If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
500
Houston, TX
We put our pool in 13 years ago and it is doing pretty well. But I'm still finding things wrong, like the skimmers aren't the same height.

#1. Better research on the Pool Builder - They had a great reputation. But they did nothing but hire sub-contractors with no oversight.

On to the list of things in/on the pool

Junk equipment (Ozonator, Pool Frog, inline tablet dispenser) - This stuff is Crud/hokum.
Not going with a VS pump from the start - Even small pumps use lots of electricity!
My pencil-jet fountains (we never use them) - And when we had parties where we did, the splashing made conversation difficult
Dedicated LED lights. They are stupid expensive and if the elements fail, not replaceable. You have to string in a whole new set!!! Better to put in standard then switch the bulbs if you want. If they die, replacing a bulb/LED Bulb is cheap/easy.
Flagstone coping - Lots of sand in the pool. Maybe brick or concrete or granite (not shiny)
Pressure-side cleaner - the energy consumption is just stupid! Cleaning is "OK", but robots do a better job
Not doing SWG
Not forcing the contractor to use epoxy grout
Not going a bit bigger. I chose 40x15. We could have gone 48 x 20. And maybe a bit deeper deep end (9-10 feet, instead of 8).
We should have put in a pool water chiller at the time of construction
Drain tile and rock around the pool perimeter
In General, listening to advice of ANYONE not here. So much bad information at the pool stores and on the internet. I wish I had known about this place in 2007...

Things I think we did right

Huge spa (7 feet by 7 feet)
Big deck - The designer wanted to leave grass between my house and the pool (just a patch)
Concrete coating to reduce heat from sun
Quartzite plaster (Diamond Brite) - Lasted very well for 13 years
 
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JimMarshall

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 5, 2017
1,003
Oil City PA
I just have an AGP but I have a couple - I wish I would have plumbed with rigid PVC from day 1. I also wish I would have added a valve to pump to waste from day 1.

I wish I would have dug a drain around the outside of the uphill side of the pool.

I also wish that I would have plumbed for and installed a main drain. It would make winter draw down so much easier. It would also decrease the amount of debris in the pool!
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
210
Flower Mound, TX
We built the same year - 2007. I also wish that I had known about this forum at the time. We were fortunate to have selected the right PB and they did a fantastic job. I did tons of research on them and spoke to several happy customers and went to look at their pools. I didn’t focus on the equipment at all, as we were really paying attention to construction quality and layout. The equipment has served us well, so I don’t regret not researching it.

The thing that has proven most beneficial was making sure the drainage in the yard was not compromised. We had had significant drainage issues and had invested quite a bit of time and money getting them corrected. Our PB shot the elevation of the pool at the same height as home foundation. We’ve had some monsoon rains and we are the only home with a pool on our cul-de-sac that hasn’t had the pool flood. Most of our neighbors opted for less expensive PBs and they’ve all had flooding issues. One has a beach entry that slopes down with the level of the yard and you could tell it was going to be trouble from day 1. Looks beautiful, but that house has had more turnover than any other and I’m convicted it’s due to the poor pool construction.

I also wish we had installed the chiller at the time of the build. I didn’t even know they existed! We added it 5 years ago and it was the best investment we’ve made to the pool. We selected a dark plaster and designed the layout so that the pool would be in the sun most of the day. Being our first pool, I didn’t realize that would result in water temps of mid-90s... Live and learn!
 
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Saturn94

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2015
1,003
SE Virginia
We would go with a smaller and deeper shallow end, and a larger deep end.

I also wish we knew better about proper backfilling around the pool. Over the years the backfill has settled quite a bit in places causing the concrete deck to crack and sink. We’ve had someone come out twice so far to inject something under parts of the deck to raise it back up. The stuff we used to seal the cracks is unattractive as well.

It would also be nice if the equipment pad were larger giving more room to work with.

That said, overall we’ve been happy with our pool.
 

Wobblerlorri

Bronze Supporter
Mine is a two year old AGP, which is pretty much perfect. However, there are some things I'd have done differently.
  1. I'd have gotten someone to level the site better. It's pretty much level, but not perfectly level. When this one dies and we get a new one, I'm putting my foot down and getting the site professionally leveled.
  2. Wrinkles in the floor. Hubby tried to get them out, but there was too much water in there to get them out. It's not a huge deal, but next spring I'm getting in there and unwrinkling the floor!
  3. Pump and filter. I should have gone straight to a 1 hp pump and appropriately sized sand filter. Instead, being cheap, I got a 0.5 hp pump/12" filter combo. Right now I'm waiting on my 19" filter to get here, so I can hook up my new 1 hp pump.
  4. I'd rather have a robot.
  5. I'd like an all resin AGP instead of the metal framed jobbie I've got.I
  6. Best of all would be an inground pool that is 20x50 rectangular. That would take up our flat but PITA to mow sideyard!
 

Jimmie48

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2019
135
Frisco, TX
My pool is one week old and after putting water in it there are already things I would change. Depths....figure out to the T how you will use the pool and what the depths should be. We have a decently long pool but with small kids the depths are too deep for them for the most part, I know thats temporary but just make sure you get a good feel for how you will use the pool and the depths you choose. Just my 2c, otherwise we are loving it!
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,541
Prosper, TX (DFW)
More actuators. I have the 2 standard with the Intellicenter, but it sure would be nice if the bubbler, waterfall and the spa overflow valves had an actuator.
 

ajup2it

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2019
125
Indiana
I'm pretty new to this but I would have opted NOT to have a light in our pool at all. The light niche collects gunk and yellow algae. I also would have done more research (pity I didn't know about this site!) about pool liners versus fiber glass and SWG Intellichlor options.
 

carlos31820

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 22, 2010
411
Midland, Georgia
I would have opted for a variable speed pump. And although I like a cartridge filter over sand, I wish I had the cartridge filter drain plumbed in such a way to allow me to drain water from the pool. Right now, my cartridge filter drain port just has a solid cap on it.