New Pool Build in Boston Area

cutter2010May 26, 2010

We signed our contract a few weeks ago and are excited to get our pool build started. Going to use this thread to document the progress and hopefully help others like we've been helped.

Our permits are currently in process and hope to cut ground over the next 1-2 weeks. In the meantime, we are doing some fence removal, tree removal and play set moving to prep the site.

Here are a few specs. Any last minute additions we should make?

⢠18â x 38â pool" 3â to 8â Ft depth" 550 Sq ft Shape : Oasis

⢠8ft Diameter 8 Jets Spa with Step, light, bench, Floor Bubblers " MDX Anti-entrapment Safety Main Drain . Meets all ANSI Safety Codes. Pools Spa to be at pool grade. Intellibrite LED Spa Light included

⢠Easy 8 Pool and Spa Controller with Inhouse Panel and 4 Function Spa Side Remote

⢠Computer Aided Designed - Engineered Plans and Specifications

⢠Swimming Pool Construction and Electrical permits

⢠Excavation, Layout and wood Forming of Pool along with some additional grading for some slope differences.

⢠Safety Main Drain with Hydrostatic Relief Valve and 1 load rock pack

⢠Engineered Steel reinforced

⢠Engineered Concrete 12â Gunite âÂÂBond Beam âÂÂconstruction to meet or exceed city/town codes

⢠Salt Purification System - Intellichlor Salt

⢠Polaris 3900 Cleaning Robot w pump

⢠One (1) 6â band of Frost proof tile - standard set to choose

⢠3 Step Grand Stair Entry with 1ea 11ft of bench @ Spa

⢠6â x 18âÂÂdeep end seating benches

⢠White Plaster Interior Pool Finish

⢠Sta-Rite Modular Filter and Sta-Rite Pump

⢠Sta-Rite 400K BTU Heater

⢠2 ea Surface Skimmers and required returns

⢠Weatherproof Time clocks" Intermatic

⢠Electrical Bonding and Equipment Wiring up to 60ft from existing adequate power Source. Deck Bonding Included

⢠Complete hookup of all waterlines from filter to pool including hose bib at pump

⢠One (1) MDX Anti Entrapment Dual Suction Breaker main Drain - Pentair SVRS variable speed pump

⢠2ea Intellibrite LED Pool Lights (100 ft cord) with conduit and deck Box

⢠Deluxe Cleaning tools" Hand Leaf skimmer , 16â telescopic pole, 18â nylon brush, Vacuum head, Test kit and thermometer, Safety ropes and floats

⢠Full Pool and equipment instructions

For Decking, we are using Unilock Umbriano. We are also ripping out a deck and installing a patio

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Ohhh you're on your way! sounds good.Im sure you thought of this but try not to have the pool lights facing the seating area. Also if you dont mind...Pool builder? Budget?
We built our pool in Ma. using Andrews.My brother used Enviromental.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 7:56PM
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sssb, thanks for the advice on the lights. We plan to do that. Andrews and Environmental were finalists. Both had great design ideas and have so far been better than the builder we eventually chose in terms of design. In the end, we went with South Shore Gunite which seemed to have the strongest written warrenty already in place (5 years)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 11:01AM
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It's go time. Our permits came today about 2 weeks after our PB submitted them. I guess it helps that my wife has gone down to town hall a few times.

The only stange things.....We are connecting the fence to our neighbor's fence (he also has a pool) and the town wants us to draft a "we'll maintain the fence together" letter and have it added to our deed. I understand having the letter on file but adding it to the deed seems a little excessive? Anyone else experience this?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 11:08AM
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Just got in our detailed blueprints from our PB. Think we are going to change the Intellibrite position in the deep end of the pool as that would be directly facing our house. Apologize in advance as just getting the hang of this image posting thing.

Otherwise, we are just about ready to go. Digging is scheduled to begin later this week.

Been doing some site work this past week. Here's a photo of our newly moved swingset on the side of our yard.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 10:15PM
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Hmm, looks like a permissions issue.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 12:58PM
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The truck came today to drop off 600SF of Brussels Sandstone block and 1100 SF of Umbriano. We got a great deal on these at the yearly sale in Uxbridge at the factory last month. Will post a few closeups later.

If all goes well, digging will start Fri or Monday.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 6:23PM
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Hi Cutter_2010, we're also in the Boston area and are just beginning our research. Would you be willing to share the cost? I've seen/heard wildly disparate prices and need to level set my expectations! Thanks very much in advance, Marta_P

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 1:58PM
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Yes, pricing is all over the place. We saw some quotes come in high that came down. And others that came in low that went up. For example, one company gave us an original quote for a heater and a spa. We thought it was all inclusive until a competitor said to ask about electric. We asked and it wasn't included. This situation existed with the 3 vendors we looked at. Here's that string that provides more detail on the process.

If you want to leave your email, can contact you offline. I have monster spreadsheet I built that can help even out some of the different quotes so you can come as close to comparing Apples to Apples as possible.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 4:30PM
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thanks so much! I will definitely take you up on your offer. I tried to link to your other post but for some reason it's coming up invalid. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong - I've just joined so I wouldn't be surprised.. Congratulations - must feel great to be moving forward!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 7:51PM
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Our pool builder sprayed out the pool yesterday in prep for the build to start on Monday. I traced it over so you can see it better.

Will be shifting it back a bit so we can maximize our patio area. Here are a couple of designs.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 6:10PM
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Got the big official packet. We start digging at 7am on Monday! Our pool builder did a great job today taking time out of his Sat to make some last minute adjustments to the pool placement. We placed some new stakes down to hopefully give us some more deck room.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 9:03PM
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Wow, what 48 hours can do to your yard. On Sunday, the pool was drawn out on our lawn (see above). By Tuesday mid afternoon, all rough site work was complete and pool shape was dug.

We actually had to pull back some of our yard because of an easement issue and also do some grading since once side of the yard was four feet higher than the other side. We split the difference and are setting the pool grade at a 2 feet elevation.

Monday - Digging Begins

Tuesday Morning - Digging the Pool Hole

Tuesday Afternoon - Rough grading and rough pool dig complete

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 8:58PM
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wow, looks great Cutter - it's happening so quickly! when do they think they'll finish? hopefully the rain will hold off. what are you doing for a fence?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 8:33AM
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Thanks Marta, our pool builder, South Shore Gunite is cranking along. Huge progress each day this week. If all comes together, we may have gunite shot by the end of next week.

For a fence, we are looking at an Ornamenmental fence by Ameristar that fences in the whole pool area.

I call the past two days the double S days. Skimmers came on Weds and Steel began on Thursday.

Skimmers Arrive, then the Steel..............

And of course, the girls are happy to see the progress.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 9:01AM
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The fist week of the build is complete. All the steel with the exception of the stairs is complete. The electrician also came by today to electrically bond the pool. That means you don't supposedly get cooked in the event of lightening or other electrical issues.

You'll see the copper bonding in the right photo

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 5:52PM
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The crew was over this morning to do the last thing before gunite......plumb the spa. You'll also notice that the wood forming around the back of the pool. This will be used to shoot the gunite against.
Gunite is scheduled for Fri so pretty excited for that milestone.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 2:18PM
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The Gunite crew got to the house bright and early this morning(6:45am) to begin the process. Grabbed these quick pics before heading to work. Can't wait to see what it looks like later.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:03AM
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The crew was hard at work and made huge progress since this morning. Believe gunite is complete.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 6:11PM
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This looks great! Did you consider fiberglass? I'm wondering what the cost differences would be. Would you mind if I took a look at your spreadsheet. We are in the very beginning stages of research - and your yard/dimensions/pool size/landscape are almost identical to ours! Thanks! :) Joy joy143dh at gmail dot com

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 1:33PM
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Hi Cutter, thanks again for offering to share your spreadsheet; we're thinking about calling the big 3 PBs that you considered next week and it would be a huge help to see your research! My e/mail address is What's the update on your build? when do you think you might be able to swim? Also, (sorry for all the questions) I notice you have young ones at home too - are you doing a safety fence around the pool in addition to the fence around the yard? We have a pretty flat, rectangular yard which is already fenced in. We're thinking about a rectangular pool with safety cover, but I'm wondering if we'll need an additional fence? Our daughter is 3.5 now. Thanks for all of your help!! Marta

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Hi Cutter,
This documentation has been so helpful! We're looking forward to the final pictures. We're going to contact the three companies you mentioned (we're in Mass too) and were wondering if you could also share your spreadsheet with us. If so my e-mail is creissfelder @ .com. I put a space in there so spam won't find me :-). Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 3:46PM
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Chris 11895, will send you the spreadsheet. Look for it. pros and cons with all the companies. Good luck and more photos to come.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 7:40PM
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With the holidays, the past two weeks have been a bit slow with little things dones every few days. Next week is big as pipes and electric is scheduled to go in along with a new stone wall. Here are a few photos from the past week or so.

Side note, backfilling is expensive when you factor in a Cat and the stone. Recommend negotiating this stuff as much as possible upfront as many pool builders don't include backfill/compacting in their project.

Building the Timber Wall.
The crew actually had to take apart 1/2 way through the project to put in another set of deadmen higher on the wall.The original ones were installed too low. This timber wall will face woods/trees so it won't be seen once complete.

The Backfilling Begins with Stone
The crews backfills the pool to what's called pipe grade so the pipes can be put in during the next step. The backfill holds the pool in place and gives a good subbase for the eventual pavers

The Crew Compacts the backfill

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 7:50PM
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chris11895, need the domain of your email address.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 7:55PM
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cutter2010, I've enjoyed following your build. We too will be using a lot of back-fill around our pool.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:31PM
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Thanks jsldh. Have already used 3 truckloads of 1 1/2 stone for back fill and will need another truck before the paving guys establish their paving base.

BTW, if anyone is thinking of building a pool half way between two grades, you must factor in additional backfill (I didn't). For example, our right side of the yard is at elevation 4 feet and left side is elevation 0 feet. We decided on building the pool at the midway 2 foot level to give the pool balance in our yard. Knowing how much it's costing for extra backfill and extra timber wall, may have decided to put it at elevation 0 feet to avoid the additional timber wall cost and the big extra backfill bill ($2K+). Think it will look better though. We'll see in a few weeks.

Met with out stone walk builder today. That starts Monday also. We have a home builder around the corner that has a ton of stone from the properties he's building. He's dumping off 20 tons of wall stone on Monday. Hope to have some new photos Mon or Tues.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:25PM
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Things look to be picking up this week. Hopefully, we'll be through the following this week.

- Piping
- Electric
- Coping and tile
- Stone Wall built
- Final grading

Both our pool builder and landscaper/wall builder were at our house today starting two separate projects.

The crew built a little area for the equipment pad at the corner of our yard. It's back from the wall a bit so our ornamental fence posts can go in next week.

Wall Builders
The crew began carving our the exact area where the stone wall will go. You can see some of the stone we are using in the right of the photo. That was delivered around 7 this morning. Below the stone wall is our pool deck. Above it is the patio.

We are using 4 foot granite steppers to bring guests from the lowest level (0 feet) to the pool deck area (2 feet)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:39PM
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Hey cutter - woops on that! It's Thanks so much and it looks great. Can't wait to see the final product!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 2:43PM
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Do you mind sharing the spreadsheet with me as well? I am also in the Boston Area (Southern NH) and am trying to nail down a contract (not with South Shore Gunite) and I want to make sure I am not too far off on prices. We got quotes from several different companies but that was in the very beginning before we know what we actually wanted. Now we do and other then the size of our pool (ours will be more like 710sqft), we have similar features.

My e-mail is .

I will share specs and build pictures with the site once we get that far (still trying to nail down a price and contract).


    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 7:20PM
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Electrical was 90% completed yesterday and we are awaiting a visit from the inspector before everything is backfilled. Gas is scheduled for Monday as the wall guys continue at their art or wall making.

One note about gas. Not sure if all pool builders take this approach but you might have to really drive that part of the project if you have a pool heater. Our pool builder definitely takes a "throw it over the wall" approach for the gas component in terms of giving guidance. We have had to be very proactive in figuring out where to dig the ditch, when to set up the call, how to do it, etc. If I wasn't on top of the project, the gas install could have fallen through the cracks another few days.


Filter, heater and polaris pump. Also had the crew use a Jandy spilt on the return going to the pool and put a cap on one side for a future waterfall. That's the pipe that is sticking straight out.

The stone wall will go up to about 2 feet and meet the closer steps. There will then be another 2 foot wall on the right of the steps that separates the patio from the pool deck/walkway. Access to the pool deck will be from the far stairs.

For fencing, a black ornamental will go down the middle (between far wall and pool) and to completely sepearte the house from the pool area. When our kids get older, we will proably switch up the fence configuration.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:24PM
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We've had a ton of progress since our last post. The wall crew from Renovo's Landscaping has been absolutely amazing cranking out 10-12 hour days the past week to finishing up the main segments of the wall.

Additionally, the PB completed the coping and the tile over the past two days. We went with a Sapphire blue tile and Acadamy Grey Coping. During this time, the rough backfill was done along with the gas setup.

View from Side Yard with new wall
Notice the gas and electric lines which need to be 18 inches underground. The gas then has to go down and additional 12 inches. We had our landscapers dig out the gas hole which took almost a day.

Wall, Coping and Tile


View from the Entry Steps

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 11:15PM
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Get the Pavers Ready!

The Unilock pavers that have been sitting in my driveway for months got put to use today. The wall crew switched gears and compacted the final rough grade before jumping on the pavers. These are the Umbriano that require a little different install (No Poly sand). The PB also finished tile today around the spa. If all works our we will be swimming by Aug 1 :).

The only kink today was the wait for electrician for the deck bonding which is a grounding wire 4-6 inches below grade 18 inches from water line. It's throwing off the paving somewhat as the crew can't build the deck right up to the pool. That's getting installed Thurs morning with an inspection hopefully end of day.

Entry way to Pool
I think the crew is excited to get a break from building that wall

Final Tile Placed in Spa

My Daughter has Little Fun with the Paver Sand

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 10:56PM
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Here's the progress of the pool deck pavers which are almost complete along with the final part of the wall. We had to order another 150 SF of umbriano which arrived this morning.

On deck is the fence.

Expansion Joints
The Crew puts in the foam for the expansion joint around the pool. The joint is a half inch space between the pavers and the coping to account for expansion during the winter which could lead to broken tiles.

Patio before all the paver cuts are made

Begining the last phase of the wall

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:35AM
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The fence installers are installing the fence polls all around the pool. So much for our beautiful unobstructed view of the pool from our house. Safety is #1 priority with 3 little ones.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 2:43PM
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Our pool was filled with water this past fri and we were swimming Friday night....finally. Will post pics soon.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 3:48PM
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How cold was the water from the truck (or hose)? I am assuming that a newly filled pool is 55 degrees or so...But I am probably wrong, right?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 5:05PM
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whohoo Cutter2010 - great news!!! Congratulations, can't wait to see the photos. You sure picked the right August to have a pool in Boston.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 4:30PM
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I was wondering if you could also send me your spred sheet and any pros and cons with the three pb? this would be very helpful. Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 8:33PM
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Hi Cutter2010, would you mind sending me your spreadsheet as well? Many thanks (and your project looks AMAZING!).

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 4:59PM
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BTW, to answer my own question. The water from the water truck for our pool (all 3 trucks!) was about 65 degrees (which was 10 degrees warmer then our well water).

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 6:28PM
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We are comparing quotes for a gunite pool install this summer in Central Mass. Wondering is anyone is willing to share: quotes, pitfalls to avoid, questions that they wished they had asked before starting the project.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 12:06PM
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