Talking with PB about freeform designs and i have a question

Jul 14, 2019
23
North Carolina
Started talking with my local PB guy who everyone has recommended to me. He's given me a couple quotes on two different size pools... 20 x 40 and 18 x 36. He's saying i'll get about 700 sq ft of actual pool with the 20 x 40, and 550 sq ft. out of an 18 x 36 freeform. How do you figure square footage on certain designs like Lagoons? I found a Lagoon shape that i like online. It says it measures 20 x 40 x 31. I've asked my PB guy about different freeform designs and he said the design does not matter as long as i stay in the square footage envelope he quoted me. I know how to figure square footage on basic shapes, but this Lagoon style, i'm confused? Help anyone? Here is the link to the picture i found. This is a fiberglass pool i believe, but i'm wanting to do concrete in this design if my budget allows for it.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
669
OV, CA
plot it out on a piece of graph paper with a protractor... and count the squares ala 5th grade geometry :p ;)

If there is an actual 5th grader in the house they will use a CAD app on their smart-arse-phone
 
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mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
669
OV, CA
Its not really math.. its more like Art class. Get some graph paper and figure out the scale.. one square equals one foot or maybe two squares equals a foot. Then using a protractor make some circles that approximate the layout you are aiming for. If you don't have a protractor use classes or bowls like a cookie cutter template to make your circles. then just count the squares inside! Or if a little math isn't too scary, use the good ole pi*R^2 to calculate the area of the whole circles you've made and count the squares in between. The pool builder will do something like that when they lay out the design on your ground.
 
Jul 14, 2019
23
North Carolina
Well, that design is definitely out of the question, unless i decide to do a liner pool over concrete! When my PB started talking about retaining walls, etc. I didn't even want to hear a price to concrete that. I'm like 99% sure i want concrete with everything i've read on here and other places online about the cons of a liner pool. The problem i'm struggling with, is i'm the type of person that knows what i want, and most of the time if it's not exactly what i want, i'll just forget the whole idea (whatever that might be at the time) and move on to something else. I REALLY want a diving pool, but plenty of shallow end for the kids and wife. I think over the years as the kids get older they will really enjoy the diving end more and more like myself and i'm sure majority of you on here did when we were growing up! Another issue i'm coming up with though, is all the PBs quote 8' for the deep end, and i just don't feel like that's deep enough for a true diving area? I know they quote 8' because that's what they have to by code/law. I feel like it really needs to be closer to that 10' mark??? Problem with that, is that's a lot more money going from 8' to 10' AND my PB said it will greatly reduce the shallow end of the pool due to the amount of slope there would have to be in the pool. My quotes right now are for 20 x 40 freeform concrete, 18 x 36 freeform concrete, 18 x 36 rectangle liner, and a 20 x 40 rectangle liner. The concrete quotes are just over 20K more vs the liner quotes. I just really don't like the idea of a liner pool from all the cons i've read online. We are dog people (have 2 or 3 at any given time) and it's going to be impossible to keep some of them out of the pool.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
669
OV, CA
The only person I've known that installed a 10 foot deep end for a legit purpose was a competitive diver and he also had a 1 meter board installed to competition standards. I think the rest of us hacks would be fine with a 8 foot deep end with the kind of diving boards that most PB will install for residences. Just my perspective.
 
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NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
226
Brentwood, CA
I know that lagoon design very well. Seems like you are struggling with similar design conflicts i had when i started. there is an option i declined but maybe you prefer.

Depending on local code etc. you can actually build a steep drop instead of a gradual decline. it is not recommended for the average person but outlier circumstances may warrant it.

i imagined similar lagoon designs with a side portion being the diving/jumping hole so as not to require a long slop taking away usable space.

There is actually a pool build on here where a vertical drop was built. Pages 5 and 6 show you before and after water how they did it. I think that pool is awesome and it was very tempting early on

 
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Jul 14, 2019
23
North Carolina
NorCalX, that is awesome! I actually just downloaded that image and sent it to my PB on text to see if we can even build something like that legally. My second concern is how far out should / would you need to be before that vertical wall for the slope up to the shallow end starts? 10 feet ? 20 feet ? Surely i would think 20 feet would be plenty ???
 

NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
226
Brentwood, CA
NorCalX, that is awesome! I actually just downloaded that image and sent it to my PB on text to see if we can even build something like that legally. My second concern is how far out should / would you need to be before that vertical wall for the slope up to the shallow end starts? 10 feet ? 20 feet ? Surely i would think 20 feet would be plenty ???
I am not a pool design person so I have no idea what distances you need.

I think it would depend on how you plan to USE it. Horizontal diving needs much more space than vertical diving (I assume).

The "standard" slope is 3 feet horizontal for 1 foot vertical. My pool has a deep end 7.5' and a shallow end 3.5' My transition slope takes 12 feet of pool (1/3 of the length basically). I designed around it by putting other features on the the transitional slope. I have a grotto on one side and a baja shelf on the other. My deep end is 9 feet before it starts to slope. I designed it as a jumping hole. No diving allowed. I did some run and jumps when I staked the pool out and figured out where adults/kids were likely to land.

Definitely have all those DETAILED talks with your PB and think safety safety safety

My wife was extremely concerned about someone not realizing it is a steep drop and just plunging to the bottom...especially with all the kids in the family. I was looking into pool rope/buoy systems or putting boulders on the bottom of the pool as ways to address it.
 
Jul 14, 2019
23
North Carolina
My PB, just sent me a quick response and said no way. Like you said NorCalX, he said the same thing, it has to have a 3 to 1 slope. Which means if i wanted a 10' depth, i'd probably need like 20 feet or so worth of slope???
 

NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
226
Brentwood, CA
My PB, just sent me a quick response and said no way. Like you said NorCalX, he said the same thing, it has to have a 3 to 1 slope. Which means if i wanted a 10' depth, i'd probably need like 20 feet or so worth of slope???
Depends how deep you go but yup....diving pools and the 3:1 slope requirement tend to conflict with the budget for recreational pool design. The slope takes away space that could be useful in the shallow end. People prefer standing in the water and not treading water the entire time 😢
 
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Jul 14, 2019
23
North Carolina
Thanks, I found the requirements on www.divingboardsafety.net and if i figured correctly, at 9' deep i would need a slope that took up 16.5' of pool plus the 12' for the diving area itself. At 10' deep i would need 19.5' plus the 12' for the diving area. So it's basically going to take some where ball park of 30' worth of pool for a good diving area. Now, my second question... if i decide to go this route, how much space do people usually like to have for a shallow end? 10', 15', 20' or ???? If i go with a 40' pool, i would only have about 10' worth of shallow end. Is 10' enough, or do most people like to have more???
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
774
NY
Gosu... couple things to consider
i have a 20X40, 8ft deep rectangle with approximately 30% shallow, 30 % slope amd 40% deep end. I am 6ft 4in and 270 lbs. I have to actively try to hit my slope and i cannot do it with force. More of a gentle bump. The kids can barely even touch it with their hands on a full dive. Whenever we swim in 18X36's, either freeform or rectangle, i have to actively try not to hit the slope with blunt force. Plus my 20ft wide shallow end still has more sq ft than most of the smaller or freeform pools.

My pool is concete wall / sand floor / vinyl liner. Its kind of a litle bit of evrything. Strength/longevity of the concrete but much closer in price to the metal/vinly.

My bigger bloodhound stands waist high, about 2 inches shorter than a Great Dane. He can't touch the bottom of the 38 inch shallow end even with vigorous swimming. The first 10 times he went in the pool i watched with a snorkel mask and he is 6 inches from the bottom. We had to reluctantly use Acrylic stairs that he couldnt punture. They're really nice and have a seat built in on both sides, but they are still plastic.

When i got my pool the kids were small and huddled in the shallow end. As teens/tweens they and their friends have a constant line at the diving board. Contest after contest of cannonballs and dives. (Alot of them with me too, cant let the kids have all the fun). We bought 3 sizes of life vests in case we get a little visitor or weak swimmer. Anybody else can have their pick of floats/noodles/tubes if they dont want to actively swim.

Even if you second guess your decisions down the road, you'll be doing it in a beautiful pool. Good times.
 
Last edited:
Jul 14, 2019
23
North Carolina
Newdude, that does not really make sense to me. The "diving envelope" should not change regardless of pool shape and over all length. Technically, your friend's pool should just loose out on the shallow end of his pool. Both your pools should have the same "diving envelope" assuming both 8' deep, same category of diving boards, etc. unless his pool was not built to correct specs for the "diving envelop"??? I'm still new to this, so maybe i'm missing something, but from what i've read online, i don't see how the "diving envelope" can vary between the design of the pool???

That's different from anything i've heard or seen. Concrete walls with a vinyl liner??? My neighbor across the street has a concrete pool with a fiberglass side that starts at the top, but only comes down about 3 feet into his pool around the sides. When i asked my PB about that design, he said that was something that was tried years ago, but never really caught on and faded out quickly. He said either go all vinyl or all concrete. Not to try to mix and match the two, unless i wanted something like a spa built beside the pool.

What is your shallow end? 4' ? My PB is quoting me for a 3.5' shallow end depth. What is the norm for shallow end depths???
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
774
NY
The deep end can totally change between pools. Sometimes specifically to extend the shallow end for lounging purposes and sometimes due to the design of the freeform.

Just my side walls are concrete. The slopes and floor is sand. The same as your friend. I either explained it poorly or you read it wrong. Probably me. My local builders all abandoned the metal walls years ago. Might be due to us having an ocean and 2 large bodies of water nearby. Or maybe it was profit margin. I dunno but they dont do metal anymore here.

My shallow end is exactly 3.5 deep. When you take off a few inches because the pool is not perfectly full, you end up around the 38 inches i quoted in my shallow end. The point there was even with freakishly large dogs, they wont hury the vinyl liner. I was worried about the back legs specifically if he stood up in the pool. He can't. Its a physics thing. And unbeknownst to me until i studied him swimming, the back legs dont do much. They steer with an occasional kick. The front legs do all the work and cant come close to the liner. As long as you went with plastic stairs, the dogs could swim worry free.

I hope this helps. Even if its to disagree with me. The design phase is hard because you have to pull the trigger on decisions that you cant know beforehand. Afterwards you'll know exactly what worked best for you, or what you wished differently, but its too late then. Like i said, you'll be able to swim in a beautiful pool when second guessing no matter what you decide. Mine is a big boring rectangle. We preferred function over design. But my friends freeforms are BEAUTIFUL. Like being in a resort. Or an AG pool that gets everybody just as wet as the rest of them.
 
Jul 14, 2019
23
North Carolina
That makes me feel better about the dogs, if for some reason i can't budget what i want in a concrete pool and have to go with a liner to get exactly what i want.

Can you explain to me how the deep end can change between pool designs? I thought there were minimal requirements all PB's followed. Now i know you can always go bigger and deeper, but seeing how most pools are built at 8' deep. Are all slopes not a 1 to 3 ratio and that slope start going up from the 8' bottom at 12' away from the back wall (diving board wall) ? Of course, i guess you could have more than the minimum requirement of 12' before your slope starts up? Assuming i'm correct on the 12' minimum???
 

NorCalX

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2011
226
Brentwood, CA
you design how much deep end you want

that space is in addition to the standard slope

you have feet of pool

x is shallow
y is slope
z is deep end

your slope will be based on depth of shallow and deep

after that you get to pick what you want for X and Z so long as it adds up to your pool size

so if pool is 40 and your slope is 20 feet (just for discussion) you have 20 feet to dive among shallow and deep

So 8 feet of deep leaves you 12 for shallow

5 feet of deep leaves you 15 for shallow

Remember you also have 20 feet of width plus the slope that contribute to deeper water portion
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
774
NY
You are probably right with 12 ft. I have 16ft due to the 40 ft length. It is nothing to dive 12 feet out. Before i hit the water my arms are 8ft out from the diving board, plus my jump. (6ft 3in tall). My point was if you had the smaller deep end of the shorter pool, or extended shallow end to the legal minimum of the 40 ft pool, people will bounce off the slope. With force. Not 8 year old kids, but teens and older.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
774
NY
And again my 20 ft wide by 12 foot long shallow end still leaves room for lounging. My kids grew into the bigger deep end. My wife who wanted the pool in the first place was not a strong swimmer and still isn't. She hops in a tube or on a float. Sometimes she'll sit on a pool noodle like a swing and drift around. You dont necessarily have to 'swim' in the deep end.