Southern NH Pool Build

cnr1089August 5, 2010

My Pool Build has Started!

It has been a long summer trying to decide on who and how we were to have our pool built. We are finally in the build phase of things.

The pool is roughly 41' at the longest point and 23' at the widest point. It will have a 4' center line in the shallow end and an 8' deep end.

Environmental Pools is building our pool. So far they have been great.

Here is what our yard (well, the part getting the pool) looked like before we started:

Here is the pool sprayed out on the lawn (sort of hard to see with the light):

Monday, first day of excavation:

I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, but I do have some time lapse videos of the 3 days of excavation:

Day 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFECXQYQawI

Day 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ogefq8COIXQ

We hit ledge. So a 3rd (and final) day of excavation was required:

Day 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Es5toPQov4

Day 4, they came in and did the rebar and plumbing:

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY6f3LT_E1w

Next Up, Electrician, Gunite, etc.

We are still pricing out our decking options, but really like Inca from Techo Bloc. We will have about 1200sqft of decking, plus a about 200sqft of a path (and a retaining wall from the house to the back side of the pool). You can see a picture of the Inca + the interior finish of the pool we are leaning towards (River Rok Harbor Grey) at environmental's gallery (www.environmentalpools.com, the first picture in their gallery. It is flash, so I can't link from there).

More updates will be posted as they come...

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hawkfive

Good luck! What a beautiful setting. Can't wait to see the River Rok - we chose Granite and love it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 2:43PM
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cnr1089

Ok, today was Gunite day!

Here is a video of the gunite process (damn YouTube, really compresses the video to look pretty bad)

Next up is:

1) Watering the Gunite
2) Waiting (well, wait and water happens at the same time)
3) Backfilling
4) Decking and retaining walls.

Here is a pool studio picture of what we will be doing with decking and walls (and steps, etc):

We are going with Techo-bloc Blu 60 (50/50 mix of Champaign and Shale Grey). It is way cheaper then Inca, and IMHO, looks just as good (I have lots of pictures of it installed on others pools, but I don't have their permission to post, so I will play it safe here).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 7:40PM
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cnr1089

Here are some pictures with everything graded:

Grading Day 1 Video
Grading Day 2 Video

Coping and Tile:

Installing Coping Video

Wall Work:

Time Lapse of the 4 days of wall work and tile


Decking goes in this coming week, and hopefully we finish the following week. Can't wait to go swimming!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 9:12AM
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huskyridor

Congrats on the new pool!
Your work looks fantastic, your choices of materials are superb, and the construction time line by your builder is to die for.
I'm totally jealous, LOL!!!
I'm wishing for you and yours a long warm fall to enjoy your new pool with.
As a geographic numbskull I was thinking that New Hampshire is way up in the NorthEast like next door to Maine or nearby.
Your homesite and the surrounding terrain are incredibly beautiful.

WAY TO GO!!!!!

See ya,
Kelly

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 1:10PM
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rice_rocket

I love the work by the mason on that rock retaining wall and the steps. Looks awesome!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 1:42PM
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cnr1089

Thanks for the compliments. We are getting further (and hope to be done next week). I will post pictures of the pavers later (the Techo Bloc Blu looks awesome), but for now, I put together all our build videos (up until Yesterday) into a single video for those who are interested. When it is all done, I will do it again and speed things up, since this video is over 8 minutes.

Time Lapse Video

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:12AM
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cnr1089

The Techo Bloc Blu decking is almost done. Looks amazing!

Here are some pictures (note: lots of dust and dirt on the pavers and in the pool):

Outside the pool fence (not yet installed), Pad for Hot Tub:

Custom Skimmer Lids:


(BTW, that isn't mold in the pool, it is dirt)

For a bonus, I am throwing pic of the wall at night with the LED wall lights (2.5 watts each!) This is 4 of them (2 on the stairs), we will have 8 total. The picture is a bit over-exposed, the stairs don't quite light up like it shows. These are the Integral Wall lights. Also, the lights might look 'unevenly' distributed, but our fence is going to go in between the stairs and the next light, so having a light in there is a waste.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 9:49PM
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jasonlmarsh

This is absolutely beautiful! I really like the custom skimmer covers, that small touch makes a big difference. Where did you get those? Or how were they made?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 10:37AM
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cnr1089

Triad (they are doing are decking) made them. I don't know the cost, since we traded the work for something we changed our mind on, but it is basically a single paver, cut with the paver saw to match the lines of pavers around it, put into a special skimmer cap (made for this). It turned out really well. They usually do this with aggregate, which looks pretty slick as well, but did a good job making it work with our pavers.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 11:10AM
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pooldreamer2010

looks beautiful so far, cant wait to see the river rok. what is the name of the tile you used on pool and what color blu did you use. we are considering the same techo bloc.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:39PM
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cnr1089

We are using a 50/50 mix of Shale Grey and Champlain Grey Techo Bloc Blu. The tile is called Peacock. I am not sold on the tile 100% yet (I don't think it looks bad), it is still hard to picture without the river rok and water.

AS for the River Rok, still trying to pick between Baha Sand and Blue Opal. Haven't seen either in person (saw Harbor Grey, really liked it, but my wife is having second thoughts, because of the greenish tones).

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:56PM
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sgregor

Looks amazing! Can't wait to see the finished product!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 5:59PM
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sgregor

Looks amazing! Can't wait to see the finished product!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 6:00PM
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cnr1089

Ok, I can't wait for this damn thing to be finished. So I put the videos (so far) together and sped it up (the whole build is done in 1.5 minutes).

The video isn't nicely edited, but I hope to put it all together at the end (hopefully soon)

Time Lapse, Excavation through Decking

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 5:46PM
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martakeith

Hey CNR, did you go with the baja sand river rock? Is it in yet? Also, how large is your sunshelf - it looks great?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:55AM
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cnr1089

We have "chosen" Baha Sand, but they are delaying till next week, due to the potential weather tonight (since it is a two day process). Otherwise, everything else is done as of yesterday (they finished up the equipment and electrical installs). The wait is killing me (and our family), especially since the propane company said they can't hook up the heater until October 13th!

The sun shelf is 10' wide and the depth is 5.5'. Note, we would have done more of a "shelf" rather then a large top step, but there was a skimmer placed right there. This is what we got for designing the shelf at day of gunite!

My wife and I debated how big to make the "shelf" from the beginning, and we decided to figure it out later. Either way, we got a place to put two chairs (and an umbrella) that doesn't take up the whole shallow end, so we are happy.

marta: Did you decide on a PB? Where are you at in your process?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 12:31PM
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nypoolnovice

hi cnr 1089 - the pool is looking terrific - I really love the time laspe ... if only the actual build went as quickly! What type of skimmers do you have, i like how they are integrated into the decking and are barely noticable. Is that a special lid or cover?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 1:05PM
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cnr1089

nypoolnovice:

Thanks!

The lid covers are special made from the people who did my decking (Triad Associates). It is basically a custom lid that has an area on the top to contain the material to match your decking. They can make them with aggregate, pavers, etc, to match.

For the pavers, they used one paver stone and made cuts into it to make it match the pattern (so we had to make sure the colors of the pavers around them matched). Don't know if they could use multiple stones (if they had to). I assume one stone prevents things from coming up as easily).

I don't know how much they would be to buy normally, we traded some work that didn't end up getting done for them.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 1:37PM
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martakeith

wow, 10' - that is awesome! no decisions yet, we're still negotiating and trying to determine what we can and can't live without. I'm really hoping we can figure it out soon because I'm bordering on obsessive compulsive about this project!!!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 1:49PM
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pooldreamer2010

hey just curious if they did your river rok yet? did you stick with baha sand? i tried to download pics of the blue opal but have absolutely no idea how to do it, sorry. im not good with computers. sorry but i see your decision was made anyway. cant wait to see it...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 2:12PM
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cnr1089

Sorry, been busy with work (and the new pool!)

We went with River Rok - Baha Sand!

The color looks amazing, although it still has some green to it (although it is a lot less then it was when they first filled it up).

I will try to post more pictures later, but for now:

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 7:25PM
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martakeith

CNR, it looks beautiful! I see what you mean about the green, but hopefully that will go away (if you want it to) soon. The other baja sand photos on-line don't seem to have any so perhaps it's just a start up thing. Your pool and deck look fantastic. Have you been swimming yet?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 8:03PM
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cnr1089

Ok, pool is complete! We are now in "start up mode", pump is running 24hours/day, we are balancing the water and brushing the plaster finish. Our pool is @26k gallons (3 trucks delivered water at 9k each, the last truck did not empty, but we were filling the pool with our hose earlier).

Here are some pictures:

River Rok - Baha Sand:

Close up of the finish:

Swimming while we wait for the 3rd and final water truck (look how green the water is!):

Kids near the power fall (it looks sort of small on such a wide raised beam):

A little less green after 24 hours of running the filter:

Steps (10'x5.5') + umbrella sleeve:

ColorLogic 4 LED lights (x2) in "cloud white" mode:

And finally, the complete time lapse video!

The pool temperature is about 65F right now (and we can't use the heater yet), so it isn't getting too much use. Today it is supposed to be 85, so we plan on giving it plenty of use (hopefully it will heat up a little bit). Once we can use our heater (and our propane is hooked up), we are going to crank it up to 82 for a day to get a nice "fall" day of swimming.

Still left to do:

1) Finish pool startup (Salt Water Chlorine generator not on yet, etc)
2) Fence (goes in tomorrow)
3) Fix landscaping
4) Relax, enjoy!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 9:42AM
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pooldreamer2010

Thank you for sharing pictures of your pool. It looks amazing... Also great video log of your pool build. I'd love to see more pics in a few days to see how the baha sand turns. The rep said it takes a while for the true color to come out. Hope you guys are enjoying the pool :-)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 7:50PM
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pooldreamer2010

Hey there - was hoping you could post recent pictures of the pool. We are a few weeks away from choosing our color and I'm pretty sure we are going with baha sand. As you know theres not may pics out there of this color. Also, I love the way the skimmers blend with the pavers. Do you know how they did it? I want that look, I guess I could show the paver company and see if they know how to do it? Looks amazing...

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 10:21AM
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cnr1089

I haven't taken any new pictures and the sun is at a weird angle right now, but here is what I could get:

I will try to get more pictures next time the sun is out.

I love the color. My wife thinks there is too much green. We have lots of green leaves around.

The lids where made by doing the following:

1) Taking some special skimmer lid that has a 1 inch (or maybe more) recess part.
2) Take one of the larger pavers and cut it to fit into that top part
3) Make cuts into the paver to give the appearance that there are multiple pavers in place.

Next time I get a chance I will try and get a real close up picture of the lid. Everyone who sees it in person makes comments about how good it looks (and I agree).

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:19PM
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pooldreamer2010

All I can say is Wow!!! The fall foliage in your yard is beautiful. I could only imagine what it will look like in a week or two. I have very little trees in my yard so I guess I won't have the problem of the pool looking green. We really want a hawaii blue color water that justs not available in river rok. The rep said they could always mix (not suggested) but you never know what you'll get and I'm not prepared for that, lol! I need to know what I'm getting. Thanks for the info on the skimmer covers I will have to show my landscaper. Are you closing your pool for the winter?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 7:57AM
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rice_rocket

Beautiful backyard!

They did a great job with the skimmer covers as well. Did your PB paint them to match the deck?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 1:31PM
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cnr1089

More Pictures (although they aren't the best lighting)â¦

Baha Sand is very different in different lighting (and surroundings)



As for the skimmer covers, I explained the process a couple of times above. They are note painted, but they blend nicely.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 11:53PM
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mark72

Your pool looks great. I'm currently pricing techo-block Inca and after looking at your pictures I'm going to consider the blu-60 as well. I live in Worcester county so Triad isn't out of the question but I do have some reputable guys down this way too. Can I ask you what the price per square foot was for the install on the blu-60 and do you remember how much the quote was for the Inca? Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 7:00PM
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martakeith

Hi Mark72. We're in the Boston area and plan to do the blu 60 as part of our pool build. We've been quoted $16 psf. I've seen prices all over the place though, good luck with it! Is this part of a pool build? Do you mind if I ask who you are using? We just signed with Pools by Andrews.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 8:27PM
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mark72

We put in a liner pool with a local firm, but neighbors used pools by andrews for gunite and it came out great. Using Dex by Terra in Hudson for the pool decking. Who quoted you $16psf for blu 60 as it seems high?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:13AM
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cnr1089

Actually, $16sqft is about right from what I have seen as well. I think you can always go cheaper (the actual pavers only cost $4/sqft). It really depends on the installer and the quality of their work.

As for Inca, I was quoted between 22-25/sqft. I have heard of local people that would do it for much cheaper ($15/sqft), but they are not people who have done it before. Apparently Inca is pretty difficult to install since they are variable heights, so it is really hard to get things level.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:43PM
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martakeith

It's Andrews that is charging the $16 psf. It also includes the grading, compacting and sub-base if that makes a difference. I'm sure they are definitely not losing money on our project!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 2:03PM
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martakeith

CNR, I forgot to ask: we're thinking of the champlain grey for our decking but I really like the look of yours - why did you opt to do a 50/50 mix? We are doing a much smaller deck, but I'd hate for it to be too tan or beige b/c our house is tan and based on the techno bloc catalog the champlain seems to have some tan in it? thanks!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 8:07PM
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cnr1089

Two reasons.

1) With our large wall and decking area, we didn't want everything to look faded grey (of course our pool color is nothing close to grey)

2) Triad (our decking company) was installing the 50/50 mix and we liked what we saw. It is much easier to picture things when you can see it installed somewhere.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:39PM
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martakeith

Thanks, so is it my monitor then that is making some of the tiles look tan? I like the idea of the mix, but am wondering if it makes sense with my small deck area.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 10:55AM
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flpool1

Your pool is beautiful. Can you post some pictures of the pool at night with the colored lights on. Our PB has told us that colored LED's don't work with dark finish pools. If you don't have any pictures can you tell me what your experience has been?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 9:00PM
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cnr1089

I have tried several times to get pictures of the pool at night with the different colors and the pictures NEVER came out the way it really looked. Also, I don't have a white-plaster pool with colors to compare against.

That being said, I like how it looks (pool is closed for the winter, so I can't try and get better pictures).

AGAIN, the camera picked up things different then my eyes do. First, there is a spot in the middle of the pool that doesn't get as much light coverage. This isn't nearly as evident in person. Second, it almost looks blotchy, something else that you can't see in person.

Lastly, to me, the colors basically light up the surface of the pool in that color. I wish I could take an accurate picture (I am sure I could, but don't know how), because it looks neat.

Here is green:

Purple:

If getting "colors" doesn't cost extra, why not? I did it for the power savings and got colors as a bonus!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 9:20AM
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flpool1

Thanks for the pics- very helpful. Right now we have non-LED lights in the quote, but are thinking about upgrading. For the finish Baha Sand is what I'm leaning towards as I went to look at a pool yesterday with a black finish and thought it was a little too dark. I love the different colors that the lights produce, but was told that the dark pools absorb the light and won't achieve the desired effect. Yours clearly do.

One last question. What brand/model of lights did you use?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 10:03AM
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citivas

That's for the amazing posts. The result looks awesome.

Could you tell us what pool coping and trim (outer edge of the deck). It looks like more Techo-Bloc product but which of their products and what colors?

For the Blu and the coping and trim, did you do the standard finish or the aged? I assume the standard.

On the skimmer covers, I see you explained it three times but I have a specific question. In addition to cutting a single paver and cutting in the scoring to make it look like different peices, did they also have to thin the paver out? Wouldn't the covers be very heavy with almost three inches thick of solid paver? And did the pool company have to know you were going to do that and set the cover cap lower to allow for the xtra thickness?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 11:23PM
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ALJO

We are in the process of installing a pool - We have the same Techo Bloc retaining wall (in sandstone). Our "pool" has just been re-bared and will be inspected tomorrow and we hope to be working on patio design soon. We knew we wanted something to compliment our retaining wall and after seeing your pictures I feel certain the extra money invested in pavers is the way to go.

Thank you for posting all the pictures - You've given me some great ideas to show our landscaper.

As a side question - When do you plan on opening your pool for the season?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 2:46PM
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cnr1089

The coping is Techo-Bloc bullnose cap (I think that is it, I am not home, but it is a match on techo bloc's website) in shale grey.

The skimmer cover uses the full height of the paver. It is heavy, but not too bad. I can weigh it once the snow clears.

We have the opening of or pool scheduled for April 17th, it is our first year and we are itching to get in the pool. Can't hurt to try out our heaters too (ok, it will hurt, propane prices are going through the roof).

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 3:01PM
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mx702

I agree with the aformentioned sentiments that the pictures/comments posted by you in this thread have been immensely helpful. We also liked the look of Inca, but were deterred by the difficulty of installation and the cost. As a result we are doing 1200 sq ft of Blu 60 this spring. I was wondering what product you used for the border around your deck. Not the coping (I can clearly see that it is Bull-nose cap) but the outer edge surrounding your patio. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:52PM
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linda727_comcast_net

I really love the combo of the 2 Blu 60 pavers. It looks fantastic and thinking of doing the same on my (much smaller) patio. Which walls did you use, Mini-Creta and what color(s)?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 7:18AM
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cnr1089

The wall block is a techo-bloc product (mini creta 3" & 6" ---shale grey). The cap to the wall is their escala cap segmented wall cap / step tread.

The edging / border the Blu 60 deck was the 6" x 6" Hera specifically 6x6. The color is shale grey.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 5:14PM
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citivas

For those interested in the custom skim cover solution, I did some homework. I called the owner of Environmental Pools who gave me the name of the product they used. It�s available at www.pouralid.com. It was designed to pour concrete, Kool-Deck or aggregate into, but clearly from this example it can be used for pavers too. And the price is incredibly reasonable. I called up the company and got the owner there too and he was a super nice guy and worked out overnighting two covers for me since my deck is almost done. They arrived bright and early and fit perfectly into my standard skimmer. If your contractor doesn�t have them, you can order them online at www.waterlev.com.

A few notes. The cover, again designed to have a concrete pour, is not nearly as deep as the full height of the Blu pavers so my landscaper is having to thin the paver out, which is fine because that will make it lighter. And they will need to mortar it to the lid base. Also, the cover comes in three parts. It has a plastic cover of whatever color you ordered (I picked grey but there are several choices), so even if you didn�t do the custom application you would still get away from white. Then it had the lid itself that you pour or adhere the paver too. Then, and this is key, it has its own neck/frame that the lid sits in so that your concrete or pavers can be secured up against the lid without impeding it. Great design, and again surprisingly affordable.

I�m really happy I saw this here so thanks to the OP.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 11:46AM
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cambridgefarms

Beautiful pool.

Are your Blu pavers 'smooth' or 'aged' finish?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 10:49PM
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cnr1089

They arenâÂÂt smooth, they have lots of texture, but I donâÂÂt know if they are âÂÂSmoothâ or âÂÂAgedâ finish (I donâÂÂt remember that being an option at the time, honestly).

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 8:26AM
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ashik

I am at the precipice of deciding between Techo Blu and Cambridge Ledgestone. The two yards, that sell both, recommended Cambridge while I had convinced myself Techo was the way to go. Now I am totally confused. Can anyone help please!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 6:26PM
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ashik

I am at the precipice of deciding between Techo Blu and Cambridge Ledgestone. The two yards, that sell both, recommended Cambridge while I had convinced myself Techo was the way to go. Now I am totally confused. Can anyone help please!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 6:27PM
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