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Thread: Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

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    Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

    Hi all,
    Totally new here and totally new to pool ownership... potential pool ownership!

    So: here are my questions to you veterans:
    1. If you had to do it all again, would you? Why?
    2. What would you do differently if you were to build a new pool?
    3. We are thinking of a 14x28 in order to maintain some green space. Is that too small for friends and family? I worry that all this expense and then I'll feel it is too small.
    4. If we do this, it will be a vinyl liner pool. We are in NC so more questions:
    5. What kind of pump is the most efficient and economical?
    6. I've read that a 2 speed is the best, if so, what can we expect to see on our electric bill?
    7. Salt? Regular chlorine?
    8. What kind of filter? Sand? Cartridge? Other?

    And any other thoughts and tips and guidance you folks can provide!

    This is a huge decision and I'd love some input!!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

    Hi, welcome to TFP! First off to get a feel for how the size pool you want will work for you, get some powdered chalk, flour, or landscaping paint and mark off the dimensions of the pool you would like to build. Think about how many people on average you plan to have in there at one time and mark off about a 4 foot circle for each person.

    If you are not running a bunch of features (fountains, lights, heater, waterfall, bubblers, spa, ect) then a 1 hp 2 speed should be plenty of pump for you. I can't really predict what your electric costs would be but it shouldn't make a huge difference over what is usually is in the summer.

    Salt (SWG) vs regular Chlorine is a matter of preference. The SWG will have a greater up front cost and a bit more maintenance time to clean the salt cell once or twice a year, but it is an automated system and gives a bit more free time. For regular chlorine we recommend plain household bleach. It is very cost effective and does not add unwanted increases of CYA or CH. It requires a little extra time to measure bleach and dose the pool, and there is the inconvenience of lugging around jugs of bleach from the store. We recommend regular testing for either chlorination method.

    Any filter will work well, the key is to size it properly. Larger filters can go longer between cleanings than smaller filters. Cartridge filters waste the least water and they are easy to use. The downside is they can be messy to clean and replacement cartridges can be pricy. A cartridge should last several years if well cared for. Sand filters are very easy to use but waste the most water to clean. Sand rarely needs to be replaced. DE filters give good water clarity, but the grids will need to be cleaned at least once per year (very messy to clean) and you have to dispose of the used DE.

    Think about how you plan to use the pool. Just to float and relax or will there be kids playing? Do you want to be able to swim laps, play pool volleyball or basketball? Those choices will also influence the size of pool you will want. If you mark out the dimensions you have chosen and it looks too small, just remember that few people wish they built a smaller pool.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

    Quote Originally Posted by MerSoleil View Post
    Hi all,
    Totally new here and totally new to pool ownership... potential pool ownership!

    So: here are my questions to you veterans:
    1. If you had to do it all again, would you? Why?
    2. What would you do differently if you were to build a new pool?
    3. We are thinking of a 14x28 in order to maintain some green space. Is that too small for friends and family? I worry that all this expense and then I'll feel it is too small.
    4. If we do this, it will be a vinyl liner pool. We are in NC so more questions:
    5. What kind of pump is the most efficient and economical?
    6. I've read that a 2 speed is the best, if so, what can we expect to see on our electric bill?
    7. Salt? Regular chlorine?
    8. What kind of filter? Sand? Cartridge? Other?

    And any other thoughts and tips and guidance you folks can provide!

    This is a huge decision and I'd love some input!!

    Thanks in advance!
    A couple of my thoughts:
    1. Yes I would do it again. Just because I want a pool.

    2. Probably go ahead and spring for stone or travertine coping (I've a vinyl pool, and I have Aluminum coping made by Vastec. MUCH nicer than the standard bullnose standard ho hum ugly coping. The Vastec was as close as I could get to a high dollar cantilever coping without spending a few more thousand.)

    2a. Also, I would do cantilevered steps and use the Vastec step kit instead of a "trimmed out" steps.

    2b. I would also add a couple of step jets.

    2c. I would add two more returns to the 3 that I have.

    3. That is maybe smaller than you probably think. Go bigger if you can but also leave yourself room for a decent size patio to accomodate those folks when they are out of the water.
    (I have 30x15 and it is considerably smaller than I imagined prior to building it, but i have a huge yard so maybe its just an illusion to me.). Its best to not make smaller pools with a very deep end as deep ends eat up floor space for people just to stand around in and the slope from shallow to deep would be fairly severe if more than prolly 5 feet deep on a pool of that size. (Mine is 6 deep and would not want any more slope than what I have).

    4. Nothing wrong at all with a vinyl liner pool.

    I agree with Zea3 on all of the other questions.

    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

    Ok, I will give it a shot:

    1. If you had to do it all again, would you? Why?

    Because it is just hard to imagine life without one, I think we all probably go through phases where we feel differently on this subject, but for me it keeps coming back to the fact I enjoy swimming and spending time in a pool, and generally hate "public" pools with their combine chlorine smell, crowds, etc

    2. What would you do differently if you were to build a new pool?

    Lots of little things, almost all pools are compromises, and as life goes on your particular set of compromises tend to change. Note my pool is a traditional hopper end rectangular vinyl pool that was built almost 35 years ago, so it tends to be an all around compromise design with few bells and whistles, it just happens to be indoors.

    3. We are thinking of a 14x28 in order to maintain some green space. Is that too small for friends and family? I worry that all this expense and then I'll feel it is too small.

    Probably 90%+ of pool owners wish their pools were bigger, how big is your family, how many friends, how much personal space do you want, etc? 14x28 is small, but not tiny, I suspect any more than 6-8 people in it at once and I would start feeling cramped, but that depends on the deep / shallow ratio. My pool is a 20x40 with water standing depth for adults being around the mid point, or just a little shallower, call it 40% shallow enough to stand in, and 25-30% flat bottom shallow end. When there are large mixed groups of adults and kids you will find about 70% of the people will hang around that standing depth 40% of the pool.


    4. If we do this, it will be a vinyl liner pool. We are in NC so more questions: Vinyl is fine, but like all types of pool the quality of the install and the materials matter. Some may see vinyl as a "cheap" option vs plaster, but with vinyl you don't have to worry about curing, and its associated acid demands, etc. It also tends to be less abrasive and well cheaper, just keep enough money in reserve to replace the liner every 5-10 years or so. (higher quality liners last longer than bargain liners)

    5. What kind of pump is the most efficient and economical? A 2 speed pump is generally best unless you have very high electrical rates, in which case a variable speed pump may be best for you.

    6. I've read that a 2 speed is the best, if so, what can we expect to see on our electric bill?

    Depends, how much is your electrical rate, how much will the pool get used, what sort of filtration load do you expect, (wind blown dust, leaves, etc.)

    7. Salt? Regular chlorine?

    For most people I would say salt, or Chlorine metering pump


    8. What kind of filter? Sand? Cartridge? Other?

    Another personal choice, also depends on water cost (restrictions) / drainage, and local regulations about pool discharge, I had sand for many years, switched to DE a few years ago, sure it is more work, but I think it is worth it.

    And any other thoughts and tips and guidance you folks can provide! Give lots of thought to how you would use the pool, some people want sports pools, others social pools, yet others are into lap swimming, and in my opinion the vast majority of residential pools are too small to safely handle a diving board, I consider my pool to be marginal for this.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

    Hello Fellow NC pool owner. Installed a pool not long ago so its still fresh in my mind.

    1. Yes, we love the pool and outdoor space its provided us. The building and design phase was a bit stressful since its a large undertaking and commitment and watching your yard be completely destroyed and living with a mud-pit for a couple months was not ideal. But in the end worth it all.

    2. I wouldn't do much differently as of now honestly. We did a lot of research and visiting other pools to know what we liked. I would probably though have wired in some more electrical outlets and hard-wired some lights into our retaining wall but thats about it.

    3. We have a 18x30 and while I feel its a good size I wish I would have gone one size up. Its plenty nice to hold all our friends and enjoy but slightly bigger would be nicer. We too wanted to keep as much green space as possible so we ended up a bit smaller. We did though visit another pool with the same shape/size we wanted to confirm for us that it would be adequate.

    4. I'm under the impression that a fair amount of pools here are vinyl. Its more economical and if your budget is tight I think its fine. We like ours with no issues but will have to factor in a new one in about 7 years. I've heard a general rule is spend about 20% of your house value on the entire pool/outdoor project.

    5. 2-speed pump is fine I think

    6. SWG

    7. Like others say it depends but have a sand filter.

    Agree with all other comments. Really understand what you want in the pool and outdoor space and how it will be used. Understand where the sun shines in your yard if you want it placed in the sunny spot. Have a clear understanding of your design and wants, it will vastly help with quoting and staying on budget and not being taken astray by builders. Do as much research you can and don't be afraid to call back builders multiple times to come out and help with any questions or design issues. Ideally visit the same type of pool size/shape you want to really confirm for yourself its what you like and want (ask your builder).
    18x30 Freeform In-ground Vinyl Lined. 11,500 gallons.
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

    Quote Originally Posted by MerSoleil View Post
    Hi all,
    Totally new here and totally new to pool ownership... potential pool ownership!

    So: here are my questions to you veterans:
    1. If you had to do it all again, would you? Why?
    I just wish I'd done it years earlier when my kids were home. Seriously. A great way to keep the kids close to home with their friends instead of ..who knows where?
    2. What would you do differently if you were to build a new pool?
    Not bigger necessarily because my pool fits my yard well, but I wish I'd done it deep enough for diving. I regret that a lot.
    3. We are thinking of a 14x28 in order to maintain some green space. Is that too small for friends and family? I worry that all this expense and then I'll feel it is too small.
    Mine is just a bit longer than your planned pool and its plenty for us. My rectangle shape allows for laps, which I sometimes wonder how feasible in squiggly shaped pools.
    4. If we do this, it will be a vinyl liner pool. We are in NC so more questions:
    5. What kind of pump is the most efficient and economical?
    Can't answer that one, sorry
    6. I've read that a 2 speed is the best, if so, what can we expect to see on our electric bill?
    Actually, I can't say our electric bill really changed much when we put the pool in. I guess if you run it 24/7 it would be more apparent but for us its not.
    7. Salt? Regular chlorine?
    Either, but I like the convenience of the SWG. But I use liquid chlorine when I want instant raise in CL, so I'm not over taxing my SWG. It runs on a very low setting as I don't lose much Chlorine because I also have an automatic cover.
    8. What kind of filter? Sand? Cartridge? Other?
    Sand is most common in my area. I've been experimenting with adding a small amount of DE to my sand filter just to see how it does with pollen.

    And any other thoughts and tips and guidance you folks can provide!
    Consider your security needs early. I knew early on that we wanted an automatic cover for safety. I hate hearing stories of kids wandering into unattended pools and drowning and this cover provides us with a LOT of peace of mind. I'm glad we could budget for it. No they're not cheap but they're worth every penny when you hear yet another story. I think my insurance company likes it too.

    This is a huge decision and I'd love some input!!
    Have fun and get going... summer's coming!!
    Thanks in advance!
    Yippee
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Thinking of building a pool... need lots of help!

    1. Absolutely! Because we love our pool!
    2. I would add a second skimmer and one more return and probably a dedicated suction port for cleaning.
    3. Ours is 18x36, im very happy with this size. We have 12+ in it on a regular basis and feels plenty roomy.
    .
    .
    .
    7. I say salt, but I know no different!
    8. I have sand, I am happy with it but again I know no different!
    DIY 18x36 IG Vinyl Rectangle with 2 foot radius; Steel Walls. 8' steps w/t 2 step jets; 2 MD, 1 Skimmer, 2 returns; Hayward Pro Series 24 Inch 300# Sand Pool ; Hayward color logic 4.0 LED light; 2" PVC pipe 4 Jandy Valves, Hayward PL-P-4, SWCG

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