I am hoping I might be able to get some advice as I am kind of new to the pool world. First, let me give you a little background. My family is looking to buy a new pool this coming Spring. We have two children 3 and 9 and plan on being in the same house for at least the next 10 years. We have had the plastic pool from the chain stores for the past few summers and are ready to upgrade to an above ground. My questions are as follows:
1. We have narrowed the size to a 24' round and would like a 52" minimum height. However, after searching online the past few days, I am having a very difficult time differentiating between brands/models. We have American Sales and The Great Escape stores in the area (Chicagoland area) but have a feeling from what I've been reading that we can find a better deal online. We're not opposed to buying in pieces as opposed to a package deal to get the best price/quality/fit. My question is are there any specific online sites/manufacturers/deals that we should be concentrating on?
2. We have not decided whether to go with a sand or cartridge filtering system yet, but would like advice on what size filter and pump would be best in both applications for a 24' 52". I've seen some good feedback on the Hayward filter/pumps.....are there other brands we should be looking at?
3. What is the best cleaning models out there for this size pool? I haven't really done too much research on this yet, but any suggestions would be appreciated.
4. Just how difficult is it to install such a pool? I am fairly handy but don't want to get in over my heads. What are the pros and cons?
I've already done quite a bit of research on this site and have found it extrememly helpful! Thanks in advance for any help!