Home & Garden Architecture

Steps to Build a Pool


    • If you decide to build an in-ground pool, you probably will need to pull a building permit. Most large outdoor projects require you to pull a permit at your local building department. For an above-ground pool, check to see if your local municipality requires a permit. If so, there may be codes that you need to follow, such as procedures for removing dirt and the exact location of the pool.

    Site Preparation

    • The type of pool you decide to build is going to determine how much work will go into the installation. If you are building an in-ground pool, you will need to prepare your backyard for some heavy excavation. The pool installation will require heavy earth-moving machinery. To get these machines in your yard, you may need to take down fences or trees that could be in the way.

      Also, think carefully about where you place your pool. When you make the trip down to the building department, check and see if there is a surveyor map on file for your property. This map will allow you to see where underground gas and utility pipes are located. You don't want to build an above-ground pool over these utilities. You also don't want to break ground for an in-ground pool and find these pipes.


    • Above-ground pools are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal and wood. Each kind has its own benefits, but they are all ready to be installed by the homeowner. All you need to do is clear the site for the pool and level the ground. Then just follow the manufacturer's directions for the physical construction of the pool and for setting up the mechanical systems.

      There are three very common in-ground pools. The easiest pool you can do on your own is a vinyl-lined pool. Once you dig the hole for the pool to the dimensions you want, you will install a wall system along the perimeter of the hole. A vinyl liner is then installed over the wall system. Just make sure that the liner is secured to the system and smoothed out.

      Fiberglass and concrete pools are best installed by a professional. Fiberglass pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and will be delivered to the site on a flatbed truck. The hole for the pool will be dug up, and will be larger than the actual fiberglass shell. Once the pool is dropped in, the dirt is backfilled.

      For a concrete pool, the hole is made smaller than the actual size of the pool. Then workers will use shovels and other tools to carve out the exact size of the pool. A metal system of reinforcement rods are then placed inside the perimeter of the pool. These rods will give the pool its exact shape. Next, the plumbing and mechanical systems are roughed in. Then concrete is sprayed over the rods, smoothed out and left to dry.

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