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    Contractor Management: Working with the Trades

    May 28, 2013


    Working with the trades - for some who build their own pool, there may be some trepidation working with the skilled trades of plumbing, electrical, concrete and excavators and graders.

    But contractors are just like everyone else, and are in most cases - easier to work with than some 'white collar' folks I've met. When you build your own inground pool, you will be the General Contractor on the job, and will likely need to contract some portions of the job to specialists.

    Coordinating your Contractors

    Planning is important when building a pool, and you will need to begin your hunt for your contractors 4-8 weeks before you plan to begin pool construction. The order in which your contractors arrive on site is important, when you put together your construction schedule.

    First on site will be earth movers, to dig the pool, and grade or remove extra fill dirt. Then you can bring in concrete for the pool foundation, electricians for the wiring, and after your inspections are passed and plumbing tested, you will need some method of filling in the pipe trench and backfilling against the pool walls.

    Electrical Contractors

    hiring electricans-to-build-your-own-poolFor swimming pools, these would be electricians familiar working with Article 680 of the National Electric Code. You'll want to schedule a time for a certified electrician to run power from the house main circuit breaker panel, to a sub panel, at the equipment pad to power the pool pumps, lights or heater. You may also have the electrician connect the bonding wire to the pool and equipment, as required by your local inspector, and also run the conduit and wires to a junction box to power the underwater pool lights.

    Some electricians will allow you to perform a portion of these tasks beforehand, and certify them as correct, or allow you to act as an 'electrician's helper', to reduce the overall cost. You'll find electricians to be quite busy in the spring. When calling for quotes, tell them exactly what you require, and exactly when you need it done. Confirm the date again when you select a particular electrician, and ask them if they would be able to commit to the date. Keeping your schedule, without delays, is important!

    Look for residential electric service companies that list swimming pools as one of their specialties. Any electrician could do it, but if they are not familiar with swimming pool codes, it could cause inspection problems. Your inspector is a good source for electrical contractors that work with swimming pools.

    Plumbing Contractors

    plumber-build-your-own-poolMany SPP pool kit customers plumb their own pools, but if you are building a complicated pool, you may opt to have a plumber assist, or do the whole job. There is usually no requirement for the pool plumbing to be installed by a professional, but if you are installing a gas heater, a qualified gas contractor will likely be required by your inspector.

    Like electricians, some plumbers will work with you, and perform only the most difficult portions of the job - if you wish, and like electricians, plumbers are very busy in the spring and summer. Contact them early, 4-8 weeks out, and ask if they can commit to the date on your construction calendar. There are some plumbing companies that specialize in pool plumbing and in warmer areas, some that exclusively work with pools.

    The plumbing for the average DIY pool is simple, and the pipe and fittings are included with our pool kits. All you need is a saw, glue and primer, in most cases.

    Site Work Contractors

    excavatorSite work companies perform earth moving services. Excavation (digging the hole), Grading (smoothing out the land around the pool), and Hauling (taking away extra fill dirt), and Backfilling the pool walls and trenches. In most cases, a DIY pool builder is not performing these tasks themselves, but will contract with a local company that works with swimming pools. Make sure your pool digger is experienced, using a 'green' operator can result in a lot of hand digging and shaping - extra work that you do not need.

    Like other contractors, you want to ask for a specific date on their calendar, and re-confirm that date when you agree to hire them. It's simpler to use one company to dig the pool, grade or haul off excess dirt, and return again to backfill the pool walls and trench. Outline each of these tasks when you are accepting quotes. A company experienced with inground pool kit construction will understand your needs.

    Concrete Delivery

    concrete-truck-diy-pool-projectThis is one of the easiest to arrange, and may be considered a supplier, rather than a contractor. Just place a phone call to the closest concrete company in your area. You will need a good amount, around 5-7 yards of a low-medium grade concrete, such as 2500 pound. It needn't be high strength, just their basic concrete mix, used for patios and sidewalks.

    Based on the size of your pool, we can help you determine the amount of concrete needed. Simply order that amount, for delivery on your specified day. You may want some additional concrete to pour the equipment pad, where your pump, filter and heater will be located.

    If you have any questions related to hiring sub-contractors to build an inground pool, the SPP pool experts are on call - helping our customers in every aspect of DIY pool construction. Give us a call and start planning your inground pool today!  

    Larry Weinberg
    SPP Pool Expert

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