Pool Remodel

tropicals9bJuly 30, 2014

Good morning! I am hoping for some help from all you courageous people who have done new pools and remodels.

I have a 14x28 rectangular pool (with clipped corners) that we had fiber tech applied to about 18 years ago. It started coming off within 2 years and now has many places as large as 10"x30" that are bare concrete or metal.

So I am now looking for pool remodeling ideas, finishes and contractors.

My pool deck also needs to be redone as it is 1/4" inch salted cement that is also coming up or cracking all over the place.

Some facts:
I swim at least an hour every single day.
I don't want to over-build as I live in a middle class neighborhood built in the mid to late 50's.
Mostly 1 story block houses.
Tons of beautiful trees, no sidewalks.
1 house in 10 has a pool.
Prices in the $175K to $250K range.
Great school district for elementary and middle, pretty darn good for high school. All schools within 1/2 mile of my house.
I have a corner lot so pool can be seen from side street.
Has flat-roofed pool cage that is 34" inches away on far side and left side, 48" away on right side and then house is 96" away on near side with big windows and sliding glass door.
I will live here at least 10 more years, maybe even 20 (I am 55).

What I think I want:
Glass bead finish
Heated (October - May)
Lit, stacked slate waterfall about 72" wide and 24 to 36" tall and 15" deep. Multiple channels of water, not a sheet. Mostly to create light and sound for ambiance in the evenings. I think this should go on the 34" wide far side so it can be seen from inside the house. This will be geometric, not free style. Maybe 18"x24" inches on each side and 36"x36" in the center.
Remove ladder in deep end, never use it.
New stairs in shallow end.
Better drainage on deck (algae grows from winter rains).

Questions:
Should I spend the money to make the pool rectangular by removing the clipped corners?
Will that add a ton to the cost?
Will that make it harder for the Hayward Navigator to clean?
How thick should the new finish be?
Should the deck project over the pool edge or be even with it?
Is it harder to clean the top of the pool if it projects over?
Is pebble aggregate better than glass bead?
Does heating increase electric bill much?
Does a waterfall running about 20 hours a week greatly increase evaporation of pool?
Are waterfalls hard to clean?
How often do they need to be cleaned?
Should I convert to salt water?
Is it more expensive or harder to maintain than chlorine?
Does salt water erode pool surface faster than chlorine?
Are there other reasons not to consider salt water?
Does heating it increase electric bill a lot?
Does heating it really make it swimmable when it's 50 degrees outside?
Should I go with a stamped concrete deck or invest a lot more in pavers?
Or is there a better idea for the deck?

Can you recommend any companies to do this is Pinellas County, Florida?

Thank you, thank you, thank you for any advice and help you give me. This is exciting and terrifying for me.

Val

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FlaPoolGuy

Will that add a ton to the cost? YES
Will that make it harder for the Hayward Navigator to clean? Probably not
How thick should the new finish be? 3/8 minimum on walls and 1/2 inch on floors.
Should the deck project over the pool edge or be even with it? Your choice
Is it harder to clean the top of the pool if it projects over? slightly
Is pebble aggregate better than glass bead? yes in my opinion. Glass is expensive material
Does heating increase electric bill much? yes as much in the winter as you spend for a/c in the summer.
Does a waterfall running about 20 hours a week greatly increase evaporation of pool? Not really
Are waterfalls hard to clean? yes, most don't
How often do they need to be cleaned? keep the water clean and it should only require a splash of chlorine every now and then.
Should I convert to salt water? It makes life easier for you.
Is it more expensive or harder to maintain than chlorine? Salt is chlorine
Does salt water erode pool surface faster than chlorine? at 3000 ppm you won't even taste it.
Are there other reasons not to consider salt water? none
Does heating it increase electric bill a lot? see above
Does heating it really make it swimmable when it's 50 degrees outside? yes
Should I go with a stamped concrete deck or invest a lot more in pavers? I would recommend an acrylic spraydeck.finish
Or is there a better idea for the deck? yes see above

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 8:55PM
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tropicals9b

Thank you very much! Do you work in Pinellas County?

Val

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:36AM
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jcuviello

I'm in Pinellas County. We had Gulfstream Pools out to give us a bid on remodeling our pool. I also called Freestyle but they are backed up until Oct/Nov. so I didn't have them come out. I am still waiting for some more bids to come in so I haven't picked anyone yet. I would be comfortable with Gulfstream though.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:50PM
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tropicals9b

Thank you, Monkeyjac!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:25PM
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ardcp

i am in the north and a total pool novice but i do have a heated salt pool. the salt system is super easy to use. this season is our 2nd year with it and i think we have only put in 4 bags of salt although at pool opening the pool company shocked the water initially.
re heating, my inlaws used to have a solar heated pool. not sure what the cost difference is but may be worth a look.
we have a pentair gas heater. the gas use increased the cost quite a bit last october because it was so cold. we don't see a big jump in the summer as we only have to heat it up a couple if degrees daily. it got down in the 50s last night and we lost 2 degrees even with the solar cover on.
i got a solar cover from ocean state job lots. it is 8mil and really keeps the heat in plus if i leave it on until we swim (and we actually have some sun) it will warm it up without heat. i do think that if you cover it when not in use, you will maintain the temp to some degree.
my 2 cents, if i lived in fl, i would totally heat my pool! what a joy it would be for this northerner to swim year round!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:57AM
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c9pilot

I'm in south St Pete.

Gulfstream was our second choice, and I'm sure they would have been great. I really liked being able to go up to their "showroom" and touch the finishes in their pools and see the pool deck finishes and colors, etc.

Salt is the only way to go! I tell everyone that if there is one change you can afford for your pool, it is to convert to salt. It is so much easier to maintain (compared to all my neighbors with traditional chlorine pools) and feels so much better on your skin and in your eyes (no more burning eyeballs). I never get as tired swimming laps in a salt pool as I ever did in a chlorine pool (like the YMCA - ugh - but that pool is too hot to swim laps in to me).

We have a gas heater, but we only heat the spa during the winter. We've accidentally heated the entire pool, but it didn't make a significant dent in our gas bill. Remember that cooling something 10-15 degrees (like a/c in your home) uses much less energy than heating something 25-40 degrees (like heating your home in the winter in the northeast).
The winter was so mild last year, that we only missed about four months of swimming in the main pool with no heating at all. We are lucky that we've had enough rain to keep the pool cool this summer - we've only had one summer where the pool got too hot.

Note: You probably shouldn't remove the ladder from the deep end unless you put in a shelf because that is a code issue. While it might not bother you (being to code or not) it can have a serious impact on the resale of your home. The pool is probably grandfathered to code in place when it was built, which is fine, so you don't have to meet current code. But for a remodel (not just refinish, maybe) you might have to permit and then of course you'll have to come up to current code. Your builders, if they have any sense at all, won't allow you to screw this up.

Here is a link that might be useful: My pool

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 12:12PM
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sofiamacleay

I recently remodeled my pool with the help of the staff from the north home gallery as they guide you through the process of building your home and anything in your home.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 7:53AM
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