lbphathead19October 1, 2012

I would like to know from those who have gone through it what extras they would recommend when building a pool. Ones that are a MUST have and ones they could do without.

I am in Huntington Beach california and we are looking at a freeform pool approx. sixe 22 x 26.

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The LED Color lights are expensive and usually included in bids and IMHO you show people the cool colors the first time or two, then you pretty much turn on white from then on. Yes, standard white lights burn out and create heat. So replace a bulb several years from now, and heat the water in cold weather and save several hundred per light.

Although I haven't had one, I hear auto-fillers are maintenance headaches.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Thanks, we did decide against the LED's but we did go with the auto filler. What aboutthe easy touch remote for the heater. Our PB wants an extra 2k for it.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 6:37PM
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I don't have a remote, but my wife does - it works like this: she says, "honey, go turn on the heater."

It takes me about 2 minutes to walk outside, turn it on, and walk back inside.

Then I log in to my bank account and look at the $2000 that is still in there while it heats up.

Now, to be fair, I am a frugal Build-My-Own pool guy. I had a pool builder tell me once, "we want the pool to run itself" meaning they do all the work, all the start up, then they hand you a remote and all you do is turn it on and off. I am more hands on and want to know exactly how it all works, as well as how to maintain it. I also shy away from electronics - too expensive to repair.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:02PM
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Very true and coming from an avid do it yourselfer I know I'm gonna be in the same situation you are in. Thanks for the help. What kind of pool finish did you go with?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:37PM
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I had Diamond Brite in the first two pools (one blue plaster based, the other white.) I am about to build pool #3. I will likely go with blue based quartz again. I just don't care for the look (or cost) of pebble finishes although I understand the longevity. Quartz finishes seem to be a happy middle ground. My last quote for a 560 sq ft pool were $2100 for white, $3100 for quartz, and $4420 for pebble.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 3:52PM
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A buddy of mine had mini pebble put in and its easier on the feet and my wife likes the midnight blue, dark but not too dark, we might go that route since we plan on having the pool for a while.
Being that you have done this before anything else i should expect?
Where are you located?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 5:48PM
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We like our LED lights. Too cool to swim right now, but pleasant still to sit out on the deck at night and watch the pool change colors. Sometimes I'll turn the cleaner on and watch it go around under the lights.
Other than that, I kept it pretty simple, no waterfalls or spa. We do have a tanning ledge/baja shelf with bubblers, we like those too but I can't see those at night so I kinda wish those were lighted.
Also, gotta get the SWCG.
We did not get the Easytouch but did get the controller just for the lights, that is a must have if you go LED so you don't have to flip the switch off and on all the time to change modes.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Thanks for the info we decided against the LED because of the color of our pebble. How big is your baja shelf? We have a 4 and 6 year old. I was thinking maybe a 12 inch depth ledge. I just don't want to lose too much pool space.
Pardon my ignorance but what is SWCG.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Our shelf is a 10' diameter circle, half in, half out of the pool. I included link to the build thread.
The water depth over it is 6'. It is nice, I think a 16' deep bench on the front would have been useful. Our friends' shelf is 16' deep and the kids like it to play in, probably more than the shallower water, but my girlfriend likes the shallow so...

SWCG is salt water chlorine generator. Makes maintaining the chlorine level a lot easier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Osage Hills Pool Build

    Bookmark   October 3, 2012 at 9:32PM
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Thanks for the response. Your pool looks great. 16 inches sounds good. We are getting salt. I will keep you posted as more questions arise.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 3:09AM
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I just read this again and realized I put 6' instead of 6", and 16' instead of 16". Glad you figured out I meant inches instead of feet!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 7:31AM
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Yeh I figures it was a slight of hand mix up.
How many steps or benches do you have, inside the pool. I heard the more the better. My PB will put as many as i want for no charge. Just wondering how much is too much?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:27PM
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A set of three steps down into pool. One swim out bench in deep end and the tanning ledge is all we have.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 1:41PM
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I am in Katy TX (outside Houston)

We did a big ledge on pool #1 (12'x5') for my then 3 year old. Two weeks after completion she learned to swim to the side by herself and never went on it again. In pool #3 we are going to put one a similar size, but now it is for the same girl, now almost 13 years old, so she and her friends can sit in lounge chairs. I would add it if you have space, but I wouldn't "take away from the pool" to fit it in.

I like a small bench in at least one corner opposite the entry steps as a landing pad for swimming.

Love the salt water pool - would not do it without.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Thanks that does help out. I will mention your reasons to the real decision maker (my wife).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:39PM
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1. Auto fill and overflow so not adding or draining water when it rains ( and BTW have had zero issues with it in 7 years )

2. Dedicated pool sweep Polaris 280 so rarely have to clean pool

3. Salt water chlorine system to make sanitizing pool effortless

My maintenance consists of checking the water every 2weeks and adding some acid to lower the ph. Very maintenance free!

We also have multicolor lights - we love sitting in the yard or spa and watching the colors change.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Thanks those were the extras we had figured in. Is your Polaris a suction or vacuum sweep? Works well?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 5:15PM
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The Polaris 280 is a pressure side cleaner. It requires a separate booster pump. It will pick up large debris and basically just stirs up fine material for the filter to remove. It does seem to work well but if you get quite a bit of dust in the pool I end up having to brush that down to the drain or hook up the vac (which is a rare occurrence). I feel that it is mainly a floor cleaner and doesn't do much on walls or steps so you definitely have to brush those.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 8:14AM
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Is there a suction side cleaner vacuum that works well? I've heard good things about "The Pool Cleaner".

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 2:15AM
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What kind of filter are you going with? Do you have trees near where your pool will be? With the Polaris cleaner, none of the large debris will go in your filter which would probably be more of a benefit with a cartridge or DE filter.
So if you have one of those or if your pool is going to.be prone to collecting a lot of larger debris, the pressure cleaner would be great. I had a great white suction cleaner with a sand filter and really liked it. I like the Polaris just fine now but it doesn't help much with the dust I get. But you are supposed to brush your pool regularly any way so the dust helps to "remind" me.
The great white does have brushes on it and will scrub your entire pool except for steps.
Don't know about the pool cleaner but it does have good reviews.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 12:34PM
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DE filter, and we have tree around but they are palms that don't drop leaves.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 2:46AM
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I don't have any experience with DE filters. I know you can get an inline debris catcher with a suction cleaner to help keep it out of your filter. A robot is a possibility as well, then nothing goes in your filter and your pump does not need to be running either.

You could always start a new thread about DE filters and suction cleaners and see what those who have them say.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:53AM
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