If you're new to this forum (and pools), welcome! It was a little over two weeks ago I was in your shoes. We bought a new house in December and we knew the pool hadn't been opened for years, plus I had NO pool experience.
We took the safety cover off the pool and discovered inky black water, I immediately went inside and found the number of the local pool shop. Fortunately they were closed.
Later that night, I looked online to see if there was any help and found troublefreepool.com. There are a million online forums; I was skeptical.
I sent the "bat signal" to this forum (see minnesota-pool-closed-at-least-2-years-in-our-new-house-t41644.html ) and within a couple of hours I received my first supportive help and it kept coming! Whenever I was puzzled about something or wondering if I was doing the right thing, the members here kept me on track.
Attached are the before and after pictures. I still have some work to do, BUT for $165 I was able to make my pond look like a pool in about 2 1/2 weeks.
I'm now a member. Read the Pool School articles, buy the TF100 kit (you'll know more than most pool places about your water), and start the process. It's rewarding and definitely worth your effort. You'll save hundreds, if not thousands.
Oh, an interesting side story! I was in the pool store last week buying a new skimmer basket and was waiting behind a woman who said they decided to buy a case of something to clean up their pool. It was $275 for the case!