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Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Posted by txmomoftwo (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 1, 10 at 18:43

What a fantastic site! I'm loving going through the archives here.

This is the equipment that we are considering. What do you all think? Anything you would change?

Small backyard with 10 ft easements so we are having to squeeze it in.

Freeform saltwater 14' x 32'
24' Raised Wall 18"
w/ 2 or 3 sheer descents(can't decide)
Depth: 3'- 6'
Perimeter: 81'
2 Skimmers
6 Returns
Bubblers on top step
1 swim out

Pentair Filter CNC Plus 420
Pentair WhisperFlo Pump 1.5 HP
Pentair IntelliChlor Easy Touch 4PE-IC40 Single Body
Pentair IntelliBrite 100ft 120V (2)
Pentair Legend Pool Cleaner & Booster Pump
Easy Touch Wireless Controller
24in Sheer Powerfall w 6in Clear Lip (2)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I suggest the 520 filter so you'll need to clean it less.

Drive it all with an Intelliflo and change the sweep to a Legend-II. You save on circulation costs and reduce the number of pumps needed.

Are you saying you're considering 2 or 3 sheers and 2 Powerfalls? That's going to be pretty loud when they are all running.

Have you decided about your decking, coping, tile and plaster finish?

Scott


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Who's your builder?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much for your response! In my equipment list above, I forgot to add the Whisperflo Pump 1 HP for the water features. We changed the filter to the 520. Definitely want to clean it less!

I meant either 2 or 3 powerfalls. On the quote, it is listed as a sheer powerfall. I was using powerfalls and sheer descents interchangably.

Few more questions.

Does the Legend II clean as well as the Legend with the booster pump? I can't find any reviews or recommendations on either one of them & don't know anyone who has them. Do you think I would be better off buying The Pool Cleaner? I see a lot of positive reviews on it.

Deck - 425sq' Pea Gravel
Tile & Coping: I'm on the fence with two looks that I love and they are completely different & would both look great with the shape of our pool.

1. Flagstone Coping, stackstone on the raised wall, and a dark earthy tile around the waterline.

2. 2 x 2 Martinique Caribbean Blue tile on raised wall and around the waterline with Travertine Noche Honed bullnose coping.

Plaster: ? Overwhelmed with choices. Possibly standard white after reading how so many people went with color and they have uneven colors, fading, chips, etc . . . I see colored plaster in the NPT brochure, but haven't read or heard anything about it yet.

We got quotes directly from the subcontractors so we are not with a builder. Our neighbor has been extremely helpful as well as he built his own pool last year and it is gorgeous.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

The Legend-II typically runs a little bit slower than a booster driven sweep but does a fine job of keeping a clean pool clean.

The Pool Cleaner is a great suction side cleaner but may have issues with SVRS devices, depending on how they are plumbed and the device's sensitivity. That is rarely an issue but has happened. It's a well designed product.

The VS-3050 and VF versions of the Intelliflo pump can drive all your features with one pump. When the features are off, running it slow will save energy usage substantially during regular filter cycles when the sheers or sweep are off. When they are on, it will still be likely to use less energy than if you have multiple pumps. You'll also save on the initial installation in reduced plumbing and electrical hook-up costs. Your equipment pad will require less space too.

Scott


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much for your knowlegable advice! We are 95% sure that we will get rid of the 2 whisperflow pumps for a VS-3050. The main reason why we had it that way was b/c we thought that we could only control the water features from the easytouch wireless if we had 2 pumps. Will I still be able to do this with the wireless if we would switch to the VS-3050 Intelliflo or would I have to go to the pump and turn it on and off everytime I want to use it?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Easily controlled from the wireless. Since you don't have an attached spa, there is no need for the extra pumps.

Your local code may require an SVRS. If they do, the VS-SVRS will meet this requirement. This version of the Intelliflo is an U/G that costs a lot less than a stand alone SVRS system and VS-3050.

Scott


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

txmom,

you had asked me in another post about timing of the woodlands association for approval. Took us a while. we were denied at first since our pool was oversized for the area. However, i filed for a variance and was finally approved. Dug pool friday, rebar saturday, and shot gunite yesterday. plumbing today. hope yours is moving along.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I love the design! So peaceful!! Can't wait to see it!! :)

Tara


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

On no! I'm praying that we don't have to file for a variance for any reason. The next meeting is not until May 6th. If we had to wait another five weeks just to start, I would be so sad. Did you build inside of the easements or was it just the water/hard surface area to land ratio that was too big?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

water surface area was too large. meeting was scheduled for March 4th. So it was filed and approved March 25th. I live in AB village. 6% is the limit. Mine is 8.3%, but approved after a well written long request. ha.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I live in the Woodlands as well. I called the association and got my pool fast tracked for approval, i.e. we didn't have to wait for the meeting, she told me over the phone we were approved and all I had to do was wait for the permit to arrive in the mail. My pergola however was not eligible to fast track because it was attached to the house.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Amy, thanks for the info. When I brought in the app., they went through everything on the checklist(it took 45 minutes) and it seemed that I qualified for the fast track(nothing over 24" in height, not building on any of the easements, etc . . . I need to get my survey out after reading above and see if we went over 6% water surface. I HOPE NOT!!!

How "fast" is the fast track process? Or at least, how fast was it for you? How long would you say it took from the time you applied to the time you received your approval in the mail?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Might consider something other tan pea gravel/exposed agg. on the decking. That stuff gets mighty hot here in the Texas sun. I know for ours the rock salt finish was the same price and it was just a couple of $$ to add color to it. We ended up with Sun Deck though due to a mix up when they were doing the salt deck. I really liked the look of a weathered salt deck.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Oh, I hadn't even thought of the pea gravel getting hot. Thanks so much for bringing that up! My baby just started walking and we want the deck as cool and safe as possible for his tender little feet. I just talked to my husband about it and he is wondering if there is some benefit to having the pea gravel b/c we actually prefer the look of a stained salt deck. Do you know much more was it to upgrade to the sun deck(if they hadn't had the mix up)? I'm going to have to call and get prices. Is one type of deck more prone to cracking?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Just for the record. I have a Legend Platinum Pool Cleaner in a pool about the size of yours and it seems to work great. I turn it on once a week for about 4 hours and my pool is spotless.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

As best as my memory serves me, our builder turned the application in on Monday afternoon and she verbally told me on the phone we were approved that Thursday. The following Monday the permits were mailed to us and we had them on Wednesday. We were begging and pleading with them to rush the approval because it was right before Thanksgiving and our builder was going on vacation for 10 days and we wanted to dig before he left and finish everything up before the holidays.

Good luck...I know it is painful to wait when you are ready to get it started!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

We are approved!!!!! YAY!!!!!! They mailed out our packet yesterday so now I'll just be a mailbox stalker until it arrives. :) Hopefully it will come in Saturday and we can start digging on Monday. SO EXCITED that everything went smoothly with the township.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Good news - 8 Days! It took me three weeks and my town's population is under 3000 (but then that doesn't count dogs or cats). I'm guessing the Fairfax VA crowd is contemplating a move south & west about now.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

" * Posted by txmomoftwo (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 7, 10 at 21:56

Oh, I hadn't even thought of the pea gravel getting hot. Thanks so much for bringing that up! My baby just started walking and we want the deck as cool and safe as possible for his tender little feet. I just talked to my husband about it and he is wondering if there is some benefit to having the pea gravel b/c we actually prefer the look of a stained salt deck. Do you know much more was it to upgrade to the sun deck(if they hadn't had the mix up)? I'm going to have to call and get prices. Is one type of deck more prone to cracking?"

For us the Salt deck would have provided plenty of traction and would have been cooler then the exsposed pea gravel. With the salt deck you would have lots of small pockets that could hold water and help keep the deck alittle cooler. On the flip side dirt will also get in these same little pockets but is easy to just spray out when the deck is hosed down. As I recall the upgrade on the Spray/Sun Deck was around $2200 for our size deck(850sqft)don't hold me to that number though. I also liked the look of the pea gravel, but the hot temp and the rough texture was not a good trade off to us. If you do go the salt deck way be sure they throw and press in the rock salt while the concrete is still wet...other wise you could end up with a free up graded deck! :)
With regard to cracking of the deck, where we are in DFW we have alot of surface ground movement. I actually had them put in 9 piers under the decking spread out over the span of the deck. This I hope helps with any deck separation or cracks in the deck down the road. but anything is possible and if drought conditions get really bad then deck cracking issues could occur. Not sure if movement or foundations repairs are a big issue down your way.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Okay, I called a few concrete guys today and perhaps there is a semantics mix-up going on b/c I had to explain to them what a "salt deck" was(the only reason that I knew was from reading a post on this forum). Everyone offered pea gravel and pavers & I'm thinking that either it is not very common here in Houston, or they must call it something else???? Then I asked about a spray deck and some said that they don't do that anymore b/c they got tired of getting calls back about it coming up or other issues. I must be talking to the wrong people. Anyone know good deck people close to The Woodlands/Houston?

This pool stuff is fun! I love learning new things. I can't wait for them to dig into my yard next week!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I hope this is not interpreted as spam.
Send me an e-mail and I'll get you hooked up with a concrete guy I've done business with since the late 80's. He does salt decks and every other type too.
He comes from the Kingwood area and has been in the concrete trade for over 25 years. All his crew leaders speak English and they turn out awesome work. If you've seen any of my pic's on this forum he did the work.
I know other concrete men who will do the work for less if you feel his price is more than you allocated for the work.
IMO, his work is/has/and always will be worth the extra buck a sq/ft than other guys charge.

kelly@atlantispool.com

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks Kelly! I just e-mailed you. I appreciate your recommendations.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Warning: The length of this post might force some of you into the local psyc ward. Just sayin'

The Township said that our packet had "already been mailed out" on Friday morning. Still nothing in the mail. :( How long does it take to deliver a packet five miles down the road? Anyone know the reason that they refuse to let you pick it up in person? I think it's pretty ridiculous as we could have already been four days into our project, yet we are still on hold with this "packet" business. Sorry for the rant. I'm just very excited to get started.

While I'm going off this morning, I wanted to chime in on my opinions of "spam" on this board. When searching for a pool builder, I called a few close friends with pools. One in Carlton Woods, one in Alden Bridge, two in Harpers Landing, and another in Sterling Ridge.

My friend in CW said that her pool has leaked since day one and they have to fill it up every three days. Her pool guy told her that every pool this guy builds leaks and while his designs are great, his quality of work is obviously poor. Crossed that one off of the list.

The one in Sterling Ridge had acquired the pool with the house so they didn't know the builder.

Two people had used Blue Haven and liked their work and had no problems. One had used BH and didn't recommend them. All built within the last three years so we figured it was a roll of the dice whether or not we'd get good quality with them. Then I checked their BBB standing and was disappointed. Cross that one off.

I called Wise pools after some internet research and left a message on their answering maching saying that I would like a quote. Never got a response. I own a business and make it a practice to be available or at the very least return calls/e-mails the same day. Figured that was a good sign to cross them off even though I had read good things about them. Perhaps they never got the message, but this raises questions in my mind such as, "If I need assistance with my pool in the future, what happens when I can't get in touch with them then?".

Got a few warnings from other friends not to even consider Anthony & Sylvan. They actually used the term "BEWARE" which I thought was pretty funny.

After much prayer, we decided to build on our own. After coming to this forum and reading through hundreds of threads(it's like the pool encyclopedia), we did find a local builder who we would have been happy to use if we were going that route. In my internet search for "pool builder" "pool contractor" in The Woodlands, for some reason this person's name/business never came up. I have an idea it is because he doesn't advertise because when you are good, you don't have to advertise.

I've noticed, living here in The Woodlands, that we have great little neighborhoods. We are all very close in our little cul-de-sac. Our flower gardens look a lot alike b/c when we see someone on the street who has an awesome garden, we go and ask them who they used, the price, and if they would recommend them. Then, we all use them. :) Same for anything else. If you want a good quality pool, you are going to ask your neighbors/friends about the quality, price, and service. Three of my neighbors found out that we were building a pool and wanted recommendations for builders this week. I recommend anyone who lives in The Woodlands and is looking for a pool contractor to Kelly at Atlantis Pools.

I wish that at the very least, the moderators would allow pool business owners to put their e-mail in their signature. It does make a difference to readers to know who they are getting advice from and be able to research that company if they wanted to. While I am not in the pool industry, in my e-mail signature, I have my full name, my business name, my e-mail address, and my cell #. This is not "spam" it is letting people know who I am, what I do, and how to contact me if interested. It would just make things a lot easier for those of us who stumbled upon this forum while searching for reputable pool builders. Just my .02.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Most of the pool pros here can be emailed by clicking on their page.

Scott


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

txmom,
Thanks for the vote of confidence!!!
Your correct, the best pool construction contractors in our area do not advertise. You'd be shocked how much money it costs to do so, especially on the banners such as a Google search engine where you get charged by the month and everytime someone clicks on your link.
A referral from a homebuyers Realtor or homebuilder or one from a neighbor will carry 10 times the weight as an advertisement.
You'll find that although there are well over 20 builders in this greater area, 3 of us enjoy the lions share of our market.
I really can't fault GW for not allowing links to business owners for free, they also offer a pay for service advertising program which only the National companies purchase, these pop up as the goofy little commercials that I always X out of, I find them a distraction.
The sole purpose of this and the other forums I frequent are to assist potential buyers and existing pool owners with quality answers to their questions.
A computer savvy buyer will figure out who the poster's company is with a little research.

I hope Miss Ruby got a hold of you yesterday about your decking, I took the liberty of passing your phone number to her when I spoke with them yesterday morning. She should be able to email you many many pictures of their concrete work.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I second your recommendation of Kelly at Atlantis Pools. We used him as our builder and could not be more pleased with our entire project (pool/spa, firepit, pergola, summer kitchen). You know you are getting great quality at a good and fair price.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I can't speak personally for his work, but I called Atlantis last week and haven't gotten a return call.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I'm terribly sorry to hear this.
Please E-mail me kelly@atlantispool.com
If one of the design team hasn't got back with you I'll run your lead myself. I know there's been a lot of appt's but I certainly wish you'd have gotten a return phone call confirming your interest and to schedule an appt.

Thanks,
Kelly


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Scott: Good to know!

Kelly: Ms. Ruby did get in touch with me & she is very sweet. He came out today & we will be using them for the decking and the clean up. He's a great guy! Thanks so much for recommending him! I appreciate you.

Lascatx: Have you found someone that you love yet? If not, try this: kelly@atlantispool.com or (281) 367-5177
Of the dozens of people that I have asked about their pools, sadly the majority of them have given strong suggestions of who NOT TO USE. Ugh, send me an e-mail and I'll fill you in on that. I didn't even touch the tip of the iceberg with my post above. I found very few who were actually happy with the contractor that they chose. I'm a HUGE RESEARCHER & will shop for weeks online and in stores for the highest quality at the most reasonable price(at the moment, I'm obsessing over patio furniture). From all of the research that I've done, Atlantis is it as far as pool contractors go. Check his BBB rating! A+ and has zero complaints filed against his company. That is pretty impressive!

Anthony & Sylvan = 52 complaint(s) about this business in the last 36 months
Blue Haven = 19 complaint(s) about this business in the last 36 months

Everybody else: I'm so discouraged. Usually the eternal optimist, I ran to the mailbox Saturday morning just knowing that our packet would be there. Every day since, I've had the same high hopes. Today, I was so sad to find no packet again as we have been ready to dig since last week. :( I called the township today to see what was up since they told my husband that the app. was approved & the packet had already been mailed last week. The lady put me on hold for a while and informed me, and please excuse me while I cry, our packet HAS NOT BEEN MAILED!!!!!!!! Even worse, the two people who know what is going on with it were already gone for the day........at three o'clock! I know in the grand scheme of things, it's really not that big of a deal, but it sure does feel like it. :( C'est la vie. Taking a step back, I do feel really blessed that the biggest problem in my life at the moment is about a swimming pool. :)


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Kelly, I have a pool -- it needs replastering and new tile. I called and left a message asking if you did that type of work or only rebuilds. I'm guessing that no reply was my answer, but I would have appreciated a phone call.

txmom, I'd probably show up at the office and tell them I'm going to wait for it and then sit as near offices as possible and talk loudly on my cell phone until the battery went dead. Shoot -- bring a charger! LOL Not really, but it helps to find a way to laugh at the scenario. When I saw you still didn't have it, I was going to suggest that we are both waiting on the same bag of mail that has been lost or tossed somewhere. My son needed a hard to get book for a class and I decided to order a copy from a seller on Amazon who had a new copy and turned out to be located in Magnolia. The book was mailed the next day as promised, but it has been 2 weeks tomorrow and it still isn't here. Meanwhile, I have received mail of all sorts and packages with items ordered from Dallas and NY after the book. Looks like our post office can mess up the local deliveries, so I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been mailed. Maybe you can ask to pick it up since they have been delayed in getting it out to you.


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Sorry

Kelly, I probably should have explained my situation earlier. Not wanting to be unfair -- it was a very bad week last week and on top of that it is very frustrating to call folks who say they will come give you a bid and never hear from them again even after you have been in their office and made tentative selections. The other company I did get to come out gave me a bid much higher than expected. Neither was you, but I had hoped to hear from you.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

lascatx,
I'm the one to blame here.
My wife told me that there are quite a few messages for me on my home computer from late last week and early this week and she remembered a few of them being remodeling leads.
I had a super busy week last week and took off the fri/sat/sun to take the kids for our annual weekend of NHRA championship dragracing at the track in Baytown.
She's fixing to call me with them, I'm the only one who runs our remodeling leads.

Txmom,
The Woodlands has always operated like this, since the adoption of the township they've become a little slower and in less control of paperwork management.
My guess is that the pool construction permit was approved that Friday but the total packet had yet to be assembled and placed in the mail. In the past they usually would knock that out on Monday for a Tuesday mailing. The homeowner will typically receive the packet on Thursday or Friday.
Hang tight, it'll probably show up in the next day or two.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Kelly, if you do remodels/replastering, I'd be interested in talking to you.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Kelly, I was reading through some old posts & totally freaked out! I just sent you an e-mail.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Lascatx,
I'd be happy to meet you to discuss your remodeling project, just shoot me an e-mail with contact info.

TXmom,
I got your e-mail and just left you a message on your number 936-697-****
I look forward to your call.

See ya,
Kelly


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Got the packet in from the township on Saturday and wouldn't you know, it rained on Monday!! :( Rescheduled the dig for Friday and, please excuse me while I cry, it is going to rain again tomorrow and Saturday! So this is the second time that I've cried over the pool and we haven't even started digging yet. I just want to get started . . .

My husband was deployed to Iraq for 18 months...I don't need anymore lessons in patience. I want my pool in(water balanced & clear) by the time my family gets here on May 28th. We started the process in March and I thought that was PLENTY of time.

Other than delay, what are the possible issues if they dig, steel, & plumb and then it pours down rain the next day?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Don't ask questions you don't really want to hear the answer too. Kind of tempting trouble to appear, you know? ;-)

Stop reading now if you don't really want to hear the rest.

When we first moved here, our neighbors to the side had started a pool build. We went under contract in October and they had begun when we moved in November. They had their pool-opening party in the summer -- not sure after 12 years if it was Memorial Day or July 4th. They had a number of issues, but it seemed from what we heard that most of them keyed off of the fact that a segment of the plumbing was left out and not discovered until after the pool was plastered -- which required tearing part of it out and reworking it. That took them off all the schedules that had been carefully planned and they had to stand in line to get the new plaster, the tile and some other things. Oh yeah -- there was also the fact that the pool builder wasn't paying his contractors and started having a hard time getting anyone to work for him -- he'd have to get money in on a new job to pay for work on the old ones. I'm sure that caught up with him somewhere


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

txmomoftwo don't fret to much. You want it done right, and delays are just what they are.

We started on our pool at the beginning of Feb. It took the township 3 weeks to send our packet too.

We now have gunite and the decking complete, but the advance deck cannot be applied until next week, long cure is needed on the concrete before applying I am told.

Then plaster after that, so maybe 2 more weeks total would be my guess. Hold tight, it will get done, just not as fast as we like, but the rain is the killer.

The biggest problem in the woodlands is the water table.
We had so much rain this winter, the first time they came to dig our pool they sank the bobcat, and the bobcat that was sent to pull it out. The 3rd bobcat pulled them both out. We took a 3 week break after that to dry out!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

EEEEeeeekkkk!!! Sinking Bobcat's! My husband was laughing hysterically after he heard the shriek from the office when I read about two sinking bobcats and another three week delay. We typically only drink while on vacation or for an occasional night out, but I need a pina colada after that one! Off to the liquor store I go . . .


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Should be starting my build in northern California in a week or two. We'll have to contend with very tight access (about 5'6") and rock... lot's of rock. Sounds like I should also stock up on some beverages for us and the crews.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Mud, things are looking up! Weather was perfect today and the digging begins tomorrow morning(I didn't even know they worked on Sundays). So excited!!!!!! Let the digging begin!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

well? any pics??? any sunk bobcats??? =)


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Great news!!! Dug on Sunday. Steel and plumbing today. Inspection 1st thing in the morning. Gunite after inspection tomorrow. Our cable line was slaughtered by the bobcat, but other than that, NO PROBLEMS! Thank you Lord! Our yard looks like somebody threw a mortar in it, but I see envision what it will look like in a few weeks so it doesnt bother me. :)

PLEASE look at these pics and tell me if there is something terribly wrong. They are not shooting gunite until noon tomorrow so Ive got until then to catch any MAJOR issues and get them taken care of. We are without cable/internet/phone for a few days so I drove the laptop to starbucks just to upload these in case there is something major going on that Im not seeing.

We had a skimmer on the right side of the shallow end, but it went 7 inches into the easement so had to move it over to the other side. There is a loveseat on the deep end and we didn't want the 2nd skimmer right next to the loveseat so that is why they are both on the same side. I know it is not ideal to have both skimmers on the same side, but it was a last minute change due to our small yard/easement restrictions.

Before
http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/001.jpg

My baby helping me put some snacks and drinks out for the guys.
http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/002.jpg

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/004.jpg

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/010.jpg

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/005.jpg

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/006.jpg

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/008.jpg

http://i858.photobucket.com/albums/ab141/pinkbutterflyteacher/Pool Build/009.jpg


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?









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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

They really should not have stacked the plumbing in the trench. It all should have been laid side by side. Maybe they should have made the trench wider. Do you know what size rebar they used? Are there going to be any lights in the pool. I am not seeing any light niches? Last question what size pipe did they use on this pool. Suction? and return? Okay one more Is there a check valve between the Intellichlor cell and the filter? Thanks for all the pics though keep them coming.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Yay! We have cable/internet again! :D

Rebar: 1/2" bonding, 3/8" floor

Plumbing: He said they used 2" pipe all around the pool and 1 1/2" for the features. Looks like 2" to the skimmers, 2" for the drains, and 1 1/2 " for the returns/water features. I asked him why they didn't use 2" for everything and he said that the smaller pipe would create more pressure to the bubblers/sheer descent. Does that make sense? I have absolutely no knowledge of this stuff and my overly trusting nature tends to be one of my biggest downfalls when it comes to circumstances such as these. Here is another pic of the plumbing.
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I kinda FREAKED when I saw that they didn't leave any dirt for the loveseat/steps, but he said that they will shoot it all with gunite.

There are going to be two intellibrites. Are these the light niches? They are laying on the ground by the pool and we have no idea what they are.

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Don't know the answer to the questions about the intellichlor. Here are more pics that might help:
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Here is another view of the pool facing the house where the light niches might be??? The are going to be on that side facing away from the house.
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It rained a little last night, but the sun is out & everything is dry so I'm assuming the gunite guys will still be here at noon today. :)


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Irish,
I am curious about the check valve question.
I know they recommend it, but do you really believe that in the second it takes to shut down after the pump is off it will create enough chlorine to damage a filter?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

YAY!!!!!! Gunite is in and it looks GREAT!!! :D I'll post pics tomorrow.

Now, how long do I have to wait before it's safe to put the tile and coping on? The T & C guys are available, but I want to make sure the gunite is ready. Is there a standard waiting period? How soon is too soon? I'm going to try to research this right now, but figured someone would have some input on this.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Now that I see the other side of the filter I would agree it would not be nessesary to have a check valve the distance between the filter and the chlorinator should be alright. But I still do not like the look of all the piping stacked on top of each other in the trenches the vibration from the pipes could cause problems for you in the future. As far as tile and coping. Everyone has a different perspective on this but I personally recommend waiting 3 to 4 days. And don't forget to water the gunite twice a day for at least the next 10 to 14 days. This will help with the curing process. everthing else looks good though.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks for the eye David! Just checked out your website and love it.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

By the way on your pool. I do love the total pentair setup. You must have done your research here. Keep up the good work.

BTW. What type of plaster are you putting in?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks! I did A LOT of research & stayed up until 1:00 a.m. some nights trying to figure all of this out.
My hubby asked me to manage this project & I'm way in over my head, but we have just prayed that God would send us honest & hard working craftsmen.

How far in the future would you predict the vibrations causing problems with the plumbing? There is a 1-yr warranty & I'm really upset with the sloppy stacking job that they did. I've gone through hundreds of pool build pics and they ALL had their plumbing stacked side by side. I really hate feeling like I have been taken advantage of & that's how I feel about the plumbing. Those guys knew better than that & I'm thinking about asking my husband to call them back out to fix it. I would call myself, but I am very sensitive to the fact that men do not take very kindly to women telling them what to do(even if I am the one handing them the check).

Yesterday, as they were shooting the gunite, I was not too excited about the steps so we redesigned them on the spot. Cost a couple of hundred extra, but I LOVE them! Extended, reshaped, & added a loveseat to other side to center & even things out. I bought them all pizza last night. They worked really hard from 2 - 8 p.m. & were great!

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I also changed the shape of the pool right before the dig. Moved the stakes & opened up one of the curves to make the deep end bigger. I FREAKED out after the dig wondering if I had lost my mind to change the shape without even drawing it to see how it would look, but now I LOVE the way that it turned out & am so happy about that last minute change!

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Plaster: We want the Quartscape French Grey, but I am SO NERVOUS because I have the sample, but haven't seen any in person. I have a few people coming to measure & quote on plaster today. Any plaster co. recommendations? Please e-mail me if you do have any reputable plaster guys & don't want to broadcast/advertise for them. Pebble Tec is not in our budget. I have seen white & white with 3M blue, but I really wanted something darker.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I would simply tie in some folded landscape cloth where fitting meet and to keep the pipes separated. There is not a lot of room to lay the pipe side by side. The landscape cloth will absorb any vibration and considering they pipes will be surrounded by soil, will be fine for the next 20-40 years or so.

Scott


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks Scott! My husband did add in some landscape cloth to the pipes & gave a long explaination as to why he is not worried about the stacking, however he was annoyed that we paid a lot of $$$$ & they did a sloppy job.

Other than that minor glitch, everything else is going well. Electrician came today.

I'm VERY annoyed with the entire plaster situation! I call plaster companies & they tell me they don't LIKE to do diamond brite or quartscapes. I don't want white plaster & pebble tec is not in our budget & I surely don't want to use a company who doesn't "like" to install a product b/c it obviously means that they don't do it correctly or have had lots of past issues. I give up! I'm giving this one to the Lord b/c this whole plaster situation is driving me nuts. How can plaster companies who have been in business for over 20 years not be able to install quartscapes or diamond brite correctly? Or is it just that DB & QS are such terrible products that nobody wants to install them b/c they have so many problems with them?

Also, anyone know how much it costs to redo your sprinkler system around the perimeter of a small backyard 30'x 70'?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Call Ed Johnson with Johnson's plastering he will get you taken care of with the DB. He has been plastering pool for nearly 40 years. I have used him before and does great work. 713-628-6409. If you don't like him. Try Everic plastering. or Azul plastering. I don't have the other 2 #'s right off hand but if you need them I can get them. All of them use DB and I think the Azul even used quartscapes. All three of these companies do quaility work.

Hope this helps.

David


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

You can also call Steve at Acclaim Pools (281-362-1874). They do DB and do not sub it out. They built a friend's pool and the friend was thrilled with it. Their prices for replasetering are higher than others, but he's telling me they do more work and don't sub it out so you can be sure it's right. You shouldn't have all the same issues with a new build, so maybe the pricing won't be much different. His charges on the other elements are reasonable, so it may not turn out to be much different for us to use him -- we are still evaluating. He does seem to know his stuff and doesn't seem to be trying to shoot a lot of BS.

I am told Wise Pools uses Pool Works (713-466-3300) for their plastering. My pool equipment service guy recommended them. I have a bid from them and am evaluating it. They seemed to have quick availability -- they bid with Sunstone and Wet Edge, both of which I am told are less than Pebble Tec (although the Wet Edge must get close).

I don't have anything from Kelly -- he still hasn't called me and doesn't need to at this point.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks David! I left a message for Johnson's.

Lascatx: Thank you! The guy that I talked to at Pool Works was the godsend that I have been praying for! He answered all of my questions before I even asked them. SO
knowledgeable & was able to actually give explainations! I feel SO MUCH BETTER after just talking to them.

Not too much action today. Watered gunite & passed trench inspection.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

You are entering the quiet week or two for the gunite to cure.

Make sure you water 2x daily.

At this point check out the gunite closely, look for any gunite rebound that you will want removed by the plaster crew. That stuff is just so brittle you wont want it under your plaster.

Also when you PB inspects the gunite, make sure he/she measures to confirm the pool is at the proper depth per your contract. Make sure locations of all items are as per contract.

After coping and tile are installed, have PB confirm pool is level, so that your water line is level.

Good luck!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Glad I was able to offer something helpful. While I'd like to have some of the options you have with a new pool, part if me is glad I don't have so many things to learn about and to make decisions on. Good luck with finishing yours.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

After the inspector left last night, my husband and I decided to get busy. I kicked off my high heels, channeled my Louisiana roots, put on rubber boots & we recovered all of the trenches, tried to make the yard look somewhat level, took off all of the form boards, got rid of all of the trash & started extending the fence to cover the equipment. So we saved $350 for a clean-up. It only took us 2 1/2 hrs, but I haven't worked that hard in a long time!:) About 1/2 way through we were trying to decide if it would have been worth it to just pay for the clean up & came to the conclusion that doing it ourselves means that the queen palms that I want are now included in the budget. :D My husband is an engineer(which means excel spreadsheets for everything & budgets so tight that they squeek). He has a "plan" for everything so it's nice when we can alter the plan a little & get a few things extra.

Question: I know the deck guys are going to level everything under the deck before they pour it. My question is who levels out the rest of the yard? Does the final clean up usually include dirtwork? My hubby & I plan on buying sod & resoding ourselves, but we wanted the yard to be right before we do that.

goyom: Thanks for the tips! We are the PB. It's been really fun at times & really stressful at times.

lascatx: Thanks! You are right! I FINALLY decided on tile & the tile guys just brought me a sample & I LOVE IT! It's perfect! Only one more decision to go and we are DONE! WOOOHOOOO! As soon as I figure out the finish, MAJOR load off of my shoulders.

Off to research on this board how to seal flagstone. Anyone sealed theirs & very happy with the results?


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Congrats on the Queen Palms. All palms were half price at Houston Garden Center when we were last there.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Your final clean up will not include any dirt work unbless you work out the deal ahead of time. You will mos likely have to do this yourself. Unless you have a crew come in to do your sod or landscaping but again you will have to get them to specify hat they will do all the dirt work.
By they way it looks like it is coming along nicely for you.

Good luck,

David


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Thanks :)

They did the tile & coping today/tonight. WOW!!!! I told them exactly what I wanted, showed them example pics, expressed multiple times about how important it was to me that they keep the mortar joints tight & it turned out better than I even envisioned. Those guys worked REALLY HARD! I never imagined that stonework was that laborious.

They will finish the tile on the steps & the flagstone face on the back of the raised wall tomorrow. Who knew these guys all worked on weekends?

Another crew is coming to form the decks on Monday & I may ask them to wait to pour for a few days. I'd like to let the gunite cure a little longer. Never imagined that I'd be contemplating postponing available workers after hearing horror stories of people going through months of pool building and not finishing until after the summer was over!

If I wanted to, I could have them do the decks on Monday/Tuesday & plaster on Wednesday & be completely finished in 10 days with a gunite cure time of 8 days. We have been very blessed thus far. Now, if I can only pick out a finish for the pool . . .


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Got a few pics while we were working out in the yard today.

Flagstone face on the raised wall, flagstone coping, & earthy looking waterline tile from mastertile.
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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Vent: PLEASE don't tell me that you are going to be here and then not show up! I find that so disrespectful and rude. I cancelled two business appointments to be here yesterday for the concrete guys & they didn't show up, but even worse, didn't even bother to call. Basically, that is them telling me that MY time is invaluable and picking up the phone to tell me they wouldn't be able to make it would have been too much of an inconvenience for you. It bothers me even more that I get the machine when I call to check in. I really don't get it. The one simple reason that people are late or don't show up for appointments is because they believe that their time is more precious than yours. Punctuality breeds credibility!

Love their portfolio, he's a really nice guy, & his secretary is super sweet too, however, don't slap me in the face by showing me through your actions how invaluable my time is to you. I have come to expect tardiness when dealing with subcontractors & if they arrive on time, I consider it a nice surprise. Simply not showing up, however, is unacceptable!

I'm sure there are other reputable concrete companies in our area that would be happy to receive our CASH upon completion and will show up when they say they will. Sorry for the vent, that is one of my biggest pet peeves.

On the bright side, our gunite is just having that much more cure time and our structure just keeps getting stronger and stronger. :) I have been watering it more frequently than 2 x a day & my husband teases that I take care of it like it's our 3rd child.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Sorry you had a no-show -- or maybe they will just be late. It seems like so many service/delivery calls involve trucks that break down, problems with the earlier appointment or some kind of issue. We had mulch delivered a while back and it was supposed to show up early in the morning. The big truck broke down and they were s busy scrambling plus handling people coming into the office on a weekend (you could tell when I called later to check) that they hadn't had a chance to call. We lost the whole day and were trying to get things done on a schedule and before my husband went in for surgery. It meant a lot to us, but not a whole lot either of us could do.

You are right -- you have to consider times estimates and not get stuck on punctuality, but late is a lot different than not showing at all. Which they still might do if they are stuck on the side of a freeway somewhere. Hope you find out what's going on soon.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Lascatx: They were supposed to show up yesterday. I should have written that in my original vent above.

Now, I'm looking for other concrete contractors.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Well if they didn't show yesterday and didn't call first thing this morning and you hadn't paid them anything, I'd figure you may have gotten the better of that deal. If that reflects their work ethic, no telling what kind of a bullet you may have dodged. I would move on too.

Can't wait to see your pool finished. It will be soon. Hang in there.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

My husband - my hero! Hubby is very VERY busy this week with OTC here in Houston & after he got home last night, we only had an hour to talk before he flew out to Oklahoma City. I spent most of the time debriefing on my concrete/pool drama and when he saw how upset I was, he told me to send him the spreadsheet with all of the info & #'s and he would handle it. I hate to bother him with pool stuff b/c he's an engineer by day and once a month, he's a commander of an Army Reserves Battalion(airborne ranger).

I slept better last night than I have since we submitted the paperwork to the township knowing that he was going to take care of it for me! Sure enough, there were not one but TWO contractors here before 10 a.m. this morning & we will have our deck poured & finished by Saturday. I love my husband! He's so much better at this stuff than I am. I'm too emotional for this!

I share all of this for those of you who are considering an owner/builder route. It is not "easy" and is a lot more stressful than I imagined it would be! In the beginning, I just trusted that the subs knew what they were doing & were just going to do it right based on principle. Learned quickly that you really HAVE TO WATCH them and tell them what you want, how you want it, and constantly check to make sure they are doing it that way! We have, however, been very blessed and it seems that all of the contractors have done very good work for us.

Plumbing, tile, decking all warrantied for 1 year, gunite & steel structural-lifetime warranty, and diamond brite plaster co. warranty for 1 year(materials & labor) - manufacturer warranty for 10 years(materials, not labor).


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I would say there is no better way to scare the heck out of a concrete company then send out an Airborne Ranger!

WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Deck is in :)

500 sq. ft. of exposed aggregate concrete deck with three sections of flagstone inlay. Getting close to the finish line. CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE the deck!
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Is it normal for there to be this much gravel in the pool after the decking is done?
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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Yes that mess is normal for the deck guys, they don't care, they assume you have a PB doing clean up for you before plaster.

We had the same deck put in, and they guys that did it really messed up the drainage and level. Our PB came out and declared it not acceptable, and had them jack hammer it out. They gave us an upgrade to advance deck. So far so good.

So, since you are building this yourself, make sure you check your skimmers for conrete, deck guys will get some in those and not care, really think, they are gone so who cares?
Well you do. If there is aggregate or concrete in there, get it out now. Trust me on this. I spent 3 hours cleaning mine, as I knew the day labor they would send out here would do a fair job at best, I had them immaculate.

As for the pool, sweep it up and clean it up. The plaster guys will only do so much, and if you have it nice and clean, they will spend more time knocking down the gunite rebound and making it just right. If they have to clean debris for 2 hours, they will be none to happy.

I would recommend you offer the plaster crew some cool drinks when they get started as well, its sad that you have to do this, but they will be doing the finish work on your pool, and you want it right. Also, make sure you are home the plaster is done, watch all of it.

Sadly I have had to ride the butt of every crew that has been here, I feel like the REAL job superintendent of my pool. I have been polite, but like you, I have been on top of it. Even more sadly everyone I have spoken with in the Woodlands with pools, roughly 12 of my neighbors. Say the PB's in this area well suck. They half ass everything, and sadly we have quite a few here who post, and well... hehehe and some of the comments have been directly applied to some of the very active members here, I wont mention names.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Ugh sorry about your deck! I am the superintendent while my husband is gone and have turned into a psyco micromanaging crazy lady over the last two weeks. I am SO EXCITED that this is the last week! I'm loving the deck. It was so nice to relax while hubby was here for the deck install. Then, he took my daughter on a date and I had to take over again.

When picking up their stuff, one worker was taking off my screens and smearing in the excess concrete on the windows. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, who wants to look out of smeared nasty windows when trying to enjoy the view of their new swimming pool???? I grabbed a bottle of windex and a roll of paper towels, put on my rubber boots, & went out there. I didn't even have to say a word, they took the screen right back off & windexed & windexed all six of them after that. I mean, you LITERALLY have to watch b/c it's so much easier to correct something as it is happening rather than have somebody go back & redo it later. I think that's the reason why I've been so happy with everyone's work(other than the plumber!!). I was watching the entire time and if they were doing something I didn't like, I would knock on the window or go out there and show them they way that I wanted it.

I went out there three times and talked to them about the skimmers. They cleaned out the skimmers perfectly with sponges & cleaned off all of my coping before they left. Unfortunatley, I didn't know whether or not it was normal for them to leave all of that gravel/mess in the pool or I would have made them clean that up as well. The plaster crew is coming to clean the pool tomorrow morning and said it will take 1/2 day so I figured they were expecting a big mess. Then they are coming back on Tuesday to install the Diamond Brite & said that will take 1/2 day as well.

Can't wait for this all to be finished!!!!! SO EXCITED to get my yard back & start swimming. :)


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Very productive day! The tile guys came back and did the flagstone inlays. Look A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!! If you want the name of these guys, please contact me. They are honest, hard working, and do GREAT work. That stonework is grueling!

Then, the plaster peeps cleaned out the EXTREMELY dirty pool. I didn't think it was possible, but they did it! You should see the stuff that came out of there.

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Tomorrow we plaster and FILL!!!!! THANK YOU LORD!!!!!!! I'm excited and also scared to death! I'm praying that everything starts up right and we have a "nightmare free" pool build with a great-running, non-leaking, long-lasting, major problem free pool!


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re: small pool in the woodlands. we did it!!!!!!

WE DID IT! IT WORKS! We turned on all of the equipment last night just to check and it works!!!! I'm filtering the water, brushing, adding acid to keep it at 7.2, and LOVING looking outside and seeing a swimming pool instead of a construction site! WOOHHOOOO!!!

Here are some pics of the intellibrites. They are blurry b/c I didn't have my tripod out there and it was on a lightshow, so they were continuously changing. I'll get better pics soon. :) Thank you all for your help! We are SO EXCITED!!!!

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Our dog was snapping at the bubblers. He was so mad at them! We were dying laughing. He hates baths/water so apparently bubbling water is his mortal enemy. :)


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

My lab loves to bite at the water from a hose, so she'd probably love those or any water feature she could get at from the edge or first step. She is a lab who doesn't swim, but our other dog does. Go figure.

Looking good. We will be acid washing and waiting until fall -- both for their schedule and so we can take the time to decide what we want to do with the "while we're at it list." LOL Didn't want to go there, but of course, we have to at least explore the options.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Congrats, what a great feeling to finally see water! The pool looks great!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

IT LOOKS GREAT!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

lascatx,

If you want the lab to swim, put a leash on her and lead her in. She'll figure it out very quickly. Teach her where the steps are from in the pool if needed.

Scott


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

I don't care whether she swims, but my son would love it. He got scratched pretty good when he tried to carry her or toss her in (not sure what he was planning -- he's bigger than me and I was inside). She just stands there and barks at the other dog. She knows where the steps are-- she will get on the first step and cool off. She is ball crazy and you would think chasing a ball would do it, but nothing has so far. She loves treats, but that hasn't encouraged her either.

She is a product of Hurricane Rita -- her mom was out when fences blew down. She wasn't in the storm herself, but I wonder if her mom taught her a fear of deep water as a pup. She is very smart and doesn't have many fears. Maybe it's not a fear -- maybe she is just that stubborn. LOL

txmom -- seeing your lights is not going to help me. DH wanted to see about changing our lights when we replaster. We were talked out of it, but my son wants them too. Since we are going to put off the major work, we can decide later. The light in our spa is not working an we have t see whether it is the bulb or a fixture. It it is the fixture, at lest the replace decision will be made. Then it will just be with what?

Your pool is looking great. Looking forward to seeing some daytime photos too.


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

More photos: The color of the water is very dynamic and changes constantly with the amount of shade/sun at many points during the day. We LOVE every shade that we have seen so far with our DB French Grey! I'm SO HAPPY with this choice. I have to say that we EXPECTED the finish not to be perfect like white plaster and for there to be some mottling so we are not disappointed at all. I've never seen pics of mottling, but if we have it, I'm sure it wouldn't bother me. We kind of like the marblized look so if that happens, it won't be a big deal to us. Here are more pics. Also, this is only day 6 so our chemicals are not all balanced yet. We have never seen a hint of green in our pool(not even during the fill) and are just in love with the beautiful blue water. So excited that it will only get more clear & beautiful as we balance it. Will start adding clorox tomorrow.

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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Looks really nice! I like the tiles you have on the steps and how you spaced them out. Water color is great!


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

More pics of DB French Grey. Like I said, it's a dynamic thing, but we love all of the different shades of blue. Here are a few pics at 12:00 when the sun was shining directly on the pool.

The 2nd pic is of the main drain. Do you see it?

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And then the clouds opened up even more and the color changed again. These three pictures were all taken within two minutes of one another and you can see how the clouds/shade/angle of the shot/ affect the color. LOL

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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

Congrats, your pool looks great. I know that you are excited but the work has just begun. We just added some more landscaping and plants but who cares as it is 9mths since our pool build. Sit back at nite and relax with the night show as we do.........


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RE: Small pool in The Woodlands. Any suggestions?

txmomoftwo,

Love your pool!

We are looking to build a small pool in the Sugar Land area. We don’t have a huge backyard and we want to keep space for the trampoline of course :-)
We are thinking 28 long, with widest part being around 16 and the narrowest ※ pool entrance ※ being around 10.
But I am getting paranoid about how many people will be able to swim there without bumping with each other. Have you found your pool big enough for you and your family/friends?

Thanks


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