As we're nearing the end of this project, I thought I'd post a chronology of my build so we can all either delight together in its successful completion...or you can all soothe my battered soul when the shell collapses into a gaping hole leading straight to you know where.
It might take me a day or so to get all posts up to where we stand right now, so bear with me.
Late Summer, 2008
We started out the way most of us do, getting bids from respected local builders (and a couple nationals for good measure) based on an 800 square foot IG pool with attached spa. Prices were pretty consistent across bids, averaging about $60,000. Being dealhunters naturally skeptical about middlemen, we looked into building on our own. Neighbors one block over were also looking at pools and were in touch with a guy who proposed to help them owner build, so we 'signed on' with him to help us do layout and some of our labor.
We wanted to use our original budget, so the pool size and features list expanded to fill that $60,000 (now including fence and the patio). We 'upgraded' to a 1000 square foot design painstakingly developed over a few months of hand-wringing and measuring. Thank gawd for Google Sketchup. I upgraded equipment, expanded decking and added a sun shelf and 25' of bench seating in the shallow end. We enlarged the spa to 9 feet.
At this point we were trusting our layout guy more than we should have. Don't get me wrong...he has done a good job helping us...but I left too many crucial decisions in his hands due to my lack of knowledge on design. He also subbed some of the work on my patio and grading to another guy who messed almost all of his jobs up. That's a different post for a different day.
We marked out the pool location, pulled permits and got to work.