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HOPbboy

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I am looking to get a swimming pool. I would like input on builders. I live in Cinco SW. Also, any input (pros/cons) on decking and coping would be nice too. I have 2 small children and would like it for recreational purposes. Also, is it any cheaper to build in the winter? Thanks!

Edited by HOPbboy

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I am looking to get a swimming pool. I would like input on builders. I live in Cinco SW. Also, any input (pros/cons) on decking and coping would be nice too. I have 2 small children and would like it for recreational purposes. Also, is it any cheaper to build in the winter? Thanks!

We are in a similar situation and are currently evaluating Platinum Pools, Cascade Pools and our contractor's guy (haven't seen him yet). Platinum pools is the only company I found with a decent website (http://www.platinumpools.com/) that has offerings in various price ranges. Our neighbors used Cascade. It is like buying a car ugh.

Edited by hoef

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We are in a similar situation and are currently evaluating Platinum Pools, Cascade Pools and our contractor's guy (haven't seen him yet). Platinum pools is the only company I found with a decent website (http://www.platinumpools.com/) that has offerings in various price ranges. Our neighbors used Cascade. It is like buying a car ugh.

Platinum Pools built our pool and did a good job. The owner does a Saturday morning radio show on KSEV AM 700 from 11am-12noon. You can listen a few times and learn a lot. www.backyardbay.com

Here are my suggestions:

* Talk to knowledgeable people at a pool store. I suggest TexSun pool on the corner of Westheimer and Mason Rd, behind the Panda Express. They are having a free 2 hour "Pool School" next week. If you've never had a pool you should go to learn more about how to take care of your new swimming pool. You can ask lots of questions without feeling like you are imposing on their regular customers.

* Cinco HOA is VERY particular about plans. Allow 6 - 8 weeks to get your plan approved. Don't be surprised if they turn you down the first time and tell you to make changes.

* Think about total ownership costs. Ask about designing an energy efficient pool. A 2-hp pump running 10 hours per day costs you $60 per month in electricity at 13 cents/kWh. There are new variable speed pumps that use much less energy and pay out in just a few months.

* Think about total maintenance time. I spend about 30 minutes a week taking care of my 20,000 gallon pool for normal maintenance. You need multiple skimmers, auto fill/level control.

* Everyone is crazy for saltwater systems, I think they are a waste of time and money. What they don't tell you is that you will be constantly adding both salt and acid to the system, and the chlorine generator cell has to be replaced every 4-5 years. We use 3" multipurpose tabs and have no problems. You need to monitor a salt system weekly to keep the pH in balance. My pool doesn't require as much monitoring once the chemicals are in balance.

* Electric heat pumps are cheaper to operate than gas fired heaters, but are slower to heat up. They aren't particularly popular in Houston, but they are available. A heat pump extends the swimming season by 1-2 months.

Good luck. I think you will really enjoy pool ownership. I had never had one until I moved into Cinco. Now I'm told I'm somewhat of an expert!

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With 2 small children around, make sure that you get some sort of cover to keep them out of the water when it's not in use.

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Natural stone coping looks nice, but can be rough getting in and out of the water. I recommend "safety coping", the pre-cast raised round edge stuff. Even if you're not looking down when walking around the pool, you'll know when you're close to the edge plus it's easier to grab onto when you're in the water.

Be aware of setbacks and easements on your property. If you're on the edge of a development they can be as much as fourteen feet! We had to buy part of our own yard back from CenterPoint.

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We are in a similar situation and are currently evaluating Platinum Pools, Cascade Pools and our contractor's guy (haven't seen him yet). Platinum pools is the only company I found with a decent website (http://www.platinumpools.com/) that has offerings in various price ranges. Our neighbors used Cascade. It is like buying a car ugh.

HOEF,

Thanks for responding. Keep me posted if you can. PM me and we can exchange e-mail. I am in the process of talking to 7 builders. Maybe we can help each other out?

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Platinum Pools built our pool and did a good job. The owner does a Saturday morning radio show on KSEV AM 700 from 11am-12noon. You can listen a few times and learn a lot. www.backyardbay.com

Here are my suggestions:

* Talk to knowledgeable people at a pool store. I suggest TexSun pool on the corner of Westheimer and Mason Rd, behind the Panda Express. They are having a free 2 hour "Pool School" next week. If you've never had a pool you should go to learn more about how to take care of your new swimming pool. You can ask lots of questions without feeling like you are imposing on their regular customers.

* Cinco HOA is VERY particular about plans. Allow 6 - 8 weeks to get your plan approved. Don't be surprised if they turn you down the first time and tell you to make changes.

* Think about total ownership costs. Ask about designing an energy efficient pool. A 2-hp pump running 10 hours per day costs you $60 per month in electricity at 13 cents/kWh. There are new variable speed pumps that use much less energy and pay out in just a few months.

* Think about total maintenance time. I spend about 30 minutes a week taking care of my 20,000 gallon pool for normal maintenance. You need multiple skimmers, auto fill/level control.

* Everyone is crazy for saltwater systems, I think they are a waste of time and money. What they don't tell you is that you will be constantly adding both salt and acid to the system, and the chlorine generator cell has to be replaced every 4-5 years. We use 3" multipurpose tabs and have no problems. You need to monitor a salt system weekly to keep the pH in balance. My pool doesn't require as much monitoring once the chemicals are in balance.

* Electric heat pumps are cheaper to operate than gas fired heaters, but are slower to heat up. They aren't particularly popular in Houston, but they are available. A heat pump extends the swimming season by 1-2 months.

Good luck. I think you will really enjoy pool ownership. I had never had one until I moved into Cinco. Now I'm told I'm somewhat of an expert!

Thanks King,

Lots of great info. What makes you think HOA is such a prob?? They had my patio cover approved in 1 week. The builders I have been meeting with have never had a problem(so they say)?? I will also check out TexSun and Platinum.

Thanks!!

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If any of you need maintenance and repairs on your pools once they're in, I know a great guy. My brother lives off S. Mason in Katy and has been doing pools for nearly 15 years now.

Mike King. 713 504 5106. Tell him his sister sent you.

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Thanks King,

Lots of great info. What makes you think HOA is such a prob?? They had my patio cover approved in 1 week. The builders I have been meeting with have never had a problem(so they say)?? I will also check out TexSun and Platinum.

Thanks!!

First, the HOA board that approves such things meets less frequently in the summer. At least when we built our pool we were required to submit the plans along with a survey. Our pool designer drew the pool just slightly over a utility easement. I didn't see the drawing before it went out. So we had to resubmit. It wasn't a big deal, it just took a little extra time.

I've talked to other homeowners who said they had similar problems. Last year I filed to put solar screens on the West facing windows and got it back in about 2 weeks.

I don't know that TexSun builds pools, but they do maintenance work. They are very patient with pool owners and can answer any questions you might have. Platinum moved its showroom to the corner of Westheimer and Beltway 8.

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On 6/21/2009 at 1:01 PM, HOPbboy said:

I am looking to get a swimming pool. I would like input on builders. I live in Cinco SW. Also, any input (pros/cons) on decking and coping would be nice too. I have 2 small children and would like it for recreational purposes. Also, is it any cheaper to build in the winter? Thanks!

Hi! I wish you well. Any luck in finding a pool builder? I can recommend you a builder (https://www.pooldeckresurfacinghouston.com/) from Katy that can offer you neat pool decking options.  Check them out!

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