So I finally talked the hubby into getting a pool. As a non-swimmer he has no interest. As a Pisces, I NEED a pool So I found a great deal on amazon for an ultraframe 9x18 for me for christmas for $399.00 brand new. I also bought the salt water generator, robot vacuum and the solar rings at the same time. All said and done it was under $1000 for everything.
After much research on this site and others, even though our yard "looks" level I decided to have a professional pool installer come do the leveling and set up. for $450 they came and leveled the ground and set a base of cinders that works great as the base for the pool as it hardens up but is still soft. They set the pool on patio blocks, put the gorilla blue stuff under the pool liner as the cushion and set everything up.
A warning, check your local codes BEFORE setting up the pool. Because the pool is over 48" deep we need to have permits and "real" electric and bonding run as if it was a metal wall above ground pool. yeah fun.
After getting it set up we decided we wanted a small deck, so we bought one of the vinylworks 5x10 freestanding deck kits (no permit required since it's portable) and it's AWESOME. sturdy, has two ladders and the self closing door on the exterior ladder. I think we may buy a second one and set it up without the rails to make the deck 10x10, but we'll see on that.
Solar rings are in, salt water generator is a piece of cake. water is almost warm enough to swim in now after only being set up for 2 weeks. (It's been warm here in NJ this year).
Here's a couple of photos, we're waiting for final inspection and then pea gravel and stepping stones will go all the way around the pool. A note to anyone short. Pick up a set of hot tub steps, they're great to move around the pool and makes it alot easier to skim and put the robot in, makes you just tall enough to easily get to the water. Ill post additional pics when the landscaping is done!
One interesting thing, now that it's full, the top frame pieces at the corners of the pool are very loose, guess it doesn't matter, just unexpected...