Hello all, I've spent a few weeks going through all the great info on this site, what an awesome source of knowledge and experience! I have a couple of questions I was hoping to throw out there.
Some background: I live in northwest NJ (Sparta), have 5 kids aged 1month up to 11 years old and a 5 yr old golden retriever (I read the threads on the dog nails on a vinyl pool and am a little nervous about this). I have been doing my own research to date, looking to do a free form or oasis type shape IG vinyl pool, I'm thinking 16x32 approx., but if I can go bigger I will (if it makes financial sense and I have the space). I have not reached out to any builders yet, hence my first question.. of all the people I've spoken to in this area that have pools I've gotten very mixed feedback, so to help me get a little more information, has anyone on this forum had experience with any of the following builders with whom I was going to reach out based on proximity to my house: 1) MakinASplash, Oak Ridge NJ, 2) Airmark, Sparta, NJ, 3) Olympia Pools, Oak Ridge, NJ and 4) Olympic Pools in Flanders, NJ? Any feedback would be great one way or the other, including other recommendations in this area.
Second, I read a lot of threads from the very knowledgeable poolguyNJ (R.I.P), and based on his experience through his posts, it seems as though we should avoid, based on climate in NJ, waterfalls and spillover spa's, and possibly sunshelves based on the water table upwelling in the shallow shelf? (that was at least what I gathered). Also seems like quite a few of the waterfalls I've seen in the area have had leaking probs but I don't know if that was workmanship or just unavoidable due to the major weather changes here.. I haven't heard much feedback about spillover spa's though and quite a few folks have them.. I'm ok to avoid the waterfall and spa, but the sunshelf for a vinyl pool seemed like a really great feature. Any feedback or experience on a shallow sunshelf in the NNJ climate?
Lastly, I've read the posts on sport pool vs traditional deep end, but is it a no brainer if we do not plan to have a diving board or slide, to avoid the deep end altogether? I would imagine there would be savings in heating and possibly circulating the deep water etc? Growing up I had a 16x32 pool with an 8' deep end and I really thought the slope area (1/3 of the pool) was useless so you really ended up with such a small wading area that was kid friendly. I'm sure the conversation with the PB will guide some of this, but i'd like to understand more about my options in terms of what the deep end options are for a vinyl pool, as in can I have the center be deeper and keep the edges at the standard all around, or do I have to have one end be deep (5.5 ft) the other shallow etc? My kids have no issues swimming in the hotel type pools which never really seem to have deep ends anymore anyway.. Aside from personal preference, is there any other considerations here in terms of cost savings, heater savings, safety (is it bad not to have a deeper end)..
Thanks again for such a great forum and any feedback you may have.