Planning an in-ground Michigan build.


Jun 22, 2020
Freeland, MI
First post here on the forum after lurking for a little bit. We've been using a 15' Intex the last few summers and with the kids getting bigger (just turned 6 and 3 ) we've decided to seriously explore an in-ground pool. We're in the Saginaw, Michigan area and it's mostly vinyl installers near us, but with a dog and a strong desire for a tanning ledge we're explored fiberglass. Leading Edge pools are made locally and we love their Grand Ledge model...

Leading Edge - Grand Ledge Pool

We are completely new to this world and I'm looking for any advice I can get. I'd love to DIY whatever I can to save on cost, but I'm afraid there probably isn't much I could do outside of laying pavers for the deck as I wouldn't really know how to make sure the work would be getting done correctly if I sub'd out some of the work myself.

We have not set foot in a showroom and it's been almost impossible to get anyone to respond since most PB's seem insanely busy right now. The one PB we had on site did send a quote but with all generic information, i.e., heat pump, deck jets, etc. with no make or model information. I realize I should request a detailed, line item quote if we want to move forward. I do have a vinyl guy coming this Wednesday to discuss our options for comparison.

Our wish list so goes something like this...

15,000-18,000 gallons is where I suspect we land (15'x37-40' range) including the tanning ledge
Auto-cover to avoid having to put up a fence and to avoid needing a solar or winter cover
Salt water
Heat pump
4 deck jets
2 bubblers in the ledge
LED color changing lights (3 likely?)
Either automation up front or be ready for automation, so should I push for all Pentair or Hayward?
Variable speed pump but not sure on make or model
Filter type I'm unsure of. PB suggested sand. Claims we would hate having a cartridge with the cottonwood we have flying around, but would we want cartridge with the deck jets?
I would install a paver patio myself but will at least quote an exposed aggregate deck. I don't like a plain brushed concrete. Will be roughly a 16x16 pad coming off the house covered by a pergola, then water's edge roughly 5' off the patio. The decking around the pool is TBD but I want room along one long end closest to the house and off the tanning ledge end for chairs.

Things I've picked up from the forums so far...
Request 2" piping
I'll buy a robot, but probably not from the PB
How many main drains, returns and skimmers should be I be looking for?

The PB had us around $80k, without any decking and just a 2' coping to lock in the pool. The specific model we want is waitlisted so, even though the PB could get us swimming still this summer if we picked a model in stock, this will end up being next year's project. Time should be on our side to plan and get other quotes. Possibly better to wait to quote later in the year when they are less busy, but also don't want to be pushed back on the 2021 build list.

Sorry for the long first post, but wanted to be thorough. Really excited to get some opinions and advice to help us get moving.


Jun 22, 2020
Freeland, MI
I do have a vinyl pool builder coming today to look over what they could do for us. The fiberglass installer did stop by to confirm that they could in fact get the pool into the backyard, so that appears to at least be an option.