McKinney, TX Pool Build by SouthernWind Pools

R-E-OFebruary 23, 2011

I've been lurking for a while and thought I would share what we are doing.

We are in a suburb of North Dallas, Texas. My wife wanted a pool she could do some laps in and something for the kids. We solicited bids from two of the larger pool companies here, SouthernWind Pools and RiverBend Sadler. We ended up going with SouthernWind because they are a smaller company and because RiverBend Sadler never returned our calls. It took four attempts to just to speak with them initially and once they did a design for us we never heard back from them. My impression was that RiverBend was so busy they really didn't need our business--it was so weird. Contrasted to SouthernWind in which the owner of the company gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him anytime with a question or concern. It made it an easy decision to choose SouthernWind. But on to the project.

We decided we couldn't accommodate a full lap lane since it's about 75 feet. So, we ended up going with a 2/3 distance. This created some interesting design challenges and in the end it looks good (on paper). My wife insisted on a diving board for the kids and a deep end. I agreed and said I just want someplace to sit so I got a in pool bar. We went back and forth late last year working on the design with SouthernWind and finally signed a contract in December. Permits took about a month and we just launched into the build.

Here are the details:

Builder: SouthernWind Pools

Perimeter: 146

Area: 858

Depth: 3.5 -8.5

Patio: 1852 sq. feet

Gallons: 31k for pool, 10k for spa


In-floor cleaning system

Pentair 400 BTU heater

Pentair Intelliflo Pump & Filtration

Salt water + Ozone (Quikpure 3)

2 LED lights

2 Clark Synthesis Aquasonic Speakers (so my wife can listen to music underwater while she swims. No, seriously...)

Stonescapes interior

Tennesse Crab Orchard coping

2 bubblers on steps

Plus extension of patio roof (10x40')

And a gas fire pit

Total Cost: $147,000

Here are some preview pics:

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In process build pictures. It actually took them four days to dig the pool. The reason was that when they filled up the dump truck to take away the dirt the dump truck did not return for at least an hour. Apparently the dumping ground for the dirt was really really far away.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 1:54PM
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    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Gunite happened yesterday:

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 2:06PM
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After looking at the pool it appeared the bar stool columns were too close to the wall. They are about 12" away (and one is less than that). I couldn't see how anyone could sit on them with they legs in front of them.

The site supervisor was by today and I mentioned this to him. He said they are fine--they are as far away from the wall as they are supposed to be. I expressed my concerns and he hopped up on of the columns to show how you can sit on them.

Well, he's a normal guy, maybe 5'10"" and he could not put his knees in front of him. He explained you sit with your knees apart. Well, his knees had to be so far apart that his left knee was in front of the other post for the other bar stool. I asked how is someone supposed to sit next to you then? It's going to be interesting to see what happens next because I think the stools are near unusable in their current location. I'll let you know how SouthernWind handles the situation in another update.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 2:11PM
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The stools do look tight, the funny part is you will find that most people cozy up to the sunshelf to relax and talk, its a great spot to float up to and put you arms out and enjoy a beverage.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:05PM
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It will be interesting to see how your stool situation is handled.
I just ran outside about an hour ago and decided that I didn't like the entry steps into the pool. I had really thought the tread would be I asked the guys to add a few inches to them, limited by the location of the light.
I realized that spending this amount of money, I really need the pool to be perfect for me to be happy, even though they might not be happy. If I hadn't asked them to fix it, it would annoy me forever, and they'll only be annoyed for a few minutes. Glad I've been mostly hanging around the house today.
So I wish you luck getting this right.
(I'm the St Petersburg FL pool)

Here is a link that might be useful: My Boring Blue Pool Blog

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:29PM
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I would have them fix it the way you want it with all the $$ you're paying. Looking at the space, you may need to go to 3 stools rather than 4 for ample space....

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 6:08PM
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Don't forget the plaster finish will be 3/4" on the stools and on the wall. That's 1-1/2"s less for knee room.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:00PM
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I always liked setting the sona-tube after gunite and then pouring in place. Trying to gunite into a tube usually just creates a lot of rebound inside the tube.

Wonder how they will build the bar portion without rebar to attach it? Looked like it was raised in the computer drawing. Is that a foot rest in front of the stools?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:32PM
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There is a footrest, it's 6" wide and 15" below the top of the stools--that's the plan at least.

The bar portion itself is going to be stacked flagstone, maybe a 4-6" inch bump with maybe an inch or so overhang over the pool.


Is the plaster really that thick? We're using stonescapes.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 8:22PM
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Usually 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch is normal.

Another note: If they epoxied rebar into the gunite floor, when they remove the original stools, make sure they don't just cut the rebar flush. Flush rebar, if water penetrates, will produce recurring rust spots. It needs to be covered, either with more epoxy or cement.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 7:08AM
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Long story short but SouthernWind agrees with me that they don't work and are going to knock the bar stools out and redo them. They mentioned that they are going to ask me where exactly I want them when they are re-done so there are no issues.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 5:54PM
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It took three weeks to the do the stone and tile but it looks good. It took so long because the back side has stone bricks all along it. They hand made each stone brick.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 12:54PM
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You pool is going to be so nice. I can't wait to see the finished project. I am happy you posted your price. I don't feel so bad about mine now. (I am 'My MD pool build'). We are where you are now but our weather is not as nice as yours so it will be about another month or so before we are completed.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 2:44PM
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Did they fix the stools yet?


    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 9:01PM
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They demolished the old ones and are going to pour new ones. They are going to have me pick the location I want them to be. I expect that to happen in about 2-3 weeks.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:14PM
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Love your blue tile. Can you share the mfr and name/number?

Also, how wide is the narrow end/lap lane?

The whole project looks great! Coping and bricks on the backside = gorgeous.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 8:35PM
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Here is the tile manufacturer:

National Pool Tile Grouphref>

We have: VR679 Borba Turquoise

The lap lane is about 45' long and 3.5' wide at the ends.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:33AM
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LOL. I KNEW it was Borba. It's a sad day when I've become so obsessed over tile selection that I can identify tile name and brand with 99% accuracy. :-) I have a sample of the Borba. I'm torn between that and the Tondela Blue, also by NPT and in the same series.

I'll post pics of my build. I also have a 45' lap lane with a narrow end. I think mine is 6' wide. It's an unusual design but like you, I wanted a lap lane, play space and a shelf. In addition we have a water line in the yard that needed to be avoided/contended with.

Thanks for tile confirmation - I love how it looks. So nice to see a picture of a pool in progress that is using it. Makes me comfortable with my choice.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:52AM
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Love this tile but wonder if would have the same amazing look with poured in place concrete coping?

Any finished pics?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 5:52PM
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It depends on the color of the coping. Tile will look good under any kind of coping. It's your colors that will make the difference. The coping on this pool is neutral so it goes with any color of tile. If your coping is in the neutral range or A Chromatic colors you will be fine with any color tile. If you don't select a color for your coping that fits into those categories than you want to select a complementary color for your tile.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:09AM
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