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Thread: Have 2 teen boys; considering an AG pool purchase

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    Default Have 2 teen boys; considering an AG pool purchase

    I am considering jumping into above ground pool ownership here in Central Texas.

    What I'm most confused about is what size pool is reasonable. We are a small family with two teen boys, ages 12 and 14. We would love to have friends over to play, maybe 10 at a time? Size would dictate that a lot I'm sure. We have a 1/3 acre, pie slice shaped lot with the house set towards the front of the "slice", so most of the land is in the backyard. As such, we can handle a pretty large pool, but I don't want to over do it, especially with my kids less than 6 or so years away from leaving.

    In your experience, what size pool generally fits such a situation? I'm not picky about shape, although an oval or rectangle potentially fits part of the property better.

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    Default Re: Potential pool owner - size question

    Only you know enough of the details of your family and situation to answer . . . though you may not know how to connect them to pool size. Regardless, the best I can offer are some general observations, mostly from having worked with large ("Olympic sized", to many people) commercial pools, and having seen how they were used. Keep in mind that my observations reflect typical behavior and there are exceptions, which may apply to your family.

    1. For adult use, deck size may matter most. Except for 'water aerobics', etc or 'sexy pool parties', adults tend to use pools for brief cooling dips or playing with children. Decks get used for lounging, morning coffee, tanning, etc.

    2. For children (6 - 12) pools, water, floats and pool toys matter most. If the kids can swim, larger is better, to whatever size you can fit in.

    3. Post puberty (12+) girls will 'cluster' on decks or in the pool, or sometimes group on floats with other girls. If boys are around rough-housing (ie, skin contact) is often popular, provided the boys are acceptable to the girls present.

    4. Post puberty boys (13+) have two interests in pools: adventure and girls. This is very close to an ABSOLUTE rule. I have seen public pools lose their entire teen-boy 'user-group' literally overnight when they took down their high dive. I have NEVER seen teen boys use a pool unless there was either adventure (high dive, or exotics like climbing walls), or peer girls they could talk to / look at / handle.

    Not only have I seen teen boys lost when the high dive was removed, I've seen pools -- in a few weeks time -- go from from full of teens to 'moms & babies' when (a) both high and low dives were removed and (b) roughhousing (= skin contact) + floats were banned.

    I've also seen people express several misconceptions:

    1. That home pools will be used for "swimming". As a rule, home pools are too small to "swim" . If your boys have participating on a swim time, "swimming" will NOT be something they do in any pool you can fit into your yard. My older son could go the entire length of a 16x32 Intex in 1 push-off + 2 strokes. As a rule, 60' long is the minimum for actual swimming.

    2. That pools will be used for cooling off. Husbands and wives doing yard work? Maybe. Most kids would rather "cool off" with the AC in the house. Using a pool to cool off ended in the 70's.

    3. For many people, pools sound more fun then they actually are. Think carefully about how you'd actually USE a pool, before buying.

    _________________________________________

    It may sound like I'm trying to talk you out of a pool.

    I'm not.

    But I don't see any point in people getting pools they won't enjoy.

    Your boys are at the age where a pool probably still 'sounds cool', but probably won't be . . . unless they are going to have a group of boys and girls over. (Adventure isn't really an option in an above-ground pool!) Whether you and your husband would enjoy having a pool is more individual, than with teens. But adults tend to like pools with decks. And, there are quite a few women who like tanning on a float in a pool . . . even by themselves.

    Of course, an Intex pool, like this 16x32 is not a huge investment, and can easily be removed when you are 'done'.

    A couple of tips here:

    1. Do NOT get a salt system. Metal wall / metal frame pools are NOT compatible with salt, no matter what the maker claims.

    2. If you are buying and installing yourself, READ the manuals and DO the yard prep BEFORE ordering the pool. 100% warranties are brief, and you need to set the pool up QUICKLY and return it QUICKLY if there's a problem. Probably 10% of Intex pools do have problems (they are Chinese products, after all), but Intex will honor warranties (slowly) IF you act promptly.

    3. Buy from someone you can return it to: Walmart, VMInnovations on Amazon, IntheSwim, Dohenys.

    4. Do NOT buy one of the Intex-like, non-Intex pools. Some of them have higher failure rates and do NOT honor warranties.

    5. Locally purchased steel or aluminum wall AG pools, professionally purchased are a MUCH more expensive option and MAY be more durable. But you may not need durable, and they are considerably harder to remove.

    . . . good luck!

    _________________________________________

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    Default Re: Potential pool owner - size question

    Thank you! You've actually asked some of the questions I didn't ask in this. I have a suspicion that I like the *idea* of a pool more than I'd like the pool itself and I'm with you on not buying something that will cost us more in time and money than the enjoyment we will actually get out of it.

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    Default Re: Potential pool owner - size question

    Good; I'm glad it clarified things.

    A decently sized round Intex is pretty easy to install, and not a huge investment (as pools go). If you are not sure, you might want to put one up, try it, and see how much your family really likes it. If you decide to go bigger . . . or bail out . . . you can probably sell it for 1/3 - 1/2 the original price after 1 year. Be sure to get the sand filter -- cartridge filters work, but are rather unforgiving: once the pool's cloudy it takes FOREVER to clear.

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    Default Re: Potential pool owner - size question

    We live in the Dallas area and we love our 15' x 4' round Intex. I will tell you that with 3 grandkids between 3 and 7 years old, and the 2 of us, the pool is pretty full. I agree with get as big as you can fit. I also very strongly agree with "DO the yard prep" COMPLETELY - FIRST. Our first Intex liner lasted us 5 years (I think 4-6 years is a realistic expectation), probably would have gone another season, but we had a terribly damaging hail storm and we were scared the "top loop" was so badly beaten it might fail. So, that might coincide well with your time frame.

    Some things to consider,
    What is your water source?
    How level is your lot?
    Are there home owner's association rules?
    Are we willing to make the commitment to spend the time required to maintain a pool?

    Our pool was a royal pain in the rear the first season, before we found this site. Since we started following the recommendations found here, the pool has been a great source of pleasure and very easy to maintain. If you will get a good filtration system and follow the advice given here, your pool will be easy to keep and a relatively low source of frustration/stress. No pool is trouble free (maybe if you have a really great "pool guy" that takes care of it for you), because they have to chlorinated, cleaned, etc. The Intex sand filter/pump combo's are not great, but good enough to let you figure out if you want to keep a pool. My personal recommendation is to avoid the Intex cartridge filters. They just aren't big enough to handle a pool much bigger than 4000 gallons.

    Another thing to be aware of is that Intex products are PROPRIETARY. It is difficult to use "normal" or "standard" equipment with an Intex system. It can be done, but requires some "engineering" and DIY capabilities. You can download .pdf files of most of the current Intex manuals from the Intex website.

    Again, we love our pool, so do our kids (all adults now) and our grand kids, 19 to 3.

    My advise? If you have a reasonable source of acceptable fill water - Do your homework. Get every thing ready - all the way ready - including start up supplies. Order the biggest Intex brand pool you can swing. Get an Intex sand filter. (There some pool "kits" that come with the filter and other stuff that may be more economical than piecing stuff together). Get a skimmer basket. Follow PoolDoc's acvice - to the letter - and enjoy a clear, comfortable, easy to keep pool.
    Intex 15ftx4ft 4500 gal. 3/4 HP Pentair WhisperFlo pump. Hayward 21" sand filter. Taylor K-2006 & K-1106 kits. PF=27

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    Default Re: Potential pool owner - size question

    Thanks, Pappy. Very useful and to the point!

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