New Hoosier Here

You know the story... looking for new houses and when the wife wants a pool, the wife gets a pool. I also got large lot and a 4 car garage setup but that's another forum I suppose.

Our first pool, inground, 18/36 vinyl that was poorly maintained from the previous owners. property is a bit of a fixer upper.

Here are a few more stats that I know of..

built in 96,
good drainage site, 20 feet away from pool is about 6-8feet fall. at the edge of our lot, approx 100ft away is probably 15ft fall
all pool equipment is on its way out
liner was floated
no perimeter drain installed when built (per builder)

Some questions I have:

rust on walls
How big of a problem is this? see pics. I'm assuming they will correct this before liner install.

Step damage
The fiberglass steps are noticeably damaged. some cracking from sun and from impact. They also have blistering on them and many of the blisters, maybe 10-20 have cracks across them and are brittle.

One pool company recommended resurfacing them when he noticed the first one crack, but after seeing the extent of damage, he recommended replacement. Any opinions there?

diy drain install
I'd like to add drains for better protection. pool companies recommended tunneling under the low side for a gravity drain 30 inches below edge. I would also like to put a french drain around the majority of the pool at the landscaping/apron edge to capture surface water.

Images are here

POOL - Google Drive