New pool in Allen

hesserJuly 26, 2010

Hi guys, I am looking for general pricing and pool builder recommendations in the Allen,TX area. It would be a smaller pool, about 400sqft natural form with heated spa. Maybe one water feature. Chlorine with natural stone and about 350sqft of decking in either stamped concrete or aggregate.

Many thanks

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I went with Leisure Living out of Frisco, I'd look at them for sure. Riverbend Sandler was on my short list also.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 2:22PM
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I am in Allen and in the same boat. Have spoken to Tahitian, Riverbend Sandler and Southern Wind. I would definitely suggest speaking to Riverbend Sandler and Southern Wind. They both provide great info and a quality product. I've looked at pools each company has built and spoken to several previous customers. Have only heard good things so far. We will make a final decision this week. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 3:33PM
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I live up in Melissa. We had pool bids from 6 different PBs. Decided to go w/Natural Blue Pools in McKinney. Would have received a bid from Southern Wind, but found them too late. Decision came down to wanting a medium size PB who built a higher end pool. We have a large free form, salt, stone coping and aggregate decking.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 7:29PM
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When we lived in Allen (Twin Creeks), we had a pool that came with the house built by Riverbend Sandler. The pool was well engineered and after 9 years was still going strong. I did call them a few times with questions (gallonage, etc) and they were responsive and helpful. I would recommend them.

It's been awhile since I've posted in here, but for those interested, I've posted a link of the diary from my pool build in Austin a little over a year ago.

Here is a link that might be useful: My pool build

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 2:18PM
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I'm sure you've selected by now, but wanted to add that Southerwind just built my pool and everything was top notch. From design, to contruction, to communication...all great. Between John (president) and Chuck (supervisor) I always got my questions answered and everything was professionally handled. I built an outdoor living area and the craftsmanship was superb on the stone.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 5:27PM
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The PB you select should be one that utilizes site specific geotechnical and structural engineering in their practice. Many PB's in the DFW area are shotcrete dry mix gunite builders because gunite cost's less per yard and they can be more competitive in price. But make no mistake, Shotcrete dry mix i.e. gunite, is an inferior product with much lower PSI's than wet mix shotcrete and cannot withstand some of the incredible surcharging forces imparted on the pool floor in areas where highly expansive soils exist. Here are just a few construction questions you should ask your PB 1.) What measures will you employ to reduce the likelihood of Alkali Silica Reactivity in your concrete product? 2.) Do you know what kind of aggregates are used in the concrete mix? Manufactured Sand? Dolomite Content? 3.) What measures will you employ to reduce the likelihood of structural failure due to rusting of the rebar in this leaky structure you are building? 3a.) Do you rust proof your rebar in the pool & deck (especially important for salt sys.)? 4.) How can I be sure that my soils will be compacted to a minimum of 95% in the pool floor and deck? 5.) What measures are you taking to deal with drainage around the poolsite and do you use a min. 20mil fabric underneath all concrete structures? 6.) Will you install a min. 8" thick gravel base in the floor of my pool and install hydrostats to deal with hydrostatic pressure? 7.) Will you use exclusively #4 1/2" rebar in the structure of my pool and what drives your decision to use Dbl Matte vs Single Matte steel and the use of Helical Piles vs Ground Anchors if geotechnical engineering is not employed?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 8:21PM
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Diypoolpro, are you a builder? Pretty stong opinion. Did you know there are well over 50,000 pools in the dfw area using Gunite? You are probably gonna tell me how they are all falling apart.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:19AM
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Don't sweat diypoolpro. He's already stated he's signing off the board. That last response of his in this thread was so loaded with FUD, it was almost comical.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 1:05AM
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I am almost afraid to ask, but I have to. Is there any validity to what diypoolpro said? Can you guys refute certain aspects of it for me? I am planning my research on my pool and since I am still learning... the things he said I need to know WHY they are not valid...can anyone help? Please, thank you

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 10:27AM
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"Shotcrete dry mix i.e. gunite, is an inferior product"

This is such a bogus statement.

The rest of what is said here by this supposed builder are so excessive. It sounds to me like an engineer building a pool. Most of what he has said is an extreme over kill. If you were to do everything that he has stated on you pool. The price of a $40,000 pool would increase to $70,000.

Are you getting a better pool. no.

Are normal standards of building a pool just as sound. Yes

If the normal practices of building a pool were not appropriate for your pool I am sure the many builders on here would let you know. I would not give DIY alot of credit when it comes to building a pool.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Apologize for my late response, just coming back out of retirement for a bit as I have a little extra time right now.

adgpoolman, I am well aware of how many pools have been built with dry mix gunite, over several million. My opinion is based on in the field study of pools I have shot with dry mix gunite and wet mix shotcrete where I examined core samples in situ. There was a substantial difference in PSI and grading of the cores with wet mix shotcrete having almost double the PSI and grading that was markedly superior. I do believe that dry mix gunite can achieve higher PSI's than wet mix when properly applied by an ACI Certified Nozzleman and with proper curing. However, that is not what is normally occuring in the industry. In fact, I would venture to say that very few pool builder's verify that the concrete company of their choice is following atandard ACI 506R-05 guidelines and that ACI 506-4R is being utilized and adopted in their practice. Furthemore, Very few if any pool builders do in situ coring of the shell to verify that minimum PSI core strenth has been achieved to hold their gunite co. in check and in compliance with ACI 214.4R-03 with respect to obtaining and interpreting cores and PSI. Some builders actually let their concrete co. obtain test panels and report the results. The problem with this practice is that concrete companies will oftentimes submerge the test panels in water for the full duration of time prior to testing and this artificially results in inaccurate test results as these conditions are not duplicated in the field. I am sure that most builders would agree that the shell needs to be wetted continuously a minimum of 7 days but prefereably 14 days to achieve the highest PSI possible and reduce the quantity of shrinkage cracking both externally and internally in the structure furthe mitigating the onset of ACR, ASR or ettringite formation.

I can get very technical here on all of the points I brought up in my suggestion to hesser, but it may leave you in a situation where you will have to explain to your customers why they were not made aware of these things on such a technical level, on all points. I am an APSP Certified Building Professional and an expert in this field and I do employ licensed geotechnical and structural engineers on all of my projects. I am not a volume builder. Yes, it does cost more for me to build a pool but I follow the recommendations of the APSP and other highly regarded official entities when building swimming pools because that is what my customers expect. You may not venture into this high-end niche where customers expect high-end quality and that may work for you and your customer with success. However, anyone can do a simple search under google images of the term "pool crack" and get over 2 million results to validate that pool cracks can occur and result in failure many times attributed to poor construction practices.

Again, my intention here was only to provide some guidance to hesser, this propective pool customer.

Ultimately, homeowners make their decision on the trust earned by the pool builder of their choice and not necessarily from all the noise on these forums.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 3:05PM
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Do cracks happen than can be prevented? Yup, most.

Is the builder always responsible? No. Nothing stops an act of God.

Should a PB get a CYA waiver if a customer has been advised of a potential situation and decided not to investigate? Yup.

Is it a pool or a hardened bunker? No.

Does it matter whether shotcrete or gunite is used for most residential pools? No

Are the majority of the industry's customers looking for Supercar or Rolls like engineering and materials? No

Are there dirt bags in the industry? Yes

Are there good guys in the industry? Yes.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 3:28PM
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Shotcrete Vs Gunite
Both are good products but the main difference is the psi rating ( or cured strenght)
Wet mix (shotcrete) generally has a psi of around 6000
dry mix (gunite) generally has a psi of around 4000
soils make the biggest part of this decision.
Your average pool uses around 40 yards
there is a $32 difference in the two or $1280.00
If you deciding on $ alone it is money well spent.
i have had both and the wet mix is the best.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 11:46AM
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I'm sure you have good intentions but you are still giving out the wrong information. The p.s.i. Of any type of Shotcrete is what you specify it to be, if you specify it to be 3,000,4,0000 or 6,000 than it should meet that requirment if it is done properly.

You just can't shoot wet mix and think it will achieve 6,000 p.s.i. Unless you design the mix to achieve that strength . Same thing for dry mix. It does not magically achieve 4,000. Can you achieve a higher than specified mix if you properly cure it with water and add curing agents? Yes. I shoot all my shells at 4,500 and regularly achieve strengths between 5,200 and 6,800 with constant water soaking at least two weeks and a curing/waterproofing agent.

Some of you may not have liked what Diypoolpro said but he is right in 90% in what he said. He was wrong about one thing. Wheather you do wet or dry it doesn't matter. You can screw up both. ACI code for Shotcrete strentgh in swimming pools is minimum 4,000 p.s.i which also requires a deputy inspector when shooting it.

It's not a question of doing a high end pool versus a regular pool. There are standards for pools and they apply to both equally. There should only be a right way and wrong way to do a pool. To do it any other way is both insulting to the consumer and the reason why PB's have such bad reputations.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 11:37PM
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