Our house is constructed on stem walls that place the floor level a little more than 4' above ground plane. Our deck is almost exactly 4' above ground. We would like to install a pool that comes level with the existing deck, and extend the deck around the pool. We don't want to have to go down steps to reach the pool, and would like it to be visible from inside the house.
I've looked at concrete or fiberglass pools built within a retaining wall, and talked to a factory manager at a fiberglass pool factory about using a sloping back fill around a fiberglass pool. Both are doable at fairly high expense.
Now, I want to investigate the possibility of a vinyl-liner pool being constructed mostly above ground. The sides of the pool (most seem to be 52") would have to be recessed slightly into the ground to keep it level with the deck.
However, there is also one very important desire -- my DW does exercises in the pool, and wants a deep end so she can tread water while exercising. It doesn't have to be any deeper than 6' to the top of the pool sides, but it does have to be deeper than the typical above ground pool.
The final consideration is that it must be of the highest possible quality. I will not install steel panels, no matter how well they are galvanized or coated, in or on the ground in South Florida. I prefer aluminum but would consider heavy duty poly if it is UV resistant. All fastenings must be stainless or nylon. the liner should be of the highest quality, and the top edge should be the strongest and/or widest. The bracing system should withstand years of use without danger of collapse.
In my research, the closest I have come to this is the Esther Williams Millennium 15x30 oval offered by Delaire Group. It has aluminum sides, stainless fasteners, 22 mil liner, wide top edge and claimed-to-be excellent support system. It is also available with a "hopper" liner, in which the deep end is excavated approximately 2' and graded with vermiculite to support the liner.
My local dealer is preparing a quote for this pool now; I'd like to find out if there are others which are the same or better for my needs before I spend any money, and I'd like to hear comments about the above pool. I'd also like to hear opinions about what else I should be considering -- I've had concrete pools for over 30 years, but never a liner pool.
Let me add that I may or may not install the pool myself depending on what kind of offers I get from local contractors -- I have my own mini-excavator, compact diesel tractor with front end loader, surveying level and other tools. I have mechanical, plumbing and carpentry skills and a friendly electrician.