Pool Construction Recap: Week 3
Updated: Sep 18, 2022
Three weeks in to our pool construction schedule and it officially looks like a pool out back! While there's been no shortage of big changes happening since we started, the work this week really transformed the backyard! Get caught up on everything it's taken to get to this point on last week's Week 2 Recap blog if you are new here! (And if so, welcome!) For the rest of you, here's what was accomplished on week three of pool construction!
Concrete Pool Deck
Week two wrapped up with getting the concrete prep work started. Before the Labor Day weekend, they framed out most of the pool deck area.
Our construction crew came by on Monday to place the support pieces for the hand rails and diving board. We're doing one handrail and step in the deep end and another hand rail across the middle of the steps in the shallow.
Concrete day was Tuesday! The crew started the day by finishing the framing and laying rebar support pieces underneath.
Concrete mixing and pouring began around mid-day and by 5pm they were done pouring and working on the brushed finishing. We chose regular brushed concrete for the pool deck for a simple, clean look but also for cost savings. Concrete's not cheap, but compared to other paver or stone options, our money went further to cover the area we needed it to.
These guys were very detailed and did a great job. We wondered how they'd get out of the pool over the concrete and was fun to see them use the skid loader scoop to get them in and out of the pool to make brushing easier.
They got the whole deck poured and brushed all in one day. After letting it dry overnight, they'd be back to cut it.
When I shared our final plans in this blog, I told you I decided to change the design to use all the same concrete but add decorative cuts to add a little interest. For the crew to make this a reality, it took a lot of angle work, and consideration for how wears.
I learned that corners need relief cuts because if it's going to crack, it will usually happen in the corners. So while trying to get the diamonds straight and square, there were places we needed to adjust the shapes to allow a cut coming out of the corners, like you can see below coming off the small corner of the plant bed.
After laying out the grid, they started to cut. The team cut, then groomed, then power washed the deck.... and I LOVE IT!
I've literally never been so excited about basic concrete before but love what this did to the look of the deck!
Simple yet elegant, it gives a really nice elevated finish to the patio. Without the price tag of pavers or other stone work. The crew came back to do a little fix up on some fine details, but will be back this coming week to finish it with a sealant.
Final Drainage and Grading
After the concrete was poured, they finished burying the main drain and connected it to the downspout piping we had already buried. While they were at it, they finished burying the last of the downspouts on the other side of the house too.
With everything that needed buried wrapped, it was time to grade the area around the pool and smooth out all the Earth they had been moving around since dig day.
The patio comes off level from the bottom of the step off the deck, which emphasized how much our yard slopes to the back and north. They replaced the dirt and graded it to slope off and away from the cement.
With the dirt replaced and the concrete in, things really started looking good!
Preparing for Vinyl Liner Install
Before the liner could go down, they added a layer of foam to the steps and side walls. This will give it a little bit of a spring and softness underneath. Plus it probably protects the liner from any sharp edges.
Rain was forecasted all day on liner day, so the crew came early and worked fast and furiously to finish the job. It's no wonder these guys were (or currently are) all athletes.
Hurts my back just looking at them! It started to rain just as they wrapped up this part, but they pushed through.
Installing the Vinyl Liner
As the rain started to fall it was time to roll the liner out. The guys got it out of the box and ready to roll starting at the deep end.
As a team, they pulled it out and across the pool toward the shallow end steps. This was my first real look at the color of the liner in person - Hampton by Tara Liners! Super cool to see. Check out our Instagram to see it in action: www.Instagram.com/foreverhomefix
They worked quick to get the steps in place first. The steps are made out of a slightly different material than the rest of the pool - called "Sure Step". It's a little knobby and is supposed to help with grip. The steps were worked into place by getting the seams aligned with the base of the risers and they brought in sand bags to keep everything in place.
They they started in on attaching the top of the liner to the top of the frame, clipping it in to the frame all along the top of the pool.
A lot of teamwork goes into building a pool - this here is an awesome father-son duo. Such positive, hard working guys!
The steps took by far the most manpower and time, and it really started to rain while they were buttoning things up.
The thing about vinyl liner pools that is interesting to think about is that the water is really what holds the liner in place and smooths it out. To help that process along, they used a shop vac contraption to suck air out from behind the liner while water will be added.
Once all the sides were clipped in, steps were set, and the vacuum turned on, it was time to start filling it up.
Filling the Pool and Smoothing Out the Liner
We got started filling as the skies opened and rain hung around most of the day. We got 2" of rain, so we're just going to be grateful for some free water on a day we could take it! When there was about a foot of water in the bottom, the drain covers were cut into the liner and installed. All of the returns, pipes, lights and steps will get cut out eventually once there is water in against them.
We got two hoses running so by the end of the day, the water was creeping its way up. Kids got in to splash around and swim a bit - even though it was only 57 degrees out!
We let just one hose run overnight which got the water up to the shallow end just touching the step. Unfortunately, since we had ZERO sun yesterday and it was cold, the liner didn't warm up and stretch out as much as they would like so they've been working today on stretching things out while the sun is helping to get the wrinkles worked out.
Plans are really coming to life! Stay tuned for more to come in week four!