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Thread: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

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    Glock30's Avatar
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    Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    All,
    Looking for websites, Instructions, how-tos on how to prep and pour your own pool deck.
    I currently have a lousy condition on 3 sides of the pool and would like to start next season on pouring a good deck.
    Thanks
    18' X 36' Inground Pool 26,000 gallons. SuperMax 27mil/27mil Vinyl Liner-Installed Fall 2011
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    I am going to suggest leaving this one up to professional, just because of the scale of the job and the amount of manpower needed to do it right. I have poured a few concrete projects with and without help, even own a small electric driven concrete mixer. The largest project I was directly involved with involved repairing a broken / sagging driveway section, about 12x12 feet, including jack hammering up old concrete, etc. This one had concrete delivered, about 1/3 of a truck load as I recall, and still involved a full day a labor to prep and frame. The next smaller project I did used sack crete mixed on site, this was building a slab to mount my standby generator and fuel tank on, it measured 4x12 ft x 6-7 inch thick (to support weight and vibration), this project required almost 50 80# sacks of quik-krete, and about 8 hours of labor with 3 people, myself, a retired man who had experience working with concrete while building houses when he was younger, and a able bodied teenager to help with the heavy lifting (who spent most of his time texting), we started at about 8 am one morning, spent the first 2 hours with prep, framing, stacking out steel mesh, etc. Then began the mixing and pouring at 10 am, we then spent the next 5 hours mixing and pouring sacks of pre-mix as fast as we could to prevent the base from drying by the time the next sack was mixed and ready to pour. It would have been easier if we were using smaller sacks, or a larger mixer as this little mixer was limited to 50 pounds at a time, so each sack had to be divided into two batches, so we ended up mixing and pouring about 50 pounds of concrete every 3 minutes for 5 hours, add in time to rake, stir, tamp out air bubbles, etc and it was non stop work. Once we were finished pouring there was still another hour or so worth of work left to do (mostly with the help of the retired guy) levelling and broom finishing the surface, a task far more tedious than I would have ever expected on a little 4x12 slab.

    Ike
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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    If you do your own concrete... I suggest a "mix on-site" truck. You don't need to know exactly how much you need as they bring the dry mix and water in separate sections and essentially mix it into your wheelbarrows. No need to buy any extra "mud". The cost is higher per yard but for me, it allowed me to get the concrete wheeled to the back yard.

    They do not give you much time to move the mud from from the truck to the ground so unless you are backing the truck up to your forms, you will need extra time to move your mud. I think the mix on site was 15 minutes per yard, the preorder truck is 15 minute per LOAD, regardless how much you order and you MUST take all you order. If you estimate incorrectly and have extra, you need a place to put it and you need to take it.
    -- Guy --
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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    Oh... I do NOT suggest the "bucket" of concrete you can tow (all the rock sinks during the drive) or the "towable mixer" where you attach a mixer to the back of your truck. You will spend infinitely more time dealing with bad mud than you will save in dollars.

    I poured my patio with help from family and friends. The first square was using the towable and has a bad mix, the second was using the mixer ... the rest was using the mix-on-site truck and about 4 wheelbarrows, men to move the wheelbarrows, and the women did the moving it around the forms. It was a learning experience.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    On the math side You are looking at a minimum of 360 sq feet of decking if you go with a minimal 3 ft wide deck area, Or maybe over 700sq ft if you go with a more ample deck. Depending on your climate most experts suggest a minimal thickness of 4 inches for patio like surfaces (some people will go as low as 3), going with the minimal 360 sq ft at 4 inches you are looking at, 4.44 Yards of concrete, or 200 80 pound bags of mix, a typical mixer truck caries 8 to 10 yards, and it is always cheapest to buy by full load.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    I can't emphasize enough about what others have said -- concrete is a very labor intensive operation no matter how you tackle it. It has a very short life to be worked correctly once it's on the ground and you can almost never have too many people to get that done when the truck shows up. OR -- you try to mix it yourself, and then the quality suffers.

    The only way I'd consider DIY decking is if it were pavers. To do it right, it's just as much prep work as concrete (maybe even more), but, those pavers don't mind sitting on the pallet for as long as they need to while you get the job done.

    My ~35 year old pool is in need of a remodel. I need new plaster, coping and decking. I'll probably also have new plumbing installed to the pump pad while I'm at it. I'm probably going to do pavers for the decking in either case, and I might consider doing that myself.
    ~john
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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    oh yeah... I have done pavers also... much easier and very forgiving of you wanting to go have another cold beverage. Your base foundation work for pavers is critical if you want them to be stable once you are done. Itlso meanifyou need o fix a leak, you can move the pavers out of your way and them put them back.

    Speaking of said project, I will be making a small paver pad for my BBQs.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    In addition to all the comments above, you need to be very good at finish grading. The pool deck needs to be sloped slightly away from the pool in all directions, with no low spots to collet water. Much more difficult than you think even for the pros.
    chiefwej
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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    Don't forget to add drains or drainage slots and slope them correctly also.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Doing My Own Concrete Pool Deck-Savings Or Suicide?

    I'll add my voice into this........Concrete work killed my back. i did it professionally for almost 20 years.

    You do NOT want to do this yourself, especially since it will be over a half cubic yard. Hire the professionals.

    If you really want to do the deck yourself, think VERY hard about the suggestion of pavers. The basework as mentioned is critical, but you can take your time and get it right with no time limit of a truck waiting on you once your site is prepared. Pavers can be done and redone as many times as you want, if the original doesn't come out right, or you just want to change the looks later on. I would also suggest hiring a good mason to guide you, as the edges will need special treatment to lock everything into place.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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