New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound
After lurking on this site for a number months and gaining invaluable knowledge to the pool building process, I would like to document my experience in the pool builder selection process and subsequent build process. In addition to a pool, I also wanted to build a decent sized cabana on the west side of the pool. It gets quite hot in Texas and I wanted a protected area around the pool for shaded entertainment.
Using the GardenWeb posts from fellow pool buyers in North Texas, I put together a group of 4 pool builders to select from. Two were relatively large local builders (Robertson Pools of Coppell and Riverbend/Sandler of Plano), one was a medium sized builder (Claffey Pools of Southlake) and the last was a small builder (Paul Miller Custom Pools of Keller). All were very responsive for the initial meeting and the subsequent follow up design review meeting. The first two pool designers from Claffey and Paul Miller did a very good job of helping my wife and I sort out what type of pool we were interested in building. We have never owned a pool and were able to only give relatively simple pool requirements such as a pool deep enough for our girls to jump in but not a diving pool, a decent sized play area and a spa. By the time we talked to the other 2 builders, we were able to give them more details like water features and in-pool seating. All builders were also provided with a rough sketch of my cabana idea to incorporate in the bid process.
When we got back all 4 bids, we were completely blown away with the Paul Miller design. He not only incorporated all of our stated requirements but also included extra features like a waterfall grotto, weeping waterfalls, large sun deck and fire pit. The design really captured our imagination. An added bonus is that the designer was also the owner of the company, Paul Miller. He was the only one to suggest placing the pool equipment directly behind the waterfall feature to mask its sight and sound from our house and neighbors. As a an added benefit, it reduces the run for the gas line and piping. As a engineer, I was quite impressed with his overall view of the project from functionality to aesthetics.
One other note in the selection criteria. Claffey told us that they would only build a ozone/chlorine pool. Paul Miller would only build a salt water pool. Robertson and Riverbend Sandler would pretty much build with which ever sanitation method you choose including a combination of salt and ozone. I was more attracted to the pool builders that took a stand on sanitation method even though it was 2 different positions. Despite the FUD around salt water pools, I went with the experience of our neighbor who has owned both and so I opted for Paul Miller to build me a salt water pool.
Below are the particulars for our chosen design:
Length: 36' x 41'
Depth: 3'6" - 5' - 8'
Shape: Custom Freeform
Area: 684 sq. ft.
Area: 38 sq. ft.
Elevation: 18" above pool
Pool Entry, Benches and Swim-outs
Entry Type: Sun Deck
In-Pool Table : Yes (half table build in side wall)
Grotto Waterfall: 10' long x 48"-54" tall
Weeping Waterfall: 16' long x 18"-24" tall
Bubbler Fountains: (1) on Sun Deck
Three-tier Fountains: In center of spa
Coping: Oklahoma flagstone
Deck: Pattern Concrete (1,015 sq. ft.)
Interior: Pebble Sheen (probably Aqua Blue but not decided)
Spa Waterfall: Oklahoma flagstone
Spa Veneer: Millsap Stone
Waterfalls: Texas Moss Boulders
Scuppers: Oklahoma flagstone
Pool pump: Pentair VS-3050 variable speed
Waterfall pump: 2 1/2 h.p. Whisper Flow
Filter: Clean and Clear 520
Controller: Easy Touch 8-function
Cleaner: Legend Platinum
Chlorinator: IntelliChlor (salt)
Lights: (2) LED color-changing
Heater: MasterTemp 400 (Natural Gas)
Light: LED color-changing
Air Blower: Polaris QT
Controller: Easy Touch 8-function
Diving Boards and Pedestals
Jump Rock: Jump Rock with accent boulders and pool-side planter
Our pool design drawn to scale: