Do It Yourself: How To Make Your Own Inground Swimming Pool

What will be involved in constructing your own pool for the average homeowner. The instructions are for custom-made vinyl walled pool.

Perhaps you always wanted to own a backyard pool, but were intimidated by the expense. Constructing your own pool will save you 50% of the total cost of hiring a contractor to do the job. Not only will you provide fun and fitness for the whole family, but you will also increase the value of your property by adding a pool. Be prepared for a huge mess in the backyard, but with some patience and dedication, you efforts will pay off.

1. Choose a design that reflects your taste, your needs and budget. Vinyl pools with cement bottoms are much more affordable and more do-able than concrete and tile. You should also check the exact location of the pool, exactly how deep the deep end should be, and how high you want the deck to be. These dimensions should first be worked out on paper before going out to your yard to mark the measurements with spikes and string. Check with your utility company to ensure that your digging will not disturb any power lines and obtain a building permit, if necessary.

2. Make an outline of the pool with spikes and string. Work out the dimensions several times before digging.

3. Begin digging the deep end. If you are following the instructions of a kit, it will probably tell you to dig 24" more than your outline to ensure that there is enough room for the walls. The instructions vary, however, according to your design.

4. After the excavation has been completed, install the panels. Make sure the surfaces where you were digging are completely flat or else the panels will be uneven. A rebar should be used to install the panels, and you can fasten them in place with spikes. Follow the string outline to make sure that you are working according to the dimensions you laid out.

5. The coping, or the top surface of the pool, should be cut according to the dimensions and installed. It is a good idea to purchase the best coping you can afford.

6. Prepare the bottom of the pool for the cement. First, make sure the soil is completely smooth. Then place strings on wooden spikes with 2" of space marked at the bottom to indicate the location of the cement floor. Dig out a space for the drain. The drain box should be 2" above ground level.

7. Install the plumbing lines. These should be at least 40 PVC and stamped with ASTM approval. There should be three plumbing lines: a) from the wall-line to the pool b) the bottom drain line c) the skimmer return line. The latter should be located at the deep end and downwind, since its function is to filter out debris from the pool. The plumbing lines should go through the wall braces for support.

8. Pour the footer concrete. This will connect the wall brace and the bottom of the wall.

9. Lay the cement. You will need to rent a cement mixer and use a large back of vermiculite and a 94 pound bag of cement along with 20 gallons of water for a medium-sized pool. Start at the deep end and work your way to the shallow end.

10. Install the vinyl pool liner. Make sure that the measurements of the liner are correct. Usually companies will custom- make you liner according to your design. Start at the deep end. You will see a place where you can hook the liner in the coping groove. Once you have hooked the liner into the top of the pool, smooth out the wrinkles. Leave the liner open at one side and insert a shop vacuum. This will smooth out the rest of the wrinkles and draw the liner tight.

11. Fill in the water. When there is 2" of water in the deep end, install the drain by screwing the bottom drain collar, cutting out the liner, and placing the drain box on top.

12. Add chlorine, munatic acid, and stabilizer.

13. Let the fun begin!

© High Speed Ventures 2011