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Old 06-04-2008, 06:11 AM   #21
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I've heard the statistic that more kids are killed by swimming pools than by handguns. Perhaps I'm being naive, but I'm not concerned about the safety factor.
And how many kids play with pools vs. guns??




We have one ofthose 15 ft wide, 36" deep intex (intek?) pools they sell in the box stores...its a real simple setup with pvc frame andplastic liner....paid 150 bux and got the pool plus pump.

Try that first and see how much you use it. the pumps suck, so you will have a harder time keeping things clean ( i did) but it can give you an idea of how it will be.....
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:12 AM   #22
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Thanks all for the added details. Neighbor is getting a pool and it got me to wondering.
thfed, the numbers I have seen are not pure 'this many people died in gun/pool accidents'. They are based on 'this is your chance of death for children with a gun in the house vs a pool'
They don't take into account how careful you are with either, or anything else, just the percentages.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:49 AM   #23
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We had one in our last house in Australia and found it to be the biggest pain in the butt. We lived in an area with a high level of sunshine and the sun absolutley leached all the chemicals so it was an ongoing battle to keep it in balance - chemicals cost about $100 per month. We bought the house with the pool in place, and I believe in 2 years we went in it twice.

When we were trying to sell our house, having a pool put a lot of people off, even though it was fenced, so if you are planning on selling keep that in mind. I also believe it is unlikely you will recoup the cost if you do sell.

If you do put one in, do as Rich suggests and get the saltchlorinator that automatically feeds the pool.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:09 AM   #24
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the pumps suck, so you will have a harder time keeping things clean
I got one of the pumps meant for the 15' pool and put it on my 8'. Its like a whirlpool bath now

What surprised me about the intex pools is how sturdy they are. Never put a hole in one. We got 3 years out of a 15' one before I decided to throw it out rather than clean it and roll it up for the winter, and 5 years out of an 8' one before we moved and I decided to get a new one.

Pretty good for a total outlay of under $300.

Looks like for $250 you can get a salt chlorinator/filter for the intex pools.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:34 AM   #25
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What I would like is a lap pool where you swim against the flow. Up here a swimming pool would be problematic. I have seen a few lap pools that look like long spas, but they are very pricey.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:29 AM   #26
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Appreciate all the feedback, folks, thanks!

Trying out one of the Intex pools would be a good idea, but our HOA doesn't allow above-ground pools.

Based on the feedback, it sounds like the people who actually use their pools enjoy them and don't consider them a maintenance burden. Folks who don't use the pool much consider it a headache (which makes sense). I think my wife and I would use the pool, even when the kids are gone, so that information is helpful.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:33 AM   #27
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We rented a San Diego house that had a pool. We kept it warm/full with a plastic (bubblewrap) pool cover. I was happy to let the weekly pool service take care of things. The natural-gas heater was horribly expensive for parties but otherwise the summer sunshine set the season. If the house didn't have a pool then we wouldn't have bothered with one.

The fence was always locked (too tall for our kid to reach) and we always continuously manned the lifeguard. She walked onto the pool cover once (two years old) and never made that mistake again. By the time she was four years old she'd spend at least an hour a day in the pool. If she did it after dinner until her face turned blue then she'd almost sleep through the night. She learned how to swim in it and she developed a good sense of pool safety (and her own limits). By contrast the local library/playground had far more "attractive nuisances" and dangerous traffic...

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What I would like is a lap pool where you swim against the flow. Up here a swimming pool would be problematic. I have seen a few lap pools that look like long spas, but they are very pricey.
Ours wasn't big enough for lap swimming so I tried swimming against a bungee-cord tether. It was the world's most boring workout until I got a waterproof mini-radio with earplugs... then it was the world's second-most-boring workout.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:04 PM   #28
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Ours wasn't big enough for lap swimming so I tried swimming against a bungee-cord tether. It was the world's most boring workout until I got a waterproof mini-radio with earplugs... then it was the world's second-most-boring workout.

Well burst my fantasy bubble! I suppose it is a lot like using a treadmill, but more costly.
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:01 PM   #29
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Martha why not just join a Y . I go to a white water aerobics class that is fun and a great workout . My arms are still burning from today's class .
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:46 AM   #30
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Trying out one of the Intex pools would be a good idea, but our HOA doesn't allow above-ground pools.
Neither does mine, but first someone has to complain, then I get to argue the definition of what "ground" is and what "above" means, and then I get to split the hair as to what constitutes a "pool" and what is a childs toy or decorative fountain. Throw a koi in there and tell me what it is then!

I think I have it on item two. The pool sinks about an inch into the ground, so its technically partially below ground.

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Old 06-05-2008, 10:02 AM   #31
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Neither does mine, but first someone has to complain, then I get to argue the definition of what "ground" is and what "above" means, and then I get to split the hair as to what constitutes a "pool" and what is a childs toy or decorative fountain. Throw a koi in there and tell me what it is then!

I think I have it on item two. The pool sinks about an inch into the ground, so its technically partially below ground.

Wow, I'm probably right in thinking I'd be happier if my ER home does not have an HOA! What a PITA to have to justify, argue, and split hairs. I know, some people don't mind or even thrive on that but I would rather not have to deal with it.

If my neighbors have an above-ground pool in their back yards, I tend to think it's nobody's business but their own (especially if it is not visible from the street).
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:19 AM   #32
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Yeah, I avoided the major HOA communities when I bought here. We have HOA-Lite that costs $10 a year and has a small group of people who try to tell you what to do but only if you ask them to.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:19 AM   #33
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I sorta like my HOA, they keep the area the way I like it and I have no problem following rules that are for everyones bennefit.

We have a pool guy coming for an estimate for a pool this afternoon. Pools in Florida are expensive because they don't use normally use vinyl liners and most need a screen to keep out the bugs and other varments. They seem to run around 50K with a screen.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:33 AM   #34
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I sorta like my HOA, they keep the area the way I like it and I have no problem following rules that are for everyones bennefit.

We have a pool guy coming for an estimate for a pool this afternoon. Pools in Florida are expensive because they don't use normally use vinyl liners and most need a screen to keep out the bugs and other varments. They seem to run around 50K with a screen.
Yes, but the screen really makes Florida pools so pleasant! 50K does seem like a lot. I probably won't install a pool, but might not rule out an ER house with one. If my house doesn't have a pool, there's always the gym.
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:05 AM   #35
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A good friend had a pool in TX ... says "never again". Clincher was the 2 year old walking across the cover after opening the sliding glass door. Cover held her (thank god) but the back yard became essentially useless unless an adult was using it.
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My brother has had one for years
Old 06-05-2008, 11:49 AM   #36
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My brother has had one for years

It runs him $175 a month. He hires everything. The pool service runs 75-85 of that. He has a salt water pool with solar heating but doesn't heat it in winter and doesn't have to in summer. Running the filter usually takes about a third of the electricity used.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:19 PM   #37
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I have a 22'x44' - the only time it is a pain is fall and spring - all the leaves and worse yet all the spring tree pollen we have here in the mountains. Once it is clean in the spring - it is a piece of cake to keep clean - just keep the duckie full of 3'' clorine tabs, shock once every 7-10 days - keep the ph right and put in anti-algae, I use the algae control that lasts 3 full months(sold at Walmart).
My kids and I use it alot - they have friends over often and have a fun/healthy thing to do. DW likes to swim at night.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:41 PM   #38
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If you're the kind of person who looks at a gym and says "If only I could have all that equipment in my home and be responsible for its all its upkeep" then a pool is probably your thing. But in my opinion a pool is the least practical thing in a YMCA to run for yourself.
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:50 PM   #39
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73ss454 - We built a 10,000 gallon vinyl liner pool in Orlando in 2001 for about $32,000. That included some geometry to the pool, a waterfall, a heat pump, tricked out lighting, cool deck, a large deck with multiple elevations, a salt chlorinator, and a nice birdcage. We got every dime of it back and more when we sold 2 years later. $50,000...yikes!
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:11 PM   #40
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I realize that many LBYM-types wouldn't dream of putting a swimming pool in the backyard. That said, I have 2 young kids who have taken to swimming in a big way. I'm contemplating a move in the next few years to a home with a pool, or with a backyard suitable for building one. There is a public swimming pool not that far from us, but we're a family of introverts, and would prefer more privacy & quiet than the public pool affords (though it's definitely a heckuva lot cheaper than building our own pool).

Many folks who have pools complain incessantly about the maintenance required, and I have zero interest in becoming a slave to a big water hole. Any personal experiences, good or bad? It seems like the newer saline pools require less chemicals and futzing with. Is that true?

Any input is appreciated!
Well, as a fairly new pool owner I'll give all the thoughts I have on the matter, for what they're worth.

We've had our pool for 3 years - in-ground gunite by Blue Haven (lifetime transferable shell warranty) w/diving board & 6' slide - I recognized upfront that this is purely a luxury purchase & don't expect it to add value to the house, although it may add some (or a lot? time & the market will tell) In making the decision to purchase this luxury you can look at it many different ways - for me, I finally decided that:

* I always thought when I was a kid that I would have a pool some day (remember back when we all thought we were gonna be millionares?) I realized that "OK, here I am in my mid-40's, where's that pool I always thought I'd have?" We drive older cars, remodeled our house ourselves, always been LBYM, etc - but interest rates were good, our income at peak earning years, so I realized that "yes, we can do this"

* I got a nice unexpected settlement check from a long pending lawsuit that paid for a third of the pool up-front.

* 10 y/o daughter (now 13). Only child. Loves the water. She has lots of good times with her friends over. She's not getting any younger. A pool adds lots of good times for her & us to enjoy with her while she's still younger.

* East Texas summers, hot & humid, not much to do outside that doesn't involve major perspiration within 5 minutes. Overall, this is probably the #1 major benefit for us in having a pool. We also have a pretty long swim season - no pool heater, but we can jump in with wetsuits for much of the cooler months.

* We bought a somewhat upper middle class house for the area in which we live in - therefore an above ground pool would actually detract from the value & a liner pool also, although to lesser degree.

* The particular site of our house had a beautiful setting for a pool on a hillside overlooking the lower 3 acres of woods & creek. The backyard before was just a steeply sloping patch of grass that was hard to mow. The pool really made the house that was lacking just a little something to make a fantastic retreat in the backyard. We did have some major dirtwork done building up the hillside with terraces on the overlook side of the hill. (Building on the hillside was a major motivation for going with Blue Haven with their lifetime shell warranty)

I looked at the options of liner, fiberglass, & gunite. Each as their pros & cons. We ended up deciding on gunite.

Although I'm sure there's some people out there, I've not yet met anyone who did not have at least one or two headaches with their pool builder. We had several, but it all came out OK in the end. (We only hate the salesman now, who's since been fired, we're still freindly with the owner & other employees)

We had an electronically controlled saltwater chlorination system installed with the four large filter cartridges (rather than sand or other filtration). I love the system. Filter cartridges are about $90 each, but last 3 to 5 years if taken care of properly. Mine are still in pretty good shape after 3 years. Maintenance is very low.

One caution re: saltwater chlorination - it's great, but make sure the pool builder uses stainless steel fixtures on EVERYTHING - including the mounts for the slide & diving board bolts/fixtures - the saltwater will rust anything it frequently gets on.

Costs: $30 to $75 month additional electricity depending on time of year (we have newer energy efficient pumps). Chemicals: lower costs w/ the saltwater system - a $5 bag of water softener salt every once in a while, a little acid $3 from Home Depot every once in a while to adjust ph, some algaecide, a bottle of clarifier every once in a while. Water costs: probably not enough to even discuss - lots of water here in E. TX & it's relatively cheap.

Our house insurance was surpisingly impacted very little actually, I understand though that this can vary greatly from area to area & you should check on it before you build.

We went for a 8' deep 32'x14' irregular shaped diving pool with slide & diving board. I really would have preferred a tennis pool, but DW & DD really wanted the deep pool. If you put in a diving pool I cannot stress enough to insist upon & pay for at least 10' deep - one girl already skinned her lip on the bottom diving, fortunately that's the only incident so far, but now we have to very scrupulously caution anyone who wants to use the dive board. (it's currently taken off due to rusted bolts - & may stay off this season even though I like using it personally) Built in seating & a swim-out in the deep end are really worth the price also.

Daughter & I are scuba certified & have our own gear, so the deep pool is good for training & practicing our drills between dive trips.

When calculating the price of your pool, don't forget fencing & landscaping - can be major costs - we saved some doing ourselves but it was a lot of work. Pool builder will usually give you a standard 3 or 4 feet of decking around pool - their $sq ft cost will be much higher than you can contract it yourself, so you may want to consider.
The fine print of most pool contracts will also specify they are not responsible for any dirtwork or other work beyond 3 or 4 feet from the pool edge, so if you have any slopes or other issues you need to be aware.

If using a major company like Blue Haven, lead them to believe during the "sales" process that you are going to finance through their finance company - they're more likely to throw a freebies in the "included" price. (like a really cool color-changing light!) After price & included items are settled upon you can let them know you found your own financing.

In-pool sprinklers are good if you are in an area where the pool tends to overheat during the worst of the summer. You can run them at night to cool the pool down.

Remember also that companies like Blue Haven are merely general contractors - they have independent sub-contractors that come in & do all the work. Some things like decking you can get contracted yourself. We contracted our own electrician to get the wiring to the pool pump/control box location & ground the pool. $200 vs a flat $600 if Blue Haven had done it. (of course we didn't tell Blue Haven we wanted to do this until after final price was negotiated - they then had to knock the $600 off - they would have used a local electrician anyway & pocketed the rest)

Another thing in building is whether you have underground lawn sprinker lines in the area the pool will go. The pool company doesn't do this (but will be happy to sub-contract it & take a little profit for themselves for their trouble) I did the re-routing of sprinkler lines myself, but it's a pain. You may wish to find your own sub-contractor for that job.

As to looking at houses with existing pools: The newer pools with the saltwater systems, electronic controls, & energy efficient pumps are going to be much cheaper to run & less maintenance. Also find an independent plaster expert to check out the condition of the plaster on a plastered pool - it can last a very long time if chemical balance is kept correct, or a much shorter time if not. New plaster jobs are NOT cheap - several thou' I'm told.

Those are just a few of my thoughts on the subject - some may disagree with some of them - some may not be right for your situation.
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