Owner build in NJ DIY steel/vinyl liner

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,246
Morris Cnty NJ
So i finally got started on my build. I'm on day 4. Day 1 was moving 375 yards of clay garbage soil and cursing it the entire way. I expected to hit water table but I did not which is good but I would have rather had good soil and dealt w the water issue. Day 2 was strictly moving dirt. I started filling my buddies tri-axle at 9am on Sunday morning and we hauled 13 stuffed loads 5 miles away in just over 4 hours. Took a lunch break when the guy taking fill had enuff and then hauled 3 more loads 12 miles away. Days 3 and 4 were myself and 2 employees figuring out how to put this kit 2gether. Would have had it all done if not for bad soil. I got serious clay mud issues and I kinda regret starting this project. If not for letting wife and 2 kids down I wouldn't have continued I would have backfilled and finished patio and retaining wall as planned. Rain 2nite which is gonna destroy this site I am gonna have days of cleanup and dry time b4 I can continue. I'll update in a few days20180418_182211.jpg20180421_083846.jpg20180421_130651.jpg20180423_074856.jpg20180423_134747.jpg20180424_192801.jpg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,966
Tallahassee, FL
Let the fun MUD begin!!!! Yeah I can see how you would be sorry you started it with that dirt :shock: but it is too late now! Keep a smile on your face and a beer in your hand and it will all be good in the end!

Kim:kim:
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,246
Morris Cnty NJ
I got bad clay and its got a few leech spots but the rain 2day is the killer I got edges caving in. Gonna have to borrow a mini ex and do surgery from behind my panels. Ill know how bad when I get home 2nite it just stopped raining from last night
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,246
Morris Cnty NJ
So it stopped raining in jersey for a few days last week and I was able to grab a buddies mini excavator and spent wed digging out all the dirt that collapsed behind my far and side walls. Took all day w a helper had to hand dig around braces rly tight in there. Was able to finish the end of the walls on short side and got the stairs in. Pool walls finally done and got an inspection that passed for framing and footings on thurs. Spent rest of Thursday making plywood forms to hold back earth in overdig. More rain over weekend so waited til 2day to bring my guys back and we made good forms for the pour and got the site ready for concrete. I have overhead wires and crappy soil so I'm gonna have to waste 700 bucks on a pump truck to get concrete in. Got 10 yards coming 2moro at lunchtime I'm gonna plumb walls 1 last time and string level them then shoot w the laser b4 he gets here. I'll post pics of the after here's where I'm at so far20180508_190714.jpg20180508_190722.jpg20180508_190701.jpg20180508_190651.jpg20180508_190619.jpg20180508_190607.jpg20180508_190601.jpg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
40,966
Tallahassee, FL
Your poor back and hands :shock: You did a good job fixing it back up and getting it ready. I like you double/triple checking that it is really ready for the pour!

Kim:kim:
 

Sseaman

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 6, 2013
412
Nashville, TN
It will all be worth it when the pool is done and you are swimming. We built our own and had similar issues with rain right after the dig and our clay/dirt washed in some, 4 years down the road now it was just part of the process.

Good luck finishing it out
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,246
Morris Cnty NJ
So I'm beat tired gonna make it quick. Spent 2 hrs string lining and shooting grade w the laser and finally said good enuff. Atone delivery was late needed some 3/4 clean to help w mud in oversig and the floor flat pour. Was a sign when I called and they forgot to put my delivery on but were here 30min later. Only have piles of road base on site. Pump truck came early i called for the concrete they said an hour still ahead of sched but noon came and went and 3 calls to plant later it's 215 truck shows. 625 pump truck (gave me a break paying cash) and 1400 for 10 yards of pump mix w fiber mesh and were pumping. 430pm they r washing out and we r cleaning up all went well but ALOT of work and concrete I have 10 inches everywhere and 18 in the stairs. Had to go out after dinner like 7ish to work the flat slab in deep end it just wouldn't setup to work it. Finally don't have to worry about cave ins and the walls time to dig electric and plumbing and footings drains. Happy to ait in machine and dig without shovel lol20180509_154252.jpg20180509_195704.jpg20180509_195709.jpg
 

Brianf60

Well-known member
May 18, 2017
122
Bradford ontario
I remember that feeling well. I had the same problems when I built mine last year. It seemed to rain almost everyday once I started building. Now that the footing is in you can relax. the ground is no longer at risk of caving in. Now go drink a few beers and get ready for plumbing and 50 tons of gravel back fill!
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,083
Connecticut
Why did you pour a concrete deep end pad, I don’t get it??

- I hope you bought the cheapest wettest concrete for the collar, the collar is basically a boat anchor, doesn’t need to be strong just heavy.

Do you have liner or are you waiting until your troweling is done to measure?

Go to bed & let us know what hurts when you wake up !
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,246
Morris Cnty NJ
My 7yo son wrote his name and got a huge kick out of it then the 20 month old wanted to stand in it so he's got footprints in there too was cute.

Poolguy the pump mix is 3/8 aggregate so they bump the mix to 4000psi to compensate its whatever the pumper wanted wasn't cheap 140 a yard w fees. I poured the deep end pad to have something to follow for hopper I've got muck everywhere even on sides I feel standing on concrete I will be able to shape and compact walls w stone I'm gonna have to dig out alot of mucky clay and replace w stone to form bottom. Its rly bad inside pool im almost at a lost on how to proceed. Rain forecasted 6 of next 8 days im going to have to get it shaped up fast and do floor next day and pop liner in or I'm screwed. I have the liner already I'm dead on w #s I shot grades many times to be sure
 

mclifford

Well-known member
Aug 29, 2017
180
Van buren, AR
JimmyTheGreek,

Is that a hydra pool from pool warehouse? It looks very similar to the one I just installed. I feel your pain on the mud! Looking good!
Maybe the experts can chime in on this. I noticed you created forms in several places for your bond beam (Footer). If I recall the instructions were very specific about your over dig being correct and the bond beam touching virgin ground. For the experts here any concern over shifting?

Also, do you plan on back filling with clean 3/4 crushed rock? It cost me about an extra $1,000.00 to back fill with crushed rock. Most of the builders in my area just use the shale from deep end as the back fill.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,246
Morris Cnty NJ
mclifford, yes its a poolwarehouse kit. The forms are not for the bond beam, its for the earth. I have bad clay and i had cave ins that had to be dug out in the overdig. Im on virgin ground, and Ive overexcavated areas and built them back up w mechanical compaction. I also have reinforced concrete and alot of it, and yes Im almost a foot finish grade around the pool, and the base for patio and overdig will all be stone/roadbase, gonna need about 6-7 loads of base at 400ish a load. I have a 2-3 ft grade change from house to backside of pool, I will have a stepped retaining wall on short sides and a 3 foot wall behind pool so theres alot going on besides the pool in my yard
 

mclifford

Well-known member
Aug 29, 2017
180
Van buren, AR
Your build sure is looking good. I was very pleased with pool warehouse. They were very easy to work with and the hydra pool support line is good if you run into any issues.

I built my pool last summer and it rained a lot. I didn't have any issues with cave in's but it slowed my progress to a crawl. In August and and September it finally slowed down enough I could get my floor done.

Since I don't do concrete for a living I set forms up for everything and used screed boards to get my floors and slopes perfect. By the time you are done you will be able to finish concrete like a pro. I mixed 14 tons of sand and almost 50 bags of Portland over a 3 weekend time period. It was hard work but it payed off!

do you plan on using standard sch 40 pvc for pluming or did you purchase the sch flex? I decided against the flex pvc and hard plumbed all of mine. Over 450' ft 2" sch 40 pvc.
 

jimmythegreek

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Aug 10, 2017
1,246
Morris Cnty NJ
i was pleased w them until they forgot my ladder/handrail braces and wouldnt make good on it. I received delivery in october but cold weather and my permits delayed me so i held off until april this year. I checked and it was all there, altho I had dents in 3 panels they wanted me to claim it w fedex and they were a pain so I straightened them out, was on edge not big deal. but the anchors I thought were in ladder and handrail box, i was storing all the stuff over winter and didnt rip it all open. after spending 9 grand w them they said 30days is max claim I made a stink and still nothing. finally i wrote them a bad review and I received 1 set of plastic cheapo anchors but I payed 125 for bronze mounted on rail.

Im a contractor and have done lots of masonry, I own a bobcat and this is no big deal to me, just alot of labor the skillset is very basic for the pool. I wired and plumbed many a house so no big deal there either, I wouldnt dream of flex pipe, sch 40 for everything 2"lines thru it all. I just need dry weather for floor now, rain is forecasted 6 of the next 8 days
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,083
Connecticut
My 7yo son wrote his name and got a huge kick out of it then the 20 month old wanted to stand in it so he's got footprints in there too was cute.

Poolguy the pump mix is 3/8 aggregate so they bump the mix to 4000psi to compensate its whatever the pumper wanted wasn't cheap 140 a yard w fees. I poured the deep end pad to have something to follow for hopper I've got muck everywhere even on sides I feel standing on concrete I will be able to shape and compact walls w stone I'm gonna have to dig out alot of mucky clay and replace w stone to form bottom. Its rly bad inside pool im almost at a lost on how to proceed. Rain forecasted 6 of next 8 days im going to have to get it shaped up fast and do floor next day and pop liner in or I'm screwed. I have the liner already I'm dead on w #s I shot grades many times to be sure
It’s gonna be miserable placing on slimy clay..
You have any overdig in floor to compensate, for garbage soil?

What are you putting down, verm/cement or 3 to 1 dry pack?

I’ll coach you..
 

mclifford

Well-known member
Aug 29, 2017
180
Van buren, AR
I have heard all the online pool supply sites are horrible about shipping products out. We checked everything as it came in to a T. thankfully we didn't have to make any claims. We did have an issue with a corner piece of coping. I identified it on the packing list but didn't open it up. Basically they wrapped it to tight and the shrink wrap caused it to bend. I called hydra pool and they said they would bend me one for free, but I really needed to contact pool warehouse. So i did and they wanted to charge me $400 bucks to send me all new ones. I stayed on them long enough and told them the manufacture would just send me the piece for free they gave in and sent it out.

In my next comment I am speaking only about a vinyl lined pool. I totally agree with you the skllset is very basic. The labor is not hard just a lot of it. At certain stages the installer needs to have a knack to be detailed in there finish work. Being level, square, completing all work and not leaving something out that could be costly to dig up or redo. You have an upper hand being a contractor. You do this type of work day after day. I am very fortunate in the fact that I am very mechanically inclined. Installing something/building for me is very easy and exciting. I am not afraid to dive and figure it out. I had to spend time creating check lists and researching to make sure I was installing correctly.

I didn't find TFP until after I was done. Actually I was researching how I wanted to do my chemicals in my pool. We had couple of intex type pools in the past and I didn't do a very good job chemically keeping up with them. Threw lots of tabs in them and kids would complain of eyes hurting and always had a gunk build up on the sides. I didn't test anything. I knew with this pool I wanted to make sure I did it right because of the cost of the liner and water. They helped me through a slam (because I drug my feet to long on how I wanted to do chemicals) and so far my water is crystal clear no smells and very refreshing to be in. The guys on this site know there stuff really well.

I will be watching your thread for sure and looking forward to future progress pictures! Best of luck!
 

mclifford

Well-known member
Aug 29, 2017
180
Van buren, AR
I hope you bought the cheapest wettest concrete for the collar, the collar is basically a boat anchor, doesn’t need to be strong just heavy.

Do you have liner or are you waiting until your troweling is done to measure?
Poolguy,

Would this be a 3,000 psi mix? I didn't know you could go cheaper?

I'll let the OP answer this, but it is a pool kit from pool warehouse and they ship the liner pre-cut to you. I did a pool warehouse kit as well and since they do that you have to be spot on on all of your measurements.