Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 7 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 134

Thread: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Afton, VA
    Posts
    37

    DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Hi guys,

    New member here getting my feet wet with my first pool projects.

    So I have been talking to my wife about a pool for a while. We had a 16' round Intex a few years ago that was not in an ideal spot and not quite level and the filtration system sucked to say the least (canister filter). Yes, it was a Walmart special at something like $399.

    Looking around my yard, the ideal spot for a new, larger pool, would be our south facing back yard. Only problem is that there's an extreme slope there. We are trying to do this on a pretty tight budget, so we started looking at those Intex pools again, and saw this 32x16 with a sand filter and salt generator for a very low price. Just for grins, I called miss utility and had them come out and mark where the power and phone lines were.

    Much to my surprise, there was nothing underground in what I thought would be the ideal spot. So I went ahead and staked out a rectangle 38' x 22' (32x16 dimension plus 6' in both dimensions). After looking at the outline for a few days, I decided to go ahead and excavate the area since I have a backhoe attachment for my tractor.

    Many hours later, I now have a pretty level 38' x 22' area. The ground where I live is extremely rocky. I would say that the rocks made up about 60% of the volume of the excavated area.

    Anyway, here are a bunch of pictures of the site. I'll let them speak for themselves.

















    The height difference between the low and high spot is over 4'. Looking at the exposed dirt walls, I'm thinking that building a retaining wall and then stand up an above ground pool and construct a makeshift deck to reach of on the 2 high sides would be kind of silly.

    So now I'm thinking of doing a concrete pool instead with cinder-block walls. One concern with this approach is the need for support on the down slope wall. I understand that I can build vertical "braces" out of cinder-block every 3 feet or so that are about 40 inches long. But then I'm thinking I might as well just dig it deeper and use the dirt I pull out to construct a wall on the low side.

    Then I start reading about shotcrete pools and how, at the end of the day, they cost about the same as a cinder-block wall pool, especially if you do all the prep work yourself and just hire the shotcrete task to a contractor.

    Looking for ideas on how to proceed.

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    That view is really nice.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,495

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Very nice tractor, I want one!

    Beautiful area you live in. We used to camp just west of Staunton just about every weekend up in the GW National Forest.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Afton, VA
    Posts
    37

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Thanks!

    Yes, I love my 5085M John Deere! You are right the area is beautiful. Those are of course the the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background you see with Humpback Rock visible in the last shot.

    So I'm really torn regarding the cost of building a retaining wall with an above ground pool vs. going "all in" and doing an in-ground concrete pool. I'm really leaning towards the latter, but not sure about how much back fill I need to put on the downhill side to prevent settling later on.

    I have done a lot of projects on my own, but never a pool (did a 1500 gallon fish pond with a nice waterfall that is still going strong, but that is puny compared to this one ), and I have done a lot of other major projects in my property. For example, that 6 bay man cave (did 4 bays originally, then added 2 more) you see in some of the above pics I constructed myself. I do plan to plant a row of Leland Cypress or something along those lines as part of this project, to obscure the shop. That would help make the view pop I think.

    I have plenty of time, I don't anticipate the pool being done this year. So I plan to continue doing a lot of reading and looking at ideas, but wanted to become a member here and share what I have done so far and hope to get some constructive feedback on how to proceed.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,495

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    I'm not sure you should plan on any part of the pool being on fill. it is generally not an accepted practice. I built my man cave (36 X 50 Morton Building) on a fill area, but it had been down for over 15 years. The county building department still required an engineering report on the compaction of the soil before they would issue a permit.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Afton, VA
    Posts
    37

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    The way I envision it, the pool floor and perimeter walls will all be on solid ground (i.e. not on fill). In addition, I plan on digging a 12" x 12" footer all along the perimeter. The only fill would be up against the wall on the down slope, and partially on the 2 end walls.

    Once my transit level comes in, I'll take some measurements and put together some drawings.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,678

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Love the little helper! Bet she had fun getting dirty!

    How long do you intend to stay in the house? If it were me I say go BIG! Build an in ground pool and a nice, big patio around it! I would have a retaining wall on the back (towards the house) to divert rain water and such from getting into the pool.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Afton, VA
    Posts
    37

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Yes, the little helper is very interested in what's going on. She just turned 4 a few weeks ago. There's also a 2nd littler helper not in the photo, she turns 3 in August. I have a buddy seat in the tractor so they kept fighting over who got to ride with me as I hauled the dirt away down behind the shop building, once bucket load at a time. I'm going to put up a temporarily fence on the high side to prevent any accidents.

    I have owned the house and associated property (20 acres) for 16 years now. I have no intention of ever selling it. My long term plan include a large patio and stairs down from the large upper rear deck that can be seen in some of the above shots.

    I'll work on some drawings that take that into account. I do have quite a bit of flexibility as far as digging further in any direction without hitting power, phone or drainage lines, so maybe I'll go ahead and expand to a 40x20. That's what we had at my folks house growing up, so I have quite a bit of past experience maintaining a large pool.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    ernie01jt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Smithton IL
    Posts
    178

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Is that a window or a door left of your satellite dish? I would be tempted to move the ac compressor and dish.
    I would then continue the grading/leveling up to your house. Add terraces/retaining walls where needed, and large deck between the house and pool.the dirt could be then used as fill on the other side of the pool to give you a larger level area for more decking by using retaining walls.
    If your basement isn't finished where the door/window is that would be a nice entry to your pool area. A window can become a door with a concrete saw.
    Ernie
    18' x 38' 20,500 gallon vinyl IGP, 3.5 - 7' depth, Pentair FNS Plus DE filter,
    2hp Whisperflo high performance pump, 1.1hp boost-rite pump for the cleaner,
    250k BTU MasterTemp heater, LetroLegend pool cleaner, Hayward TurboCell GLX-CELL-15 chlorine generator
    Speedstir, K-1776, TF-100

  10. Back To Top    #10


    TFP Guide

    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central MD
    Posts
    3,291

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    I'll give my thoughts...first off, beautiful property (which I'm sure you've heard plenty during your ownership!) I know you had different intentions originally and given that you are now considering a larger scale project perhaps, you may have the cart a bit in front of the horse. No worries though since you haven't done an excessive amount of excavating, given the property topography. As you are now contemplating the whole area, I would come up with a complete master plan for the area between your house and the man cave to ensure you don't do something that negatively impacts a later phase. Our slope may not be as great as yours but it was significant. You may see some benefit in reviewing our build thread in my signature. It is somewhat unique here as I've never seen one that included a retaining wall that surrounds the entire pool. It was needed on the upper side to retain the hill and on the lower side to provide support for the far side decking. As a note, our pool/decking has a flat downhill run of about 40' (20' pool width/coping, 4' lower decking, 15' upper decking) and rise of about 6' (3' lower side out of the ground, 2 1/2' upper wall - the slope approaching the wall was made steeper and landscaped to reduce wall height by 6-12"). Total upper wall height is about 6' including footer due to 30" depth below grade, deck thickness and exposed wall height.

    Our pool shell is above grade by almost 3' on the shallow end/downhill side. On the day of excavation they lowered the pool about 6" from their initial thought in order to get the shallow end into virgin soil at least 1-2' (can't remember exactly). The deep end is then into virgin soil about 6-7'. Much of the dirt for the excavation was used below the lower retaining wall. All space between the retaining wall and pool shell was filled with gravel to support the decking and ensure there would be no settling. The downhill portion of the decking overlaps the retaining wall. All of the wall foundations are below 30" below final grade as required/standard practice for our locale and also in to virgin soil at least 1'.

    One comment about thoughts above on excavating up to the house and adding a lower level door. Great idea if you're interested, just be careful to ensure that the house footer still has the required depth below grade so it won't be above the frost line. Our house back foundation wall was not put far below the basement floor level and they graded up to the house at an angle to give it the required depth. Only where the sliding glass door is did they drop the footer to a 30" depth. So when we excavated for our patio/basketball court, I built a retaining wall up against the house to keep the required depth of soil for the footer to not potentially heave.

    As also mentioned above, drainage will be key above the pool. Our PB excavated behind the upper wall a further 1' wide all the way down and laid drain pipe. It is then backfilled to a within few inches below the wall top with stone, then fabric and dirt on top for landscaping. Have never had any overwash. Mind you our other drainage above the pool is also properly going away from that area as much as possible.

    I'd suggest that it might be worth your while to have a landscape architect assist in the current phase. As much of a DIY'er as you are, their skills would still likely provide great benefit. You have a wonderful blank slate there and the final product could be outstanding. However, not planned wisely, it could also be a problem for years to come. I'd encourage you to go all-in, if possible and do the in-ground concrete option given your long time-frame for owing the property. It is an investment that your family could end up enjoying for generations. Your property is the type of property where you can create a legacy if you do it correctly - but you don't want to create a legacy of issues either. Dream big, execute wisely.

    Of course it's easy for others to suggest how you might spend your money...but that's the fun part! Hopefully some of our build details are helpful with your slope situation.

    Best of luck on your process.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Afton, VA
    Posts
    37

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Thanks for you guys for the feedback. It is great! And bmoreswim, I read your build thread, what an awesome end result! I snapped a few more pictures walking around the house.

    So here's the front yard where there is a covered porch which is a nice plan to hang out, but there are no mountain views from here. The pool excavation is right behind that large tree to the left of the house corner. I need to trim it back big time. lol



    Back yard view looking up at both the front and rear side of the house.



    View down the area between the pool and house.



    Looking up the other direction.



    View from the rear deck looking down. So there's 17 ft between the landscaping scrubs and pool edge. The total distance from pool edge to basement wall is 32 ft. I have marked in red the power line to the meter base. I can get away with leveling the 17 ft area and do a retaining wall the the shrubs begin, but I might run into root from the 2 trees in that area. I planted those trees when I moved in back in 2000. Its amazing how much they have grown.



    A view from a little further away.



    View of the basement entrance. House has a full basement. The double door entry seen below steps into a finished "in-law suite" where my mother in-law lives. The other half of the basement is my home theater. So the design doesn't really need to take into account being able to access the pool area from the basement. In fact, I would like to shield access to the pool from this area. My girls couldn't wait, so we got them a pair of kiddie pools to tide them over.



    Another view from the rear deck looking down at the excavated area.



    View from bottom of the hill showing the path I took with the tractor when hauling away the fill that I have dug up so far. I probably have close to 500 yards of loose fill behind my shop from when I excavated it. So I have plenty of dirt for whatever decision I end up going with around the pool.



    Finally, here's a Google map view showing the approximate outline of the excavated area.



    I agree that it would be a good idea to have a landscape architect look at the site and get some ideas. I'll look into that angle as well.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,678

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    You have it covered that is for sure. I am guessing that you plan and go over all angles when you do something. That is a wonderful thing! It saves a lot of extra work and redos around here!

    Cuties in the pools! That should buy you some time until the real thing gets done. Has the dog gotten in their pools yet? LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  13. Back To Top    #13


    TFP Guide

    SuzfromTexas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    3,203

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    I read your thread last night, and I'm sorry I didn't have time to reply. Your posts are fascinating! The pictures alone keep me lingering far longer than I should. Then there's the interest in your build. And not to forget your history and future with the property. To have the Blue Ridge Mountains as your backdrop - well, what a story. I could go on and on about your house, property, and plans. Suffice it to say, I agree with everyone else and consider you one lucky dog!!! And if you have a mother-in-law vacancy (for example, your current MIL can't stand living in such a gorgeous setting), please let me know. I'll ditch my current pool build in a heart beat!!!

    Your girls are precious! Having their own pools along with the fascination of the build should keep them going til the real thing is completed. I also love seeing the dogs and the cat in the earlier photo. It looks like you guys go for the black and white pets! Your cat could be the twin of our black and white cat, Killer! Any other critters of the pet variety???? Just curious.

    No worries about you! Not only are you smart, have vision, and can problem solve, but you are also eager for input (and seem to listen!). Fantastic combination!

    I love Bmoreswim's saying, "Dream big, execute wisely." I have a feeling the two of you would hit it off fine. I can't wait for your next post!! Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Afton, VA
    Posts
    37

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Thanks guys. After discussing this further with my wife, and given the timeline involved with doing it "the right way", we may do this in 2 stages, the first stage involving a interim pool.

    So this plan involves completely leveling the current excavation, adding a temporary retaining wall using free raw materials already on the property, namely pine trees. I have the equipment to easily cut, skid and position into a u-shaped retaining wall using these attachments for my John Deere tractor toy:





    Once the retaining wall is built (should be able to do it in a weekend or two I would think), I would then excavate level the area between the retaining wall and scrubs (that 17 ft strip of grass), build a small retaining wall from the scrubs down to level and the lay large stones/tiles in course sand. This would also be temporary and easy to remove later and to stamped concrete, wood decking, or whatever. I have other areas I want to tile eventually, so those stones would be recycled when the time comes. If I ensure the area between the retaining wall and scrubs has a slight lean away from the retaining wall and water can readily drain, I don't think I'll have issues with the water over the temp retaining wall.

    With that done and tested after several heavy rains, I would proceed to put up a cheap above ground for now and extend a narrow wooden deck from the tile deck / pine retaining wall out over the edge of the pool.

    I still need to do some more thinking and planning, but I think this path would allow me to incrementally implement and "test" various landscaping ideas and designs and then come back and do the permanent solution once all the "prototyping" has been completed.

    This will certainly be a very unorthodox means of eventually getting to my dream setup. Not sure this would exactly follow Bmoreswim's "Dream big, execute wisely" mantra, but by not constructing anything permanent at this time, it will allow me to make changes along the way.

    Maybe I'm completely crazy for considering this 2 stage approach, but I think it does have some merits.

  15. Back To Top    #15


    TFP Guide

    SuzfromTexas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    3,203

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    I think it IS carrying out Bmoreswim's mantra.

    Oh goodie! This isn't going to be a mini-series, but a nice long pool build series we can sink our teeth into! I'm getting the popcorn ready. Keep the updates and pictures coming! All the best. Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,678

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    I think it is a VERY good idea. That will give you time to see what works and what does not AND your girls get to SWIM in a real pool!

    You have the tools and equipment so I say go for it. Just take lots of pics for us!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  17. Back To Top    #17


    TFP Guide

    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central MD
    Posts
    3,291

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    And you may find that "trouble free" is not easy enough for you and bag the whole IG pool idea anyway. Ok, not likely. If you're willing to take the slower approach, it's rarely bad to get some experience with the setting and layout in a temporary way before proceeding. Good to have that option...better for me to have your tractor. Probably overkill for my 1.0034 acres though.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, SWCG, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Afton, VA
    Posts
    37

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Glad you guys agree on a gradual approach. Much easier on the budget too. I could always sell that tractor I suppose and get the local pool company to do the whole thing for me. Just kidding.

    I have been meaning to take down these fairly young Yellow Pines near the house house anyway, so they'll do for the retaining walls.



    You guys like pics, so here's a shot slightly to the right of the last one. Beautiful evening tonight.



    I plan to put in a wide starcase leading down from the rear deck to the pool area. The landing will be set on 2 or 3 (depending on width) 12" concrete columns dug to below the frost line. I'll make sure the bottom step is at a height I can work with for phase 2. I apologize for my terrible MS Paint skills in advance.



    Here's a view from the rear deck. It measures 17' x 27' so a decent size that will be nice to integrate with the pool area below. There are 2 glass doors to the deck, one from the master bedroom and one from the sunroom, so great methods of getting to the pool area vs. having to walk all the way around the house. My better half is in the process of setting the table for dinner.



    Where's our pool daddy?



    Yes, I know I need to paint the railing in a bad way. I'm actually thinking of eventually doing away with the wood railing all together and do frame-less glass.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    26,678

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Dinner with a view! Oh so pretty! I would eat out there every night!

    Yea Dad! Where is the pool? LOL I bet they keep you running and smiling!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  20. Back To Top    #20


    TFP Guide

    SuzfromTexas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    3,203

    Re: DIY 32x16 ish pool on steep slope

    Who can worry about rail paint with views like those!!! (including the ones of the girls!) Suz.
    Suz~Cypress area~ 2015 pool build. 23K gallons. IG swcg system. 35'x18'; 573sf; 104' perim; depth 4'-7'. Bubblers, sheer descents, 7' spa. Jandy: color LEDs; 2HP 2sp pump; 1HP 2sp pump; spa pump; 580 cartridge; 400K BTU; Dolphin M500; PS8; Inline chlorinator not used; Aqua Pure 1400. Blue Granite Sheen. Travertine deck. Lightstreams Peacock Blue TF-100, K-1766, SpeedStir

Page 1 of 7 1234 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •