In 2013, thanks to this site, I decided to build my own pool. I never had a pool before so I was relying on what I learned here to get me going in the right direction. It's a 26,000 gallon true-L liner pool with a jump board, SWC generator, heater, variable speed pump and a cartridge filter. I have a robot to clean it and considering what it is, I really don't have to do much to take care of it. And because I learned everything about pool care from this site instead of a pool builder or a store, I don't know any better than to use commonly available chemicals like chlorine bleach from the grocery store, muriatic acid from the hardware store and plain old softener salt to balance and adjust it.
Last winter, I closed the pool with just a dozen or so gallons of bleach and threw the mesh cover on it. After our first true winter in a long time in New England, I pulled the cover off to find a crystal clear (and very full!) pool. I started it up for the season with 5 gallons of bleach, 7 bags of salt and two trips with the robot and it was perfect. I think my total outlay for startup was around $50.
Just thought I should thank everyone here for their questions, answers and support. I'm pretty sure my kids, their friends and my neighbors would say thanks too.