What To Expect When Building A PoolDate: January 2, 2019 Tags: construction / helpful info / off-season
Last winter, we told you why the off season is a great time to purchase a pool. This winter, if you’re still on the fence, perhaps it’s because you’re not yet sure what you might be getting yourself into. We’ll cover the entire process, step by step, so you know exactly what to expect when you’re ready to commit to building your dream pool and spending your days (and perhaps nights) cooling off, relaxing, and getting healthy in your own private pool oasis.
Any major construction can be intimidating, and installing a new in ground pool is no exception. You’ll need to find a reputable builder with whom you have a good rapport in order to begin the process. From there, you’ll need to discuss your options and design the perfect setting, while still remaining within your budget and space requirements. There are a myriad of options to consider, including materials, shape and size, colors, position in regards to other outdoor spaces you have or plan to have such as an outdoor living area or outdoor kitchen, safety considerations, and even what your expectations include for landscaping when the process is complete. Permits will also need to be acquired, and if you live with an HOA, you’ll need approval there too. Phew. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but the process can be fun and rewarding if you have chosen the right contractor – someone who is helpful, informative, and experienced. All of these things, though, you can probably imagine the process for. When it comes to the actual construction of your pool, that’s where the uncertainty is likely to come in.
The first major part of the construction is excavation. The excavation crew will clear the site and grade the area in order to paint the layout of your pool on the ground. They will then stake the area of the pool and add forms for the structure. Digging typically takes about 1 or 2 days, depending on the size and depth of the pool, ease of access to the site, and soil conditions. Trenches will be dug for plumbing and electrical needs, such as suction and return lines, water-feature lines, vacuum cleaner lines, fill lines, solar inlet and returns, gas lines for swimming pool heater and future barbecues and fire pits, and the electrical service line. Expect another 2 or 3 days for this part of the process, and be aware that this may be done before, during, or after the steel phase. During the steel phase, rebar will be added to form the shape of the pool, and tied in a grid pattern using bailing wire. This could take a day or so depending on the size and shape of the pool.
The next step will use a large hose to add Gunite or Shotcrete to create the shell of your pool. When the pool walls and floor are finished, for the next 7 to 10 days, you will need to hose down the shell two or three times a day to help cure the gunite or shotcrete. Next is the installation of waterline tile, including any surfaces such as raised walls or water features according to the design. If rocks or boulders have been incorporated into the design, those will be added as well.
Decking comes next, and in this case decking refers to any surface that you have chosen to surround the pool. This could be grass or landscaping, tile, stone, pavers and natural or synthetic wood products, but most commonly, owners choose concrete for durability, and low cost compared to the previous options. This step can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on the option chosen. The equipment pad (the place where all the pumps, filters, heaters and other equipment to operate your pool is) will also be installed at this time.
When the equipment pad is ready, the next day or two will include pumps, heater, filter, and lighting installation, and control panels are added to operate it all. The pool then gets a waterproofing finish with the addition of plaster, or tile. Another day or two, and it’s finally time to start filling your pool. Cleanup of all left over materials, debris, and boxes is finished up, and once the pool is filled, the pool will be started up and tested to be sure everything is in perfect order. Finally, the process is complete and your dream pool has become a reality.
As a final note, not every pool installation is identical. Timelines can vary, and in some cases unexpected difficulties can arise, so minor delays should be expected. Always ask your pool contractor to explain their timeline and process in depth so you can be aware of any differences from the example outline we have provided here, prior to the work beginning – or even better, before the contract is signed.