Need your advice - New Pool Build Specs
Hi, I am a newbie Northern California pool owner and am working on the design, components, and finishes for the pool. I have been surfing this site for a few weeks looking at finishes/tiles and am grateful for everyone sharing their photos. I have a couple different bids and am a bit worried about making the right choice. The bids are all fairly close, so I'm most concerned with quality of build and long-term management of the pool. I'd love your feedback on the items below. Thanks so much!
18x36 free form w/ 7.5' diameter raised spa with 2'wide spillover
baja step 6.5'x4' with umbrella sleeve
1) Hayward used to be a mediocre brand, but in the past couple of years has improved supposedly. Is that really the case or is it marketing hype? One pool builder recommended not using Hayward, but instead using: Sta-Rite/Pentair with a Jandy Controller
2) Do we need the ozonator? Do they work or are they a gimmick?
3) Is the pool size good? Some friends have said it seems big. It would take up less than half of the backyard.
4) Is 7.5' for a spa a good size? How many people does that fit?
5) What size should the baja step be? Is ours too big/too small?
6) Are Fujiwa tiles good quality/tough? They are pretty and an upgrade $$, so I want to make sure they'll last.
7) Does anyone have a pool builder in the San Jose area that they loved and would recommend, or hated and we should avoid?
8) Any other recommendations of things to absolutely do or mistakes to avoid?
Pool Finish: Blue Granite Pebblesheen
Step trim tile: 2 options (NPT Minikoyn TK-1341) (Fujiwa Tile TNT033)
Coping: Arizona Flagstone Medium Buckskin (to match the existing patio & firepit)
Filter: Hayward Cartridge 525sqft Swimclear
Pump: Hayward Ecostar Variable Speed
Heater: Hayward 400K Lo/Nox natural gas
Cleaner: Kreepy Krauly Platinum
Saline SWG: TBD
Controls: Hayward/Goldline Pro-Logic PS-8
Additional Sanitation: Perfect Pool Ozonator
Spa: 6 jets, 1 air blower 1hp bottom mount
Lights: 2 Savi Melody Blanco in Pool, 1 add'l in spa
Solar: Heliocol 11 panels (or 10)