Hi, everyone. I'm in the planning/budgeting phase of creating my backyard oasis, and have a few questions about my choices. I'll preface this by stating that I have one Miniature and four Giant Schnauzers, so what I do with my backyard will impact the dogs (the Giants LOVE to swim AND all dogs have pretty much 24/7 access to the backyard through a doggie door). Because I live in an area of Texas with lots of clay and rock, and due to the configuration of my backyard, I believe an 18' round above-ground pool is the best choice for me. I have the pool narrowed down to a few choices, and would appreciate any opinions/advice you may have. I will be hiring a contractor to perform the install. Here are my choices in order of preference:
WOOD WALL POOLS
1. Amazone by Aquabois. (http://aquabois.com/en/products/photos. ... erre_ronde). I can get the Amazone in 18' with basic equipment from Northwest Wholesale (http://www.northwestwholesale.com/pool_ ... d_wood.asp) for about $4,500.00, plus shipping. What I like about it most is the heat-treatment of the wood, and the nine-inch seat rails. From an aesthetic viewpoint, this is my favorite pool.
2. Montebello or Annecy by Taiga Zone/Trevi. Redspools.com has both the Montebello (http://redspools.com/Montebello.asp) and the Annecy (http://redspools.com/Annecy.asp) models, and offer several 'packages'. Of these two, I believe the Montebello model (pine) is probably a better choice than the Annecy (cedar), but I like the appearance of the Annecy model better. These range in price from about $4000 to $5900, depending upon whether I get just the pool, liner and skimmer, or opt for the top-of-the-line package.
3. Crestwood Pools by Crestwood. This is another wood wall pool option. This is my last choice in wood wall pools, because I don't like the absence of seat rails. BUT there are several Crestwood vendors in the States, and I can get a package using Hayward equipment for about $4000 from poolsourcedirect.com (http://www.poolsourcedirect.com/onground.htm).
I am curious to know whether anyone has installed any of the above pools and, if so, how satisfied you are with it. I prefer the look of the wood wall pool, and -- to me, at least -- it seems to obviate the need for a ton of decking (like a splash deck) around the pool. Seems like I could just have a nice small entry platform (say, 10'x4') with stairs built, and not have to take up as much space in my yard. Anyhow, if anyone has had any experience with wood wall pools, I'd really appreciate hearing about any pros/cons of installing this type of pool. Also, I would like to know if pricing of installation by a contractor for this type of pool would be substantially more expensive than a typical steel/aluminum wall pool.
STEEL/ALUMINUM WALL POOLS:
The other pools that I have researched and like are:
(1) Aruba by Cantar, running about $2,500 - $3,000 with equpment package from propools.com (http://www.propools.com/aruba_above_gro ... _pools.php);
(2) Tahitian by Blue Wave, running about $1800 with basic equipment (http://www.aquasuperstore.com/products/ ... 32303.html) at aquasuperstore.com;
(3) [b]Autumn Breeze [/b]by Doughboy (http://www.doughboy-pools.com/img/broch ... eeze08.pdf), running about $2,500 with basic equipment from a Doughboy dealer here in the DFW area; and
(4) Cozumel from Leslie's Pool Supplies Store (no link available) in Grand Prairie, running about $1900.00 without equipment.
The thing is, while I prefer the wood pools I haven't seen any in the DFW area. So I don't know how well they hold up to the Texas heat. But my reasoning is that I can spend about $5000-6000 for a wood pool installed, then another $800.00 or so for a entry deck, OR I could spend $2,000 to $3,000 on a steel/aluminum pool, plus $1000 or so for installation, and then another $3000 to $5000 for a splash deck to cover up the steel walls.
In addition to the pool, I plan to replace my fence with an 8' board on board fence, so this figures into the budget, too. At any rate, since I really know nothing about pools, I can use all the help I can get before I commit to making a purchase -- which will probably be online.
As far as equipment, I will probably go with a sand filter and use Zeobrite media. I will also be adding a salt chlorine generator, and possibly solar heating (pretty much the Solar setup offered with the Montebello pool). If it makes more sense to buy only the pool, liner and skimmer online and then purchase equipment locally, I will do that. I was thinking I'd go with Hayward products. Any insight will be helpful.
I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I have been researching for about a month and came across this forum. Hopefully, you guys can prevent me from making any mistakes.
Thanks in advance!