Radiant Pool Install - Semi Inground
I have been meaning to post this for the past month or so. My wife and I finally decided to get a pool. This was of course last summer. I had so many ideas but of course, the layout of our property, land use laws, and codes really restricted us. I had an idea in mind and was going to go with a Radiant Metric 21' Round. With this in mind, I went out and got several quotes. I went through sticker shock with a price of around 8k for parts and about 10.5k installed. I was not expecting any of this. After pricing it all I figured it would cost me about 10k myself to install including electrical, fence, etc.. Also finding a pool company who was willing to do this mostly submerged was tough.
So we put the whole thing on hold and I kept researching and looking hoping to find something I could afford that would work. By some miracle, I was able to find the exact pool we wanted, used on craigslist. So in January, off I went to take down the pool. The guy took only 2.2k for the pool and all the equipment including a SWG. Of course, it needed a new liner as the current one would not be usable and had 4 inched of ice still on it.
I was thrilled. It needed a bit of work and had seen some deterioration of the aluminum panels due to the salt water being installed poorly but after conversing with Radiant and sending pictures, they assured my that with a little paint it would be fine.
So before putting it up, I sanded the entire pool and painted it with a self-etching rust inhibitor. I only left the pattern of what would remain above ground exposed. I will paint it later before eventually burying more. Needless to say this whole pool project will be one big work in progress.
Everything from the excavation, tree removal, electrical, bonding, plumbing, and finally install took a lot more time than hoped. I started around April and was able to get it filled by the end of June.
Here are some before images. I had to move a bunch of the rock walls that I had built over the years to accommodate for a fence later on. The whole rule of 4 foot of flat ground behind a fence on a hill was a challange.
Before any work was done
After remodeling the side yard. My canvas for the pool area
Moving rock walls to accommodate for fencing later
Digging into the hill to recess the pool into it. Our town requires all pools be in the back yard so I had to push it back further into the hill
Of course, I hit rocks the size of cars in parts and sand in other. A few days of jackhammering and some more digging took care of that. To ensure the a sound and solid surface possible I brought in 22 tons of stone dust to create the pad. Hours and hours later a very solid base was formed.
Putting the pieces together
After the paint job. This paint was amazing and held up against everything thrown at it as well as covered very well.
Bringing in the sand. I used about 4 yards.
Pool Bonding…. This took a lot of research and a lot of patience and sleepless nights. My town uses a state electrical inspector so I knew it had to be perfect as well as I like to do things right the first time. I had about 75 feet of trench to dig for about a 100 foot run. In the end, it was no problems. The biggest worry I had was bonding to the anchors as well as fulfilling the 6[img] below grade requirement. I had to make custom feet for the bottom as the original didn’t seem up to par. The inspector was able to come back several times to see it in stages so that I could get water in before backfilling. I was happy it was all done right the first time!
The pump and filter are about 15 feet away from the pool. This was done to accommodate a future tier in the front of the pool later on.
I went through about 30 bags of 80lbs of concrete to create the collar. I focused mostly on the anchors. Each anchor had a 24” piece of rebar that then was driven through it into the ground. Needless to say, this thing shouldn’t move!
I decided to go with an armor shield on the bottom of the pool as well as padding on the walls. I was disappointed about the armor shield as it was not seamless and shows through the liner. Overall I am sure it is fine, just me being picky. The wall padding; I know there are many people who are against it, but I am happy with the decision. It does feel nice on the wall. More important, this was a used pool. There were some imperfections in the walls and I didn’t want them affecting the liner. Any protection was worth it. It was a pain to put on though!!
I did also go with the foam coving at that point. The previous owner had it and it left a bit of tack after removal, so it was an easier option to just replace it.
I purchased a new liner online. Radiant wanted $800 for a replacement. That was not happening. I was able to find a nice 25mil liner for under $200.
The slow process of filling it with hoses. It ended up being cheaper than a water truck
The first jump in, a bit early, just to get some of the wrinkles out.
I am missing a few pictures from this point until the end. For this year, it is complete.
The fencing: We were originally going to go with aluminum; with several quotes around 4k I was going to DIY it for around $2,800. After thinking about this over and over, I realized I still had way too much to do before putting in a permanent fence as well as the labor to install it.
I ended up going with a pool safety fence. Again, I know that it is not the best long-term solution, but for now and the foreseeable future, it works. I was able to find some fencing (around 132ft) and picked up and arched gate for about $700. It is safe and secure and will last until I get a patio in and build up the front. I plan to create a tier system in the front, much like I created in the back yard to bring the front up to a usable space. It has a lot of potential and once the money tree replenishes I will pick it up where I left off. For now, it is useable and the kids have been having a blast.
It was well worth it and has made for an amazing summer.
I have spent plenty of time looking through the forum to understand everything as this was my first pool. It was a learning process and I am definitely grateful to the information I have learned and the people who helped me along the way.
We will see how a northern New Jersey winter treats it and what next year will bring. If I come up with any other pictures, I will be sure to post them