Your build: What would you do differently?

Phx_Jay

Bronze Supporter
Nov 6, 2017
150
phoenix
So far I'm pretty happy...a couple things to note:

1. I would have put in the larger 2" umbrella sleeves that fit the 11' Costco umbrella. I put a bunch of 1.5" umbrella sleeves so I have to use the smaller 10' umbrella. Not a big issue but something to think about.

2. I wouldn't have let the PB talk me out of going with dark salted concrete. He said we'd be happier with the lighter color...and he was wrong.

3. I would have moved the bubblers on one of the Baja steps further away form the sides of the pool. As the bubbler starts going, the waves close to the wall push back knocking the fountain from the bubble down. No way to fix this now.
 

see_feel

Silver Supporter
May 31, 2018
55
Arlington, Texas
Things I wish I did.
1. Another pool light so that our tanning ledge is not in the dark at night.
2. Automation. I have the pump automated now but wish my SWG and Pressure side cleaner were automated also instead of on the manual timer
3. One more return
4. Automatic overflow drainage

Things I am glad I did thanks to the TFP forums
1. Have the water features on a separate pump that I can turn on and off with a switch
2. Light at my equipment pad
3. Installing a SWG and one that is twice the size of my pool capacity, it's actually 3 times the size.
4. Cartridge Filter
5. MOST IMPORTANT - knowing what questions to ask the many pool builders we interviewed thanks to this site!
 
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Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
Dont focus only on cost. Our most expensive decision after pulling the trigger on pool was changing from concrete deck to white travertine marble deck. This was the best thing we ever did. It gives that whole luxury pop to the pool area. Everytime I go to the pool area, I am amazed. Not just the travertine look, but also the benefits - travertine does not get hot - can walk barefoot on a hot Houston afternoon. This also means that my AC is not working overtime to cool the house from radiated heat. Glad I did not listen to my frugal wife on this one :)

Love the SWG - after the ease of the SWG, I cannot imagine pouring liquid bleach and handling all these chemicals on a regular basis.

Love the remote - definitely worth the extra dollars.

Pool overflow and autofill - I think they must be standard features.
Hi Phil- I'm looking to do a white stone deck. Haven't seen white travertine anywhere. Can you share the name and perhaps where you got it? All I see is cream/yellow tones for lighter travertine.
Thx in advance!
Mika
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
Things I wish I did.
1. Another pool light so that our tanning ledge is not in the dark at night.
2. Automation. I have the pump automated now but wish my SWG and Pressure side cleaner were automated also instead of on the manual timer
3. One more return
4. Automatic overflow drainage

Things I am glad I did thanks to the TFP forums
1. Have the water features on a separate pump that I can turn on and off with a switch
2. Light at my equipment pad
3. Installing a SWG and one that is twice the size of my pool capacity, it's actually 3 times the size.
4. Cartridge Filter
5. MOST IMPORTANT - knowing what questions to ask the many pool builders we interviewed thanks to this site!
I'm just about to sign contract. What is cartridge filter and its purpose?
 

kevinp768

Active member
Sep 30, 2018
30
Wichita KS
Things I wish I did I did:
Either cantilevered concrete or stone coping (stuck with white aluminum)
18x32 instead of 16x32
Umbrella sleeves in deck

Things I'm glad I did:
Pool builder let me do some work to save money
4" Downspout drain plumbing under deck to rear of yard, and backwash line under concrete from equipment pad
Did deck jets myself, in yard just outside of deck (ran extra plumbing lines under decking just in case I needed them)
Extra electrical conduit from equipment pad under deck to both sides of pool deck just in case
Dark colored liner
3 returns
SWG
White plastic steps instead of liner over steps
 
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Dave31410

Bronze Supporter
Feb 27, 2018
120
Savannah, GA
Since it is only May and our water temperature is already 84, I might have included a heat pump to cool the water during the summer. I don't enjoy too warm water.
 

see_feel

Silver Supporter
May 31, 2018
55
Arlington, Texas
I'm just about to sign contract. What is cartridge filter and its purpose?
A cartridge filter is the in-between from a DE filter and sand filter as far filtering performance. Not quite as good as DE but superior to sand. From a maintenance standpoint, I feel they are the best. Simple to clean and you never have to backwash.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,407
Central MD
Hi there...I'm about to do a 15X36 and my pool builder is saying I only need one skimmer. See that you wished you had two. Should I insist to have 2?
I would. You only NEED 1 so he isn't wrong. But you WANT 2. Tell him you have your reasons and leave it at that. Sometimes trying to explain why is not worth it.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
530
New York
Mike, will you have an in-floor drain? If not 2 is essential (imo). If you only have one way to get water back to the pump/filter and it fails you can't circulate your pool water and you'd need to fix the problem right away. With two skimmers (run on separate lines back to the pump) you have a backup in place. If one fails you can still circulate your water and take some time to get quotes to fix the issue at hand (and use a clean pool). The pool builder will say "oh, that will never happen." Well, I worked for a pool company and it did happen to a home w/ only one skimmer. Plus you'll capture more surface debris quicker (that's reason enough for me).

Post your quote in a separate thread before you sign. You'll get lots of help before you commit. You want the specific equipment listed not just "heater." What make / model etc. People here will help you with that.
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
I would. You only NEED 1 so he isn't wrong. But you WANT 2. Tell him you have your reasons and leave it at that. Sometimes trying to explain why is not worth it.
He said it would cost anther $700 for xtra skimmer. Does that seem right? Also, I'm new to all things pool related...why do you recommend two?
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,407
Central MD
Skimmers aren’t cheap (well the plastic itself is) because they require extra forming of the concrete, so material and labor and some additional plumbing. The reason is to get proper/good skimming action for your pool to keep the surface clean. You will be frustrated if the wind blows the wrong way and it’s opposite your one skimmer and you have a bunch of debris on the surface. Or if it’s spring and there’s a lot of pollen and the surface takes a long time to clear, or won’t fully clear with the pump on low. If a line has an issue for some reason 10 years front now, you still have a functional pool. Lot’s of reasons to get two, not many to get one. Make sure they are plumbed separately back to the pump with Jandy Neverlube type valves for each.
 

Mika

Well-known member
Jul 15, 2017
51
Stevenson Ranch/CA
Skimmers aren’t cheap (well the plastic itself is) because they require extra forming of the concrete, so material and labor and some additional plumbing. The reason is to get proper/good skimming action for your pool to keep the surface clean. You will be frustrated if the wind blows the wrong way and it’s opposite your one skimmer and you have a bunch of debris on the surface. Or if it’s spring and there’s a lot of pollen and the surface takes a long time to clear, or won’t fully clear with the pump on low. If a line has an issue for some reason 10 years front now, you still have a functional pool. Lot’s of reasons to get two, not many to get one. Make sure they are plumbed separately back to the pump with Jandy Neverlube type valves for each.
Here is the plan that we went over. The one skimmer right now will be located to the left of that red arrow I drew in by that planter. Where should I ask for the second one to be put in?
 

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JayK

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2019
97
St. Louis
My pool is not done, but so far I have no regrets. My builder loves to go crazy. My pool is a funny shape (See photo) 4 jets and 2 skimmers, 4 lights on one wall! It's gonna be like a GIANT SPA. All equipment is in a very nice shed with lots of room for storage (6'x12' 9ft high). Only 12ft from pool. Everything is CLOSE. I love that (You can see shed on right side of photo next to home) Buried Backwash lines, Deck drains. Lots of focus on infrastructure. I has a pool when I was younger and I remember the horrors of working with pool equipment outside. Yes it's made for it, but still. Due to the location and facing north, there is always shade somewhere.. I love that. Have as much deck as the yard will allow but we have a nice covered section with outdoor kitchen. Here's hoping I have no regrets down the road. Out pool is a sports pool. 3'6" on one side and 4'6" on the other. I think we'll make due.. But it really has an effect on costs and heating. I only have so much
 

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