Pool Construction Recap: Week 2
Time flies when you're tearing up the backyard! Can't believe we're already two weeks into our pool construction. Even with a couple of rain set-backs, we're tracking pretty close to the schedule. If you're just tuning in, before diving into the week two rundown, pop over to some of our previous blog posts to read how we've arrived here!
Let's Get Caught Up
We told you we were going to get serious about finalizing pool plans in our first blog-aversary post where we gave our 2022 project rundown here. In February, I wasn't sure if we'd be digging this year or not, so we've come a long way in seven months!
In March we shared some of the planning work that had gone into figuring out what we wanted in a pool in this blog post here.
We shared some of our initial designs and 3D renderings for space planning in this blog post back in May.
In June we gave an update on permitting and shared the vinyl liner choice we made in this blog post - so excited to see it in real life!
Ready for the week 2 pool construction recap? Here's where we left off this time last week.
Laying More Vermiculite
When the ground got dry enough, the crew got back to work laying more vermiculite on the bottom.
They put in long evenings, with most of the crew showing up after their day jobs, working every night from 5-10pm.
Was cool to see how each patch layered on and started to dry. They almost got it all done on the second day but ran out of material. I know they were bummed!
But the next day they were back at it, filling in the last of the floor!
Before they did, they got the steps filled with rock to serve as the base...
... then topped them off with a coat of vermiculite as the last part of this too.
Installing the Auto Cover System
The auto cover is going to be so great for safety reasons and for the ability to contain the leaves and other droppings from all the trees around us. We're realistic that adding a pool to the yard is inviting risk regardless, but being able to open and shut the pool only when we allow is a huge bonus. The track runs along the sides of the pool, and the bracket that holds the power equipment and the rolled up cover sits on the deep end.
The cover will sit flush with the concrete. It sticks out a little on both sides of the pool but should blend in enough and is durable if it gets stepped on a bit.
Our control for the auto cover will be installed over near the rest of the equipment, but in a place that ensures we can see the whole pool before opening and closing for safety reasons. Everything but the auto cover will be able to be controlled with our phones.
Plumbing, Drainage and Electrical Work
While the vermiculite crew was tackling the floor of the pool, the rest of the crew was working to rough in plumbing and electrical. They started by digging a trench between the equipment pad and the pool to run all the plumbing.
The returns and skimmers were installed on both sides (the white piece below). The skimmers will be flush with the concrete so that was our first real understanding of how much we're building the decking up from where it is now.
Piping was assembled and installed, running around the outside of the pool. We have four LED lights on the house side of the pool, plus the auto cover on the north side - the electric for those runs through these conduits.
Interesting how they kept everything level and together by holding it up with zip ties attached to the frame.
The pipes will run under our concrete deck toward the pool equipment pad along the side of the four season room where they will attach to an electrical box.
After the electrical, more piping for plumbing was installed. The plumbing includes the lines for the main drains, to and from the filter pump, the skimmers, the heater and the returns. Don't ask me to tell you what is what quite yet, this is as much technically as I can figure out!
We have a ton to learn still on what we're looking at here and what does what. The panel for all of the equipment was installed and lines were extended up to it. Electricians were here this week to get everything connected to the house where our sub panel in the basement is. They also bonded the pool by running copper wiring around the entire pool attached to all metal coming back to the equipment.
Extending and Burying the Downspouts
One of the things we realized we needed to do before laying down a patio was redirect the downspouts away from the pool and the house in general. When we moved in, Zach worked to add extenders to our downspouts because most of them simply ended pushing water right down to our foundation. We even found downspouts just ending under our deck - so dumb. So while we had the equipment and were already digging up most of the yard, we asked them to extend and bury the downspouts.
More trenches were dug and we were surprised to see how far they pushed them out. This downspout originally came off the four season and pushed water straight across where our patio will be directly toward the pool.
It now comes down, crosses over the equipment and heads out to the side yard.
They buried two other downspouts on the side of the house and covered them back up when they closed up the trenches.
We officially have an entirely torn up side yard now too.
Preparing for Concrete
Towards the end of the week, the race was on to get the deck area ready for concrete. The concrete company came out to mark the area.
When all plumbing and piping was complete, the team started backfilling the pool and equipment trench with the rock. I understand they do this with rock to help with drainage and managing the freeze and thaw so that it doesn't expand and contract the same way dirt would. That would warp and bend the pool walls.
The big piles of dirt were moved and used to help build up the deck area. We chose to level the pool with the bottom of the step coming off the deck so the rest of the yard will need to slope off it.
Between the trench for gas and electric and the downspouts, the side yard got ripped to shreds. That was OK though because we knew we wanted to eventually do something about the size of the landscape beds, and we needed to add dirt to raise up the ground against the house on that side. The land sloped TO the house, which is likely one of the other reasons we had water in the basement after we moved in. We had them just pull everything out and re-grade that side to build up the dirt even with the windows so we've got a clean slate here now.
When the pool was done being backfilled and the earth was moved to help build up the area of the deck, they spread the remaining rock around the area to help prepare for the deck.
Initial Concrete Work
The concrete crew started working Friday to plan and frame out the area. They staked and marked things originally, then started framing out with 2x4s. The biggest thing we discussed was how water will travel off the deck as they plan for the grade of the deck to change in various places so that water flows away from the pool, but also away from the house (which we already know is a good thing!) They recommended we add in a drain across the main deck area between the house and the pool so that water closer drains to the middle of the deck rather than pushing it all at the house. The idea of this visually a huge disappointment to me if I am being honest because we planned for decorative cuts that this will now run through. I HATE the idea of a drain running down the the main thoroughfare of the deck where most all traffic will be walking across but I don't want more water in the basement so we approved it. My guess is this is something most people won't question but it bums me out.
They got most of the deck squared off before wrapping for the weekend. We lose a day on Monday with Labor Day, but the concrete guys plan to come Tuesday to finish the prep work, lay rebar and pour the concrete if all goes as planned!
Things are definitely going to change when we've got a big concrete deck out here!