Long post warning, apologize in advance for the book.
Ok so family vote made and pool won vs a new boat haha so I guess thats our plan. Our old house had a pool and we do miss it quite a lot. But we are unfortunately in whats known locally as a CBPA (Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area) so were going to have to go through the motions with the city to get it approved and those wheels are in motion. I'm told from my neighbors who also have pools that I'm looking at about 6 months for approval.
So Lots of time to plan. Started getting quotes and ideas from builders so I know what to ask the city for and have an idea and set of pool plans to show to the board to get approved. Its been kind of a rough road so far, lots of builders seem to lose interest once I tell them I don't have approval yet. However I need plans and designs to bring to the city so its a catch 22. But Hasn't stopped me yet. I finally found a builder who understands the hurdles and is helping actually. But were getting down to the nitty gritty of designing. He builds all three types of pools (vinyl, gunite, and fiberglass). Were trying to decide between fiberglass and gunite. Im really leaning towards gunite but the builder is leaning towards fiberglass (as is our checkbook). We are in a flood zone so our yard will have to be graded and a raised platform built around the pool. Builders ballpark range said that a fiberglass pool with the platform will cost the same as a gunite with out the platform. (pretty much building a foundation like a house I'm told).
The stigma to me is that fiberglass pools seem cheap. Vinyl is out, our last house had a vinyl pool and 3 liners later I'm over it. But for purpose of this post Im going to presume that were going with the fiberglass pools as I'm told that the stigma I have is defiantly not the case anymore. The builder uses "San Juan" fiberglass pools. We selected the model with a built in spa. "pleasure island" is the model. It will be arriving by barge apparently haha. We are water front and have very tight maneuverability for trucks so water delivery was the best fit for that. But he is trying to make it simple and I find the simple route lazy. Heres my concern. They are quoting a 1 hp pump, 250k btu heater, and 48 sqft de filter. and said "thats perfect you don't need more it will be fine" Im all for simple but Im also concerned that a 1 hp pump filtering a pool and making a useable spa is a bit of a stretch. So here is the quote as follows.
San Juan Pleasure Island fiberglass pool in blue iridium with 2" schedule 40 pluming, 1 skimmer, 2 main drains, 3 pool returns 6 spa returns, pentair 1 hp pump, 48 sqft pentair DE filter, 250k BTU NG pentair heater, 2 color changing LED lights, Intellitouch automation, robotic cleaner, Intellichoir salt system, 4 deck jets. $47,976 installed, including delivery, all electrical, plumbing and gas hook up all to meet or exceed VA code. Also includes all permits required after I obtain approval from the CBPA but thats at my cost. * Can select "desert springs" model pool for 5k less if smaller pool is needed for approval.
Foundation and platform built with brick facia to match house tied into existing deck off of main house. 16,240.
680 sqft of travertine pool deck at $20 per sqft 13,600 (patio also being done for outdoor kitchen)
2 fire pits installed with stone and tile facia and sheer decents flowing into pool. 9,870
Outdoor L shaped kitchen with 48" NG grill, Sicilia "light" granite tops, Single tub sink, ice maker, refrigerator, 12x14 pergola with ceiling fan, 2 flood lights, 4 speakers and pre wired for LCD tv. Over new constructed travertine deck. 12,880.
Total cost about 100k.
Now I get we have some extras to drive up the cost but I feel like were cheeping out in some pretty key areas that aren't that expensive to upgrade. He keeps telling me that anything more is over kill. But I just feel like were under powered as far as my pump is concerned. IM a fan of a pump for every extra so nothing is sacrificed. I told him I wanted it this way as follows and he looked at me like "your insane" lol
This is what I requested to be changed.
Suction plumbing 3". Return plumbing 2.5" to reduce head loss and increase efficiency.
Main filtration pump to be upgraded to an Intelliflo variable speed pump or 2 speed pump.
Heater to be upgraded to 400k BTU vs 250k
Filter to be upgraded to 100 quad DE sqft vs 48 sqft filter.
2 skimmers in pool one in deep end one in shallow end, Return positioned on opposite side of each skimmer.
separate variable speed pump for spa (to control force of jets) with direct route (not going through heater or filter) to 6 spa returns 3" dual drain suction from spa to supply water to pump separate from main filter pump and a 1 hp blower for spa jets.
two returns separate from 6 main returns in spa to deliver heated and filtered water to spa from to main pool circulation system (same system supplying 3 returns in the pool). Possibly floor returns?
Forgo robotic cleaner for a polaris system with separate booster pump.
1/2 hp pump to run deck jets and fire pit fountains, also with separate suction lines from pool.
I know quite a list. But this is our forever home for the foreseeable future and I don't want to have any regrets. His main concern was all the extra drilling into the fiberglass shell and said that maybe a gunite pool is the best option to consider right now and even then that I way over engineered it, but off the top of his head were looking at an additional 30% at least before my add ons and changes to do gunite (which to be honest are just pumps and fittings. Pluming should be about the same as far as running all the pipes so I don't see this being more than 4-5k. It looks like the jump to an intelliflo is only 6-700 more per pump... not that much in the grand scheme of things). He didn't clarify if that was 30% more on just the base pool price or 30% more on the entire contract. But I'm really at a loss here. He may be correct, I may be way over engineering this pool, but I'm also afraid of saving a nickel and being disappointed when something doesn't run as well as I want it. Honestly saving $500-$1000 to not have an extra pump when I'm already spending almost 100k for this pool already, feels like very poor economy. Another option he said is going with a standard fiberglass pool and separate spill over spa to avoid all the drilling into the shell. But that would be more expensive, and harder to get approval for as to them its two separate installs.
SO help me out here please TPF folks. I have been reading as a guest lots of other builds and it is making me drool very much seeing them all. Hopefully in a few months I can be int he same boat as y'all, and next year this time have my very own back yard oasis again.
TLDR. Want expensive hole in ground, lots of questions, overwhelmed, please help! THX!