Considering San Juan IG fiberglass, comments?

rmw_August 25, 2010

Just throwing this out there, to the experts (you guys) for some input/info.

I'll apologize right off for the long winded post, but I'm just getting into the "pool" thing and doing tons of research right now.

Considering a pool. INGROUND for sure. 95% sure I'm set on fiberglass.

We are in our early 30s, kid is 7 and lots of neighbor kids in the same age range.

I want to build an area that will remind us of our recent trip to Kauai, HI and a great safe area for the kids to play for years.

Budget - $30-$35k (maybe tad more) that will be available after the sale of a sports car.

In southern Ohio, so hot summers and cold winters.

HUGE flat yard with absolutely NO shade. Yard is 125' wide. No utilities/septic or anything out back to worry about.

Excuse the dead yard from this year's drought! Figured I'd run the pool the long way. Narrow end close to the house.

I'm heavily leaning towards fiberglass. Seems the best all-around option. I'm looking at Viking, San Juan, and Trilogy at the moment. It seems the more you research the more confused you get! Reading all the blogs/forums/etc everyone just attacks each other. At first I was leaning towards Viking, but are their pools really thin and quality control lacking now-a-days? Any real world comments on these three manufacturers?

I really like San Juan's Desert Springs model. ~30' x ~14', ~6800 gallons

Anyone know if white, bone, light blue are the only standard colors? Are all SJ's iridium finishes extra cost?

Could I just use the spa area as a "kiddie pool" type area and not plumb for extra jets/heat/etc?

How many returns, skimmers, mains, etc would be preferred in a pool this shape/size?

Pumps/filters? I know everyone says to use a variable speed. I'd like to keep my electric bill in the affordable range and not double it.

I know I want to do the SWCG system. Seems fairly simple and lots of rave reviews? Downsides? Salt water around your decking/concrete and other stuff being corrosive? But I presume all pool water with chemicals isn't great for around the pool. I want pool/chemical maint. to be as easy and non-time consuming as possible.

Probably not going to do a heater. It seems that propane/gas heaters will suck gas down like a hog ($$$) and the heat pumps don't do a lot for you when it's not WARM outside already. If I was doing a heater, I'd want it to extend my pool season by allowing me to swim in Sept/Oct or May and NOT cost a fortune.

Automation, I currently have a Control4 (http://www.control4.com) home automation system. I'd love to be able to control some of my pool equipment from it if possible. Lights, swg, and pumps would be cool as well as knowing water temperature. Any recommendations on system here?

Covers. Loop-loc. Do I need a TRUE winter cover or can I use the loop-loc safety mesh cover. Would the snow/ice melting cause a problem? I know you probably don't want the pool to overflow or be to high in the winter time? Would probably purchase and install myself. Easy DIY and save $$.

Decking. I'm thinking stamped concrete although cool-deck from MORTEX sounds interesting. I'd guess it's super expensive though and maybe not for install in frost/winter areas?

Mosiacs. Want a turtle and a seal. Probably with the cool shading that makes them look like they are swimming mid-water. Seems

Lights. Just want some standard lighting to light up the pool. Nothing fancy. No colors. Just something reliable and cheap. It'd be nice if I could control them or dim them with the pool controller/automation system though.

Electrical. Is all the electric normally covered in a pool bid? My father is an electrician and could save some money on that side of things maybe.

Going to be building a retaining wall, fire pit, get a vinyl pergola, and some fake large palm trees too. These will all be DIY. This is not included in my initial price budget above.

Thanks again!

Robert Willis

rwillis@yahoo.com

Ohio

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