I'm looking into purchasing a new home in the near future and putting an inground pool in. Around here pools a lot of older pools require so much maintenance and reno's that you may as well get a new one, and labor/materials is way more expensive here as well than the US. We watch home shows and are sometimes in aww of contractor quotes for some projects we see on television in the US and what materials can cost, it's low compared to here.
Anyways. I have been looking at steal pool kits and a DIY approach. I have also entertained cinder block construction as well purely for a DYI reason whether we use a custom vinyl liner or something else.
Our soils are clay, temperatures go from -40/-50 in winter to +35 in summer (celcius), our frost line in some areas is as low as 8 feet. I like the natural pool concept but not really into the size of regeneration zone required. I've done a lot of research on EPDM liners (box welded or free form) but they can't handle any chlorine and I've found no solution to completely get rid of chlorine only reduce it's usage as much as possible (ie still need it as a sanitizer throughout the pool).
So my goal is to sub-contract out some work, do as much DIY as I can. I can sub contract out excavation, do footings and cinder block walls, use ready mix to pour a slab. But having someone do a full rebar/gunite install would be so expensive because of equipment, labor, and material. Just like having a steel pool kit installed is so much here because of material cost and labor. I'm not saying the labor isn't worth it.
But concrete cracks, if I plaster will that hold up in our climates, will I be doing so much maintenance the draining/re-filling will be expensive, etc. Our energy costs aren't bad though, here you have to run your pump 24/7 and we have a short swimming window in the summer before shutting down all winter.
If I had contractors do cinder block walls and etc. that cost would probably triple in labor compared to steal pool kit, but I don't mind spending a couple months doing it myself with some friends and just buying the blocks. But I don't know if this kind of construction is feasible where i live, whether I plaster or buy a custom liner to fit afterwards.
I'm looking for people's experience, comments, engineering expertise, and trying to figure out if some of these ideas are practical for my area or just a bad idea.
Ideally 6-8 foot depth in the deep end, rectangle size for simplicity, 16x32 I'e seen pool kits which seems like a decent size.