Baja shelf as first stair into pool. Seen it?

banana_fannaJune 18, 2008

In our old pool if I wasn't *in* the pool with kids, I'd sit on the coping with my feet in the water. Obviously that's only comfortable for so long as I had no back support.

In this pool I'd like to keep my feet wet/booty dry and sit in a chair. That's when I thought about doing a baja shelf as the 1st step, which would make the water on the shelf only about 5-6" deep.

All shelves I've seen are the second level, after one step to enter onto the shelf.

Anyone seen the baja shelf as the first stair? Would it look odd?

Foreseeable problems with doing it this way? THanks.

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Hi, thats exactly what we are doing, an oversized first step about 7 foot diameter serving as the sunshelf. It will be in about 5-6 inches of water. Look for David pool build thread to see pics. Its on the second page of threads I think.

1 Like    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 9:53AM
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We didn't do it, because we decided against a baja shelf altogether, but I recall seeing at least one contractor design a pool for us with a baja shelf as a first step. Obviously I can't say I saw the finished product, but seems it can be done...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Many people on this board like the sun shelf to be deeper, but mine is the top step and I really like it. It's about 6" deep and is great for just getting your feet wet. It's also great for any kids that come over. One problem with it - the Polaris doesn't hit that area as often and when it does, it sprays water out.

Plus, the more shallow shelf allows the umbrella to stand higher, reducing the "poke in the eye" some complain about!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:41AM
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gorgeous pool!! What pebble is pearl?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:56AM
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Ours is the first step as well. It's about 6" deep and as I just mentioned in another thread if you're going to have a bubbler you don't want it much deeper because the bubbler won't spray up very high. When we have little kids over they love playing on the shelf!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 10:57AM
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Add me to the club! I have one too and I love it!

(Taken before my decking was finished)

1 Like    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Ours is on the first step and I love it. It's 8'X4'. Sorry I don't have a picture of it yet when the pool is completely full, but you can get the idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Pool

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:07PM
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Ours is 10 feet across and about 9 inches of water depth. Because it is quite large, only half of it protrudes into the shallow area, the other half extends beyond the pool area. We did not want to waste our precious shallow area if we did not need to. It will be about a 12 inch step down to it, but we wanted it to be the first step, and still have about 9 - 10 inches of water.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:21PM
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do you have any trouble with algae growing on a 1st step shelf? our PB mentioned that problem

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 12:22PM
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cda - yes, black pearl pebbletec. We also have a koi pond (almost seen between pool and house), so we wanted something darker.

bsaacks - I don't believe we have any algae, though the darker color may mask it?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 6:07PM
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My first step is 6' x 8' and and my 3rd is 9' x 8'.
When Im in my pool Im just lounging. That being said, I knew I wanted huge steps with umbrellas to to just hang out in.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 12:04AM
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I kinda have mine as the first step, but since I wanted it as my sun tanning space LOL... I put it off to the side of the steps so the kids didn't have to cross over me. You can still access the steps from it, so it works well as a large first step or just a place to vedge...

Here's a shot when we were getting filled... GL

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:07AM
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Ours has a large 12x5 first step. The polaris never reaches it but the PB put a return in the corner of the shelf to help with circulation.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 12:43PM
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Wow, these huge sun shelves makes me want a bigger pool and bigger shelf. They are all wonderful!

Moocat - where did your great looking furniture come from?


    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 1:50PM
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carenlynn- What is your decking made of? stamped concrete with flagstone?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 4:20PM
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I don't have a really good pic of ours but here it is before landscaping went in. The kids hang out on it all the time. I love laying on it and listening to the bubblers. Dirt has not been a problem because the bubblers keep the water moving and occasionally our polaris climbs onto it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 6:31PM
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I still have the small first step and the 18" swimout shelf and love it. You can put an aluminum chair on it and your butt will be out of the water. I just wish I had it all to do over, I would make the biggest shelf I could afford. Ours is 8x9' and it barely fits two loungers. We don't have kids, but we use the shelf as much as the deeper part.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 9:53PM
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I like your watercolor. What finish did you use in your pool?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 10:25PM
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We are still completing patio so we have not been able to swim yet.. but here is a shot of ours - tanning shelf is first step 10 ft wide and 10 ft long - 18" deep (on the far side in this photo). After the tanning shelf there are two steps into the shallow end of the pool.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 11:07PM
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Thanks momofthree, Our color is pebbletec blue lagoon. We are pleased. We didn't want anything too dark or green. We find the color looks "clean" and you can see the bottom, something we wanted for the kids. Here's a closeup:

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 1:25PM
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Carenlynn~ The name of the company is Hanamint & I think the line we bought was Casa... We have an extremely windy yard at times .. so we needed really heavy furniture.. We've had our two dining tables for 7 years and they still look brand new.. so when it came time to add pool furniture, we just added more to the collection.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 4:00PM
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Anyone use flagstone for their baja shelf? any issues with SWG and the stone being submersed all the time??

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:55PM
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casman, We install flagstone all the time on our steps and/or baha shelves. I have had mine for about 6 years no problem. I still even have the same lounge chairs. We have (and most of our clients) have SWG with no problems. There is extra prep work to make sure it comes out nice and stays nice.

Take a look at my pool below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos of Our Pool w/ Flagstone on Baha Shelf and Steps

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 9:51PM
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We are doing the best of both worlds in our pool. We built a beach entry that has a very gentle slope that goes from 0 to 9" in about 12 feet. It will be mostlly quatrzite (and some PT as it gets deeper). Then on the other side of the pool, we built a "kiddie" pool that really is for me. It is 18 inches deep and raised so it flows into the main pool. I plan on putting a lounge chair in there when the kids are not splashing around in it and just laying in the water. I looked at nylon lounge chairs and found many that are either just slightly less than 18" high and some that are just slightly taller than 18". So I will probably order the ones that are 15" or so high and that way my little tush can be in 2-3" of water all the time to keep cool. :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Our pool build -- 3rd pix shows kiddie pool, scroll down a few posts for beach entry.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:34PM
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Many thanks, wife is concerned about the $150 bathing suit getting mucked up and little feet and hands on the rougher stone - the other option is P-tec, but we are not planning on doing p-tec, instead going for the dark gray plaster for lagoon look, but really want a different color on the beach entry to make sure folks can see not to dive in there. We will be doing 3 rivers coping, so would look nice to have it continue to the beach entry. Is this considered a harder flagstone like a quartzite? We did our front entry of the house in the same stone so we would like to continue it. Bella - your pool looks awesome!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Thanks caman, our stone is Raft River Quartzite Gold. ItÂs a much harder stone (durable) than a flagstone like Tennessee Flagstone. Make sure you pick out a stone that is acceptable for being underwater. Some stones have a high metal content, etc.

You can also do another color Pebble Tec on the beach. We do it all the time and I have seen some great examples here. There was one that he had a dark blue Pebble Tec all over and had a warranty problem on the beach area. He then changed the entire beach to Sandy Beach Pebble Tec and left the rest of the pool dark blue. It came out awesome! ItÂs nice to see the before and after. If I find that thread I will put the link up here.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 5:24PM
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We have a traditional rectangle pool and i am thinking about incorporating a baja step/sunbathing area as an entry way into pool along the long side (opposite side is infinity). Anyway just wondering if anyone had any input or ideas - the concreting and pool are done and builder is chasing me for my decision.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 5:33AM
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