This seems to be a simple plan.... (planning the new build)

Jun 30, 2020
12
North Carolina
...with a lot of work ahead... :)
Hello everyone,
Based on multiple readings and re-readings of posts/stories and experiences, this is my plan for the pool.
Any feedback, comments and advice is very welcome. This is my first (and probably only) pool.

- I plan for cinder block walls, liner and vermiculite + portland for the floor.

Phase I
- Dig a hole 17 x 10 x 4.1 (hoping for the pool to be 16x9 and ~ 3.5 ft deep.
- Build a concrete footer 12 inch wide 4 deep and the perimeter of the pool (is 4 inches deep enough for the footer?)
- Stack dry 3 rows of cinder blocks 6w x 8h x 16l (or should I use 8x8x16?)
- Add the rebar in the middle of each column and on top of the 3rd row all around
- Fill all the columns with concrete.
- continue with the other 2 rows leaving 4 cavities on the 4th row (light, 2 jets, 1 intake -- is this enough do I need more?)
- Continue with 6th row leaving one cavity for the skimmer.
- Fill all the cinder blocks with concrete and use the previously rebar to align the blocks

Phase II
- Build the floor (2 parts of coarse vermiculite and 1 of portland cement) -- using vermiculite will allow me to avoid hydro-static worries -- I think.
- Do I need to compact the ground professionally (or will one of those small stompers will be enough)
- Do I need a drain? I've seen a few pools specially on the smaller size that do not put it in..is that ok?
- Take exact measurements and order liner

Phase III
- Pipe, electric work, etc
- connect pump, filter, light
- complete decking around the pool etc

So, it was relatively easy to write this up (I know I need to walk the walk now) but does the plan make sense?....
The pool is less than 4500 gallons -- so I don't think I need to worry much about GPH for a pump -- even the sub $200 pumps can move 3000GPH

I will subcontract the digging and maybe electrical -- if I end up getting a 220v pump (but I doubt it) and I can do it, but I think they want a certified electrician.
I plan to buy a small concrete mixer ($150 at Hdepot) and then maybe sell it or give it away to the next builder.

Thanks so much for reading this and for any input provided
Happy 4th

hi @duraleigh hoping you can give me your opinion on my plan, I think this pool is very similar to the one your built -- much smaller of course-- . How thick was the footing in your pool?
 
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Msch99

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Jun 11, 2018
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In our area you can get concrete delivered nearly as cheap as bags. Worth pricing out for sure.
 

Snoobug

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Jun 2, 2020
220
Iowa
Pool Size
19500
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I'm very curious about the concrete pump. We did things out of order. We didn't know we wanted a pool until after we had 4k square feet of asphalt poured on our driveway/private road. Pool company says concrete trucks don't want to drive on it. Our build is next spring so we will have to go the pump route. I have no idea about the cost...
 

jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
I wouldnt do it like that. First I'd price out a plunge pool from a septic tank maker. Probably be less money than the materials you need and what's your labor worth . An excavator could walk it right in and dig the hole same day.
If you want to torment yourself and build it you dont need footers. Pour an 8" slab and leave pins up to grab the block. I wouldnt dry lay block ever. I'd ladder bar each row and vertical fill all block with grout and 24" space the rebar going up. It would be easier to just form the walls with plywood and pour it all one shot. Call around to line pump guys. It's on a trailer. My guy is 600 cash. Way cheaper for delivery and a pump. I'm sure people have done it the way you propose but I wouldnt. I've worked alot of concrete in my life I've seen weak builds fail I over engineer everything I do. If you plan on liner pool you could just use panels and be done in one day super easy and cheap
 
Jun 30, 2020
12
North Carolina
I wouldnt do it like that. First I'd price out a plunge pool from a septic tank maker. Probably be less money than the materials you need and what's your labor worth . An excavator could walk it right in and dig the hole same day.
If you want to torment yourself and build it you dont need footers. Pour an 8" slab and leave pins up to grab the block. I wouldnt dry lay block ever. I'd ladder bar each row and vertical fill all block with grout and 24" space the rebar going up. It would be easier to just form the walls with plywood and pour it all one shot. Call around to line pump guys. It's on a trailer. My guy is 600 cash. Way cheaper for delivery and a pump. I'm sure people have done it the way you propose but I wouldnt. I've worked alot of concrete in my life I've seen weak builds fail I over engineer everything I do. If you plan on liner pool you could just use panels and be done in one day super easy and cheap
Very interesting perspective on the septic tank. Thank you.
I have seen a few descriptions around TFP done the way I described (I know that does not mean they are done properly).
To check a bit more my understanding:
I thought vermiculate was better for a liner pool? (porous, so no hydrostatic pressure concern, ease on the feet)
8 inch pad and solid concrete walls with forms...how thick should the walls be?
why mortar and not concrete to fill the blocks (or to build the wall)? -- is it because of the easier to flow of the mortar?
I have done my fair share of concrete work in a DIY fashion (a pad and an overbuilt brick oven/Outdoor kitchen area) is your comment to weak builds failing due to poor mixing?
Use panels? as panels from a kit?

Thanks so much for your opinions and comments. I really value them.
As eager as I am to start doing it. I also want to make sure that I will not be throwing money into a hole (literally!!!)

Best regards.
 
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jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Sorry i didnt see you were talking liner pool I thought were were talking plaster pool. Dont bother with concrete just use wall panels faster and cheaper. You just pour a collar around bottom and your done. How deep do you want it? 48" panels are available would get you 43ish water depth
 
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Jun 30, 2020
12
North Carolina
Sorry i didnt see you were talking liner pool I thought were were talking plaster pool. Dont bother with concrete just use wall panels faster and cheaper. You just pour a collar around bottom and your done. How deep do you want it? 48" panels are available would get you 43ish water depth
To what kind of panels are you referring? --- as in a pool kit panels? do they sell them separated from the kit?
 

jimmythegreek

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Yup steel or polymer panels. When you look online you see kits but those are just put together from pieces. When I go pick up at supply house they are on pallets by length size. You can put anything you want together by panel sizes. The only thing you have to worry about is light location if you want a wet niche style and stairs. On small pools stair location is critical. I always prefer outside perimeter stairs on pools unless they're big. If you have the room full length stairs on the short side is really nice. You said 17x10 if you can do 19 or 20 x 10 you can use 3 ft full length for stairs. I would also price out a plunge pool I know nowadays they have companys that will deliver them ready to go plastered and all. I've seen one that was really nicely done by a septic tank maker. A small fiberglass drop in shell may be good option too they're pretty affordable. Gotta run some numbers and options and see where the material cost and labor value ends up. Any pool is a ton of work small or large. As a DIY you have hundreds of hours and time is money in the end.
 

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Jun 30, 2020
12
North Carolina
ahhH!!!...yes, every time I looked they came out as a kit....will check again. Thanks. Any recommendations?
I will be fine with outside stairs. I have seen some step-stairs that you put in the pool with small cushions to avoid damaging the liner....not the prettiest, but it does the job temporarily if needed.
I've been looking for plunge pool kits. Only found one, and they were ~ $9k (with very few options ) -- with $9K I easily build the pool I described above. -- without the deck.
One point is that since it is so small, and my water line is going to be above the pump, I was considering an AG pump (with saline system built line) but my conscience (wife) is telling me not to try be "DIY" with the stuff that will keep the pool clean and inviting..(pump,filter,salt)...and I think she's right.
Thanks for your thoughts, and if you have more and/or places with ideas like my I am trying to accomplish, please send them my way.
All the best.
 
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jimmythegreek

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Aug 10, 2017
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Plunge pool kit? I was talking about a drop off ready to go concrete tank....dig a hole and set it.
For wall panels just figure out how big you want it. Call up any online place and buy the panels you need. The wall panels and liner are well under 9k. My whole point is about the block. Theres no reason to bother with it for a liner pool. The original liner pools were pressure treated 2x4s amd composite plywood you are just decoupling the earth from the water. Little pools are almost as much work as big ones dont think it's easy and faster
 
Jun 30, 2020
12
North Carolina
Ok, here we go I finally started about a month ago.
pic 1- hole 20 x 14 x 4 -- with the intention for the pool to be 18X12X ~42 inches to the water line --- it is a grecian shaped pool
pic 2- Concrete floor poured 6 inch thick + rebar sticking out every 2 feet + mesh and rebar on the floor
pic 3- Section showing the horizontal rebar (I placed horizontal runs at the bottom, on the 3rd row and will place another on the 6th row -- the blocks are 7.5 inch x 6 = 45 inches
pic 4- Section of the wall being built -- using 6x8x16 cinder blocks added rebar to "almost" every other column
pic 5- Some of the blocks lined up after being notched. It was really easy with a circular saw and a masonry blade -- I did pour some water before cutting and wore a mask to avoid breathing all that dust.
pic 6- Another section the horizontal rebar
pic 7 - how it looked at of 10/23/20
I run out of blocks for the 6th course..... already ordered more for that and the steps


So far:
- Will have two skimmers and two returns (probably overkill for this pool size) but need two intakes and I do not want to do drains
- Setup the light niches -- plastic 5 watt LED from SR Smith -- those things are bright !!! no grounding/bonding required
- Rebar tied to bonding
- Water bonded via plate in skimmer
- placed about 17,000 lbs of concrete -- including the bottom
- The cinder blocks weigh about 7200 lbs
- I am using 1.5 inch solid pipes -- don't know why I don't trust the flex PVC too much yet.
- Will backfill with clay the first foot behind the wall and then run corrugated/perforated drain to fight water accumulation (I cannot go lower at the risk of not hitting the drain collector)
- After that will backfill with #57 gravel
- once the last course is set I will go and patch the rough edges with mortar
- Will be using 1/4 pool wall foam --- should I protect the bottom as well?
- Not sure what I am going to do for patio (concrete/pavers/composite) any ideas?

Ready for your comments, suggestions and valuable advise

best regards
Perico
 
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