101 on Building Pools
I have built several pools, and all of them have been headaches. I don't know if it is the trade contractors, or if my specs are difficult, but I have never made it through the process without a great deal of handholding.
Pools, and water, add magic to a home. It is one of Legorreta's trademark materials, and no resort home would be the same without a resort pool.
So the headaches, in the end, are worth it. I have learned a few things along the way. Here's some of what I know:
Install a little meter on the makeup water line. You will lose roughly 0.5 to 0.75 inch per day from evaporation, any more than that--you have a leak. 7.82 gallons to the cubic foot, or 1 gallon from 200 SF of pool surface area.DEL Industries is one favorite.
The big things to understand are how quickly you need to bring pool temp up, what the turnover is--usually <4 hours for a residential pool, and flow rate and flow rate changes through the different elements [fountains, waterfalls, spa, main drain, infinite edge, etc.)
Infinite edges seem to be a part of all the pools I have done. The architectural appeal is significant, and the way you can get the layering of different materials at certain vantage points.
Tip: if you use a floating cover with an infinite edge, you need to reverse the angle on the infinite edge to trap to cover when the cover is closed.
Rule of thumb, you need 5gal/min flowrate per LF of infinite edge to maintain 0.125" of water over the weir. Nothing worse than an infinite edge that shows high spots at the weir edge.
Finishes-- your choices are plaster, tile, or a plaster modified with crystals or aggregate such as 3M Quartz, Pebble Sheen or Gem Sheen.
Plaster is the most economical pool finish and should last 15 to 25 years if the substrate, and the bond to the substrate, were good. Keep your plaster a light tint. The bleaching from the pool chemicals that inevitably happens looks worse on a dark colored pool.
If your preference is for a dark color pool, use tile, or a dark aggregate mix-in.
I used a glass mosaic tile on the pool in these photos, to match the color of the ocean off of Hawaii.
Saving energy is a big concern of pool owners. When I have the budget, I specify the Hydralux cover from Aquamatic in Gilroy, CA. 95% of the heat is lost through the water surface, and the Hydralux cover is a floating segmented cover that stops a larger percentage of this heat loss. They also offer a floating solar cover, that allows the irradiance from the sun to pass through this cover and trap it in the pool. This does not meet spec as a safety cover, so you will still need the fence.
The other way is to install a solar thermal system that loops through the pool pumps. My rule of thumb is that I get an extra month on either end of the season here in Northern California without using a lot of gas.