Eight Steps to Adding a Pool to Your Property


A swimming pool can make a great addition to your backyard, providing years of fun for the whole family. It can also add to your property value and make your home more desirable should you decide to sell.

However, adding a pool to your property is an in-depth process. It must be carefully planned and executed every step of the way. Here are the 8 key steps to the process of adding a pool to your property.

Step 1: Project Design and Proposal

Prior to beginning construction, you will need to develop a pool site plan. This will form the road map for your pool’s construction, and it is also necessary in obtaining a building permit from the city. In order to get your site plan, you have two main options.

The first is to hire a professional, such as an engineer, architect, or surveyor. If your local building authority requires a stamp on the site plan, this may be your only option. The process can be costly, with the national average for hiring a surveyor at $775. You also must schedule a time for the surveyor to visit your location and then wait for them to create the site plan from the data collected during their visit.

The second option is to order a site plan online. This is much quicker and less expensive. They typically run between $90 and $200, depending on the level of detail required, and there is no need for a visit to your location. Instead, satellite imagery, GIS information, county parcel maps, and client input are used to create an accurate site plan.

Step 2: Building Permits and Approvals

Once the site plan is complete, your contractor will apply for the building permit and approval from your city’s building department.

You may need approval for not only the construction of the pool but also any necessary electric and gas utility hookups. Supplementary permits may also be required for any additional buildings, for example, a poolside cabana.

Step 3: Pool Layout and Excavation

Your contractor will lay out form boards to mark where the pool will be placed on your property, taking care to ensure that it is in the precise required location.

After the forms are set, excavation can begin. This generally takes a few days and requires heavy machinery, such as skid-steer front end loaders. When this step is completed, you will be left with a large dirt hole where your pool will eventually be.

Step 4: Structural Steel and Pre-Plumbing

This dirt hole will be reinforced with structural steel in order to ensure that it is properly supported. The steel bars are placed horizontally and vertically, 8” inches on center for a depth of five feet. If the pool will be deeper, horizontal bars will be placed 6” on center.

Rough plumbing will also be installed, which can include drains, skimmers, light niches, and return line stubs.

Step 5: Pool Floor and Wall Application and Tiling

Your pool floor, which usually consists of concrete at least 6 inches thick, will be poured. Walls are usually a mixture of sand and cement.  After this, decorative tiling for your pool will be installed.

You should check with your contractor to see what type of warranty is offered on this pool shell. In most cases, you can expect coverage for two years.

Step 6: Plumbing, Electrical, and Gas

Plumbing and related equipment, such as pumps and heaters, are installed. Then necessary gas and electrical lines are run and hooked up to the equipment, and a breaker box should also be added.

A licensed electrician or utility specialist is required for this step to ensure safety during the installation and once everything is up and running.

Step 7: Decking and Pool Finish

From here, the pool deck can be installed. This process will differ depending on the material you select, which could be concrete, wood, stone, or another material.

  • Poured concrete is the most popular option, though it doesn’t work well in cold climates. Cracks may form as the material freezes and thaws.
  • Wood is usually the lowest-cost option. However, it requires regular maintenance, such as staining and sealing, to ensure its longevity.
  • Stone is durable, requires minimal maintenance, and is often very affordable. The stones are placed into a layer of concrete to set them in place.

Once the deck is in place, a coat of finish will be added to the pool (and the deck if needed). You are then ready to fill up your pool and enjoy it!

Juliana Weiss-Roessler is a freelance writer based in Austin, TX, where she often enjoys a dip in the pool to escape the heat! Learn more about her at WRWriting.com.

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