A Complete Guide To Concrete Pool Construction
How can you increase your property’s value while providing the ideal summer entertainment space for your family? If you’re thinking about a swimming pool, then you’re onto something, but not all pools are created equal. This is why we bring you more information about the concrete pool, an option that offers longevity and functionality. So, in this article we’ll tell you more about the pool construction process and why you should consider a concrete pool as part of your backyard renovation.
What Is A Concrete Pool?
The first characteristic of a concrete pool is that it’s built on-site, unlike fiberglass and vinyl pools which come to your backyard as prefabricated shells that are ready to be placed into the prepared area.
Pool construction that involves concrete is a lengthier and more complex process. The concrete, which is a mixture of aggregate, water, cement, and sand, can either be poured into wooden frames that are built before the concrete is mixed, or it can be applied with a high-powered sprayer onto a rebar frame. After curing for a lengthy period, the result is a hard, almost indestructible shell that’s ready to be finished with a material of your choice.
Concrete Pool Construction Process
As mentioned, the pool construction process involves more steps than other types. You may be surprised to find out how long the overall construction takes, but you can be assured of a long-lasting result, especially when this project is completed by an expert crew and licensed contractors. When you look at this process, you’ll be able to see right away why building a swimming pool requires a highly skilled team.
Planning, Designing, and Permitting
First, you’ll meet with the contractor and designer to plan the location, shape, size, and other amenities for your pool area. This can also include the patio and landscaping that surrounds the pool itself. One important aspect to remember is that a concrete pool can take on almost any shape you wish, considering that it’s constructed on-site.
Once the planning has started, your contractor will secure the necessary permits. A highly experienced, licensed pool contractor will not let you navigate this step alone since he or she would be most familiar with your city’s building regulations and industry safety standards. Once the permits are obtained, the building can begin.
Preparation and Excavation
Just before the actual groundbreaking, your contractor will take the extra step to contact utility companies to make sure there are no gas lines. If there happen to be water lines nearby, these areas will be marked before excavation starts. Likewise, you and your contractor would’ve chosen an area that’s free of power lines and tree roots. From there, builders will use heavy machinery to dig the large hole where your pool will be located.
Installation of Plumbing, Wiring, and Steel
Next, the crew will install rebar that will become the frame for the pool’s shape. Before the concrete is applied, all necessary plumbing for filling and draining the pool is installed along with the parts needed for the filtration system. Plus, the crew will need to add the electrical components and wiring which will most likely be inspected by a licensed electrician before moving to the next step.
Pouring or Spraying the Concrete
After the electrical components and plumbing have undergone an inspection (as required in some states), the area is ready for concrete application. This will occur either by pouring the concrete into the frame, as mentioned or by spraying it onto the rebar. The spraying continues until the concrete covers the entire frame and cage. Once this step has been completed, the concrete needs to remain untouched to allow for curing which can take as long as four weeks. In the meantime, you or the crew member will need to spray the concrete shell with water lightly two to three times a day for about five days. This prevents cracking from occurring and helps the shell to dry evenly and to maintain its strength.
Coping and Surfacing
Once the shell is completely cured, the builders can start installing the coping and surfacing that you chose during the initial planning stage. One option, which happens to be the least expensive, is to simply paint the shell with waterproof enamel. The most commonly used finish is plaster mixed with a decorative aggregate which is sprayed onto the surface and then smoothed over. On the pricey side, you opt for tile in the pool’s interior.
The outer edge and surrounding area of the pool will require a concrete foundation or beam for the coping. Once this part has been fashioned, cured, and smoothed out, then the builders will start laying the coping stones using a mortar adhesive to keep them in place.
Customizing the Pool and Surroundings
Some contractors offer landscaping, fencing, and patio installation as part of the pool construction process. This part takes place after everything has had ample time to cure. Depending on your budget and initial design, the builders can install a patio complete with paving stones. Plus, they can add more features to the concrete swimming pool such as diving boards, seating or walk-out areas, slides, and fountains whatever you and the designer can envision.
Filling and Starting Up
Finally, after checking to see how the pipes hold up to water pressure, the pool can be filled. Also, at this point, the pump and filtration system will have been installed and tested to ensure everything is running properly.
You’ll have to wait another 10 days before diving in, especially if chemicals have been added. Meanwhile, you’ll need to brush the plaster surface to get rid of leftover dust from the surfacing process and make sure the water’s pH is balanced.
Concrete Pool Cleaning and Algae Prevention
One vital aspect of pool maintenance is regular cleaning and algae prevention. Chlorine is the most effective algae killer, though you can also use an algaecide. Nevertheless, the best prevention is brushing or scrubbing the sides of the pool’s interior along with vacuuming at least weekly, and running the filtration system.
What are the Pros and Cons of Concrete Pools?
As with any other type of swimming pool, concrete pools have their share of advantages and disadvantages. When deciding on whether to choose this type, it’s helpful to look at both the pros and cons.
Pros of Concrete Pools
- A pleasing aesthetic
- Durability without the worry of damage to the structure
- Customizable where you can choose almost any shape and size
- Longevity since concrete pools tend to last longer than vinyl or fiberglass
- Capability of withstanding harsh weather conditions
Cons of Concrete Pools
- The length of time for installation (possibly six months)
- A high initial cost, especially with the customization
- Time-consuming maintenance between brushing and vacuuming
- Rough surface even after replastering
- Frequent refinishing since the salt in the water wears away the plaster
Concrete Pool Maintenance Costs?
For the pool’s lifetime, maintenance costs up to $20,000 on top of the initial expenses. Two of the biggest expenses are replastering or retiling at $10,000 and chemical usage at $7,500.
Ready For Your Concrete Pool?
Nonetheless, concrete pools prove to be one of the longest-lasting and most enjoyable choices for an outdoor recreational space. Moreover, this type is the easiest to customize to meet your family’s needs and to provide decades of outdoor fun. If you want to know more and to get a quote, contact the Brick Paver Pros.