Construction Fact Sheet
Congratulations on selecting Environmental Pools as your in ground gunite swimming pool design and construction company.
Environmental Pools continues to provide design excellence with a personal touch. Over the years since our beginnings in 1988, we have developed a dependable team of in-house professionals as well as third party contractors to fulfill the services specified on your contract.
We are your SINGLE SOURCE from design concept through project completion and we manage all phases of pool construction specified on your contract.
We DO offer additional services not specified in your contract using skilled artisans specializing in masonry and decking , cabana and pool house additions, comprehensive landscaping services, fencing and pergola and other services related to the pool itself and the connection to expanding your outdoor spaces.
Please consult with your design professional to review any of these additional services you may need and they will be pleased to outline the options available to you.
We are experienced in developing a choreographed phased approach from project start-up to completion, but some factors are out of our general control. Weather, inspection schedules from local towns and your personal finish choice selections can impact our schedule. We ask that you be proactive when it comes to these personal selections and not wait till the last minute to review and select. Also, while we try to be as inclusive on the general signed contract, we do understand that additional items may be added, existing items may be changed and/or deleted. In each of these instances, an addendum to the original contract needs to signed by client and sales representative and any payment changes need to be reflected and accounted for before work covered in the addendum can proceed.
Should you decide to use your own contractors for items specified in or beyond the scope of your contract, please note that we are unable to vouch for their professional expertise or their timeliness in scheduling their service, which can impact our overall efficiency in completing our phased timelines and your overall ability to enjoy swimming. Additionally, if you need us to consult or coordinate with your contractor of choice, we are pleased to do so at an agreed rate per hour for travel time.
Below you will find an expanded outline of each of the phases highlighted on the FACT SHEET FLOWCHART. We look forward to working with you and assure you of our attention to detail, proactive communication and overall excellence in all phases. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone at 978 256 0200 or by email via our contact page.
Construction Flow Chart
PHASE ONE- PRE- SITE MEETING
This pre- site meeting will take place with you, your design consultant and the project manager assigned to your particular project. At this meeting, the existing plan will be reviewed and any issues related to the site itself and the project will be addressed. Some of the topics to be reviewed include (not specifically limited to) property access, excavated material, pool and equipment layout, elevation and grading as well as decking, hardscape and a review of the staging area for the work to be undertaken. It is also at this meeting where general utility (electrical and heat requirements) are reviewed and issues outside the contract, but related to the outside environment (like landscaping, irrigation, lighting, pool house additions, fencing, outdoor kitchens etc.) are addressed. We will also need a list of third party contractors that you are working with on items outside the scope of the specific contract you have with us.
PHASE TWO- LAYOUT & EXCAVATION
We need you or your Representative to be on site at this phase. We will locate and lay out the pool according to the plan using stakes and redwood forms, which represent the outer edge of the pool shell. These forms, once agreed to, will need a sign off by you or your representative and cannot be disturbed once agreed to as they represent the precise location, shape position and finished elevation of the pool. This Excavation Approval Form acknowledges your consent to location, elevation and also that E.P.I. has no notice of undisclosed or existing underground conditions. At this time, we will ask you for payment reflected on invoice which will be given to you or your representative. We will also furnish you with an Additional Work Authorization Form that needs to be signed, covering contingencies outside the scope of Normal Excavation as defined in Paragraph Five of your contract. The final form requiring your consent relates to the physical location of the mechanical equipment.
The excavation then commences! It will be a noisy and busy job site with a lot of activity, so we ask that you keep all windows and doors closed and also isolate children and pets to the indoors as much as you can. We may also need your cooperation in ensuring that we have unimpeded traffic access as we remove excavated material off site.
Before we leave the site, we will locate and install a weather-tight permit container box into which your building permit will be placed and future sign-off permits as mandated by the local town are to be placed.
PHASE THREE- STEEL FORMING
At this phase, 3/8 inch steel reinforcing bars are placed to strengthen the gunite shell of the pool. The steel is shaped to the pool’s design and additional steel is used at points of high stress. This reinforced steel is securely tied in place. Once this has been completed, the steel shell will need to bonded by the electrical contractor specified on the contract. If this happens to be one of our licensed electricians, we will notify him/her that this phase needs their attention and it is the responsibility of the electrician to call in for this inspection.
In the event you elected to use your own Third Party electrician, please make sure that you notify them accordingly once it has been inspected, have them contact our office. Any delays will impact the following phase(s).
Please do not be alarmed when you notice that the stairs and benches on the plan are not in place at this time and do not have steel forms- these are formed in solid gunite.
PHASE FOUR- PLUMBING
At this phase, we do all the plumbing for the main drain, skimmer/s, hydro- therapy jets, automatic cleaner, waterfalls and other mechanical lines included in your specific contract.
We use schedule 40 PVC pipe which will be placed below the finished deck and will extend from the pool to the mechanical equipment location. All of these lines are pressure tested to hold a static pressure prior to the gunite phase to ensure their integrity against future leaks.
PHASE FIVE- ELECTRICAL
At this phase the electrician will need to meet with you or your representative to inspect your service panel and determine the exact distance to the location of the mechanical equipment. any service upgrades should be addressed at this time as well as the additional footage as articulated in your contract. You should also discuss any future electrical needs outside your contract, like lighting, irrigation, outdoor kitchen appliances and fire pits. If you are using a Third Party electrician outside your contract, please make sure that they are responsible for calling in necessary inspections, and once completed to again notify our office.
Some important information regarding contracts that include a heated pool: The law requires that all work related to heater installations be performed by a licensed Plumber/ Gas Fitter and as such, this is OUTSIDE your specific contract. If you need any help locating a specialized firm to fulfill this specific service, please contact our office and we will try and suggest a suitable company to get this work undertaken.
PHASE SIX- GUNITE
This phase represents a major milestone in your construction project, notwithstanding the fact that it is a messy and noisy phase!
There will be a number of large concrete trucks to and from the site, so please try and keep access unimpeded during this phase. Please make sure that all windows and doors are closed and once again, try and keep children and pets isolated to the home interior.
It is during this phase that the pool itself (entire steel basket) is encased in concrete and the stairs, benches and light niches are set in place with concrete.
At this phase your project manager will present you with an invoice and your second payment will expected per the terms of your contract.
Please make sure that you have a garden hose available the day after this phase, as you or your representative will need to wet down the gunite shell twice daily (2) for seven days (7) to facilitate the curing process. Sometimes the easiest way to get this accomplished is to use an “old- fashioned” wand that attaches to the garden hose and actuates in an arc to ensure maximum surface coverage.
Do not be alarmed if water pools in the bottom of the structure during this process. Once the concrete has cured, the next phase can commence, with the stripping of the existing forms, backfilling and preliminary grading for decking.
PHASE SEVEN- GRADING
Once all lines, plumbing, electrical, gas and others have been installed and inspected, this phase can commence.
Unless otherwise specified, your contract includes two (2) hours grading for the deck area only. If you require any additional grading on your site, this will be covered with your design consultant and project manager and can be identified in a contract addendum as needed. Please ensure that this is signed and payment terms are agreed to, prior to this work commencing. Additionally, you will in most likelihood be required to sub- base material necessary to achieve ideal elevation. This is not included in your contract and can be requisitioned through our office at a delivered cost of $ 675.00 per load. From a cost perspective (having equipment on site already), as well as our professional expertise with your site, our grading crews are best equipped to handle any of your additional grading needs with completing the finishing touch to your newly expanded outdoor environment.
PHASE EIGHT- TILING
The tile that you personally selected is now applied to the top inside edge of your pool during this phase. This allows for easy cleaning at the water line. If tile markers are specified on stairs or in other identified locations inside the pool or spa area, these will be applied the day the interior surface is applied.
Your design consultant or project manager will present you with a third invoice for payment at this phase.
PHASE NINE- NATURAL STONE COPING/ CUSTOM WATER FEATURE
During this phase, our skilled masonry artisans install the specified custom feature. Your design consultant or project manager will introduce you to our masonry team and review the custom design and material components prior to the actual work commencing.
PHASE TEN- DECK LAYOUT
This is an important phase that requires your on site attendance. The existing deck specifications outlined in your contract is laid out and at this time and you can then determine if changes should be made. If you or your representative are satisfied with the design specified on your contract, please sign the Deck Approval Form presented. Typically, once the pool is in place, it is not uncommon to add additional decking based on the actual ratio of the pool and the outdoor environment. Any additional surface area not included in your contract will require payment as this time based on the agreed square foot price for the material selected.
PHASE ELEVEN- DECK INSTALLATION
Once the deck layout has been agreed to, the actual installation of the deck commences, and the time to complete this phase depends of the deck material selected.
Depending on the material selections, the cantilever edge or specified pool coping is installed contemporaneously with or prior to actual deck installation.
Your design consultant or project manager will give you specific details based on the material being installed. When it comes to pouring concrete decks, either plain, stamped or exposed aggregate this generally is a two (2) day process, so do not be alarmed if your deck does not look the right color after it is poured. Expansion joints are saw cut and the deck itself is reinforced with 3/8 inch steel rebar and during this process it is not uncommon to see small hairline cracks.
PHASE TWELVE- EQUIPMENT PLACEMENT AND HOOKUP
If the equipment has not been placed any time prior, at this phase all specified mechanical equipment in your contract (filter system, pump, automatic cleaner, heater and other) is set in place. All of these components need to be electrically wired prior to the interior finish application, and any work related to heater installation should be completed now as well. As with all electrical and gas contractors, make sure that our office is notified when necessary inspections have been completed.
PHASE THIRTEEN- UNDERWATER LIGHT INSTALLATION
The fully sealed and waterproof light/s is/are fastened into place in the niche per the plan specifications. These light fixtures meet the necessary NEC and UL code requirements.
The long coiled cord inside the nit niche allows for bulb exchange without lowering the water level in the pool. Please do NOT turn on light before water is filled in swimming pool, as it is a water-cooled fixture and will blow out absent water in the pool.
PHASE FOURTEEN – PREP FOR PLASTER
A crew will come out at this point and install spa jet fittings as well as all return fittings, scrape down the pool and clean it of all debris. The pool shell must be cleaned prior to Interior finish application to ensure a strong bond. This is a general clean-up phase and also a checklist to make sure all is in order prior to finalizing your pool finish. Any remaining punch-list items are identified and addressed leading into our final Seal of Approval (pending interior finish) of all Phases to this point. Your project manager will not move forward with the interior finish until all outstanding items are addressed or scheduled and agreed upon by both parties as noted in the SOA.
PHASE FIFTEEN- INTERIOR FINISH
We are now coming to the finish line at before this phase can commence, there are some house cleaning items for your consideration! Any work that will disturb the general site needs to either be completed before this phase can commence or be postponed till after this phase has been completed. Additionally, and temporary or final fencing per applicable codes, needs to be installed prior to filling of pool, which takes place soon after this phase is completed. Cleanliness of site will equate to cleanliness of pool and we cannot be held accountable for any staining or discoloration or dirt impregnation caused by debris on site related to construction components, landscaping etc. OUTSIDE your specific contract: If the interior finish is plaster, the pool needs to be filled immediately post interior plaster has been applied. With other exposed interior finishes, they will be acid washed the day after application and the pool needs to be filled immediately thereafter.
Please look at your contract and see if any provision is included for filling pool with an outside third party water company. If not, you can contact our office and we can set this up for you and you can pay this Third Party provider directly.
At this phase, you will be presented with your final payment per the contract as well as any addendum balances not yet paid in full.
PHASE SIXTEEN- STARTUP
Soon after your pool is full, the mechanical equipment will be started. This is the first and most basic instruction for operating your pool. For the next 7-10 days you will be:
- Testing twice daily (for the first two weeks) and lowering your PH as necessary
- Brushing the pool twice daily for the first two weeks
- Backwashing your filter.
These are the three (3) most important things you need to do prior to follow-up instruction. When adding acid to the pool to lower the PH never pour the acid directly over the swimouts or stairs, and never allow acid to spill on the deck surface. At this stage we cannot fire up the heater or start the automatic cleaner, as they may damage your beautiful plaster surface.
HANDRAILS, LADDERS – Although it is necessary to set the anchors, and/or jigs before the deck is poured, the actual installation of these features is not done until after the pool is filled and the equipment is started.
PHASE SEVENTEEN – FOLLOW-UP
Once your pool has run for approximately one (1) week, give the office a call and we’ll schedule your follow-up appointment. This instruction explains in detail proper chemical balance, pool maintenance, and heater and automatic cleaner instructions. You will want to allocate a good hour or two, as some systems have quite a bit of automation and details to the equipment. You will also receive all equipment manuals. If you have a salt system, we will schedule a visit to start this by Week 3 for River Rok/Pebble finishes or Week 4 for Grey/White marcite plaster finishes. You will use Chlorine tabs that we supply for sanitizer until the Salt System is started up.
PHASE EIGHTEEN – ENJOY YOUR FIRST SUMMER WITH YOUR NEW POOL