What to Expect
Thank you for choosing Pool Stop to build your pool. “Building Better Pools” is a phrase we take to heart and want to help you better understand the process before we start. This document will help to familiarize you with the “Stages of Construction”. Please read through them and if you have any questions please feel free to call or email me.
Building a pool is an extensive process that will turn your back yard into a construction site for the next few months. Please note that during this time there will be mud, dirt, dust, heavy equipment, and skilled tradesmen constructing your dream in your backyard.
Please note, we don’t mean it lightly when we say “construction site” – we will do our absolute best to minimize the inconvenience, but please remember construction sites require that you pay close attention to potential dangers and understand that there may be delays from weather.
PERMITS & APPROVALS
All pool builds start with plans, color choices, approvals, and most require a building permit from the city. This stage is known as “Permits & Approvals”.
Your project will be assigned a “Project Manager” who will be your main point of contact for everything during the pool build.
Our team will submit and pull the building permits from the city. In the meantime, you may need to submit additional documents (Alarm Letters, HOA Approval forms, etc.).
We have an outstanding team that tracks the building permit but we have no power to make the City or utility companies move any quicker.
As soon as we get all the approvals and permits we need – we can then schedule you for the “dig”
A couple of quick tips for the “Permits & Approval” stage
• Patience (This is the red tape stage, and dealing with local governmental bodies is never quick)
• HOA Submission (Submit plans to your HOA as soon as possible; do your best to stay on top of their approval process)
“The DIG” – known as the “Excavation Stage” – This is an exciting day and you will need to be onsite for it to proceed.
This is when the Build Clock starts. Our time to completion estimates are based on this date. Prior to the excavation, your pool will be clearly marked and positioned in your yard for your approval. We will install temporary fences for safety, but please make sure you have a means for containing your pets.
We will start by opening fences and creating access for heavy equipment. We will clear and scrape the lot. Everything where the pool goes will be removed, rerouted or demolished. Our team will stake out the elevations and shape of the pool.
There will be dirt piles, trenches, sometimes mud, and at the end of the day you will have a hole where your pool will soon go.
QUICK NOTE: Your project manager will give you a “Dig Day” but please remember that date is tentative and many factors play into when the dig happens.
Texas has expansive soil – expansive soil is not a friend to pools. Every pool built by pool stop will have the soil injected with chemicals that help stabilize the soil. A crew will arrive onsite and with the use of what looks like a long pole will inject the areas under the pool.
Now that the hole is dug for your pool – it needs steel and plenty of it. Rebar will be installed on the walls, floor and beam of the pool – Steel is what gives the gunite shell its strength. At the end of the “Steel Stage” you will see a steel cage installed inside the hole that was dug a couple days earlier.
The beam is tied using a four-bar box beam which consists of four 1/2” rebar around the perimeter of the pool. The beam will also have deck dowels added to reinforce the steel installed at the deck stage. The steel in the walls and floor are raised approximately 3” to ensure a strong bond with the gunite. Quite often customers call concerned that we’ve forgotten the bottom step; I assure you we have not forgotten the step, and this is installed at the gunite stage.
“Short Stub Plumbing” This will be the first time the plumbers are onsite. They will “STUB OUT” all the plumbing that needs to go through the pool walls. They do this before the gunite is shot. Skimmers, Drains, Return Lines, Suctions lines all those items that need to go through the gunite shell will be installed.
At the short stub stage the only portion of plumbing that will be encased in the gunite will be installed at this time. Your light niches will also be installed at this time.
“The Gunite Stage” This is the stage the pool really takes shape. By the end of the day your pool will look more like a pool. Several large trucks will arrive onsite – the crew of 5 to 10 will roll a large 4” diameter hose to the pool – Loud pneumatic tappers work the sand from the hoppers to the auger where what looks like wet sand is shot out of the end of the hose. These highly skilled technicians mold and shape your pool by hand.
Here is where we need your help – It’s EXTREMELY important that you spray the newly installed shell with water for the next several days. We need this to be done up to two times a day for 7 days, depending on weather. We cannot stress enough how important keeping the shell moist is. This will ensure even curing that maximizes shell strength.
Several holes will be cut through the shell floor – this will keep the shell from “floating” and or “Moving” due to pressure from ground water underneath.
TILE & COPING
Our stone masons will arrive onsite to install coping and tile. Coping is the material that generally covers the very top of the pool walls. Tile is installed just below the coping, usually 6” where the water line will rest when the pool is full. Please remember these are natural stones so color variations should be expected, and are a reason natural stone is so beautiful. ****NOTE- We offer professional sealing for stone and coping (recommended) and a discount if done during your pool build. Please let your Project Manager know if you would like us to offer a bid.
PLUMBING & GAS
The plumbers are going to arrive back onsite. During this phase, you will see a lot of white PVC. They will now hook up all the return and suction lines and run them to the pool equipment pad.
If you purchased a heater or fire features for your pool and spa, a licensed utility plumber will dig a trench from your gas meter to the pool equipment heater and fire features. Sometimes tunneling under driveways and sidewalks will be required to make the runs as short as possible.
Our plumbers will return to do final gas line connections at the meter near the end of the project. They will need access to your home to re-light any pilot lights that were extinguished during the connection of pool gas. *Homeowner is required to be home*
ELECTRIC *HOME OWNER REQUIRED ONSITE
Now it’s time for our licensed electricians to install the wiring that runs the pool’s lights, pumps, heaters, time clocks, and remote controls. The electrician will need access to your electric panel (usually located in the garage).
Our project manager will notify you prior to their arrival.
Decking – this is where you spend your time when not swimming. You will have already chosen the color, finish and material you’ll have installed. Whatever deck you choose, our crews may need to set forms, levels pads, and add steel according to building codes. You’re going to see form boards and stakes. It’s really important that you not walk through these areas while in this stage due to tripping hazards.
We encourage you to think through how the deck space will be used, considering your family’s needs and placement of your outdoor furniture. It’s much easier to really think through the space and make adjustments prior to the pour. Its much more cost effective to add what you need now then to wait and add it after the build.
You are now in the home stretch. Our cleanup crew will now remove any debris left from construction and grade the yard. We use any remaining dirt and sand left on site to smooth and level. This is called a “construction” grade, meaning we leave room for future sod and/or landscaping material. (See miscellaneous things to know- below).
INTERIOR CLEAN – FENCE REPLACEMENT
We have now reached the stage to get access buttoned up and an interior clean of the pool complete. The crew will be sent to clean all items inside the pool. The thrust of this phase is to prep for plaster and to get the fence back up and secured additionally we will verify the city requirements for a swimming pool enclosure so we can pass final inspection
The foam separating the deck from the coping will be removed and mastic will be installed. Mastic is the caulking and sealant that allows waterproofing and an expansion barrier between your pool and your deck. Its purpose is to allow movement between your pool and your deck without damaging the deck or your coping stones. Please stay off all decks for 72 hours. Mastic is extremely sticky and walking through the mastic can cause it to be pulled out of the joint and tracked over the decks. *NOTE- PAVER DECKS DO NOT NEED A MASTIC JOINT, ONLY CONCRETE DECKS DO.
PRE PLASTER WALK THROUGH **HOMEOWNER REQUIRED ONSITE**
Your project manager will coordinate a meeting with you to do a final inspection of the entire pool before scheduling the plaster crew. He will check all equipment, make sure the yard is cleaned, and all phases have been completed to the customer’s satisfaction. We will create what’s called a “punch list” of any items that need to be completed or rectified.
At this stage expect several large trucks to show up with a team of 5 to 10 plaster experts. They will begin by taping off the tile and covering the coping with plastic. They will begin to install your pool plaster and will do so through a hose and hand-trowel it to achieve a smooth interior finish. Since it is hand troweled, minor variations in level and color is to be expected.
After the installation the plaster crew will begin filling the pool with water.
**PLEASE DO NOT MOVE TO HOSES DURING FILL AND DO NOT TURN THE WATER OFF UNTIL IT REACHES HALF-WAY UP YOUR TILE LINE AROUND THE POOL. DOING SO MAY LEAVE A PERMENANT RING AROUND THE POOL FROM THE WATER LINE WHERE YOU STOPPED THE FILL. **
Regardless of the type of plaster installed it is extremely important to brush the pool twice a day for two weeks to keep the plaster dust from settling and scaling which may also result in a rougher finish. Some natural color variation in the plaster is an inevitable result of a hand applied finish and should be expected.
Good water chemistry and frequent testing will ensure the pool looks great year after year.
If you have a heater with your pool or spa, do not turn it on for two weeks. It may harm the plaster if the water is heated prematurely. We also do not install the cleaner for the first ten days, and if you have a salt pool, the salt will be added around thirty days after plaster.
START UP - POOL SCHOOL
It’s time to learn about your new pool. After your pool is filled with water a licensed Pool Stop Service Technician will schedule a time to train you pool side. He will turn on and off all your pool equipment, review any items that need to be completed, and discuss, train and educate you on proper operation of your new pool.
Our service department will coordinate this with you to schedule this meeting.
THANK YOU - NOW ENJOY
We truly appreciate you trusting us to build your pool. Our hope is this document informs you as to what to expect during this build. If at any time you have a question or concern please reach out to us. During this build, we will stay in close contact through your “build portal”. This will be a central repository and communication hub for this project. Your construction manager will be the lead onsite during the process and please feel free to reach out to him. Our goal is to get you swimming as soon as possible.
We want you to know that our relationship doesn’t end after the pool is complete. We offer full support to you throughout your ownership of the pool including Licensed technicians, water chemistry support, and any other items you may need to enjoy your new pool.
MISC. THINGS TO KNOW
Construction Time – The average construction time for a new pool is six to eight weeks – Depending on complexity & weather we will do everything we can to complete yours in this time frame, even though you will not see a crew working on your pool every day. We use crews that have excellent reputations and they take work in the order in which it came to them which may require them to finish a job or two in front of yours before they start work on your pool. The six to eight weeks average construction time takes into account some weather delays and expected days of no work between crews. It is important to note the rain, especially, may cause delays due to mud which prevents work from continuing.
Stone & Coping – Natural stone is expected to have varying color tones. Oklahoma flagstone, for example, may be black, orange, tan, and brown. It may be mostly one color or a combination of two or all the colors mentioned. In order to make sure you are completely happy with your selection of coping, we invite you to visit our stone yard to pick your own pallet. We do not require you to do this, but if you would like to know exactly what colors to expect, we leave this option available to you. Please choose the stone and tile before the excavation stage in order to keep from delaying the project. ****NOTE- We offer professional sealing for stone and coping (recommended) and a discount if done during your pool build.
Construction Site – Constructing an in-ground pool is considered a major project. We encourage you to keep children and pets out of the yard until completion. There may be form boards with nails, rebar, wires, etc. around the job site during different stages. A cleanup crew will make sure everything is safe and orderly before the pool is finalized and we will have orange safety fence where any fence panels were taken down for access in the meantime.
Weather Delay – Due to the nature of pool building rain causes delays. Depending on the amount of rain we receive, expect up to 4 to 5 days of delay depending on site conditions.
Sod Packages – If interested, we also offer sod placement during the clean-up stage, rather than just a construction cleanup for an additional fee. Please contact us for more information.