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Thread: Pool Size Dilemma

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    Pool Size Dilemma

    Hello. I just found this forum and the amount of information is great. I am a prospective pool owner who overthinks every aspect. I was planning on a 16x32 but I just can't picture how big that is in my yard when it's actually a pool and not just markers in the yard.I can upgrade to an 18x36 for an extra $2,000 but I don't know if it's worth it or if I'll regret not getting bigger later. Would I be better off using that $2k on enhancements for a smaller pool? Is that size difference even worth worrying about? I am already at about $40K for the 16x32 which is higher than I really wanted to go. Thanks.
    25,000 gallon inground vinyl
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    When I first read this I thought you meant deciding between a 16' diameter 32" deep pool or an 18' diameter 36" deep pool ... then I saw the price tag ... that would be one very expensive above ground pool.

    A lot of the actual volume depends on the shape ... is this rectangular? oval? free form?

    For a given circumference (often a factor used for pool costs), the largest surface area/volume is actually a circle. And the more curvy you make a free from pool, the smaller the pool ends up being for a given circumference.

    It really comes down to personal preference, a larger pool may need a slightly larger filter and will require more chemicals, but you also have more room to swim.

    Can you provide any more details / drawings of your possible setup that could help people offer opinions?
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Just my opinion, I'd go bigger if you have the room to support it. $2k isn't much in the grand scheme of things when you're building a $40k pool. You will have more regrets over not going bigger, than you would if you go bigger and decide that you didn't need it.

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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Thanks. I am looking at a grecian style pool. Leaning towards 3'-6' depth. I have two very young kids so I want to keep a decent shallow end. I don't know all the details regarding equipment and so forth (I can't even decide on size so I know I'm in for a lot of decision issues). I'm almost wondering if I am overpaying for a vinyl inground. The $40k does include almost $5k for a heater, but every pool dealer in this area acts as though average inground pools start at $35k and go up from there. I am in Pittsburgh.
    25,000 gallon inground vinyl
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    +5% cost for +25% surface area? Bigger is better in this case, but it isn't my money.
    18000 gallon in- ground fiberglass pool.
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Steel, I have a 16 x 32 (steel wall w/insulation) Grecian 3' - 6' deep, Polymer type steps, bull nose bricked coping and almost 1400 sq ft of concrete, flagstone spillover type falls- mason made not a kit, SWG system, Aqualogic PS4 control, Colorlogic 4.0 LED, 200lb sand with an EcoStar VSP, Polaris 380 w/polaris boost pump. Built it almost 2 years ago. Total cost was 32K. I live in central Georgia.

    Edit - 2 returns, in pool area, 2 returns in step area, one Skimmer.



    My yard was flat and had no trees to remove.
    16 x 32 Grecian Vinyl. Salt-Aqua Plus PS-4, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter, Hayward Ecostar SP34000vsp, Gulfstream HE-125-T-A Heat/Cool heat Pump

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Can you post some details on the pool equipment and the such. Most quotes from pool builders will provide you with a full breakdown on all aspects of the build with prices. If you're not getting one of those from each builder......I'd request one.

    As for the size of your pool.....get a couple of garden hoses and layout the pool in your yard. It's hard for us to say that it's to big or not. Myself would rather have some useable yard for the kids to run around in rather than the extra pool.....but others here may rather have the pool to swim in rather than the yard. It's fully your call. The size upgrade however does sound VERY reasonable.

    Where about in Pittsburgh are you? I'm just west of you towards Steubenville Ohio. Trust me when I say a good heater is a VERY good choice to extend your swimming season in these parts. Often the in-laws only get from mid June thru August worth of use out of their pool in the low 80's.

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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    I have a 512 square foot pool that is basically two 16 x 16 sections, angled, with a spillover spa on one side and a grotto at the deep end. It is the perfect size for me to look at, casually swim in, and for entertaining. But for more serious swimming I can see how 18 x 36 could give a better experience.
    24000 gallon in-ground | 500 gallon spill-over spa | SWCG T-15 cell | PS-8 control panel | Solar panel heating | Propane heater | Jacuzzi TM 31 sand filter | Jacuzzi 2HP 240V pumps (one each for filter and spa jets) | Jacuzzi TM 31 sand filter | Auto-leveler |

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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Thanks for everyone's help. Leebo, I'm in the Robinson Township area, not far from you.

    I haven't gotten a detailed list of all the specifics on the pool. I guess I trusted the company in this regard as I have idea what is good and what isn't.

    Is $4,800 abnormally high to add on a heat pump?
    25,000 gallon inground vinyl
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    We went through this decision last summer. We were debating between a 16x32 or 18x36 mountain pond shaped pool. Luckily we had examples to look at. There is a huge difference visually to me, so we went bigger. very happy we did. Good luck!

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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Steeltown, you should be able to decide what brands and types of equipment YOU want not what there going to give you.
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    I started my design with a 16' x 32', decided to change to 18' x 36' when I was staking it out, then changed to 20' x 40' after I did the layout. Space for me was not an issue, even though its "big enough" now I would have gone to 22' x 44' to have more deep end. A year later I don't remember the additional cost, it only hurts for a while after you wright the check, then your happy you did.
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    4800 is pretty close to cost I give 4689 for my pentair heat and cool pumps. If I have a customer that is waffling on a bigger size I usually try to convince them to do the bigger one. That usually means you aren't sure that the smaller pool is what you want.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    I echo bobby1017's comments. We starting the pricing with a 16' x 32'. Then considered the 18' x 36', but finally ended up with an 18' x 38'. It's been my experience that just viewing a calm pool with no bathers is deceiving and gives the illusion that it's larger than it it. Ours is a decent size and is adequate, but you put just 3 or 4 swimmers in there and it gets smaller quick. In hindsight, I wish I had upgraded to the 20' x 40'. Go as large as your space and wallet will allow.
    Completed: June 2011
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Man, i feel ya on over thinking everything. Here is my build thread (still going) decided-to-build-first-pool-this-spring-t41345.html

    I would go bigger too. Do you have an area in your home anywhere close to 16x36? If so pretend it's the pool, and that your standing in 3-4 foot of water. Also try getting your kids or wife to stand at the other side of the pool in the yard, to get an idea of how big it is.

    Is your PB going to do liner over steps, or plastic steps? My son is loving our large 1st step (3'x18'), i don't know what we'd do without it.

    I'd think long and hard about the depth (i did). How tall are you? Will you be "swimming" in 6', or still standing head above water? If you'll be swimming, then why not go deeper? What can you do in 6' of water? I guess you can dive in it. You can't play basketball or volleyball in it unless you're really tall or are a water polo player.....

    We went with 3'-4'-4.5' The kids are loving the steps and 3' end. Me not so much, i'm 6'1". If i want to walk around with just my head out of water i'm on my knees untill i reach the "deep" end. I'm thinking for ME going down to 5' would have been better. On the other hand, my wife can play volleyball in the deep end.
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    TripleB4me's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    I have never heard someone say; "Gee I wish my pool was smaller".
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    We just finished our install 2wks ago so here's my $0.02 regarding pool size. Get the largest pool you can afford that is scale appropriate for the property. We looked at going bigger but for our lot, the pool would've overwhelmed the space. I wanted to make sure we had room for adequate decking around the pool to walk around it and easily avoid the deck chairs. I also wanted to make sure that the pool wasn't pressed up against the privacy fence and the house out of necessity. There's a balance there that only you can determine. We were concerned that 36' wasn't quite long enough so we used a garden hose to layout the dimensions of the pool on our lawn. It seemed small but our neighbors had a 32' pool and quite honestly we thought that was large enough.

    After the hole is dug the pool immediately looks bigger! I promise! 36' is a pretty good distance. Its not like you push off one side, do 3-4 swim strokes and glide into the far side. IMO, most non-pool people look at a 36' pool and go "Oooh, now that's a big pool!"

    With respect to pool depth. A few points:
    (Note - I've got 2 kids ages 9 & 7. The youngest is about 4'2" give or take. I'm 6'2" and my wife is 5'7")

    - Many folks with young kids build a pool and go for the 3' shallow end. I take the view that kids don't stay short for long, so we built our shallow end 4' deep. I didn't realize this at the time but that measurement is taken from the midway point of the skimmer box. So it's probably closer to 3.75'. My daughter can easily stand and have the water level at the top of her shoulders. She's only gonna get taller.

    - As a taller guy with kids that will presumably grow tall as well, I've never been a fan of the shallow end of pools. It's awkward kneeling/squatting down to get the water to a comfortable level. Personally it's not much fun hanging out in water that barely reaches your navel.

    - If I had it to do all over and wanted a "play" or "sports" pool I would've gone 5.5', 7' middle, 4.5'.

    - I didn't want a diving pool but we did want unlimited cannonball ability so our deep end is 7'. The kids can cannonball and not rebound off the bottom. I can tread water without touching or artificially pulling up my legs. When the kids dive for toys they have to actually make an effort. No picking up toys with their toes. They'll probably grow gills by the end of this first summer.

    - The 40' option was an additional $3k for us. If I had a bigger yard I'd like to think I would've gone for it. I don't know if anyone wishes they had a smaller pool but I know a few that wish there's was slightly larger.
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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by aeromorris05
    Get the largest pool you can afford that is scale appropriate for the property.
    Really good point here, I have a large area so bigger looks better.

    Quote Originally Posted by aeromorris05
    After the hole is dug the pool immediately looks bigger
    True but when it gets filled with water it seems to look somewhat smaller again

    Quote Originally Posted by aeromorris05
    Many folks with young kids build a pool and go for the 3' shallow end. I take the view that kids don't stay short for long, so we built our shallow end 4' deep.
    I went 3' 6" and another 6" would have been good, even the younger kids spend alot of time in the deeper water.
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Thanks everyone for their input. I'm planning to go 18x36, tough decision on location still etc.

    Harley, plastic steps are part of this. I have a choco lab so I'm already worried about the liner.

    Depth is a tough call. I have two girls under the age of two so who knows what they will want some day. I plan to add a slide eventually but i don't know about a diving board. My pools growing up were always shallow so I never even learned to dive.

    My wife may kill me before this happens. She's ready to scrap the pool and get a new kitchen instead so I gotta figure this out soon haha.
    25,000 gallon inground vinyl
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  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Pool Size Dilemma

    Our deep end is 10' and I'm happy about this. With kids around, they will eventually want to be able to jump and dive in. I'd be nervous about a 5 or 6' deep end. Plus, we have a rock waterfall, and our kids love to jump off of that into the deep end. The extra deep end adds a little margin of safety. Something to keep in mind...
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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