Hi, I was here a while back asking about above ground pools but I ended up moving house and never got around to putting one in. Now we're in a new place and we'd definitely like to put in a pool. We've had quotes from companies to put them in ranging from too expensive to ludicrously expensive and, being as we're both currently not working, we've decided we have more than enough time to do the job ourselves.
I've recently got a bunch of quotes from manufacturers for felt backed 2mm pvc lining and plan to go the heat gun route to line a pool, however I have a lot of questions before we get going. Hopefully some of you good folks can help us out !
Finally, before the questions, our pool is going to be roughly 4.5 by 3 metres and 1 meter deep shelving to 1.7 or thereabouts. Not a massive surface area, about 45 sqm of pvc lining should more than cover it including steps etc.
1) Do we need to use gunite/rebar etc for a pvc lined pool or can we just dig, breeze block/cinder block then line that with a coat of plaster or so and then stick the pvc to top rails to hold it on at the pool ? Does anyone have any experience with using PVC who could help us ? I was thinking we could probably just dig deep then pour concrete in for the base and make the balls from concrete filled cinder blocks. does this sound ok ?
2) would an above ground pool made of cinder block (sorry if that's the wrong term, we call them breeze blocks in europe but i'm aware this is a mostly US forum) hold itself okay ? it's a lot of digging to do for us for an in ground pool but i was thinking it'd be a lot stronger. However, we cannot in any way get a digger to our garden so we're going to have to dig it out ourselves. it's a lot of work I think so would like some thoughts on above ground building, too, if anyone has any experience with this.
3) I've seen a lot lately about no main drain in pools, with people having skimmers and inlets/outlets instead on the side. this would be great for us as I know plumbing isn't rocket science but I'm no mario and although I'm totally confident with it to a greater extent (i plumbed my house and it's not leaked yet) I am reticent to put in a main drain then bury the plumbing under the pool. If something goes wrong we're up a certain creek without a paddle. So, is it fine to use just side jets and suction to circulate the water ?
4) going on from point 2, what is the sort of pump we would need ? I've heard a varispeed pump is best, some sort of eco brand, that will save us about 90% compared to a main drain and a larger pump going full bore 1/2 the day or so.
5) We would ideally like our dog to be able to swim with us, although the people who quoted us for PVC have said they'll throw in enough for us to make a little dog pool adjoining the main one. Does anyone have any experience with dogs and pvc 2mil lining ? I think they'd probably get through cheaper pools quite easily but should be okay for 2mil, right ? (or wrong ?)
6) Finally, and this is an important point price and timewise, would we be just as simple going for an above ground setup like an intex pool and building some decking around it ? Does anyone know how long this kind of pool lasts ? We'd want something that lasts at least 5-10 years and I believe the PVC we're looking at is good for 10 years at least according to the manufacturer. However, building a pool IS a lot of work, however we do it, and I'd like to consider all options and these type of pools seem to be very reasonably priced.
I think that's all the questions (for now, there may well be more !) but we're definitely looking to get on with it this time and would like to get it done before the summer fully kicks in. Any and all help is much appreciated and before anyone calls us noobs or twits, well, bear in mind we all have to start somewhere and we're certainly keen to make a start and learn as we go