Potential self build

jvaymd

New member
Jan 20, 2020
4
Cresaptown, MD
So, I'm entertaining the thought of building a pool for my family and am looking for some feedback from those experienced with the process.

Some background, I am a licensed general contractor. I have poured concrete walls and slabs for clients over the years, and am generally experienced with excavation, footers, formwork ,rebar, and masonry, tile, etc. I also employ a construction crew that could help me with the more laborious parts of the project.

I am thinking of building a very simple rectangular pool. I would excavate, pour footers for the walls, form walls, install a grid of #4 rebar throughout, pour the walls, strip the forms, and then pour the floor /stairs. I know that is leaving out many important steps like plumbing, electrical, coping, etc.

Is there anything wrong with approaching the build this way? I clearly have never built a pool.
What should be applied to the concrete after it has cured in order to water proof it? Should I parge it with a specific type of mortar mix made for pool applications? Should I use a higher psi mix for pouring the walls? Is this a terrible idea?

Thank you all in advance for your advice and input; really enjoying reading through the forum.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,297
San Clemente, CA
A poured in place pool can be very strong especially if it's a monolithic pour. The form work will be very labor intensive and the mix needs to have a low water content. A quality Plasticizer and a vibrator is essential.

I don't see you saving much money by doing this yourself unless shotcrete prices are insane where you are. Shotcrete crews around here charge $45-50 per yard for pump and finishing... you'll probably spend that in lumber for forms.

There's a super high end builder here that prides himself on building bombproof shells. He forms and pours in place all of his pools which he admitted to me is 3-4 times the cost of shotcrete. I don't think he'll touch a pool for less than 250k though...

If your looking to build a high quality pool then go for it, but if your looking to save money you'll be better off looking elsewhere.
 
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jvaymd

New member
Jan 20, 2020
4
Cresaptown, MD
This is one of the things I was curious about - cost of me forming and pouring vs having a sub do gunite or shotcrete. I will reach out to some local pool builders to get a handle on their per/yard costs for shotcrete. Thanks!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
12,433
Evans, Georgia
I know you didn't mention this type of pool, but it seems one done up in the Northeast at times. They pour walls and then make the pool a vinyl lined pool. This might be one way for you to do much of the work and then get a liner company to come measure and install the liner.


Just a thought....

Maddie :flower:
 
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jimmythegreek

TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
1,733
Morris Cnty NJ
The most cost effective simple pool is a steel wall pool kit. Same excavation and work but no form work the panels are a retaining wall of sorts. I'm a GC as well with some pool experience from back in the day and got involved with pools years ago. I've done fiberglass and concrete pools but nothing is more DIY friendly than a kit. Lots of labor like any other but you can do any shape and style and very attractive price wise. Average plaster job subbed out is almost as much as the kit materials. Plenty of how to around and videos
 
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