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Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Posted by marta_p (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 1, 10 at 10:17

Hi again, well I think we're getting closer to choosing our PB and I'd very much appreciate anyone's insights into the quote below. Please tell me what you think and whether we're missing anything. As with everyone I'm sure, I'm trying to calculate all costs upfront so that we'll actually be able to eat when this is over! Thanks so much in advance!! Marta_P

pool size:36x20', 545 sq. feet, 3' - 8' deep
Spa size 7' deluxe detached spa, raised 12" - same equip as pool
contractor's plans and building permists
excavation of pool and soil removal, as needed
steel reinforced gunite structure
two steps off sunshelf
1 deep end swimout
dual main drains with anti-vortex grate
all non-corrosive PVC plumbing with 3 return lines
backfill of gunite shell and ONE load of processed gravel
six inch band of waterline frostproof tile
Cartridge filtration system with Whisperflo pump (Pentair)
Two - 500 watt marine pool lights
Telescopic pole, leaf skimmer, nylon brush, rope rings, manual vacuum and chemical test
Start up of pool and instruction on operating
Limited lifetime structural warranty
Exposed aggregate decking/cantilever edge coping
30' of natural stone coping
Pentair Mastertemp Gas Heater - 400K BTU
3-head infloor circulation system
30 sq feet of sunshelf, 9" water depth (includes 2' of crushed stone under)
Aquapure salt generator
Polaris 280
Caribbean blue pebble tec
SPA - 6 jets, wrap bench, dual drainss, light, entry step, no spillway into pool, equalizer line and skimmer
15 tons of crushed stone and hydrostatic relief valve for drainage under pool (if needed) $1,100
stone veneer for spa $1,500
PDA PS8 Automatic Controls, Pool & Spa combo w/power center $2,450
Electrical $5,000 (estimate)
Water for $22,500 gallon pool $1,000 (estimate)
Winter safety cover $3,000 (estimate)
Jump rock $400 (estimate)
gas hookup $2,000 (estimate)
TOTAL all in = $77,495 (gulp)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

sounds right...we are in Boston area installing vinyl pool, specs are 37 by 19, no spa, salt system, deep end cut out, no diving, heated, etc and we are at about $60k (not including fence). Feel free to email me offline

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Whats Limited Lifetime Structural mean? Is it spelled out?
What size plumbing?
Specify hard pipe.
What equipment? Specifics count. Why the Jandy cell and automation but Pentair pump and heater? All one brand usually gets an extended warranty on the equipment.
Marine grade? I never heard a pool light described thusly. What lights? Two 500s may be a bit much.
What size rebar? Spacing?
How thick is the shell?
Are you in an area where high water tables or soils with a heavy clay content or poor drainage? If so, get a soils engineer's report.
The 15 tons and hysrostatics are about $500 too high. 3/8" stone is $25/ton + $75 for delivery. The valves aren't expensive. No real work to add them.
Are you trucking in the water?


RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Thanks to you both! Scott, we are trucking in water and have been told to estimate $1000 - is that standard for 23K gallons? Great ideas for questions, thank you so much. Marta

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Are you 100% sold on the in floor cleaner? I know it is not a cheap option. I have heard positives and negatives about it. I had one guy in who really pushed it and he was a complete jerk so maybe that is why I was not sold on it. We are in the beginning stages of the PB (hole w/stone) but the rain last week and what we have to come has us at a standstill. We are getting the Polaris 3900 Sport. Have you considered LED lights? What are they charging you for the Pebble Tec? I am just curious. We are doing Bella Blue Pebble Fina.

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Why the trucked water? Are you on a well? Check the water chemistry. If you have the capacity and it doesn't have iron or is high in calcium, I can't see why you wouldn't use it.

Water trucks by me are usually 6,000 gallons and about $250 each.

@ megankheaps: A 3 head in-floor is not for cleaning, it's for circulation.

I am not a big fan of them in the North East because we Winterize and floor system, especially large ones, are a time sink. Small systems as in marta's proposal are easy to winterize and tend to increase the power consumption of the pump. Wall returns work fine.

I wish Jandy/Zodiac would bring the Ray-Vac back.


RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Sounds like Andrews?
If so, I can give your our comments, mostly good about a 2008 build and what we would have done different.

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Great, yes - this one is Andrews, though we are still considering others (SSG and Environmental). Would love your comments emh8, and any others who may be reading. Thank you! Megankheaps, our pebble tec quote is for approx. $6.50 a square foot. I prefer the pebble sheen colors, but the PB is charging at min $9.50 psf and there are other things I'd rather spend that $$ on!!!! I'm not 100% sold on in-floor, but have heard that it is great for distributing the heat. Speaking of... Scott, one more question: I've been playing with the idea of switching from gas to a heat pump and forgoing the 3 head in-floor - does that sound like a smart move to you since you mention wall returns work fine? I'm concerned about the cost of gas going forward and the switch would almost net it out. Thanks!

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Stick with gas for the heat. At 65 or 70, it'll take a while to heat the spa. You have plenty of nights where a heat pump just can't transfer enough BTUs and I have found people want the spa hot NOW, not in an hour or more.

I would skip the floor system. I just can't see the value.

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Thanks Scott! I know everyone says it, but it is immensely helpful to have pool pros input. Your thoughtful comments make a stressful process easier. Marta

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Funny, I was guessing Andrews too, as they were pushing the in floor systems.

I have heard good and bad about them. But it isn't like they are going to keep leaves off the bottom (right?), so what are they really doing? Our pool has the heat return lines towards the bottom of the pool for the same affect.

As for Pebbletech, make sure it isn't too rough for you, I have heard people say that it is (I have River Rok, which I heard is closer to PebbleSheen in feeling).

Our water (which was included, so I don't have a price) required 3 trucks (at 9k gallons per truck). The water, although it was supposed to be "balanced" was green and took a day of shock and running the filter to clear up. Of course a new gunite pool has taken 2 weeks to balance (not creep up dramatically everyday).

I say make them throw in the LED lights as a negotiation factor.

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Thanks CNR - I do like the river rok and if we end up going with Environmental we'll definitely do the Baja Sand - which is gorgeous! South Shore uses wetedge and I haven't studied that too closely as there aren't too many photos out there. Good feedback on the in-floor, I'm happy to scratch that off the list. If we could just have them throw in the spa as a negotiation factor we'd be all set!!!!

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Now that we have the pool, a few things I wish we did differently.
1. Direct pool filler line from water source. (ours is a private well) During the summer, we have evaporation and need to top off the pool. It is a pain dragging the hose.
2. More lights. They gave us one, and wouldn't do LED. I would put more than one make it LED color changing. Would look great at night.
3. Yes, the Pebble tec looks cool. Yes the Pebble tec is rough on the feet. You get used to it, but guests are confused by it. If pebble sheen is smoother, I would go with it.
4. Make the pool deep enough for diving. Even though you may say no diving, kids will. You don't want any terrible accidents.
5.The deck...We did exposed aggregate too. Looks great, a little rough on the feet to get used to, but I think it is the nicest choice for the long run. It will look good forever. BUT, we expanded what they gave us in the contract, and it really could still be bigger. You want to gather around the pool, have enough room for tables, chairs, and chaises. They nickeled and dimed us to death on the measurements for the deck. Make it bigger than you think you will need.
6. Wish we did a spa. Even though we are not spa people, I think guests really like them, and they complete the backyard oasis theme. We did a small waterfall instead.
What are you doing for a fence?
We have the Jerrith surrounding the pool with 2 gates.
We think they built us a nice pool. It was stressful, though. Expect to go overbudget on it. We went over on the electrical, fence, stone, and gravel. We also spent a lot on landscaping, outdoor furniture and outdoor lighting after the pool was done Also, fill it yourself unless you are on very expensive municipal water. Trucked in water was overpriced, but I think they push it so they can just call the pool totally finished quicker.
Also, we are happy with the in floor system.

RE: Pool/spa specs - Please comment! (Boston area)

Thanks emh8! good input all around. We have an existing fence that we are modifying to get up to code and are replacing the rear property line fence (which is not at code) with one that is and using the existing to fence off the pool from the rest of the yard. It's cedar and in good condition so we're happy to repurpose it. Do you mind if I ask how much you budgeted/paid for electrical and gravel? I'm most concerned about gravel b/c it seems like the PB can really upcharge on that. I think we'll need to spread the landscaping over a couple of years at this point!

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