I got a call yesterday from a homeowner who started the conversation with "Is it too late to get a pool inground this year?!?"
Not at all, Fast Track inground pool projects can be pulled off in 3 weeks., I told him. If you have the time and people to get it done. "Tell me what I need to do" he said, "...to Fast Track build a pool".
To build a complete inground pool only takes a week of time, but planning the process and scheduling the phases - so that you can complete it all in one week, takes a few hours per day, for a few weeks.
Week One: Plan
- Visit your local Building & Zoning Dept., for info on pool permits and inspections.
- Decide on the inground pool kit size and shape that you want to buy.
- Decide on any additional features or pool equipment.
- Buy your inground pool kit and make plans for staging the 3-4 wood palettes.
- Submit your inground pool permit application and pay permit fees.
- Decide on pool floor material, and make a local purchase for delivery.
Week Two: Prep
- Hire an Electrical contractor for pool equipment sub-panel, pool light and pool bonding.
- Hire a Concrete delivery company for the Concrete Collar, Hopper and equipment pad.
- Hire an Excavation company to dig the pool and haul off excess dirt.
- Hire a Water Delivery truck to bring some water to start the pool filling.
- Make a schedule for Build Week, (next week!) and get commitments from your contractors
- Excavator on Monday
- Electrician on Tuesday
- Concrete on Wednesday
- Water on Friday
- Schedule Inspections during Build Week, usually 2-3 separate visits during and after the Build.
- Hire your helpers! Get commitments from 3-4 solid workers, to work the entire week.
- Create access if necessary, for the large trucks and heavy equipment to enter and exit safely.
- Call 811 to have your site marked for underground utilities.
Week Three: Build
Monday: Lay out the pool, and dig it, man! The excavator will dig the pool to the Spec Sheet, and also dig the trenches for plumbing and electric to the pool equipment pad. If you have room for excess dirt, it can be graded into your property, or arrange for the removal of about 75% of the dirt, keeping enough for backfilling the pool later. After he leaves, use shovels and tools if necessary, to fine tune the corners and slopes. Bring in the pool wall panels and lay them around the edge, while the pool floor is smoothed and compacted with a motorized compacter.
Tuesday: Erect the pool wall panels, connecting them together loosely at first until the transit tells you they are plumb, level and all at the same height. Attach the wall kickers, or A-Frame supports and tighten bolts together. Install the pool step section, plumb and level. All the while, your electrician is wiring up the electrical from the main home panel to a sub panel at the equipment pad, wiring the pool light and bonding the pool to your local codes, to be certified by your friendly B&Z pool inspectors.
Wednesday: First thing in the morning, take delivery of concrete for the Concrete Collar. You will use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a truckload, to fill the space around the pool walls, and lock the walls into the earth with a 2.5 ft wide, 10" deep layer of concrete. Extra concrete can be used to pour a large pool equipment pad, or to create a solid concrete hopper, in the deepest part of the pool. Also on Wednesday is the time to start plumbing the pool, laying pipes from the pool to the equipment pad, and connecting together the pump, filter, heater, chlorinator, etc.
Thursday: Put on your kneepads and grab two trowels, pool floor work is today. Up top, helpers mix the material and bring it into the pool by wheelbarrow or in 5 gal buckets. A sand/concrete mix or vermiculite/concrete mix is used for an inground vinyl pool floor. Around the main drain, as mentioned earlier, many pool builders pour and trowel smooth a solid concrete bottom, or hopper. Also today, finish up plumbing loose ends, inspectors are coming!
Friday: The pool floor is dry, it's time to install the pool liner. At first, you'll need 4 sets of hands to get it hanging right, then 2 people can finish up. Set the liner using a large wet/dry vac or cyclone blower to suck it tight against the walls and floor while it fills. After it is half-full, the vacuum is disconnected, but until then it must run continuously. Buying 1 or 2 truckloads of water is recommended to set the liner faster - but you can also fill the pool from 1 or 2 garden hoses. When full, add the wall fitting faceplates, flood the lines and fire up the filter system!
After your final inspection, you can backfill the trenches and the backside of the pool walls, tamping the dirt every foot, backfill/tamp/backfill. Water heavily to help the earth settle and congeal. Layer coarse gravel over top of the earth and tamp in place. After a few weeks, to be sure the ground has settled, you can pour a concrete pool deck, and dress it up if you like, with colors or stamped patterns or top a sub-deck with pavers or stone.
Back to my customer who started this conversation, I promised him that I'd send an email outlining the steps to take to pull off a 3 week pool build - but decided to share it here instead!
Give me, or any of the SPP Pool Experts, a call when you're ready to start planning to build your own inground pool!
SPP Pool Expert