for you in the long run. I couldn’t warm my pool up right now if I wanted to with my heat pump. In order to have had it running warm the last month and a half, I would have spent a fortune. Just for us to be too busy on the weekend or have crummy weather. I’d be totally ok spending $100 for a weekend on demand if we knew we were going to use it. Turn it on 10 hours early and go.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,002
Tallahassee, FL
Now take a tape measure and measure where 4' of water will hit her and go from there. Make sure you talk to your digger that you want ?? feet of WATER depth!! That the water should be half way up the skimmer face. Some people call the depth from the bottom of the pool to the coping. If they do that you lose quite a few inches. Just something else to think and plan on.

Kim:kim:
 
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Sep 23, 2019
11
Queen Creek, Az
We are going with NG for the heater so I'll have to keep you all posted on what the cost comes out at; hoping to have the pool done before Christmas so maybe that will be the time to test it out.

The tape measure is coming out tonight so we will see lol...good call on the digging though, I dont want any surprises where only half my body is underwater in the deep end!

We are waiting on revised plans, hopefully today or tomorrow so we can get the permitting process started and dig our hole already!

Side question, here is the waterall/grotto type thing we are wanting to create, any suggestions on what we can use for that big slab on the top - will they be able to shoot something in concrete or do we need a single slab/rock type solution? We wanted water running off the top of it (would add a ridge on both side to keep it flowing down) but we were thinking it could be easier to add a rain style waterfall underneath it to get the same type of idea?

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,002
Tallahassee, FL
Loving that idea of the water sheet! I am going to call in my "master pool builder" who may know just what to tell you to do!! @bdavis466

I can here the talk at your house tonight "Honey stand still while I measure you"........"WHAT????"........."Well this lady on the internet pool forum told me to measure you"................:shock: hehe

Kim:kim:
 
Sep 23, 2019
11
Queen Creek, Az
A rain style waterfall would simply things unless you want a big sheer descent.

Check out Bobe Fire and Water for ideas.

Yes we like the rain style waterfall for the 'grotto' thing in the middle for sure if we use a system vs. an overflow idea... and thank you for the reference I hadnt seen their stuff before!

I am trying to figure out how to actually execute this and whether I need to have solid plans or if I leave it up to the subs? You can see in the pictures that the higher wall (brick texture on the latest pic) has this ledge sticking out off of it but I not sure how you would actually do it and then if you did how would you attach a rain waterfall without it being a major eyesore? Having a hard time with the functional design which leads me to think that maybe we just do an overflow type setup with little lips on each side of the 'roof' piece to keep the water just falling on the front and then have a pump on the back that starts the water flowing? In both solutions I'm unsure what we use material wise, whether that be large slab of some kind of rock, concrete form, etc. any idea?
 
Sep 23, 2019
11
Queen Creek, Az
Got an updated set of plans - still missing some of the requested changes but hopefully we are getting closer!

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General question - does anyone know if there is a specific set of dimensions needed for pool equipment? Not worried about setbacks or other rules, I understand that piece, but just in terms of how much space do we need to carve out for the equipment. We have a few different options location wise and I am trying to understand which would be best but I want to be sure I am assuming the right amount of space for each option.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,002
Tallahassee, FL
What all equipment will you have? If you are going to have a heater that will increase the size quite a bit. You want enough room so you don't have to plan twister to get open and work on the stuff as well as making sure there are unions on every piece of equipment so you can remove and replace as needed without cutting the pipe.

Kim:kim: