Help me define my pool needs (MA)

chris11895October 26, 2012


This is my first pool and I just received a quote for 80K if I get all of the stuff they included as options. I read a thread from a while back where someone said you should tell them what you want and then have them quote that. SO. I'm wondering if someone with pool expertise can help me define that? Below is the style I want and here are the details I do know I want. We're on the North Shore of Mass in case that matters.

Gunite Pool

20x40 rectangle

Shallow end at 3' and deep end at 8.5'

Stairs running the width or the shallow end

Bench running width of deep end.

2-3' coping on the edge - does the pool company have to do this or can my mason?

Lights - how many? What type/brand?

Cleaning system. Again - what type/brand?


I don't want the retractable cover. Code requires a fence and at 12-16K I don't think it's worth it.

What am I missing and any input on the above in case I have something wrong is so appreciated!!



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i would go with 4 lights
1 at each end and 2 in the middle
go with color lights like the PENTAIR INTELLIBRITE 5G COLOR LED POOL LIGHT or the Hayward colorlogic
As far as cleaners i would go with a pressure side cleaner like the Polaris 360
Pool pump- Pentair intelliflo VS
Also make sure your pool has a auto fill

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Thank you! Do you have any recommendations for a cleaning system?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:55AM
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4 lights seems like a lot, and I am not a fan of colored LEDs. They are an expensive novelty in my opinion. Pressure cleaner (polaris 280, 380, etc) with a booster pump is a great choice. I also like 2 speed pumps more than variable. Two speeds are simple mechanical pumps that save money, the variable pumps add expensive electronic controls. Get a 400k btu heater - only a bit more than smaller and heat the water faster. Also, I have not had one, but hear that autofills have a lot of maintenance issues. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:20AM
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infloor cleaning sysyem?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Whoa! 4 Intellibrites is definitely too many unless you want to see it from space! 2 would be plenty. Even when we are not in the pool we will turn the lights on, it is a very soothing display of color changes. But they are not necessary so you will have to decide if it is your thing or not. Now if you wanted to use the smaller spa lights, then 4 would be okay.

I have a Polaris 280, good for debris but not so good on dust and dirt. I'm thinking about a robot. If you have trees, the 280 (380) is very nice to keep the stuff out of your filter.

You can have your mason do the coping, that is likely what the pool builder will do, hire a mason. A warning, if you do like in your picture, you will get a lot of grass in the pool when you mow and trim. A poured in place coping would also have a nice clean appearance on a pool design like you are showing.

Yes on the two speed pump. You can hardly hear them on low speed, I only use high speed for cleaning and backwashing.

I say yes on the autofill but it would be something additional to winterize for you. I've heard an overflow can be added to a skimmer so you could at least do that.

Solar heat could be worth looking into.

With just one pump I don't think you need an expensive controller such as the Easytouch but some PBs add it in there. I do have the Intellibrite light controller, it was definitely worth it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 12:43PM
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Thanks for the input! Below are they optionss they gave me. I only see an option for the Variable Speed Pump. What should I ask for in regards to two speed pumps?
Also, do these prices seem normal or high?

Plumbing / Heating:
� Sta-Rite Intellipro Variable Speed pump with integrated electronic VGB Act Compliant Suction Vacuum release system as main filtration circulation pump: $985-
� Heater Option 1: Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm 400,000 Propane
Heater, 84% efficiency: $3100
� Heater Option 2: Aquacomfort AC-125 Heat Pump, reduces heating cost for ��pool only�� installations: $5275

Cleaning System:
� Cleaning option 1: Manual Vac Head, Pole and hose included in base Pool, plugs into one of two skimmers: $0.
� Cleaning option 2: Polaris 280Vac: $1175
� Cleaning option 3: Paramount PCC 2000 In-Floor Cleaning system, Designed by Paramount for this pool, no Polaris Vac required with this option: $5610

Disinfection System:
� Disinfection Option 1: Automatic Chlorinator Included in Base Pool: $0
� Disinfection option 2: Trident UV ultra violet Sanitizer: $2100
� Sanitation option 3: Paramount Clear O3 Ozone sanitizer: $975
� Sanitation option 4: Pentair Intellchlor IC-40 Salt Chlorination System: $2475

Coping Options:
� 14' x 2' Bluestone: 120 lineal feet of Thermal top, eased top edge, square sawn back, installed with SSG Multi-coat bonding agent, guaranteed from loosening for 5 years: $9,480

Additional Options:
Diving board: Install 8�� diving board: $1350

Cover Options:
� Coverpools Automatic cover with aluminum coverlid, and choice of fabric colors: $12,750

Lid Options:
1. Standard aluminum lid: Included
2. Powdercoated Bezel type walk-on lid, includes powdercoating of leading edge bar, choice of non-metallic colors: $3500
3. Vanishing lid system, including stainless steel bracket system and upgraded 24 wide bluestone at cover vault: $4620

� Base Pool Electrical including the Electrical permit, Supply and installation of weatherproof Subpanel, (1) GFCI outlet with cord cover, Wiring of (1) pump, (1) timeclock, Conduit for (1) light, including switching. Bonding of pool shell prior to gunite, deck bonding after deck backfill, prior to deck installation: $3250

� LED lights: $850 per fixture x 2 = $1700
� Gas heater Electrical Hookup: $175
� In-Floor Cleaning System Hook-up: $185
� Polaris Vac Electrical Wiring: $125
� Heat Pump Electrical Hookup: $600
� Paramount Clear O3 Ozone hookup: $250
� Trident Ultra Violet hookup: $250
� Pentair Intellichlor salt system hookup: $250
� Automatic cover wiring: $750

Pool Interior Finish Options:
� Interior option 1: White Plaster included in Base: $0
� Interior option 2: VC - Gray Plaster (non-liquid method: $1,800
� Interior option 3: Chilean Beach Caribbean, Tahoe, Plum, Gold or White Pearl - Pearl Matrix Pebble: $6,800

� Water at Gunite Phase: Provided By Owner
� 4 Loads of water required upon completion: Paid direct by owner to company.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 1:40PM
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If you do go salt chlorination, for the size pool you are talking about, I would get the IC-60 cell. I think the salt system is the best of the sanitation choices.

Here is a link that might be useful: My pool build

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Pump - tell the builder you want a 2 speed energy efficient pump. S/he will understand. The "GB Act Compliant Suction Vacuum release system" may be a code thing where you are - usually a 2 main drains in a tee three feet apart suffice for preventing entrapment. Go with whatever code your area has.

I like the Polaris 280 - although in-floor cleaning is getting better and more popular.

I also like the salt system and the larger IC-60 cell is good.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 11:45AM
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Some areas do require an SVRS system in addition to dual drains. When integrated with the pump is costs less than than having a discrete SVRS system added.

Do you have an available 50 amp 240 volt service to power a heat pump? Otherwise, a service upgrade to a bigger panel may be needed and that would drive your costs up. You're a bit too far North for a heat pump anyway.

Ozone, UV, and residential pools are NOT needed. Save the money.

The Wet Edge high aggregate finishes suggested are truly superior and will outlast plaster by well over the cost of redoing the plaster in 10 years by about another 20 years.

Don't do the In-Floor. In season, they are nice but closing them in the Winter and initial cleanings are a PITA with the head popping up when they aren't wanted. The Polaris works just fine.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Thank you for all of the input! I'm going to piece it together and post back!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 1:33PM
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