What are some things that you have done while building your pool that were outside the norm to save a few bucks? We are working on our second owner build so we feel like we can save on a few more things this time around. Last time we were scared of used equipment, but after building our last pool and maintaining it for several years, I now realize that used pumps, filters, and lights are a lot cheaper than new. Since I had issues with my last Aqaulink system, I am familiar enough with them to install this used as well.
So far I have found excellent deals on color led lighting for both the pool and spa.
Aqaulink RS system
Jandy variable speed pump
I still need to find the rest of the equipment though. On our last pool we had the Jandy LXI 400 heater and I am really hoping to find the same one used. It's a great heater, we accidentally heater our pool to 102° one time and it was hardly noticeable on the bill. The only problem is that I can't seem to find them used. I've seen a few over the years but not since I have needed one. I have found some very inexpensive on demand water heaters that are built for heating water for a while house. I'm wondering if it would be possible to use something like that to heat the pool.
Another thing I plan to do is all the electrical myself except for connecting to the main. I was an electricians apprentice for 2 years, 20 years ago and an avionics tech for 10 years in the military, so I have always been fairly handy with electricity.
I might even do my own tile work. We are using 12x24 tile so it won't be nearly as much work as 6x6 tiles.
I will also of course be paying cash for everything and working the bids against each other to get the best deals for quality work still, but please let me know what kind if things you did to save a few dollars. Like these umbrella holders for the decking, they seem expensive for a simple piece of plastic, somebody must know a cheaper alternative.