Tennessee Pool Build

Jun 23, 2010
Southwest TN
We've been living in our new home for 2 years and signed our contract to build a pool a month ago They started the dig today after a 2 week delay due to rain. The specs are below and I must say, this forum has helped me tremendously with all of the little details such as coping, tile, etc.

19 x 39 freeform
3'6" to 6'6" depth
9 ft. diameter spa, 8 jets, with stacked stone spillover
beach shelf with 3 bubblers
low weeping boulder wall
~3.5 ft retainer wall along back of pool (our yard slopes down)
Coping and veneer on spa and retaining wall: Oklahoma field stone
Waterline tile: Rust
French Gray Hydrazzo
1050 sq ft decking, washed

Equipment (from contract):
Whisperflow 1.5 HP (one for pool, one for spa, and one for Polaris)
Polaris 480
400,000 BTU heater
Vision Sanitizer
RS4 controller

If I'm leaving anything out, let me know. I quickly skimmed the quote sheet and contract.

I didn't realize that they would hardly dig the shallow end. :) They are going to be adding a lot of fill dirt around our pool! Our yard slopes down. We went with our builder's idea of having a retainer wall at the back of the pool. During heavy rains we have a lot of water flow at the rear of our lot.

Today they spent the day forming the pool. After you see today's pics, yes, it looks like an above ground pool. The plan was to have our pool flush with our patio. So, the back and part of the side will have retainage. There will be three 6" risers going down on each side of the pool.

With all that said, we have some concerns. Today we went out and measured the top-most form and it shows that the water line is what is currently flush with our patio, not the coping. My husband is calling our pool builder first thing in the morning and is going to have him come over to take a look. If anyone here can contribute with your thoughts, it would be appreciated.

Here are some pics from the first two days.


Hopefully you can see how our yard slopes down from our patio



Platinum Supporter
May 4, 2010
SW Georgia
My only advice is to stay on top of your builder and do not settle. Sounds like ya'll are double checking behind you builder and that is great. Make sure the builders reason/excuses make sense and are not BS. I guess this is not just for pool building it is for life. Keep in mind that you do not want rain water running into your pool from the deck. There should be an incline away from the pool edge. I used a slope of 1/8" per 1 foot on my deck. That being said you do not want water running toward the house either. There needs to be some low point on the deck between the pool and house that will drain the water toward the yard. This does not have to be a drastic elevation change and should not affect the look of the deck. There are some other channeling drain type devices that can be put up against the house to move water off the deck and away from the house.
Jun 23, 2010
Southwest TN
Thanks, Jasonknox! Our builder did come by this morning and clarified a lot of things that concerned us. It is very hard at this point for me to visualize everything. The pool will be sloped up to keep rainwater out and sloped a little down from the patio. He will be putting in channel drains as well. Also, the back wall, which measures 3.5 feet right now, will only be 2 feet after they fill in with dirt and decking. Whew! I'm so relieved!! He said they plan to use about 15 loads of dirt for the whole project...wow.

They are doing rebar right now and I'll try to post pics this evening.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 5, 2010
Munford Tn
tennesseepoolgrl we are in Munford, Small world, glad to meet you! Make sure you post pictures of end results, I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.


LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2009
Northern Middle Tn.
Hey Laura. :wave: Good to see another Tn. girl here. You will find plenty of help on this forum. I know I sure did last year, before, during, and after my build.
Good luck and keep the pics coming. We love pics.
Jun 23, 2010
Southwest TN
Rebar is finished! They have spent the last two days doing rebar and the pre-plumbing in the pool and spa. They are moving along really fast. The electrician is coming to inspect the light niches tomorrow. Tuesday is gunite. I don't know what they're doing Monday...maybe finish the plumbing??

Sunshelf and bubblers
Jun 23, 2010
Southwest TN
Hi Lynn! I'm glad to see other Tennesseans on here! I'm going to try to continue to update our build. I've really enjoyed seeing other's builds, enabling me to see what the process entails. I want to return the favor. :)
Jun 23, 2010
Southwest TN
Inspection for the light niches was today. Spa passed, pool failed because it wasn't 18 inches below the water line. The guys came out and fixed it and the inspector came shortly after and approved it. We realized today that they only put 6 jets in the spa instead of 8 as it was stated in the contract. The PB owner said they would be back tomorrow. Gunite is Tuesday!

I have a question for the experts out there. We will be having a 29 ft. weeping wall. They have done the rough plumbing in the pool. Should we be seeing any plumbing in that location? All we see are the water return jets.


It appears to me that they have benched the RBB (raised bond beam) and will be stacking the weeping wall rock on top of that. The lines for the water return will most likely come out of that area (I'm sorry, and I don't want to worry you, but is that all the steel they are putting up for the RBB? Do you have the engineering sheets in your permit packet that you can look at? #3 bar at 12" centers that high out of the ground does not look right to me!).

How are they going to get the water to the weeping wall? I do not see a pump for that, and I am worried that they are using the circ pump to do that as well as provide water to the returns. Problem will be that when you are in spa mode you will not be able to turn the weeping wall on if it is controlled by the circ pump, which will be circulating the spa water at that time. If there is not a dedicated pump for that, now is the time to get the suction lines in and talk about it, before your are all gunited in!


One more thing (I'm sorry; I am just now seeing this thread :oops: ): I see 4 lines all clumped together in the floor of the spa. That is a potential entrapment issue (it absolutely would not fly here. Lines need to be split a minimum of 36" so that you cannot cover them both and be sucked tight. If your pump(s) are all going at once in the spa, that is a huge volume of water being sucked in that area. Since you seem to have some plumbing "issues", and they are coming back to add the other jets tomorrow already, I would ask about that(and have them split them if you can).
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