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how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Posted by jawbrey (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 28, 11 at 18:18

I've been lurking here for a while, trying to absorb what I can. I'm at the point where I'd like to begin to get some concrete ideas for cost, etc for putting in a pool.

I am, optimistically, at least 1 year out (maybe more) from being ready to break ground. Knowing this, does it make sense to sit down with a builder/designer and flesh out some ideas? Or would this be unfairly wasting their time? Or is this a normal situation that they're used to dealing with?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

A good design person won't care when you are building but be up front with him/her and understand that it is starting to begin the busy season for us designers. I have a client right now that can't build until here lake house sells so I do bits and pieces of it here and there and she is fine with that.


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Jawbry

We built 3 years ago but visited with a few PB's two years before we actually built. We had no idea on cost. We were paying cash for our set up, so let the PB's know in advance that we had some saved but had no idea if we were close or way off. We had the dream set up priced out and broken down, so that if we needed to, we could do some things in stages, if need be. Bids came out a bit more than we had saved, so we went back to saving. Also, we understood that the prices quoted could/would change if we went over a certain time period. Fast forward two years, and we called out the PB we really liked best the first time around. We tweaked the original plan a bit, added and subtracted features and came away with a great beginning to our dream set up.


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Hi Jawbry, we are in process of building now and met with pool builders in late summer and pulled the trigger mid October- but devoured everything on this site for the preceeding 4 months. Were I to do it again, I'd meet have a landscaper/pool designer come in before I met with any pool builders to help me figure out the best spot for the pool, potential drainage issues, and to talk through all of the bells and whistles that I wanted (but did't yet know about) in the pool. Armed with that info, I would have been better positioned to work (and negotiate) with the pool builders and I would have better understood all of the costs of putting a pool in (not just those of the pool/decking itself). Good luck, it's a crazy and fun and frustrating process, but as we deal with the snowstorm of the week in New England, knowing that we'll be swimming in 4 months is just about the only thing keeping me sane!!! good luck!


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

It's never to early to meet a pool builder and his designer. I just dug an awesome pool last week for a buyer that we first interacted with in May of 2008.
Just bear in mind that the price may go up as the time increases from the date of the initial quotation.
She told me that she was so happy that they took their time 'cause she got everything she truly wanted in the pool. I'll bet we tweaked it, changed it, and totally reworked it at least 10 times in 2 1/2 years. I never gave up on them and they never gave up on me.
I should get you guys some pic's of their pool shell, it's wicked!!!

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Yes, Kelly, please do!


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Here are some pic's of Karen and Tom's pool shell.
It's 70'x40', there's an island in the center with 2 bridges, 8' spa w/16 jets, large sunshelf, and a water feature wall that will rock. It's got 3 LED color changing fountains and will have sconces or lion heads dropping water from some picture boxes in the tile.

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This will cerainly be another really cool pool.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Definitely going to be a cool pool!

How about a throne to sit on at the top of the stepped water feature?

Let me guess, RS16, 1 E-Pump, 2 Stealth 2HP, 400 K Legacy, 2 1 HP blowers, 3 lights in the pool and one in the spa, Spa side controller, Wireless controller, Polaris 3900 with booster, Two 60 Sq Ft DE filters.

Scott


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Kelly...Thanks for sharing..can't get my head around the water feature design...looks very cool and curious how it will be finished.

Is there a splash pool at the top of the stairs...can't tell from the pictures.

That is one cool shell!


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Behind the highest step in the feature wall is a 16'x2'x18" deep basin. I'll have stalks that bring my frothy fountains up to about 4" beneath the water, directly behing the stalks are small niches's where I'll place the color changing lamps, I've found that placing the water depth on these styles at 6" doesn't do the lamps justice. They really need much more depth to spread out those lght lumens and get a good effect. They're wicked cool at night with the light jumping up into the froth, it makes colored ghosts that dance around on the back wall. The center of the wall is 10'6" above pool level and the low edges are 9' above. There will be a 30"x24" picture boxed tile frame in the center 18" below the highest arc of the wall dead center, at the 1/4 and 3/4 mark there will be 2 more either 12 or 18" lower. When I get home this evening I'll see if I can scan my side elevation showing them. The rest of the wall will be 12x12, 16x16 or 18x18 travertine tiles on the diagonal 45 like diamonds. We're probably going with a claasic cream or Durango light travertine coping brick and frame the picture boxes with a 6x6 Noche to really show the picture frames and place glass tiles with sconces or lion heads in the center. The 4 columns will be light travertine and the wing walls are most likely going to be the same glass tiles as inside the picture frames.

Scott, I was able to stuff everything into a PDA PS8
AUX1 pool sweep
" 2 spa loop 1 blower
" 3 fountain pump
" 4 pool lamps 3 LED
" 5 spa lamp LED
" 6 2nd spa loop pump
" 7 2nd spa loop blower
solar 3 fountain lamps
And then all the good stuff from Jandy, the owner passed on DE filters and went with 580's.

It's gonna be another awesome unit!!!

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Nice Work Kelly!!!


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Why the separate Pool/Spa lighting? That could give you another spare aux for landscape or pole lights. I was expecting they would want expansion room for that.

How will the solar turn on the lamps?

Scott


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Thanks for the feedback. Since I am in Kelly's neck of the woods I will probably call him to start with.


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

The beauty of Jandy Aqualinks is that the solar button can be used for different applications depending on what you'd like it to do. I assign it to a relay and can use it to enable either a 120volt or a 240 volt circuit.
I always seperate the pool and spa lamp unless they want total color synchronization of all lamps.
Back when Momma and I were rabbits we used to enjoy having the pool lights on and the spa lights off in the late evenings when we were enjoying our hot tub LOL!!!

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

So an RS-8 panel becomes an RS-9 ?

Scott

PS; I am a Pentair guy though I have worked on Jandy panels also.


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Kelly...the water feature design sounds amazing with the dancing lights from the fountains...incredible design. At daytime, it sounds as if the visual effect will be equally dazzling...Thanks for explaining that feature..very unique and original!

Another off topic question...sorry...will this unit have an e-pump as Scott eluded to earlier...just curious what your experience has been with this technology here in the gulf region with high lighting occurence. I see many posts on here, mostly from this region or other gulf states, with owners or PB's claiming drive failures with Intelliflo. Clearly, the Intelliflo has been in service for a few more years than the e-pump and there's a lot more of them out there..just trying to collect some data to help with a future decision on this technology. If you have experience with both technologies, would like to hear which has worked best for you so far in this region.....Thanks.

poolguy...yep, with the flip of a dipswitch it becomes a 9 channel unit if solar is not in use...that's what we're doing with our PDA P-8.

jawbrey....sorry for my off topic comments above...can't go wrong with Kelly. We're in Louisiana, but if we lived closer to Houston, he would have been on our short list and likely would have won our business.


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

I've placed a few dozen Pentair variable speed equipment sets into service since they came out. The oldest is probably 4 years old this summer. I had my best luck with the 4x160 controlled by an Easy Touch 8. The VS3050 controlled by an Intellitouch 7 or 9 was way over my buyers heads in grasping the technology the controller offered. They had difficulty following the menu's for configuration. I'll admit they offer a bunch of avenues but IMO it's total overkill for residential pool customers.
I only had a few service calls on the units and have no idea what the problems were because I just dispatched the call to my local Pentair rep and they handled them. To their credit they were a lot more prompt than they used to be back in the late 90's and early new millennium. I switched to Jandy in summer 2000 because of the poor after the sale warranty support from Pentair back then. It was a shame 'cause I was a long time dealer for PacFab before Pentair took the line.
I've only placed 7 or 8 of the new E-pump equipments sets from Jandy and had 2 service calls on them, one I ran was a cracked impeller and the other I'd have to ask my super what the problem was.
I suppose I'm the last builder on the planet to jump on this bandwagon, I still prefer a 2-speed for those looking to enjoy electrical savings, guess I'm just old school.
This pool isn't going to be an E-pump, we were working within a budget and I had to achieve as many of the things they wanted in that select amount.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Although we have put in 4 epumps and they certainly sound cool when ramping up in speed, I prefer the 2 speed with the mechanical switch on the back. Most of our customers think of this as the wintertime switch. We have had a few problems with the switch getting fried on Whisperflows and its a bear getting a replacement switch but the concept is easy for the customer to understand. If it were not for the fact that we have a really good Jandy service rep, I would be leary of the epump.

The three year waranty promotion is the only reason we switched from using full rated 2hp 2speed whisperflows coupled with the 72DE, Jandy controls and heaters to all Jandy. The eqiupment sets look better and sound better, but the old way performed better IMO.


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

Kelly and renovxpt....Thanks for sharing your open thoughts and experiences with these technologies...clearly, I'm a big fan of 2 speeds also for simplicity, efficiency and most of all replacement and initial costs.

Right now, in my opinion, the VS technology is still too expensive and prone to drive failures based on post here in this forum. I also agree with the overkill comment.

There have been some recent improvements in the HVAC drives related to voltage surge capability. I'm currently trying to find out from my PB what the surge capability of the e-pump drive is...if it's high enough...I would feel a lot better about placing these drives on the grid without provisions for protecting the drive from high voltage surges....especially in high lightning activity areas such as here and other gulf states.

If anyone has the surge capability of the Intelliflo drive, I would be interested in learning that voltage also. This is the withstand voltage at which the drive was tested during abnormal surge testing, usually in kilo-volts or KV.

In HVAC, there's been a lot of work done in this area to reduce drive failures and was curious if this body of work is starting to translate to pool industry drives also.

Thanks.


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RE: how soon is too soon to meet with a builder/designer?

I just posted the following to the Innovation Lab Pump forum:

"A good question came up on Gardenweb's forum today. There have been some drive failures in the past that have been attributed to line surges/spikes. How big a hit can the drive absorb? What dampeners have been observed to work well in preventing the toasting of a drive?"

Scott


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