Return to the Pools & Spas Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Posted by ventinc (My Page) on
Sat, May 16, 09 at 3:02

I am in Folsom, CA (near Sacramento) and am going to post my enitre owner/build process as I am in debt to people who have helped me on this site, so maybe I can return the favor a bit.

After 3 solid months of research and design, several questions posted by me on this forum, and too much time, I have finally started my owner/build pool.

Before I get to the pool specifics, here is what I have learned so far about the owner/build experience. Above all-plan, plan, and plan. When you are done with that, then do some more planning. Then let a few days go by, go to McDonalds and have an egg mcmuffin, and the plan some more.

We knew what kind of pool we wanted so we paid a design engineer to draw up our plans. We paid a premium price for these plans but the detail went above and beyond. The plans went so far as to detail out every piece of equipment (with pictures and model numbers) we chose, so there was no room for error.

That being said here are a few basics:

THE POOL:
1.Free form at 40ft long x 20ft wide, 675 Sq. ft.
2.3 1/2ft. shallow to 7ft deep
3.8ft spa with 12 jets. Spa raised 4ft above waterline
4.Waterfeature- Waterfall set 3 to 4 ft above grotto roof
5.Split sheer descent from grotto ceiling into pool
6.5ft. grotto feature with seating bench inside
7.Waterfeature- Waterfall set 2 to 3 ft above spa
8.6ft spa spillover into pool
9.3 raised bond beams- 2 at 30" and 1 at 48" in height
10.Grotto and waterfalls to be carved faux rock
11.90 ft retaining wall, 4 ft. high for slope retaining
12.Bond beam and retaining wall finished in ledger stone
13.35ft. gunite slide partially recessed into slope
14.1000 sq. ft. stamped concrete decking
15.Fastlane swim machine and Fogco fog system
16.Solar
17.Majestic plum pebbletech

THE PLUMBING
4in. plumbing suction & return for spa
4in. plumbing for grotto water fall
3in. plumbing for slide
2 1/2in. plumbing for pool suction
2in. pool skimmer suction (2 skimmers)
2 1/2in. plumbing for 8 pool returns (returns at 1 1/2)

THE EQUIPMENT
Pentair Intelliflo VS- pool filtering and circulation
3hp Pentair Whisperflo- waterfall
3hp Pentair Whisperflo- spa
2hp Sta-Rite- slide w/ability to add to waterfall plumbing
2hp Polaris blower
Polaris Booster pump- polaris pool cleaner
Triton II sand filter
Sta-Rite 400k heater
Pentair SWG (30000 gal)
Easytouch 8 w/wireless remote
3 color changing Sams/ 2 color changing Sals

Comments, opinions, and questions are welcome! Next post will be pictures of excavation.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Photobucket
Picture of the backyard before any of the work begins. It feels like I have done an enormous amount of work at this point yet have nothing to show for it. That will soon change.


Photobucket
30,000 lb. excavator ready to dig in, but a couple hours of pre-grade for slide, decking, and retaining wall is needed. This excavating company is the best in this area. The owner was on site all 3 days- helped me set the layout and elevations and his crews were very experienced.

Photobucket
By the second day as suspected, it was time to get out the hammer. I hired this company because 1: He had a bigger excavator then anyone else. 2: He brought the hammer with him assuming we would need it which saved time for him and $ for me.

Photobucket
slide excavated on the slope

Photobucket
Deep end of pool and cut out for grotto location, 3 days of excavation and we are all done with phase 1. I had some extra cost from the hammer work but we were prepared for that. We have a lot of water working throug the rock shale and into the pool excavation but a sump pump in place is keep that under control.

Trenching has started today and should be done in 1 day and when we start laying the plumbing down, I will get some more pictures ofour progress.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

I have been lurking and reading posts in this forum for almost a year as i'm planning and researching my O/B. i joined today to comment on your post to let you know how excited i am to follow your progress as the main focus of my plan (yet to be put on paper by a pro) includes a long gunite slide and a grotto. i'm also in california but southern california. do you have the pool design you can post? would love to see it....

i will be glued to this thread.

and your pics look great so far.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

That is going to be one awesome pool! I, too, am eager to see the photos of the progress, now that the build has begun (yes, that's the proper grammar).


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

quote" Comments, opinions, and questions are welcome! "quote

Trash the SAM and SAL lamps and get the Intellibrite LED pool and spa lamps. And don't attempt to run all 12 jets on one pump regardless of how large your pipes may be, drop to 2 spa pumps with 6 jets each on independent loops (1 on filter and 1 separate spa pump 2 1/2 hp) place a hartford loop and use 2 1 HP blowers.

Your pool spec's look awesome.
Congrats on going it on your own.
Keep the pic's coming and if you have any questions post them here. There are some very knowledgeable members, builders and owners, who can give you some really great advice as you progress. I don't drop in as often as I usually do during the busy season but I'll make an attempt to look for your username on threads as I come on to the board to look for questions to reply to.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Kelly,

How is the waterski lake coming? About 10 years ago my wife and I almost bought a home with a water ski lake in TX. It was going for 250k.(What a deal) If my lottery numbers ever hit, it is the first thing I am building out here in CA. There are about 6 out here in the Sacramento area. What length rope has been your best pass? I am embarrased to say I have never gotten past 15' off.

"Trash the Sams and the Sal lights."
I would have gone with the Intellibrites but I got the color changing SAMS and SAL for a price I could not pass up.

"And don't attempt to run all 12 jets on one pump regardless of how large your pipes may be, drop to 2 spa pumps with 6 jets each on independent loops (1 on filter and 1 separate spa pump 2 1/2 hp) place a hartford loop and use 2 1 HP blowers."

Is this because running the 3HP pump through the filter is too much pressure? Or because 12 jets is too many for one pump? Would staying with one pump and reducing to 10 jets be acceptable? What would the consequences be of staying with a 3hp pump and 12 jets on a dedicated loop?

Your spoken word on pool construction is the Bible. I literally have read every post you have written on this forum, and then I read them again. Anyone out there considering owner/build or using a pool builder should do the same. You will learn A LOT, and you will probably avoid some headaches along the way. Now that I am done "kissing up", here are some pictures of this weekends progress. It's not much.... but here it goes

Photobucket
About 1/3 of our plumbing made it to the backyard yesterday, and we got the rest of it here today. That 4" and 3" PVC is NOT cheap!

Photobucket
This is the trench where all the lines will come together just before the equpment pad. Glueing has started and I bought 6 quarts of glue and primer. Lots of gluing to be done. I read a very informative thread on the TFP forum about proper glueing techniques, the purpose of primer and and making sure the pipes are connected properly. Good information so that you can do it correctly or make sure your plumber is doing it correctly.

Photobucket
The majority of my work this weekend was this DWV drainage line. About 140 ft. of 4" drainage. My plumber rented an excavator to do the swimming pool trenching. He finished, and the rental company was not going to be picking up the excavator until the next day, so I hopped in and dug a BIG trench. Saved me so much time and labor. I have some major water running into my backyard, (my pool filled 1/3 of the way up with the sump pump off for less then 24 hrs.) so 4 in. drainage was a must. I was going to do this work later, but now that it is done, tying the drainage lines in from behind the pool will be a snap.

Photobucket
This is where my drainage ends at the front sidewalk in front of the house. I reduced it from 4 in. to 3 in. and it rises about a foot before heading out a drain underneath the sidewalk. The duct tape is a little redneck but I needed to get the pool drained before the plumbers come back tommorrow, so I will get the proper fitting soon. The water running through here is about 15 gallons per minute, so it is a great test to make sure my drainage works properly before I start the back filling. Wish I still has the excavator!

whitetrash- I will gladly post my design, but let me check with my pool designer first to make sure he is O.K. with me doing that.

Later this week I will get pictures of the plumbing installed and rebar will hopefully get going by the end of the week.

I am having a 4th of July party so that will be my completion date!
Kelly,

Thanks for you feedback. If goes without saying that I welcome your input anytime you feel like it. I will be having a disussion with my plumber tommorrow about making the spa plumbing changes. I don't know exactly why you are suggesting the spa plumbing changes but it will be interesting to hear what my plumber has to say, and then see if his answers coincide with yours for making the changes.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Your pump/pipe combo is capable of 150-160gpm and unless your using a TR140C3 commercial sand filter your going to have the ability to pump more water than your filter is capable of handling. My guess is your man spec'd a TR100 as the filter. Quite honestly I didn't notice that the other evening or I'd of said swap it for a 60-72 sq/ft DE filter.
Even if you switch to the DE filter I'd suggest no more than 10 spa jets on the single pump application. If you do have the TR140C3 then stick with 12 jets on 1 loop.

Thanks for the vote of confidence on my input towards peoples questions. I find it very rewarding to assist others in their learning curve on pools.

See ya,
Kelly


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Kelly,

Thanks for the reply and here is may plan. The Tritan II sand filter is what I am spec'd for my filtration, but I will have to confirm the model # and size. My plumbers intention is to not run the jets through the filter.

My current plumbing design will use the intelliflo VS for filtration drawing from the pool and/or the spa as well as returning to either. My jets are all on a dedicated loop and powered by a 3HP whisperflo. This avoids any pressure issues involving the filter. Now I have to choose between doing ten or twelve.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Update: More pictures for your review. Plumbing is under pressure with no leaks after 4 days, and rebar is underway.

Phase 1 rebar will be the pool, spa, bond beams and grotto. Following that will be Phase 1 gunite. After that phase 2 rebar will get underway which will be rebar for the water features, slide and retaining wall. This will give me time to dig and install my french drain behind the pool as well. Then phase 2 gunite which will be the water features, slide, and retaining wall shot in gunite. We have a busy two weeks ahead of us. Here is what we have done since my last post:

Photobucket

Here is all the plumbing coming together at the equipment pad and under pressure. It took about two hours to get the plumbing lines filled with water, add a little air, and we will keep it at 35 psi until decking is complete.

Photobucket

More trenching filled with plumbing lines.

Photobucket

Trench and plumbing running in front of the pool. The plan is to use the rebound from the gunite shoot to fill in underneath and around the plumbing lines when gunite is being done. I will be busy doing this. After gunite we will fill the trenches with sand and AB gravel. Next week I will order 10 yards of AB to get ready for this work. Hope my back can take it.

Photobucket

1 of 2 skimmers and plumbing lines into the pool.

Photobucket

Spa plumbing and some rebar work done. The spa was dug out 1 ft. deeper then what is usually done so that the majority of the plumbing could be installed from underneath. We will then backfill to 1 ft. to cover up the plumbing, form the spa floor from rebar, and it will be ready for gunite. The stailess steel screeding is for gravel backfill as well since this area was not supposed to be excavated. The excavator knew this but because of the rock "sheering" off, it could not be helped. The gravel backfill will save me several yards in gunite cost. My gunite cost is already going to be somewhere around $12,000. OUCH! That is about $3,000 over budget.

Photobucket

Spa plumbing jet location.

Photobucket

Some of the rebar installed, specifically the notch needed to install the stacked stone that will go in on the raised bond beams and the face of the spa.

And now even though it has nothing to do with the pool here are my landscaping pics. I have gone so far over budget on the pool that the landscaping will be done as a solo effort by me. So far I have built a 40 ft. country manor retaining wall, put in 10 queen palms, 6 sage palms, 4 canary date palms, 3 phoenix palms, and an assortment of tropical plants and shrubs. The main reason I am finally posting this update is because my back is shot and I cannot do any more work until my back will allow.

Photobucket

My country manor wall. I spent a lot of time putting in the base and setting the first row. My wife thought I was crazy for digging out such a deep base, but with the proper base and a properly set first row, building the rest of the wall is a piece of cake. I completed the landscaping above shortly after finishing the wall.

Photobucket

These are three of the four canary date palms I put in. Yes they are crooked, but I have not straightened them and put stakes in yet. Using the jackhammer on the slope was difficult but was the only way to dig these holes.

Photobucket

More landscaping. Lots more coming. I am going for a very lush, tropical look, so it will take a lot more plants and trees to get the look I am going for.

Photobucket

3 queens I put in towards the top of the slope. I have an autmated drip dedicatedjust for the trees, and then two other circuits ready to go for plants and shrubs whenever those get done. Once again the jackhammer was quite helpful in getting these holes dug. I only lost my footing and slid down the slope 6 or 7 times!

Photobucket

More landscaping. My goal is to try to compelte the slope landscaping when the pool construction is nearly finished.

Photobucket

Top of the slope looking down at the pool. In a week we should make quite a bit more progress and I will post the progress then.

Thanks for looking.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Please do not back fill the dam wall area with gravel. That needs to be filled with gunite. You cannot use dirt or gravel to use as fill instead of gunite. It has to be one monolithic shell. If it cost you more than oh well. Welcome to pool building. Also, your pipe should not be touching your rebar.Did you do the plumbing yourself?


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

"Please do not back fill the dam wall area with gravel. That needs to be filled with gunite. You cannot use dirt or gravel to use as fill instead of gunite. It has to be one monolithic shell."

Hmmmm.... I am not sure what you mean here so please explain further. The pool/spa is going to be one monolithic shell. The gunite in the pool/spa will be a miniumum 8" thick. The only portion of the pool that will be backfilled with gravel will be the portion that would have had dirt/rock still present had it not sheered off during excavation. If we don't backfill this area I will be shooting gunite that would be over 4 ft. thick and I am not sure that is necessary.

If there is even a hint of compromising structural integrity by doing a backfill then I would shoot gunite instead of using any backfill. Since I have special engineering requirements, the gravel backfill method will be signed off by my engineer and he will be onsite to approve this section (as well as the grotto section) before gunite is applied. Hopefully that is a litle more clear as to what my plan is, and if you would still suggest differently then I would like to hear why.

The plumbing was done by a licensed plumber. I was not much more then a helper but wanted to be invloved enough so that I knew where every pipe went and what it was for. We used a lot of 4 in. and 3 in. pipe which was heat bent to fit. The plumbing is still loosely in place as the rebar work is far from completion. I will make sure none of the plumbing is in contact with rebar by the time we are ready for the first gunite shoot.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

You can not place gunite over any type of fill dirt or gravel. You said you were going to back fill dirt over the spa floor. Do not do that. It will not be virgin soil. All gunite has to sit on virgin soil that is 18" down. As far as the dam wall goes to me your taking a huge risk by shooting gunite over gravel fill when you have a void between the dam wall and virgin earth. When I add a spa to a pool and the new spa juts into the pool that whole area that is a void gets filled up with gunite. Sometimes it is 3w feet thick and 3'.6"d. That 's the way my engineer requires it. I trust him since he helped write the anspi manual when it comes to structural engineering. But you can do what you want. It's your pool.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

"But you can do what you want. It's your pool."

That's very kind of you!:)

I will relay your thoughts to my engineer tomorrow. I can only hope he is as well respected as yours. I will do as he says. If he says use gravel for fill, I will. If he says use all gunite, then that will be done.


"All gunite has to sit on virgin soil that is 18" down."

I have seen several excavated pool floors, on this forum and in person that have been backfilled with gravel usually from being over-excavated for one reason or another. How would the 18" of virgin soil be accomplished in such situations? Are they at risk because they do not meet the 18" specification?

What your saying certianly seems valid so I am very interested in the responses I get from my engineer. Thanks again for your input and when I hear from my engineer tommorrow I will post a follow up.

Thanks again,

Kevin


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

great pics! this may be a dumb question but when looking at the plumbing for the spa jets it looks like there will be two pipes at each jet location in the wall of the spa rather than one (which is what i usually see...i think) are you doing double jets (one on top of the other)? or is this dual pipe connection how it's usually done and i'm just dumb?

i saw in your specs you are doing 12 jets - are they all in the walls? are you doing floor or calf jets?


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

The issue of self compacting gravel has been around since the late 80's and a lot of engineers think it is an acceptable practice. It wouldn't hurt to vibrate the gravel to consolidate it.

A lot of pools and other structures are successfully built on engineered fill rather than virgin soil.

The plumbing would be my biggest concern with this job. There are pipes on top of unsupported pipes and crossovers not separated and the appearance of some less than desirable heat bending going on. Unless IAPMO has changed their codes recently they would not approve of any of these procedures. The fact that the soil is very rocky adds to the need for greater care in the trenches.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

When I mean by virgin dirt is you have to dig down that far in order to make sure the shell is not sitting on anything other than engineered fill or true virgin soil. Yes most pools I build are on engineered fill that has been certified with at least 90% compaction. For example. When you dig out a reef step the engineer will require you to go down 18" into the dirt even if your finished water depth is only 6". You back fill the 12" difference with gunite. As far as I know, no engineer that I know recommends back filling with dirt or gravel for pools. Now you probably have seen pools with gravel in the bottom. That is called rock packing. It is only 2-3" of gravel to make the pool more workable if you are getting a lot of water in it or rain. I was trying to be nice about your plumbing last night, but I agree with renoexpt. I would get my money back. Heating a pipe weakens it. I know a lot will disagree with me but a lot of cities I deal with will not allow you to do that or use flex pipe or blue glue. My only hope is you paid for what you got. Sorry if it sounds rude but I'm tried of losing out jobs to hacks because homeowners don't care what it looks like underground as long as it somewhat works when it is covered up. I've seen homeowners on this forum do better work.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Devildog, I agree with your postion in general although we have had engineers specifiy up to 6 ft of uncompacted #57 in the bottom of a swimming pool. They were working for the developer that buried a bunch of strippings (unsuitable soil when building the roads) in an owners back yard. We compacted it in lifts to be safe and there was no question that it compacted significantly.

I think that is purple primer in the pictures rather than blue glue. Definitely would not reccommend blue glue. A lot of plumbers seem to think that primer is not required when using the blue goo. Go figure.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?


You said-
"The issue of self compacting gravel has been around since the late 80's and a lot of engineers think it is an acceptable practice. It wouldn't hurt to vibrate the gravel to consolidate it."

Are you implying that this practice is acceptable to some engineers but not to others? When it comes to the structural issues of my pool I don't want what engineers think is an acceptable practice, I want ridiculously overbuilt using practiced engineering standards.

I have seen 3/4" gravel backfill used in so many pool constructions, house foundations, etc. that I considered it to be a standard practice. My engineer has approved using 3/4" gravel as backfill as well as the rebar scheduling of this pool section and spa being 6" off center. The spa walls will be a minimum of 18" thick and the pool walls a minimum of 9" thick.

Would your recommendations be in line with this or would you suggest differently?

We wanted to do some custom plumbing for the spa. This included putting some of the jets very close to each other and using 4" plumbing for maximum efficiency.

My plumber put the spa plumbing and mainifold on the floor of the spa, which was excavated an extra 12" to allow room for the plumbing. (He has done over 50 pools this way and has yet to have a problem with any of them.) The plumbing/floor of the spa will then be filled with 3/4 gravel to 12". The rebar for the floor of the spa will then be installed, my engineeer will do an on-site inspection followed by the city inspection, and then gunite.

You said-
"The plumbing would be my biggest concern with this job. There are pipes on top of unsupported pipes and crossovers not separated and the appearance of some less than desirable heat bending going on."

I shared this concern with my plumber last week when the plumbing was going in. The plan is to use the rebound during the gunite shoot to fill in underneath and inbetween the plumbing in the trenches. The plumbing will then be backfilled with sand and then AB gravel. If there is more you think I should do to care for the plumbing then please comment.

There is one piece (a capped off return line near the skimmer) that seems to be a little too fried from heat bending. I will ask for that to be replaced. The rest of the heat bending looked good to me, do you see any other concerns that I am not seeing?

Thanks for you comments.

Whitetrash-

Yes the two plumbing lines are both for jets. One of the seats will have 4 jets, very close to each other. We didn't want your average "1 jet evenly spaced" in the spa like so many pool builders put in their spas, so we are going for something a little more custom. This spa plumbing was WAY over my head and very tricky, but hopefully it works out.

I haven't ignored your request to post my design. My pool designer has not returned my calls. (Thank God I didn't use him to build my pool) He spared no red ink on the design stating copyright infringements and unauthorized plan usage so I must get his permission first, if he ever calls me back. Thanks for your feedback as well.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

devildog-

I don't mind your honest feedback to help me build a better pool, even if its harsh.

But your last post makes you sound bitter becuase you can't cut it in your profession. If that's the case, then don't bother commenting on anything else I am doing. If you are not skilled enough to beat out the hacks that you are competeing against then you should start looking for a new job. In my profession, as well as yours I would guess, it is usually takes a hack to know a hack.

Help me and others build a pool because you want to contribute but if your mad at the world, then don't waste my time. Thanks.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Ventic,
I was trying to help build your pool. Ask any of the other builders on here weather that would be an acceptable plumbing job. I think they would say no. I am more than skilled to beat out the hacks, It's just a little hard to beat a hack on price when they are underbidding me by 5,000.00 or more dollars because they do not use things like fittings and they bend pipe instead.All the other little detail things that homeowners do not realize that go into a pool to make it last get cut out of the equaton so they can beat my price. Me personally, I like paying my insurance's. I like paying my people a livable wage to feed their families on. I like the fact when I walk away from a project I'm not going to have to come back to fix something. I'm actually one of the few builders to that is doing well in my area, I guess that's because I'm a hack. I would rather flip a hamburger than to hire people at cheap wages or not use the proper techniques than to compete aqainest hacks. Like I said, you do want you want, it's a free country for the most part. What I'm telling you is that your plumbing is unacceptable to 90% of builders that I know. You need to have them pull it out and redo after the steel is up. Take my advice or leave it. That is my opinion. Skill has nothing to do with beating out hacks, it's homeowners greed that determines that. Do not pick the low baller. I am not mad, I am just expressing the feelings of a lot of pool builders here.Then we get to hear the horror stories and we then look bad. It is our obligation to weed out all non hackers to further the reputation of the industry. Good luck and god speed on your build. Exit stage left.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

ventinc, considering where you are at, this is what I would reccommend.

remove all of the rocks away from the plumbing trench,try to seperate the pipes with something large enough to enable washing fine sand in the trenches under and around the pipes. pad any crossovers with a non abrasive surface.

Pressure test the hard piping @100 psi or greater. Most small air compressors will do this. Do not pressure test the flex pipe at this pressure.

Since you are backfilling the trenches you will probably take good enough care in the process to get by. Keep in mind that heavy equipment will running across the trenches and any voids can be a future problem. Not sure about using the rebound for this. The ideal product would be a flowable backfill which in effect is what you are trying to do with the sand.

Try to consolidate any gravel you put under the shell.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

"One of the seats will have 4 jets, very close to each other. We didn't want your average "1 jet evenly spaced" in the spa like so many pool builders put in their spas, so we are going for something a little more custom"

that sounds really cool and addresses one of my biggest gripes with attached spas is that the jet configurations are so much less interesting/creative than the fiberglass spas (which i think are pretty damn ugly).

and no worries on posting the design. i was just curious as to the shape of the pool and layout of the slide. i'll just keep watching the pictures as your progress..and ask lots of questions about your gunite slide because that is priority #1 in my pool that i'm planning.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

renovxpt-

A sincere thank you for your advice. Several rocks/debris have fallen back into the trenches over the last week and I will take care to "clean out" the trenches thourougly before any sand backfilling.

The plumbing has been steady under pressure at 37 psi for almost a week. I will pressurize it to 100 psi by your suggestion. It is filled with water, so would pushing it up to 100 psi still be O.K.? I know the PVC is rated for 220 psi. We have no flex pipe so there is no prbolem there.

My plumber has made it clear that we will thouroughly encase the plumbing in gunite "rebound" and sand. The rebound will be used to fill underneath the pipe and inbetween. I will follow your advice on the crossovers as well.

I will take as much time as necessary to feel comfortable that the plumbing is well cared for during these steps.

Thanks again for the advice.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

devildog said-
"I was trying to help build your pool. Ask any of the other builders on here weather that would be an acceptable plumbing job. I think they would say no. I am more than skilled to beat out the hacks, It's just a little hard to beat a hack on price when they are underbidding me by 5,000.00 or more dollars because they do not use things like fittings and they bend pipe instead.All the other little detail things that homeowners do not realize that go into a pool to make it last get cut out of the equaton so they can beat my price. Me personally, I like paying my insurance's. I like paying my people a livable wage to feed their families on. I like the fact when I walk away from a project I'm not going to have to come back to fix something. I'm actually one of the few builders to that is doing well in my area, I guess that's because I'm a hack. I would rather flip a hamburger than to hire people at cheap wages or not use the proper techniques than to compete aqainest hacks. Like I said, you do want you want, it's a free country for the most part. What I'm telling you is that your plumbing is unacceptable to 90% of builders that I know. You need to have them pull it out and redo after the steel is up. Take my advice or leave it. That is my opinion. Skill has nothing to do with beating out hacks, it's homeowners greed that determines that. Do not pick the low baller. I am not mad, I am just expressing the feelings of a lot of pool builders here.Then we get to hear the horror stories and we then look bad. It is our obligation to weed out all non hackers to further the reputation of the industry. Good luck and god speed on your build. Exit stage left."

Wow- I did not realize you were elected to speak on behalf of all the other pool builders. Good for you and your soap box.

There is a lot of rightousness (and misplaced anger) in your above response. Rambling about paying your employees, homeowner greed, and your obligation to weed out hacks in your industry doesn't help your cause.

It's great that your doing so well in your industry right now. You state oterwise in your third post mentioning how tired you are. Keep flippin' those burgers and thanks for the stage exit.

Now if I might, I will get back to the building my pool and if necessary re-doing my plumbing. :)


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

I can empathize with devildogs statement and have felt the same frustration on many occasions.

You can cut corners in every phase of pool building and it might take ten years for the flaw to surface.

The devil is in the details.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

So a month has flown by and we finished our second gunite shoot last week so I finally have a little extra time to give an update and post some pictures.

First: There were some concerns brought to my attention about the quality of the plumbing (crossovers/heat bending and such) work so after looking into it a bit here is what I did.

1. I had 25 yards of sand and AB gravel delivered to my yard.
2. I proceeded to backfill the plumbing trenches with sand by hand/shovel and water hose until a good layer of sand was underneaththe plumbing. This took two days but I think it was worth the effort.
3. I then used a mix of AB and sand to continue filling the trenches 1/3 up, and any crossovers to get adequate support.
4. I then hauled out 30 yards of trenched dirt/rock as it was not my intention to use any of this crappy material to fill back in the plumbing trenches.
5. On the first gunite shoot I used the gunite rebound (3 or 4 yards) and lots of water to continue filling trenches.
6. The next day I used a bobcat to finish backfilling the trenches with AB gravel to grade level.
7. The plumbing has been under pressure at 40 psi for over a month with no problems. (I was told by some very reputable plumbers that setting the plumbing pressure any higher then this is a bad idea.)

Undoubtably my plumbing will last for 20+ years maintainance free! :)

Second: I took some extra time and expense to have the engineering firm I used send out an engineer for two on-site inspections just before each gunite shoot. It was good piece of mind for me to have the engineer on site and give final approval of the construction before gunite.

Neil Anderson is the engineering firm and I am not sure if you could find one person in Northern CA who would disagree with the statement that they are the best there is.

All right, onto the pictures and the progress.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

One week later it was time for the second gunite shoot:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

So I am calling it a little over half way done at this point and it has been time consuming road to get to this point as an owner builder. But I still have to say that doing an owner/build is a GREAT way to go. I would recommend it to anyone instead of using a pool builder unless you live in TX near Kelly. Then I would just use him!


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

  • Posted by ccp (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 24, 10 at 18:26

I am excited to see the final pictures of your pool. How is it coming?

I am looking to be an owner builder for a pool in Southern California. It will be about 20x40 ft with an 8ft spa and a baja step. We also want to put a natural looking waterfall running into the pool. Any advice?


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Haven't been here in a while... Pool has been completed for 1 1/2 years now... It has worked very well...

As an owner builder I am glad its all over with but I would do it again.. just not for many many years.

Problems I have had since completion:

1. One of my pentair lights went out.. replaced it myself
2. check valve did not seal properly on pumpu slide.. replaced that myself
3. SWG did not perform well.. easy to replace

Thats about it. Pool and Spa have been flawless and here are some finished pictures.

pool

above pool pic

Photobucket


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Absolutely Stunning!!!


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

What did you coat the slide with? Any chipping?

Scott


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Scott,

The coating on the slide is an industrial epoxy from a company in Washington. It is the same epoxy used to glue reflectors to street and highway surfaces.

I cannot remember the name of the company but I am sure I have it in my pool files. The coats had to be applied very very thin so that we would not get runs in the epoxy as it dried. This will be the 3rd season coming up and it has been great. Very durable and no chips or cracks.

I may put a new coat on this season if necessary but I might wait another year before I do.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Plumbing controversy or not, your pool looks fantastic. Nice design work.


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

Hello, AWESOME pool. I am new to this and want to do a OB small spa in my small back yard in Discovery bay ca. Did you use a consultant to help line up subs? If so do you recommend them, if so can you tell me how to get ahold of them?


 o
RE: Clayton Owner/Build pool has finally began- or is it begun?

I love all your posts they are encouraging. My wife and I are building our own pool and we have very simalar yards and pool designs. we also have a big hill and are building the spa into the hill with a waterfall spilling into spa then onto and over the grotto our slide is 29' long and is on the left side of the spa grotto. If you could give me a call or email me I have a few questions i would gladly send you a gift card and buy you and yours dinner for your time. I know the posting is old was hoping he might check back from time to time. I really appreciate all the info and the pics the pool looks beautiful and fun. Good Job. 702-429-1670 rick.holbert@gmail.com


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Pools & Spas Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here