Thinking about getting a pool...would love a little advice

mlynch

New member
Oct 19, 2010
1
I am planning on putting in a pool soon (probably next spring). I really want an oval pool.

I haven't decided between inground and above ground. Looked at Doughboy 16x34 and and love the kidney-shaped fiberglass (but haven't looked at any yet).

I would love some advice, especially in the following areas:

1) Does an inground really use less chemicals? So there would be a small savings here?
2) Does an inground stay warmer? I live in Indiana and neighbors use their pools about 5-6 months/year. In other words, can you use an inground longer?
3) Site I want to place pool on has a slope (3' from end-to-end). I am looking to do excavation so that no soil would touch the sides of an above ground and a wrap-around deck would hide the slope. With an underground, we'd bring in fill dirt. Is either scenario better?
4) Is an oval asking too much structurally from an above ground? One brand I looked at (not Doughboy) had the panels bowing out on the straight sections and looked terrible.
5) I have small kids and plan to use the pool a long time, but am really undecided on depth. Doughboy can dig out a deep end of 6-7'. Could those of you with teenagers give me advice on constant depth vs. deep-end?

Thanks and I look forward to your thoughts!
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Welcome to TFP :wave:

I'll answer based on my own experience and opinion...I have 4 kids, ages 3-9

I have an AGP, but if I could have afforded it I would have absolutely gone the inground route...my personal opinion is that they just look better, although you can really do some amazing things landscaping wise to make a AGP look "right". We decided on a AGP with a larger 18x24 deck opened to 1/4 of the pool wall. Total cost with some serious DIY was about $14,000 (prices vary by region). The pool was $899 (fall closeout in 2008), pump/filter/rigid pvc plumbing $1,000, electrical $2,400 (included upgarding the house from 100amp to 200 amp service) and a 100ft run to the pool, permits $250, deck framing/12 42" deep concrete foundations (paid a contactor) $2,100, Trex decking/composite railings (self-installed) $5,600, self closing hinges/latch/welded Pvc Gate $450, and pool install $1,000.

The inground route (fiberglass or Vinyl lined steel) would have run anywhere from $25-$35K. In my opinion, I should have waited another year and spent the extra $20k, given we do not plan on moving until the runtlings are all in/out of college. What keeps me grounded is that the $20k saved can now go toward college funds :shock: .

I would love some advice, especially in the following areas:

1) Does an inground really use less chemicals? So there would be a small savings here? No, water chemistry is close enough IGP vs AGP that you will not realize any material difference. Water volume matters most, as far a maintenance costs are concerned.
2) Does an inground stay warmer? I live in Indiana and neighbors use their pools about 5-6 months/year. In other words, can you use an inground longer? I run two solar panels on my 13.5k gallon pool and my water is always 7-10 deg warmer than my SILs IGP with no heater and we live a mile away...not sure if others can attest to temp diff IGP vs AGP?..Bottom line though, if you want to extend your swim season you'll need a heater whether you choose IGP or AGP
3) Site I want to place pool on has a slope (3' from end-to-end). I am looking to do excavation so that no soil would touch the sides of an above ground and a wrap-around deck would hide the slope. With an underground, we'd bring in fill dirt. Is either scenario better?Both are the right approach
4) Is an oval asking too much structurally from an above ground?Nope One brand I looked at (not Doughboy) had the panels bowing out on the straight sections and looked terrible.probaly a bad install, just stay away from that brand
5) I have small kids and plan to use the pool a long time, but am really undecided on depth. Doughboy can dig out a deep end of 6-7'. Could those of you with teenagers give me advice on constant depth vs. deep-end?
I wish I had a deep-end

Finally for a visual, here is an old pic of our pool shortly after completion...this gives you an idea of the amount of landcaping $ I will be spending down the road. Hope this helps :goodjob:

 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
All I can offer is that you'll get less Crud in an above-ground than an in-ground. When I mow the lawn, despite the four foot deck and great caution, I still get a bunch of grass in the pool.

When I had a pool service, one day after a big storm the guy was telling me his next stop was at a house where a patio table got blown into the pool. It was a glass topped table.

It might alo be worth checking what a pool will do to property tax assessments. AG might be considered temporary, since it can be removed. But if you pull a permit for $35,000 worth of improvements, you just know that will go onto the bill.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,799
Pleasanton, CA
I have an inground with a diving area specifically because I have/had teenagers at the time I built the pool. I knew they would jump and dive anyway so I figured I might as well make it safe. They really enjoy diving although now I wish I had gone with a longer board (8' vs 6').

Also, a few things that haven't been mentioned that every potential pool owner should be aware of and one is the cost of owning a pool. Chemicals are only one cost. Pool pumps are large consumers of energy so consider a two speed or variable speed pump to keep energy costs down. Also, if you have solar or other heater, having higher temperature water means more evaporation and higher water costs not to mention the cost of heating the pool if not solar. So a pool cover will help with that.

A pool is a large investment so do your homework before deciding on everything. There are a lot of folks here that are happy to help with the decision process.
 

mmayzak

Member
Nov 7, 2010
7
I am thinking SERIOUSLY about the inground fiberglass option (I live just outside of Oklahoma City)... no spa... any options with the salt water system in these inground fiberglass pools??