First off I would like to say what a great site this is to have! I have already spent many hours reading through the forum, and have been through the pool school twice. Before I make any purchase I always research as much as I can, and I trust all of your opinions and experience over a PB or pool store any day of the week.
My wife and I own our business where we work full time and them some. She is on call most weekends so getting away in the summer is not that easy. A year ago we moved into our forever home. We do not plan on leaving for 30+ years. In the past we have gone to Aruba for a week each winter and find ourselves by the pool more than the beach. It just makes sense to us to put a bit of paradise in our own backyard. As week speak my wife is 36 weeks pregnant, so our family is expanding. I grew up with an AG and loved every summer in it. I am sure my son will as well. Below is a pic of my wife by the pool in Aruba that has inspired us to begin the process of planning. By the way, love the stone patio in this pic, anyone know what kind it is?
Before coming to this forum, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted, now not so sure.
First off pool type. Because we are so busy with work I want to spend as much time in the pool, not servicing it. Fiberglass seems like a good option. Everything I read says fiberglass is good for the cold New England winters, and is lower maintenance. We have a small yard, and with the town setbacks the widest pool I can put in would be 12-14 feet in width. Length is no restriction. My wife and I both like kidney shaped the best. I have found a dealer by the name of Cherry Hill Pools who sells Viking pools, and they have a few kidneys to choose from. Cherry Hill has been out to the house, and the reviews on them seem pretty spot on. Anyone know of any other good fiberglass builders around the Boston area? Seems hard to come by. Price tag was a little on the higher side, and the depth of the pool is not exactly ideal for what we want. Now, I am starting to think that a custom vinyl pool could also work. In your opinions, given my region of the country, and how busy my wife and I can get, is fiberglass the way to go or would vinyl be just as good and cheaper? I know down the road vinyl will have more costs than fiberglass. However if the fiberglass is not done correct, I could have more cost with that. I have only come across two builders of fiberglass in this area that I would even consider. I have yet to research the vinyl.
A salt water system or not? I hear great things, and I hear bad things. I would mainly be worried about corrosion. We want to do the same stone around the pool that is in the above pic, and I am worried that the salt would destroy it over time. Also, safety is a big issue for us as we will have a baby in the house. My wife loves the idea of a automatic cover. How would the salt react with the tracks and the motor on the automatic cover? I do like the idea a lot of the SWG being easier to keep up on.
Automatic cover or not? My wife likes this idea, but it has a big price tag. Again, how would this react with the salt from a SWG pool, and what are the long term costs that may arise? I would still need to purchase a winter safety cover on top of this. However, I wouldn't need a solar cover, the temp of the pool would stay warmer, SWG would not work as hard, and the pool would be cleaner. Other option for safety is a child fence. The way the yard is setup I would not need to go around the entire pool, just a straight line to section off that area of the yard is all that would be needed.
We are still deciding on how much we can, and want to spend on the entire project. The yard needs a lot of work as well. A new fence needs to be put in around the yard, a new retaining wall, fill needs to be brought in, a new patio and pool deck, trees come down and trimmed, plus landscape. A heater would be nice too. We do not have a gas hookup, so a heat pump it will have to be. Not looking to extend the season, just don't want cold water for the season.
I thank you for taking the time to read this long winded post. I look forward to learning more from all of you, and look forward to hearing what your thoughts are on our project.