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NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Posted by nctal (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 2, 09 at 18:31

After a lot of reading on here, several questions, research, and multiple bids - I've signed on the dotted line and my pool build process has begun. The economy and corporate mergers were conspiring to make me put off the process, but capitalism, opportunity, and being a diligent saver allowed me to move forward.

I live in a suburb of Charlotte, NC and am fortunate to have a 2-acre wooded lot. That's the good news, but it did cost me more money because after having my agreed-upon pool spray painted on the grass ... it seemed small in comparison to the large yard. I ponied up the money to make it larger and highly doubt I'll regret that decision.

The bobcat dug its first tooth into my yard on December 18, 2008. The company I chose is called Lombardo Swimming Pool Company, Inc in Matthews, NC.

The pool itself is a 40'x 26' freeform with 3.5'- 8' depth and a Class III diving well (although I'm not putting in a diving board at this time - just a "jump rock"). The rear will be a 32' long stone-faced wall with two sheer descent waterfalls and a 6' bench under the deeper of the two falls. It will also include a small tanning shelf and will include a salt water chlorine generator, tumbled stone coping, and between 1,000-1,200 square feet of stamped concrete decking (I am subcontracting the decking to a friend of the family).

Other components will include:

* Pebble Tec interior (either Tahoe Blue or Black Marble, I haven't decided yet).
* Pentair VF Pump
* Pentair Intellibrite LED colored lights (x2)
* Pentair EasyTouch controller
* Polaris 280 automatic pool cleaner
* AquaComfort Heat Pump with chiller option
* A&A Quikfresh Advanced Circulation System

Pictures to follow.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

My pool plan:
Pool plan

Gameplanning the dig:
Gameplanning the dig

The first cut is the deepest:
First cut

Starting to see a pool now:
Getting deeper

Up from the bottom:
Deep end view up


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Your pool looks beautiful. We have just finished ours - we filled it on the 23rd - we started in September. We have had a great experience for the most part. I think you were right to increase the size of your pool. Ours is free form 20 x 40 and our lot is not as big as yours and I still think it looks smallish - we have almost 3000 sq feet of travertine as well. I have heard good things about Lombardo Pools - I am in South Charlotte. I wish you the best of luck! I will look forward to watching your build.

Peace in the New Year!


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Congrats,
You have picked the best builder in your area. Being a member of the "MASTER POOL GUILD" doesn't hurt either.
good luck with the weather


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Congratulations on your pool,

Who is the fellow with the "Pool Builders Supply" shirt on?Is he the Lombardo Pools employee?

Great looking design,I wonder whose creative genius is behind it?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Just because I wear an AC/DC shirt, doesn't mean I'm part of the band. What are you implying?


Stu?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Has the poolanalyst finally shown his hand or shirt in this case? I do wonder what he is implying almost as much as I have wondered who he really is...........


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Has the poolanalyst finally shown his hand or shirt in this case? I do wonder what he is implying almost as much as I have wondered who he really is...........


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
I have also heard good things about Lombardo, and I actually got an "estimate" over the phone after I had my other three estimates inhand. Unfortunately, the sales guy was way off on his "estimate" about $30,000, so I thought it no use for him to come over to the house. Good to hear that you got a competitve bid.
Also, in a slow economy, I thought it would be safer to use a pool company that used subs as opposed to empoyees, who have to get paid even during the slow times. Maybe Lombardo is doing OK as far as staying busy.
Your design looks great. But no hot tub? Charlotte has perfect weather for hot tubbuing.
I like the idea of a diving rock, but I was overruled by my wife and 9 year old.
Again, looks great, and waiting to hear more feedback.

BTW, Lombardo was about the only PB that PoolAnalust did not critique in his opening post???


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Great design, beautiful lot - I just love the landscape in NC! We are nearly finished with our build, and it has been a very positive experience - hoping the same for you. Keep us updated...


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

"Being a member of the "MASTER POOL GUILD" doesn't hurt either. "

HAHHAHAHA


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Wow - there's more angst in this pool build thread than most any other that I've read. I've never claimed that Lombardo was the absolute best and that all others were inferior. All I've done is answer questions when I was asked about why I thought they were the best for my pool build given the research and information I was able to gather prior to making my decision. I hope I was right, but I'm sure other good options exist.

I'm sure a lot of that has to do with our buddy the poolanalyst. I highly doubt he works for Lombardo, but I have no real insight. My guess is he is an owner of one of two local small pool builders that emerged from a former local pool builder that declared bankruptcy. We all post somewhat anonymously on here (although there are probably 4 pool builders that easily know who I am), but all I've ever said is take advice from posters on here based on what perspective they bring to the table. In other words, poolanalyst has had some good posts with interesting information, but he is obviously a competitor to most of the pool builders he talks about. Me? I'm a consumer that just picked a pool builder for the first, and probably only, time in my life. I'm hoping I made the right decision and have no reason thus far to question it.

A few more question answered. I didn't put in a spa mostly out of budget concerns. I wanted to go with the biggest, best pool with the best equipment that I could without sacrificing long term. A spa would have added a lot of expense and would be used less often than the pool in my household. My other thought is that I can add a spa a few years down the line if I feel I'm missing out, although I understand that adding it later is considerably more difficult and less efficient than if I added it at the same time as the pool. My strong suspision is that I won't add a spa. As for the jump rock, I can see your wife voting against it ... but it was the 9-year-old in me that voted for it. I don't have any kids yet, other than myself.

I have no idea why Lombardo would have been $30k off on your phone quote estimate, though. They weren't the lowest or highest bidder on my project, but were within 5-10% of all the other bids.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

OK, back to the build. Things were understandibly slow during the week between Christmas & New Year's, although the crew did work on Christmas eve and the day after Christmas (their decision, not mine). The pool also passed county inspection during that week after the rebar and plumbing stubs were finished.

Rebar

Yesterday, the full squad was out here to shotcrete the pool. Yes, it was shotcrete, and not gunite, for anyone interested in the details.

Truck #1:
Shotcrete - First truck

Nozzleman:
Shotcrete - Nozzleman

First spray:
Shotcrete1

Protecting the house from overspray:
Shotcrete - House protection

Almost done:
Shotcrete5

I'm glad they got the shell completed yesterday, as today and tomorrow are full of rain. We might have had a large mud pool if they waited.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
YOU USED SHOTCRETE INSTEAD OF GUNITE!!!?


Just teasing 'ya. Hard as a rock is hard as a rock when it comes down to it.
It IS a good thing that they got to shooting it when they did... it is pouring pretty good up here in Concord.
And as it be that we are pretty much neighbors, I will not post with any angst.
Racket probably has some inside knowledge that being a member of the trade association is not all that it is pumped up to be. The same with my profession too. I just laugh at all of the realtors that have a dozen acronyms behind their name and make sure that everyone knows it.
What type of stone are you using for the raised beam?
I also have the Intelliflo VF and the SWG. I like them both.
Make sure you have Lombardo tell you exactly what the construction process is for butting up the stamped concrete deck to the pool shell. I have heard of PBs blaming the owner's decking sub as to the cause of cracking, therefore negating the warranty.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Brand new to the forum but have read it since our pool build finished on July 13,2008. Quite informative here. I live in the same area as you and also used Lombardo Swimming Pools. I researched SEVERAL builders, have many friends with various builders, and got quite an earful from friends re: all aspects of the building process. We had several bids and ended up with Lombardo. He was not only recommended from friends but also came in at a comparable price and I liked the professionalism, much of which I did not find with other services that came to bid.....if they ever showed!

I am happy with my pool. I also got SWG and I love this. My design is a little longer than yours and a little less wide, but i wanted to swim in mine, along with my 3 teens and husband. It works, though I could always go longer (mine is 44 ft.) Money wouldn't allow any extra feet!!

When I have had any issues with my pool, or just questions, they respond to me after leaving a message and are usually out here within 24 hours or less. That is the main reason I wanted a local company and not a national. Some friends of mine used a "nationally well known company" and their service is terrible. Service is really what it is all about anyway, huh.

Hope you enjoy your pool as much as we have. This rainy weather does put a damper on things though. At least we are not in snow!!!!! I don't think you will be disappointed with your builder!


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Some updates, not a ton of visual difference - but progress. They laid the waterline tile, cut and placed the water features, and are grading and prepping for the rear wall to be faced and the equipment pad to be started.

Shotcrete shelf/steps

View from backyard:
Bermview

I had a little "official" supervision:
Fuzz: Pool supervision

Cutting the waterfall area in the rear wall:
Waterfall cutting

As for the exact type of stone for the wall ... I don't recall what it was called. I actually walked the stoneyard with my designer and the stone representative and picked the specific pallet I will be getting. I wasn't overwhelmingly picky once we narrowed it down to natural stone and the rough thickness and color variation I was planning on. I'll be sure to take some good pictures and ask questions just in case it turns out well. ;-)


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,

Everything looks good so far.Did you happen to ask Concrete Supply what psi concrete was delivered?

My personal taste isn't for any type of floor devices.

It was hard for me to see in the picture,but did the "Lombardo Pools Employee" that was cutting the pool beam for the sheer descent have a dust mask or safety glasses on?

I think that you are a bit naive if you think that all of these workers are actual Lombardo employees.

I do like the colored skimmers.


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On second thought.......

NCTAL,
On second thought....after looking at your pictures again....It appears that those pipes stubbed up in the floor are main drain pipes,with no sumps,and may be plumbed directly off of the second port of the skimmer housing.

If this pool is plumbed as I have described,you may want to take the saucer shaped disk out of the skimmer housing,eliminating the main drain pull through the skimmer.If the skimmers get low,and the majority of the suction transfers to the main drain(with the disk installed),if a main drain cover should come loose at this time it would be a suction entrapment hazard.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
your waterline tile looks the same as mine; at least darn close. I like the colored skimmers too. The ones that A&S installed on my pool looked like "low profile" skimmers... the entry way is only about 3 or 4 inches tall, which makes it very hard to see the "unfinished" parts of the skimmer.
The greenhouses in the back brought back fond memories of when I used to work at a 450 acre nursery in Houston Tx.
Anyhow, looks good.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

ncrealestateguy,

Just wondering....with real estate a little slow right now,have you gotten any $1,000 spiffs from A&S recently?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

The pipes sticking up from inside the pool are, indeed, part of an in-floor recirculation system (not the full in-floor vacuum). Its by A&A and called Quikfresh - it basically recirculates the water from the bottom, helping to move the cold air to the top to be heated as well as all the other benefits of top to bottom circulation as well as side to side. Quoted as "includes a water valve and two rotational heads on the floor to improve water circulation, heat and chemical distribution, and reduce wear on the surface area of the pool." Who knows how much of that is true, but it was included as part of the bid and seems like a good idea.

The main drain will be plumbed all the way back to the pump rather than just to the skimmers. The pool includes an SVRS system for safety, although there is only one actual drain at the bottom of the deep end.

By definition I am naive when it comes to pool building. This is my first, after all. The gentleman in the picture cutting the bond beam is definitely a Lombardo employee. I guess I don't have proof other than his word and the fact that these same three guys have continued to be here whenever work was done. Shotcrete day there were additional people and the guy at the nozzle that day was Keith Lombardo. I'm pretty sure he works there. ;-) I know the guys driving the Concrete Supply trucks aren't employees and there may be some other part time guys, but the main point that I liked was that the vast majority of the work being done is by employees. It may not necessarily make the work better, I suppose, but it certainly helps when it comes to accountability and quality control. If someone out there had a Lombardo pool built recently, these are the same guys that did it. In the current economy, that was a fact that gave me comfort. It may not matter to someone else and I can see the counterpoint that if you had all the absolute best subs for each stage of your project, that would be beneficial. I was willing to accept work in the 80th or 90th percentile knowing that's what I'd get rather than hope for the 95th percentile, but not be sure if I was getting the 60th percentile quality subcontractor that day.

NCRealestateguy - I'm loving the waterline tile, too. Its very natural looking with irregular patterns and no two alike. Mostly dark blues come out of it. I wish I had some of that in the house.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

"Its by A&A and called Quikfresh - it basically recirculates the water from the bottom, helping to move the cold air to the top to be heated"

Yeah, I meant cold WATER to the top to be heated.

Of course, I also have a heat pump planned, so that should make both it, and regular direct solar heating more efficient.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
The water recirculation feature sounds like a beneficial feature.
Our back yard is all wooded too, which is why we went with the tile also.
Poolanalyst, My referrals from A&S is none of your business. And BTW, my real estate business is doing well enough to allow me to put in a $105,000 pool and patio.
How much are you making from offering free "advice" to this forum?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
I apologize for being compelled to respond to poolanalyst in his attempt to hijack your pool build thread.
Any more responses from him to me will be ignored.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I love your waterline tile; do you know the manufacturer and name of the tile? We want something natural-looking that will blend with irregular flagstone coping and natural boulders, yet we still like the idea of some blue in the tile to visually extend the water surface. At this point we have chosen NPT Verona tan, which is mottled shades of gray and brown to match the stone, but it's not too late for us to change. Thanks.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Jeffkcmo - the back of the tile reads "NOVABELL" in the middle and "Made in Italy" around the rest of the back. Along the top, "GRES PORCELLANATO". I don't know its specific name, since I picked it out via an actual sample rather than a catalog or something like that - but I'll see if they can tell me.

I took a tighter picture of one tile and will post later when I download it and some plumbing pics from today.


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Bye,Bye Real Estate Guy

OOOOOHHHHHH,now I am a hijacker.

Answer or not,it's a free country,and a capitalist country,and it's perfectly alright by me for you to get compensated accordingly.

As far as your question:

>>How much are you making from offering free "advice" to this forum?<<

About the same as you are in the real estate business lately.


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active shotcrete is your crew

nctal,

I have always said that Lombardo was a good pool builder,and they obviously use shotcrete(what psi,though).

Reading from the Lombardo website,they only claim to scrutinize the work,not do it.

From the Lombardo Poools website:

"Since Lombardo Swimming Pools is an in-house builder, all construction steps on each project - from shooting the concrete to the finishsed landscaping - are scrutinized by full-time Lombardo employees."

As far as your single main drain is concerned,this seems to me to be an oversight rather than something that was planned.Why wouldn't the pool builder install dual main drains AND a SVRS to have built the absolutely safest pool possible?

Keith Lombardo is not in any of your pictures of the pool build.The fellow shooting the shotcrete works for ACTIVE SHOTCRETE & PLASTER CO. and is a very light skinned Hispanic.If the guy in the pool build picture (where the concrete truck is and he is partially sticking his head in the white pickup cab) has a "mullet" hairdo (as appears),but is Mexican,then he is Danny,of ACTIVE SHOTCRETE & PLASTER CO.

If the guys pictured plumbed your pool,then I can see why you have a single main drain-because they are a shotcrete crew.

The owner of ACTIVE SHOTCRETE & PLASTER CO. is Angel Garcia,office ph.(704)522-8095,cel(704)507-4571,fax(704)522-8096,Nextel:140*45*22


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I really don't want to be the answer man for my pool company, but I know that many more people read these forums than contribute to them and correct information is crucial. I spoke to Keith face-to-face the first day of the dig and he is certainly not Hispanic, light skinned or otherwise. As for the main drain - not an oversight. It was explained and demonstrated to me prior to signing the contract. The actual drain was shown to me at that time. I don't have all the answers since I'm merely a poolconsumer, but was told the design of the drain itself prevents entrapment plus the SVRS system. Please forward detailed questions to the pool builder.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Now back to the fun part of the thread: THE POOL BUILD!

The mini excavator was back today digging trenches and when I got home I was greeted with lots of PVC pipe, conduit, and the start of my equipment pad.

First, I'll post a close up shot of one of the extra tiles:
Waterline tile - sampleview

Now, a shot of the rough-plumbed skimmer. (I had no idea that colored skimmers were unique. I guess I'm learning I'm more naive every day, but glad I'm in the hands of a quality PB that makes good decisions even when I'm not checking up on them prior):
Skimmer tiled and rough plumbed

Damn gophers:
Rough plumbed poolview

Primarily 2 1/2" and 2" PVC:
Rough plumbed equip pad

Nice pad:
Prelim equip pad - uninstalled


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

One potential major issue I see is the electrical in the same trench as the plumbing. This is a huge no-no in NJ. I believe the Uniform Construction Code requires a separate trench dug to a deeper depth for safety when replacing lines.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
Our tile is different. Mine has no blue in it. But it is close. Yours is very nice looking; I like the "rough" look of it.
Do not worry about having one drain... I grew up with a pool with one drain and we were always hanging around over top of it retreiving rocks and such. The only entrapments I have ever read about have been from commercial pools. Just another example of an industry and its consumers being made to go overboard because of lawsuits.
I also like the angled corners of the skimmer intakes. Nice touch.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

nctal,

I would also make sure that you are getting the LED color changing lights,and not the older technology SAM color changing lights.

The guy operating the shotcrete nozzle is not Keith Lombardo-unless he added 50 pounds and had face altering surgery.Keith Lombardo is not in any one of your photos.

One option would have been to have two main drains,spaced far apart,and then had them plumbed to be able to be shut off(as suction inlets) and valved to return water to the pool bottom.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I would expect that the drain and the skimmer are tied so as to ensure there is no single suction source.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Will the real KL please stand up?


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Mind in the gutter

Poolguynj - Can you tell me more about the degree of problem that may arise from power & plumbing in the same trench? The goal on here sometimes seems to be to find areas where a PB could have done better ... so its difficult to tell when what seems like such minor deal like this to a novice is worth raising a fuss about or if its just another case of regulators going nuts in NJ, CA, or somewhere else, for that matter.

Thanks!


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I think the safety issue is the potential for water penetration in the electrical conduit in the event of a plumbing failure and too ensure that a shovel does not hit an unwanted line. I've seen that happen too.

I'm sure there are additional reasons for the Uniform Construction Code wanting them in different trenches.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

O.K.. In New Jersey, your U.C.C. may be different. There is no reason that conduit cannot be in the same trench. The conduit for the pool lights have water in them anyway up to a certain point near the J-box. The main run from the panel shouldn't have pool plumbing in it anyway. If the plumber digs his trenches 18" down, the possibility that some one will hit it with a shovel is remote. Even if you did schdule 80 conduit is pretty strong and breaking it open with a shovel is not an easy thing to do.
On a different note. I follow these threads every once in a while when I have time. I rarely post or reply because I relize that every part of the country is different and builders do things different, but pool analyst is teeing me off. In one of his previous posts he said do not use gunite because it's like paper machie. What a load of crap. Gunite has the potential to be stronger than shotecrete. The more water you add to concrete the weaker it gets. Gunite is a dry mix hence less water. There is nothing wrong with shotcrete. But I've core tested gunite after 40 days and I've had it test out at 4,000 p.s.i..Concrete only gets stronger with time. Have you ever busted up a 30 year old patio deck? Not easy. If you don't believe that you can talk to one of the best pool engineers in the business, Ron Lacher. I'm sure I could find things on pool analyst's pools that I could pick apart. In fact a lot of the pictures I see on here I could critize this or that. Most of the plumbing and steel work I've seen here look like hack jobs. Some have looked top notch or close to it. I just feel sorry when some of these so called experts get on here and give information that may not pertain to a posters part of the country. I think Kelly does a decent job of explaining things as does racket. Some other ones I can tell are service people that may be good on the service end ,but it seems their knowledge on the construction side is not as informative. From what I've seen of nctals pool it looks pretty decent. Altough I would never bend and heat pipe and use blue glue. Some cities I deal with would make him tear it out. But I'm sure that's just the way they do things in his neck of the woods. So what I'm trying to say is if pool analyst is so awesome, he should post some of his pool builds from beginning to end. I'm sure I could find many things I could rip him apart about.So leave this poor homeowner alone and let him enjoy his build. Put up your stuff or shut up!


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

poolanalyst,
You are quite wrong, there are no Active Shotcrete guys in the pictures. They are all Lombardo's,
NCTAL's your pool is coming along fine, matter of fact there are only a few things I would have changed but over all you have a very sound pool. Looks good.


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Thanks

Thanks guys. Its easier to trust the opinions of pool builders and professionals whose company hasn't left consumers out of significant money by going out of business & declaring bankruptcy. I really didn't want this thread to turn into a teenaged testosterone argument.

My hope was it would be a resource for potential home owners, especially those in the Charlotte area, so they know what their options are. I know it was very helpful, educational, and entertaining for me to follow other pool build threads, even if they were in different areas.

Also, the Uniform Construction code must be specific to NJ. Maybe the fact that we don't have a freeze/thaw cycle in NC like they do in NJ has something to do with it ... maybe its just NC isn't as over regulated. Either way, the county inspector was just here and I asked and everything passed with no problems.

I enjoy the feedback - positive and critical - as long as its devoid of personal agenda.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

In NC, you can even run your gas lines with the electric and plumbing on pools.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
Like I have said before, I have been told before that Lombardo is one of the best in Charlotte. Most of us on here really do not know much about pool building, we are just people that have experienced our own pools being built.
But that won't stop me from posting advice from my "self - perceived" expert mind!
My electrical and plumbing also was buried in the same trench. If you think it is a big deal, just draw up plans showing what trenches have the electrical, and at what depths. That way, if you have to dig them up someday, you know where they are, and at what depth.
Anyhow, last night got down to 11 degrees here! There was just barely a slurry of ice over top of the tanning ledge. I am turning my freeze protection up from the default of 35 degrees if possible. It just runs too much at that temp. Maybe I will turn it to kick on at 25 degrees.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Devil:

UCC is a national standard. As is the NEC.

The conduit from the niche to the J-Box will have water in it along with the fixture's cord which is by design intended to be submerged. This cord is substantially different than the wires that are run from the J-Box to the power source. Those wires are NOT designed for submerged applications.

Most electrical conduit in my area is sched. 30, not 80.

Gas, water and electrical lines are normally required to be at different depths. Some locals require very deep water lines for example due to the deep frost lines such as those in norther states.

Pool suction and return lines differ from water supply lines from city and well on in that they can be winterized and in my neck of the wood, are winterized though not always by those that are competent.

Since the line are at different depths, these are technically considered trenches.

That's about the best I am capable of/qualified to explain.
Since NCTAL passed inspection, it's moot.

NCrealestateguy, I don't know of any automation systems that will allow turning the freeze protect below 33.

I too think his pool is beautiful. do I agree that bigger pipes could have made it more efficient, of course. Will his pool work well for many years. YES


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

nctal,

>>Will the real KL please stand up?<<

Again,you have obviously never met Keith Lombardo, and you must have just snapped some quick photo's of your job.The person shooting the concrete in your pool has a slight accent and works for ACTIVE SHOTCRETE & PLASTER CO.

The REAL Lombardo employees will come at the end of the job to start up your pool and they will be in a pickup truck that says "Lombardo Pools" on it.The start up guys may also be wearing shirts that say "Lombardo Pools" on them also.

Keep up the facade if you want to,but these guys are not Lombardo direct employees.

As far as the Uniform Construction Code goes,it is National,but some states adopt it verbatim and others do not.

Anthony & Sylvan has been the most aggressive to voluntarily follow the UCC by incorporating anti-entrapment measures recommended by the UCC such as dual main drains 3 ft. or more apart(making them to be in the spa footwell sidewalls to comply).A&S also has an anti-entrapment feature that cavitates the pump if the dual main drains should become obstructed.


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Keith Lombardo

nctal,

>>Will the real KL please stand up?<<

Again,you have obviously never met Keith Lombardo, and you must have just snapped some quick photo's of your job.The person shooting the concrete in your pool has a slight accent and works for ACTIVE SHOTCRETE & PLASTER CO.

The REAL Lombardo employees will come at the end of the job to start up your pool and they will be in a pickup truck that says "Lombardo Pools" on it.The start up guys may also be wearing shirts that say "Lombardo Pools" on them also.

Keep up the facade if you want to,but these guys are not Lombardo direct employees.

As far as the Uniform Construction Code goes,it is National,but some states adopt it verbatim and others do not.

Anthony & Sylvan has been the most aggressive to voluntarily follow the UCC by incorporating anti-entrapment measures recommended by the UCC such as dual main drains 3 ft. or more apart(making them to be in the spa footwell sidewalls to comply).A&S also has an anti-entrapment feature that cavitates the pump if the dual main drains should become obstructed.


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devildog 1989

devildog 1989,

You said that:
>>But I've core tested gunite after 40 days and I've had it test out at 4,000 p.s.i..<<

Are you sure that the testing lab's report stated 4,000 p.s.i. even on the money? Are you sure that it wasn't 3990 p.s.i., or maybe it was 4112 p.s.i. or maybe you didn't have a testing lab test your alleged gunite sample "after 40 days".

And why would you go with a 40 day cure time when the engineering specification for concrete products at full strength is 28 days?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Because we did test it at 28 days, 35 days,40 days, 45 days. We did it just for sheets and giggles.We do that here in socal every once in awhile, so we can make sure our gunite is consistent and we don't get caught with our pants down. Please do not call me a liar again. Some cities require core test and I do not feel like ripping out a shell. And if I didn't introduce myself before, I'm a Pool contractor in the socal region. I service Orange, San Diego, and certain parts of Riverside counties. I will not say my name, because I do not want to get kicked out for spamming. I only got on this thread because of your know it all attitude towards a couple of the posters hear. You do not even say weather you are a builder, salesman or disgruntled former employee. You do not know what we do or don't do out here. We have so many restrictions and requirements it makes North Carolina look like the wild west of Pool building. So like I said put up at least your what your title is. If you don't want to do that, leave these homeowners alone.Oh if I didn't have the exact P.S.I. number I'm sorry. I stopped by the office for lunch and wrote the last post on the fly and was going by memory of a test from a year ago.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Poolguynj,
You are correct about the wire not being rated for water.My point was the only electrical lines that are in the plumbing trenches 99.9% of the time are the pool light conduit lines. In my neck of the woods the main power line from the house panel to the pool panel is either by itself or run with the gas line for the heater which is 18" deep.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

A&S do have my spa drains located on the sidewalls, so they could maintain the 3 foot distance now "required". I hate this location... after draining the spa, there is about 2 inches of water left over that can not be sucked out. Also, the debris that falls to the bottom of the spa is not efficiently sucked up, like it would be if the drains were located on the bottom. And what gets me most, is that my spa is wide enough that they would have fit in the botom and been just 3 feet apart.
As far as the three suction pipes that were sticking up above the ground after the build, (the ones that would suck in air and break the vacuum if there was an entrapment) are now hacked off below ground level and capped off! I am not paying a fortune on a pool and patio and then having PVC pipes protruding out of the ground all around the pool.
Like another poster said, I can not even feel any measurable suction coming from these drains, so I feel pretty comfortable capping off the suction lines.


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Thoughts

all posters,

I never meant to be perceived as an authority on pool building,I try to be humble and not suffer from hubris."Pride comes before a fall" is a motto for every day life,for me.Having said all that,I will still go "toe-to-toe" with someone when challenged.

Now I am challenging anyone who is interested to bring up one single statement from me that(knowingly) was wrong or untruthful.I usually research fairly thoroughly before posting here.Of course,sometimes it can be intuition,and not 100% cold, hard, facts as has to be the case with companies that you are not associated with.

I am not a failed pool builder,as nctal is implying.BTW,to the best of my knowledge,Carolina Aqua Pools has never formally filed chapter 11,nor has Integrity Pools.These companies just stop paying their bills and nobody does anything about it.The last pool company to formally file chapter 11 MIGHT have been Simon's first foray into his own company.Before that, the first Blue Haven Pools franchise here (20+ years ago) MIGHT have formally filed chapter 11.

One trick that CAP used to do was supply their subcontractors with CAP shirts to wear,to make it look like they were employees.CAP must have had well over 100 ea. shirts out there.You can sometimes still see subs occasionally wearing them today.

I am now formally apologizing to ncrealestateguy for unthoughtful comments.

I am going to try to stay "on message" with subjects related to pool building,but when I see a "spade",I am going to call it a spade,i.e.,such as when I see ACTIVE SHOTCRETE employees shooting your pool.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

No one showing up to work on my pool has presented me with an ID badge showing what company they work for. Who knew that a comment about the company I chose using employees for the majority of their work would cause such a outrage within the analyst. At this point, I don't really care to debate it anymore. All I know is that you are trying to come across as an expert on how this company does business. EVERY SINGLE DAY that they've come to work on my pool, they've arrived in a white Ford pickup with the company name on the side. In fact, many days they arrived in TWO Ford pickup trucks - each with the name of the company on the side. You say CAP gave shirts and hats to non-employees ... don't you think Pool Builder's Supply does the same thing? Lombardo's service guy came out to my house the other day wearing a PBS hat. I repeat, the same guys have been building my pool every day. If they have some secret identity and fight crime at night or whatever, I don't want to debate it any more with you.

I'm sick of answering your inaccurate assertions. I think NCRealestateguy probably had the right idea. You're awfully good at saying who you AREN'T, why don't you take everyone's advice and tell us who you are. You can tell us who you are without violating the terms of this board. People know Kelly in Houston and someone from Atlanta recently told us who he was without soliciting business. Since this is my pool build thread, I'd really appreciate it if you'd not respond again unless you're prepared to tell us who you are. The back and forth has already dragged this thread down and filled it with so much crap.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

nctal,

>>All I know is that you are trying to come across as an expert on how this company does business.<<

Not really,all that I am disputing with you is your statement that Keith Lombardo applied the shotcrete to your pool.I am also stating, unequivically, that the shotcrete applicator is with ACTIVE SHOTCRETE.You are the one spreading falsehoods because of some sort of perception on your part that only Lombardo employees are working on your pool.My personal opinion of you is that your ego is getting in the way of reality.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Poolanalyst,
Your apology is accepted. It is easy for anyone to get off on a tangent in a forum. I'm sure I may have at some time too.
NCTAL, don't sweat all of the "crap" that is filling the thread. In a weird sort of way, it is what attracts more readers to come back and see the progress of your build. And that is what you want... people to tune in so that you can share your local pool buld with others so that they can learn from your experiences.
Anyhow, what's next for the build?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

nctal,

Did you notice if the rebar was a larger diameter in the floor, or the same diameter as the sides?

It's better to have the larger diameter in the floor on a deep pool.


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Rebar

nctal,

Did you notice if the rebar was a larger diameter in the floor, or the same diameter as the sides?

It's better to have the larger diameter in the floor on a deep pool.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Nothing "outs" a forum troll like the truth. Hopefully it serves as troll repellent, as well ... at least for this thread.

Rather than keep going back-and-forth with someone who claims to know more than he does, I took this trivial forum argument to someone who knows a little more about this pool build and especially the pool company I'm doing business with: Keith Lombardo.

Keith confirmed what I already knew: He WAS the guy at the nozzle and that was his crew shooting my pool. These ARE Lombardo employees and the equipment is indeed his. I'm not going to argue every single point, because it has been proven that poolanalyst is either lying, misleading, or just plain doesn't know what he's talking about. In the Charlotte pool builders thread, he also made some statements recently which are equally inaccurate.

For any of you reading this, or any other thread that Mr. Poolanalyst comments on, take this into account when determining how much merit to place in his statements.

As for my pool build, its continuing as planned and my opinions thus far of Lombardo Swimming Pool Company continues to be very positive.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I would like to set the record straight,My name is Keith Lombardo, owner of Lombardo swimming pools. the pictures of nctal pool are of me as nozzle man along with my crew at this point there has been -o- sub contractors on this job.I don't know who the pool analyst is but he apparently doesn't know me. The concrete pump on the job along with all the trucks, skid loader,are mine, not subs.I take pride in the work we do along with my crews,if anyone still would like to dispute any of these statements feel fee to contact me directly we are in the phone book,Thanks Keith Lombardo. ps,anywone wishing to see the pictured concrete pump or trucks or me, you're welcome to come to my office and see for your self.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

>> In the Charlotte pool builders thread, he also made some statements recently which are equally inaccurate.
<<

Can you name one?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I'm not really the one who needs to prove himself.

You repeated your inaccuracies from this thread on that one, and just added a new inaccuracy. Its hard to tell what is true coming from you, although I'm told your rumors and generalizations about many companies were pretty close at the top of the thread. You clearly have some degree of inside information, just not as much as you think on the specifics.

If you have additional direct questions about my pool build, post them here. If not, the other threads are probably a better spot.

Thanks.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I've posted ,hopefully,my final response to poolanalyst on the charlotte,NC concrete/gunite pool builder forum for anyone interested .This is a neat forum if you get past the personal stuff. I,m glad we've done a great job for nctal, not knowing that we were under a microscope until Mon.of this week, and that pictures were being sharred with all of you, unknown to us. in closing I'm proud of my employees. not to many builders could measure up to this kind of scrutiny,were your work is being sharred unknown,any one can be good if they know their under a microscope,which we did'nt. enjoy your pools Keith.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Keith, there have been, in the past, many threads where your input would have been welcome. I expect there will be many more in the future. I hope that if you have the time, you'll join us as a contributing builder.

Hope to see at the NESPA next week in Atlantic City.

Anyone else going?

Scott


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

poolguynj, thanks for the kind words,I might just do that.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I was employed by Lombardo from 1994 to 2004. I can assure you that Keith Lombardo is on nozzle in the photos. If you don't recognize him it's because, like myself, he HAS put on 50 pounds.
The conduit is fine for NC. It is grey, but not schedule 80.
The pool has surely been built entirely in-house to this point, as would have been the case the entire time that I worked there. Sometimes, however, a homeowner or homebuilder may choose another contractor to complete part of a job. This would be true for any pool builder. Whenever possible, all work was done in-house. The only exceptions were electrical, and the plastering was always subcontracted except for small spas and fountains.
But I have read enough about that, what about the pool?
Everything looks good so far.
They should have cut out for the shear descent while the concrete was still wet, a lot easier.
Keith, when did you start using Pentair equip.?
Intellibrite lights are LED not SAM.
Why in the world would anyone set freeze protection to 25 degrees? What is your homeowners insurance deductable?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Now that we've got THAT cleared up, here's an update and more pictures. I was out of the loop for a week, but that happened to be a week when it snowed here in the Charlotte area (once every three years) - so not much happened while I was gone. This week they're laying the stone coping and stacking the rear wall. For full disclosure, the stone guys are a subcontractor - finally my first.

By the way - I didn't expect anywhere near this much scrutiny, but now that I've had it I do feel all the more better about my pool build.

First, my yard got stoned:
Pallets of Stone

Then it got laid:
Dry fitting stone coping

And now its getting stacked:
Stacking rear wall - Hose B

From the looks of all the clay exposed by the rain, they're building my pool on Mars. I expect to see the Mars rover roll by any moment:
Pool build on Mars

Finally, a couple views from the living room. It'll be a helluva view when its done:
View through Living Room
View from Living Room

They're finishing up the stone work tomorrow and if all goes well, the deck is scheduled for next week.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

My camera died, but my cell phone camera picked these two shots up a few minutes ago. I'm not sure how they're concealing the water falls yet, but other than that, the rear wall is almost completely stoned.

Finishing rear wall

Finishing rear wall-top view


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Looks real good,especially the stone coping on the raised beam area.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I'm sure they aren't finished with it, poolanalyst.
NCTAL, nice view out the back windows.
What is your decking going to be made of?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Had to make a budget compromise ... I would have loved real stone or something along those lines like the rest of the pool area, but I'm going with stamped concrete with integral color. I'm shooting for 1,200 square feet and am getting a good rate from a family friend in the business. I've seen his work on some multi million dollar homes on Lake Norman, so hopefully it'll do just as well for my humble abode.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

The stonework was indeed completed last week and over the weekend it was protected by a blanket to keep some of the heat in case the NC weather dropped too far.

Here was the big unveiling prior to the Super Bowl so guests could check out the stone wall.

Wall reveal
Stone wall closeup

On Sunday, I tore out the stairs on my existing builder spec wooden deck and began trying to get that area up to what will be the final grade. Monday we prepped the area that will be the stamped concrete pool deck and finished the final grading of the area. As mentioned previously, I'm having a friend of the family who does this for a living handle the decking. His name is Bobby Nirchi of Architectural Concrete Technologies in Mooresville, NC.

Prepping the deck and installing downspout drainage:
Deck prep & drainage

Deck prep


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Your pool and house are gorgeous! I can't wait to see the final project! The wall is also stunning. I love the integration of the larger stones in with the smaller ones - very natural and unique. Keep the pics coming. Nikki


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
I have seen some very natural looking stamped concrete out there. Also seen some really crappy stuff where the lines are double stamped, and the colors do not match.
Let your guy know he's being watched by thousands.
Wow! It is 15 degrees here this morning. Been cold hear this winter. But it is gonna be 70 this coming Sat. and Sun. Time for me to start thinking finishing up my retaining wall stone faces and my finished landscaping.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Did you mention COLD? For North Carolina, no doubt. I'm originally from Western NY state - Buffalo & Rochester - and it cracks me up that the dusting we got yesterday canceled school. Still, I was amused enough to take some pictures.

Almost enough snow to cover the backyard:
Snow in NC

With the weather what it was, no work was done yesterday - still, I managed to gain two new supervisors on my pool project. Neither of which is a Lombardo employee, by the way ;-).
Snowman Foremen
I doubt they'll stick around very long, although the big guy is still hanging on today. He can't see much today, however, since the neighbor's dog ate his eyes.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Well, the snowmen are long gone since its been in the mid-70s the last two days. The deck crew poured and stamped last Friday - so I snapped a couple pictures of the action.

Applying the color directly to the truck - which allowed the color to go completely throughout the mix rather than just at the surface of the deck like many stamped concrete projects.
Applying integral color directly at the truck

The colored concrete poured - just over 1,200 sq ft. I think the color is called Sand Buff, but basically its among the lightest tan colors available.
Colored concrete poured

Applying the releasing agent and stamping. I believe the pattern I chose is Roman Granite.
Stamping Concrete

Here's an action shot of the powder. It appears to enhance the color, but its primary role is as a releasing agent for the stamps.
Releasing agent/color enhancer

After the deck set up over the weekend, they're cutting it into 5'x5' tile pattern, sealing, and applying a no-slip surface to it. The electricians were also here today and should be back tomorrow. Pictures to follow (in between me actually getting work done.)


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

How is your build going? I have been lurking on the Charlotte pages since we started our own pool build in Sept 08. We finally passed our inspection on Monday - after failing once for not having the right alarms on a couple of doors. Waiting for the irrigation to be completed and the sod to be put down - I am soooo tired of seeing that pretty red NC dirt. Now I am ready for warmer weather - hope your build is going well. Keep posting the pictures.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

hope2bsmartshopper,
you must live in Mecklenburg county. My inspector never said a thing about door alarms to us. We live in Cabarrus county.
NCTAL, give us an update... we have had beautiful weather here for the past week. Waiting to see that stamped deck.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

OK, here you go. It turned out to be just under 1,300 square feet of deck. I couldn't really get it all into one picture, but I'm liking the look of it. After a little sunshine, it should lighten up a little more as the sealant was pretty fresh in the last few pictures.

Here, the deck is stamped and set up over the weekend. Bobby was cutting the deck into a 5' x 5' grid.
Cutting into 5'x5' tiles (wide view)

A view back from the stone wall of the completed deck.
Concrete deck - view toward house

View from the wooden deck:
Concrete deck completed

And finally a close up of the same shot, showing the pattern and color:

Close up of pattern

The electricians finished earlier this week, so we're pretty close to the finish line. I need to pick out a jump rock (visted a couple of stone yards with no luck yet), the remaining ground surrounding the pool needs to get graded, the wood deck is getting a new set of expanded steps, fence quotes, and pebble tec.


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clean fill wanted at nctal's house!

A quick pictureless update:

My wooden deck was enhanced by expanding the steps to a wraparound variety, replacing the railings, & adding metal balusters. The rest of the pool dirt was used to rough grade the area around the pool and they are contouring the yard so that water runoff will be effectively managed.

Which brings up an interesting situation - now that I see how much better I like the flow of my back yard after using the fill dirt from just my pool ... I want the same thing for my front & side yards! You sometimes see those handmade signs in people's yards that say "Clean fill wanted" - I guess I'm now one of them. Only I haven't put the sign up in the yard (I'm putting it up on GardenWeb).

I don't want any old dumping, of course - just clean dirt. Last year I was fortunate to find a devoloper that donated 53 triaxles to forming a berm on the rear of my yard to isolate my yard from the country road behind it. Any pool builders or others that have more dirt than they know what to do with - or would rather not pay to dump it ... I'll take it.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCtal,
Very nice looking deck. That color and texture is about what I would have got if we didn't end up with pavers. Very nice.
i know of plenty of fill dirt being offered for free from a developer off of hwy 73, but I am not sure if you would have to haul it yourself or not. If you want the #, I can drive up there and get it off of the sign. It is only 3 miles from my home. Looked really clean.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Thanks for the info. I'm going to keep my eyes more open for those kinds of things now, too. I live around 20 miles south of 73, though, so hauling costs would certainly outweigh the free fill. I'm not in dire need - but keeping a look out.

Thanks again.


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Pebble tec day

For the past several weeks we've been shoring up some of the fine details to prepare for today ... Pebble tec day!

First, related to my pool is the entire back yard project. I rented a backhoe on my own and set off to level the raised area behind my pool so that I'd still have a large yard to play backyard soccer or football now that the pool took up the area we used to play. I got a good deal on a weekly rental, and its a good thing because its rained for three days straight.

A view from the house. The back area looks ok, but it pitches hard from rear to front - which would make backyard sports a challenge.
Leveling ground behind pool

Just like a kid, only in a bigger sandbox:
Dirty jobs

OK, now to the pool-specific stuff.

Pebble tec guys showed up early this morning. I wasn't even out of the shower yet, but they don't need my help. They brought plenty of guys. Its an interesting process to watch.

Pebble tec crew

The receipe mixture is more straight-forward than I would have guessed. If I'd have known how simple it was, I might have had them throw one more bag of Black pearl in per load to darken up the Tahoe Blue just a little. In any case, I'm sure it will still look good. Here's the chef:
Pebble tec receipe


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Last two Pebble tec pictures from application day.

Pebble tec - Tahoe blue - crew2

It was a partially cloudy day here in Charlotte. This pic looks less vibrant than the last because the clouds were out in full force.

Pebble tec - Day 1 complete


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Your pool is looking good. Love the stone. I have the same shape but don't think mine is as long. Love the color of the stamped concrete. Your almost done.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Love how it's coming together. Bet you can't wait till summer!


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

You've got that right. I'll be jumping in pretty soon, whether the water's cold or not.

Here are pictures from Pebble tec day 2, when they came back to acid wash it. Also a couple pictures of it filling up. I'm told (and have seen on here examples) of the Tahoe Blue darkening and blueing up significantly once I start filtering the water and balancing the chemicals. Right now there is some green to the water color, but I'm not concerned based on other threads on this forum and seeing first-hand completed Tahoe Blue Pebble tec pools.

Pebbletec Day 2 - Acid washing

Major work finished - FILL'ER UP!

Day 3 of filling - almost full


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

wow, gorgeous and so exciting. I'm going through this at the same time and just filled up the pool last week. I'm a little nervous about the final color.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Looks real nice...
That water does look green, doesn't it? Post some "after" pics too.
I still think your stamped patio came out perfect, (at least from the photos), and really like the color/texture.
Even those couple pieces of coping that were so horrible looking, magically fixed themselves!
It looks as though you backfilled the beam all the way to the top.?
That dirt berm you have back there would be a great place to make a rock garden / evergreen hedge. The raised beam would almost frame it from the patio perspective.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I'm surprised the hose doesn't have a rag on the end to disburse the stream and to protect against an iron stain.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Are you swimming? We have been in a couple of times - the kids are braver than we are......are you loving your new pool?


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Yes - pool is finished with just some minor morter touch-ups due. I'm a lot behind in my pictures, but we just got back from vacation and have the camera loaded up with pictures to download from all sorts of things.

We've been in the pool a couple of times already with the heat pump helping to make it more comfortable. I had a crew of volunteers helping me to sod about 2,000 square feet of grass around the pool area - and we enjoyed taking breaks by jumping in the pool that day. My first official plunge, though, was at the end of March. It was a little cold outside & in the pool, but once it was full of water and able to be jumped in (close to balanced and water in the 70's) we jumped in.

Pics will follow of updates soon.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

just for my curiosity--are you on a well out there or city water? How long did it take to fill that monster...
georgeous pool and setting--and aren't you so glad now that you did make the pool larger...
from what I could see reading the thread--your pool is pretty much centered against the back length of your house...and then there is nice balance of patio before/after your pool itself...
pretty much fills the three windows in your living area...nice balance I think--and certainly once you get some landscaping in behind it to throw it into relief...

seems like you followed the rule of 3rds pretty well...


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Thanks. I'm on county water and it took a full 3 days to fill with two hoses running most of the time. FWIW, my water bill went from an average of $35/month to $335 for the month I filled it.

As for landscaping, I'm tempted to try and grow a couple of palm trees back there, but not sure how they'd fair in Charlotte. Those will wait a while either way. My budget is still recovering from the pool, patio, fence, sod, and vacation expenses that I've blown through in the last several months. Detailed landscaping may have to wait a little while.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

looking forward to the pics, nctal. I remember I filled my pool at the same time you did and I haven't gone in yet! Today, it finally felt warm enough, about 78.

How many gallons is your pool? Mine took 2-3 days to fill 35,000 gallons.....I haven't seen my water bill yet; preparing for sticker shock.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Hey NCTAL,
Your pool looks great. FYI there is a company in Hillsborough that specializes in cold hardy palms. They work all over and I'm sure Charlotte would be no problem...we got some trees (not palms) from them last year and they were great to work with. Here is a link to the website...
http://www.cooper-paynetreefarms.com/Cold-Hardy-Palms.html
Judy


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

We are in Mecklenburg County and filled our pool December 23rd of 2008. It took about 3 days - our pool might be a bit smaller than NCTALs. Our water bill went up $275. I was surprised - I was expecting much more......that was the only thing it seems that was LESS than expected!


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

The pool looks really nice.
IMO, palms should stay where palms grow. HAve you seen the cold hary palms after this last wnter. A lot of them had to have every single frond pruned back, because they did not survive the colder nites. Some of these that I see, were even covered. Some of the palms may look good for about 3 months out of the year. For the rest of the time, they are cold damaged, or trying to recover from cold damage.
IMO, a professionally landscaped evergreen garden blows away any palm landscape that I have seen around here, and they stay healthy all year round.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I would agree with ncrealestateguy. Palms just wouldn't look right in a cold climate, IMO. Evergreens and deciduous (?) trees that are indigenous to the area would be more in keeping with the space.

I have many 50 ft palms around my pool but I am in southern California.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Nctal,

I was hoping to get a few pictures of your gorgeous pool! We are in the process of a build, just picked our PT Tahoe Blue but a little weary that it just wont be deep blue enough but love the natural stones better than midnight blue. Wondering if you went with the addition of black marble to your Tahoe PT and what you think. Any feedback would be appreciated!!

h2ofallz@aol.com


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

nctal,

still following your pool build...any completed pics you can share? I am interested in knowing if you love your tahoe blue PT??


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

I do like the Tahoe Blue, although my initial impressions of it being just a little bit too light still hold true. Here's a couple of shots of the water. Its a brilliant, complex, multi-dimentional color. The look of the actual pebbles on the shelf and the rest of the interior are great. I'm happy with it, but everything else being equal it would have been nice to have a shade deeper blue. Still, its not the windex blue I wanted to avoid, and Tahoe Blue is still very natural looking.

Please disregard the whiteness of the guy about to jump. This was my first official plunge into the pool on March 31st. I have since gone on vacation and have gotten at least a reasonable tan.
Pool-First plunge TAL - March31

Pool-First plunge TAL wading

As you can see in the background, there is quite a major backyard project going on. The fence is in, the separately fenced in dog run area (adjacent to the pool) has been sodded, but there is still much to be done.

Sodding-Buggy

Sodding-TAL and TAL2
Sodding-TAL and TAL2 almost done

We've been swimming a number of times now. I'll add some more wide-angle pictures as progress warrants.


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Alternate contact for NCTAL

By the way - if you have specific questions and I haven't responded or posted in a while, feel free to drop me an email at tlarmondra@yahoo.com. There are times when I'm not on here for extended periods, so that's an alternate way to get a hold of me.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

The project is just really stunning, looks fantastic.

I really appreciate your reply about the Pebble Tec, I have been over and over again between Midnight Blue and Tahoe so your reply really helped. The PT guy here in South Florida has no problem adding black stones to darken but my PB said you get what you get so he would stick to known color and no mixing, So that leaves me more confused...either way, they are both better than the blue Diamond Brite IMO!

Again, your pool looks beautiful!


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

NCTAL,
Nice looking sod!
Looks like you found a place to get topsoil.
What make of fence did you buy? How much if you do not mind me asking. I still have to get a fence, before big brother gets angry.


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RE: NCTAL's Charlotte-area pool build - Winter '09

Thanks.

My fence was put in my Mike Bigham with BHT Fence in Charlotte. I opted for the design you can see without any additional horizontal crossrails. There was some debate about what 'officially' was up to pool safety codes in Union County, so out an abundance of caution I went with the one that was for sure up to code. Code believed to mean that there is 48' between crossrails. Either way, I liked the less obstructive view of fewer crossrails.

The fence manufacturer is APG Meridian and is called Swedge Lock. It has no screws and no welds and is made in America. I guess there's been a big increase in Chinese aluminum and steel with other manufacturers and its likely to be inferior to the American made stuff.

I put the fence fully surrounding my pool, then added the adjacent dog run area (that we sodded in the pictures). All told it came out to 240 linear feet of fence, three self-closing gates and one double gate so I can mow the dog run. All told around $5500.

I'm not sure if big brother cared that much in my corner of Union County - but I felt better having it fenced in for the dog and any other random animal wandering through the back yard. So far, only a few small frogs and your standard assortment of bugs have made it into the pool.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swedge Lock website


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