You asked and we answered! We've compiled the key steps it takes to complete an inground swimming pool installation into 10 steps! This is a high level overview meant to outline the basic idea of what it takes to DIY your own pool.
A much more detailed walk-through (and list of needed tools) can be found in our inground pool installation guide here!
BONUS: Pool Installation Video
1. PRE-CONSTRUCTION CONSIDERATIONS
Check for local fencing, property line, sewer, drainage and electrical code requirements for your area. Obstructions must be considered before selecting a final pool site. These include: underground wires, gas lines, septic tanks, dry-well systems, plumbing, trees, and overhead power lines. Utility companies will usually locate underground pipes and cables that are located on your property for no charge. Use spray paint, dig flags or flour to mark the swimming pool in your yard. Obtain the required permits before starting your inground swimming pool installation. Order your swimming pool kit on-line or call toll-free 866-532-8194.
Also consider the following:
- What size pool work best for your yard
- What shape compliments the existing home features
- How to choose a liner
- Which pieces of equipment are better for your family goals
All of these answers and more can be found in our Inground Pools Buyer's Guide here!
2. RECEIVE YOUR SWIMMING POOL KIT DELIVERY
Inground Pool Kits and other large items are shipped via freight truck. You are responsible for inspecting and unloading your shipment from the delivery truck/trailer so be sure to have some friends or family on hand at the time of delivery to ensure a smooth & quick process. If you require assistance unloading your shipment from the truck/trailer to the curb, Liftgate Service is available at an additional charge in most locations.
We'll send you a full check list of the cartons and boxes you should be expecting in your delivery. Check the number and marking of cartons against the packing slip as well as your checklist before signing the delivery ticket. Although it's rare, if anything seems to be missing or damaged during shipping, make a note on the delivery ticket before signing. (ie: - "missing 2 pieces", "hole in box" etc.) This will ensure that both you and the delivery driver have record of your notations for a quick resolution! Click here for more swimming pool shipping information.
This is where you'll really start to see your vision taking shape! One of the most important phases contributing to a smooth swimming pool kit installation is the excavation. Keep in mind that a machine can do in minutes what it takes hand labor hours or days to accomplish. A skilled excavation contractor should be chosen for this part of the installation process especially for a diving swimming pool. Shallow and play swimming pools can be excavated using a rented skid loader. If you'd prefer not to tackle this part of the build yourself you can Google "excavating contractor" to help find a qualified excavator or see our tips for choosing a swimming pool builder here.
4. ASSEMBLE THE POOL WALLS
It's all coming together now! Most homeowners complete steps 4 - 8 themselves however each step can be subcontracted to a handyman or a temporary labor service if preferred. An experienced swimming pool installer is not necessary but always a welcomed presence.
Regardless of who assembles the the walls the process is as follows: Assemble the panels using the 5/8" nuts and bolts provided in your kit. Attach a swimming pool wall brace where two wall panel sections are joined. Check to insure that the swimming pool is level and correctly shaped.
For a more thorough look at how this is done, I'll walk you through the process in this short video!
5. CONCRETE FOOTER & PVC PLUMBING
Time to seal the deal! Set the pool wall braces in 6" of concrete. 3 - 7 yds will be needed based on the pool size; bigger pool means more yards for that extra needed support.
A plumber is usually not needed to complete this step however some local codes may require a deep seal trap be installed by a licensed plumber if the swimming pool equipment is to be connected to the city sewer system.
Schedule 40 PVC pipe is used to connect the pool to the filtration system. The amount of pipe needed will vary depending on the number of return inlets, skimmers, automatic cleaner, and the distance from the pool to the pump. It all adds up.
PVC can be purchased from your local hardware store or from Royal Swimming Pools offers flexible schedule 40 PVC here.
6. POOL BASE MATERIAL
All about that base! When choosing your base material you have four options:
- Sand & Portland Cement
- Vermiculite & Portland Cement
- Pre-Mix; also call Pool Krete® or Pool Crete
You can read about these four options and each one's benefits here!
However, keep in mind that if you live in an area with a high water table, seepage, or ground water issues of any kind you should use either Vermiculite and Portland Cement or Pre-Mix. This is also the case if you live in a high freeze area.
7. INSTALL SWIMMING POOL LINER
Your liner will be the added touch that transforms your installation from a construction site to your new oasis in the making. We have a full break down of liner installation steps here!
TIP: Installing your liner on a wind-free warm day will make for an easier installation as a warm liner is more pliable and you have less risk of debris drifting in and under your liner.
8. BACK-FILL THE SWIMMING POOL
Some folks choose to back-fill prior to installing their liner, which is completely okay as well. Back-filling provides your pool and decking with the support it needs.
TIP: A rented skid loader will make back-filling and landscaping much easier.
The dirt that was excavated from the area can be used to back-fill in most areas however, gravel should be used to back-fill if you have a high level of expansive clay or high water table.
9. ELECTRICAL & CONCRETE DECK
Grounding of the swimming pool and GFCI electrical connection as per your local area code must be done by a licensed electrician. (One less step for you if you're installing as a DIY!)
The deck is going to be one o the final projects that you complete and while you can customize it in just about every way imaginable, it starts with a basic concrete pour. You can use wood to form the area for the concrete walk around deck. If you'd like a professional to make quick work of this step, look under "concrete contractor" to subcontract the deck.
10. ENJOY YOUR NEW SWIMMING POOL
Go ahead, get out that giant flamingo float, and relax in your new favorite place. You've earned it! Besides, you deserve a break sending out your pool party invites.
Below are some additional article you may find helpful for this step:
Six full days is the average construction time for two or three workers installing a swimming pool kit. Some pool kits can be done quicker (depending on several factors such as size, shape, and number of helpers) and some will take longer if you prefer to work part-time on the project or have less qualified help. It is important to keep in mind that planning and organization will always speed along the process.
And that's it in a quick but mighty nutshell! Again, for a further more-details break down of the installation process, download our full Installation Guide. If you're ready to splash in you can also start designing your dream pool here!