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The Perfect Pool Blog

Zodiac's In-Depth Resource for All Things Pool.

What Happens During the Pool Building Process?



Zodiac Pool Systems

Hoping to build a pool? The pool building season varies by region. In warm weather areas, builds can begin early in the year, and in colder climates, projects might not start until spring when the frost line unfreezes to allow for pool plumbing installation. Either way, if you're thinking of building a pool this year or next, you may wonder what's involved in the process and how long it will take. To help demystify the process, below we provide a basic timeline of events for what happens when you decide to build a pool.

Once you have your design and contractor, it's time to start the pool building process. Here's what typically happens and in what order:

  • In high water table areas, a test is conducted to to determine the level of water in the ground. Results are approved by the the local authority-having jurisdiction (AHJ)
  • The pool's outline is painted on the ground
  • The ground is excavated and dug to accommodate the pool
  • The project is inspected for grade
  • Any necessary plumbers, electricians, and steel sub-contractors are brought in
  • Inspection for steel and ground bond is done
  • First electrical inspection happens
  • A plumbing static pressure test is conducted
  • Gunite is sprayed over the steel cage of the pool and sets for at least 12 days
  • Second inspections take place (electrical, plumbing, bonding)
  • The equipment pad is completed and connected to the pool (this usually takes 2 to 6 weeks)
  • Coping is installed
  • Concrete decks are poured and/or decking is installed
  • Final concrete inspection is completed
  • Plaster is applied in a thin coat over the gunite
  • The pool is filled (plaster has to cure under water for up to 3 days) The Plaster Council recommends 28 days as the curing time. (See www.npconline.org for guidelines.)
  • Final inspection happens

The whole process typically takes between 4-6 months and depends heavily on inspection scheduling. Please note that every municipality has its own process. For example in Southern California, the Health Department must do final inspections on residential pools and as there's one inspector per area (and because health inspectors are also responsible for restaurant and public pool inspections), the process may take longer.

Check with your pool builder for approximate timeline and process. Happy swimming!

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