Swimming  Pool  Renovation
February 2 through April 14, 2015

Remodel vs. renovation:  A pool remodel means that all existing problems are repaired and the pool, decking and equipment are updated to look like new.  A pool renovation is more than a simple remodel . . . it is a total replacement of an existing pool and all its equipment!  So why would we go to the effort and expense of renovating an existing pool vs. a remodel?  The following bullets itemize our reasons:

      The pool was 43 years old, that's ancient for a swimming pool!
      Algae had gotten a strong foothold in the gunite and we were unable to remove it all, regardless how much time and chemicals we put into the effort.
      The pool badly needed resurfacing.
      The filter pump was working, but it was very difficult to prime the pump. 
      The filter itself was leaking small amounts of dirt into the pool and into the vacuum hose's filter.
      There were numerous outlets for "whips" around the pool.  This would keep the dirt in motion so that it could be removed by the filtration system, but whips are no longer available.
      The deck was badly stained and did not provide for drainage.
      The deck was HOT when the sun was shining on it.
      The deck had cracked in many places and sunk in one location, creating a large area of dirty water that had to be washed off after every rain or heavy dew.
      The pool was so large that there wasn't room for a chaise lounge between the pool and the adobe walls surrounding the pool.
      The pool ate up expensive pool chemicals like crazy, especially chlorine!
      The pool was 7' 6" deep, which made it a diving pool.  Since diving in residential pools is one of the major sources of home accidents, we never dive!
      During the summer months the filter pump ran 8 hours a day at about 3,400 RPM.  At 1,700 watts/hour, the filter pump used a total of 13,600 watts/day.  This equates to $1.90/daily or $57.00/monthly.
      The booster pump on the pool vacuum ran exactly 1 hour/day and used 1,500 watts during that hour.  This equates to $0.21/day or $6.30/month.
      Filling the pool cost $163.
      When the pool was originally built in 1972, water was cheap and plentiful in Tucson.  The pool held 24,000 gallons of water, but since we live in southern Arizona in the Sonora Desert, having a residential pool that holds this much water is foolish and wasteful.  This was the major reason we decided on a full pool renovation rather than a less costly remodel.

      Everything is brand new and warrantied!
      The surface of the pool is Pebble Tec, one of the longest lasting and most trouble-free surfaces available for pools today.
      The filter pump is self-priming and fully programmable.  At lower speeds this pump becomes nearly silent!
      The filter uses diatomaceous earth, which will clean particles as small as 3 microns out of the pool.
      The deck has a slight slope to a large drain which empties outside of the wall surrounding the pool.
      The deck is much cooler on sunny days.
      Chlorine usage so far has been minimal, although it's hard to put an exact dollar amount on the savings.
      There is a cup anchor for securing the pool's thermometer.
      There is now a hose bib beside the equipment and an electrical outlet on the outside of the new "privacy wall".
      During the summer this filter pump runs only 4.33 hours/day at 1,500 RPM (205 watts/hour) and 40 minutes/day at 3,000 RPM (1,200 watts/hour).  This equals a total of 1,688 watts/day and equates to $0.236/daily or $7.09/monthly.  We're now saving $49.91/month when running the filter pump.
      The booster pump on the pool vacuum was only a year old, so was not replaced.  It now runs exactly 30 minutes/day and uses 750 watts during that time.  This equates to $0.105/daily or $3.15/monthly.  We're now saving $3.15/month when running the vacuum's booster pump.
      Filling the pool cost $48, a savings of $115 per filling.  Of course the lesser surface area of the new pool will result in less evaporation which will lead to additional savings, although it's hard to put an exact dollar amount on the savings.
      The filter pump at 1,500 RPM is nearly silent and will recycle 100% of the pool water every 2 hours.
      Everything in the overall renovation now adheres to 2015 zoning laws, including all child protection regulations.
      The pool is 5' 3" deep at its deepest, ideal for a residential pool!
      There is a "water level control" installed which automatically keeps the water level constant, and it does this invisibly!  In 27 years of pool ownership, this is the first time I haven't had to drag out a hose every time I want to top up the pool . . . hallelujah!  :)

      The new pool was built entirely inside the old . . . it's interesting to see people's faces when we tell them that the old pool is still there!  :)
      All dollar figures shown above were based on rates during the first half of 2015.
      We thought the reduced size of the new pool might result in temperature differences compared to the old.  So far temperatures seem about 1 or 2 degrees warmer than last year.
      We chose a kidney-shaped pool because this style was popular back in the 1950's.  Since our house was built in 1958, a kidney pool seemed just right!
      Brookshire cleaned up their work sites every day before leaving.  Additionally, no smoking was allowed on the grounds, which meant no cigarette butts!  When the full effort was completed, we did not need to do any cleaning up of the pool area nor anywhere else on the property.
      Work started on the contracted date and was completed 1 day early.
      If you are considering pool repairs, remodeling or a full renovation in or around Tucson, I can heartily recommend Brookshier Pools.  Call Jeff Brookshier in Tucson at (Office) 520-887-0241 or (Cell) 520-975-8678.


The following 95 photographs represent the best of the 233 pictures that were taken of the renovation effort . . . enjoy!

(Click on small pictures to enlarge)

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This sign was in the front yard during the entire effort.
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The next four pictures were taken as a new water line to the pool was installed.

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That's Jeff Brookshier waving his hand around as he instructs the concrete jack hammer operators what needs to be done.
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Weep holes are marked in.  These holes are used to keep the old pool from collecting water under the new pool.
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Concrete demolition begins.
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This is a sample of what's left of the decking.  Note that all of the broken concrete, as well as all other non-biodegradable solid waste was used as fill during the construction of the new pool.

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That's Jeff's assistant Abe working on the outline for the new pool.
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That's not nearly all of the waste, which as I've mentioned will ultimately end up as fill for the new pool.
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These trucks are in the alley to the south of the house.  This is the first of four  times that concrete will be pumped into the pool area.

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It is a long, long way from the south alley to the pool!
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The first load of concrete being pumped.
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Clearing an access from the north side of the property to the wall around the pool.

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This ramp was used to load fill over the north wall.
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Loading dirt into the pool area.
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Make that LOTS of dirt.
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Compacting the dirt.
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Starting on the frame for the new pool.

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The final outline.
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Framing is done.
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Adding PVC for water lines.
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Installing rebar.  One fellow in one day . . .
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. . . did all this!
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The second load of concrete.  This load is gunite, which is normally used for the surface of in-ground pools.

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Another long trip for the gunite to flow from the south alley to the pool area.
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Gunite is actually blown in.  So to prevent any gunite from ending up on our walls, a barrier was set up.

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Here comes the gunite!
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As I said, all non-biodegradable solid waste will be used during construction of the new pool.
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More fill, this time added over the broken up decking.
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Removing the coping from the old pool and using it as fill.  Following this, more dirt fill was added by Jeff and compacted by Abe.

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It's starting to look like a swimming pool!
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Jeff adding tiles around the top edge.
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Tiling is done.
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This is the new pool equipment, roughed in.
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Abe is connecting the new equipment to the pool.

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Electrical work in progress.  Note that the electrician works with one hand in his pocket - a smart safety practice for electrical workers.
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All PVC connections are completed and the electrical work is done.  Note the vertical discoloration on the right side of the wall - an Adobe wall will be added there.  Note also the analog timer to the left (cream colored case).  This will later be replaced with a digital timer.

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Abe is installing drainage lines for the new decking . . .
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. . . done.
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Compacting the soil, again, in preparation for pouring the deck.  A lack of compaction may be what caused our old decking to sink!
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Ready for the decking to be poured.
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Decking is being poured - this is the third time concrete has been poured as part of this effort!

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This in interesting - both the decking and the coping are being covered with acrylic sheets.  This material is very hard, long-lasting and won't get too hot as does concrete.
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Coloring and sealing the acrylic flagstone, both at the steps and on the coping around the edge of the pool.
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Coating the deck with Kool Deck.  Note that Jeff was adament that this was a concrete topping rather than just a paint!  It dries much harder than paint, as well as being much cooler on sunny days.

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The deck is done.
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Getting ready for the fourth concrete pour - this time it's Pebble Tec finishing material, which is actually blown in rather than poured.

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Preparing for the Pebble Tec.
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Here it goes.
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Smoothing the Pebble Tec.
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Not quite done.
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A light acid wash was just completed, washing off the top layer of concrete to better show the tiny little multi-colored pebbles.  The surface is now done.

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Adding water - at the top of the picture is Abe installing a railing.
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The pool is filled and the equipment is all functioning perfectly.
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Working on the adobe privacy wall which will (somewhat) hide the equipment.
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Walls need to be raised in order to adhere to 2015 zoning laws regarding child protection.
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While raising the wall shown at the left, the weight of the additional bricks broke an old water line.  Brookshire fixed this at no additional cost!

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Another wall being raised.
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The ceiling of our guest house slopes towards the pool.  The first time we had a small rain shower, the dust on the roof ran onto the new decking as mud!  Rather than have this happen again, we added 30' of guttering!

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The downspout shown in the previous picture did not look good IMHO, so we improved the looks as shown above.

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The next seven pictures show Mexican artwork we placed around the pool.
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Fred and Fran Frog.  :)
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The decorator gravel in this picture has been added to all bare dirt areas around the pool.  This required 4 cubic yards of this gravel.

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For comparison, this is the old equipment.
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This is the new equipment, complete with a new digital timer (to the left in a grey case).
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This is the old 24,000 gallon pool.
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The next four pictures give you a 360 degree view of the new 7,100 gallon pool and the surrounding area.  All of the patio furniture came from Lowe's.

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You may use any of the above pictures for any purpose and may do so without giving me credit.  Note that these pictures have been downsized for those with slow connection speeds.  If you'd like copies of the original JPG pictures, send me an E-mail telling me which pictures you want and I'll be happy to send the original pictures to you at no charge!

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