New Pool Build in Surprise, AZ (PHX)

myredfiveoFebruary 25, 2010

Hello Everyone!

Just started a new build in Surprise, AZ (Phx area).

Day (1) today: Excavation completed

Here are the new specs which have changed from an earlier posting:

85 LF 395 SQ Ft

3'-6' depth

Infloor cleaning system

StaRite Equipment

Easy Touch Wireless Controls

Intellipro VS3050 Variable Speed pump

Pebble Tec Tahoe Blue

Pentair LED light (just one)

30 SQ FT Boulder waterfall

Tanning ledge w/water bubbler

Flagstone coping

Accent boulders

Travertine paver deck


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Thanks for posting! I love to see the progress, especially since I'm waiting for the snow to melt in DC before we can get started on ours. Hope the project goes smoothly!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 8:46AM
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congrats! you building it yourself? pool builder? consultant?

Keep the pics coming!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 10:04AM
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Natural One- After several months of planning and talking to other pool builders, I decided to build with Shasta. I have to say I've been very pleased with everything so far as well as the price, even though it took a little while to reach an agreement.

Tentative schedule as follows: plumbing tomorrow, Monday rebar, Tuesday electrical, Wednesday gunite!

I'll post pics as the work progresses!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 6:57PM
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Friday the plumbing was completed. Electrical and rebar is scheduled for Monday. Let me know if you guys see anything in the pictures that should be brought to the pool builder's attention. Thanks!

Water bubbler will be at the edge of the tanning shelf

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 3:25AM
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I am surprised to see the use of flex pipe on a system equipped with a floor system. Been there, done that, won't go back.

I assume the tan tank next to the skimmer is an autofill.

Is that a debris catcher on the other side?

What is tied to the skimmer?

Is that another debris catcher in front of the pump?

Very, very cleanly plumbed.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 8:39AM
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I dont see any flex pipe, but we do alot of heat bending here. It reduces the amount of fittings, and lowers the TDH, and obviously works great with freeform pools.

One of the small round tanks is a autofill, and the other is a indeck chlorine feeder.
The skimmer is a venturi type with a return tied to it.
And that is a leaf catcher plumbed infront of the pump.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 2:56PM
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Thanks for posting that response. Hopefully there will be more pictures tomorrow.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 4:39PM
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We had some heavy rains on Saturday, but not one puddle of water inside the hole! Today, the rebar and electrical were completed except that the wireless attenna still needs to be installed for the Easy Touch. Inspection is tomorrow and shotcrete hopefully on Wednesday.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 8:38PM
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is heat bending a common practice? Is it stronger than fittings? I am curious to know if weak points are established by heating the pipe. I would imaging it would pressure tested at a higher pressure to make sure the material's strength has not been compromised. The reason I ask is because my pool builder had the plumbing contractor replace a couple pipes that he heat bended because he says he does not do any heat bending in his pools.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 9:56PM
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I may be wrong here, but seems as though the excavators allowed for a "underwater" rock shelf for the waterfall, but the steel crew kept it at bond beam height. (note the double stack of concrete spacer block used to hold the steel up). If so, that sure makes for a large mass of concrete under the wf, along with the loss of the aesthetics gained from a rock shelf. If shasta tries to charge you for any shotcrete overbreak, Id argue a little on it due to this. Glad you have pics to prove it.

The rock pockets look to be excavated at bond beam height and steeled that way as well...making them just deck boulders now sitting above tile. I prefer to do all of our pools with varying height pockets and rock shelfs, always so the boulders "kiss" the water.

hope im wrong as I now see shotcrete was today (wednesday)... All in all looks to be a clean build! Bet you're happy it will be done in time for the heat coming!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 10:04PM
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"Is it stronger" If a fitting is properly installed, no.
Is there way more chances for a fitting to leak or come apart, yes.
Schedule 40 PVC depending on size is rated for around 200PSI operating and 900PSI bursting.
Heat bending does stress the pipe wall some. You are basically stretching the pipe on one side when you are bending it. Pool operating pressures are very low, so there is no concearn about this.
Now just like anything it is a skill to properly heat bend pipe, it cant be burned and charred, you cant make tight turns or it will kink, you cant heat the ends where you want a fitting, ect.
There are many old school guys that dont like change. (Oh Boy Almost Made A
political statement:)

The one sup they have left covering the whole valley probably didnt catch that.
But it is ok, they are a still a Master Builder.
Hey have you ever used those A+A telescopic WF? I have steared clear so far, I have heard of issues with dirt getting trapped, and having trouble retracting ect.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 11:16PM
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Wednesday 3/3/10: Shotcrete Completed

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 1:46AM
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Don't forget to water the shell periodically. This helps the concrete hydrate/cure more evenly. The side exposed allows evaporation of water that would otherwise be used in the hydration of the cement. Watering the shell helps to replace it and that surface and the cement below it get stronger.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 4:23AM
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Natural One,

The boulder and WF pads are correct as you seem, standard on the top of the bond beam, not recessed. If I would have planned for more boulders around the pool then most likely I would have added recessed pockets for more variety. The accent boulders will be 2' X 2' and 2' X 3'. Installation will probably be on Friday or Monday.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:29AM
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Looks good, they are working fast. Hope for no more rain for a while, I am getting tired of it.

Is your neighbors fence really painted blue inside?
I guess that is why they call it Surprise!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:47AM
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justapb- I hear ya. I just wonder what the original plans called underwater waterfall shelf or not. either way, interesting.

Myred- cool. no biggie- like i said, just make sure they dont hit you for overbreak charges.

WOW- that is definitely a bright blue wall! maybe the sky of a wall mural?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 10:11AM
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WF will be installed tomorrow. Waterline tile and travertine deck next week.

Yah, that blue wall is disgusting. They're mad that my two story house was built behind their single level. Hopefully the HOA will take of the issue for me....

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 6:25PM
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WF was installed today but it was getting to late for any good pictures. Tomorrow they will be back with a new accent boulder since one didn't match the other and then I'll post some pictures. WF looks beautiful and bigger than I expected!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 12:09AM
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It rained almost all day and night yesterday so the waterline tile will hopefully be installed tomorrow. Here are the pics of the water fall as promised.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 4:29PM
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Looks like one of Aquatic Creations waterfalls.
They do a good job, they just all look the same.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:25PM
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It was built by Desert Hills. If it looks similar to their other work, so be it. There's only one for me to look at in my back yard! I'm very pleased with how it turned out too, not real tall and bulky like some I've seen. I'll be doing a tropical landscape theme so it should fit in perfect.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 12:43AM
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Just curious. What was the looped piping in the waterfall for?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 2:32PM
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You mean Desert Falls. They both build for S------ and have very similar style.
I wasnt slamming there work, they just do alot of production waterfalls, it will look nice with some plants around it.

What are you doing for your coping, a bullnose, or the paver itself?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 8:10PM
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The coping will be walnut bullnose travertine and the 6"x12" pavers for the deck to match. Shasta let me subcontract the deck to save a little money. I mentioned earlier in my first post that I was going to do a flagstone coping but that has changed obviously. It should turn out great though! I'm thinking about having the existing 10'x20' patio sprayed with acrylic or stained. Any suggestions?

Here are some pics of the waterline tile installed today called graphite from Noble. Coping and deck is scheduled to begin on Thursday.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 11:48PM
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One line is the supply line for the waterfall and the other has been cut off at the base of the shotcrere pad and serves as a "drain" with the return line coming out under the waterfall as seen in the pics.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 12:24PM
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If you want a cohesive look I would install the travertine pavers over your existing patio; it really ties everything together. If you do this it should be less per square foot because they just sand set on the already existing concrete patio and they don't have to use AB.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 5:52PM
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That would be my suggestion as well, except I dought you set your pool high enough for this to work with your existing patio.
You could tile it with a matching trav, and have them set the paver a little high to match the height of the tile.
The trav tile is a little cheaper then the pavers, and you dont have to do it right a way, you will just have a little step there.

Again easy for me to spend your money.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:25PM
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We had the option to set the pool higher, but to save some money we decided not too and I had to quickly come to terms with myself of either leaving the concrete the way it was or having it sprayed. I totally agree the travertine would probably be the best option, but I'll be happy with acrylic finish. The (existing) patio will mostly likely be the last thing I do after the landscaping.

The coping and deck will be starting in the morning and hopefully everything goes smooth in the next few days. They estimate three days to finish.

Any dislikes on the tile color? I thought it might be a pain to pick something that would blend and/or match the boulders. I read some posts on the site and I didn't want to put myself in a position of redoning it and spend more money I don't already have to fix it! I thought the blue/gray colors would be a great constrast and I love the similar tile I've seen in the many beautiful pics on this site. Plus it looks really nice with the travertive.

One more question. When the guy was installing the waterline tile I think he said he uses the skimmer as a starting point? Does that seem right?? Not sure exactly what his words were though.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:04AM
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I think your tile looks great! It's the perfect blend of the boulder color and Tahoe Blue. It took us two attempts, and some invaluable input from this board, to find a tile that looked good with our flagstone.

I don't know if it's the right way to install tile or not but they started with one of our skimmers both times.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 11:38AM
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I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel! The pool is expected to be finished on Tuesday! Saturday morning the deck crew will be finshing up and on Monday the plumbing guys will be back to get the infloor cleaning system ready. The waterfall crew will also be back to do their finishing touches. The inspector will make his appearance as well and then Tuesday the interior will be applied.

I'll probably post pictures on Sunday. It's looking beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 1:37AM
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Here are a few pictures of the deck. Walnut travertine 375 sq ft. with bullnose coping. Existing concrete patio is 200 sq ft. Looks beautiful! The interior will be applied in the morning!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 4:48AM
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The pebble interior was applied this morning and tomorrow they'll be back to acid wash it and start the fill. The color is "Catalina Blue" (ShastaStone) similar to Tahoe Blue (PT).

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 3:42PM
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I noticed they did not put any trim or a soldier course around the outside of the pavers. Those small pieces that are cut will break off easily.
I dont think I have ever seen it done without a trim.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:55PM
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The pool was filled as of last week Friday and looks beautiful!

Water features were briefly turned on during the equioment start-up

Day 2 with start-up chemicals

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 8:48AM
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Looks awesome. Just wait until you get a little landscape going, it will be beautiful.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Looks fantastic! Are you satisfied with the 1 LED light? My pool will be very similar in size, shape and color and my builder insists that 1 light will be plenty. I tend to agree looking at your photo. Seems like most on this board advise putting in 2, but I don't really need my pink pool visible from space, if you know what I mean! Would hate to spend an extra $700 only to have it annoyingly brite. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 10:58PM
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Squid- I was thinking about adding a second LED light too, but I decided to take a chance and hope it would be sufficient. I have to say I'm very satisfified with the one because it is very bright at the deep end and perfect at the shallow end. If you see the picture above, the very top of the tanning shelf isn't illuminated but i'm totally fine with that. It all depends on personal preference I guess. I hope this helps with your decision. If the pool would have been longer then I probably would have added a second.

just-a-pb- At first I wanted a soldier course but I really like the look without it and in pics posted on this site. The "odie" pool was done that way too. Can't wait to get the landscape done, but It'll be ahwile before the funds to get "restored" lol

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 5:39AM
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We are looking at Shasta as an option for our PB. I was wondering if you were pleased with how everything went? Our pool design is almost EXACTLY the same, and without the travertine we were quoted roughly $30k. Is this similar to what you experienced? I figure pool building is probably pretty slow right now, so there might be some room to bargain.

Pool looks great, and it really helps to visualize what ours might turn out to be.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 2:21PM
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Myredfiveo - your pool came out beautiful, love the design and what you did. Quick question we have done a similiar type deck and the builder did not use a border or soldier course. Over the past several months have you had any issue with any of the smaller pieces around the border coming loose/off? Looks like they built the mortar up pretty good all the way around for you.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:30AM
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