Help need Swimming Pool Advice

aleeocJuly 5, 2004

Live in Morris County, NJ. Have five kids ages 1-9 and am doing research on installing in-ground pool probably around 500-600 sq. feet. Our lot is 5 acres but mostly wooded,sloped and mosquito infested. Have gotten estimates from 5 pool companies - Anthony and Sylvan, National, Posiden, Creative, Waterworld

Now I am totally confused.

Gunite vs. vinyl liner vs. fiberglass?

Heat pump vs. gas?

cartridge vs. DE?

Paver deck vs. concrete?

Every company has a long list of reasons why their competitors are crooks, why their type of pool or filter is best.

We are basically looking for the lowest maintenance way to have a useable backyard space for our kids to play safely.

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njcher(Zone 6)

Hi aleeoc,

As a pool owner, I would first like to say that you're really smart to be getting as much consumer advice as you can before you put in your pool. Pools take up a lot of time, effort and expense over the years, although I've no doubt yours will be a good investment that your kids will enjoy immensely.

I've learned a bit about pool surfaces lately as our vinyl liner was damaged last year. I've learned that the vinyl liners can last a lot longer than they used to, especially if you're careful about the chemical balances in the pool water. I believe we were told 15 years now, where it used to be a pool liner only lasted 5 years.

Our neighbors purchased a gas heating system. Costs them $100 a day to use it so they don't use it all. I can certainly understand a water heater system, though, as using such an expensive item only a few months of the year isn't very practical.

I would definitely go concrete with the deck. Pavers will eventually allow for little weeds and dirt in the cracks so while it might be attractive, it isn't as practical. Concrete can be swept easily.

We have a DE filter and like it although the pool companies will lie to you about cleaning on it. To make a long story short, learn how to clean it yourself and you'll save a lot of money. I can give you more detail on this if you decide to go that route.

If you check out the alternatives to chlorine, I can give you a name of a person who just had one of those installed (in Morris County).

I live in Essex; teach in Morris County at a university there.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 10:36AM
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go to the website here devoted to us pool owners..

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 4:59PM
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for the record, i have had a pool built, and also live in northern NJ, and no way does it EVER cost 100 bucks a day to heat...disagree with concrete as opposed to pavers, pavers are a 1 time expense, yes a weed or two can grow thru the cracks, but concrete WILL crack over time...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 5:01PM
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Allpoolout(NJ 07432)

We have a much larger pool with pavers in North west New Jersey. I does not cost $600 a seanson to heat it with Propane. Our deck is pavers. No weeds yet. A little settling so we picked up the pavers. Concrete cracks or spoils. If a pipe breaks we can lift the pavers and replace them

Vinyl is cheap but if you have kids and dogs it can be
ripped. Ours is concrete.
A five acre site in Morris Town area deserves better than vinly.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 11:30AM
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I bought a house 25 years ago in Cherry Hill with a large inground gunite pool. I had relatively little money for maintenance and had to become somewhat knowledgeable about keeping it up and keeping it healthy. Of course, get a gunite pool. No question. But make sure you pay enough. My concrete deck and pool are built like an interstate, and therefore the pool still has no cracks after all these years. I took out my heater years ago because I couldn't afford to use it, but will probably replace it soon. You don't have to use it daily--even if it costs $100 a day--which I doubt--you only need to get the water up to a swimmable temp and then let the sun help. what I don't like about my situation is the very large deck in concrete. I want more grass and garden area, and have to resort to a million pots to make the area look less like a landing strip. We took up some of the concrete close to the house, but it cost a lot to do because of the rebar and so on, and I am nervous about jackhammers too close to the pool itself causing cracks or other troubles. Maintaining the water purity is relatively simple these days--if your filter and skimmers work well, you don't have much to do, especially if you have in-pool cleaning devices. I don't, and have minimal work to do weekly. Just keep your chemicals up to appropriate levels and the filter does its job.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 11:56AM
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savet(Essex Cty, NJ)

Hi Aleeoc,
Who did you finally use as a pool builder? I live in Essex County and thinking of putting in a pool. Can you tell me who you used and were you happy with them?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 11:42AM
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Wondering if any of you have the McEwan Industries Logan or Lancastire Shale pattern in your pool?


    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 11:37AM
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We live in the Tampa, Fl area and are in the initial stages of getting an inground pool. We have one estimate and are getting a second tomorrow, will probably get a third. There are so many choices but my main question is what is the difference between a gunite pool and something like pebble tec? We have decided not to get a heater as the pool will be in the sun all day. We like the idea of the salt cleaning system and we are considering stamped and stained concrete, what is a cool deck? So many options!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 10:35PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Check out the link below at That Home Site. There are 67 pages of posts there. You might use the search option near the bottom of the page to search the types of pools you are looking into. I am sure others have asked. And you can post your own question. That way, others can see what info you are looking for in the title of the post. By posting inside this older post, you will get less response. Here in NJ where we get a lot of ice in winter, our options are less than yours and I don't think you will get your best answer.
But of course, you are always welcome to post here!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pools and Spas

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 9:39AM
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thanks loretta.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 1:07PM
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definitely check out pool forum as I got great advice there. we are in morris county also and just put in a pool this past year
-used pleasant pools - happy with job and price,
-vinyl - no problem in past pool and i like the look
-pavers-won't crack, easily removed if plumbing goes
-gas heater - bills not outrageous (not $100/day)
& season so short, nice to use pool as long
as possible
-DE filter - so far, so good, no problems

i have 2 kids (3 and 1) and no extra money and the pool has been so easy to take care of - either do before they wake, during naps or when husband gets home)

but check out pool forum for more great advice

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 8:04PM
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necienj (& others in nj who recently put in a pool):

could you please give some idea of the cost for your installation... talked to anthony pools, their initial cost is reasonable (site unseen $25K for about 550 sf) but i'm afraid the eventual cost will be twice that.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 9:26AM
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pool installation for 20x40 grecian was about $25k (included heater and robotic vac).....which seemed reasonable and in line with other quotes....but we had no problems with dig or moving exisiting lines or anything out of the ordinary.

then add in plumbing and heating...another $10k

but where it got expensive was the hardscaping and fencing! (came to just about 25K!) that is why i am on this forum to get ideas on landscaping to do on my own because we are now officially out of money.

good luck and check out pool forum - great advice there that helped me (and is still helping to answer questions!)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 10:20AM
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I am getting a gunite pool built in Southern California. I thought I did my homework and got quotes from 3 different pool companies. The quotes from all 3 of them were quite similar. However, when I see the prices that people are are talking about on this forum, I feel that I am paying more. My project comprised of fetaures below is costing $48,000.

18 X 32 Greecian
8 feet spa
Reefstone coping
6 " raised bond beam on 2 sides of the pool (one lnghth and one width)
Ledgestone on raised bond beam and around spa
3 clored lights ( 2in pool, 1 in spa)
1 Skimmer
Salt generation System
2 Hp jandy spa pump
2 Hp jandy Pool pump
14400 BTU heater

In addition to the price above, computerized control system is $1600 and Solar Hetaing is $4600.

Do these prices seem reasonable? It seems like, their is lot of variation in the prices, depending upon what part of the country you are in.

One additional question I have : I am looking at installing some green pumps, so as to lower the monthly electric bills. These greener pumps run at variable speed to conserve electrivity. Does anyone know, if these variable speed pumps are able to force the water through a rooftop solar heating system for the pool?


    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 2:42PM
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We used Crystal Pool and Spa located in East Hanover. It's a mom and pop business - he does all the work himself (except plumbing and electric). I spoke with a few friends that used him and also called the town (I live in Nutley) - all positive reviews, very good work and trustworthy.
We have an 18 x 34 kidney shaped vinyl pool, spa steps, fiber optic lights, electric heater, robot vacuum.
Cost around $30,000.00 (does not include fence). Maintenance is a breeze everything is computerized, we just have to add chlorine to the hopper once a week and occasionally skim.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 3:24PM
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original post was three years ago. i think they probably decided by now.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2007 at 4:30PM
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I am sure this blog has clarified all your decisions for you, but if not, just get 5 more quotes from pool companies and you'll be just as enlightened as you are now. Rather than concentrate on the specifics of a pool e.g. filtes, pumps, etc. Concentrate on the business you are buying from. Check how long they have been in business, how many complaints they have had on the BBB and pay particular attention to unresolved complaints. Does the pool company have a service department and a retail store to support you when you need help? The pool company has to live with your pool after the sale and they want to sell you a package they can support. My personal belief is that if you choose a reputable pool company (do your homework) and feel comfortable with the sales rep, you should let them recommend what components will go into the pool. To a very large extent, your budget will determine which type of construction will be employed in your project. Vinyl being the best value, gunite or shotcrete being the most versatile in design, and fiberglass with a shorter construction time. Technology has made great strides in the pool business particularly in sanitation, finishes, pool chemistry, and construction materials; they are better than ever. The swimming pool today can be a sparkling clear, forever clean compliment to your home.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 6:27AM
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i would reccomend CLC pools in Bridgewater NJ. They do great work and can do the job from start to finish. The have their own landscape company Chatham landscape contractors which can do excavating, raised patios, patios, cabanas, large tree specimens, and many other things. THey have a landscape architect that will work with you to make sure the pool, home, and yard will flow. Also they will give you a full price rather than just a pool price, this will allow the buyer to realize the full price of the job with no suprises. call them at 7328689100 and look at the website

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 2:23PM
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I would suggest going to a Viking pool. I got mine installed by Pool Designs Inc. in Yardville, NJ. They installed the pool in and all the plumbing in 1 day and even filled it with water. I had to pay no extra cost outside of what was stated on the contract. I was very pleased with all the work and the structure of this family business. You should check them out, I have a lifetime warranty that is backed by Viking (a national company). You get the benefits of a large company with the convienence of family business. Good luck

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 5:03PM
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Do not use PoolDoc , Lakewood NJ. Horrible, I missed the summer swimming because of their lack of knowledge and inexperience. Beware

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Hi, thanks to all of you. As a pool owner I thought that I know mostly everything but I have found out a few new things.
Regards, Hellen

Here is a link that might be useful: Vágner Pool

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 5:04AM
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Share spare pieces, nicely you can find countless spare pieces from the pool area current market. Evolution Swimming pools usually are fairly positive we're able to invest an eternity listing almost every Swimming pool spare component! We do however have access to every Swimming Pool Spare from Hayward, Certikin, Plastic, SCP, Sta-Rite Pumps, Teledyne Lars gas boilers, Lacron pool filters and many more

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 6:17AM
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I know this is an old post but stay away from Pool Designs in Yardville NJ.....they are the worst company I've ever dealt with. Since it was my first pool I had many questions, they dropped the pool in (fiberglass) and left. The guy who plumbed it did a horrible job,they used flex to plumb the main drain and last summer we had a leak, I spoke to another pool company and they told me the flex probably got punctured by the backfill so now all we have is the skimmer. I could go on and on. Stay away,far away from Pool Designs!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 1:22AM
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It has been a horrid experience working with Waterworld Pools. Add to countless delays and extensive damage to our property, the owner Don thought it correct to disrespect me in front of my children. Do not trust these people with your money. They are dishonest and unprofessional and it comes from the top.

Here is a link that might be useful: ABC news report on Waterworld pool company

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:04PM
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I was surfing the web and came across your tile blog; Its very informative and quite helpful. I was hoping to contact you so I may pick your brain a bit.

I have a seven year old concrete pool. I have just noticed three pairs of small rust colored dots in the shallow end. I suspect this is from the iron mesh in the pool beofre the concrete was sprayed on. They feel smooth so I don't think the mesh is showing through but must be near the surface. I am hoping to drain the pool, acid wash and cover the bottomâÂÂs surface with tile as opposed to having it re-plastered.
Do you have any specific suggestions as to the type of tile I would need as well as the grout ? I know this will be underwater 100% of the time and I assume this would need to be a certain type of tile. Any suggestions you may have will be greatly appreciated. The home is in Duck, NC.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 8:53AM
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