Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful information. Below is a summary of our pool build scheduled to begin late next month in the Northwest suburbs of Philadelphia. I would appreciate any comments (favorable or critical) regarding our decisions.
We put our deposit down in December so that we are one of the first digs this spring. All equipment / features listed below were included in his initial quote and he never nickel/dimed us for anything. His quote included things like all gas and electrical hook up and 2 days of rock extraction if needed. Also includes all re-grading/seeding of lawn. We are very happy with this builder so far.
750 square foot gunite free form pool. 39 x 22 (see drawing)
Raised spa with spillover and dedicated pump
16 fiberglass slide built into hill with boulder steps and dedicated pump
Approx 1,000 square foot stamped concrete deck
Pentair VS+SVRS pump
Sta-Rite 400,000 btu gas heater (with by-pass plumbing)
Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter
Pentair Intellichlor IC60 SWG
Rapids 4WD pool cleaner
2 LED Intellibrite lights
2 main drains / 2 skimmers / 3 returns
Sitting ledge next to slide and in deep end.
We are also doing a 12 x 16 pool house with ½ bathroom and kitchen area (being built by separate builder). Our pool builder could have built the house but he was upfront and honest with us and told us there are many good Amish builders from Lancaster, PA that can do a good job and do it cheaper than he can. So far we have been very happy with the design process of the pool house builder we choose.
We are thrilled to have all of this automation which provides some great features like controlling the pumps, spa and heater from our phones. I am also looking forward to ordering my test kit to ensure that we are 100% in control of the pool!!!
One question we do have is pool depth. With the length being 39 feet, any opinions on having the shallow end 3.5 feet and the deep end 8.5 feet? Will this create a small shallow end or a very steep incline toward the deep end? We have requested two other versions of this design from the pool builder, one that will make this design 43 feet long but keep it at 750 sq feet and a second version that increases the square footage to around 800 - 810 sq feet and increases the length to 43.
Again, any other insight would be greatly appreciated.