Million quesiton newbie DIY thread - pool build 2018 Hamilton

Mar 7, 2018
We are in the planning and decision stage still. After agreeing the back yard needs a pool and a deck rebuild we came up against the millions of questions to figure out. We have a typically small suburban backyard for this part of Ontario about 30' deep by 40' wide with limited access which will impact costs and options. I'll attach some sketches for context.

Any PB we spoke to about doing a full in-ground pool we'd be looking at well over 40 if not 50k which is way above budget. We've gotten 2 quotes for on-ground (some call semi-inground) pools around 24-26,000 which are within our budget and we are seriously considering. On the plus side someone else would do the work. (On the con side I like DIY projects like these and am looking forward to it). Price on both quotes would probably go up a little as we fine tune equipment and add-ons we want but probably still under 30k. That would still leave me with cost of materials to do the pool deck and patio. We also looked into purchasing an inground kit and DIYing it (except for the excavation).

Then we discovered fiberglass pools as an option. We got a couple of quotes from PB for fiberglass options and both came in between 30k-40k. That’s when I started researching what's involved in doing the install ourselves and the chance to save enough to lower the cost below 30,000.

Right now we are deciding between DIYing a Barrier Reef Grande 23, Atlantic 24, an in-ground pool kit or hiring one of the PB we spoke with for the on-ground pool. the whole family is excited and I'm hoping to document a lot of our decisions here and tap into all you kind folks knowledge. wish us luck!
pool at back fence - Atlantic 2.jpg Current backyard layout.jpg


Well-known member
May 18, 2017
Bradford ontario
I can't give advise on installing a fiberglass pool but I did build my own steel/ vinyl pool last summer. I will say it was the most overwhelming project I have ever undertaken. Bad weather and poor yard access were a large part of it but its still a ton of work. I also found it VERY difficult to get complete and accurate information online for some parts of the build. This part came as a surprise and caused a lot of extra stress. I did hire a pool guy to do the floor and concrete finisher to help with the deck. There is no way I could have moved fast enough for these task and concrete waits for nobody. The bottom line plan to kill the whole summer and if it takes less you win. For me this is my summer to drink beer!

Here is a link to my build. Don't let me discourage you. There is a lot of pride in building your own pool and the money you think you are saving now will go towards some nice upgrades...

Self Build-Ontario Canada.


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 11, 2012
Tallahassee, FL
The hole for the fiberglass pool is OH SO IMPORTANT! There cannot be any mistakes in the leveling the hole and backfilling once it is placed. I would think you could dig the hole but have someone that has done it before to "finish" it up before you put the shell in.

We can help with just about everything else.