Renovating 1958 Pool!

Knucklehead

LifeTime Supporter
May 28, 2013
22
Woodland, CA
My Grandfather built this pool in Northern California in 1958. It is on our farm and has served us wonderfully for the past 56 years. It was actually idle (emptied!) for around 7 years. There were small cracks that we ground grooves into applied caulking to and then plaster. We then used epoxy paint and it held for most of the last 3 summers. Each year around labor day the water starts to go down faster than evaporation. We empty it and do the same process. Ok... didn't really work. Below is what I've found out from old pictures and an exploratory dig into the shallow end.

1. The pool is 65' x 20', 9' deep in the deep end and probably 3.5' in the shallow end. The drain was covered many years ago. We have replaced all of the old galvanized pipe with PVC. New Pump. That is about it. The original 2 skimmers are intact and there is a "Vacuum port that sits about a foot or so under the level of the skimmers.
2. The deck is tied with rebar to the side of the pool. No expansion joint. The deck on one side is maybe 8 feet, the other side 20 feet. Step one is that I'm planning to cut an expansion joint into the deck so it is no longer attached to the pool.
3. There is a small crack that starts in the wall of the shallow end and goes the length of the pool, dissapating in the deep end.
4. We had considered jackhammering a 1' wide area around the crack and tieing into the existing rebar and repouring. We jackhammered an exploratory area and found there is not rebar in the floor, only wire mesh in 4" of concrete that is used in many driveways, etc...
5. There is original tile around the top of the pool, missing pieces. No Coping of any kind.

We had a consultant come out and this is what he recommended.
1. Cut the expansion joint in the deck, then tie into the existing rebar to "zipper" it.
2. After we found that there was only mesh and no rebar. He recommended to "guarantee a fix" would be to rebar and pour 4" concrete over the existing floor. Frankly, that sounds easier and sounds more reliable than the zipper.

Anyone have any input? Does that make sense? If so....

* Can we do the rebar and concrete pour right over the existing plaster? (Of course the paint needs to be sandblasted away.)
* What size rebar and what pattern?
* When we plaster over the floor, can we plaster to the existing plaster? Or do we have to plaster the whole pool?
* Or... is there another approach that is better?

I should have stated initially that we want to do most of this ourselves. And we would like to take as much of it in stages as we can. We really want to be sure of the water integrity before we go too much further. i.e. we'd like to plaster the floor, be sure of integrite and then finish the plaster and tile replacement.
 

RangerBob

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 19, 2014
555
Sanger, TX
I don't have any constructive input for you but how cool is that - your grandfather's pool from 1958 on a family farm. So neat. I hope we can watch the progress and see photos as you go along. -Karen
 

Glock

Well-known member
Jun 3, 2012
866
Mesquite, Texas
That is one big pool! Wow! I have a question though. Being an older pool isn't there the slightest possibility you are going to get into it only to find it not structurally sound enough to renovate? I ask because I have a new home and when they built it I watched every step. My old house sold to a developer who tore it down. I was there for that process too. I noticed differences in the construction and was amazed at how much progress we have made in the way we build homes, and yes sometimes reverse progress. Do you worry about digging into it and not being able to salvage it?
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
While it isn't nice your renovation requires a building permit. And the building permit will probably require an engineer to sign it off. If you go to the two or three engineers in California that just do pools. That shouldn't cost more than $300 or so. Pool Engineering is one of them. The engineering drawings you get specify what size rebar and how to place it. i.e. #3 on 12" centers in most of the pool and 8" in the deep end. The engineering drawings will also contain specs on how to do the coping and how to handle the deck pool interface.

Shop around I expect you will find Gunite and shotcrete at comparable pricing to concrete.

You should probably chip out the plaster so you will have a good cold joint. You may want to take the pool edge down so the deck coping overlaps. That usually gives you a better joint that doesn't force two surfaces together.

You should use gunite or shotcrete instead of normal cement. Its significantly stronger.

That is a really fine pool for 1958. I might just have to take a ride over the cause way and go swimming.

The Sacramento pool business has never really recovered from the recession so finding a gunite co or plasterer who will work with you on price in the winter should be possible.
 

Knucklehead

LifeTime Supporter
May 28, 2013
22
Woodland, CA
FYI: To post more/larger pictures, you either need to raise your storage allotment by Becoming a TFP Supporter or follow the How To Post Pictures tutorial.
Jblizzle, not sure what you are saying. Did I post my photo incorrectly, is it too large? Or are you saying if I want to post anymore pics I will need to make the adjustments to my account accordingly.

- - - Updated - - -

Being an older pool isn't there the slightest possibility you are going to get into it only to find it not structurally sound enough to renovate?
The situation is that it leaks at the end of every year (last 3 years) after we have peformed minor repairs. That won't work long term. If we can't renovate it we'll either have to rip it out or replace it. Being that my Grandfather built it and it has done so well for the past 56 years, it does have some sentimental value. So we want to preserve it as long as we can.

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks Gwegan! Good stuff. It sounds like you are in the industry!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
Sorry, I was just giving you a preemptive heads up that if you continue to try to attach pictures as you did this one, you will quickly run into a space problem. No problem with what you did, but basic members are very limited.

While it would likely approach the cost of an entirely new pool, I would think you might be able to have a new gunite shell with rebar installed on the inside of the existing structure.
 

Knucklehead

LifeTime Supporter
May 28, 2013
22
Woodland, CA
No need to be sorry! I was honestly just looking for clarification. So, you are saying instead of just doing the bottom, do the sides as well? I think that would be the only difference.
 

dumbcluck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 3, 2013
731
long beach, CA
When I redid my pool after being filled with dirt and trees for 20 years it was recommended to me by pool engineers to use the existing shell and basically pour a new one inside of it. We didn't take that route. Instead we just boxed in the holes with new rebar and reshot with shotcrete. We had some fairly large holes in the bottom for drainage.
However I think you mentioned that there wasn't any rebar in the bottom which may be the determining factor here. If you did cage and reshoot the bottom it would seem logical to do the walls as well essentially having a brand new pool. It seems big enough to absorb a new shell. If you have rebar in the walls and want to keep them that is also doable.
I would consider the end product when factoring cost. New pool or half new pool. Either way its really still grandpas pool.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
That is what I was thinking, shooting any entirely new shell inside. In that process, you could add benches, tanning shelves, likely even make it free-form instead of rectangular if so desired. BUT, the costs are likely to be approaching nearly that of a new build (minus the hole digging and some of the plumbing, which will still need to be extended).

Anything is possible with enough cash ;)
 

Knucklehead

LifeTime Supporter
May 28, 2013
22
Woodland, CA
Yes, that is a big factor... cost. We have photos of when the pool was poured in 1958. There is rebar in the sides. There is no rebar in the shallow end. But there is that mesh that is frequently used on driveways. The next step is for us to jack hammer a section out of the bottom of the pool to run a drain. That will give us a good idea of what we ended up with in the deep end. The corners are all pretty square. I was thinking about rounding the bottom corners when we do this. We are also considering removing the floor of the shallow end and reguniting, then pour over the existing floor of the deep end.
 

dumbcluck

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 3, 2013
731
long beach, CA
If you pour over the deep end you can saw cut the walls for the main drain. No need to jackhammer you need to tie new rebar into old when patching. And bond wire.
Should be a fun project. No rush. Take your time and do it right.
Good luck.
Oh and you can probably round the corners off when plastering. It will be easier to clean that way.
Check with somebody more knowledgable to be sure.
 

Knucklehead

LifeTime Supporter
May 28, 2013
22
Woodland, CA
Well, we have been maintaining well without one. We thought it would be better for water circulation when the pump ran and cut down on the vacuuming. We frankly don't know any better! Since we were doing the rest of the work... Is this a waste of effort?
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
I'd go figure out what you have and have a few PB come by and give you some bids. Ask them a bunch of questions and get some idea's. Then if you decide to do it yourself you can have the benefit of their knowledge.
 

Knucklehead

LifeTime Supporter
May 28, 2013
22
Woodland, CA
Sorry... what is PB? I think you are recommending the path we've been taking. We had one Pool Company come out to discuss our project with us. He has also answered some questions we've had. I was going to pay him a fee for his consultation and try to do most of it ourselves. Plastering is one thing I'm a little concerned about taking on. My brother works construction. He thinks we should give it a go when we get there. We have family to call on when we get to the labor intensive parts. I think most if would be labor intensive!