Campbell Pools has completed thousands of inground swimming pool installations over the 25+ years we have been doing this. Clients are extremely happy to see us working with professional processes that are proven and consistant.
We have put together this post with the major steps of building an inground pool. Of course, there is fluctuation based on pool design, weather and features, but this overview should prepare you with what to expect when you decide to get a pool.
0. On-Site meeting prior to start: A few days before start of excavation
Typically a few days before the scheduled start of excavation, we have an on-site meeting with the homeowners, the sales person, project foreman and landscaper (if one is involved). The reason for this meeting is to have everybody on-site to go over the details and ensure we are all on the same page. We typically use this time to paint out all the relevant elements on the ground (pool edge, patio/decking, placement of equipment, etc) and confirm measurements and position.
1. Excavation equipment arrival and dig preparation: Day 1
The big day is finally here! We are digging the pool! But first we need to set up for the excavation. Depending on the yard access and the equipment we will be using, this can take only a few minutes or most of the day. It’s one of the details that will have been discussed during the on-site meeting.
2. Excavation of the pool: Day 1 - 3
The actual excavation. At this stage we have earth being moved, machines on the move and a lot of activity happening. Depending on the size of the pool and the size of the excavation equipment, it may take only a few hours or a couple of days to dig the actual pool. In the case of bedrock excavation, it can take a number of days to break the rock and shape the hole.
3. Assembly of the pool structure: Day 1 - 3
As the pool is being excavated, the pool structure will be assembled. This includes any steps, benches or sunledges. The structure is bolted together, support braces installed and once assembled, the entire structure is cemented together. The plumbing and recirculation equipment is installed as well as the sonotubes put in place. The area is then prepared for backfilling.
4. Backfill of pool structure: Day 2 – 5
We now backfill the entire pool structure with stone and do a rough preparation for the concrete deck/patio or sub-deck to be poured. The first stage of the installation is now complete.
The primary installation crew is done their work and all the excavation equipment is gone. Things are about to start coming together as we start to assemble the pool.
Two very important notes at this point:
- Our installation crew, the crew that digs, installs the panels and backfills, is able to work in pretty much any weather. It takes a heavy rain downpour to slow them up. The reverse is true of our concrete crew. Weather is very important and even the possibility of rain is enough to cancel a pour. Why this is important? As the season goes on it is not unusual for our concrete crew to fall somewhat behind our installation crew. By July/August it is quite normal for there to be a five to ten day delay between when the installation crew is finishing up and the concrete crew arrives.
- At this point we are ready to have the fencing started or re-installed. Our concrete crew does not need any access larger than a standard gate. The only exception to this is if a landscaper is coming in to do stonework. In that case we may need to wait on the fencing until after they are finished.
5. Forming for Concrete Deck/Patio: Day 6 – 7
Our concrete crew comes in and prepares the area where we will be pouring our concrete deck. In the case of interlocking stone we will still be pouring a small sub-deck to support the stonework immediately around the pool. In some cases if we are building custom concrete steps, retaining walls or other features, the process of forming may take a couple of days.
6. Grounding of Inground Pool Structure: Day 7 - 9
At this point the electrician will ‘ground’ the pool. This involves attaching a series of ground wires from the structure and concrete wire mesh to where the pool equipment will be installed.
7. Pouring of concrete deck or sub/deck: Day 10 – 12
Our concrete crew returns to pour the concrete deck/patio or sub/deck. Again, depending on the complexity of the project, the pouring of concrete may be done over stages and take a few days. It’s important to remember that this part of the work is very weather dependent.
8. Stripping of concrete forms and clean-up: Day 13 – 14
Within 24 to 48 hours after the concrete is poured the crew will return to remove the forms, clean-up and cut the expansion cuts to prevent hairline cracking.
With the concrete crew done we are now in the homestretch. We should be close to two weeks into the project and it’s at this point we would hand over things to a landscaper if interlocking stone is being installed. How long it takes for them to finish their work and hand things back to us for the final completion will vary tremendously depending on the scope and complexity of the their work.
But let’s assume that there is no stonework and we’ve finished with the concrete deck. Let’s get the project finished up.
9.Fencing inspection of Inground Pool Installation: Day 15
In many jurisdictions we are not allowed to put any water in the swimming pool until after the fence has been inspected. Typically this will take one to two days to get done. If possible this step should be done sooner, but at this point the project is on hold until done.
10. Liner Installation, equipment set-up and swimming pool completion: Day 16 – 18
Our ‘liner’ crew arrives on-site and begins by preparing and cleaning the pool. At the same time they will be connecting the pool equipment (pump, filter, heater, etc) to the plumbing and installing any accessories like the ladder and solar blanket/roller. This will typically take them a full day.
11. Final Electrical and Gas Hook-up: Day 19 – 21
We coordinate with the electrician and gas fitter to come in and get the final utilities connected to the equipment. If possible we’ll often try to coordinate them to do the work the same day the liner crew is on-site but that’s not always possible.
All done! Time for the ‘show of operation’
We are now ready to hand over the pool in its completed state and give the homeowner a mini-course on how to run and maintain the pool. It’s quite possible that some landscaping elements aren’t quite finished and a final electrical inspection will be happening within a day or so, but the pool is now finished.
Time to get the pool party organized!