New Pool blow by blow

Any thing to do with swimming pools, fish ponds, or other man made structures which hold water (but not wells for drinking water).

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New Pool blow by blow

Postby thaimic » Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:46 am

I have a 4x8 m pool being built, 2/3 completed. Thought I'd share the experience with all at this great website. (Kudos and much Aloha to Dozer for putting this site up/maintaining it.)
I considered doing it myself, after experienced the typical broken promises/unfimished project type of experiences with Thai construction companies/workers. I did all the research, including brushing up on the engineering knowledge required-load calculation, types of rebar, concrete, etc. It all sounded easily doable. Then started talking to Farangs who did it themselves, learned the multitude of expensive after problems one can have, with no recourse but bite the bullet. I am not easily put off by much, but put off I was.
I then started talking to Pool Construction companies. Prices were all over the scale, from B12k/sq meter to B40k/sq meter. Found one farang pool/construction company that said it had built more than 1000 pools in Pattaya, came within millimeters of signing a contract for B15k per square meter. I asked about the company guaranteeing to fix any damage they did to my property- cracking/chipping flagstone driveway, stone wall, for examples. They absolutely would not! I was amazed, a terrible picture forming in my head of workers/macro operators wreaking havoc with free abandon, knowing they were without liability! Needless to say, I looked for another company.
I settled on a Thai Pool company with more than 5 years experience building pools all over Thailand. A family business, the owner sat down with us for many hours, not only answering all my questions openly an honestly, but happy to have a customer who wanted to know everything. He disclosed how much of each type of material was needed, including rebar, cement. He explained many things that allowed us to make intelligent decisions about design, quality, and costs. He guaranteed his company would fix anything they broke/cracked/chipped/dented/marred, etc. All was then laid out in a contract, one version in English, one in Thai.
They started the project on the agreed upon date, arriving with the macro, and a crew of 12 workers and a foreman. (The foremen have a different colored uniform than the workers, which I liked. A small thing, yet it showed planning and vision, something that can really be lacking here.)
It was to be a no more than 2 month job, with penalties for late completion. Looks like it will finish well early, though we have had quite a bit of unseasonable rain during critical phases. The workers have been pleasant, showing up daily with a proper work ethic. Many days they have worked for more than twelve hours, to make up for previous rain delays, with no goading from me. The foremen have been attentive, friendly, and respectful.
In all, it has been as delightful an experience as can be, I must say.
Here's how the project has gone, step by step: (Note-I didn't keep a journal, so the chronology is as best as my sieve-like brain can recall)
Day 1-macro/workers move a large boulder stone wall, large palm tree, long jasmine bush, and several varied mid size bushes and palms;dig out the pool hole, which included jackhammer work for about 15% of the pool area; the dirt was placed in many locations as per our exact instructions.
Day 2- materials arriving-cement, rebar, lumber and cement block (non-hollow) for forms, etc; workers shape/smooth the excavation, prepping for forms; pipes laid in place for water and electrical.
Day 3-5- cement blocks laid for outer forms, wood inner forms built.
Day 6- cement poured. (You know you're dealing with a respected construction company here when the cement trucks arrive on schedule)
From day 7 onward I have been away for some of the time. Summarizing in chronological order what has been done over the last 3 weeks-solid bricks added to top outer/inner edges for straight edging; inside of pool plastered for waterproofing and smoothness; tiles laid (as of today 99% done, doing the smaller odd sizes today); pump house built; all piping laid in place.
Yet to do: sandstone finish to top of pool, 1 meter walkway around pool, and walkway to outdoor shower connected to pumhouse; filter system installed; electrical wiring to main power; water piping connected to source; stone wall replaced; trees/shrubbery replaced into position; new sod laid; pool filled with water; testing of water, chemical balance optimized. I apologize if I've omitted anything, not done purposely.
A note on filter systems. We're going with an Onga sand filter system. Sand filters seem to be the standard in Thailand. I thought about Diatomaceous earth, and ionization, ozonator systems. But equipping. resupplying in Thailand seemed to be problematic. Sand filters are easy to maintain, cost effective, and easily serviced here.
When everything is completed, I will be installing solar for power for 100% of the pools needs, keeping the grid power for backup. Long term solar easily pays for itself, and it's good to do a small part for Thailand to help it not become so energy hungry as Europe and America.
I have about 20 pics of the stages of progress for the pool, but will wait to be asked to post them, not wanting to clutter this site needlessly.
It really has been a smooth process dealing with this company. The owner and foremen are people of integrity, have kept their word 100% of the time, always been polite and respectful. I have absolutely no financial ties of any kind with them, yet would be glad to recommend them anytime, to anyone.
I would be happy to answer any question about my experience to anyone pondering having a pool built.
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swimming pool construction

Postby cruzing » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:41 pm

More info on the sand filtration system would be nice. Also, what was the cost quoted for finished pool? Name of company and location also appreciated.

Also, are you tiling the whole inside of the pool or adding finely crushed marble or whatever for a smooth finish.

Thanks,
Cruzing
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Pool queries

Postby thaimic » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:11 am

Cruzing,
The inside of the pool is being tiled as we speak. I considered the more expensive "ceramic" tiles, nicer finishes, colors. But the cheapest tiles have a longer life, I was told by several companies. 5 years without service needs for the cheaper tile, 2 years for the "fancier". Service free sounded better to me.
I forgot to mention the pool, (makes a huge difference in construction and price-depth of the pool), at 4x8 meters, is 1.5 - 2 meters deep. The sand filter system is made by Onga, an Australian company. The pool company uses Onga because of the reliability, and easy availability for parts, etc. The model is the "Leisure Time" LPT 550.
Their standard pool has a 45 cm border around the pool, cement with "sandwash" or small riverstone finish. We added another meter to fit the famous Paddy O'Furniture. I also forgot to say that, thanks to the advice at this site, we are adding an ozonator. I like the idea of less chlorine in my eyes/on my skin/scent in the air.
We had many bids from many companies, as mentioned we went with Pools D'sign because of our confidence with them, the time the owner took to explain everything, his direct, honest business style. Indeed, as we tried to get more of a discount, he explaind in complete detail, the cost of all materials used. Said he could reduce the price more if we chose things like smaller, or non-solid rebar, cheaper grades of cement. (They operate, as most pool companies do, on a 20% profit margin. So when you get really cheap bids, know that the discount probably comes out of the quality of the materials in your pool. If cheap and quick is the goal, get the lowest price. But if quality and a reliable service free pool is your goal, pay for the solid rebar, best grades of cement.) They were, coincidentally, at the lower end of the middle priced bids. The price was B600,000. The company, Pools D'sign, 038-255-999 is on the west side of Sukhumvit Road, at 111/1 Sukhumvit, Jomtien, approximately 3-4 kilometers soutn of Lotus/Tesco South Pattaya. Owner is Khun Bop, American contractor who oversees all jobs for Farang is Jim, 09-098-7145.
A few more weeks and mine is finished. Can hardly wait for that first swim!
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pool construction

Postby dozer » Tue Dec 13, 2005 9:13 pm

thaimic - thanks for the post. Please either post some pictures here or send them along and I'll put them up on the blog. If you have a lot send them to me with a written commentary and I'll put it on the blog. There has been a lot of back and forth about pools, so it is interesting to get the blow by blow while it is being done.

I see the price of 600,000baht which works out to 18,750 per square meter for 4 * 8 pool, correct?
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Postby thaimic » Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:35 am

Dozer-I have 27 pics so far, and will continue to take one a day till pool's done. In the end I'll have 40, or so. Might I suggest waiting a few weeks till project's finished, then I'll send you all, let you post what you deem appropriate? I'll leave that decision up to you, can send them immediately if you wish. As for the price of the pool, your math is sound. The factors that brought the per sq meter average up were as follows: the depth caused a large jump in the price, since the extra volume adds serious weight, which requires a great deal more strength. That translates into a lot more steel and concrete, which, when using the best quality, accounts for the majority of the price. An extra meter of walkway around the pool was added; we are adding a seperate power subpanel, with lines buried underground, the distance requiring about 200 meters of piping/wiring/excavation/refill; a 40% larger pumphouse to double as an outdoor tool shed was added; 100 meters of underground water pipe connecting to our well will be put in, the large distance and excavation/filling/relandscaping costing more; an outdoor shower/drain was additional; stainless steel ladder for the deep end was a bit more, too.
(Laughingly, I just remembered my incredulity when the Farang pool company I almost signed with informed me that they did not connect their filter system to main power, felt it wasn't their job! In dealing with them, their continued attitude was inflexible-not having any liability for damage they caused, not doing electrical, not wanting to move trees or other obstacles, unless perhaps for a price, only warrantying the pool for 1 year. In stark contrast, Pools D'sign have been completely flexible, are warrantying the pool for 2 years, have always had a "can do" attitude about anything extra we wanted.)
Anyone who has ever lived the nightmare that a structure problem with an existing pool is, will understand why I chose to pay a bit more for better quality.
Dozer, keep on keepin on, and (quoting Chief Dan George)..endeavor to persevere.
M
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Re: Pool queries

Postby cruzing » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:56 am

thaimic wrote:Cruzing,
The inside of the pool is being tiled as we speak. I considered the more expensive "ceramic" tiles, nicer finishes, colors. But the cheapest tiles have a longer life, I was told by several companies. 5 years without service needs for the cheaper tile, 2 years for the "fancier". Service free sounded better to me.
I forgot to mention the pool, (makes a huge difference in construction and price-depth of the pool), at 4x8 meters, is 1.5 - 2 meters deep. The sand filter system is made by Onga, an Australian company. The pool company uses Onga because of the reliability, and easy availability for parts, etc. The model is the "Leisure Time" LPT 550.
Their standard pool has a 45 cm border around the pool, cement with "sandwash" or small riverstone finish. We added another meter to fit the famous Paddy O'Furniture. I also forgot to say that, thanks to the advice at this site, we are adding an ozonator. I like the idea of less chlorine in my eyes/on my skin/scent in the air.
We had many bids from many companies, as mentioned we went with Pools D'sign because of our confidence with them, the time the owner took to explain everything, his direct, honest business style. Indeed, as we tried to get more of a discount, he explaind in complete detail, the cost of all materials used. Said he could reduce the price more if we chose things like smaller, or non-solid rebar, cheaper grades of cement. (They operate, as most pool companies do, on a 20% profit margin. So when you get really cheap bids, know that the discount probably comes out of the quality of the materials in your pool. If cheap and quick is the goal, get the lowest price. But if quality and a reliable service free pool is your goal, pay for the solid rebar, best grades of cement.) They were, coincidentally, at the lower end of the middle priced bids. The price was B600,000. The company, Pools D'sign, 038-255-999 is on the west side of Sukhumvit Road, at 111/1 Sukhumvit, Jomtien, approximately 3-4 kilometers soutn of Lotus/Tesco South Pattaya. Owner is Khun Bop, American contractor who oversees all jobs for Farang is Jim, 09-098-7145.
A few more weeks and mine is finished. Can hardly wait for that first swim!


Thanks for the information. The place is not too far from my house so will look for them next time I pass that way.

Looking forward to seeing the pictures.

Cruzing
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Postby dozer » Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:14 am

thaimic wrote:Dozer-I have 27 pics so far, and will continue to take one a day till pool's done. In the end I'll have 40, or so. Might I suggest waiting a few weeks till project's finished
M

Yes, it sounds like a brilliant idea - let's wait until the end. If you can send the pics with a small description of each step, I will post it on the main site for all who are interested in doing a pool to see.

Also, please continue posting progress reports here!

As as side note. I also recently had the same experience with a 'farang' vs. 'thai' company for another type of development (not a pool). The farang in this case was friendly enough but didn't have the experience of the thai company
dozer
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Postby sateef » Wed May 10, 2006 10:37 am

did you happen to notice the thickness of the concrete and the amount of steel used?
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swimming pool contractor

Postby cruzing » Wed May 10, 2006 9:33 pm

Khun Thaimic,

You said the name of the company is Pools D'Sign, but the address looks the same (seems like about the same area to) as JD Pools. Is the Mu number different? JD Pools is 111/1 Mu 12. Where in relation to JD Pools is the company you used?

Thanks,
Cruzing
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and the rest...?

Postby jazzman » Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:58 pm

Did this thread just die a natural death in May last year or has a chunk of the forum accidentally got deleted. What happened to the promised pix?

Pool construction isa very hot subject right now in Udon - any information would help.
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Re: and the rest...?

Postby johnleepbs » Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:40 am

jazzman wrote:Did this thread just die a natural death in May last year or has a chunk of the forum accidentally got deleted. What happened to the promised pix?

Pool construction isa very hot subject right now in Udon - any information would help.


Hot subject..very droll :D

See you next time Jazzman..

John
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pool pics

Postby thaimic » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:06 pm

My apologies to all, thought this site died, as I tried unsuccessfully to find it several times about a year ago. I've lost my progress pics after 2 hard disks died, alas. I've posted finished pics in the albums. All in all, the builder did a great job, finished within days of schedule, in spite of many rained out days. A great pool, not fancy, but very sturdy. The company also does pools in Issan, works out of his Surin office.
For DIY ers, CPAC now makes and sells an ICF block here in LOS, which is cheap, ( last week was 24 baht per), easy to use, and makes an up to 4 times stronger cement pool, or building. I am about to have a sound studio built with it, great strength, durability, soundproof, and thermal resistance properties. If you've not researched ICF's, do so, the internet is a treaure trove of info on this marvelous building product.
Cruzing, address is the same you listed, 111/1 Moo 12 Sukhumvit. I don't know anything about JD Pools, all the contracts, reciepts I have say Pools D'Sign Co LTD. 038-706-199, Khun Pop is the owner.
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Postby jazzman » Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:40 pm

Welcome back to the forum Thaimic and congratulations on being the first (non admin) member to post an album on this new feature

Thaimic's pix can be seen here: http://coolthaihouse.com/cthpics/profile.php?uid=75
How to build a $20,000 / £14,000 house and a $???? MOTEL Updated 21 March 09 - with BOQ and costs
Don't let this happen in YOUR house.
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Postby dozer » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:08 pm

Yes, I have to second that and thanks a lot thaimic for posting to the picture gallery. I'm still doing beta testing and tweaking some stuff, Jazzman has helped test it extensively, and I would encourage all to post there (if you have only a couple of photos, just post to the forum). (this being a bit off topic I'll return to the pool discussion).

The news about ICF blocks is also good. http://www.forms.org/index.php?act=typesoficf1I was trying to locate dry stack blocks like Haener Blocks but all I could find was the smaller dry stack red bricks. Does the above link reference the same as is available here?
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Postby thaimic » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:28 am

Dozer,
I don't know about the link you posted, have tried ten times, get a timed out msg each time, though can get anywhere else on the web. Haven't seen the Haener's here. A German company called Neopor has an aerated lightweight concrete block that is now made in Bangkok, because of the Tsunami, I guess. They mix an expanded polystyrene (EPS) bead into the concrete to make it lighter, higher heat resistance (R value), lower heat transmittence (K value), and better soundproofing. But where concrete has, say, an R value of 1, an ICF block, (which is the leave-in EPS form for your concrete pour), has an R value of 24 or more. Also a correspondingly higher K value, and a soundproofing rating of around 50 db. For reducing utility bills, and soundproofing, there is nothing even close to ICF (Insulated Concrete Form). In America, some companies are "Quad'Lock", "Eco-Block", "Formtech", and "Formcraft". Most seem to use EPS from BASF, called "Styropour". I Don't know if CPAC is using the same for their ICF block here, called "Smart Block". Smart Blocks are bigger than their western counterparts, measuring somewhere around 60x100 cm each(don't have my notes in front of me for the exact size, so am going from memory). Another advantage of ICF building is the quick stackability, due to an interlocking desing, much like the Haener's. A 3/2 house will go up in two days with ICF's. The concrete poured into ICF's will cure wet, so is supposed to be up to 4 times stronger. The U.S. Government predicts that over the next 7 years, 25% of all homes in America will be built using ICF's. I should say, I have no commercial interests in ICF's, I've just studied up on them, and they're truly the bomb!!! My cement/stone walls are food for ants, amazingly. ICF cement walls are not. ICF walls also have a higher moisture than cement or brick walls. There are disadvantages. If you want to cut a dry section of an ICF wall, it will ruin a carbon steel saw blade after 1 use, a diamond tippped blade is neccessary for repeat cutting. Like it's mini cousin, the styrofaom cooler, hot air can be trapped as well, in an Icf room. The walls will also outlive your great, great, great grandchildren. Here's an url for the trade association, good info on ICF's here: http://www.icfa.org
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