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New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Posted by FlowerMoundAggie (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 8, 11 at 0:43

After lurking on this site for a number months and gaining invaluable knowledge to the pool building process, I would like to document my experience in the pool builder selection process and subsequent build process. In addition to a pool, I also wanted to build a decent sized cabana on the west side of the pool. It gets quite hot in Texas and I wanted a protected area around the pool for shaded entertainment.

Using the GardenWeb posts from fellow pool buyers in North Texas, I put together a group of 4 pool builders to select from. Two were relatively large local builders (Robertson Pools of Coppell and Riverbend/Sandler of Plano), one was a medium sized builder (Claffey Pools of Southlake) and the last was a small builder (Paul Miller Custom Pools of Keller). All were very responsive for the initial meeting and the subsequent follow up design review meeting. The first two pool designers from Claffey and Paul Miller did a very good job of helping my wife and I sort out what type of pool we were interested in building. We have never owned a pool and were able to only give relatively simple pool requirements such as a pool deep enough for our girls to jump in but not a diving pool, a decent sized play area and a spa. By the time we talked to the other 2 builders, we were able to give them more details like water features and in-pool seating. All builders were also provided with a rough sketch of my cabana idea to incorporate in the bid process.

When we got back all 4 bids, we were completely blown away with the Paul Miller design. He not only incorporated all of our stated requirements but also included extra features like a waterfall grotto, weeping waterfalls, large sun deck and fire pit. The design really captured our imagination. An added bonus is that the designer was also the owner of the company, Paul Miller. He was the only one to suggest placing the pool equipment directly behind the waterfall feature to mask its sight and sound from our house and neighbors. As a an added benefit, it reduces the run for the gas line and piping. As a engineer, I was quite impressed with his overall view of the project from functionality to aesthetics.

One other note in the selection criteria. Claffey told us that they would only build a ozone/chlorine pool. Paul Miller would only build a salt water pool. Robertson and Riverbend Sandler would pretty much build with which ever sanitation method you choose including a combination of salt and ozone. I was more attracted to the pool builders that took a stand on sanitation method even though it was 2 different positions. Despite the FUD around salt water pools, I went with the experience of our neighbor who has owned both and so I opted for Paul Miller to build me a salt water pool.

Below are the particulars for our chosen design:
Pool Specification
Length: 36' x 41'
Width: 25'
Depth: 3'6" - 5' - 8'
Shape: Custom Freeform
Perimeter: 118'
Area: 684 sq. ft.
Gallons: 30,000

Spa Specifications
Size: 7'
Shape: Round
Depth: 36"
Perimeter: 24'
Area: 38 sq. ft.
Elevation: 18" above pool

Pool Entry, Benches and Swim-outs
Entry Type: Sun Deck
Benches: 3
Swim-out: 1
In-Pool Table : Yes (half table build in side wall)

Water Feature
Grotto Waterfall: 10' long x 48"-54" tall
Weeping Waterfall: 16' long x 18"-24" tall
Bubbler Fountains: (1) on Sun Deck
Three-tier Fountains: In center of spa

Material Specifications
Tile: Undecided
Coping: Oklahoma flagstone
Deck: Pattern Concrete (1,015 sq. ft.)
Interior: Pebble Sheen (probably Aqua Blue but not decided)
Spa Waterfall: Oklahoma flagstone
Spa Veneer: Millsap Stone
Waterfalls: Texas Moss Boulders
Scuppers: Oklahoma flagstone

Pool Equipment
Pool pump: Pentair VS-3050 variable speed
Waterfall pump: 2 1/2 h.p. Whisper Flow
Filter: Clean and Clear 520
Controller: Easy Touch 8-function
Cleaner: Legend Platinum
Chlorinator: IntelliChlor (salt)
Lights: (2) LED color-changing

Spa Equipment
Heater: MasterTemp 400 (Natural Gas)
Light: LED color-changing
Air Blower: Polaris QT
Controller: Easy Touch 8-function

Diving Boards and Pedestals
Jump Rock: Jump Rock with accent boulders and pool-side planter

Our pool design drawn to scale:

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Wow, that is a huge project. Are you also building a cabana? If so, I have a similar project going on in Houston. Keep posting pictures as you go through the process.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Hi Flowermoundaggie, your project looks awesome. My wife and I have decided to build a pool and just this past weekend I drew a plan w/ a very similar layout to yours in google sketchup.

Would you mind if I asked a few questions via e-mail? Please e-mail me at tlsoilandgas@pldi.net if it would be OK. Thanks and great luck with your pool.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

I like it from a design standpoint. A couple things I might change if it were mine:
-eliminate the two sharp corners of deck left and right of the "Patterned Concrete Patio" label. I like to stick to free flowing lines on a pool like this.
-I would shift the right light down towards the house a little to avoid it shining right at the cabana guests...a little lower and it will really light up the weeping wall/grotto, and still give the pool ample light.
-again, if it were me, I would make the deck planter larger. You have massive deck areas...I'd enlarge this planter and make it a real nice area to soften the hardscapes/deck and bring some plants close to the pool.
-put at least 2 umbrella sleeves in the sun shelf. cheap investment, love it later when you have the flexibility to adjust as the sun moves.
-and lastly I wouldnt do salt, as I prefer ozone...but you sound set on salt.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Ozone doesn't kill anything in the pool where people are. It can only supplement the chosen sanitizer by providing additional oxidizing for that which passes it's injection point. That might take four or five turns of the pool.

Scott


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Hey Neighbor...I am in Frisco! We started our pool in January and can't wait to get it finished up. Your design looks really great and I can't wait to see pics.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Yes, we are building a cabana also. I really like to be in the shade, particularly in July and August. I'm setting it up for a 47" LCD TV to be recessed in the stone wall. That should protect it from the elements and allow us to enjoy our outside media room most of the year.

The area marked Patterned Concrete Patio is the existing patio that was constructed 4 years ago when our house was built. The stone edging around the house approximates the extent of the landscaping close to the house. The edging is not mortared together so we can soften the lines by opening the edging up more. What isn't shown is the large area of landscaping from 12' to 15' wide that covers the back fence. This should provide a nice backdrop for the pool.

I'll ask my PB about the direction of the light in the deep end with respect to lighting up the grotto. For the enlarging the planter, we have followed a Texas natives landscaping style and I haven't decided what to put in the planters or behind the water feature. Will most likely defer to a local expert since I expect some amount of salt water splash out. If more size is needed in the planter, I can make that change before the deck is poured. Thanks for pointers.

There is an unmarked umbrella sleeve behind the sun deck gusher and another unmarked umbrella sleeve in the in-pool half circle table. In the late afternoon, the cabana shadow will also provide additional shading of the shallow end.

For the saltwater decision, my PB/designer got his start in pool maintenance years ago, has run a successful pool business for 29 years and has been building saltwater pools for 18 years and still believes in them. In the end, I trust the guy I chose to build my pool. :)


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Howdy partypond! We used to live in Plano at Ridgeview Dr. and Independence so we are familiar with your neck of the woods. It must be quite exciting to finally see the shape of your pool. Are you getting the star put into your deck?


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Yes, the star will be in the deck but we are not sure how it will be done yet. Still working out the details. I am jealous of your cabana. We have a huge coverd patio planned for "phase 2" but that will probably be next fall so we will have to survive one Texas summer without it. I hear good things about Paul Miller so I hope everything goes smooth for you. We want to do a Texas native landscaping so I look forward to seeing your pics.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Love the design! We finished our pool last year in Flower Mound and went with native Texas landscaping and couldn't be happier. Make sure you interview several landscaping contractors if you haven't already. We learned after meeting with a few that not everyone has the same idea of native. We had one recommend a Sabal palm while another wanted to put in a cactus garden.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Thanks. We have gone with Shades of Green from Frisco for both our Plano house and Flower Mound house. They are Texas A&M trained horticulturist and we have been happy with the results. Since we will not be adding as much landscape as we have in the past, I might use a local designer instead. Do you mind telling me which company you ended up using?


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

We used a Flower Mound company called RW & Blue. They did a great job and have been very responsive to my post-installation questions. You can reach them at 214-735-1363.

Our beds have Texas sage, autumn sage, dwarf wax myrtle, red tip yucca, soft tip yucca, and three different grasses. We have medium river rock and decomposed granite for mulch. Your welcome to drop by sometime if you want to take a look.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

flowermoundaggie, congratulations on moving forward with your pool build. i know it's an exciting time for you and your family. paul miller built our pool her in keller and it was finished last year in February just before the huge snow storm. as you know, when going through the process it can be quite stressful of interviewing builders and becoming quite confused with equipment and such. in the end you have to go with who you feel you can trust. during this whole process for us paul was better than advertised! he always had the answers to our questions regardless of how stupid we felt asking them. he always put our minds at ease and i'm confident during your build you will experience the same paul miller as we did. the only thing we wish we would have changed is we would have added more umbrella sleeves on the deck to move umbrellas as the sun moves. we also have been extremely happy with our pool and particulary the salt water. you still have to keep your water balanced and treated once you are finished and the folks at troublefreepools.com can help you with that! again, congratulations on your pool build and although the experience can be stressful, it's all worth it in the end!!!!!!!!! can't wait to see pics! here is a link to our build: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pools/msg102113574866.html?99


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Thanks ajones,

I'm very familiar with the link to your forum posting because I used your experience to put Paul Miller on my short list. It also gave me a blueprint as to what to expect for the whole pool building process. I loved the grotto he installed in your pool and requested something similar.

I'm happy to hear that you are still positive about Paul Miller a year later. He was extremely easy to collaborate with on our overall design and I am confident he will build a quality pool. Thanks again for the referral.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

I am moving to the area and am looking for a pool contractor for my new construction home in Keller. I was wondering how much a pool and outdoor living areas like the one you displayed costs? Thanks!


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Texasbound,

Welcome to Texas! Click on my username and send me a personal e-mail.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Based on good reviews on Paul Miller, I had him come by to bid our pool remodel. Nice guy. Very personable. Saw him on Monday, said he would have a bid to me by Friday. He mentioned that he had built several pools in my neighborhood. I never heard back from him. So I emailed and called on the following Monday. Spoke with his wife who promised me that he would call back. Never heard from him again.

I'm guessing he didn't want the business. I ended up going with a well-established company. My thoughts are: if he won't call me back before the job starts, my chances of him calling me back after he's done and has my money in his pocket are pretty small.

C'est la vie.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

congrats, looks amazing, I am in the flower mound area near tour 18.. had my outdoor kitchen cabana done two weeks ago, last year had my pool finished in just 11 days by a local custom builder.good luck


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

urotex,

Sorry to hear about your experience. So far he has been very responsive to all my requests but I can understand your concern.

solrac626,

Thanks I'm still waiting for Flower Mound to approve the permits. The gas lines for the grill and fire pit seem like the sticking point with the town.

11 days seems incredibly fast. Are you in Flower Mound or Bartonville? If Flower Mound, how long did it take you to get the pool permit approved? Do you have published pictures of your project?


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Finally some real progress. The dig!

After a 2 month wait for permits from the town of Flower Mound, the fun can begin. The permits were approved Thursday afternoon and the excavation started today (Tuesday). I've never been so happy to see my backyard get torn up.

My PB arrived at my house at 8am to help prepare the site for the excavation company. The excavation company arrived around 8:30am and began unloading their excavator and bobcat. To protect my driveway, the excavation company laid down these little 1" x 4" planks to keep the tracks of the excavator off of the concrete. It was shocking to see so much weight on such flimsy pieces of wood but it worked. A rubber-shoed bobcat was used to shuttle dirt from the pool area to the street to avoid backing up the dump trucks onto my driveway.

Excavator coming up my driveway

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

The excavator scrapped the top 6" of sod off to roughly mirror the pool, deck and cabana area. Using the pool plans, some of the guys quickly put down the forms of the pool and then the real digging began. The soil composition appeared to be a good mix of clay and sand in the first 5ft and then mostly clay from 5ft to 8ft. The excavator seemed to have a very easy time of removing the soil.

Deep end of pool

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Shallow end of pool with spa
From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Fire pit area
From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

Unfortunately at 8ft, they hit a huge, flat stone ledge that covered the entire bottom of the deep end. It took the excavation team about 2 hours to get a jack hammer attachment to continue digging the deep end. Since the pool was slated to go to 8ft, we needed another 1ft of depth for the gunite shell bottom. They ended up busting up most of the rock by evening but will have to return tomorrow to finish up.


Large stone at bottom of deep end

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

Not sure how the rock will affect the schedule, but the plan was for the plumbing and steel to go in tomorrow and the electrical the following day. If all went well, the gunite would be shot by Friday or Saturday. I'll keep you posted on the progress.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Nice to see your project is now moving forward. Do you have a revised completion date? I know your original goal was mid May....


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Belly Steel and Plumbing

The excavation guys had to finish hauling out the rock and digging out the shallow end of the pool on the second morning. They finished before noon and my PB was able to get the belly steel and plumbing guys out that afternoon. I am quite impressed how much work was done in the first two days. Today, the electrician came to setup the LED lights and ground the pool. The inspector came by at 10:30a and gave his approval with no hiccups. It really nice to see some movement on the project after the long delay. Below are my pictures from the second day with the belly steel and plumbing guys.

Before breaking up top of rock

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


After breaking up top of rock

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Drains in deep end

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Pipes for drains

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Equipment

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Spa

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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Gunite day!

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Installing the tile waterline

The work on the pool is really moving now. Started watering the gunite on Saturday morning and by Tuesday afternoon the Tile & Coping guys were installing the tile for the waterline. The rest of the week they will be doing the Flagstone coping, spa veneer and rock waterfalls. The electricians have also run all the electrical lines underground and hooked up the equipment.

Since my girls were excited about the swimming pool, I put them to work on it.

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Tile in shallow end

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Tile in deep end
From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Close up of the Noble Tile Pacifico

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

It didn't come out well in the picture, but there are some hints of rust in the tile that should be seen when the moss boulders are placed near the tile.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

I love the tile color! Excellent choice. Just think of all the fun your family will be having this summer!


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Oklahoma flagstone coping

Oklahoma flagstone coping
From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Step out

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Half table in pool w/ umbrella sleeve

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Spa w/Milsap veneer

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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Grotto and weeping wall

They finished the grotto and weeping wall today. I'm really looking forward to what it will look like when the water is added. One area of concern is that the roof of the grotto is sawn straight across the front. I'm wondering what type of effect it will have on the waterfall and if the waterfall will have enough character.

Grotto

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Added my 9 year old and 6 year old daughters for a little perspective.

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Behind the waterfall/grotto

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Jump rock

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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Setting the deck forms

After several weeks of rain, I finally have some progress on the pool. The backyard has been an unbelievable, muddy mess for weeks but the deck guys came in today and cleaned it up quite a bit. The deck inspection is tomorrow and the pour and stamping should take place Wednesday or Thursday. I have included lots of different angles of the pre-poured deck.

Lounge chair area

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Pool side built-in planter (8' x 4')

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


From existing patio looking towards fire pit and cabana area

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Close up of bound rebar

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Fire pit

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Footing for cabana post

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


TV wall, grill and bar footings of cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Back side of cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Bar footing

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Back of cabana looking towards the pool

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Fire pit relative to pool

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Any updates? Can't wait to see the finish product!


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Deck pour on Friday

The weather has finally cleared up and they were able to pour and stamp the deck on Friday. I haven't posted any pictures yet because I'm waiting for them to return and power wash the deck to remove the release powder. The deck looks very light colored at the moment but it should be much darker after a power washing and sealing. One bit of good news is that the cedar for the cabana has been delivered to my backyard so I will get to see some progress on the cabana.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Ok cool! I am looking forward to it! =)


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Beautiful pool so far. What type of finish did you select for the bottom of your pool. Anymore recent photos? Also, what is the stone called on the side of your spa? Thanks!
shorelinedesign


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Deck and Cabana framing

shorelinedesign,

We have selected Blue Granite Pebblesheen but it is still about 10 days away from getting installed. The stone around the spa is Milsap limestone and the caps are of Oklahoma flagstone just like the coping. The rest of the stonework will match the spa.

Since we have had 10 days of sunny weather, they have started to make progress again. The deck has been poured and stamped but not sealed. The cabana structure has been completed. It will take all of next week to do the stone work for the TV wall, grill area, bar and fire pit. Below are the pictures of progress to date.



Deck pour

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Apply the Dry Shake Color Hardener

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Primary concrete color only

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


After release and concrete stamping has been applied

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

The release powder stayed on the deck for 7 days before it was power washed off. The final color should look much darker than this once the seal is applied.


Initial framing of cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Interior cedar plank roof installed

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Underneath cabana roof

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Shingle roof installed

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Bar chairs where stone bar will be

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

This is real nice! I enjoy watching the progress!


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

BEAUTIFUL POOL!!! We are in progress of building our pool...our water fall is alot like yours...I put flagstone on our tanning leadge & steps, love how it looks, can't wait to see it under water...we have stained decking...my BIG problem is plaster...I want a tropical looking water...our PB is not helping at all...he only showed us two pools one white(I did not like at all) one gray ( I liked better than the white) I would pay more to get the right plaster,but he is not going to agree to anything...I don't know what to do at this point....I'm in MS...things are bad for PB here...Do you have any advice?


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RE: Use Sealer With Your Flagstone Pool

I came across this post from the wires and I want to advise you on using a sealer for your flagstone pool. I get that question on my website a lot and the pool chemicals will cause the flagstone to flake.

I don't make any money from the sealer. It's just a friendly tip that I thought you would want to know.

The pictures look great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flagstone Pool Sealer


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Grill and bar area

The stone work for the cabana and fire pit is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. It has taken a week to do the grill, bar and fire pit. It will likely take the rest of this week to finish the column boots and TV wall. I am very pleased with their work so far.

Completed grill and bar area

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


Top of backsplash

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

Completed fire pit

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

@MSgrana: Is a Pebble Tec/Sheen type product available in your area? I've not seen it in my pool yet but you can get some very striking colors with their variation in pebbles and plaster.

@David: Thanks for the tip. Is the sealer something I should expect the PB to install or a DIY project?


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Cabana Part II

Started the TV wall today and a ground crew significantly cleaned up and graded the yard. The project looks totally different after enduring 2 months of mud and trash.

TV Wall

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Grading around the deck
From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Very nice, you should be swimming by the 4th of July. I do not see any provisions for a sink in the cabana. We just installed a sink in our Dolphin Bar and Grill aka summer kitchen, and it only has cold water running to it but we are amazed how much we use. Keep the pics coming:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Outdoor Summer Kitchen in the Dolphin Bar and Grill


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Thanks FlowerMoundAggie! Your willingness to share this experience in such great detail is a big help to those of us about to take on the "let's finally put in a pool" project.

Can't wait to see what happens next.

Much appreciated.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

Thanks for all the pics. I'm getting some great ideas for our build.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

@brentr : We would be swimming July 4th but unfortunately we will not be home to enjoy it. :( I thought about getting a sink for the cabana but all PBs discouraged it because of cost of installation due to local regulations. I'll just have to do without one.

@EJR_21 & jackty : I'm glad you are getting some ideas about the process and the design. I got a ton of information from this site and I wanted to return the favor. When I was reading, there were never too many pictures.

I'll be posting the interior finish (Blue Granite PebbleSheen) and subsequent pool fill when I get a chance. My landscape also got installed last Friday and the sod should go in today. I went with a fellow poster's (hwade) recommendation of RW & Blue Services for the landscape and we are very pleased with the result. Finally my yard is returning.


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

It looks beautiful. Can't wait to see the finish. We just sprayed Blue Granite today. Exciting!


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PebbleSheen and landscaping

The pool and cabana are just about finished. Below is a picture of the completed TV wall with my 6 year old daughter for relative perspective. The landscaping was installed at the same time as the Blue Granite PebbleSheen. Lots of work in the yard on Friday but it makes everything look a lot better. Started filling up the pool on Saturday and it was still filling Monday night. The pumps are going now and hopefully it will not take long to get the right look of the water. The remaining items are the re-sodding of the backyard, sealing the deck and finish wiring of the cabana. It feels like we have run a marathon and can now see the finish line.



TV Wall

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Landscaping

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana



Filling the pool

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana

From Flower Mound Pool and Cabana


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RE: New Pool/Cabana build in Flower Mound

How exciting!! Love your little stepping stone path. I want to do something like that with ours.


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