We've been planning a pool for over a year — a lot longer in many ways (as Casie bought me the book The New American Swimming Pool over 10 years ago)... but we're getting closer.
Since this is an ever evolving project, check other updates on the page or search "pool" in the search field.
We're now looking at a 8x12x48in "plunge pool" (as the Australians call it). The hope is to install it half way in-ground with a low (12-16in) platform surrounding it.
I've done some drawings for both the pool, plumbing and the deck. Take a look. Again, if you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them. One thing we're contemplating now is an integrated safety cover with tracks between the pool top (vinyl liner bead holder) and the underside of the surrounding decking. This would be a much better installation than a safety cover that stretched over the top and secured with bungee-like cords.
The plan is to use a pump/filter and heater for a small in-ground pool which will hopefully give us a bit more options for placement and future expansion for things like a solar heater. We hope to put the equipment in the boiler room adjacent to the area so some options are limited. For instance, if we ever add a heater, we'll likely have to go with an electric heater because of venting, clearance and supply issues with gas.
I've narrowed the search down to a few vendors — each with their own angle and pros/cons.
Our list of vendors has been narrowed, each with pros/cons:
- Kafko Pools:Steel wall / Vinyl lined. (8x10 or 8x12) Like the Medallion above, but with the ability to go to 48in. The sides will need bracing, however... fortunately, they ship from Sacramento.
- Medallion Pools SwimSpa:Steel wall / Vinyl lined. (8x10 or 8x12). (8/11) Come to find out, they, too, can make most any sized pool -- and with aluminum walls. The walls of their Ultra-Spa, though are only 42in high which gives a water height of about 3.5 feet... a bit shallow, but his pool can be installed without bracing which will make digging easier... Shipping is from the east coast, which is a bummer.
- Radiant Pools:Insulated aluminum wall / Vinyl lined. (8x10 or 8x12) This could be a nice option as the walls are insulated and the walls can be quite a bit deeper at 54in... but they can do 42, 48 and 54...
- EZPanel:Aluminum wall / Vinyl lined. (9x13) This is a really ingenious system and I like that it is aluminum. However, at a 9x13 fixed size, it's a bit larger than we need. It also requires bracing and this plus the extra width might be prohibitive...
- EndlessPools WaterWell: Steel wall / Vinyl lined. This is perhaps the most modular (or at least the easiest to configure via their online system), but it's prohibitively expensive and comes with a fixed equipment package that I fear is too small for the pool (5.5kW heater and very small pump). They have variable wall height and a lot of the extras we'd want, though...
- Robert's Hot Tubs:Cedar tub. (10ft diameter) This is where the idea started and one I'm still really drawn to because of it's "classic" nature. However, if buried, it would need to go in a pit with retaining walls which would add to the toil and cost (if I could find a 12ft galvanized stock tank to sink into the ground, I'd be set). It's also likely the most expensive option and has limited plumbing options as all ports needs to be 6in or narrower to be able to fit through a single stave (which almost kills the idea of a much-needed skimmer). Deck boards would also be more difficult to cut...
Here's an alternate idea for a bench and stairs (made of teak or ipe). It could be easier/cleaner than fitting a liner around stairs... or even easier, a plain pool with a teak bench and stairs.
Here's the plan for the deck. Presently it's sized for an 8x12 spa, but could be configured to accommodate 8x14 or a 9-10 foot diameter tank:
And we wouldn't be designers if we didn't prototype this, right? Presently, I'm letting the grass die off, so please forgive that, but behold our inflatable prototype. The interior diameter is about 9ft and it's about 18in deep. It really helped in getting a sense of how big a 10ft tank would be and at 3X this depth, we imagine it to be quite a nice size.