I have a 20 year old in-ground pool which actually is in extremely good
condition with virtually no cracks. I am in the process of rennovating
the entire pool area, and one of the possible changes will be to place
flagstone around the pool. Currently it has Cool Deck (sp?) coating
over concrete around the pool There are perhaps 3 significant cracks
around the pool deck area (perhaps 1/8" cracks) with the Cool Deck
having come off those areas a bit (perhaps 1" on either side of the
cracks) . One contractor (pool work only) told me that the entire
deck must be jack-hammered up before placing the flagstone with an
estimated cost of between 16K-25K for construction of the deck. The
higher end price would place the project out of my budget, and 16K
certainly is more than I would like to spend. The other contractor
(landscaper who says that he has done multiple flagstone pool decks)
tells me that is absolutely not necessary to jack hammer the deck prior
to placing flagstone. He said that you can place the flagstone
directly on the Cool Deck, or alternatively scrape off the Cool Deck
and then place the Flagstone onto the concrete base. Of course there
will be some extra work required regarding the pool coping to make it
look appropriate with the higher flagstone level. I have yet to
receive a bit from him.
Who is right?
I install ornamental aluminum and pavers in Kentucky and most of my
work is around pools. I've noticed a trend in pool construction here
that might lend some thought to your situation. Lately, I've noticed
that the concrete is being poured above the coping of the pool. They
are making a real smooth bull nose on the concrete that looks very
nice. I'm guessing, but I'd say the concrete is a good 3-3 1/2 inches
higher than the pool coping.
I'd definitely ask to see some of his work and ask for references of
those he did this type work for. You could also check with stone
suppliers in your area and see what they think about the idea of laying
flagstone over the concrete. Around here several of my competitors
install pavers on concrete pads. I think this adds too much expense and
is unnecessary, my stone supplier agrees. You can find many
knowledgable individuals at the stone supplier and they might know of a
contractor who can provide you with the bid you have been waiting for.
If you don't know who supplies stone in your town, I've always found
that the gentlemen (and ladies) who work at the commercial sales desk
at Lowes to be quite knowledgable and helpful. Other contractors can be
I'm thinking the second guy is right. Maybe the first guy has a bad opinion
about the looks. You will need to raise the coping by the thickness of the
stone and mortar. This may require all new coping which might end up
costing what the concrete removal would have.
Consider remving a band of concrete close to the pool so the flagstone can
be sloped into the pool to make the right height. Might be funny with that
much slope close to the pool though.
Depends on how he proposes to match the height.
Are you in good shape, have some sons. Do it yourself. All you really need
is a good sledge hammer, a wrecking bar, a wheelbarrow and a rental
dumpster. 400SF, 2-4" thick (varied from spot to spot) took me about 4 days
by myself. That was poor quality stuff though with no rebar, to be fair.
Some day laborers at $10/hr would likely still be cheaper than the
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