Just North of the Maryland line (about 1 hour straight North of Baltimore, 1 hour South of Harrisburg)
My 85 year old (this Friday is his Bd) father and myself are hoping to put a pool in yet this year.
We are both well rounded DIY people, as is often said jacks of all trades Masters of none.
We have both done much wood working, metal fabrication, welding, and machine work, masonry, Plumbing, construction and carpentry work and so much more.
My Father and his good or not smart enough to know better friend Hand dug and built our first pool in the mid 1960's, Indianapolis Indiana, A cement Pool I think it was about a 16 x 32 not huge til you think it was dug by hand with pick and shovel! Their only concession was they bought a power wheel barrow and a cement mixer!
A few years later Dad's job transferred us to Upper Saint Clair (Just outside of Pittsburgh)
Dad did another pool, this one was a steel wall, sand bottom vinyl liner pool. Heated, Even had an inflatable dome for extended season swimming. He did this one a little differently, Maybe he was getting smarter as he got older? He subbed out the digging, and Hired several of his friends for beers and promises of swimming!
In 1973 He got another transfer we had to move again. It was sad we moved out and the house was still on the market. People made an offer on it, a couple days prior to settlement, kids hopped the fence, threw steel fence piping and lawn furniture and other items we had left behind into the pool, trashed the liner, caused all kind of headaches........Times passed I grew up, we never got a pool in this next house.
Fast forward to the present. I have 14 year old twin daughters. Dad (Grandpa) is wanting to give them a pool. We are “pooling together” what we can and we are going to build another.
We plan on buying a Kit shopping now asking for quotes, and very much open to suggestions for sources.
Thinking 20 x 40, or 18 x 36. Leaning to steel walls again Still deciding between sand/Portland mix or a vermiculite mix for the bottom, couple skimmers, Large sand filter, two speed pump, 2-2 ˝ inch piping. Liner upgrade to 27 or 30 mil. Very much considering SWG
Also once the pool is done, probably not til the 2nd year, planning on adding in our own design solar collectors as well as building a heat exchanger system in an outside fireplace so as we have fires at night, we will divert flow through this fireplace area to catch what extra btu's we can . Figure it will all add up!
We will sub out the digging, and do most of the rest ourselves. It would be nice to get some one to come help with the bottom finishing prior to the liner install. Do not know who would be in our area to hire it out, and if we can budget it.
Pool is going in his yard, I live five minutes away I have a old Victorian house with a teensy tiny yard. He has a Much larger home on three acres, makes a better fit there! I do not mind putting money into it, not only do I like helping do noice things for my parents, But Dad wants me to have the house when him and mom are not round, I like the place and it is worth a whole lot more than our own home.
Speaking of budget it. If you noticed I said at the start of this introduction, we are hoping to put a pool in this year. We have been getting some things figured, I think we have enough put back, we can do it. The catch is we are both realists. This economy is lousy. It has been hard on my business
All though we have the desire (Dad would enjoy the building part again and of course the final pool and he is not getting younger, I know my girls would love it and Grandpa would like to see them have it as well, finally of course I would enjoy it) We are both fighting our feelings wondering if since the economy is not picking up much of any, if it would be wiser for us to hold off and hang on to the money (It is a nice reserve) This is our situation, trying to balance our thoughts, trying to decide if the time is right or not yet.
I do know, if we decide to go ahead this year, I do not want to cut corners and cheap out. The only real concession I am thinking of is possibly holding off on the SWG til later, conventional chlorine
would save some money up front, as will holding off a year for diving boards and automated vac/cleaning of one type or another and for a powered cover as well (The cover would be nice now as there are some trees to fight leaves but that will come when it can) It is just a matter of deciding what the little voice in our heads decides if we can go now or have to wait a little longer.
Either way, I am enjoying this site. Reading many posts. Learning some new things, refreshing some rusty memories.
I am sure I will be asking questions before we get started, and sharing with you all when we start as well. I am looking forward to it! Sorry I am so long winded, I am a talker!
Any comments or suggestions are appreciated, whether it about possible sources, equipment suggestions, or even thoughts about our problem in deciding the timing!