Sunken Lounge Inside Pool

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
Dirk, I like the idea of keeping that area shallow and then there is a drop into pool area. The left side of the pool in my sketches would be shallow and the right side (by the kitchen) would be the deep end, so that might work since the seating area might be 2 feet deep or thereabouts, making it pretty safe even if someone jumped in. The seating area is on the side of the pool and not part of the main pool, so I can play with pool depth to match the depth of this seating area.
Can't take credit for that idea. Someone here did something similar around their spa. It was only 6 or 12" across, I think. It looked cool. They also explored some of the cleaning issues, if I recall.

@kimkats, do you remember that thread?
 
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suman

Member
Aug 22, 2020
24
Michigan
What is that circular thing to the side? Maybe a fountain of some sorts? Also is that a TV screen for projection on the far side of the pool?

The more I think about it, I think you are going to have challenges in the winter. In an abbreviated sense there are 2 ways to prep your pool for winter:

1. Winterize - This is typically done in northern states, but involves draining some of the water so that you can empty the pipes of water and cover the pool. Then the entire pool is covered.
2. Freeze protection - Typically done in southern states, but basically your pool remains operational through the winter. When it is going to freeze your automation has a temperature sensor and will run when the temps are close to freezing to keep water running through the pipes.

If you want to be able to use your sunken area in the winter, you would need a really customized cover. Alternatively, you can maybe have 2 separate bodies of water and close the pool area while keeping the moat operational. In TX, we fall into the Freeze Protection mode so there is no opening or closing of the pool and I'm not that familiar with #1 above. Hoping others will chime in that are more familiar with winterizing to see if there are any other options.

JJ, yes, I was going to have a simple folding projection screen and projector combo there for kids to watch a movie at night. I plan on putting a TV in the kitchen area for adults to watch sports.
 

suman

Member
Aug 22, 2020
24
Michigan
Thanks JJ and Dirk. JJ, that circular thing is the hot tub. I have to raise it in my sketch as it's too low into the ground, but that area is where the hot tub will go.
 

PCR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
68
Frederick County, MD
There was a rain curtain build with a sunken area behind it, but not surrounded by water. I think they spent that money on the putting green they also put in!
 

suman

Member
Aug 22, 2020
24
Michigan
PCR, thanks for posting the link. I read a few of the posts, and will read through it in the coming day or two. Question to everyone here, is there a thread that collates all the "tips" for building a pool. I was reading through PCR's link above and it mentions things like "Thinking ahead on robots, make sure they add an electrical outlet as close as code will allow to the middle of your pool length. Most robots only have a 50' to 60' cable, so a large pool will use most of that cable." I would love a collection of these tips that I can make sure I incorporate as I build out my pool next year. Or if anyone wants to give me some here that I can note down, that would awesome. I know you all can write pages on this, but the top 10-20 things I should absolutely do or think through would be great. Not related to the sunken lounge, but just building a pool in general. Thanks!
 

Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
I always suggest an auto-fill system, one that also protects the pool from overfilling. I like mine because it connects to the pool via an equalizer tube. That means water won't slosh into it, like some overflows that are just holes or grates in your edge tile, nor will it gurgle water into the pool while filling. All silent.

And it takes water from the pool from down below, instead of the surface. That's important to me because my rain water will float on top, and my "old" water will be pushed out below. That helps me rid the pool of accumulated salt and CH in the winter time. Your area might be different, and have different needs in terms of evaporation and rain collection. I just know with my system I'm never thinking about water level, it's never too high or too low.

Some pool builders don't like these systems, and that is somewhat justified. If the filler fails in the on position, and the overflow is still working, you could be pumping fill water to overflow and not notice it for hours or days or more. It actually happened to me, but I caught it quickly (because I check it as part of my daily pool inspections routine). I know for a fact I didn't waste any more water during that event than I would if I left the fill hose running overnight, which I would surely do regularly if I had to fill from a hose bib or manual fill valve. Tradeoffs. Plenty of folks here have to drag a hose out everyday to fill their pool. No thanks.

More importantly, you can decide later to abandon the auto-fill/overflow system if you choose to. Just shut it off. But you cannot add one later. This is mine. There are other brands. Check out the drawing on that page to see how the equalizer tube works. You can even install the working part at your pad, up to 30' away. It doesn't have to be another covered hole in your deck near your pool, like other systems.

More than you ever thought you'd need to know about auto-fillers!
 
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Dirk

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TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
I would attempt to talk you out of floor drains (I got rid of mine and don't miss 'em), but that's an even longer post. Let me know if you're interested. Short version: they are old school and you don't need drains! Weird, right?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
Be sure all your lights point away from your primary seating area, and/or the windows from which you'd be enjoying your pool at night. Very annoying otherwise.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,889
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
+1 on make the surrounding lounge water very shallow, like 3 inches at most, so it would be easy to clean and from a safety standpoint. In line with Dirk, instead on relying on the autofill/drain to work, i would make the lounge coping 1/2 inch higher so, rain or autofill failures wont flood your lounge. Also make sure the width of the surrounding water is wide enough for a standar pool brush.
 
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suman

Member
Aug 22, 2020
24
Michigan
I would attempt to talk you out of floor drains (I got rid of mine and don't miss 'em), but that's an even longer post. Let me know if you're interested. Short version: they are old school and you don't need drains! Weird, right?
Are you talking about drains in the sunken lounge area or in the pool?
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,637
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Edit - I lost my mind and meant to respond to this thread with the details of their quote (same poster/pool in this conversation at least :) )

It is hard to tell on the "fair price" in different geographies, but I can say that most people have sticker shock on their initial quotes, and your quotes are in the ballpark of what you would get here (TX). That is why we always suggest at least 3 bids to make sure you are getting competitive quotes for your area.

A couple of comments on your bid:
- It is hard to tell exactly what equipment you are getting as they are just generic like "Pentair Automation". Get model numbers where you can.
- 333k btu heater. I'm not a heater expert, but I have a 400k heater and you are way further north than me.
- IC40 - this may work. The general rule of thumb is you want 2x your capacity, so the IC40 works up to a 20k pool. IC60 is the next biggest size
- I see no cleaner mentioned. I would recommend a robot.
- When comparing pool quotes, make sure you are aware of what else is included (or not) especially putting your yard back together (fence, sprinklers, grass, etc.). You dont have to use your PB for this stuff, but it often gets overlooked when people compare bids.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
So I was looking for the following thread while I was pondering your water-feature/mote/river thingie. But I couldn't find it. Then, coincidently, it just popped up to me as an alert. This is what I was thinking of when I suggested to keep it shallow, though I pictured yours much wider. For me, one who "doesn't get" the whole in-pool spa getup, this is the coolest one I've ever seen, and could almost convince me. It's a build thread, so skip down to post #12 and beyond for the finished pics of the spa and mote. Along with the pics, I think they discuss how they set up the circulation, etc. If they're still around, you could PM them, and/or invite them to this thread, to share their experiences with their "mote."

 

MikeCosta

New member
Jan 3, 2012
2
Hello,
We built a sunken pit attached to our pool. With regards to lighting in/near the pit, keep in mind what is doable by code. It can’t be traditional LV too close to water body or line voltage too close above for something like a chandelier, fan or TV. We made design choices based on this to have our lounge pit somewhat practical.

PAL has some specialized lighting for around the pool (fiber optic based) but not cheap.

Drainage would be key element too and may need a pit further away and sump pump to avoid shock hazard.
 

PCR

Bronze Supporter
Jul 19, 2015
68
Frederick County, MD
Would suggest you keep all your discussion of your build in one thread; it's just easier for readers and for you! (e.g. the estimate was in this thread briefly and then when I next checked moved to a separate one.)

Regarding attached spa ... in Michigan I would consider this very carefully as unless you do some super special plumbing (if that's even possible) the spa will shut when the pool does, rendering it unusable for half the year or more. For the $18K you have been quoted for the attached spa, you could instead get quite a nice standalone spa with 10x more jets, usable year round, and include some really nice landscaping/hardscaping around it, and put it close to the house (in the winter, you won't want to walk any significant distance to get in a hot tub) ...... and likely still have several thousand in change to spend on something else. You could get a similar visual impact for the pool by having a bump out shelf where you have drawn the spa with maybe a light/bubbler combination or two on it.

Regarding the actual pool - what is your plan for the depth across the 30 feet? What kind of things do you want to do in the pool - are you thinking a diving board? jump rock? volleyball? slide? basketball hoop? Any water features to the pool besides the rain curtain (not that you need any more :) ? Do you have any lap swimmers in the family that would maybe appreciate a bit more length than 30 feet? I guess I'm suggesting you make sure you get the pool that you want as a priority and then evaluate budget to add the sunken lounge (which, by the way, I think is totally cool and would love to see!)
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,869
Central California
@PCR, you've hit upon some of my in-pool-spa resistance. You want to be able to use it year-round. And don't you want it to be all it can be in terms of comfort and relaxation? PBs love to build 'em. They make a ton on those. Owner's love how they look on the plans: "Oooh, look, a waterfall!" But they're total inefficient at what they're supposed to be. You have to dump all their heat every day into the pool, so you have to heat it all the way up every time you want to use it. And (to me) they're just a hard, rough, underwater concrete bench with some bubbly water. A stand-alone is what a hot tub should be: multiple stations (differing heights, and positions), dozens of jets massaging you, and your feet, and your neck. Reclined, smooth, fiberglass comfort. And hot and ready to go, 24/7 if need be.

Of course, if your thing is to stew in a small, round concrete pit with a dozen people, then a stand-alone can't provide that where an in-pool can.

What I want to see someone build is a raised pit near the pool that houses and disguises a stand-alone. It would look like it was part of the pool, and provide a similar ambiance as it would be half-surrounded by the pool. The pit's walls would be of the same material, or complimentary, to the pool's, as in-pools are done. And could even have a water feature that simulates an in-pool's spillway. So it would look like an in-pool, but have all the bells and whistles and advantages of a stand alone!