Hi, all. I posted a while back about having a wood-walled AGP installed. Well, after spending much time on this board and another pool forum reading the many posts, I think an IGP will be a better investment. The thing is, by the time I add on new decking and other peripherals, the AGP was coming in close to $10K. My fuzzy logic says for a little more than twice that amount I can get an IGP. Again, because of my yard size and shape (as well as budget), I am looking at building (gunite) or installing (fiberglass) a small rectangular pool. The pool is substantially similar to the pools in the photos here, except I want the entry to include a five-foot baja shelf: http://flickr.com/photos/14747954@N0...7605746991241/.
I would like to pay cash for my pool, as I am trying to live debt-free. Of course, in paying cash I will have to come up with more money . . . which translates to more wait time. I'm patient, so that's okay. But here's the thing: I spoke with one pool builder who indicated that if I wanted to complete my project (complete backyard redo, including installing pool, new fence, island and landscaping), he could "stage" my project into phases whereby I pay at the completion of each phase of the project. For example, if fencing is $5K, I pay $5K when he completes the fence. A few months later, I can have the forms placed, dig the hole, place the rebar and shoot the gunite. According to this builder, gunite can sit empty for years. Is this true? My biggest concern would be an empty gunite pool popping out of the ground. Or would a hydrostatic valve take care of that? While I certainly wouldn't take five years to complete my build, it is quite possible that it may take me a year or so to come up with the cash to pay for the project. I've read posts on here about owners' pools unintentionally taking two years or more to build. What I want to know is would I be asking for trouble if I waited six months to a year after shooting gunite to finish the pool.
I have drawn the pool that I want and intend to obtain bids from several builders. What I have included is:
12'x23' I.D. (14'x27' O.D.) rectangular pool with five foot square Baja shelf entry stair;
Two foot perimeter ledge (for my furkids);
13' raised beam (3'x4'x18" - 3'x5'x24" - 3'x4'x18") with one three foot sheer descent;
351 s.f. concrete decking (two foot pool perimeter; remainder used to join two existing 10'x10' concrete patios;
Cast stone coping;
Noble Titanium waterline tile in dark blue;
Pebblesheen in French Gray or Wetedge Matrix Pearl in Mystic Blue;
Appropriately sized two-speed or variable speed pump (Hayward or Pentair);
Large Hayward or Pentair cartridge or sand filter;
SWCG with Automatic controls (Aqua Rite or Intellichlor);
Automatic pool filler/leveler;
Light (at least one, but not sure yet);
Appropriate numer of drains, returns, jets and skimmers.
I don't know enough about hydraulics to know what would be the proper sized pump, but I know that I want the most energy efficient pump, filter and controls that I can buy. While my budget is pretty tight, I want to make sure I get the best equipment I can. I believe I can get this pool in gunite for about $20-25K.
If I go with the fiberglass pool, one installer quoted roughly $30K for the "Elegance" pool, which includes site visit, planning assistance, all permits and HOA approvals, excavation, removal of soil, an ultra quiet WhisperFlo pump, a salt chlorination system, an automatic pool sweep, your choice of sand, cartridge or DE filter, deluxe skimmer, pool returns, high performance LED pool lights, waterline tile, all plumbing, hookup to 240v electrical service, automatic equipment controls, equipment pad, 350 square feet of concrete deck with a single color Spray Deck surface application, start up chemicals, cleaning kit with brush, leaf skimmer, pole, vacuum head, hose, tester kit, site clean up, pool clean up, and “pool school. This dealer is a Pentair dealer, and a Pentair filter, pump, salt chlorination system and pool sweep are part of its standard package, which adds a three-year extended warranty. The same builder quoted $25K for the Leisure Pool "Tuscany 23."
Another fiberglass installer quoted me $28,640 for the same "Tuscany 23" Leisure Pool using Hayward products, but their package [b]did not[b] include the SWCG, permits, electrical hookup or some other items.
At any rate, whether I go with gunite or fiberglass I intend to have a pool in my backyard, and am planning and budgeting way in advance. I hope to get my project started in December. I would appreciate any feed back.
To make it easier to answer, here's a recap of my questions:
1. Is it safe/advisable to allow a gunite pool to sit empty for six months to one year?
2. Would you advise against building a gunite pool in "phases?" If so, why?
3. Based on the size of this pool (approx. 10,300 gals.), what would be the most energy efficient equipment with automatic controls, and what size?
4. With large dogs, is one pool better than the other (gunite v. fiberglass)?
5. For bidding purposes, have I left any equipment/extras out of my list?
6. What would you add?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
FWIW, I'm in Cedar Hill, Texas (16 miles south of downtown Dallas)