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Thread: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

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    Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Hi all - just wanted to make a quick intro and then ask some very basic questions I'm sure are covered somewhere else (I did as much searching as I could before hand, I swear).

    All my life I've lived in very small quarters here in NYC, but I'm looking at homes in the suburbs and now I'm stoked in one way in particular, the yard. I've grown vegetables out of plastic containers, and my kids had a pool I used to fill up in my driveway, but I've never had more than 100 sq ft of contiguous space to have an outdoor kitchen, a pool or a garden.

    I'm just about there now - haven't quite bought the house yet, but it should be going through soon. I was split - half the places I saw had inground pools and I considered that to be a positive, but it seemed like in every case we couldn't find what we were looking for in terms of fit until this last one, which of course was pool-less.

    So while the house goes through the closing process, I'm trying to think about how to hit the ground running and starting to research this as thoroughly as possible.

    What I'm thinking so far - I've got a 37x45' space in the backyard that would be awesome for an above ground (or semi inground) pool and a deck. I don't think in the inground is going to be cost feasible, since my finance manager is a ruthless cost controller who's already raising an eyebrow at my IGP plans (she's a good cook though, so there's that).

    What I don't know yet:
    - Real costs - I'm going to have some excavation to do, and I was thinking a 21x15' pool, so there's not a trivial amount of dirt that needs to be moved. Not sure if this is DIY, DIY with a rental (like a mini excavator), or if I want to bypass the Youtube fail compilation and just hire someone what that might cost.

    - How DIY is this? I'm a big DIYer - I'm an engineer (which usually just means you get onto the highlight portion of that Youtube video above). I've got every powertool known to man and I know how to use 'em, and I have a couple of handy helpers. Is an AGP really a weekend DIY proposition, or is that only if the DIYer in question is a pool installer full time?

    - Winter - for those outside the frozen zone, a memo - winter sucks. Really, really badly. I have one car we haven't seen in three weeks because it's been buried under ice (I assume I parked there, if we ever thaw out, I might have to file a police report). Is there anything additional to consider when deciding AGP vs IGP (or the semi-variety).

    - Semi vs AGP - One reason I prefer the above ground is that I have one small child (the other two are big swimmers) and have smaller children in the family, so there's some implicit safety in the AGP (that might be debatable but that's how I see it off the bat at least). One thing I thought about is possibly going 2' further down, just so that it's not far off the ground but still far enough that a little one can't just hop or fall in. How much does my life get complicated if I go the semi-route?

    - Saltwater - I'd really prefer to get a saltwater system going, if only because one of my kids is a little sensitive to chlorine, and always prefers the saltwater pools we visit. I assume this is attainable in an AGP, just that I'd need to stick to one of the resin models because of potential erosion (I'm also very close to the ocean, so that's also a consideration even if I stick with chlorine).

    This is everything I can think of off the bat; please feel free to share your thoughts, point me in the right direction, tell me I'm crazy, or anything else you think might be at least semi-constructive (don't tell me I'm ugly, I've got that covered).

    Thanks!
    -John

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Welcome to the forum!

    Let us know when you get closer to a decision. We'll be here to help.
    TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Welcome to TFP!

    DIY - With helpers, probably two weekends. It could be one to four weekends depending on details. Two seems likely if you are in good shape and don't have any problems with the excavation (i.e. big rocks).

    Burying the pool, even partially, usually invalidates the warranty. That said, it isn't especially difficult. Just don't backfill until everything is level and there is water in the pool.

    In-ground is way way more work.

    The key to making this easy is to get the pool area very level the first time. To have it go really quickly you need some skill with an excavator. A laser level really helps. Less skill tends to mean extra work adjusting things to get it level after the basic excavation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Thanks guys!

    Jason - sounds like DIY is up my alley, but it might be worth looking into having the area professionally prepped by an excavator. I've got no experience running an excavator and something tells me most of the headache will be trying to get the dirt out and have the spot properly leveled. If I can outsource that at a reasonable cost that might be the best way to go. I'm guessing beyond that, it's really just basic assembly to get the whole thing together.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Welcome!

    A lot of members have gone the DIY route with above ground pools. I won't even tell you what I did with mine.

    P.S. if you install a SWG, please be advised, that your pool will be chlorinated with chlorine generated by the SWG.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Not really pool hardware related but have your youngest take regular swimming lessons! When we were looking for our first house in Texas we purposely discounted all those with pools because we had a very young kid. A couple of years (and an additional kid) later I was transferred to our office in the Caribbean and we lived in an apartment with a pool and we had both kids take regular swimming lessons. Within a few months they were 100% confident in the water. Now we're back in Texas, the first thing we did was move to a house with a pool!

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is - in my opinion - don't let your pool decision (which is a multi-year investment and asset) be determined by the age of your kids. They can and will learn to swim and be confident in the water very quickly and then the effort you put into making it child proof is negated in a few months. If anything, it may be easier to build a removable fence around the pool than leave it sticking half way up.
    16,000 gal gunite in ground pool/spa with SWCG (CompuPool cell & Aqua Rite), gas heater, Hayward DE filter, 2hp Hayward pump and Aqua Link controls.

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Welcome to the forums. If you decide to got the DIY route, take your time, no shortcuts, do it right the first time so you don't have to redo it.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Welcome to TFP !
    You've gotten some good advice ! Any questions don't hesitate to ask.
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    The ground is key! It HAS to be level within in an eyelash (LOL not really THAT close but.....)

    The site prep will eat up most of your time/effort/back. IF you want to save a little money start the dig on your own and get it within inches of what you think is it THEN hire out the finish work.

    Think about putting foam on the bottom. That will make the bottom look so nice and will also feel good on your feet.

    When you pick what you want think about the future use. size and function.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    I've just installed a 22 ft Bestway above ground so can give you some advice. I did the full install myself, the ground took me about 2 hours to level with my own excavator (the site was fairly level to start with), and the pool took about 3 hours to install. Once the ground was leveled I laid out the groundsheet, then the liner, the frame all slipped together, then I raised the liner and filled it. The hardest part was plumbing in my SWG which I scavenged from a house demolition in town, I had to modify the PVC on the SWG to fit the corrugated tubing that came with the pool, a couple of 1 3/4 poly nut and tails did the job. The only mistake I made was not putting timber or pavers under the legs that hold up the pool, unfortunately some of the legs have sunk with the splash over and the pool is no longer level.
    7700 Gallon Bestway 22ft Vinyl, Zodiac Clearwater 170 SWG, Sand Filter, Hand Vacuum, Borates.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Good luck with your "hopefully" new home Cityboy!
    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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    Re: Putting the cart before the horse (or house even) - hi everyone

    Thanks Dave!

    One thing I certainly didn't count on - the weight/volume of the dirt I'd be removing. I figured I'd go 6" down just to get it nice and level, and then I realized that 6" times the footprint I was looking at was about 10 cubic yards of dirt (which apparently weighs what a small Toyota might clock in at).

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