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Thread: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

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    Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    We are in the process of working with a few companies to put a pool in our backyard. We live in Kansas so I have really narrowed it down to Vinyl Liner as our best option. Can't really afford guinite pools and worried about fiberglass since we have hard freezes during the winter. I really want to go with the saltwater system but was worried that might have an effect on the vinyl liner. Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated. We are also looking at getting an automatic pool cover since we have young kids and safety is a concern. I believe these are about $10K but I think they are very important. Finally, I'm wanting to add a heater to it so we can extend the season by a few months. I am clueless as to what type of heating system to use and any advice is appreciated. As a summary, here is what we are considering and would love any feedback. I don't have any quotes yet and expect to get them in the next few days:


    Pool type: inground vinyl liner 18 x 36 ft
    Depth: 3ft with 6ft max
    Filter system: salt water
    Cover: Automatic pool cover
    Heater: Unsure as to what type but will have one for sure
    Decking: 4ft concrete decking is included with the companies I have talked to. Would like to increase this on one end and side

    I'm expecting total pricing to be around $45,000 but really have no idea at this point. I will come back to this thread once I know more. Thanks for your responses and I look forward to being a part of this group.

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    Oh you're gonna love having a pool!
    *Vinyl + Salt Water is perfectly fine
    *Yes, an autocover will cost a bit of change but I'll tell you true that mine makes me feel very safe and also has the side benefit of helping keep the pool cleaner. The easier the shape is the easier it is to have a cover.
    * 3 feet deep is too shallow. Aim for *at least 3.5 feet*.
    *6 feet deep is great but it won't allow for diving. Consider if you, your kids and friends will be the "Lets Canonball!" type?? If so, go a bit deeper.
    *Gas heaters are said to heat the water better, but heatpumps work better to maintain the water temp. Is Electricity cheap where you live? Gas cheaper?
    *Always get absolutely as much decking as you can afford. No one has ever said they had too much, but too many wish they had more.
    *To cut costs go simply. Your pool will work just fine on a simple timer, but if you have bucks to spare automation is fun.
    *Your most important purchase after the pool will be your testkit. A reliable one (from TFTestkits.net) will save you oodles of money....really!

    Holler if you have any more questions

    Yippee
    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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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    Thanks so much for the info and you have definitely given me some things to consider. The first bid is going to be tomorrow it looks like so can't wait to see what they say.

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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    Just a note that ideally you'd give the PB's your requirements (at least related to equipment or other things you already know) to reduce the amount of variability in the quotes. It can be a process to compare apples to oranges quotes, but nothing a good spreadsheet and a few brain exercises can't accomplish. Many people don't know up front what they want or have much pool knowledge so it makes that difficult. But you've found the best source for pool info on the net.

    Filter system: It will either be DE, sand or cartridge. There are +/-'s about each. Most people are happy with what they know which tells you that you mostly can't go wrong. But see Pool School articles for a starting point.
    Chlorination system: SWCG - Excellent choice so long as you have no soft stone or intend to keep it sealed vigilantly. If going with all concrete around it, a SWCG is a no-brainer for chlorination.
    Autocover: $10K plus depending on the options. They are sort of like a car though. They do require maintenance and it usually doesn't come cheap if you can't do it yourself. There's also the cover cleaning/applying conditioner. Then replacing the cover after 7+ years for a few grand. Though the cover may decrease the fading of your liner if used significantly. You do lose the awesome view of your pool with the cover in place though.
    Lights: Can't recommend color changing LED's enough but you WILL NEED 2 for a pool that size. Someone commented that putting standard lighting in a pool in 2015 is like installing cassette player in your car (or something like that). You can but why would you?
    Size: Bump to 38' in length and go 3 1/2' or 4' to 8 1/2' (oh that sounds like my pool). I like to dive (and most kids love to if given the choice). Maintaining a little more water is only a bit more work/money. Not much really.

    General thought...your budget seems tight, but I'm not that up on vinyl prices. But know that the cover is $10K+, LED lights (I added this for you) $1K, SWCG $1.5K?, winter cover $3K (you didn't show this), fencing, landscaping, lawn repair, pool furniture, larger filter than they will spec $500?, two-speed pump which they won't spec. $hundreds (but well worth it), more concrete $$ (but worth it and really shouldn't be done later), cleaner of some type (robot - $1k). Round numbers and I'm missing some for sure. Point being that you will likely have sticker shock once you get the all-inclusive price (of which the PB's is only a part - mind you the biggest part).

    Pools can be done simply and cheaply...but we all want extras. And many of these extras do make maintenance and enjoyability factors much higher.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    HI! You got some great advice above. I just wanted say hi and welcome! I can't wait to see what they show you!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    My pool goes from 4 to 8 feet deep and I can tell you that the kids love the diving as do I. I don't have any experience with an auto pool cover so I could be totally wrong about it, but hey, it's my opinion: Unless you have a lot of trees around the pool that will dirty it, I would keep the 10k of the autocover in my pocket or see what other options are available,e.g. I have a fence around my pool that gives me an added peace of mind when it comes to the little ones.

    Edit: Get a gas heater. Saturday or Sunday mornings, when I decide to go for a swim and the water is too cold, I just turn my heater on and a few hours later, I'm in. You can't do that with a heat pump.
    23K gallon, IG, Vinyl, Hayward DE-3600 Filter, Raypak 406A Heater, Hayward 1.5HP SP2610X15 pump aka AO Smith UST1152, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    Just adding to the above. If you do get am auto-cover you won't need a winter cover.

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Just adding to the above. If you do get am auto-cover you won't need a winter cover.
    Not necessarily true. Depends on what risks and approach you wish to take.

    Separately, autocovers do also give comfort over 'visitors' while you are not at home, unauthorized teenagers (from your house or others), etc. One non-working latch or propped open gate defeats a fence. And in fairness, just as an unused autocover defeats it. Different strokes. An autocover for my own mind was non-negotiable so I see where the OP is coming from. But it's clearly not required and probably 99.9%+ of pools don't have some terrible incident take place. Cleanliness is nice too. I seldom vacuum if I'm using the cover full time.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    I meant that you can use an auto-cover AS your "winter cover" also.

    P.s. I love my auto-cover for safety, cleanliness, saving on loss of FC to the sun, and to retain heat in Spring and Fall!

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    bmoreswim's Avatar
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    Re: Considering a pool for our backyard but have lots of questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    I meant that you can use an auto-cover AS your "winter cover" also.
    Yes, understood. However there are risks associated with using an autocover as a winter cover, that can come with excessive snows (several feet +) if the water level is not properly maintained, depending on the scenarios involved, etc. Our installer said that only about half of their customers use them as winter covers here in the Mid-Atlantic due to the risks involved. Just something to go into with eyes wide open.

    Yes, ++ on ease of use for heat retention purposes versus a bubble cover. We have no supplemental heat so we learn to treasure every degree.

    We went big on decking and highly recommend that. We have excess actually but no complaints. It didn't take away from usable yard due to other ample yard space. Our hardscape SF including pool deck/patios/house deck is 3400 SF . Pool deck only is 1600. I only share this for comparison when looking at pics in our build thread from my signature such that it might help you analyze your needs.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

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