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New Pool build in South Houston

Posted by space_man (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 29, 09 at 0:11

Hello all!

I am very excited to write to you all for the first time. I started thinking of building a pool almost a year ago, and discovered this group 8 or 9 months ago. It has been an incredible resource, and it has helped tremendously. I've learned about everything from pump efficiency curves (appeals to the engineer in me) to the vagaries of tile selection. We followed lots of your advice and have found a pool builder that we love (so far). We have gotten to the point where we have a large gunite coated hole in my backyard and a really cool gunite waterfall/slide/cave next to it, and lots of plumbing messing up my yard. We are scheduled to start tile/coping on Monday. My pool's stats are:

Size- 15' x 29' x 38'
Depths- 3'6" - 4'0" - 3'6" w/7' well
Shape- Freeform
Area- 732 sf + spa (76 sf)
Perimeter- 140'
Coping- Riviera slate
Coping- Faux rock boulder beam
Deck- 982 sf Pea Gravel
Skimmers- Two Pentair Auto.
Returns- Five
Filter Pump- Intelliflo 4 x 160
Filter- Pentair FNS+ 60sf DE
Heater - Starite MaxETherm
Size- 400,000 BTU
Type- Nat. Gas w/ elec. ignition
Lights- Three ( 300w)
Cleaner- Legend Platinum w/pump
Intellichlor Chlorine Generator
Pebblesheen finish - color ?????
EasyTouch 8 Wireless computer
EasyTouch Indoor panel + spaside
Total Capacity- 30,000 gal

7' x 12' Freeform spa- Raised 12"
(10) Therapy Jets
(2) Antivortex Safety Drains
(1) 2.0 HP Air Blower
(1) 100w spa light
(2) Bridged spillways to pool
(1) 4 function spaside remote
Multilevel floor and benches

Faux rock formation: Slide, grotto,
waterfall at 15'L-6'D-6'H with 3
HP independent pump control

I'll attempt to post a couple pictures, and if that works, I'll follow up with more...

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

That seemed to have worked, here are some more pictures...

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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

WOW! That is so cool!! I look forward to reading more about your experiences.


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Very nice! Cool design. Thanks, especially, for posting pics of the rock work frame. I've always wondered how that's done. Your guys did an awesome job.

Have you seen Blue Granite PebbleSheen yet? When I look at your pool, even in the stage it's in, I see Blue Granite.

Good luck and keep posting!


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

WOW! Looks awesome! I love the slide and rock formation/grotto. Congrats on a gorgeous project; keep us posted w/ your color choices!
joanneswimsct


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Looks terrific! So interesting to see how they craft the grotto/slide. Keep posting pics...


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

that little girl sure is gonna have a fun summer! before they added the waterfall/slide it looked a bit like a mickey mouse pool...is Laguna the builder? - they do a lot of rock work like that.

Be sure you like pea gravel - it is fairly inexpensive and low maintenance, but I know lots of folks who hate it. I have one friend who had hers removed after one summer. Seems like on a pool as grand as you are getting - a higher end deck would be nice. Maybe pavers or stamped concrete?


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Thanks for the kind words...

Bannanna_fanna: I love the Blue Granite Pebblesheen. My wife is not sold, thinks it may be too dark for her, but I've seen a bunch of pictures here that look awesome with that color. I think the gray in the shallow areas would look cool with the slate. I'm working on her...

tfons: We have 3 young girls/fish who are excited as heck to start swimming! Funny you should mention Mickey Mouse. We started calling it the "Mickey Mouse" pool soon after the plans were made. I told the girls we were going to build a Disney World pool, so the name seemed appropriate. Actually, looking at it from the ground, the shape is really cool, it looks very curvy and snake-like. Laguna is not our builder, but I would have to say that their website was the first inspiration I had for our pool. It was the first time I realized what could really be done with a pool design. Then I ran into this forum. Our builder doesn't have a lot of experience with the gunite waterfalls, but the sub who built it was fantastic. They were eager to please and made some changes for us on the fly, even though they clearly preferred to be let loose and design as they saw fit. They added a few unrequested touches that were great. The pea gravel is an interesting story. We started with the idea of stamped concrete, saw a lot of it, and decided we didn't like it as much in person and it gets very hot in Houston. Went to spray deck but after a few vists didn't like it as much either. We have several neighbors with pea gravel so we are very familiar with it. The rock waterfall builder actually recommended it because he thought it would go well with the rock theme. Pea Gravel stays fairly cool here in the summer and the lower cost let us consider upgrading the interior plaster to Pebblesheen, which we really like. I think we're okay with it, but we still have time to change our mind.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, it is very helpful (as long as you stick to the things we can change! :)


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

I'm curious about pea gravel. I've never seen or heard of it done around a pool before (not like I've seen or talked to a ton of people about pools either LOL). Is it just laid out like mulch would be in a flower bed? If that is the case, doesn't a lot of it end up in the pool?


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nevermind :-)

I went and looked it up! :-) Sorry for the dopey question... carry on!


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

No, it's a concrete-based decking. They pour concrete and then cover the top surface with small, rounded pea-sized stones. Then they work it into the top surface so the gravel gets embedded in the concrete. Whne the concrete hardens, you end up with a hard surface of mostly small pebbles that are held together with concrete.


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

After many frustrating delays, they finally started the tile and coping. The coping is Riviera slate, the waterline tile is from Mater Tile, CAS RV P6. Still debating on the interior plaster. Pretty settled on Pebblesheen, just need to pick a color.

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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Looks great...who is the builder?


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Our builder is Pineloch Pools in the Clear Lake, TX area.


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Some pictures of the rock work on the Spa, The stones are called "Creek Stone."

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What a nice effect the creek stones give to the spa - very different...great choice of materials in general, and the kids will love that water slide! Keep the pics coming!


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Gorgeous! I love the shape. It's different than a lot of the ones I've seen. Everything looks beautiful. I know you will enjoy it.


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Thanks for the kind words everyone, we are very excited. Readyami, we also live at the end of a cul-de-sac and have a diamond-shaped yard, so we wanted something that would fit into the corner and leave us as much yard as possible. When we saw the design, we knew it was exactly for us. We even ended up accidentally getting a volleyball court, there is a perfect space for it, so we put in the post holes. We can't wait for the water!!!


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Finished Spa

Finished with the tile and coping today. A few issues but very happy with the way it looks. Here are some pictures of the finished spa.

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space man:

It's looking really good!

Hey...Years ago, I found the attached link that convinced me that Blue Granite was the way to go. There is quite an extensive collection of photos of the water color under many conditions. Page 43 shows how great it looks with natural rock work. I love that it's not too dark, nor too light, not green and even on the sun shelf it looks good. That's my problem with many of the Pebble finishes - At a distance or in deep water they look fine. And natural. But up close, in 8 inches of water, not so much.

Page 43 shows how great it looks with natural rock work and there's a pic on page 46 which shows an interior of their spa.

Good luck with your decision. It's a biggie.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jeff and Sharon's pool


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More Progress!

Finally making some more progress. We've had some interesting weather here the last week. One storm dropped 11 inches of rain in just over 2 hours. The first two photos are the view out the front of our house and the view of our pool. We actually have some water! (although we had to drain it). We estimate we had about 10-15,000 gallons of water to drain. We got it drained, then had another storm dump almost as much back in! But, in between, we got our deck put in and we are VERY happy with it. They did a great job. I am going to build a shade structure on the back side where the deck is biggest. Looking forward to that! Now I just have to get my wife to decide what color pebblesheen to use, and we'll be ready for plaster this week. We are leaning toward Aqua Blue, but still need to see one in person. We've had several pool owners reschedule with us. My wife likes the description of "windex blue" but we still want to see it. I'll post some pictures when we decide!

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Space Man, WOW!! Your pool looks beautiful already, it's going to be stunning when completed! I love the "cave", I'm curious if you're going to have water sheeting over it and also is there a little "room" in the cave under the slide? Way cool!

"They pour concrete and then cover the top surface with small, rounded pea-sized stones. Then they work it into the top surface so the gravel gets embedded in the concrete."

It looks like that's what they did on yours based on your pics, this is referred to as "seeded exposed aggregate". There's another type where the pea gravel is mixed into the concrete at the batching plant, that's what we have around our pool. They pour it and let it firm up, then broom the surface while it's still green to expose the aggregate.

Another question for you, do you work for NASA? Just curious about the ID handle :-)


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Tresw,

Thanks so much for the comments! We are very, very excited about the pool. The Rock structure has three returns built into it, which should lead to the whole front being covered with a waterfall when the pump is on. I'm not sure that it will "sheet", but it will run over the big, flat area above the cave. There is one at the very top, center and a second one on the lower left in the picture. The third return is at the top of the slide. My wife had the idea of a small area under the slide, so there is a small room. They even built a small stone bench in there for the kids (they thought of that one on their own and just put it in!). She wanted it to be a tunnel so parents could come from behind, without getting wet, and drag their kids out when they refused to leave and go home! :). We built a small paved path to the back of the tunnel as well.

Yep, the deck is "seeded expose aggregate" although that's the first I've heard of the term. We really like it. It matches with the rock theme we have going. And I've been walking around on it barefoot with no issues at all. We took Huskyridors advice and asked for the smallest stones (thanks Kelly!).

My wife just called and said she saw an Aqua Blue Pebblesheen pool, and that it is BRIGHT blue. She liked it a lot, but needs to think about it. She doesn't like the greys as much.

I do work for NASA, on the International Space Station Program.


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That's going to look incredible with the water running!! We have a grotto on our pool (pic link below), the water is more like what you describe, maybe "spill" is a better word than "sheet" :-) I love that there's a little secret room inside your cave, that is too cool! I think you'll like the exposed aggregate just fine, we get almost as hot as you guys do in the summer (I'm in Forney just east of Dallas) and it hasn't been an issue for us. The surface doesn't get any warmer than regular grey concrete.

That's really cool that you work on the space station program! I was born and raised in Houston and still share the home-town pride over NASA :-)

Good luck, I look forward to seeing your pool up and running and by the looks of it that shouldn't be too much longer!

Here is a link that might be useful: Grotto pic


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Your pool is beautiful. Keep the photos coming.


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Coming down the final stretch!!!!

Getting near the end. We installed our 4 mosaics today, 3 turtles and a small snorkeling Woodstock (see pictures below). Tomorrow they start the preparation work for plaster, we plaster on Thursday, acid-wash/buff/fill on Friday! We'll be swimming a week later. There will still be some small things to finish up, but we'll at least be able to swim. Perfect timing as well as the weather is getting perfect for it.

Finally made a decision on the interior finish!!!! We're going with the Blue Granite Pebblesheen with Abalone shells. We looked at an Aqua Blue Pool and finally a Blue Granite Pool this weekend. The DW loved it and I agreed. We liked the Aqua Blue as well, but thought the Blue Ganite went with the rock theme a little better in our pool. The DW plans to write some about the agonizing decsion process shortly (it was for her at least). Once we picked a Pebble finish, I was happy. Lots of thanks to Modern Method Gunite for patiently finding my wife some pools to see and holding her hand through the process cheerfully. They had a lot more to show than our PB. Thanks also to Huskyridor for suggesting giving them a call. I'll post some pictures of the plaster process this week.

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White Diamonds vs. Aqua Blue vs. Blue Granite Pebble Sheen

Wife of Spaceman here... thought I should give my input since this was a bit of a torturous decision for me and I'm the the one who actually saw all three of these colors. All were goregous, I really don't think that you can go wrong with this product. I also saw a Tahoe Blue Pebbletec, didn't notice much of a difference between sheen and tec, I thought that there would be big difference. White Diamonds was in a contempory style pool, fit that style perfectly, it's light, shows a tad bit of green (I was told that most of the lighter colors do) very unique looking. The Aqua Blue that I saw was also in a contempory style of pool with glass tile. It was beautiful, it is "knock your socks off" blue. The water color went perfectly with the glass tile style. Windex in the depths is pretty acurate. Gorgeous color, but I walked away from it wondering if it would work with my very natural looking pool. It's almost an unreal blue (unless you've seen the Mediterranean) The pool I saw had a deep end 9 or 11 ft. and the Aqua Blue looked very blue in the depths (no problem at all seeing to the bottom). A significant part of our pool is deep 7-8ft, so this left me on the fence. By the way no grey at all with Aqua Blue it's blue even on the steps. Even though several of you have commented that Blue Granite would be perfect for our pool I wasn't convinced. From the pictures I'd seen, it seemed a little dark for me. I saw Blue Granite last out of all these colors, had the most preconceived ideas about it, was expecting not to like it and I ended up loving it!! It is very exotic looking, blue with a hint of grey (which doesn't bother me a bit). I just couldn't look at it enough and didn't have any reservations about it at all. We saw it with a natural looking rock slide (somewhat similar to ours) and it worked perfectly! I look forward to sitting by the side of my pool and staring at it all day long! Can't wait to see it finished!


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When they do the pebble install you might talk to the super just to make sure they are very careful around the mosaics. Our PB actually talked us out of doing a pebble finish because of the risk of scratching the mosaics down to the white ceramic base. When they "float" the pebble finish to expose the mosaics it drags the aggregate over the tile and that's what can scratch them. I have seen pictures of pools with mosaics and pebble finishes so I know it can be done, but they need to be careful.

Can't wait to see it all finished up!


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Thanks for the advice! However, I didn't see your post until they were already finished. They came this morning to do the Pebblesheen install. It was VERY cool. We are soooo close now! It looks fabulous. They will be here in the morning to acid wash and buff, then start filling! We can't wait. The good news is that the mosaics came our great! Even better than I expected. I thought they might get washed out with all the color around them but they really stand out. The installation crew just did a fabulous job. One of the guys spent a long time very carefully working around the mosaics, making sure they were right. No scratches at all. So at least I can testify that it's possible to not damage them if they're careful. I'll post some pictures as soon as I can! Thanks again for everyone's help and comments.


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Anxiously awaiting pics of that sheen!!!

Beautiful pool!


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Finally swimming!!!!!!

Woo Hooo!!!! We filled the pool a couple weeks ago, but between a quick vacation and endless swimming, haven't had a chance to post. We have a little more to do. I'm building a free-standing shade structure in the coming weeks. You can see the orange cones protecting toes from my anchors in the concrete. We went with the Blue Granite Pebblesheen, and we LOVE it. The texture is better than we ever expected and the colors are just gorgeous. It was definately the right color choice. The waterfall and slide are a huge hit, even with the adults. We still have a couple weeks before we convert it to Salt Water. We're waiting for my poor grass to recover and we still have some landscaping. We also love the exposed aggregate decking, really completes the look of the pool. The mosaics came out great, we love them. The Legend Platinum cleaner works like a champ. Hmmm, I'll probably think of more, but on to the pictures...

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It's beautiful!

I thought that you should wait 30 days before running the cleaner?


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Wow! Turned out great!


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space man,

Good job. Quick question for you, what is the depth of your sun / baja shelf? Looks like you would be sitting in about 12" of water.


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The sun shelf is in 15" of water. It is a little deeper than normal (per our PB) but we selected it based on the seat height of two sand chairs we are getting. My wife measured the height, decided where she wanted the water as she sat, and we eneded up with 15". One minor downside is the bubblers have a hard time pushing through that much water, but we haven't messed around with the pump settings at all yet. It's also deep enough the kids really like playing on it. Our 4-yr-old spends a lot of time there even though she swims pretty well.

As far as the cleaner, I don't know. It went in about two weeks after we filled. Our PB put it in. Nothing I can see bothers me with it. The Pebblesheen feels hard as heck for what it's worth. It is picking up some small stones from the Pebblesheen, but not a lot, and the documentation the installer left said to expect some free rocks for a while.


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

I missed your new photos until following your link from another thread. The pool looks really great! Glad to hear you're enjoying it now, you finished just in time for the swim season!

If you think your grass looks bad you should have seen ours, it was a disaster! I was sick to my stomach from all the lawn damage. We have an acre lot and they drove over darned near every inch of the back yard while working on the pool. The lawn really just finally filled back in this spring.

Regarding the use of the cleaner, the 4 weeks recommendation is for regular and quartz plaster to prevent damage to uncured plaster. You can put the cleaner into service quicker with pebble finishes.

Our baja shelf is about 8" deep and I've noticed that if the water is up a couple of inches after a rain the bubbler is a LOT shorter! I'm surprised you can see yours at all pushing through 15"!


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Your pool builder did a very nice job. As one myself, I can appreciate good work.


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space man - How is the new pool going? Has the water color changed much in the last few weeks? I am in the beginning stages of my build (also in "the Wood", as the kids say) and I think I may go with blue granite pebblesheen. My builder is going to take me to see a pool with this in it but I was wondering what your take on it is now that you've had yours for awhile. Also, did you get the abalone shell?


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spaceman, i was also wondering how your pool color is so far? i am like you, i cant decide between aqua blue ps or blue granite ps. your pool is beautiful. i did see an aqua blue pool in person, but the water was kinda hazy due to the owner not cleaning it. is there any green in the blue granite? did it blue-up after a few weeks? Thanks.


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Tresw, thanks for the compliments. We absolutely LOVE the way the pool has come out. We now also have our SWG hooked up and I already love it, I was going through a lot of bleach to keep the chlorine levels up. I finally just turned the bubblers off to send more flow to the waterfall. If I hold my hand over two of the bubblers, the 3rd one will break the surface, but we really don't miss having them at all. They were a free add-on anyways for us.

Womanowned, I passed your compliments onto our builder, thanks!

A few comments about color. I now understand better why folks have trouble describing, and picking, colors, because it is a very dynamic thing. The color seems to change constantly with the lighting conditions. But we absolutely LOVE the Blue Granite. The majority of the time, the color is kind of an aqua-marine blue that is really neat. I can't say however that there aren't times where I can detect a touch of green (just a hint) if the clouds and sun are right. Other times it looks almost icy blue. It really changes a lot, but it looks very natural with what we have around the pool. The green you see in the fill photos above is all due to having green fill water (yum!). Within days of having chemicals and filtering, all of that green was gone. We saw several Aqua Blue pools, and they really did look wildly BLUE, and in the end with our natural looking pool, we felt teh blue granite was better, and we are very happy with it.

As far as the Abalone shells, yes we did add them, and it was money WELL spent. They are really, really cool looking, especially when the sun is shining directly on the water. They look like diamonds on the floor. VERY cool effect.

I just started building the shade structure, I'll some pictures as I go, but so far so good.


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We are starting in the pool-building process in Friendswood. Your pool is a lot like the one our kids have in mind. What is the slide made of. Does is slide well? My son (11) wants one that will slide really well. Some he has seen you get stuck part way down. We are going to get a bid from Pineloch pools so were wondering. Anything you regret, or wish you had gotten a year later?


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Let's see...the slide is gunite as you can see from the pictures, however when they come back to form the rocks and make patterns, they use some kind of smoother cement product that will take coloring and latex patterns. On the slide itself they just form it very smoothly and then use a heavy coat of some kind of epoxy on the surfce. With water flowing, it's very slick. My kids can stop themselves if they go slow and try really hard, but it is plenty slick. No issues there at all. They are expensive though, so be prepared for that.

A year later we are still really happy. I can't think of much I would change. I might splurge for an extra pump for the hottub jets. Ours is really big and with ten jets the pump can't blast you out of the tub like I would like on occaision. It's pretty good though, so that's a minor nit. We LOVE the slide and our tunnel, our mosaics, love the pebblesheen and its color a lot, love the decking. Kevin from Pineloch has been really responsive to questions and concerns. You're welcome to come by and see it if you'd like. Maybe try the slide out! :)


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Thanks for the answer! It would help us a lot to see a pool built by Pineloch and yours looks very close to what we want. I'm still waiting for Kevin to return my call. I'm at 40286 onsite (Debbie)give me a holler and maybe we could stop by and look, at your convenience of course :)


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

I just selected Kevin and Pineloch to build my pool in Seabrook. We are so excited, and glad to see that you had a great experience with Kevin. We have a really good feeling about Pineloch so far.


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I see that this post is a few years old, but we live in the Clear Lake, Texas area and are remodeling our swimming pool. We have chosen CAS RV tile and need to choose pebblesheen color. I noticed that your pool has this same tile and you went with Granite Blue pebblesheen. Would you be willing to let my husband and I see your pool?


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Hi Ladybug! Yikes, I don't wander here much these days so I apologize that I missed your question. If it's still a question, YES, I'd be perfectly happy to show you our pool. If I missed out on you, sorry about that!


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RE: New Pool build in South Houston

Hey Spaceman, I thought there was a slim chance that you would see this since your post was 3 years old; so, thank you for the reply back!! The tile guys just finished the CAS RV tile today. Waterfall is next (we are having it completely rebuilt) and then plaster. We decided on the pebblesheen granite blue after seeing it on a pool in Deer Park. Fell in love with the color the minute we saw it. Thank you for agreeing to let us see your pool, but I think we are set with our selections now. I hope it turns out as beautiful as your pool did!!!


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