New Pool Build, Frisco area, TX

mwesselsSeptember 17, 2010

Hello, Everyone! Fantastic forum for those of us who are scared to death about throwing a ton of money into a hole in the ground without knowing what we're doing!

I'm in the pre-build stage for a new pool. Long story short, we had a house fire in Dec that completely destroyed our home, so now we're rebuilding from scratch and adding the pool (which we had plans for before the fire). We've gotten several bids, but haven't yet settled on anything yet.

I'd like to start out this whole process by posting our "leading bidder" specs and see if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations on what to change and perhaps how to save a buck or two.

First, the artist sketches:

The outdoor kitchen / arbor is already there.. This is a pool / deck / landscaping project.

Here's the specs:


21'x44' - 117 ft perimeter - 704 sf area

Depth - 8' 6" / approx gallons 29,900

1 8' bench, 1 16' sun deck

12"x16" box beam


Glass tile on steps, sunbench & tile line

Oklahoma flagstone 12" standard coping


7'x7' 24" raised / 1,000 gallons


Dual Main Drain; 2 skimmers, 6 Returns

Independent Cleaner Line


Check valves (raised equipment)

Spa - 6 jets; spa fountain ; 2 1/2" plumbing ; 2 check valves


2HP Jandy Stealth

2HP Polaris Blower for spa - utilizes pool pump (probably would rather get a spa booster, wouldn't I?)

Jandy Waterfeature pump 120gpm (no horsepower specified???)

Polaris 380 w Halcyon Pump

Chlorinator - Rainbow Inline

Jandy LXI 400 Natural Gas Heater

500w , 300w lights for pool, 100w light for spa (no LED?)

Control System:

Computer: PDA-PS6 Pool and Spa Combo

Aqualink PDA Handheld

Surge Protector

Sorry for the huge amount of detail... just so many choices to make! At this point, we're considering a trade off between a fire pit and a grotto. The kids would love a grotto... I would love a firepit (great views of the golf course).

I'll follow up this weekend with some site photos. Anybody have any suggestions so far? I have a million questions, but this is probably already the longest post in the history of the forum!


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Pool looks great. I would go with the LED lights if they are willing to do it (use it as an item to close the deal at the end, if you can).

From most angles, the diving board looks dangerously close to the (very large) shelf in the deep end, although I think that is an illusion. I would just make sure it is far enough away to be safe (I think it is). Also, how much shallow end is there actually in the pool? It looks like very little, are you ok with that?

Never owning a pool (well, my pool will get water for the first time tomorrow), I am no expert on pool design, but I have friends who are upset about having a diving board because it forced them to have next to zero shallow end. Just make sure the design gives you the proper areas to hang out in the pool (the deep end is useful when jumping in and on a float).

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 9:42AM
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I'm fairly certain that they used a standard diving template for distances, but I know the ledge is up on the edge of that template. We could probably increase the distance a little, but we tried to max out on the amount of shallow end rather than waste too much space in the deep end.

I guess to a certain extent, teenagers will always do something stupid (like dive towards the sundeck instead of towards the middle), right? We wanted the diving board to keep them from climbing on top of the rocks to dive. :0)

There's about 10' of space between the end of the diving template to the spa, so I think we have about as much room as we need. We figure that all the adults will tend to hang out on the sundeck and the younger kids in the shallow end - that's why we wanted to maximize the deck space (a nice idea that the kids will play on their own while you sip a cocktail in peace at the other end of the pool)!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 10:17AM
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Nice design on the pool.

First off they have set you up with a great equipment package.

As far as the Polaris QT blower over the booster pump. I prefer the blower to the booster pump on the spa. But you will find other builders on here that prefer Booster pumps, or varible speed pumps for this purpose.

I do agree with CNR on that putting in LED's instead of standard lighting. You will regret it later if you don't do it now.

Wow they are putting a Halcyon Pump for the cleaner. This is a nice and quiet pump for you cleaner. Not many builders use these because they do cost more.

What type of diving board and stand are you putting in. The classification will dictate the dive profile. As well as the width of the pool. Too many variables here to give an opinion.

Again the spec sheet looks great. And you potential builder did and awesome job on the Poolstudio layout.

Good luck and please ask as many questions as you need. All of us here would rather you ask the questions opposed to you getting a bad pool.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 10:21AM
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Have you checked with your HOA and insurance company about the diving board? You might find that your insurance will get dropped the minute your insurance company finds out you have a diving board. Insurance is my business and I've seen that alot. Also, I know of one HOA in Frisco that does not allow diving boards for sure. Good Luck on the pool. If you haven't spoken with them, you should give Riverbend Sandler a shot at it. They are working on one for us right now and I have been blown away by the customer service and communication. The experience has been incredible so far. Our Rep is Matt Toney.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 10:44AM
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Would you mind listing the companies you are considering? We just had ours resurfaced with Diamondbrite and I am trying to see what other peoples' experiences with it are. We seem to be having trouble and I am not sure how to deal with it.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 8:04PM
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What type of diving board and stand are you putting in. The classification will dictate the dive profile.
The diving board is a 6' "Edge" diving system by Inter-fab ( We did check with our insurance and HOA first.

Here's another "top down" artist rendering:

And a few site photos:

We're still in the bidding process, but this is basically the exact drawing that I supplied. We're looking at Riverbend, Claffy and ClearTech right now. We'll probably consider a couple more before a final decision is made. Riverbend won't supply a full list of specific equipment (even though we've asked so we can compare apples to apples)... I've very hesitant about spending $85K without specifics! Too many corners can be cut if you don't have it in writing.

I had an interesting talk with the bank about financing Friday. They (Frost Bank) said that they are one of the only banks still doing loans for pools. The problem that we're running into is because of the fire and rebuild. Since a pool / home improvement loan is tied to the appraisal value of the house, we can't get a loan until the house is finished and get a full appraisal. This puts us in a bind because the clearance from our property to next door is now 12', but will decrease to 8' when the air conditioners are installed (the golf course will not allow access from behind the property).

Unless I can figure something out, we'll have to pay for the pool out of pocket rather than finance. We can do it, but it'll put a crimp in my cash flow and I'll have to cash in a few investments. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 11:38AM
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Incidently, can you believe the backyard grass looks like that when we haven't watered it all summer? Kind of makes you think twice about the usual watering routine... There were a couple weeks where it looked pretty dry, but no worse off than my neighbors who were watering.

On the downside, I almost killed two red oaks by overwatering. We had five trees planted the day of the fire (3 red oaks and 2 live oaks) and I was so concerned about them during the hot summer months that I actually over watered 2 of them. Hopefully they'll come back.. There's new leaves sprouting now, so I'm optimistic.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 11:50AM
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Do you have a Sterling bank in your area. They still do pool loans.

Hope this helps,


    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 9:49AM
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Very surprised to hear Riverbend isn't giving you specifics. Our very first proposal came back with all details of what was included in the bid. Maybe different salespeople provide different information. They really seem to be a great company. If you haven't, you might take the time to go to their showroom. The salesman took us thru the various displays and showed us the exact equipment, pool finish, water features, etc in an actual working set-up. We found it very helpful. The visit to their site made the decision for us on who to have build our pool.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 2:22PM
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Does anyone have any preferences of having a spa booster pump over an air blower? We're in a home now that has an air blower - my last home pool had a booster pump. The booster seemed much more therapeutic...

I got a quote for the booster pump and raising the number of spa jets from 6 to 10. Only a few hundred bucks. Seems like money well spent.

Any recommendations?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 11:12PM
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In my humble opinion, there can never be too many jets in a spa. :) I'd say it's worth it for a few hundred bucks.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Interesting response from frost. There are many banks that do pool loans in the area, viewpoint, sterling, and just about any credit union.
There should be much more than 10 feet of shallow. The diving template should only be 28 feet long and the pool is 44 feet right?
I am always interested in the apples to apples comparison people want to make. I understand wanting all the quotes to have similar features, but if one company has a better idea, that is getting negated in the comparison isn't it? Just my opinion, but cleartech is not even in the league of Riverbend and Claffey, so that isn't apples to apples there. Just my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:01AM
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