Starting the Process on LI

andrewrstone

Member
Jun 25, 2014
7
Mount Sinai, NY
I currently have a semi-inground pool that was probably installed about 20 years ago. We moved in 9 years ago and have enjoyed it but the deck around it is nearing the need for significant repairs. I'm starting the process of appointments and quotes which based on supply and demand is the wrong time. I've had a pool since childhood and maintained my current pool so I know about owning one. I have plenty of room so I could put in a much larger pool than I can afford. I'm probably looking at holding back on things that I can do later. I'm definitely a function first and appearance second mindset.

Here's my wishlist:
Approximately 18 x 45 - With 45 feet I can swim laps and have my Garmin track distance. Shorter is possible if I swim diagonal.
A fairly large play area
No diving board but I'd like a deep end. It doesn't need to be super deep.
Natural gas heater - We cover the pool at night religiously and it's around 85 degrees most of the summer. We use our current propane heater occasionally but it's pretty old and we now have natural gas so that's a preference.
Pavers surrounding the pool, probably more square footage than I have on the deck now.
Probably Vinyl Liner

No real preference on Filter/pump etc. I've only used DE Filters so that's my baseline. If cartridge works better I'd consider it.
I'd like salt but would consider waiting if it allowed me to get other stuff that's more important.
I'd like automation but also would consider waiting.

I'm very DIY so if there are things I can do that will save money, I will do it.

I've had one company out so far and based on the slope of the property he suggested that the inground pool would probably be similar height to the current pool. It would then need retaining walls around the pool for the pavers. I can add pictures if that needs more explanation.

Any thoughts or suggestions ranging from "go all in and sell a body part to pay for it" to "don't be stupid, wait until the deck falls apart and then fix the deck" would be appreciated. Also any recommendations from other Long Islanders (central Suffolk) on pool builders would also be appreciated.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,722
Tallahassee, FL
Let us see pics of your current pool so we can decide if you should ride it out or start all over................saying that I think you would LOVE an L shaped pool! It is the best of all pools to me.

The foot part is the "playing" part. It should be at least 4' feet through out. Check out the Watermelon Ball Game! BEST pool fun out there!

The leg part is for the deeper area for diving, cannon balls, laps, etc.

Kim:kim:
 

andrewrstone

Member
Jun 25, 2014
7
Mount Sinai, NY
The property is more long than square so an L shape wouldn't fit well. I also want to be able to swim 45 foot laps. I will definitely look at Watermelon ball.

I got my first quote for the paver decking and it's less than I expected. It's still a lot and needs some adjustment based on the pool but it seems more possible.

Here are some pictures.

Pool1-3 show the pool and deck from different high angles.
Pool4-6 show the pool at ground level from outside. You can see the slope from the back corner toward the house.
Pool7 is just an example of one of the problems. I could jack up the deck and fix this but there are plenty of other problems, seen and unseen, known and unknown. Also the liner, filter and structure are about 20 years old, possibly older.
Not pool is why the hydrangea in Pool6 looks so horrible from outside of the pool.
 

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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
46,722
Tallahassee, FL
Yeah those critters can and will do a number on any plant they deem as theirs :roll: LOL

What a pretty house and property! The deck and pool look great in the pics but that one pic of the leg going through the block shows that one problem. It will be interesting to see what all you find as you take it down.

I don't know your wallet as well as you do. Have you seen the pool with out the liner? How does the bottom of the pool feel when you walk on it? Is it smooth and firm?
 

andrewrstone

Member
Jun 25, 2014
7
Mount Sinai, NY
Thank you, I grew up on Long Island in a Levitt subdivision that had most properties between 1/4 and 1/3 acre. I'm 3 miles from there and it seems like a different world. Although it does mean sharing the property with deer, turkeys, etc.

Based on records from the previous owner the liner was probably installed in 2001. We bought the house in 2011 so all I've seen of the pool are the parts above ground. There are uneven spots in the liner but I can't tell if they've shifted or always been there. I have spent a fair amount of time repairing the deck and crawling around under, so I know what's there. It might last another 5-10 years with regular work, it might also need some repairs that will be costly, expensive or both. I'm sure the pool liner, filter, heater, etc will need work as well.

Ultimately I need to figure out some details and then work out a price for everything to see if the cost is worth it compared to the repairs. I just got my first quotes back from the pool company and mason. Both quotes are actually lower than I expected so that's a good start. Combined without fixing some things I probably want to change, it's the $55-$60k range without the fence around the pool.

I have a few specific questions that could definitely use some input from people more experienced that me.

1. When I was talking to the mason he thought we could get the new pool to the level of the lower deck, which is the part in front of the gate in Pool3. Currently it's a single step up so about 8 inches. The lower deck is level with the sliding door from the house so it will always be at that level. Would it look strange for a wood deck (to be replaced in the future) to transition into pavers at the same level?

2. Pool5 shows the back corner of the pool deck which is the high point of the yard. If we regrade I think I could drop the level of the pool by about 16 inches so the area around the pool would be a single step down from the deck. That would result in a slope of about an inch per foot back to the tree line. I do have a drainage system (total of 170 feet, hand dug by me because I'm an idiot and cheap) for the downspouts. I could extend the drainage back to the corner to catch runoff before it gets to the pool deck. Is that reasonable or am I asking for trouble?

3. In any case the area around the pool will be pavers on top of concrete on top of fill. Then a retaining wall around that to hold it up. The fill would range from nothing to 24 inches. Should I be concerned about settling?

4. From pool3 picture, there will obviously be a different fence there. I think it needs to be 50 inches above the outer surface. If the pool is lower, the fence would need to step up to the deck height. An thoughts about that transition?

School starts for me tomorrow so I'll probably need a few days before I can follow up with the pool guy. I've heard good things about this pool builder but I also want to get a couple of quotes from other companies. Again, I need to get through the first few days of classes before my brain can manage that. Any input you have would be helpful for my next steps. Thank you.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,866
Central California
2¢... If this is your forever house, and you know in your heart that you will eventually want your dream pool, then don't fix another thing. Tear it out, build your dream pool right now. Waiting will just cost more (unless it's expected that prices will come back down a bit post-corona). Whatever the cost, you want that deferred over the most years possible, to get the best bang for your buck. Every year you wait means that much more "per year" your new pool will cost to use (so to speak). It's like the folks that wait until they're ready to sell their house to fix it up to be their dream home to maximize the sale price! Don't wait ten years to get some extra miles out of your old pool, build your new pool now, and enjoy it starting now, and for the most number of years possible.
 
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andrewrstone

Member
Jun 25, 2014
7
Mount Sinai, NY
That's a really good point, thank you. I always hate spending money on things that I'm getting rid of, to the point where a railing cap on the deck is broken apart and I don't want to spend $10 on a replacement. When looking at the enjoyment perspective I wasn't directly thinking of it from a cost per year. My son is almost 11 so that's definitely a consideration but the cost per year for us is equally important. Of course I may just like the argument because it confirms what I want to do.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,509
NY
My son is almost 11 so that's definitely a consideration
We needed windows and a new kitchen badly when the kids were little but the Mrs decreed that those were no fun and getting the pool after that was paid off when the kids were in HS was a waste. So we got the pool and they had 8 years growing up with a pool. It wasn’t the most responsible choice, I watched my hard earned money spent on heat go out the drafty windows the whole time, but life isn’t all about the money sometimes.
 

andrewrstone

Member
Jun 25, 2014
7
Mount Sinai, NY
My wife would prefer the kitchen but that can't be done until I'm no longer working from home and we feel comfortable with people coming into the house. When she suggested that maybe we should do the pool, I jumped at the idea. We could just set the money (more accurately, the loan) aside for a few years but what fun is that? And with interest rates where they are now....