Wow, awesome in formation here. It will help us make our decision....
Hello all! We are looking to make a decision on a pool in the next 2-3 months, start it this winter and have it ready for next summer. Any advice or information you would like to share would be much appreciated as we have never owned a pool.
Just to give you some insight, I am leaning towards FG for the costs/maintenance. From my research so far (and you have to take most of the information with a grain of salt as there is a ton of "hype" vs. information I'm learning), I feel comfortable believing that the electricity, chemical, maintenance and repair costs will be less for FG during the life of the pool (as long as it is installed and maintained correctly).
My wife is all about the overall look and doesn't care on the type of construction. She has some "must haves" which include an in-floor cleaning system, flagstone coping, pebble (looking, not texture) finish and a spill-over spa with a cascading waterfall.
We are looking at smallish size, no bigger than 15'X30' ish and 3.5 to 5 or 5.5 in depth in a free-form design.
Based on research so far, we can both get everything we want with a FG pool. I'm not opposed to Gunite, but it just makes sense to me that the operating and maintenance costs and labor for FG will be less which is critical to me and aesthetically they will look much the same.
We just started the process and our first PB (Gunite) has completed a site survey and provided design overviews. We have another Gunite PB and one FG PB scheduled this week to do site surveys and provide initial design recommendations. Soon we will have approved designs and prices from 2 Gunite PB's and 1 FG PB and will make our decision.
We only chose one FG PB because after our research, we decided that if we go FG, it will be a Viking pool (probably the Fiji) and Viking only recommended one PB in the Austin area for their pools.
Please feel free to provide any feedback, especially if you have information contrary to anything above.
I'm looking forward to spending lots of time here learning how to care for our pool the best possible way once we have one!