New Pool Build in Murphy, TX 23, 2011

Well, we didn't plan on making a decision until mid-February, but when we made an impromptu visit to one of the PB's 2nd showrooms yesterday to take a look at design choices, he decided to throw everything and the kitchen sink in to get us to close. We probably would have gone with him anyway, so it was a deal we couldn't turn down!

Following are all of the specs, please let me know your comments or suggestions:

Perimeter: 100' geometric

Area: 525 sqft

Depth: 3.5-5-4

Spa: 6'4" square, 38 sqft, 6 jets, 12" raised

2 skimmers

5 returns

9x4 tanning ledge as first step w/ one bubbler

12' love seat

2 500W pool lights w/ dimmer

1 100W spa light

Noble cast rockface coping

1x1 glass mosaic waterline tile

1x1 glass mosaic tile for spa veneer

Sunstone Exposed Agg plaster (color TBD)

447 sqft brushed concrete with 2' saw cuts

48' of blanco stone retaining wall around existing planters

Pump: Pentair Intelliflo VS with SVRS

Filter: Pentair 520 sqft cartridge

Cleaner: Kreepy Krauly Legend w/booster

Heater: Pentair 400K BTU Nat Gas

Spa blower: 1.0 HP

Rainbow in-line chlorinator

Control: EasyTouch

Dual main drain

3 zone sprinkler reroute

3 pallets sod

bobcat shuttle for dirt

2 volleyball sleeves


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I'll post a rendering as soon as I get the updated one - we weren't originally going to do a raised spa to save money, but that, along with glass tile veneer, was one of the things he threw into the package yesterday.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 10:54AM
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Raise the spa to 18" The 12" is more of an obsticle IMO.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 2:06PM
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Very exciting! Sounds like you are getting a great deal. How is the builder? Cant wait to see the pics.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 3:21PM
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Thanks, we are very excited. We ended up using Hobert and are very happy with them. Here is a rendering, and also a picture of the planters right after we installed them last spring. They are going to change the round parts into octagons and then continue the retaining wall all the way to the house for a consistent look, rather than keeping the composite edging we used.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Looks great! We are currently building our first pool. Interesting process.

You guys are getting a pretty good price. Nice going! We are about the same size with about 100 sqft more deck space and some rock work. Paying a good 17K more than you.

here is our build:

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Hello again! Process is moving right along. We received the following plan from our builder and I wanted to get some opinions on it. One thing that stuck out to me is the skimmer locations - the one in the top right corner seems really out of the way and I wonder if that is an optimal location? Rest of the specs are listed on the right.

Any input is appreciated!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:34PM
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The pool lights will blind you with the spa on the far side. I would move the spa to the other side, closer to the house.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 5:47PM
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Hi everyone! After getting permits and HOA approval faster than expected, we did our excavation yesterday and steel/plumbing today. Things seem to be going well so far, but I've posted some pictures below that I hope to get your feedback on. Let me know if you see anything technical that raises flags.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 8:20PM
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The equipment pad is too compact. I linked a very recent thread that came up on TFP's site that would otherwise be thought of as funny if it wasn't true. If there were more space available, 2.5/3" valves could have been used and the brass hose bib could have had a 3 way valve used to either lower the pool or allowed for vacuuming to waste.

The raised spa's walls seem a bit thin. Notice the side suction has no drain pot? There isn't enough room for one. Also note that the air line is going to make for some very thin gunite at that point. When using a partial loop, the ends should extend further away, I prefer 8 to 12", to provide a buffer for turbulence that can have an negative effect an even flow to all the jets. The two on the end may experience a slightly, but noticeably, weaker flow.

I hope that the bent pipe for the pool drain line is heat bent and not flex pipe.

What's with the cardboard under the rebar in parts of the pool?

I don't think I see any 2.5" suction size pipe used.

Did they pressure test the lines?


Here is a link that might be useful: Dear Mr. Pool Bulder

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 6:43AM
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Correction, there appears to be a 2.5" for the spa.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 7:01AM
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Hey Scott,

I'll check out some of your concerns today. I know that the spa walls are in fact as thick as the rest of the pool, so I think that might just be a camera angle. I think the cardboard was used to distribute the weight of the bricks so that they didn't sink in - our soil is kind of muddy soft clay.

The pool drain pipe is flex pipe - what's the downside of this?

Lines are pressure tested.

Thanks for the feedback, I definitely want to make sure this gets done right.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 8:44AM
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If the soil won't hold the bricks, what makes you think it will hold the pool? Cardboard?

Flex pipe will compress some under the weight and collapse eventually under suction.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Not exactly what I meant by "distributing the weight"...just that pounds per inch it seems a lot easier for a small piece of brick to sink into the mud (enough to not serve it's purpose of keeping up the rebar) than a giant 17x34 pool. But I see your point.

I'll ask them about the flex pipe, that seems like something easy enough to change.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 11:17AM
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Or maybe to be more clear I should have said to distribute the weight of the bricks long enough to keep them from sinking until gunite is shot. Because once gunite is in and has surrounded steel on top/bottom, brick placement doesn't matter as much, correct? But if the bricks sink even a 1/2" before gunite is shot and they aren't touching the rebar, then what's the point.
Either way, the cardboard is going to decompose over time, so it's more of a moot point :)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 11:30AM
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And if the pool sinks because the soil compresses unevenly? My concern for you is this may be an unsuitable bed and what it might result in.

I am not worried about the size of a void from the cardboard decomposing. Do you think cardboard offers enough stiffness to keep the brick in place when it's hit with a 200 mph blast from a nozzle?

Now I am not a builder but I am a pretty fair tech and been to a few rodeos over the years. The regularly posting builders here, I hold in very high regard and would love to hear from them too.



    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 12:37PM
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I checked out the flex pipe issue. It feels very solid and very unlikely to collapse. Also, the builder explained that it would be less likely to crack with expansion/contraction of the gunite than regular PVC. But after feeling it for myself I'm definitely confident that the chances of it collapsing are slim.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:38PM
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Jenn, Would you email me. I wish to ask you something off line. Click on my user name.


    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 1:26AM
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Scott, email sent.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 8:11PM
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We've gotten a lot accomplished this week. Here's updated pictures of our gunite, coping and most of the tile:

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 9:16PM
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Jenn - it really looks great! Those are some pretty blue tiles and are going to be beautiful with the sun reflecting off of them.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:34AM
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Jenn, I love your blue tile. What is the name? Also, Hobert is on our final short list of companies we are considering. We have received 2 quotes so far and theirs is $15K less than the other and includes a spa. Are you still happy with the work and quality of Hobert so far? Did you happen to check any references with pools that they built 10 or so years ago? I am curious as to how their work holds up in the long run. I'd love to know your thoughts. Cindy

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:22AM
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Cindy, the blue tile is in their Richardson showroom and is called Oil Blue Iridescent tile. I think it's also used on one of the show pools at the Richardson office. Still happy with the work and quality, the project manager has been very responsive and has driven out to our house for something as small as a 5 minute review meeting. We did see a couple of pools in person that were built over 10 years ago and they looked to be in great shape (with the except of some which had owner neglect).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:09PM
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Is that considered a glass tile?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Yes, it's a glass tile and was an upgrade that they "threw in" for us.

Here are some updated pictures with the deck pour and saw cut concrete lines:

They have since cleaned the gunite and tile, and backfilled around the sides of the deck/pool with dirt that slopes away from the pool. All we have left is sprinkler reroute, re-sod, and plaster. Should have water within a week. It's also in the mid-80s here now, so we're getting excited!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 7:03PM
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Hi Jenn,
How long are they letting the gunite cure? Also, did they have to move any power lines? We went with a different builder and their time frame seems to be longer than your pool is taking. They did say that they can't dig until the electrical lines are moved. (our pool is going right under the lines.) Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 10:03PM
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We had to water the gunite twice a day for 7 days before they did the tile. I'm told it actually takes closer to 30 days for gunite to TOTALLY cure, but they are safe to work on it after 7.

We didn't have to move any power/electrical lines. We don't have alleys so all of our utilities are in the front of the house.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 5:07PM
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Well, we finally filled 'er up with water about 3 weeks ago and have been busy trying to get the chemicals balanced. Finally there, and it's pretty easy thanks to recommendations on Have had two hot tub parties since then which have been a blast.

Here are some final pictures with the Blue Mist Sunstone quartz plaster we chose, all sod laid down (5 hours yesterday and backbreaking!), and some new accessories.

Bring on the heat! :)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Looks great. Glass tile really makes it pop. Decking looks outstanding. I wish my project could go as fast as yours....

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 7:10AM
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