Austin Owner Build (Raised Pool with Infinity Edge)

GregSS

Gold Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
109
That is funny. My budget goals were shot after the dig and shotcrete. I should have dug a hole level with the ground and installed a pool flat with the ground. I would have been done a looooong time ago and it would have been much cheaper.

The tile idea did cross my mind. However, I plan on the Aquabright route. I found a local installer that does primarily commercial applications. If I can work out a deal, I will get a reduced (not cheap) price and in return I will allow my pool to serve as a showcase for a few high end customers looking at the product.

Looking good. Have you decided on what interior pool finish to use? I vote hand laid tile...you’re over budget anyways :)
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
41,493
Tallahassee, FL
OH I like that idea!!! So long as he does not claim to have done ALL of the work!!! I would have a sign made "ALL building was done by GregSS"
 

GregSS

Gold Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
109
This post will get me to my current state on the pool build. The storage area/concrete bunker was waterproofed on the outside walls and outside roof (I used gray and white waterproofing--it is the same stuff just different colors). And, I installed additional drainage pipe.

I, again, rented a skid steer. This time I used it to fill in the area where decking will go. The skid steer would barely reach over some of the retaining walls. It took 14 dump truck loads of washed gravel to fill in the area. Each truck load had 15 to 18 cubic yards and each yard weighs around 3,000 pounds; so a little over 600,000 pounds of rock was hauled and used to fill up the area. I had to do a lot of shoveling to level everything out--that was exhausting in 90+ degree heat.
 

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srfdntchk

Active member
Aug 18, 2013
31
Austin, TX
Two words - Good God!

My original two words started with 'Holy' and ended with a word that starts with 'S'.

This post will get me to my current state on the pool build. The storage area/concrete bunker was waterproofed on the outside walls and outside roof (I used gray and white waterproofing--it is the same stuff just different colors). And, I installed additional drainage pipe.

I, again, rented a skid steer. This time I used it to fill in the area where decking will go. The skid steer would barely reach over some of the retaining walls. It took 14 dump truck loads of washed gravel to fill in the area. Each truck load had 15 to 18 cubic yards and each yard weighs around 3,000 pounds; so a little over 600,000 pounds of rock was hauled and used to fill up the area. I had to do a lot of shoveling to level everything out--that was exhausting in 90+ degree heat.
 

mikew2069

Well-known member
Mar 31, 2018
124
Cypress
Dude you have the biggest balls tackling this project on your own. I’m dieing to know how much you’ll save over the course of the entire project compared to hiring a PB.
 

GregSS

Gold Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
109
I would also like to know the answer to this question. The only price I got was a local pool builder that said a raised pool would start at $150k. I am pretty sure that my pool is substantially bigger/more complex/has higher end finishes than the pool builder was thinking.

If I had to guess, the cost savings will be at least $75k to $100k. Of course, I am doing a lot of work myself, which a pool builder would not do. The labor costs saved by me doing so much work is a very big portion of the savings.

Also, I have been able to purchase a lot of items and materials at contractor/wholesale prices. A pool builder would naturally sell at retail (or retail plus a markup).


Dude you have the biggest balls tackling this project on your own. I’m dieing to know how much you’ll save over the course of the entire project compared to hiring a PB.
 

mikew2069

Well-known member
Mar 31, 2018
124
Cypress
I would also like to know the answer to this question. The only price I got was a local pool builder that said a raised pool would start at $150k. I am pretty sure that my pool is substantially bigger/more complex/has higher end finishes than the pool builder was thinking.

If I had to guess, the cost savings will be at least $75k to $100k. Of course, I am doing a lot of work myself, which a pool builder would not do. The labor costs saved by me doing so much work is a very big portion of the savings.

Also, I have been able to purchase a lot of items and materials at contractor/wholesale prices. A pool builder would naturally sell at retail (or retail plus a markup).
Yea that's amazing. Good for you man.
 

GregSS

Gold Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
109
Any updates!!!! We want to see it with water!!!
Unfortunately, the pool is still not complete. My day job keeps me super busy, but I work on the pool during the evenings and weekends.

I have been working on two sets of stairs and two pads/sets of flat work.

The wall in the picture is 9' tall which makes the stairs a little over 8' tall. The ladder is 8' tall to put it in perspective.

It took me a long time to frame, bag and get the rebar into the stairs. Setting the sand bags was a very unpleasant job--those things get very heavy.
 

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GregSS

Gold Supporter
Jul 30, 2013
109
Below are the other set of steps and the equipment pad. I made the equipment pad 4' x 17'. I hope I made the pad big enough.

The larger set of stairs, this set of stairs and the two sets of flat work took a total of 8 1/2 yards of concrete. This is the 3rd and final concrete pour of the project.

I was curious as to how much I saved by building the forms myself for this stage. So, I asked the owner of the company that I hired to finish/pour this concrete and he told me that I saved $6k to $7k in labor. That is a pretty good savings.
 

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jragan

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2012
47
Fort Worth, Tx
I wish I had come across your post sooner as our previous pool was very similar to yours and I have some advice.

Background on pool:
We were second owners of house and did not build the pool. Pool was built with the house as an integral part. House built on a steep hill with the hill grading down away from the front. Back part of house has “floating” concrete deck with solid concrete surrounding walls. Majority of house and all of pool and deck are all on concrete piers to bedrock. All built in 1996. Structurally everything extremely solid and very well engineered.

The problem with the pool was/is that, over time, the fill used around the shell settled. This wouldn’t be a problem since everything major was supported by concrete walls & piers except that the plumbing (especially for the returns) was supported by the fill. So with time, vibrations, and the lack of any activity on the soil to keep it compacted (it’s underneath a floating deck so nothing’s putting pressure on the fill) the plumbing began to sag. With more time and more sag, the plumbing would crack at connection to the wall returns (moreso around the hot tub, probably due to the jet plumbing having more horizontal run and more vibration from activating he bubble blower, etc). And then, to compound things further, once that fill gets wet from a leak, the fill starts shifting more.

So, my advice, is think about what’s going to happen with your plumbing 10 years down the road, how you’ll repair it (we were constantly having to jack-hammer the deck - thankfully with a “Cool Deck” finish it was easy to repair and blend the finish and color back in). If I were doing from scratch myself, I’d be looking for a way to support the plumbing from any means other than the fill.