Had to have it? The sequel

texas-gatorAugust 29, 2010

I have learned so much from this forum as my family has considered building a pool. Having never owned a pool, I have a lot to learn. One of my favorite threads in the archive is now a few years old and I would like to see if anyone's opinions have changed with time or new technologies.

Please share the items you included in your pool build that you could not live without and maybe those items that don't seem to be as important, and if you had to do it over again you may leave out.


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A liter bottle of Ketel One, a glass, my icemaker and my Sonos Music Controller App on my iPhone4.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:05PM
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We couldnÂt afford many frills so instead of Âhad to have here is my Âwe should have list.
We should have had our one skimmer installed on the non traffic side, every time my kids walk by it they stomp on the lid.
We should have gotten a larger equipment pad, ours is 2x3, it works fine but its tight.
We should have asked how the light gets turned on, now I must walk around the side to hit the switch.
We should have made our swim out bench larger, its only big enough for one to sit on.
Otherwise we love the pool.

We did get a sun shelf, we love it. We also have two deck jets and a bubbler, our pb threw them in, said the kids would love them and they do.(he was feeling fat at the timeÂspring 2008)
Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 2:07PM
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This is my Happy We Did / Wish We Did list / Wish We Didn't list. It's not just pool accessories but general pool build tasks also.

Happy we added a Salt System (very happy).
Happy we got a robot vacuum (Not part of the build but very important)
Happy we went with a heat pump. It doesn't raise the temp as fast as other systems but it is more cost affective.
Happy we located the pump and filter as far from the pool area as possible, keeps the noise down - however, I wish I had installed remote controls. It didn't seem like it was needed during the build, however it's often a pain to walk to the back of the property to control the spa, heater, filter, etc. (This can be added later.)
Happy we had the electrician add a sub panel at the equipment pad rather than direct lines from the main panel. This left room for add ons (lights, etc)
Happy we didn't get a slide. Although they are a lot of fun, when we had to renew our home owners, that is the first question they asked. Most companies would not cover us if we had one.

I wish we added a second pool light. One doesn't light the entire pool.
I wish we added a return line to the stairs. This is the one spot the robot does not clean well and a return line would blow them clean.
I wish we took down a few more trees during the build. We tried to keep as many as possible but ended up taking a few more down after the build.
I wish we could have located the pool closer to the house.

I wish we didn't make the spill over spa so high, it makes it hard to see the kids in the pool while in the spa.
I wish we didn't get the spa with the built in lounge seat. It seemed like a great idea at the time but I'd rather have some more seating.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 3:09PM
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Glad we got two big benches (6ft wide)
Glad we got the spa
Glad we went 3 1/2 to 6 1/2 deep (plenty of room to play volleyball)
Glad we got the heater
Glad we got alot of decking & patio area (1,000sf+)
Glad we got an LED Light (probably should have got two)

Wish we had a remote
Wish we had a switch next to the spa
Wish my equipment didn't block my view (didn't have a great spot either way)
Wish we had a built in slide

Overall we are very happy and most of the "wish" stuff we couldn't afford anyway! Most of all we are Glad that we got it!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:02PM
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Very very glad we have a salt pool
Very glad we got a large pool 20 x 40, with lots of decking
Glad we got Spray Deck - so much cooler!
Love the 8 x 10 sunshelf with umbrella sleeve
Love my smooth travertine coping. Glad I didn't upgrade to LED lights. The 2 500-watt incandescents are fine.

Wish we had known to install permanent fountains to keep the water cooler - or had considered a chiller. I installed cheap plastic ones after the fact and they do help cool the water about 5 degrees
Wish we had a remote - setting the time on the pumps is a pain
Wish we had an in-ground cleaner rather than Polaris. Taking the Polaris in and out for the dogs to swim every day is time consuming

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Hey there!
Glad we have:
A large 20X38 rectangle
Lots of deck space
A retractable enclosure that allows us to open in April and swim into Nov even in CT and warms the water so that I rarely need our heater until late fall
Plenty of yard left over for our other stuff; playset, trampoline, storage shed...
Glad we roughed in a bathroom but wish we had the money to finish it

Wish we could/did/know:
Wish we knew in advance what an a%# our PB was as he pitched our deck toward the pool
Wish we had nicer neighbors as ours complain about the noise of my kid's guests
Wish we had insisted on having our equipment outside as the noise inside the enclosure is deafening; if it was outside I could annoy the neighbors w/ even more noise
Wish our privacy hedge would grow faster to block our view of the annoying neighbors... but am glad the sound will still travel to annoy the annoying neighbors
Wish we could have a diving board but our insurance company said no
Wish we did not have salt; my kids don't like the taste and everything metal has already rusted
Wish it was summer in CT year round!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Since completing our pool in July hardly a day has gone by in which the pool hasn't been used. I'm watching 5 kids (2 are mine) ages 7 to 10 in the pool right now as I type this on the patio. After all the agonizing we did last spring over every little decision, it's now easy to see what was important.

Must haves:
Solar heating. It's late Sept and pool use shows no sign of dropping off.
Salt water system. Lovely on the skin, and easy to maintain.
Security fence that separates the pool from the house. I sleep better.
Stand alone spa. Better for the aching muscles than a built in, and with landscaping it doesn't detract from the aesthetic at all.

Glad I have:
Pebblesheen (bordeaux). We thought this was a frivolous indulgence and almost didn't spring for it, but as it turns out we get enormous pleasure from the beauty of the water.
Plum creek aggregate concrete deck. Slip resistant, low maintenance, not too hot underfoot, reasonable cost, looks great beside the pebblesheen.
Good size climbout benches at each end. The kids hang out on these all the time.
Black pool sweeping robot. I just think it looks cool - way nicer than blue and white, and it's kind of hypnotic when you're sitting beside the pool.
Comfy deck chairs, and wifi - because I spend far more time beside the pool than in it.

Have but didn't need:
Color changing LED light. Once the novelty wore off even my kids prefer the simple white for nighttime pool parties. And white suits the aesthetic of our pool better than any of the colors.

Glad we didn't spring for:
Deck jets, bubblers. Sure, maybe these are nice, but they cannot begin to compare to an inexpensive set of supersoaker guns.
Baja shelf. We considered it, but I'm glad we didn't allocate the limited space in our small (30' x 14-16') pool. I prefer a drifting lounger to a stationary chair anyway.

Wish we'd done:
Gotten the landscaper on board before the build so we didn't have to retrench the yard for drainage.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 5:14PM
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Glad we:
Have a HUGE shallow end 28ft long
changed depth of shallow end from 3 1/2' - 4 1/2' - 3 1/2' to 3' - 3 1/2' - 3.
Put in a grotto/waterfall with bench, step and separate light.
Added more sf of decking than originally planned. Can you ever have emough?
Have a diving pool
Have chrolrine pool we are happy with

Built the arbor over the grill island at the same time as pool

Wish we had:
realized that a 4x8 tanning shelf meant 4x8, rather than an oblong useless overrated step that is 4' at it's widest point and 8' at it's longest. It's like a bloated mike & ike. Not happy. 3 year old neice loves it who cant swim. Bird dog loves it in hot summer. My teenagers, Dh and myself do not use it. Wont hold a lounge chair.

Wish we had not:
Put volleyball sleeves into the decking. Or, since we did, made sure the sleeves they put in came with covers that screw in. Ones we found to fit, are above ground and toes get snubbed. Have not even played volleyball yet in 3 summers.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 4:14PM
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