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AZPoolBuilder

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  1. This is right up my alley..... But, i've always been a big advocate of "the custom is always right" FOR THE MOST PART. First, just ask your pool builder to see what they can do. Explain that it bothers you, and you would like it to look like it was originally installed. A good swimming pool company will usually address ALL of your concerns, no matter how trivial. Now here's the challenge. Flagstone is a soft stone, so, it's going to scratch & degrade over time. In fact, i've seen some flagstone copings literally FLAKE away in layers... Flagstone is made of lots of small layers of sand, compressed together over time. It's actually pretty easy to buff out, but it then creates a more noticeable area that is smoother than the other stone. So, in my opinion - it's better to leave it, and let it buff naturally as you use the pool. It doesn't seem like replacement is warranted, but that's the worst case scenario (and they won't like you for that.....but, you are the customer) Most pool companies are NOT stone experts, so make sure these guys test a small area if they offer to fix it. Make sure you like the fix before they do all the scratches. Once buffed, there is no going back! While I'm thinking of it, make sure you DON'T have a salt system! Salt and Flagstone don't mix. The salt crystals are 4 to 5 X larger in dry state, than in liquid. So, these guys get into the flagstone very easily, dry out, expand, and will actually turn the flagstone to DUST over only a few years. we've been semi-succesful with sealants, but sealants wear down.
  2. Not sure exactly what you are looking for....but we use all sorts of products for pool coping. Most of our swimming pools in Phoenix are concrete/inground shotcrete shells. On my company website, there are many examples (PICS) of pool copings. Travertine is the most popular in AZ now. Concrete & Acrylic lace is a close second. Do you have any preferences?
  3. Hey guys, you are dealing with some pretty challenging issues.... I'm a professional pool builder and landscaper in Phoenix, and we deal with those DECO DRAINS all the time. They are either popping up when we don't want them to, or stuck when we need the up! I feel your pain. To comment on a few items: #1. For the most part, this drain doesn't have to be 100% waterproof. Some water is going to get in the soil, but since you have the top off, may as well fill it. Epoxy seems like it worked- great! #2. They make replacement tops that can go on over broken plastic drains, or you can cut them off and do what you did. They are never really the same afterwards though...... #3. For complete replacement, they have a small groove in them that the concrete oozes into to keep them from popping up - this needs to be either sawcut, or aggressively pulled out. Then you can install a new one - the problem is that you have to figure a way to get it to stay in the gap. Without that groove, it will pop up in the near future. When we REPLACE deco-drains, we actually sawcut out one side, and replace the drain with some new concrete. If you are not looking for deck & concrete repairs, some heavy adhesive, grout, thinset, etc... should be put into the drain opening before putting in the new drain. It's a VERY challenging issue, and one we've had our own challenges with - GOOD LUCK!
  4. Generally it's Algae, not mold. It can grow under the plaster, in the plaster & on top of the plaster. It's not uncommon to actually feel it, but mostly it likes an area of LOW CIRCULATION, so you won't find it growing too far off the wall (if at all). Get some algaecide....or try scrubbing it with a 3" chlorine tab. You will find once it starts to grow inside the plaster, it's time for a new interior finish or pool remodel. Good luck
  5. Waterfall lighting...... that's ALWAYS a tricky situation. Although I've never tried the christmas light technique (there's probably a reason why that's not commercialized - seems like a safety hazard in one way or another) IT does sound cool. Seems like a cheap way. IF you are wanting to do it professionally - there are really only a few ways. Fiber optics are always a great way to go, but you've already found out the price for a basic system - OUCH! As a Landscape Company in Phoenix, we deal with this situation a ton. For our higher in projects, lighting is VERY important, and for lower end jobs, it's the first thing that goes. For something as important as a custom waterfall, then it's up to the owner. For starters, we use low-voltage a TON. A simple underwater nautical brass light can have incredible effects on our waterfalls in Phoenix ! See some pics and examples there. These lights can be found at the local contractor supply company - or probably online now-a-days. I prefer FX Lights , they have some new underwater fixtures, small too - so they don't stand out. Also, FOCUS has a really small underwater light - here. I've used FOCUS forever, and they are great. I guess i'm assuming you have a ROCK waterfall - if this is not the case - send me a pic, and i'll look through my files and see what i may have similar, and how it's lit up! Good luck! Arizona Pool Builder & Landscaper Phoenix, AZ