Installing your own inground pool is no weekend project. Building a pool takes some planning and project management, to align the tasks of each construction phase, and prevent delays.
Here's an inground pool construction checklist that you can download to your PC, and open with Excel, or you can view the spreadsheet online. Use the Control buttons at the bottom right.
Pool Planning Phase
The Pool Planning Phase can take a few weeks to complete, as there are important decisions to be made. These early decisions made in the planning stage are outlining the overall scope of your inground pool project. Start with the size and location of your desired swimming pool, add-on any equipment upgrades like a pool heater, a slide, or water features. Decide on your pool deck material (concrete, stampcrete, stone, wood...), as this affects the type of pool coping choice you will make when ordering your pool kit.
Most permit applications will require a drawing of your approximate pool and equipment location. See an earlier blog post I wrote on how to draw up pool plans and specs for your inground pool. After you obtain your pool permit, you can begin shopping for your inground pool kit, and begin to create a personal pool budget.
Pool Construction Phase
As soon as you begin to receive your pool kit and equipment, inventory to be sure that you have everything. Most inground pool kits are built in a 1-2 week period. Create a calendar to help you stay on track, and line up your contractors and inspections in the proper sequence.
You'll likely need a few contractors, such as an Excavator or an Electrician. The plumbing is usually done by the homeowner and his pool construction crew. Concrete delivery will need to arranged, for the concrete collar or pool foundation, and possibly for your pool equipment pad. Material for the pool floor also needs to be researched and delivered. There are a few options for inground pool base materials.
Plan on your helpers - most DIY pool installers need a crew of at least 3 full time workers to make timely progress. Finally, decide what you are going to do with all of the extra fill dirt around the pool. Backfilling around the pool will only use 15-20% of the dirt that was dug out of the ground. Have a plan to either use it on site, spreading and grading it into the existing landscape, or plan on the need for a loader and a dump truck to haul it away.
After backfilling dirt up against the pool walls and filling the trench for the pipes to the pool equipment pad, your pool is done - sort of. When water fills the pool, the pool fence and other safety requirements should be in place, and you can schedule the final inspection with your county or city.
Concrete pool decks are installed 2-4 weeks after the pool is filled, to allow the backfill to settle and compact. Grading the land, for good drainage and replanting grass or borders will soon have your pool landscaping back in shape.
Finally, you can reward yourself with your first swim and start planning the first pool party of the season!
Enjoy the process - it's all going to be well worth the effort!
SPP Pool Expert