Picking Builder / Pool Build Specs

Laudermel

Member
Apr 23, 2022
5
Minnesota
After being blown away by the high cost of doing a semi-inground pool here in MN, we're now getting bids on a full in ground pool. I think I've called every pool builder in our metro area and they're all coming in around the same cost (nearly $100k not including any landscaping).

My questions: Two of the builders have nearly exactly the same price for an 18x36, but one installs Hayward & one Pentair. I understand Pentair is more expensive (and some argue better??). So, if given the two options, would most of you vote to go with the builder who installs Pentair?

I'll post the specs for one of our leading bids - anything seem problematic here? We also have the option of adding

18x36 rectangle pool ($56,500)
42” steel two rail, 6” corners, sides & bottom supports
1/8" wall pad and liner: Vinyl liner, 20 mil bottom / 27 mil sides

Pump brand/size: Pentair or equal variable speed
Filter: Pentair cartridge
Heater: Pentair 250Btu

Option to add external insulation - worth $$? (2" insulation = $1,836)
Pool-Krete bottom
Corner Steps (will add shallow end bench for added charge)
Corner swim out ladder
1 pentair LED @ deep end
Upgrade option - sidewall color LED light 2 pack $1,490 (not sure if we'll do this)
Pole with vacuum, hose, test kit, net brush safety rope.
Coverstar, Poly Box & Walk-on Aluminum lid, under track, standard motor $13,000

3’ concrete surround $5,200
Additional concrete 4’ surround with 15 x 15 patio: $5,100

IntelliCeter Pentair: ($3,533) - probably WON'T do this?
Intellichem or intellichlor pentair salt : $2,600
Pentair prowler pool cleaner: $1,300

Concrete pump truck for pool wall footings: $950

Electric / Gas / Soil removal : $8,500

Landscape design $500

Base Total: $94,640
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
19,297
Evans, Georgia
Hello!! Welcome....so happy to have folks come to us before decisions made...and later regretted.

I estimate your pool to be about 20k gallons if average depth 4'. What depths were you seeking?
Bigger Heater
Biggest Cartridge Filter you can afford saves on frequency of cleaning. 420 might be good for your area.
Another one or two side lights, perhaps 3 max on sides. DO NOT get Globrites. Go for Microbrites instead
Get the Intellicenter, VS Pump and IC40 package
Extra concrete is *always* desirable and regretted later if undersized
We can save you money by buying a robot independently of the builder... where *many* of us shop. About $800..

Maddie :flower:
 
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Laudermel

Member
Apr 23, 2022
5
Minnesota
Thank you Maddie!

We are undecided on depth. Our shallow end will be around 3' deep from what I gather, but we're considering having a deep end with something between 6'-8' depth. This is also hard for us to decide! We grownups will mostly just float in the pool, but we have 3 kids aged 8-15 & they will do more jumping in the deep end/etc. Hard to know how to chose this...

I had asked the pool builder about a bigger heater & he said that it would cause us to need to make other upgrades to... our gas line or something like that? I had actually questioned if we could go electric & do a heat pump, but that would be even lower BTU. I presume you'd recommend against that? I understand that a bigger heater would heat the pool faster, but when the weather warms, and, if we have an auto-cover, is a big heater really that much of an advantage?

Thank you so much for your feedback!! I really appreciate your time and thoughts.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
19,297
Evans, Georgia
Re: Depth - Kids like deeper water. To learn to dive in and swim deep, ect. If you want depth I would go at least 7' water height. The deeper a pool the safer it is for dives.
3' is too shallow- you can't even complete a lap in 3' without scraping knuckles. Go 3.5' minimum.
Make sure you specify to builder you want x depth *water level* and not wall level. Some have been disappointed by this and the builder shorted them 6" around.

A bigger heater will heat faster, which I figured might be important in Minnesota? Your cover will help hold that heat, which is ideal.
Check with your gas company about potential costs to enlarge a gas line/meter. Some report it costs nothing because they know they'll be selling you more gas. Worth a call, eh?

Maddie :flower:
 
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