So after 24 years, the old pool has given up the ghost. It looks to me like there was a pinhole in the liner that I didn't catch when closing, water got in behind the wall, froze, and punctured the wall. That's just a guess, but it makes sense to me. Regardless of the cause, the wife and I have decided that we'd rather go ahead and replace the pool rather than remove everything (including the deck), dig out the sand, put down soil and sod and have nothing but a blank-canvas backyard.
I've never actually purchased a pool (or liner), as I inherited the home along with the pool. Pumps, filters, miscellaneous equipment, yes - I've been caring for the thing for 12 years and can handle all of that, but when it comes to a new structure I could use some advice.
Here's what we're looking at:
-Above ground pool. Old pool was 28' round; new pool will be 27' round (smaller or larger and it will be tougher to "work" with our existing deck).
-The existing pump/filter system will still be used (cartridge, though when it's time to replace it I may change to DE. Not looking at SWG now or in the future). We use Chlorine (via the BBB method), if that matters.
-I'm in northeast Ohio. Swim season general runs from a week after Memorial day through mid-September. Winters get awfully cold, snowy, and windy.
-It's just my wife and I. No kids involved, though we'd still prefer something sturdy. We don't much walk the topseat, but it's not as if it NEVER could happen. Walls need to be adequate for pushing off, but there's no real roughhousing in the pool. Then again, we have a pool and we have friends...friends invariably have kids that don't follow "rules" so best to prepare for that, I guess.
So - do I want to go with Aluminum or Steel? My (very basic) understanding is that aluminum won't corrode as steel does, but then steel doesn't bit or flex quite like aluminum, either. Does that make it a wash where longevity is concerned? It seems to me that steel would be a bit stronger and heavier, but that's an assumption without a sound frame of reference. Everywhere I've priced the products and install steel is a bit less expensive. Is that because aluminum offers a significant advantage, or is it just the cost of the metal (without a big impact on quality of product)?
While were at it, any advice on tearing the old one down? The installers will do it, but everywhere charges a bit of a fee. It seems to me that I should just be able to cut the liner to drain the last bit of water into the sand, pull off the top seat and start pulling the frame apart. If it really is that easy, I can bribe some friends (beer = currency) to pitch in and then borrow a truck to haul everything away. Or is there more to it than that, and I should leave it to someone else (note: I'm not afraid of getting dirty or doing the work, but I'm about the least "handy" person I know)?
Any and all help would be HUGELY appreciated.