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    DIY Inground Pool Construction: Tools and Supplies

    December 19, 2013


    For each phase of inground pool construction, we’ll need different tools and supplies. Some items are needed during all phases of the job. A measuring tape, carpenter's level and a wheelbarrow will be in nearly constant use during an inground pool build.


    Here is where we begin the building of the pool. We need to mark out the area we will be digging, and before you start digging, you should call the “Before You Dig” hotline. They will make sure that there are no gas, electric lines in the area. Use string or paint to mark the pool layout for the excavator, with a backhoe or earth moving machine. To shape the fine corners, you'll need shovels and rakes and maybe a pick axe and sledgehammer available. Measuring tape, transit level and a wheelbarrow will be in nearly constant use.

    Assemble everything before "Dig Day". Better to have everything ready to go, instead of stopping work to go find what's needed, this will just delay the work. If you are paying someone to do the dig, you do not want to delay anything. I would also make sure you have a set of good work clothes, including gloves, boots and knee pads. A tarp to cover the area in case you should get rain during a critical process of building the pool.

    Wall construction

    In order to start putting up the walls, you will need to make sure the area is level. The ground will have been tamped with the compactor, but you may need to shave it here and there. You will need the shovels, rakes, brooms for this. Once the ground is level, you can start putting up your walls.  Here you will need wrenches, drills, extension cord, rubber mallet, carpenters level and screwdrivers, and maybe some shims or roofing shakes, to help level the walls. A waterproof caulk and putty gun will help when installing the pool coping.


    In order to do the plumbing, you will want to have Channel pliers as well as the hack saw available. You may need a hole saw as well as a miter box to make straight cuts on the pipe. For a lot of pipe cuts, some DIY pool builders like to use a reciprocating saw. Sandpaper is good to smooth the ends of the pipe after you cut. Make sure you have fresh PVC glue and primer on hand.

    Floor Installation

    pool construction tools- image purchased thru dreamstimeFor the floor you will need Vermiculite to lay down a base. You will need trowels, wheelbarrow and 5 gallon buckets. Rounded edge trowels are easier to work with. Those knee pads will be extremely helpful during this part of the construction. it is a good idea to use a broom after the floor is completed to sweep away any loose particles before installing the liner.

    Liner Installation

    A shop vac or a blower will be quite handy when it comes to installing the liner. If you are putting in a liner with a step section, you'll appreciate having a cordless drill with a large #3 Philips head. You will need a razor knife to cut the liner around the drain, inlet and main drains. When you set the liner, you will need something to cover the step. This could be a piece of the old liner, a piece of wood or a tarp.

    DIY Pool Tools

    DIY-POOL-BUILDING-TOOLS-2 Here's a handy list that we get to our DIY inground pool building customers. There's may be a tool or two left off the list, depending on the situation, but this is a fairly complete list, and you will definitely need each and every one of these at one time or another when you build your own pool.

    Some other items that may come in handy could be a stiff rake, a leaf blower, eye protection and sunscreen! You may also need some music while you work, and a still or video camera to capture all of the phases of your pool project.

    Some notes on the items on the list - Most of these, including the temporary orange construction fence is found at any home store.  For setting the liner, either use a liner vac, or a large, heavy duty Shop Vac of 5hp or more. The Plate Compactor, Rotary Laser Level and some other items can be rented from a nearby rental shop. Spray paint should be a bright color.

    You probably have most of these items around the house already, but before you begin any inground pool construction in your backyard, make sure to have all of these tools on hand.

    DIY Pool Building Supplies

    For supplies, you will need the floor base, or pool base material ready to go. Concrete is delivered after you set the walls in place, nice and level. Gravel will be needed, for areas of  the new pool deck, to firm up muddy areas, or prevent mud pits, so trucks can move in and out of your backyard without making deep wheel ruts.

    SPP pool kits include all the fittings, pipe, glue and primer, and Teflon tape to plumb your pool, but if your plumbing is upgraded, or you add new lines, or have a very far run, you may need to buy more plumbing supplies.

    Having your pool building tools and supplies ready to go when you begin building your own pool will make things go more smoothly and help avoid delays.

    Happy Holidays!  

    Debbie Farnan
    SPP Pool Expert  

    Blog Author
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