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Thread: Newbie want to get a pool

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Newbie want to get a pool

    Hi, All.
    First, I just want to say that this seems like a great place to have all my questions answered.

    I was wondering if I could get some opinions here.
    They may have already been posted in other Forums, but I think I would be searching for a long time.

    I am going through the process of dealing with a pool company now to have a pool installed.
    They came out for a site visit and took the site survey of my house so they had all the correct dimensions.
    Unfortunately, I discovered that the site survey is incorrect, so I had to have them do another one for me which
    is causing a delay to have the pool plans drawn out for me.

    I've decided to go with a fiberglass pool because from the research that I've done, fiberglass seems the way to go as far as maintenance is concerned. I just bought the house in July of last year, so I'm planning on being there for a very long time.
    I'm strongly leaning towards the Riviera 34 from Leisure Pools because you can get different colors and they also have a great warranty.
    Does anyone know anything about these pools?
    The company that I am working with gave me a costs of just over $36K and that is an all inclusive price including 4 feet of decking around the pool. Does this seem like a decent price?
    Also, I'm on the fence as to whether or not I want to spend $4K-5K on a heater/heat pump.
    I live in NE Florida, so it would be nice to be able to extend the amount of time we'll be able to swim, but I'm not sure if that much money will justify it. Is anyone here from the NE Florida area, and do you have an opinion if I should get the heater or not.
    We will also be getting a screen room installed, so I'm going to assume that's another $10,000-$12,000.
    Also, should I get a SWG? I've been reading about the pros and cons of the SWG, and again, is the money worth it?

    Well, I guess I'll stop rambling for now.
    Any responses as well as any other information for a Newbie would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
    4,160
    First, let me welcome you to Trouble Free Pools!

    It's understandable (and admirable) that you have a bunch of questions, this is a large investment and a ~ permanent one, you don't want to realize in a couple of years that you 'should have done ...'. I don't have any experience with installing a fiberglass pool, so can't say anything about that . However, one thing I would look into is having an area of the deck extended so you could have an area for lounge chairs, a table or a grill - someplace for people who aren't swimming to congregate and 'hang out'. To that end, I would reduce the deck surrounding most of the pool to 3' and have a wider deck at the stairs and the area where people will lay out or sit when not using the pool (concrete decks are usually charged for by the square foot, so if you narrow the 4' surround to 3', the extra cost of having a nice ~ 10' X 12' area would be minimized)

    Given your Fla. location, I would look into a heatpump vs. a gas heater (if all you want to do is extend the swim season a bit) - waterbear has a pretty cool one that he could tell you about (he's in Fla. but south of you). You could also delay that decision a year or so, just be sure to have the PB plumb the system to easily accommodate one in the future (including any electrical or gas lines that would be cheaper to run now)

    This is just a little 'food for thought' on a couple of things you may want to have in the future.

    I hope you end up getting the pool of your dreams and it always remains trouble free and will suit your needs for all the years to come

    Welcome to the forum, we'll be here to answer any of your questions
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Guest
    Get the swg , yo wont regret it. You are in St. Augustine. Who is the builder you are considering? There are some here that are ok and some that you need to avoid like the plague! For Example, my builder is out of business but he left around 20 pools unfinished ( I was one of the lucky ones but I still have problems with my installation--at the time he was the only game in town if you wanted fiberglass!) Reember that all the builder does is build the pool. Don't rely on them for water balancing or after care! Their expertise is building pools!

    If you are interested in fiberglass I would advise you to check out San Juan pools because they have a factory in Central Florida so shipping costs are going to be very low! San Juan makes an excellent fiberglass pool and they have probably more models than any company out there and an excellent track record. They have been in suiness since the late '50s! . The trick with fiberglass pools is finding a reputable installer that knows what they are doing!!!

    IF you are going with fiberglass get white and then put in a color changing pool light for great nighttime effects. The pool will look blue duing the day...look at my avitar! The colored gelcoats (a few companies have them) just don't seem to last that long.

    Get the heater...either heatpump or solar....or even both for the most enerty effcient way to incresse your swim season. Are you planning on having a spa also? If so you need a heat pump. Solar won't get the water as hot or work when the temprature really drops. If you go with a heat pump get a reverse cycle one! It will heat the pool in colder ambient temprature! I like the Aquacal Icebreaker units myself.

    Just to give you an example if I don't heat my pool it 's really too cold to swim in until June and by september the water is getting cold again
    with the heat pump I can swim from March until December and I use the hot tub the other 2 months with my firepit going. My next major investment will be in solar so the heat pump will not have to run as much!
    My pool isi also in a screen room.

    If you are adding a screen room then you have another reason to add either a heat pump or solar since the screen room does cut down on the sun's heating the water by quite a bit!

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Wow...Thanks!

    I just wanted to say "Thanks!" for the quick and informative responses.

    I did look into San Juan pools and I was happy with a few of their models as well, but the wife liked the Leisure Pools more.
    The dealer that I am working with does install both Leisure Pools and San Juan.
    The dealer name is Renaissance Pool & Spas, Inc in Jacksonville.
    Do you know anything about them?
    From what I understand, San Juan does not have a warranty on their gel coat, but Leisure Pools have a 10 year and they are thinking about extending that to a 20 year warranty.

    As far as delivery, from what the builder told me, the price that she gave me was the price that is set.
    She guaranteed me that the only possible extra charge that may turn up is that if they run into an over abundance of water that needs to be pumped out.

    We're still not sure if we're adding a Spa or not. My wife wants one, but it would more $$$$ than I think I want to spend right now.

    We are going to try to add a larger decking area, especially since the pool may have a slight tilt to it, rather than parallel to the house. We also have an 8ft patio on the back of the house, so that will give us some more room too.

    Again, I really appreciate the help and anything else you can think I need to know, I'll be more than happy to hear it.
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    8
    Hi Ciotog,

    I'm currently having a Fiberglass pool installed. I'm located just south of Kennedy Space Center on the East Coast and I can tell you, I had more ground water than anticipated. My pool goes from 3.5' to 7' and it required six pumps operating at the same time to keep the ground water at bay long enough to set the pool. Needless to say this plus the extra labor and "Pea Gravel" were additional costs to the project. Decking was just pored last Monday. I purchased a Viking "Poseidon" model which is 23,000 gallons. Pool system includes Solar Panels with auto temp controller, SWG (Intellichlor), LED Lighting (X2); Ultrapure Ozone Generator; Sta rite 1.5 hp MAX-E Pump; and Sta rite Posi Clear view filter. Good Luck with your project.

    Bill

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Guest
    I actually live on the barrier island between the Intercoastal and the Atlantic in St. Aug and we were lucky. They didn't hit a lot of ground water. Then again my excavation was done during dry season. (for those of you that don't know Florida we have only two seasons---wet and dry!)

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Question about pool choice

    Hey, Bill.
    Thanks for responding.
    Do you mind if I ask why you chose Viking as opposed to Leisure Pools or San Juan?.
    I'm just curious if maybe there was a price difference, better reputation or just a nicer design.

    As you know, this is a HUGE purchase and I want to make sure I have all of my bases covered...well most of them.

    I haven't really looked into the Viking and I'm not sure what PB's sell them in my area.

    Thanks again, everyone, for the responses...keep em coming!
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Frisco, TX
    Posts
    24
    Welcome. I'm also new here and went through the back and forth on the SWG. What sealed the deal for me (we decided to go with traditional chlorine setup) was the potential for the salt to damage the coping (flagstone) and decking (concrete). Overall I think swg is an easier to maintain setup but for us it wasn't worth the potential downside.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Coastalish 'down easter'
    Posts
    4,160
    This may or may not apply to your situation: but here in New England, I think most people would be better off with a self contained hot tub rather than a spill over spa. Due to the weather pools up here must be winterized (ok, I suppose that you don't have to, but you'd waste a lot of $ trying to keep them open) and without the pool running, you loose out on using the spa over the winter (... sitting in a hot tub with snow falling around you and your significant {or insignificant } other is pretty darn cool/ fun ) As you're in Fla. you may not opt to close the pool for the winter, so the extra cost of keeping the spa available for use is lessened, but you would need to have a heater to get the water up to a toasty 104 degrees, and you've said that you're not sure if you want to spend the $ on a heater at this point. It seems to me that you'd save $ by getting the self contained hot tub, you could put it on your patio or near the pool.

    This is just my $.02, Evan could tell you more realistically how running a spa over the winter works in your area.
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    8
    Waterbear,

    Actually I am on Barrier Island as well (Merritt Island to be precise). Where my house sits, there is a coquina layer about 6 feet down. Below this layer is a great deal of water and when the excavator broke through, the water began to bubble up and kept filling the dig site at the deep end. I have to say that it was a tense time as the excavator was not sure that he could stabilize the dig well enough to set the pool.

    Ciotog,
    I talked with many friends and co-workers with pools and asked "if you were to do anything differently, what would it be", and surprisingly enough, they said they would have a fiberglass pool installed and most recommended Viking as being one of the best. A Pool Company in Melbourne is a Viking dealer so I went with them (didn't do any shopping around). The construction and quality of the pool is excellent. No remorse or regrets so far. Aside from my front and back yards being all torn to shreds, its been a very messy experience to date. Can't wait for it to complete so I can begin to put my yard and landscape back in shape again. Overall, its been a very expensive project (I'm paying $67.4 K) but the price includes pool, all equipment listed earlier, 49" x 40" deck , 49" wide and 10" long awning on the back of my house and 49"wide and 30" deep screen enclosure. After the project completes, I'll post some pictures.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Nice

    Bill,
    That sounds like it's going to really, really nice!
    I can't wait to see the pictures of it.

    My setup is not going to be that elaborate.
    Trying to get the wife to cough up that much money is like pulling teeth.

    Our house already has an 8' x 34' lanai on it, so the screen room will be coming off of that.
    This stuff really adds up quick, doesn't it?
    I might have to compromise and get a 30' instead of a 34' but I keep telling the wife that we're only going to
    do this once, so we better do it right the first time. I'd hate to have the regret of wanting to get the bigger pool for the rest of my life.


    $36K + for the pool and construction, extra decking, heater (possibly), SWG (possibly) and the screen room, plus who
    knows what else is in store for me. Then the landscaping after that is done.
    So maybe my daughter doesn't need to go to college after all.

    It will all be worth it in the long run, that's for sure.
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Guest
    I actually decided on a San Juan pool because I looked at some that had been in the ground for several years and they had held up very well. I also liked the range of models they offered. I had seen some things about viking having probems with their gelcoat but I believe that they have solved that these days.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    8
    I added the crystite finish (sapphire blue) option when I ordered the pool (no extra cost, as pool mfg. business is quite slow this time of year). I paid "Cost" for the perimeter tiling but really like it. Its the same as yours Waterbear but blue in color. Viking does offer a 7 year warranty on their finish (you have to really read the small print in the warranty for exclusions). Just like Ciotog stated, I'm only going to do this one time so I really wanted to get as much as possible (without going bankrupt of course). You really need to do alot of research as there are so many products and options available. Thats what makes this site and forum so valuable, the expert advise and experience that everyone shares helps all those thinking or building a pool. For all you contributions, I thank you. I've learned a great deal but still have so much more to learn. Its comforting to know where to turn for advise and opinions.

    Bill

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Additional Costs.

    A few other things that I wanted to ask about, but forgot.
    I hope you don't mind me asking, because it is about money and I know that some people do not feel comfortable discussing money, so if you do, please forgive me.

    1) How much did your property taxes increase when you installed a pool?
    2) How much did your home owner's increase when you installed a pool?
    3) How much did your electricity bill increase with the additional load of pumps, heaters, SWG and lighting?


    Thanks!
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Guest

    Re: Additional Costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciotog
    A few other things that I wanted to ask about, but forgot.
    I hope you don't mind me asking, because it is about money and I know that some people do not feel comfortable discussing money, so if you do, please forgive me.

    1) How much did your property taxes increase when you installed a pool?
    2) How much did your home owner's increase when you installed a pool?

    These two are kind of hard to answer for me because my property vaulues went through the roof in the two year between buying my house and getting the final inspection on the pool! I really don't know how much was from the pool and new (MUCH bigger) screen room and how much from the general property value increases in my neighborhood (which went crazy!).

    3) How much did your electricity bill increase with the additional load of pumps, heaters, SWG and lighting?
    Another one that is hard to answer because it depends on how much you use the lights, the heater, etc. and how energy efficient your equipment is. I guess I saw maybe between $50 to $75 more a month. I can tell you that I see a bigger change in the electric bill when I run the Central air then when I run the pool heatpump!

    Thanks!
    If you need to ask you can't afford it!

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Thanks again

    Waterbear,
    Thanks for the info. Again I appreciate it.

    You're starting to sound like my Dad now...

    "If you need to ask you can't afford it!"

    I'm mainly asking these questions just to give my wife a ballpark figure on the added monthly expenses.
    She's the book keeper in our relationship and spending large amounts of money makes her very, very nervous, so the
    more numbers I can give her, the more comfortable she will be about writing that big ole check.
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887
    Our heating bill is about $100/month in the late spring and early fall for a natural gas heater. Our pump costs about $50/month. We have a very small pump and medium electric rates. Home owners insurance was not affected once we removed the diving board. They were going to charge a lot more with the diving board. I can't say about property taxes, since the pool was here when we got here, but our real estate agent said that the pool lowered the value of the house a little.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Delaer Reccomendations

    Waterbear,
    I was wondering if you had any recommended pool dealers in this area that deal with fiberglass pools.
    I know that you told me that there were some that should be avoided and I was wondering if you could provide me with some reputable builders.
    As I mentioned before, I am currently working with Renaissance Pool & Spas, but I also want to get some more quotes from other builders as well.

    Thanks again for all of your help.
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    504
    1) How much did your property taxes increase when you installed a pool?

    Every area is different so that is a hard question to answer. In 1982, my home value increased about 5% with the addition of the pool. With the building of the pool, I needed a building permit; which means inspection. Placement of the pool (pool and cement patio had to be 15 foot from lot line) and the fence (four foot high and lockable gates). The inspector came and left in about 5 minutes.

    2) How much did your home owner's increase when you installed a pool?

    I had and have Allstate Insurance. They wanted to know what type, (inground vinyl); size, (20 X 40); deep end depth, (7 1/2 foot); atleast 4 foot fence with lockable gates, (yes); and was it inspected by the town, (yes). They (Allstate) never came out to look at the pool). My insurance bill went up about 40 dollars (as I remember) the next year, but part of that or all of the increase might have been just normal increase of the insurance. I never asked.

    3) How much did your electricity bill increase with the additional load of pumps, heaters, SWG and lighting?

    That question is hard because of the equiptment you will have and the rate you pay compared to my equiptment and the rate I pay (13 cents a KWH). You will see an increase but you will have to "learn" your pool. How long to run your pump a day; how long you run your SWG; how many lights and how long they are on each night; and etc.


    The best answers to your questions you will get from your neighbors and co-workers that have pools; that live in your area and are willing to talk to you and tell you the truth. Can you visit pools your PB is putting in and can you visit your neighbors' and co-workers' pools? What did they do or didn't do that they wished they could do over. The PB should be the best "expert" that you will talk to about alot of your questions.

    One thought I have for you is talk to the PB about your pool pump and how to run it. A one speed pump with a timer (you can always keep the timer 'on' 24 hours a day); two speed pump; 4 speed pump or an intelligent speed pump.
    Hotrod30

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
    Rolachem Chlorine Feeder
    Hayward 27 inch sand filter with 80 lbs of pea gravel
    Jacuzzi Splash Pak SP55 DE filter in parallel
    Pentair VF3050 pump

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Thanks

    Thanks for the info, Hotrod.

    So what kind of hotrod is in the garage?
    16k I.G. Gunite, SWCG, 1.5hp Hayward Pump, .75hp Booster Pump w/ Hayward Phantom Cleaner,Hayward C5025, swimclear cartridge filter, 400k Hayward heater.

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