Under Contract - Gunite pool! - Design help wanted on tanning shelf depth and overall depth!

TiggerBW

Member
Dec 19, 2020
9
Berlin, NJ
HI! After many months of research and several quotes from PBs, we finally decided on a PB and type/size of pool! We are getting a double roman 18x36 gunite pool with a tanning ledge (sun shelf). So far we are planning to have the pool go from 3.5-6ft deep. (See rough pool layout picture attached.)

One question we have right now is, how deep should the tanning ledge be. The builder is recommending 18". We are afraid that may be too deep. We plan to place lounge chairs on the ledge and we read they could float away if it is too deep. Would love to hear from others who have tanning ledges! We need advice!

Another question is.....with having a circular tanning ledge that goes out 6ft, will we have enough room in the pool for recreational/lounging with a total depth of 6ft in the deep end? We also considered having only 5ft in the deep end so that we had more recreational/lounging area. Does anyone have similar depth layout? Thoughts on 5ft vs. 6ft?

Last question for now, if the PB says it will be 3.5-6ft deep, will that actually be 3.5-6ft of water depth or will it be a few inches less?

Thanks so much! We are newbies to owning/building a pool and we are very excited but still have a lot to learn! :)
 

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HermanTX

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May 20, 2020
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That going to be a nice layout.
For depth - you need to specify to the PB that you want 3.5 to 6ft water depth. There has been other posts on the forum where some PB maintained that depth was how deep he dug. So suggest whatever you decide, make it clear in the contract regarding water depth. Also, look in the contract because some PB's give a +/- for depth, length, width, so you need to be aware of that tolerance the PB may put in to protect himself.
With regard to sun shelf, water depths vary from 6 inches to 18 inches. Just be aware that you have another 3-6 inches from water-level to top of coping. So 18 inches of water depth could be a 21-24inch step down from the coping. Some people put in a half step to make it easy to enter/exit if you have a deep sun shelf. For reference a normal step into the pool is about 6 inch of water depth so about a 9-11inch step down from the coping.
 
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bmoreswim

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18” to me is a sun bench, not a sun shelf. I see much more discussion here about 12” and under shelves, but I don’t have one to give personal feedback.

Please also keep all follow-up questions here no matter the topic, related to your pool build.
 
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Almisa

Member
Aug 26, 2020
7
NE Fla
HI there. We in the final phases of construction on our little therapy jet gunite pool. We have both a sun tanning shelf/ledge and a bench. See attached pics - The sun shelf measures exactly 10” from the top of the coping to the shell. After the plaster and pebble finish it should be around 9”. I included a picture of a pool chair on the shelf for reference. The bench is 18” down from the top of the coping and as you see, we designed it so it continues over to the second pool step. Our biggest concern was the placement of our jets as that related to depth and where they will hit us on our back - a truly subjective and personal choice - but hard when you haven’t done it before. Anyway, even with some construction background, my husband and I were unprepared for the speed and permanency with which those decisions happen when they are not very specifically articulated in your contract (if a cost issue) OR on your schematic design (they say - it can be figured out in the field later....don’t buy that) - and then the dig crew and gunite team show up (often without enough notice to you) and shazaam - it’s done! So I hope this is helpful. Keep reading, do your homework, and get these critical dimensions clearly illustrated on your design and/or engineering/permit plans, because that is what the PB crews will be referencing when they show up at your house.
Mimi
 

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DaveHidalgo

Member
Jun 29, 2018
17
New Orleans, LA
I would agree that 18" a bench and not a shelf. Most furniture will float at 18" unless equipped with accessory risers to elevate the chair. If you plan to furnish it, be sure to understand the options for the water depths. The deepest chairs Ive seen work out of the box are 16" (Mibster splash chair) Chaises are up to 15" out of the box.
 
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Smalone

Active member
Jun 16, 2019
32
Atlanta
We're doing a double Roman as well with both circular ends being tanning ledges. We ended up doing 9" water depth on both ledges with a 4' shallow end and 7.5' deep end, also all actual water depths. I would think anything over 12" depth on the tanning ledges would make it tough to find chairs that'll work.
 
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ofcounsel

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Dec 30, 2020
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We're in the process of building as well. We thought 18" might be a bit too much for a "shelf", and went with about 9 inches of water depth on our ledge on one side of the pool, and with an approximate 18" "bench" running the length of the other side of the pool.
 
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TexasRain

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I have a 14” water depth shelf and have put in one of my resin Adirondack chairs to se how they work. The chairs are heavier than the plastic ones and seem to work fine. I did not leave it in too long yet because I wasn’t getting in the cold water yet.
 

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DaveHidalgo

Member
Jun 29, 2018
17
New Orleans, LA
I have a 14” water depth shelf and have put in one of my resin Adirondack chairs to se how they work. The chairs are heavier than the plastic ones and seem to work fine. I did not leave it in too long yet because I wasn’t getting in the cold water yet.
While the resin will hold up in the water, the bolts will not. Most manufacturers have suggestions of removing and ring daily to avoid rust, but who will actually do that. Stainless steel bolts are still the weak link of these pieces.
 
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