• Starting out correctly is very important...so do your homework.  Determine the answers to the questions listed on page one of this article.  Look for problems with your site such as drainage, or rock that may impact excavation. 
  • You can save about 50% by doing this job yourself over hiring it out to a swimming pool contractor.  You can save about 150% over building a gunite/concrete pool.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, when you sell your house, whether you have a vinyl liner pool or a concrete pool will make very little difference in the final outcome. Vinyl liner pools need a new liner every 8-10 years (at $800-$1600) and gunite pools need to be re-plastered every 10 years because the final coating of cement is etched away by the pool chemicals. (cost $1200-$1600).  Besides, after you tell prospective home buyers your pool has a cement bottom and polymer sides under the liner, most concerns end there.
  • A good rule of thumb is to put the top of the pool 6" above the highest point on your ground surrounding the pool.
  • Find a good back hoe operator.  You can try to hire the machine operator from swimming pool contractors and see if they will dig on nights or weekends privately for you. Another source of good machine operators will be septic system installers. You want someone who is on their machine daily.  He will need a builders level/transit for determining that the excavation is level.
  • Be ready for a mess.  It does not matter whether you hire out the entire job, or do the entire job yourself, your back yard will look like a bomb went off in it!
  • Plan on renting a skid loader (bobcat) for backfilling the pool walls and rough landscaping and grading in preparation for concrete pool deck. 
  • Plan on renting a 4 wheel drive tractor with grader box and stone rake for final landscaping and seed preparation.
  • Polymer sided pools are excellent, and by far the most common.  Do not believe just about any negative comment you read in competitive literature about polymer sides on in-ground pools.
  • Galvanized steel sided pools are acceptable however future buyers of your home may question the longevity of steel, and it may raise questions...even though they are unwarranted. (With today's galvanizing processes...rust is not an issue)
  • Fiberglas is hard to find and tends to be brittle.
  • Aluminum is expensive, but probably the highest quality.
  • Line up all your subcontractors ahead of time.  If you use a standard concrete finisher in place of one for swimming pools, you will save between $.75-$1.00 per sq ft on the job.
  • Fencing is an issue you will need to check with your local building code department about.
  • For coping, buy the biggest and most expensive coping they offer for your pool.  It holds the walls straighter, and the difference in cost is well worth it. Ask the supplier if they have a good, better and best selection in coping.
  • The pool bottom will be a Portland cement and vermiculite mixture.  This will harden to a softer surface than concrete, and is smoother and causes less wear on the vinyl liner.
  • Add extra cement at the bottom of in the wall steps as described in the article.
  • Select Pump/Filter location based on proximity to pool and source of electricity. Your pump/filter should not be excessively far from pool just to be close to electricity source. Pump and filter should be 30' or less from pool.
  • Pool kits, filters and liners are available on the internet at discounted prices. Here is one source...see if you can beat the offering here!   WaterWarehouse.com
  • You can make the deep end of your pool 6' or 8' deep, because the liner is going to be made to your specifications, for your pool.  A 6' deep pool allows diving but no diving board. 

Critical measurements your vinyl liner manufacturer will need.

 

 

 

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