I am a super newbie to the pool world, but have been reading here about caring for my new-to-me pool. I just need some advice to get it to the point that I can worry about the chemistry.
A bit of info, I just closed on a house with a roughly 25 year old Blue Haven pool in the back yard. The pool has one of their "unideck" systems (gunite was just sprayed as a continuation to a deck at the time was installed so there is no expansion jointing anywhere). There is no cracking in the pool, but a few expansion cracks on the deck. Tiles are in good shape. The pool was to have been re-plastered before the sale... unfortunately the seller decided it would be a great idea to paint the pool instead (no prep work and they even painted the plastic nozzles - how nice of them).
Before of the pool:
now just imagine the whole thing (except the deck & tiles) with crappy blue paint on it.
Sooooo filled the pool with water to be sure the equipment was working prior to closing on the house and thankfully all that is good, but of course the paint is flecking off wholesale. I want to get this fixed pretty quickly. But am such a newbie that I want to be sure that I am doing the right thing. I have had a couple of pool companies out to get bids. Both have bid me stripping off all the mess and re-plastering. Both are strongly recommending white plaster and both have said that it will last longer and the water temp will stay lower in the pool - does that sound right? I really like the look of the pools with gray plaster, but it seems that there is a lot of complaints with mottling. Should I be looking at a surface other than plaster? What advantage would those surfaces have over plaster? I have to be honest that I have seen some white pools that look like they are filled with windex and it isn't my favorite look. Is that just what is to be expected with white plaster?
Both companies have told me that due to the deck being a uni-deck design, I am better off just putting a sealing stuff on the deck and leaving it alone - does that sound right?
And finally, as you can see in the picture there is a bunch of ugly rock and weeds between the pool and retaining wall. I am looking into options for that area - my dream would be beautiful St. Augustine sod, but I feel like taking care of the grass that close to the pool would end up being a pain. Thoughts? I am planning on using natural slate tiles on the patio - just carry that all the way out maybe? I am wondering how hot that will be to walk on come August.
Thanks for any words of wisdom that you might be willing to throw at me. I bought the house because of the pool and yard/trees - already I am questioning what I have gotten myself into!