Pool Construction Recap: Week 4
Four weeks to the day from the time our pool construction started and we're almost swimmable! While the "big looking" stuff wrapped up last week, the work this past week focused on getting us operational. If you missed last week's blog, give it a read here.
Electricians came on Monday to get the electrical box connected to our main panel in the basement so that we could fire up the pool pump and heating equipment and get the auto cover installed. We had them add another exterior outlet as well and I'm so glad we did because we have put it to use daily since!
We showed you all the piping they installed in week two's blog to use as electrical conduits but before we continued to fill the pool, the lights themselves needed to be cut into the liner and run through back to the panel.
This was such an interesting process to watch them thread a line with a clip from the panel through the conduits to come out on the pool side. The lights were attached to a long cord that they clipped back on the line to thread back through to the main box.
They worked their way down the pool to get all four of the lights threaded through.
The lights are small little color changing LEDs and will eventually be controllable from an app on our phones.
Cutting Out Returns, Jets and Steps
After lights, they worked on cutting out holes for the jets that pump water to and from the filter and heater, returns for the skimmers and the deep end steps.
Filling the Pool
With everything properly cut out and attached, we got the green light to keep filling the pool overnight as we moved into auto cover installation.
Come morning on Tuesday, we had about 4-5 more inches to go but all the wrinkles in the shallow end seem to have officially worked their way out.
Auto Cover Installation
The rep from the auto cover manufacturer was onsite for training with our crew. During installation, he gave them the greatest compliment especially knowing how many pools across the country he sees: "You built a perfect pool!" Apparently the tracks for the cover were perfectly even. We're so grateful for the precision!
The auto cover is manually controlled via a locked switch near the equipment pad. This is a safety measure to ensure you can always see the whole pool before opening and shutting. In case if rain, a water pump attached to a hose is used when the cover is on to push water off the top so it doesn't weigh down the cover or flood the enclosure.
While we're still working to get everything functioning and trained on how to maintain the pool for at least the little bit we'll be using it this fall, we did get a quick training on our new robot vacuum and put him to work to start sucking up all the construction dirt and debris that got in the pool since we started filling.
Apparently these little vacuums become somewhat of a family member... or pool boy... or pet. Livia at Blue Iowa Pools said we needed to name him. Thanks to everyone who suggested names for him on Instagram. That was so fun to read all your suggestions!
He's still nameless for the time being. Getting a 9 year old and 5 year old to agree on anything is nearly impossible.
Diving Board and Handrail Installation
After our auto cover was installed, they got the handrails and diving board in. We have one small handrail in the deep end and a larger one in the center of the full-length steps in shallow.
Kids were SO EXCITED when that diving board was placed. It's just a simple white spring board but should provide plenty of thrill for kids of all ages - even the "big ones."
From the moment the diving board was in, it's been hard to keep the kids out of it. We decided to run the pool with liquid chlorine for the fall since we'll probably only get a few weeks with it. We'll install the salt system at start-up in the spring. Even though chemicals haven't been managed, we let them get in to celebrate since we also got heat the same day! (And yes, they took very soapy showers later.) See day one in action:
Marking out the Fence
Our fence company wouldn't come until the pool builders were done grading. We plan to fence in the entire backyard to help keep wildlife out of the pool and still give us some defined backyard grassy areas. The placement of the fence, and gates on either side of the house have been marked. Weather pending, they should get posts set this week.
Luckily, we have a little bit of fence from a backyard neighbor to hook onto. We're planning to do the same type of aluminum fencing. While it doesn't give us the privacy we'd like, it looks nice, will be very low maintenance and we can build in a natural fence.
We were bummed to find out it'll be another whole week before the actual fencing is installed after posts are set, so one more week of worrying about critters walking over our pool.
Concrete Repair Work
In between some of the more technical work to get us started, they began to tackle the list of unplanned jobs. We've had a couple small casualties during this project - the biggest being the driveway and sidewalk cracked at some point during all the 12 truckloads hauling over it. To repair, they cut out the affected part of the driveway and sidewalk.
We were out of town during all of this, so we missed getting any action shots but were pleasantly surprised to come home and see the new concrete already filled in!
The rest of our casualties have been very minor comparatively and all lawn and landscape based, so you know Zach will tackle those himself.
Well, those were the big changes in week four. We're sitting in a pretty good spot and are grateful we've come this far this quick. We're excited to get lights working and other automations installed as we wrap up a bunch of loose ends!