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  • Writer's pictureKiersten

Pool Construction Begins! Our Final Plans and Rough Schedule

It is SURREAL beyond measure that we have started construction on our backyard pool! After literal years of dreaming, saving, moving, planning and waiting, it's really happening. They started digging on Friday! So get ready for an everything pool blog series until we're done! To get started, we thought we'd give you a quick update on some final plan changes we made, an overview of our best-case scenario pool construction schedule (even though we're already off thanks to the first major rain we've gotten most of the summer!) and some progress details after the first couple days.

Final Pool Placement and Footprint

Like we shared in our last pool update when we showed you the liner we picked, our final pool footprint and placement was largely determined by an easement. Originally I wanted the pool to be be more center to the main part of our deck and four season room, but we had to scoot everything over to give wide berth to an already ridiculous oversized easement that no one can explain. That means, walking off the front of the deck, the pool is a little more left justified than center. Because of this, we'e adding little sidewalk with an elbow to the bottom right to help traffic from around the north side of the house connect to the concrete patio.

Here's the final plan:

Concrete Update

While moving things around for permitting, we decided to square off the corners of the concrete patio. Additionally, when it came time to really figuring out what I wanted to do with the colored coping (the border around the pool), I decided to ditch the dark grey stained and stamped coping. Instead, I found a few examples online of people making decorative cuts in regular concrete to give the illusion of a paver-type patio. I love the look of like travertine pavers but it's not in the budget right now. Rather than cutting the concrete square, turning them at an angle gives a diamond effect that is shockingly really pretty and gives that more unique texture visual for simply being concrete. And rather than coloring the coping, we're going to try to do some cuts around the border too. You can see what I mean on the illustration above, and Livia at Blue Iowa Pools, our builder, made a couple updated renderings to give us the jist on the, though the coping is still darker than it will be here.

Rectangle Backyard Pool Rendering

Cutting the concrete at an angle gives it a lot more of a custom look for a lot less money than other stone.

concrete sidewalk decorative cuts rendering

The Pool Construction Timeline and Schedule

With final decisions made, it's officially our turn on the schedule! Like a lot of companies, our builder has had some staffing issues so they're planning to teams of guys together on nights and weekends to get it done. While I'm sure that's made it hard and has slowed them down, so far, they're really keeping all their promises and are doing what they said they would. I've been super happy with the grit and transparency with these guys and know they are going to do it right.

Even with staffing issues and planning around other full-time jobs, they built a best-case scenario schedule that had us wrapped up within the month. That said, we got the first real rain we've had all summer starting the afternoon of our first dig day, so we've lost quite a bit of work time this first full weekend. Progress is progress though!

Here's a look at the steps and the schedule, which factors in a lot of nights and weekend work:

pool construction build timeline

Progress Update: August 21

If you aren't following us on Instagram yet - hop over and give us a follow. I'm planning to share a lot of our real-time progress updates and photos there:

But for a quick rundown, here's what's happened the last few days:

Equipment Load-In and Measurements

They loaded in the big machines and equipment and got final measurements mapped out.

Kids loved having these show up! Excavators are a big hit with Abbey right now even! Took everything within them from trying to get in there and turn them on!

Digging and Hauling

After the city gave us the official green light, (after another small "scoot over" request we heard), they got to work starting to dig out. We had concrete footings, tree stumps and old shrubs that needed to come out from under our original decking that Zach and I removed lat summer, and the machines made easy work out of those. Shocking to see how big the concrete footings were under the deck - about 4' deep! Zach was never going to be able to get that thing out with a shovel!!

excavator digging out pool

Was cool to see how they worked - using the excavator to scrape and dig...

excavator and bulldozer working on pool dig

... moving the dirt for the bulldozer to grab and haul out.

hauling dirt to the dump truck

They backed the dump truck right back up to the site in order to make quicker work and also to help save a bit of our grass from the bulldozer making frequent trips. Nice, but we're realistic and know the grass is going to take a beating!

dump truck sitting on the lawn

We were lucky to have Zach's dad coming and going the day they started digging to get us a bunch of good progress shots!

excavator digging out pool

Shallow end getting there!

digging out the shallow end

So much dirt! We think they took about 6 dump trucks of dirt out while they could on Friday.

pool construction dig and haul away

Rain Delay

Like I mentioned, the middle of the afternoon on dig day, a huge storm literally appeared out of nowhere and the skies opened. We haven't had any real rainfall for most of summer - so you all can thank us for that! We got so much rain, flash flood warnings were in effect. So, our first full weekend of potential work ended up a wash.

pool dig area soaked and muddy

And now we are waiting for the sun to dry things out a big so that they can get back to it.

pool dig area soaked and muddy

Pool Structure Delivery

If weather would have cooperated, they think they would have had the pool totally dug out and ready for framing. But, in the rain on Saturday, they got the pool structure delivered and dropped off so that it's here and ready.

unloading pool equipment in the rain

Drying Out

After 48 hours, the sun is shining again so we're waiting for it to dry out. Things got dry enough earlier this afternoon that Zach felt he could go grab one of the limestone rocks they uncovered to save for landscaping. Look at this good Iowa soil! We're actually pretty impressed how much black dirt we have here. Haven't hit a lot of clay yet!

Zach standing in the pool dig area

Hard to focus on much else right now but we know this is all about the long game. So grateful for all that's brought us to this point and we're excited to see how the next few weeks unfold. Stay tuned!


we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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