Pool Remodel Advice

criber08August 3, 2008

I've been lurking for quite a while now, and I'm excited to finally begin our project. We have a smaller free form pool that we are about to remodel along with a complete backyard renovation. We are replacing the tile and coping as well as adding a raised bond beam stone wall and a few sheer descents. I think we will go with a cast coping stone, but we haven't decided for sure. Originally we planned to re-plaster because we didn't want Pebbletec to hurt our feet, but after reading all of the information on this site we're afraid that plaster is dated. We're going to look into Pebble Sheen, and I definitely want to stay away from greentones -- we've had too many algae issues! :-) I'm also considering the possibility of adding a baja shelf, but I don't want to give up too much of our pool. We plan to move our equipment as well. Has anyone done a major pool remodel and learned any hot tips that will help me? So far the bids we have received have been in the 20-30K range, which seems high considering the rest of the yard will be done separately. We live in the Bay Area, CA. Thanks so much!

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Here in So Cal that might be comparable but i need more information sounds like they are all bidding different materials and options. Most pricing is based on the perimeter of the pool,length of RBB,distance equipment is moved gas runs, electrical runs,are you replumbing the pool? The most important thing is the company your contracting with.
Try to make your material selections and then get it rebid so your comparing apples to apples.
Ask for itemized options, salt system, auto controls,led lights,equipment remaining in original location,with out RBB.
Check with BBB, CSLB.
Look at their certificates of insurance, Workmans Comp. Liability.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:58AM
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We remodeled last year. We wanted to extend the top step backwards to add a wading area and we wanted to add a spa. Needless to say we got neither. The cost to add the spa was in excess of $15,000. They would have had to add it inside my existing pool and we didnt want to lose the space. We were talked out of the extended step....we were advised against messing with the shell of the pool. We live in FL, paid a ridiculos amount for an older home that needed WORK. My husband didnt want to invest in those extras, instead we added an outdoor kitchen and a waterfall. I do curse the original homeowners for not adding a spa when the pool was built! Our pool came out great, I have posted many pics of it. Our rock waterfall has its own pump right behind it, we did not move our existing equipment, but did have to have electrical work done for the waterfall pump. We added Pebbletec and love it. Everyone thinks its so rough. It is textured, but not rough. Our old plaster was rougher on the kids toes than the pebbletec...so dont rule it out:) I would say just our pebbletec, tile, coping, waterfall and pool decking cost 26K that does not include the outdoor kitchen....that was another 13K.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 3:46PM
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poolexpert --Thanks so much...we are going to select our materials and get firm prices from everyone. Question: we have a wonderful contractor for the rest of the yard whom we trust immensely. He has offered to introduce us to the foremen of several pool companies who would be willing to work on the side....we could save thousands. We have reservations, of course, but it is tempting...any thoughts on that?

gk5040-- Your pool is beautiful! We also planned to add a spa, until we found out that it would be over 25K. I agree completely...put in a spa if you're going to build a pool! I was thinking of simply adding to the existing steps by creating a really large first step; I can sit on it if I don't want to get in all the way, and the kids would have a place to play. Any specific concerns about "messing" with the pool? We are going to do the built-in BBQ as well, but I'm a little concerned about the refrigerator not being very "green." Seems like a waste of energy to have a fridge that isn't used all the time. And I'm wondering just how much we'll use a sink, because I don't think we want to do a water heater for hot water out there. Without those two key components, it's really just a glorified grill. :-) Do you use the sink?

The $30K quote we received included cast stone coping, travertine tile, plaster, raised bond beam wall with stacked stone, three sheer descents, relocating the existing pool equipment (10 feet away) and installing a new skimmer. Not included were the upgrade to pebble and new lights. The decking will be done separately and is going to be about 15K or so, but that is for the whole backyard.

Thanks to everyone for your advice...as someone who knows nothing about any of this (besides loving all of your beautiful pools!) I really appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 9:36PM
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We added a sink but its only cold water, several neighbors have the same set up, the hot is cold and the cold is cold...no hot water heater. We do use the sink and do not regret it, I would say if you entertain, it is a must. We have stored a bag of ice the sink and stuck wine bottles in it. It definately gets used to clean hands, etc. We bought a simple frig. It was $130 at costco. It doesnt use that much energy and we can turn it off if its not in use, but it is....we keep extra drinks in it and have the setting fairly low. We dont keep milk or anything that would spoil. We opted not to buy the Dandy or expensive frig that cost several hundred dollars. Ours is in a covered area and is lift an inch or two off the deck. We figure this one will last several years and if it goes, we will buy another. It was much cheaper. I dont believe it is expensive to run. Another thing we added was the outdoor stove. We cook fish out there all the time. I recommend the stove too.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 5:56PM
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