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Thread: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

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    Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    Hello All,

    We have never owned a pool before (but have used many and like the idea of having one). So this is our first foray into talking to installers and getting some quotes. We unfortunately ruled out Fiberglass pools due to size limitation and backyard access. So we have talked to a couple of Gunite installers in our area (Eastern MA). Gunite pools are quite expensive to install in the Northeast (or so I have been told) because they use extra material to make sure they don't give in to extreme weather conditions here. So for a 20 X 40 (800 sq ft) pool (shape does not matter according to most of them, within reason of course) is around $36,000. This would include Pool, plumbing, steps, variable pump, DE filter, saltwater, basic lighting and gas heater. It would *not* include any fencing around the pool, tile and patio work. We would also have to pay for any electrical work (conduits, etc.) and gas plubming to the heater. All water features, if any, would be extra. They are highly recommending a spa next to it. Also from what we have been told, heat pumps although highly efficient, do not work very well here in MA. So they (more than one contractor) are recommending Natural Gas heaters, especially because our Gas meter is rated for a pool in addition to home.

    So if anyone could help us with the following (I know most of you will say "oh, here we go again"):

    1) I tried to search but could not find any guide to new pool installation. If you could point us to one then that would be great. Like to what to look for, what are important things, what is must and what can go?
    2) What should be the suggested equipment? DE Filter, variable pump, salt water generator, Natural Gas heater. Is that all? What about automatic cleaning? Can that be added later?
    3) What is Pool automation? One of them offers automation package at extra cost.
    4) How do we do price negotiate? Is $36K a good price for my area? Some of them are reluctant to give correct price quotes and tend to talk in terms of general pricing.
    5) We have been told that the type of material/plaster they use, if taken care of properly (maintain the correct PH Balance), the pool will not need anything for over 20 yrs. If upgraded to pebbletec it could stay like that for 30 yrs. Hmm...
    6) Should we take quotes from Vinyl Pool installers too? Is that something worth pursuing if the cost difference is large? From they way they explained, the true difference in cost is the material, time and transportation. The rest of the cost is the same as it would need the same equipment, plumbing, pool fencing, tiling, patio, etc. So if we were to pursue that, should we ask for breakups to the T? Would that be a wise thing to do? I have asked one Vinyl Pool installer to come in next week and give a quote for a basic lagoon shaped pool. So that we can compare.

    Any assistance from you folks would be greatly appreciated as we are new to this.

    Thanks a lot for reading my first post

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    Pool School link at the top has some good places to start for you: Pool School - Construction

    There is also a forum on here specifically for that: Under Construction

    You will get some great advice from here as well. For me personally, if I was building a new pool, an automatic cover would be a must but they can be very pricey. Some heaters work in conjunction with outside temperature, so that is probably why your builder is recommending the gas. Just check your gas prices to know what you are getting into. I would be bankrupt after a month if I used a gas (propane) heater where I am. Consider design as well. With your outside temps, covering will be imperative to retaining heat. A free form or lagoon shape pool will be harder to cover than a rectangle, but most people probably don't want an 800sqft rectangle of a pool. A lot of surface companies will give you a guarantee, but the devil is in the details... some contracts specify your pool must be maintained by a professional and if you stick around here for a while, YOU will be the professional. I am currently looking into pebbletec vs diamond brite to refinish mine. Some folks say pebbletec can be rough on the feet. My pool is a sports pool -- shallow on both ends -- so you are wading a lot so that is a concern for me so consider that with whatever design you go with. If you are incorporating a pool, spa, and heat, I would think automation would be a must, but I don't have a spa and use a solar systems so don't take my word on that. As far as negotiation -- everything is negotiable.

    Oh and most importantly..................... WELCOME TO TFP!!!!!!
    Jeff || 19,000g IGP || SwimClear 3025 Cartridge Filter || Hayward TriStar 1.39 THP pump || K-2006 Test Kit || 80% Surface Coverage Heliocol || Hayward Controller || Hayward Phoenix 4X4 || "Solar Rings" || PoolSkim

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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    Also, I don't think this is in the construction link, but check this out to familiarize yourself with some of the gear: Pool School - Visual Encyclopedia of Pool Equipment cleaners there are two, well now three, types: suction, pressure, and robotic. I would prepare for all of them in a new build meaning multiple skimmers in a pool that big, at least one threaded pressure side return, and a convenient spot for power if you want to go robotic. Also think about your lighting NOW. Lighting is expensive to upgrade and almost impossible to add without major work, so make sure you get what you want from the get go!
    Jeff || 19,000g IGP || SwimClear 3025 Cartridge Filter || Hayward TriStar 1.39 THP pump || K-2006 Test Kit || 80% Surface Coverage Heliocol || Hayward Controller || Hayward Phoenix 4X4 || "Solar Rings" || PoolSkim

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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    Thank you Jeff. I have corrected my post to clarify that it is actually Natural Gas and *not* propane. I agree about covers and I totally forgot about mentioning it. That is actually a large expense as well. Most of them have given a custom Loop loc cover for $5000+ range. I was just appalled to see that a cover could cost so much and its not even automatic. They also recommended (what they call) Solar blankets that we would need to cover every night. Automatic covers were in $14K range. So they are surely out as we cannot afford them.

    I will try to move my post to under construction area. Thanks a lot for your quick response.

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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    We were going with gunite until we became more educated about frost damage in northern climates. So we ended up going vinyl liner. One nice benefit is that a liner replacement gives you a new looking pool for a few grand and only a week. Plaster repair can cost a fortune and takes forever.

    Most people go with sand filters. Cartidge filters require less wasted water than back washing sand. DE filters remove the finest particles and make your water really sparkle. DE is carcinogenic but you can use cellulose instead of DE for the same effect without the cancer side effect. We did DE to filter out our dirt road dust cloud better than other filters.

    Gas is historically cheap, but could skyrocket in cost if fracking is ever regulated. I'm happy with my heat pump, but it's inefficient in cold weather.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    If I had to do it again, I would have paid the marginal increase in price to upsize a couple of pieces of equipment. For not much additional cost, I could have gone with a 60 square foot DE filter in lieu of the 48SF filter and would have lower pressure drops and longer times between back-washes. In addition, I would have gone with a larger heat pump to heat the water faster. Read some of the pool builds on this site and you will see many recommendations on equipment.
    Free-form concrete walls with vinyl liner, 18,000 gallon capacity, Jandy 1.5HP e-Pump, Jandy DEV48 DE filter (using cellulose media), Jandy AE2500 heat pump, Jandy Aqualink Power Center with 14-blade cell kit and Jandy PDA-P8 wireless control system.

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    ckk81's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    First DE won't give you cancer. You should budget for some decking (concrete) and a fence around the pool. I would go SWG can't imagine my pool without it.

    30K? gal (20x40, 3ft shallow to 8-9ft hopper), Vinyl IG, single speed 1HP pump, Hayward Micro Clear DE-3600 filter, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG T15 Cell, Rheem/Raypack M206A heater

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    DE is not a carcinogen in the traditional sense, instead it is an inhalation hazard where the sharp microscopic particles cause damage and irritation in the lungs which can lead to cancer developing. This is the exact same sort of danger that is caused by breathing silica dust and other similar inhalation hazards which can mostly be prevented by wearing a simple dust mask while handling the dry form.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    I apologize that your thread detoured into this side debate...

    I stand corrected. I agree with the following statement:
    DE is not a carcinogen in the traditional sense, instead it is an inhalation hazard where the sharp microscopic particles cause damage and irritation in the lungs which can lead to cancer developing.
    However, the exact same statement can be said of asbestos. Asbestos is not a carcinogen in the traditional sense, instead it is an inhalation hazard where the sharp microscopic particles cause damage and irritation in the lungs which can lead to cancer developing.

    Both DE and asbestos are inert and you have no problem with either if you do not breath them in an aerosol form. The difference between the application of the two is that normal use case of asbestos is that it is normally encapsulated as a non-aerosol conglomerate. DE however is in a ready made aerosol form in it's normal use case. If you use DE, be careful to not breath it when handling it and you should guarantee that the backwash residue a) does not become airborn once dry b) is off limits to children and pets.

    As per any choice, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks to each scenario. Many of the materials used in pool care have environmental and health risks...bleach, strong acids, strong bases, testing reagents and DE. Even salt from SWG has negative environmental consequences. It's up to the individual to learn about the health and environmental risks of pool care and make choices that you are comfortable with.
    29,000 gallon vinyl liner custom designed lagoon style in-ground pool (self-built 2015-2016), Hayward EcoStar VS pump, Hayward HP21404T Heat Pump (140K BTU), Hayward Pro Grid DE DE6020 Filter with Fiber Clear, Hayward Tiger Shark, 2 Hayward Color-Logic LED lights, Stenner 45MPHP10
    370 gallon Jacuzzi J-345 spa with ClearRay UV

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Re: Getting started to thinking/budgeting for a new inground pool

    Just because you have a DE filter doesn't mean that you have to use DE powder. We have been using a cellulose replacement for years and think it filters as good or better than DE. Don't let the possible health risks of DE powder prevent you from buying a DE filter.
    Free-form concrete walls with vinyl liner, 18,000 gallon capacity, Jandy 1.5HP e-Pump, Jandy DEV48 DE filter (using cellulose media), Jandy AE2500 heat pump, Jandy Aqualink Power Center with 14-blade cell kit and Jandy PDA-P8 wireless control system.

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