How to Build a Pool: Your Simple Guide to Endless Family Fun This Summer

How to Build a Pool: Your Simple Guide to Endless Family Fun This Summer
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Did you know a concrete pool can add up to 7% to a home’s value?

Of course, for most of us, it’s not just an investment in value but also in the fun potential of owning a pool in the summer.

Pools are expensive to install, and they really get up there if you hire a professional.

If you’re looking to cut some labor costs and still end up with a fantastic pool you’re in the right place. Read on and we’ll detail the process and show you how to build a pool.

First Things First: Permits and Design

Hopefully, you’ve already checked with your local HOA and they allow pools, if not you should check there.

In most jurisdictions, you’ll need a permit in order to build an inground pool. The difficulty of getting the permit will depend on the state that you’re in but these can be easily found online. For instance, these tips are great for those looking to build their pool in Florida.

Once you’re permitted the real work can begin. Remember to stay within the guidelines prescribed to you by the permit or you can end up getting fined for your summer recreation.

At this stage, you’ll also want to find the place you’re going to put your pool and decide on what kind of liner you want to go with it. Along with your equipment rental costs, this will give you a good idea of what kind of budget you’re looking at.

Liners can be made of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. Concrete lasts the longest while being the most expensive, vinyl is much cheaper but doesn’t have nearly the staying power. Fiberglass fits comfortably in the middle of the two.

Consider a Contractor Carefully

Pools aren’t just a hole in the ground with water in them. They take some expertise to put in and a contractor will make things a lot easier.

A licensed pool contractor will be able to go through the whole process from beginning to end and only need your input for the size, shape, and other essentials around the pool.

If you’re insisting on doing it yourself you’ll need some serious skills, or friends with those skills, to place a pool successfully. These include heavy equipment operation, basic architecture, masonry, plumbing, and wiring.

Go ahead and read through the rest of the guide, but in many cases installing a pool simply isn’t feasible without hiring someone.

Digging the Hole

Excavation is the first step in getting your pool built.

After marking the area where you’re planning on putting the pool you’ll want to rent some kind of excavating equipment to dig the whole.

It can be done with shovels, but the cost in beer to keep your friends and neighbors happy working with you will probably dwarf the rental cost of a backhoe or excavator.

If you opted for a pool contractor they’ll have the necessary equipment and expertise to handle the job for you, which makes your life quite a bit easier.

Grading the Floor

The floor of the pool will now be flattened out as much as possible.

This is usually done by pouring a gravel mixture into the hole. The gravel can be flattened and then graded to allow for differing depths in the pool itself.

This will determine the floor of your pool and it’s a vital step. If you’re working with a contractor make sure to let them know what pool style you have in mind, whether it will be one consistent depth or have the usual grade from shallow to deep.

Installing Supports

You’ll now be installing the supports for the sides if you’ve opted for a concrete pool.

The internal support structure of concrete consists of rebar and it will need to be placed along with the molds for the bottoms and sides of the pool.

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Rebar installation is a complicated subject and the exact requirements will also depend on the local building codes. Make sure to follow all codes and be careful when placing the rebar, otherwise it can end in disaster.

Putting in Pool Infrastructure

Pools require both plumbing and electrical systems.

In most areas, you’ll have to hire someone for both if you’re not a registered contractor yourself.

The pumps drains, and other water fixtures for a pool get quite complex. Make sure that you hire a reputable plumber who has a lot of experience in installing pools. Otherwise, you risk having things messed up before you’ve even had a chance to take a dip.

Likewise for the electrical systems that run the filters and pumps. Water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Be sure to look for an electrician with experience working on pools.

Filling It In

At this point, all that’s left to do is finish up the liner.

For concrete that will involve pouring into the molds, smoothing, and allowing it to dry. Meanwhile, fiberglass pool linings are generally set in by professionals. Vinyl pool linings are just laid flat and pulled tight to the contours of the pool.

Once everything is finally in place… You’ve got your pool.

How to Build a Pool? Very Carefully

While learning how to build a pool is great, you’ll need some serious skills and experience if you’re looking to do it entirely DIY.

On the other hand, just knowing what goes into making a pool can help you pick out the right contractor. You may even be able to save money by doing some parts of the installation yourself.

If you’re looking for more information about your home, why not check out our home hacks section?

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Michele Pineda
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Michele Pineda

great ideas! I agree with the previous poster, a rectangular shaped pool would be my ideal shape as well. Unfortunately a concrete pool in the Northeast where the ground freezes up is not feasible, however a fiberglass or above ground one is.

Amy D
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Amy D

We have a unique shaped pool, which makes it impossible for me to swim laps in. If I had to build a pool, I would get a rectangle shape. Also, something to consider when building a pool is a way to cover it from possible wildlife. We have had a major issue with animals using our pool as a toilet. Racoons are known to do this the most.

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