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Thread: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Wink Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    After reading these forums for a few weeks and going through all the “Pool School” articles, we finally met with our first pool builder a few days ago and were locked and loaded with many questions. Since I am as beginner as beginner can get with this, I wanted to relay what the PB told me and see what the TFP community thought of what he told us (or didnt tell us). Excuse any mistakes and just chalk it up to my complete inexperience with this topic. I’ll try to organize the info I got from the PB as best I can below -

    The idea right now is for an 18’ x 36’ in-ground pool, going from 3’ – 6’ deep. We're located in Hagerstown, MD.

    PB sells Hayward, Jandy, and Pentair equipment brands, however they are a preferred dealer for Hayward and can offer a 3-year warranty on Hayward products, 1-year on other brands.

    PB recommends Hayward S244T Sand Filter that uses Zeobrite instead of sand.

    PB recommended 2 skimmers minimum, 2-3 returns.

    PB recommended one of the following pumps –

    - Hayward MaxFlo XL, 1.5 HP (I think this is single or dual speed pump)

    - Hayward Tri-Star variable speed pump, 1.85HP ($775 upgrade)

    - Hayward Eco-Star variable speed pump, 2.75HP ($975 upgrade); would crank down to 3/4HP?

    PB recommended one of the following SWG’s -

    - Hayward Aqua Rite ($1,500)

    - Hayward Aqua Rite Pro ($2,000)

    PB recommended vinyl liners over fiberglass. Didn’t think extra cost (appx +20%) was worth it over vinyl. Said vinyl should last 10-15 years.

    PB estimated cost for electric work at $1,000.

    Rock is $275/hour; average $2,500 for most pools in the area.

    Kayden vinyl liner included, other brands are extra.

    Black aluminum fencing is $38.50/ft (4ft tall) or $42.50/ft (5ft tall and extra bar at top). Fence wouldnt go much farther then the perimeter of the pool.

    4ft of concrete perimeter is included. Concrete is $7.50/ft plain, $9.50/ft sealed, $14.50/ft stamped.

    PB says winter cover is needed, costs $1,200-$2,500

    Warranty is 1-year on workmanship

    Roughly $40,000 for everything (pool, concrete, fencing, electric, winter cover, rock, etc)

    Like I said, just wanted to get the community’s feedback on this info and the different options he presented us with (or didnt present us with) and if that cost falls in line with what others have experienced. We also have another PB coming later this week, so any additional info or questions I can glean from here would be very helpful. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    We had a similarly sized pool built starting last fall and finishing up this May. Your overall price is in line with what we paid. I was in at around 50K, but that included 10 grand for a screened in pool building. I had to arrange my own fence, electric and gas work separate from the PB, but I've included everything in my total. I was surprised at the cost for electric and gas work. I spent 3K combined. We also added an extra 1000 sf of concrete decking.

    I'll let others chime in on the individual equipment. I only know what I have. It would seem that a 2 speed pump is a worthwhile investment (mine is only a single speed). It also seems that going oversize on the SWG is a good investment since if it is bigger than absolutely necessary you can dial it back and then the cell will have a longer service life.

    Just for comparison, my pool has 2 skimmers, main drain, 4 returns plus 2 returns in the stairs.
    18x36, 21,000 gallon, in-ground, vinyl, Pentair SWG, DE filter, Pentair 250K Heater, Taylor K-2006, Dolphin Triton

  3. Back To Top    #3
    DaninFLA's Avatar
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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    for your saltwater, make sure the price is for the T-15 cell, do not accept anything smaller.

    for pumps, that seems like a huge upgrade cost. do NOT buy a single speed pump though, at a minimum get a two speed. for the increase in cost to a variable, I would just stick with 2-speed. will be great for your setup. for example, he is saying a $1,000 upcharge on a pump...but you can buy a Hayward variable speed pumps from $700-$1000.

    1 year warranty on work? seems low.

    what are his payment terms? been a lot of debate lately on that. make sure at least 10% retainer saved till project is complete. try and avoid pre-paying for items if you can.

    its always going to be cheaper to hire someone to install a fence other than the PB. you can do this after.

    there seems to be a lot of "estimates" and hourly rates being thrown around. you need to lock them into a price, avoid areas where they can charge extra.

    is the PB responsible for repairing your lawn and irrigation systems? make sure its in writing.
    Dan
    9,000 gallon in-ground Saltwater pool, plaster, cartridge filer, 1.0 hp pump, Hayward T-15 SWCG, TF-100
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart; Pool School - Test Kits Compared;

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    Yeah I was leaning towards the 2-speed pump based on what I've read on here. I'll make sure to ask about the T-15 cell. I thought the 1-year warranty was low too, but I dont know what the industry average is for pool workmanship warranties. We'll see what the other PB says this week.

    Good point on the payment terms, I didnt ask about it but I'll be sure to address it with both PBs.

    I thought about having the fence installed by someone other than the PB, however I dont want to be in a situation where they are ready to put water in the pool but theres no fence (I dont know if this would ever happen). I guess you would just have to coordinate it so that the fence is installed prior to that point. But yes, I'm sure youre right about it being cheaper.

    I didnt think to ask about the lawn/irrigation system repair either, good point. I'll be sure to ask both PBs about it.

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    I just built the exact same pool with variable speed pump, sollax swg, dolphin m3 robot, water falls and six in ground jets. Price was 30k.

    The two items that stand out to me is the fence and concrete costs. I've had several fence contractors out recently. 4' alum is avg $21 a foot installed. You might consider black vinyl chain link too which is $9 a foot installed on our area.

    For concrete ours was $5 per extra not $7. And it included 500 Sq ft in our quote. We put in some extra lounging area and paid an extra $200 in concrete.

    Ours also filled our pool with four water trucks which was included...much better than garden hose filling.
    18' x 38' Pool, 3' to 8' Depth
    Vinyl Liner
    SWG
    Variable Speed Pump
    Sand Filter

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    I will throw in my .02,

    Regarding warranty. I dont know about Jandy, but if you buy 3 Pentair items, then you get 3 year manufacturer warranty directly from Pentair as long as they are installed by a 'qualified" installer. PB has no say so in the matter. If he is a preferred Hayward dealer, he likely has a higher profit by providing Hayward so he has good reason to recommend that above others.

    the ST244 filter can be used with Either Zeo or Sand. Zeo costs more but it seems to work as far as I know. There are a few stories on TFP of hit and miss though. Also, I dont think you can add DE to zeo in order to increase water clarity like you can with sand. - Do forum search for zeo for more info

    Returns - with a pool that long, you need a minimum of 4 returns. 2 or 3 -might- be ok for a 1.5 HP 1 speed pump, but if you go with 2 speed or Variable running lower RPMs, then your ciruculation will not be sufficient for good skimming at low rpms, which negates the purpose of having an energy efficient pump in the first place. (if you do go with 1 speed now, then so few returns would not be optimal should you ever decide to replace 1 speed with 2 speed or VS pump some time in the future).

    The SWG - there really is no discernible difference between the Aqua Rite and the Aqua Rite pro. Its not worth the upgrade. The T15 cell will be mandaroty for you on that large of a pool.

    If you decide to go Variable Speed, go big. It may sound counterintuitive, but a 2.75 HP VS pump will move the same amount of water as the 1.85 HP pump, for less energy cost. Speaking of which, Hayward VS pumps do not have the best track record for reliability. Pentair would be my recommendation for a VS pump.

    Vinyl Liner. If its a good quality Liner, and you maintain your water properly by TFP methods, you should get 10 years out of it, but shouldnt expect more. You might get lucky though. A lot also depends on how much direct sunlight hits the pool.
    Likely there will be a day when it might get punctured and have to put a patch on it, but thats to be expected with any liner. Or if somehow it gets a big rip and cant be patched... well, thats a few dollars spend.

    Things you didnt mention.
    Pool Light. If you go with LED, I would recommend 2, because LEDs are inherently not very bright and I dont think you would be happy with 1. I have 1 LED in deep end and it barely lights up my shallow end 30 ft away.
    If you go incandescent, 1 will be plenty at 500 Watts.

    Main Drain - they are not a requirement for good water circultation (add another return to point down into deep end instead). Lots of pools now days are built without Main Drains. Every penetration through a vinyl liner is a potential for a leak. Dont penetrate the liner floor with main drains if you dont have to.

    Why 3 ft deep on shallow end? Thats pretty shallow and wont be waist deep on normal height people. Normal shallow end depth is 3 1/2 feet which is right about waist deep. Almost all liner walls are built as standard height for 3 1/2 water depth. If you go with a less than standard shallow depth, it will probably be an upscope in price because the walls would need to be custom made. Maybe that was a typo?

    One more recommendation
    Plumbing. Have all your returns plumbed independently back to the equipment pad with a valve on each line. You can better balance return flow and if you ever spring a leak in a return, you can plug the return in teh pool and close the valve on the line. Leak stopped - and then you can continue to use the pool, until whenever you get time to fix the leaking pipe.

    If the returns are plumbed in a loop, (each retrun pigtailed off of one single pipe from the filter), then the closest return to the pump will have good flow, then next one, less flow, and so on. Depending on the lenth of the pipe, the returns you added for good flow to use 2 speed or VS pump, might not provide very much flow at all. It boggles my mind why anyone would install a looped return system.

    the same goes for 2 skimmers. Plumb each one separately back to the pump with a 3 way valve at the equipment pad.

    Thats about all that comes immediately to mind right now...

    hope this helps give you some food for thought
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    Quote Originally Posted by robertmee View Post
    I just built the exact same pool with variable speed pump, sollax swg, dolphin m3 robot, water falls and six in ground jets. Price was 30k.

    The two items that stand out to me is the fence and concrete costs. I've had several fence contractors out recently. 4' alum is avg $21 a foot installed. You might consider black vinyl chain link too which is $9 a foot installed on our area.

    For concrete ours was $5 per extra not $7. And it included 500 Sq ft in our quote. We put in some extra lounging area and paid an extra $200 in concrete.

    Ours also filled our pool with four water trucks which was included...much better than garden hose filling.
    I thought the fence costs were high as well. Will definitely get some independent fence quotes for comparison sake and either have someone else do it or maybe the PB will match the lower price. I will make sure to ask about the water trucks vs hose filling, didnt think about that.

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    I will throw in my .02,

    Regarding warranty. I dont know about Jandy, but if you buy 3 Pentair items, then you get 3 year manufacturer warranty directly from Pentair as long as they are installed by a 'qualified" installer. PB has no say so in the matter. If he is a preferred Hayward dealer, he likely has a higher profit by providing Hayward so he has good reason to recommend that above others.

    the ST244 filter can be used with Either Zeo or Sand. Zeo costs more but it seems to work as far as I know. There are a few stories on TFP of hit and miss though. Also, I dont think you can add DE to zeo in order to increase water clarity like you can with sand. - Do forum search for zeo for more info

    Returns - with a pool that long, you need a minimum of 4 returns. 2 or 3 -might- be ok for a 1.5 HP 1 speed pump, but if you go with 2 speed or Variable running lower RPMs, then your ciruculation will not be sufficient for good skimming at low rpms, which negates the purpose of having an energy efficient pump in the first place. (if you do go with 1 speed now, then so few returns would not be optimal should you ever decide to replace 1 speed with 2 speed or VS pump some time in the future).

    The SWG - there really is no discernible difference between the Aqua Rite and the Aqua Rite pro. Its not worth the upgrade. The T15 cell will be mandaroty for you on that large of a pool.

    If you decide to go Variable Speed, go big. It may sound counterintuitive, but a 2.75 HP VS pump will move the same amount of water as the 1.85 HP pump, for less energy cost. Speaking of which, Hayward VS pumps do not have the best track record for reliability. Pentair would be my recommendation for a VS pump.

    Vinyl Liner. If its a good quality Liner, and you maintain your water properly by TFP methods, you should get 10 years out of it, but shouldnt expect more. You might get lucky though. A lot also depends on how much direct sunlight hits the pool.
    Likely there will be a day when it might get punctured and have to put a patch on it, but thats to be expected with any liner. Or if somehow it gets a big rip and cant be patched... well, thats a few dollars spend.

    Things you didnt mention.
    Pool Light. If you go with LED, I would recommend 2, because LEDs are inherently not very bright and I dont think you would be happy with 1. I have 1 LED in deep end and it barely lights up my shallow end 30 ft away.
    If you go incandescent, 1 will be plenty at 500 Watts.

    Main Drain - they are not a requirement for good water circultation (add another return to point down into deep end instead). Lots of pools now days are built without Main Drains. Every penetration through a vinyl liner is a potential for a leak. Dont penetrate the liner floor with main drains if you dont have to.

    Why 3 ft deep on shallow end? Thats pretty shallow and wont be waist deep on normal height people. Normal shallow end depth is 3 1/2 feet which is right about waist deep. Almost all liner walls are built as standard height for 3 1/2 water depth. If you go with a less than standard shallow depth, it will probably be an upscope in price because the walls would need to be custom made. Maybe that was a typo?

    One more recommendation
    Plumbing. Have all your returns plumbed independently back to the equipment pad with a valve on each line. You can better balance return flow and if you ever spring a leak in a return, you can plug the return in teh pool and close the valve on the line. Leak stopped - and then you can continue to use the pool, until whenever you get time to fix the leaking pipe.

    If the returns are plumbed in a loop, (each retrun pigtailed off of one single pipe from the filter), then the closest return to the pump will have good flow, then next one, less flow, and so on. Depending on the lenth of the pipe, the returns you added for good flow to use 2 speed or VS pump, might not provide very much flow at all. It boggles my mind why anyone would install a looped return system.

    the same goes for 2 skimmers. Plumb each one separately back to the pump with a 3 way valve at the equipment pad.

    Thats about all that comes immediately to mind right now...

    hope this helps give you some food for thought
    Lots of good info here, thanks! I wasnt sure if 3 or 3.5ft was normal, so yes 3.5ft is the plan. Definitely a lot to consider and gives me a lot of info/questions to ask the PB when we meet again. Thanks again for taking the time to address everything, it helps immensely!

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Just met with first PB, brand new to the pool world!

    Go big, don't skimp and get more concrete decking than you think you need ....you really REALLY won't regret it.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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