Pool Construction Process
LAYOUT & EXCAVATION
The pool is laid out using stakes and redwood forms. The form represents the outer edge of the pool shell. We ask that you or your representative be present at this phase for the purpose of coordination between our design and construction departments. It is extremely important that both the pool and mechanical equipment be located at this time. If your home is under construction, we need to have access to both water and electricity at this time. The forms must not be disturbed, as they represent the exact elevation, location, size, shape, and position of the finished pool.
The excavation process is now ready to begin. The earth from your pool is either hauled away or kept on site for backfilling as necessary for later phases of construction. This is one of the two "dirty and noisy" phases of construction. We attempt to keep the dust down to a minimum, but it will be dusty, and the heavy equipment is noisy. We suggest you keep all windows and doors closed and keep your children away from the site during this phase.
PLUMBING, STEEL, ELECTRICAL & INSPECTIONS
PLUMBING: Schedule 40 PVC pipe, which will be beneath the deck will be installed and extended to the mechanical equipment location. This includes lines such as the main drain, skimmer, hydro-therapy jets, automatic cleaner, waterfall, and any other mechanical lines that may be included in your contract. All piping is pressure tested prior to gunite placement to insure against any leaks.
STEEL - 3/8" steel reinforcing bars are placed to strengthen the gunite shell. The steel is shaped to the pool's design and extra steel is used at points of high stress. The reinforcing steel is securely tied in place. The day of guniting, the bars are blocked up from the dirt so the entire "basket" will be surrounded by gunite when finished. The electrical contractor should then bond the steel shell. Stairs and benches in the shallow end do not have steel placed; they are solid gunite.
ELECTRICAL - This will be your first meeting with our licensed electricians. They will inspect your service panel and determine the exact distance to the mechanical location. They will also bond the steel structure and call in your 1st inspection. This is the time to talk about any future electrical, nightscaping, speakers, etc.
INSPECTIONS - Our construction office will notify both the building and electrical departments, if you are using our electrician, prior to gunite. We have placed the permit in a permit container and secured it near your home. Please make sure the building permit is still accessible for signing by these inspectors. If the container is not there, please notify us immediately.
This is the major step in your construction project, one of the dirtiest and certainly the noisiest. There are many large trucks on site the day of gunite. Be prepared for some commotion, and watch your children. It's exciting to watch, but you will want to keep all nearby doors and windows closed throughout the guniting operation. It is during this phase that the stairs, benches, light niches, etc., will be set in place. Our project manager will ask for your second payment at this time. Beginning the next day, you should wet down the gunite shell two (2) times per day for seven (7) days to facilitate the curing process. Do not become alarmed if any water accumulates in the bottom of the pool. During these seven days, 85% of the eventual concrete cure takes place, and it is now possible to resume the construction process. Forms will be stripped, any necessary backfilling performed, and preliminary deck grading will take place.
At this time you most likely will need to purchase sub-base material for the deck area to achieve proper elevation. All lines; plumbing, electrical, gas, etc. MUST be installed prior to deck layout.
TILE, COPING & WATER FEATURES
A 6" band of frostproof ceramic tile is now applied to the top inside edge of your pool. This allows easy cleaning at the water line. If tile markers are to be placed on the stairs, they will be done day of plaster. Make sure water and electricity are available for the crew's use.
If your pool is to be edged with coping, field stone or other, our stone mason now installs this finish. Otherwise, the cantilever edge of the deck provides the pool's top finish. If your pool has a water feature don't be alarmed when you see a "pile of rocks". The finish touches are running water and your final landscape.
DECK LAYOUT & DECK POUR
This is very important because the deck is the entertainment area around the pool. After the layout, take the time to be comfortable with the design. It is not uncommon to place chaise lounges or tables in the laid out area.
This process entails large concrete trucks down the access road. It is very important that all cars are cleared to allow access and that all children are kept out of the area. This is when the project really comes to life.
Depending on your choice of decking (plain, exposed aggregate, pavers or stamped) the steps may vary at this time. Exposed Aggregate and Stamped Concrete are multi-day processes, so don’t be alarmed if your deck doesn’t look the right color after it is poured. The expansion joints are saw cut in the stamped pattern, so you may see some hairline cracks, but the deck is reinforced with 3/8” steel rebar.
The mechanical components, including the filter system, time clock, automatic cleaner, and heater (if ordered), are installed prior to plaster. If it is our electrician, we will notify him to insure all mechanical equipment is wired prior to plaster. If it is your electrician, you must inform the scheduling department both when his completion is scheduled, and then completed. Work relative to pool heating should also be completed now. Please note that Natural Gas and Propane heaters require specific pipe sizes and gas pressure.
Before this final step is accomplished, it is essential that the pool and surrounding area are kept as clean as possible, and your fence or temporary fence has been installed to meet both local and state codes prior to filling the pool. Any projects which create dirt, dust, smoke or other mess, must be completed beforehand, or postponed until later. The sparkling cleanliness of a fine quality pool depends not only upon the ability of our craftsmen, but in keeping the pool as clean as possible until it is filled. We cannot be responsible for footprints or stains caused by dirt, fertilizer, dust, and other debris from construction, landscape projects or winds.
FILLING YOUR POOL
Once the filling operation has begun, NEVER turn off the water or move the hose from its original position until the level has risen to the middle of the tile band. This eliminates the possibility of a dirt ring, which is difficult to remove. When the pool is full, please turn off the water and inform us. Under normal conditions it is not necessary to call us until the pool is full. There is no harm in not having the filter on, for up to a week after filling. There is also no harm to the pool swimming in the pool before the filter is started.
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:
1. Testing and lowering your PH
2. Brushing the pool