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Fiberglass now, swim spa later?

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the helpful information others have posted. I've been debating between a swim spa and a full size fiberglass pool for a while now. I want a full size pool for volleyball, entertaining, floating, dive toys, and overall fun for my kids, but I am also a lap swimmer. I live in Northern NJ, so keeping the full size pool open year round is not an affordable option. 

I haven't really been able to find any photographic examples of what I'm thinking, but I want both. I'm thinking a rectangular fiberglass (30x16) with a swim spa (8 x 12-15) put in ground in front of it (not connected). The 12'-15' length of the swim spa would stretch across the 16' of the fiberglass. I have a deep, flat rectangular back lawn (75'w x 185' deep). 

I originally thought I would have to buy the swim spa first, and live with it above ground for a few years before I could then afford to install a full fiberglass and sink the existing swim spa. However, I'm refinancing at the moment, and b/c of the low rates, I'm able to allocate a lot more money to my budget than I had expected and now the above visions seems like it could be affordable within the same year. 

My fiberglass guy believes he can install in September. Swim spas all seem to be sold out until February. My question for the group is related to the timing. Is it possible/feasible to have my fiberglass guy (who does full landscape design and builds as well) install the pool and surround, as well as build the well/retainer pit/hold for the swim spa at the same time in September, even though I can't get the swim spa delivered until at least February? Perhaps cover the pit with something temporary (September to later winter 2021) to semi permanent (in case I can't actually afford both this year) that would still allow use of the full pool this fall (thru early November if it isn't too cold this year)? Are there freeze/expansion issues I'm not thinking of that would make this impossible? Permit problems? Fence installation (no fence needed for above ground swim spa in my town, but definitely need it for pool, and  maybe the fence install for pool then makes the swim spa delivery more complicated? Will crane for fiberglass tear up my driveway (it's already in crap shape and my plan was re-pave after the swim spa first, fiberglass later situation, but not sure if the crane will do enough damage that I have to redo it this fall and then have a problem if I need a crane again for later swim spa)?  Am I just plain crazy? Oh, I also have a sprinkler system, but I assume that would need to be redone from the fiberglass install anyway.

In terms of swim spas, does anyone have a recommendation for those that work better being sunk vs others? I have ruled out endless pools, and would prefer to have some hydrotherapy jets in it as well. 

Thanks to whomever has time to reply in advance. I appreciate your indulgence!

- Chris


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It is generally a bad idea to put a portable spa in a pit. There will be issues that need repair and access will be a problem. If you do it, relocate the equipment somewhere accessible, and put drains in the pit.

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  • 4 weeks later...

On the west coast we have plaster spa and swim spa combo's.  I have one that has a spa that overflows into a swim spa that they also use as a small pool the swim spa part is a little wider than most.

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