We are looking to add a 20x40-50 vinyl or gunite non-diving pool to our home on eastern Long Island. The pool will be in full sun in a relatively open field on a 3 acre property, about 175ft from our house. We have narrowed the pool builder search down to two builders that each build both vinyl and gunite pools. We are exploring the pros and cons of each pool surface, and we are also exploring the benefits of add-ons. The pool will be used mostly for lounging and volleyball. We also have two large dogs that may use the pool (supervised). We have a 1-year old, and we expect to be in this house for the rest of our lives.
- Split stadium stairs and 8x8 tanning deck - this will take up the first 8 feet of the pool (and is the reason we are considering a pool larger than 40ft). The vinyl pool will have vinyl-covered stairs and tanning deck, as we do not like the look of other steps. However, we are concerned with the dogs on the top step and tanning deck of the vinyl pool. The pool liner is 28mm.
- Built-in bench in the "deep-end" facing the shallow end. The "deep-end" will likely be 6 feet deep.
- Salt water generator
- 12" Bluestone coping with 1.5" overhang into the pool
- 3 skimmers, 3 wall jets, 2 main drains (all dark in color to match)
- Heater (leaning towards electric)
- Automatic top-off and drain (this is standard from both builders)
- Variable speed pump
Likely to have:
- Bluestone patio around 1 or 2 sides of the pool
- Larger bluestone coping, potentially up to 24".
- A pool house, either this year or next year, with a bar, bathroom, maybe a shower, and an area to store equipment.
We would like to know more about:
- LED lighting: Is there much of a difference between colored LED lighting and colored halogen lighting?
- Pool vacuuming. What are your thoughts on the pressure-type vacuums vs the newer automatic floor vacuums?
- Automation: If we are not going to have a hot tub, what does pool automation actually do? I know it can automate the heater and the pumps, though that doesn't sound very difficult. Does it monitor water parameters? Add chemicals? Would it decrease the need for pool maintenance labor?
- Chemical maintenance: I have read opinions indicating that gunite pools are much more difficult to maintain than vinyl, while other opinions have indicated it is just a single additional chemical that needs to be checked/added. Which side do you agree with?
- Gunite surface longevity: if the water parameters are maintained in a gunite pool, how long should the marbledust last? Also, this raises the question: water parameters obviously wont be maintained during the winter when the pool is covered. Will this time reduce the life of the marbledust compared to other areas where the pools do not freeze? Lastly, if the pool is properly closed for winter, is cracked tiles near the coping a concern?
- I have received wide ranging quotes for re-marbledusting the gunite pool, from $6k to $20k. What should we expect to pay for this service?
We appreciate your feedback. And feel free to share additional thoughts on other topics if there is anything else we should consider before the build.