The dig has begun

Jun 12, 2012
19
0
Greensboro NC
#1
Ground is broken for our new 30' pool. I was able to get the level within a few inches with the machine and will finish the final level by hand using a laser. Haven't decided if I will just back fill or do some type of retaining wall. I don't like the idea of the pool being buried, but seems to work out for many here. Our pool should arrive in a few days and then on with the project.
This forum has been a lot of help, thanks.
 

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Jun 12, 2012
19
0
Greensboro NC
#3
After shopping for ever, I ordered the Quest model from the poolfactoryonline. Was basically the same model as the local pool store, but half price. I try to support my local business's, but the price difference was too much. This pool has the big resin tops and resin bottom and is rated semi-inground and will be an ongoing project with a deck eventually.
 
Jun 12, 2012
19
0
Greensboro NC
#4
OK, have tried to do the final level in this red clay and its a nightmare. When its dry, its hard as concrete, but when wet it like mush and soft. This cant be a good base for a pool. Anyone have advice for building on clay, maybe using crushed stone on top?
 

cramar

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Nov 10, 2010
1,143
0
Sault Ontario
#5
The clay won't be the pool base, the clay will be the base for the pool base, so it's actually a very good thing as it provides a nice hard foundation for the pool base. Once the clay is level you'll need to order something in the neighbourhood of 3 yards of "pool sand" (this material can vary).
My site has a healthy level of clay, it got quite hard after being exposed for several days, put 2" of sand base down and no problems.

Maybe you can try watering it a bit, wait for it to dry a bit and then try levelling, repeat as needed (even though that sounds like a pain).
Try to push past it, this is the most crucial part of your build!

Good luck.
 

msgtdan

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2011
653
0
SW MO
#6
I hired a backhoe to get to rough level (+/- 6"), I then rented a dingo with a harley rake to grind down the high side. I didn't quite get finished when a hydraulic hose broke, so now I'm working with a pickaxe, shovel and wheel barrow. The harley rake was working pretty good in the clay, limestone and flint I have around here. It would take down about 3/4" per pass and then I'd switch to the bucket to remove the loose stuff.
 

techguy

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TFP Expert
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
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55
Antelope, CA
#7
I hired a guy to come in and level my clay back yard. He was here with his bobcat and one help. He was done in less than 3 hours and it was about $600. He "leveled down" to the lowest point and piled the extra dirt on the other side of my yard. If you do hire it out, do not let them do a cut and fill leveling. The "fill" side will sink once you get your pool on it and you could have a collapse and flood situation.

I understand about the clay getting hard. Here, during the summer, a rototiller will bounce around the hard surface and has no chance of getting traction or any deeper than about 3 inches. If I rent the 900 pound Baretto tiller, and soak the ground for two days-- two days before digging, I can get down a foot or two.
 
Jun 12, 2012
19
0
Greensboro NC
#8
Thanks for the replys. I guess I am just concerned that it will sink if the ground gets wet. I am pretty close with level and was trying to get the last inch or two. I wet it down with a sprinkler and the ground turned into a sticky mess. Maybe I used too much water. Will the ground typically get wet under a pool after its up? Would a inch or two base of rock screenings, compacted be worth it?
 

x2rider

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 19, 2011
212
0
Bartlesville, OK
#9
techguy said:
If you do hire it out, do not let them do a cut and fill leveling. The "fill" side will sink once you get your pool on it and you could have a collapse and flood situation.
Our last 2 agps were cut and fill done by the same guy and he had to do 12" on one and at least that on our second one with no problems, in fact we just drove by our old house today and the pool is still up. We did have to let it set for a few days to dry out.
 
Jun 12, 2012
19
0
Greensboro NC
#11
Re: The dig has begun-Update

Well after alot of work, the walls are up and spreading sand is under way. Is there anything easy about this? The 100 foot run of power is done and working. The walls were leveled with a laser and are within an 1/8th inch. Cant say the same about the sand, but i will do my best. Are there any tricks to getting the sand smooth?
All in all this has been a very difficult project, but will be rewarding in the end.
 

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cramar

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Nov 10, 2010
1,143
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Sault Ontario
#12
Is there anything easy about this? Not the construction part - even worse if you've got a deck planned....but it will be all worth it when your kids are in there having an awesome time, trust me!!!
Don't get too worried about the leveling the sand, try to get as good as possible but odds are your going to have some unevenness to the sand base, mine does, I personally don't give it much concern that it's not perfect.

Take satisfaction in knowing that your doing everything properly, it will pay off with a product that will last a long time.

:goodjob:
 

tick221

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2011
141
0
#13
I spent a good amount of time raking my sand to try and get it level. I double tamped it by hand and then brushed the whole area over with a broom so that there were no ridges from the tamping. I wet it down repeatedly and installed my liner guard. All that prep went out the window when I installed the liner LOL :mrgreen:

When your working the liner and making sure your seams are where they need to be you will pretty much destroy your nice smooth floor. What I'm trying to say is don't stress over it, you will have some lumps and divots on your floor. I have a couple high spots and some low spots but I don't see a way to get the floor absolutely smooth using sand as a base.

Your getting close, good job on the walls 1/8th of an inch is impressive :cheers:
 
Jun 12, 2012
19
0
Greensboro NC
#14
I was going to try to set the liner from outside. I saw a video of it done with a broom so I figured I give it a shot and keep the foot prints to a minimum. I will build a deck, but that will be a picnic compared to this and i would much rather work with wood than this nasty clay. I still have a battle to go as I need to dig out a section of ground for the filter and pump. Also the bonding needs to be done and the inspector is making me put an additional wire around the top of the pool, bolted to every top plate and then to the bottom wire. I think that's a little ridiculous, but its his call. Maybe I should buy stock in Home Depot. If all goes well, hopefully we should be wet by the weekend.
 

msgtdan

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2011
653
0
SW MO
#16
I've seen that video as well and that's how I plan to try to do mine. I've also seen a video where they worked from inside with large pieces of cardboard taped to their shoes to act like snowshoes and reduce the divots.
 
Jun 12, 2012
19
0
Greensboro NC
#17
Ive been doing the cardboard shuffle all day. It works but you have to walk carefully or the edges can dig in. I would recommend foam instead, but I didn't have any and just want to finish this.