I'm about to start my own build. The current plan is an 18 x 40 Lazy L steel pool. I've checked out a few sources and I'm probably going with a retailer out of CT. I was pretty shocked by what I read when I checked out some of the DIY kit retailers on the Better Business Bureau. I imagine some of it comes from confusion on the part of the buyer over what you are actually getting, but some of the reports were pretty dismal.
Some of the things I'm wondering about are pump size, number of skimmers, chlorine feeder vs. chlorine generator, and filter style.
The pool will be about 22,000 gallons. Is a 1 hp. Hayward super pump big enough? That's what comes in the kit. The standard filter is a sand style. With glass media, do these filters actually filter to 5 microns or is that just marketing? The kit comes with one skimmer. Will that handle the pool or should it have 2? Also, regarding feeders vs. generators, is a properly maintained feeder set up just as good or is there a better way? It's difficult to separate the truth from the marketing hype when all the info comes from manufacturers and retailers.
I've only begun the permit process and started clearing some trees. On the plus side, I had to get a Title V inspection for the permit which is a septic system inspection. I have the original system at my house which is 45 years old. It has 2 leaching chambers, one of which was full. The other was about 1 1/2 ft. from full. I passed the inspection, but would probably be in trouble in 5 years or so. I was able to get some oxygen into the full chamber and although I'm not finished with the process I already recovered about 80% of its capacity. I will likely get it totally functioning again. That should save me around $15,000 or $20,000. So basically, I'll probably come out ahead financially by installing a pool!