Like so many others have said, this is a great forum and I have learned a ton of info.
I have never owned nor maintained a pool; the learning curve was steep. I spent 10 weeks researching and talking to different pool builders.
We talked to: Riverbend Sandler, Hobert, Gold Medal, SouthernWind, and Foley
DO take the time to review ripoff reports and BBB. Although it is uncomfortable, have the critical conversation with the builder about those reports. The responses were very telling.
We reduced our choices to Southernwind and Foley, but finally selected Foley Pools.
I think SouthernWind would build a great pool too.
To-date the Foley subs have done quality work. ( I am sure I just jinxed the rest of the build )
Our home backs-up to a creek/greenbelt and we have a sloping, small yard.
This resulted in narrow pool, special equipment for the dig and a few retaining walls.
33’ x 13’
3.5’ – 5’ – 4’
PeebleSheen Blue Granite
2 gushers and 2 bubblers
Pentair 60 Sq Ft DE Filter
Pentair Grey Legend w/ booster
Solarium 125TI Heat/Cool Heat Pump ( poolheatpumps.com )
445 sq ft of deck
Colored concrete with a salt finish
When we have had the opportunity, we always pass on spa usage. That combined with our space restrictions led to a pool-only.
I researched Ozone heavily, but unless you have about 6-8 of the CD type running .. it is like cleaning a highway with a toothbrush.
I researched in-floor cleaners heavily. Replacing my pressure-side cleaner every 3 years is still ~$3k cheaper over any duration vs the up-front cost and head replacement of the in-floor.
I looked at a few pools with LED lights, and decided the effects were not worth the cost. We are spending money for a nice pebble, and I did not see us shining purple light on it.
The energy usage of the LED white light might lead me to a replacement down the road, and prices are dropping fast on common LED lights.
I went back and forth on salt ... and back and forth ... ugh. Ultimately it was about how much time I did not want to spend adding bleach.
I plan to run my pump at a minimal flow rate to work the filter for about 20 hrs a day. I am not sure the flow required for the pressure-side cleaner, but will increase flow for about 4 hrs during the night to support that.
I have a test kit and will soon be testing my tap water to get start-up chemicals.