10 Phases of Swimming Pool Construction
Constructing an inground swimming pool is the culmination of 10 different phases
of swimming pool construction. This article will provide you with a short
understanding of the construction cycle. And it all starts with, the desire to possess
a pool in your personal backyard.
Style & Engineering
The first place most homeowners look for qualified swimming pool contractors may
be the local phone book, and by word of mouth from others who have built a pool.
After the initial interview process, you will possess a good idea what your swimming
pool will cost to have built. The contractor or consultant will provide a style and a
complete bid for your acceptance. With a contract in hand, the contractor will
obtain all necessary engineering from a qualified structural engineer. The contractor
will then submit for permits from the local jurisdiction. At this point, it might also be
necessary for the contractor to apply for a Home Owners Association(HOA) approval
depending on your local community requirements. Once the building permit is
obtained, the construction kicks off in high gear.
Layout & Excavation
This is one of the most exciting phases of swimming pool construction, excavation.
Excavation is definitely the digging and forming from the swimming pool. The very
first thing the excavation crews do could be the pregrade. Pregrade would be the
clearing in the pool site and the grading from the area for the swimming pool. This
allows the crew to paint on the ground the final shape of your pool and at the same
time the crew will stake the perimeter of your pool and add forms for the structure
of the pool. The typical time needed to dig a pool depends on various factors. These
factors include: access, soil conditions, and overall size and depth with the pool.
Most pools these days are dug in 1 to 2 days.
Rough Plumbing & Electrical
Once the pool is dug, it's time to move on to the rough plumbing and electrical.
This is where all on the trenches will be dug for all the pipes and conduits necessary
to operate your pool. Sometimes, the rough plumbing & electrical will be broken
down in a couple of parts, otherwise all trenching and installation of the pipes and
conduits will be done at the same time. This includes installation of your 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 firepits, and
the electrical service line. In most cases this will take 2-3 days to complete, and
may be done either before, during or after steel.
The steel phase is definitely the addition of rebar formed in the ultimate shape from
the pool. A rebar contractor will "tie" the steel using bailing wire in a grid pattern
determined by the structural engineer. A good crew will normally take less than a
day to tie the steel depending on the size, shape and any raised walls or bond
Gunite or Shotcrete
Up until this time, your backyard will look like one big disaster area, with trenches
running here and there and a big hole within your yard with a criss-cross pattern of
rebar running through. Gunite or Shotcrete is the application of your concrete to
the pool surface, it makes the shell of your pool. The crews will arrive and via a
hose will apply the concrete in the end, the pool will possess a close to finish look.
The benches installed, and the pool walls and floor will have been completed. This
will also be one on the first times you will be required to be actively involved in the
construction of your pool. For the next 7 to ten days, you will be required to hose
down the swimming pool shell two and three times a day with water to help cure
the gunite or shotcrete. You will be truly amazed at how much water the pool
Tile & Rock
After the installation in the gunite or shotcrete, the waterline tile and any rock or
boulders will be installed on your pool. The tile is necessary to provide an easy
surface to keep clean at the waterline. Rock or boulders are added to incorporate a
natural "swimming hole" look and feel and for waterfalls and jump rocks. For pools
with the contemporary look or classic style, tile is incorporated into the style and is
applied not only to the water line, but also to any raise walls or water-features.
(Concrete, Pavers, Trex, Tile, Stone, etc.) With the tile installed, the next addition
to your swimming pool project is definitely the decking. Now where I grew up,
decking was always associated with wood, and redwood was king. But when I got
involved in the swimming pool industry, deck was the item that surrounded the
pool. For the majority of swimming pool owners, the deck of choice is concrete.
Concrete is durable and inexpensive when compared to the other options being,
grass or landscaping, tile, stone, pavers and natural or synthetic wood products.
The installation of decking takes a minimum of a couple of days for forming and
finishing, or it can require multiple days and weeks depending on the surface. The
deck crew will also be responsible for installing the equipment pad, where all the
pumps, filters, heaters and other equipment necessary to operate your pool will be
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