As we work with our DIY inground pool kit customers on a daily basis, I personally find that some of the most streamlined pool kit installations arise when both partners participate in the pool construction project.
Many times, the husband will take on the project himself, with a few hired hands, or good buddies - but to have two people managing the pool project, with specific responsibilities for each partner - it makes the pool kit installation faster and easier.
Pool Planning & Design
In this initial phase of planning for pool construction, it's best to involve both parties somewhat, as big decisions are being made. I think that it's important to have a written budget, some thing that is as accurate as you can make, to see if you need to have a phased-in pool project, or if finances will allow completion in 2-4 weeks.
You need a system to create an Organized Pool Construction. Perhaps my 3x5 Index Card system will be some help to your DIY pool kit project. Use the cards below to help you stay organized during your DIY pool project.
The cost to build an inground pool kit can be less than $15,000 - or, with a large deck and several options or added features, it can get close to double that price. Here's a list of items during the pool planning and design phase that will need to be "owned", although many of these initial items may be a shared responsibility.
Managing the "Books" for the project, including the budget and payments - is an important task that spans all of the pool construction phases. Starting a folder, to include all of the Owner's Manuals, Warranties and all the Pool Paperwork is also a good idea. Managing pool inspections includes scheduling 2-4 inspections, at different times; knowing all of the requirements beforehand, and meeting the inspector at the appointed time.
There are sub-contractors to research, get prices, sign contracts if necessary, and get commitment for a date on their calendar. Excavation companies, familiar with digging pools will be required, and probably a dump truck and a location to haul extra fill dirt. A certified electrician needs to bring power from the home main panel, to a sub-panel, at the equipment pad.
A concrete delivery company is needed for pouring the concrete collar, and any concrete pool decking. You may also need gravel delivery, for concrete decks, or for dewatering a wet deep end, or for strengthening very wet and muddy areas, to help heavy equipment come in and out of the backyard.
Pool Construction Process
It starts with full plan approval and issued permits, and then you need to have your helpers, sub contractors, inspectors and concrete companies lined up, and ready to complete their portion of the project, at the right time. Call 811 to have your property marked for underground utilities a week before you plan to dig the inground pool.
This is the part where we get dirty, so put on your overalls and and work boots ("...and do not track that mud into the house!").
Either party can assist in these areas, but we often find the Husbands taking the lead in this area. These items above are best compressed into a 3-5 day time frame, so your work area is not subject to heavy rains. Good coordination of subs and concrete delivery trucks is important to keep the work moving.
If you want to fast track the construction phase of building your own pool, see a recent Blog Interview that was done with Randy Wilcox, also known as Rent-A-Randy. Having Randy act as a General Contractor during the construction phase, will help ensure that your pool is built as fast and trouble free as possible.
After the Pool Construction
After you get water in the pool, and the filter equipment started up, it's important to get the pool fence put back in place, or built - if none existed before. Some rural areas do not require a fence, but most cities and towns have pool fence ordinances. The Pool Permit and Inspections process will let you know if, and what type of pool fence is required.
We generally tell our customers to wait 30 days after backfilling the pool, before installing the pool deck. This gives the backfill time to settle, so your deck won't settle or shift later. You can cover the area in gravel or stone dust, and water it frequently. Strips of outdoor carpeting can be used to give a clean area to walk on - if you want to use the pool before the pool deck is installed.
Landscaping can begin immediately. Warning: it may look like a bomb went off in the backyard, but with a plan for areas of new grass, plantings, trees, or rocks and boulders - it can quickly come back into shape. Be sure to grade the yard so that water flows easily around the pool, even in cases of flash flooding.
Finally, who is going to take care of the pool? You could split the task into Water Chemistry and Mechanical Maintenance duties. Or, trade off every year. But, make some clear decisions about which of you is going to maintain the pool, to keep it clean, sanitary and operational.
I hope you find my 3x5 Index Card Organization System helpful! You can Print out each image by right clicking (Internet Explorer) or in other browsers you can right click to Copy, and paste into any image editing, word processing or email client to Print out each of these cards. Add your initials to each item, some deadline dates, and costs.
You're going to be so proud of yourself, when you build your own inground swimming pool.
SPP Pool Expert