Start with a Pool Permit - Fill out necessary paperwork and go to your town hall or local building inspector to get your building permit. Once you have your permit call Specialty Pool Products to purchase the pool kit you are interested in building. SPP customers get free help from our SPP Experts, who are with you from Layout to Landscaping, with unlimited technical support every step of the way. This starts with selecting the best size and shape pool for you, and customizing it if desired, with added pool equipment or features.
There are actually many more than 10 steps in building your own inground pool, but here are ten things that need to be coordinated or arranged so that they happen in quick succession. Planning a tight schedule on these steps will make the difference between a 1-week pool build, or a 3-week pool build.
- Hire an excavator to dig the pool The cost will vary depending on the size and shape of the pool you are building. I will discuss the costs for a 16’x32’ Rectangle pool which is the pool I built in my own backyard. From talking to other customers around the country the average excavation cost would be approximately $1500. There may be additional cost for grading excess dirt, or hauling it off the property. After the pool is built and full of water, you'll only need about 20% of the dirt that was removed to backfill around the pool, so unless you have a large property where you can spread out the dirt, you'll need a dump truck and a loader, and also someplace (legal) to dump the fill dirt. For most inground pools built on small properties, there are 3-5 truckloads of dirt to haul off, and this can cost about $1000. Your excavator should be able to provide a price for haul-off, or arrange for dump trucks on dig day, or after backfilling.
- Assemble the wall panels and pool step according to the panel layout we provide making sure all of the panels are plumb, level and straight. Use a laser level or transit to shoot the pools corner to make sure all wall panels are at the same exact height. Once all of the panels are correct bolt them together with hardware provided. This step can be completed in less than one day by 2-3 people.
- For wiring, hire a local electrician so he can ground or bond your swimming pool according to your local electrical code, (ask your inspector). An electrician should also wire all of the electrical equipment, like the pool pump, heater, lights from a GFCI protected sub panel attached to the home main breaker box. The cost for an electrician depends on what needs to be done, but all wiring, grounding and bonding should run between $1500- $2000.
- The concrete collar is poured around the outside of the pool panels normally about 10” deep, partially covering the lower walls and kickers. The collar fills up the overdig around the pool which is typically 2-1/2 feet. The concrete collar is used to lock the panels in place so there is no movement of the panels. For a 16’x32’ Rectangle Pool you would need 7-8 yards of concrete and the cost is roughly about $100/yard. A local concrete supplier will send a truck out, with 12-20 feet of chute. You supply 2-3 people to help push the wet concrete around the pool, while the truck pours it next to the pool. Double check pool walls for plumb, square and level one more time, before the concrete sets.
- Do the plumbing for the skimmer or skimmers, set of main drains, pool returns and jets for steps if applicable. Follow the plumbing diagram for your pool included in the installation manual. I recommend running a separate line for your main drains. A tee is required at the center, between the main drains, then plumb a line from the tee, to a 3 way Jandy valve in front of the pump. Next, run another separate line from the skimmer(s) in the pool to the other side of that same 3 way Jandy valve. The cost for the plumbing varies depending on the location of where the pump and filter is located. We provide a 100ft roll of Flexible PVC pipe which is enough to lay in the trenches, but we recommend using rigid PVC for pipes on the equipment pad connecting pump and filter. The average additional cost for the additional PVC pipe and fittings would be about $250.
- Pour the pool floor along the bottom of the pool before the pool liner. This is done by troweling in the floor material along the bottom of the pool, following the string lines that you laid out earlier when you pinned the pool during the excavation process. As a rule of thumb this material normally comes up 2” on the pool panels. The most common material people use along the pool floor is either Vermiculite or they mix or masonry sand with Portland cement. The vermiculite is a little more expensive but probably the best option if you have any ground water in your backyard. The ratio when using vermiculite is 2 bags of vermiculite to 1 bag of Portland cement. If you use the sand with cement mixture the ratio is 4 bags of masonry sand to 1 bag of Portland cement. The cost for a 16’x32’ Rectangle would when using Vermiculite mixed with cement would be approximately $1000. When using the sand with cement mixture the cost would be about $500. Local suppliers or stores can likely deliver the items directly to the job site.
- Install your pool coping pieces on top of the pool walls going around the pool. Start by installing the corners of the pool first if the pool is rectangular and about every 6” install a screw on the corners and on rest of the pool every 12” install a tek screw into the coping to hold it in place. There are no additional costs involved for the coping everything you need is provided with our pool kit. This job only takes a few hours to complete.
- Install the pool liner according to the installation instructions that are provided with our pool kit. Place the liner in the shallow end and then unfold the liner by installing the deep end corners and clipping into place. Now start by hooking the liner bead into the coping about every 10 feet as you move towards the shallow end. Once you reach the shallow end install bead of liner into the 2 corners in the shallow end. You can now adjust the liner if necessary by moving the liner around, sliding it in the track. When you are happy with the way the liner looks go back and clip the liner into the coping all the way around the pool. You will need to get a strong shop vac or purchase a liner vacuum to install your pool liner. Follow liner installation instructions for more detailed information.
- After backfilling around the pool and allowing the ground to settle for a few weeks, you can install the perimeter pool deck. There are many different options for your decking around the patio such as concrete, stamped concrete, brick pavers, outdoor tile to just name a few. Pool deck cost will vary depending on the type of patio you desire; the least expensive being the standard poured concrete patio at about $4 per square foot, pavers and stampcrete at $8 per square foot, to high end custom and natural products at over $25 per square foot.
- Fence for your pool according to local pool fence codes; check with your dept. of building and zoning, or the pool construction inspector, for guidance. The usual fence is 4 or 5 feet tall, non-climbable, with self-closing and self-latching gates. They also have to be designed and installed to keep spacing tight between fence pickets and below the fence. If you do it yourself, with DIY friendly pool fence, you can install it for about $15 per foot for aluminum pool fence, or $9 per foot for mesh pool fence. Turnkey prices for a 4-sided pool fence installed by a local company are higher, depending on size they range from $3000 to $5000.
Start by taking a look at some of our finished pool projects, built by homeowners just like you! Our vinyl inground pool kits are sold complete, with everything you need to build your own inground pool. Prices for our inground pool kits start at $5000. Larger pools with custom equipment average $7500.
Call us today and start building your backyard dream - your own inground swimming pool!
SPP Pool Expert