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    Staying Organized While Building an Inground Pool

    May 22, 2014

    How to build a pool: inground pool project management

    Building your own inground pool is a big project, with many moving parts. Keeping yourself organized, while planning and executing all the phases of pool construction will make for a smoother pool installation.

    We've talked before about the importance of planning and how to organize your pool project into a progressive process, where one phases naturally leads to the next. Getting your ducks in a row, so to speak, will enable you to make continuous progress, and avoid unnecessary delays.

    Whether you are planning to build your inground pool in a week, or if you are stretching it out over several long weekends, staying organized during the pool project will make each day of work as productive as possible.

    3 Ways to Organize an Inground Pool Project

    1. pool-project-management-templateNotes & Calendars: A large wall calendar, or MS Outlook calendar, can be used with each work day planned for specific tasks. You can use colored Post-It notes, or use a larger Daily Tasks calendar to breakdown each day into labor, supplies, materials, and any project admin work that needs to be done.
    2. Excel Spreadsheet: A spreadsheet not only can keep track of each day's goals and objectives, but keep track of the budget and finances as well. If you are familiar with working in spreadsheets, you may find MS Excel a comfortable tool to use to keep your pool project organized and on-track. Templates are available for construction projects. You can also find PowerPoint templates.
    3. Project Management Software: Basecamp is a popular project management tool, and there are many other free and low cost programs or apps that can be used to record expenses and track workflow. Update it with % of task completion, and it adjusts the calendar if needed.

    Build an Inground Pool in 1 Week -or- 1 Month?

    Whether you are taking a week off of work, or just a few Fridays over a 3-5 week term, planning each work day is essential, so that you can be as productive as possible.

    calendar-31-Week Inground Pool Construction: When you are trying to build it within a 5-7 day time period, each phase becomes a little more compressed, so tight scheduling of your contractors (excavation, electrical, grading, hauling), and materials (concrete, gravel, floor base) and enough man hours of labor becomes crucial, to avoid delays. Bad weather or temperature can sometimes hamper work, but rarely requires a full work stoppage.

    calendar-31-Month Inground Pool Construction: Over a month of weekends, you have a good number of workdays, about 7-10, if the weather is cooperating and you have 2-3 good helpers. For this type of planning, you've got to put some work in during each week, to schedule contractors, labor and materials for the upcoming weekend. Some may not work on weekends, so some jobs, or inspections, will need to be either Friday or Monday.

    Randy Wilcox - our professional pool installer

    There is a faster way. It takes the same amount of pool project planning on your part, but scheduling a week with Rent-A-Randy, our professional pool installer, will not only reduce the time to a 3-5 day project, but it takes a big load off of your shoulders. For about $5K, Randy and his helper will arrive during a scheduled week, and with 2-3 of your helpers, get the pool constructed and full of water in under 5 days. You finish up with backfill, grading and the pool deck installation.

    Failing to Plan; Planning to Fail

    We've provided thousands of homeowners with inground pool kits, and free, unlimited support for the life of their pool. And having built nearly a thousand pools myself over the years, I've got some stories of "planned failures"; or unfortunate events that could have been avoided.

    truck-falls-in-poolLike the time a cement truck got too close to the edge of a pool, and because heavy rains had soaked the soil, the truck slid into the pool walls, crushing 2 panels. Or the lack of planning for attrition with your pool helpers. Family, good friends and neighbors will all say they'd be willing to help, but how many can commit to a full week of 10 hour days? Or the countless times that equipment operators, electricians, suppliers or inspectors have had a conflict and couldn't deliver on the day you need them. Or, the contractors or inspectors that show up on time, but you're not quite ready for them.

    To avoid the unforeseen delays, you need to be able to jostle the schedule and juggle the tasks at a moment's notice, to continue progress. When there is a hold-up in one part of one phase, look at your overall project, and put all hands to work on another phase. And of course, having the SPP Pool Experts on call for you every day is so valuable for the DIY inground pool builder. You can call or email us anytime (well, during business hours), and we will consult and advise on any concern you have about building your own inground pool.

    Get Organized!

    Early in the process, establish your method of tracking progress, and keep track of all the phases of your inground pool project. Another important thing is to assign accountability, if there is more than one person, such as a Husband/Wife team. One may take on more of the physical work, and the other take on more of the budgeting, buying, scheduling, payments and light labor.

    Being organized while building your own inground pool is a job, probably an hour out of each work day should be devoted to planning. And that doesn't include the 10-20 hours of pre-planning you will need to do, before you turn over the first shovel of dirt.

    It's worth it, an organized inground pool project will avoid pitfalls, delays and extra costs.

    Larry Weinberg
    SPP Pool Expert    

    Blog Author
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