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Old 05-30-2020, 07:59 AM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,474 posts, read 42,626,775 times
Reputation: 75886

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Omg hi Kathryn, I remember you from years ago on these forums! I hope you are doing well.
Thank you and yes, I remember you too! I am doing well, finally - my husband and I lost all four of our parents in five years, along with my brother to pancreatic cancer (and he was younger than me too). But we've gotten past all that and we bought a new house last October, in part because the other house was "full of ghosts" per se - we had had a long, hard time in that house due to all those deaths and all that drama.

We bought this house mainly because the back yard was perfect for a pool and we have been really enjoying that pool too! Other than the pandemic, which hasn't affected us health wise thank goodness - we're doing well, thank you!

The new house and the pool have both been like a new lease on life.

How have you been????
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Old 05-30-2020, 08:40 AM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,474 posts, read 42,626,775 times
Reputation: 75886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman1 View Post
Captain & Kathryn; Thanks for all your hard work documenting your pool builds. Looks as if you weather's not cooperated this year, and it's taken longer than normal to build your pool. Fortunately you're able to swim so early, as the backlog of pending pool builds this year is long. One pool contractor said we'd be lucky to get our pool before August with him.

Well, my fiberglass pool was installed in 1 1/2 days, and then the job slowed down. My pool installer is supposed to be here tomorrow to finish up my pool. We bought our pool from a pool store, and the installer is a subcontractor. The pool store's owner installed the bullnose brick coping on the pool ($4K). Then I had to find an electrician used to installing pool electrics and bonded grounds--no big deal. A concrete contractor then came in after the electrical inspection and did his thing.

I was going to build a large deck off the back of a 38' screen porch, but decided to go 20' of concrete from the house to the pool. We went with 4' walkway on the back of the pool and 8' decks on each end of the pool. There went my Cororvid $.

We ended up with a small mountain of dirt, and paid the installer to prepare the yard for sodding. He got busy on other jobs and put the final excavation on the back burner. We'll be going round and round about that tomorrow.

I have had a couple of issues making me wonder about the intelligence of workers. When the coping was grouted with mortar, they cleaned their floats in the pool--leaving a thick layer of sand in the pool bottom. Then quite a bit of flat pack gravel ended up in the pool when the installers backfilled around the pool with a skidsteer loader. And one of the two PVC pipes in the skimmer got impacted with rock when they were backfilling. My pump quit working and I filed a warranty claim. An authorized Jandy pool company came out today and disassembled my pump that was found jammed with mortar/sand and a few pieces of gravel. I had to pay them for their time.

We are very thrilled with the fiberglass pool that we special ordered. Fiberglass pools are not all created equal, and our pool is supposedly the top of the line. We got the model that has a shelf on one end, and it's 5' deep everywhere. Our installer only installs fiberglass pools, and he's as busy as possible. He does install vinyl liners, but no longer installs vinyl liner pools. My pool store's owner installs very custom gunite pools in incredibly expensive homes, and he builds splash pads in city parks in 3 states. He recently built a 40' x 40' gunite pool with an infinity edge overlooking a major lake. Another pool installed with walls and waterfalls were $280K--looking like the pools seen on HGTV.

We have a new generation 1.85 hp variable speed pump running 220 volts, as is the matching saltwater generator. We were shocked at the cost of the multi color LED light. Around here 2/3 of all pools are saltwater. It's kind on the skin, and doesn't burn eyes or taste. The deal is that the saltwater generator takes the saltwater and turns it into a low level of chlorine to keep the pool clean and the algae low. You just monitor a LED panel and add a little salt from time to time. That's it to maintenance other than emptying the filter in the skimmer and the filter on the pump head.

I brought my hot tub over from our last house, and have yet to install it. Instead of a pergola, I'm going to install a substantial gazebo with a metal roof sitting on a concrete pad. That'll be stage 2 of the project. It's going to first look like a carport, but I'm going to wall up half of it for lawn equipment storage. The problem with hot tubs is that they require very heavy gauge wiring, and it's not uncommon to spend $2K+ for the GFI and wiring. I do my own wiring.

I'm glad you guys are up and running and prepared for your quarantine. We too have been locked down, but have not really had time (after moving) to go out anywhere much. I'm also fortunate to have a 16,000 acre swimming pool in the front yard of a lake house an hour from home, and it's a high maintenance place where we spend weekends. Have a great Summer.
Sounds like things are rocking right along for you - it will all get there!

Just to clarify, they started digging our pool February 26 and we were completely done with the pool by April 11. So that's six weeks. That includes the coping/patio and hot tub and pergola. The sod and septic system and all the rest of the yard was completed the following week. If we'd wanted to heat the water, we could have started swimming by the middle of April but we ended up only heating it a few degrees in May and were in it by around May 10th. We've swam in it every day except when it was raining since then! (I think we've missed maybe three days.)

The weather here has been fabulous overall. Texas tends to have beautiful spring weather, which is nice since it's hot from about the middle of June through September, though I don't really consider temps in the 80s to be particularly hot and that's what's forecast here for the first week in June (have to wait and see past that!). But to me, sunny weather in the 80s is absolutely perfect for swimming. I figure that same applies for temps in the 90s but I have a feeling we will be glad we added the water features to help keep the water cool, by July and August! Hope it keeps things cool enough. To me, water temps in the 80s feels good. When it's 100 degrees in August, I'm not sure how all that will play out. We added a heater but we didn't add a chiller.

Anyway, I really am fine with it taking seven weeks from start to finish. That doesn't seem excessive to me for such a big outdoor construction project (pool, pergola, septic system, sprinkler system, sodding and landscaping, and all the electrical and gas lines for all that as well). We added a LOT of extra patio, a retaining wall, etc. and also completely redid our septic system and sprinkler system, and then sodded and added landscaping (about 30 wax myrtles for one thing! - YIKES!). Our pergola is anchored into the soil beneath the extra pad we added for the hot tub, which makes it very sturdy. It's made of siding, not real wood, so it should last a very long time. The pool/patio guys had to coordinate with the electricians, gas line folks, hot tub company and pergola builders but it all went very smoothly.

We've had a little bit of drama - for instance our hot tub has given us a little trouble but it was under warranty and the part is ordered (one of the pumps is not working well). I fell in the pool the other day - that was dramatic! But otherwise everything seems great. We did find some random big screw in the bottom of a skimmer just a couple of days ago and I have no idea where that came from but everything seems to be fine! LOL The pool installer is supposed to come out to look everything over but I'm pretty sure it was just something left over from someone somewhere, who knows...

Around here nearly all the pools are chlorine now. Saltwater had it's day but turns out it can be really hard on equipment (not to mention lawns if the pool flooded) so it's out of favor here. May have something to do with weather, I don't know. Anyway, we are very happy with the chlorine system though like I've said, I think pool types vary a lot and all have their pros and cons. I don't notice any odor or skin issues. The biggest con I can see for our gunite and chlorine system is the original COST. And of course the timing was awful - "Yes, we'll take a pandemic and a 70 percent cut in pay while we write gigantic checks every week for seven weeks! And thank you!" Ugh. That sucked. But now it's done and we're OK. We had the money already set aside and we've found out we can make it otherwise so it's all good.

Since the pool company is so close, it's easy for us to just take a sample of water in once a week - we could test it ourselves but I like their system because they give us a print out of the water quality and what we need to add. We typically add two small bags of shock, a few chlorine tablets, 6 ounces of anti algae stuff, and sometimes 1/4 to 1/2 a gallon of muriatic acid once a week. We can't swim for about an hour after adding all that. But I like that the pool company prints out the info on exactly what we have to add and we just come home and add it. We have an 18,000 gallon pool.

That's part of the total cost. The pool company told us that overall, we can expect to pay about $100 more per month for the pool - $1200 a year. That's between the increase in electrical costs and the maintenance. So far they've been right. Of course that's an average - costs will be higher in the summer and lower in the winter because we won't be swimming in the winter. I don't mind heating the pool up a few degrees but I do not want to heat it 20 degrees - or 40 degrees! LOL so we do not plan on swimming for about six months out of the year.

To make matters even more crunk, RIGHT before the pandemic, around the middle of February, we ordered $5500 of outdoor lawn furniture! And of course paid most of it right then. Of course, because everything was fine, right? Well, not only did the pandemic hit, it shut down the furniture manufacturer, so we waited...and waited...and waited...for some of that furniture. But now it's all in as well.

Spring 2020 - weirdest time of my life, that's for sure. I think things are looking up though. Knock on wood!

Last edited by KathrynAragon; 05-30-2020 at 09:13 AM..
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Huntsville Area
1,956 posts, read 601,121 times
Reputation: 2998
Kathryn: We're getting tired of looking at 40' mud pits on each end of our pool, and the installer was paid to do final excavation--a 2 hour project. He was a no show Saturday after he promised to be here yesterday morning to get my impacted pump going.

I sucked more gravel and sand (from the coping grout) that again stopped my pump. I've now know how to disassemble the pump and it's back going. I'm considering picking up a couple of air tanks at the local dive shop, and manually picking up any gravel remaining in the pool. You know, that's not my job.

I'm getting the wife to the brick dealership to approve my pick in a stackable block wall--3 courses across the back of the pool. Stacking 120 blocks shouldn't be too difficult if she gets at the job.

And I'm probably going to rent a tractor/loader with a landscape box blade on it this week to move dirt around. I've got to have small ditches cut to drain away any rain water from the concrete decks. Fortunately sod farms are all around us, and I'm going with zoysia--a much slower growing grass than the Bermuda in our neighborhood.

I'm glad you're now up and running with your pool. Our 8 year old granddaughter was in the pool today, even though the water wasn't ready chemically. She and her brother will love it.

Unless the installer gets us up and running, I'm going to enjoy speaking the truth on the internet about my bad experience with him. Thankfully, I am capable of running tractors and laying sod to complete the job. Then I'll start building a somewhat large hot tub gazebo which will eventually be half walled to store all my pool stuff and lawnmowers.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:13 AM
 
Location: NJ
27,786 posts, read 32,983,069 times
Reputation: 19859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman1 View Post
We got the model that has a shelf on one end, and it's 5' deep everywhere.
that sounds like what i would have preferred.

we have a birthday party saturday and unfortunately we couldnt swim but some kids did stand on the top step. my complaints of the pool company dont really amount to a BBB complaint or really anything to demand at this time because we are pretty much done and they have ultimately come through with their promises. i was just really annoyed last week when i got canceled on and then they were going to be 3 hours late the next day.

btw, i set up the solar cover yesterday morning and put it on the pool. when i checked it at night the pool was very warm. so that seems like its going to work out great. my pool does get a lot of sun on it.
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Old 06-01-2020, 01:34 PM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,474 posts, read 42,626,775 times
Reputation: 75886
I am really, really sorry that you, Captain and Bamaman, are having difficulties with your pools. It's about that time, and I hope both of you can enjoy them very soon! As well as your back yards.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:41 AM
 
Location: NJ
27,786 posts, read 32,983,069 times
Reputation: 19859
ok, pool is clean and swimmable. im not sure if there is an issue with the heater. we havent run it yet but the pressure gauge says zero on it. the inspector failed it because of that. pool guy the other day said the gauge itself should be removed. i dont know.

anyway, i put the solar cover back on last night. temperature was 73 this morning, ill report what the temperature is tonight to see how successful the solar cover was.

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Old 06-03-2020, 07:52 AM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,474 posts, read 42,626,775 times
Reputation: 75886
That is looking good, CaptainNJ!

Someone came out and put the big screw we found back into the filter pump somewhere. It never was "not working" and I think this is one of five screws in one part but still...glad they fixed it.

I have discovered something - it's not fun to get in the pool right now when the sun isn't shining. Even with water temps in the low 80s I get chilly when it's not sunny. Yesterday was overcast but today looks good and the forecast is looking really good for the next few days so I plan to be in that pool a lot!

I am absolutely loving it.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:58 AM
 
Location: NJ
27,786 posts, read 32,983,069 times
Reputation: 19859
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
That is looking good, CaptainNJ!

Someone came out and put the big screw we found back into the filter pump somewhere. It never was "not working" and I think this is one of five screws in one part but still...glad they fixed it.

I have discovered something - it's not fun to get in the pool right now when the sun isn't shining. Even with water temps in the low 80s I get chilly when it's not sunny. Yesterday was overcast but today looks good and the forecast is looking really good for the next few days so I plan to be in that pool a lot!

I am absolutely loving it.
definitely need the pool to be super warm if the outside is cool. im hoping that the solar cover will help me keep it very warm (im thinking 90ish but im not sure) without much need to use the heater.

the coronavirus apocalypse definitely allows for a lot of pool time. now my wife has signed us up to host a 4th of july party and another party in august. she hasnt sent out august party invites yet but there is mixed response on the 4th of july of people who are afraid of coronavirus and those that jumped right on the invite. thats ok, i dont need 50 people over.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:37 AM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Wonderland
54,474 posts, read 42,626,775 times
Reputation: 75886
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
definitely need the pool to be super warm if the outside is cool. im hoping that the solar cover will help me keep it very warm (im thinking 90ish but im not sure) without much need to use the heater.

the coronavirus apocalypse definitely allows for a lot of pool time. now my wife has signed us up to host a 4th of july party and another party in august. she hasnt sent out august party invites yet but there is mixed response on the 4th of july of people who are afraid of coronavirus and those that jumped right on the invite. thats ok, i dont need 50 people over.
Amen to all that. I have begun having a few people over at a time in the late afternoons. I like to keep things small anyway. I would like to invite some neighbors over but dang it, most of our neighbors know each other and many of them have several little kids and I just don't want all that commotion and carrying on!

My husband and I say this about ourselves - we're good people but we're not sweet people. LOL I have a short tolerance level for a lot of little kids running around. Been there done that. Now I realize why younger parents help with vacation bible school. It seems like sheer hell to me now, and when my kids were little I was all about helping every summer! What the heck.

We've had a very low rate of COVID 19 in our area so people seem more relaxed about it but I still don't want to have any big parties - I mean, I never wanted to but now I REALLY don't want to!

We turned our heater on for a few days in April and I think we are going to get the bill today. Should be interesting!

Temps are staying in the low 80s so far in our pool (the outside temps are in the upper 80s here now). That's pretty perfect - when the sun is out. It's still sort of chilly to me when it's overcast. I mean, the water feels good but for instance, floating around on a float is chilly. I guess because most of me is out of the water but wet. The sun is warm but it's like the air gets cooler when it goes behind a cloud.
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:45 AM
 
Location: NJ
27,786 posts, read 32,983,069 times
Reputation: 19859
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Amen to all that. I have begun having a few people over at a time in the late afternoons. I like to keep things small anyway. I would like to invite some neighbors over but dang it, most of our neighbors know each other and many of them have several little kids and I just don't want all that commotion and carrying on!

My husband and I say this about ourselves - we're good people but we're not sweet people. LOL I have a short tolerance level for a lot of little kids running around. Been there done that. Now I realize why younger parents help with vacation bible school. It seems like sheer hell to me now, and when my kids were little I was all about helping every summer! What the heck.

We've had a very low rate of COVID 19 in our area so people seem more relaxed about it but I still don't want to have any big parties - I mean, I never wanted to but now I REALLY don't want to!
my wife wants big parties but is also pretty psycho when it comes to things being clean and organized. she tends to go super nuts the morning of a party, mostly good during and after depends on the condition left behind. i dont really want big parties period, 30 max is good for me.

one local couple thats been on strict lockdown came over the weekend before last. two days later my wife gets a text "do any of the kids have chicken pox?" their daughter has health issues and the mom thought she spotted some chicken pox on her. it was a false alarm but im guessing they may go back into lockdown. they didnt come around last weekend when they were invited.

i guess as you get further from dealing with small children, your tolerance goes down. kids can run around and scream and they dont bother me. we were in the kitchen this weekend and some kids came to play hide and seek and my dad was telling them that kids arent allowed and then started yelling "their hiding in here!" he seems to have lost sight of the line between being a normal person and being a total jerk sometimes. im not really sure why he thinks that is acceptable behavior.
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