Building A Pool
Building a pool with Waterscapes Pools involves two phases, the pool purchase and pool building process. These are outlined below in detail.
After you contact Waterscapes Pools & Spas, our designer will set up an appointment to meet with you to go over your ideal pool. We will gather detailed information from you to understand what you are trying to accomplish. What will the primary use for your pool be? To exercise? A place to play for the kids? A place to relax and de-stress? Whatever the reason, we will carefully listen and transform your backyard into your dream. There’s no stone left unturned when taking your design into consideration. At this meeting, you will be able to see your new pool before your eyes. We use advanced 3D virtual design software that allows you to experience the look and sound of your new swimming pool before one shovel of dirt is ever moved. At this point in the process, you can add features and make any changes you feel will make this project exactly as you imagined. After you have approved the final design of your pool and made sure that all of the components of your pool are in the design and contract, a detailed set of plans will then be created from which your pool will be constructed.
An outline of your pool will be drawn out with marking paint on the ground to show the position and shape of your pool, as per plans. After the shape is drawn, then wooden stakes will be driven in to the ground to support the wood that will form the rigid outline of your pool. All straight walls will have solid wood forms and all radius and curves will have flexible wood as an outline. They are there to guide us through the rest of the construction process and are important that they are not tampered with. Your pool height will be determined with the use of a grade laser, so you can be assured the height of the pool flows with the house. You will now want to get ready for the excavation process. With any major construction process, you will have heavy equipment making numerous trips into your backyard.
The next step in the construction of your new pool is the excavation: a process that is exciting and the first look at the depth of your new pool. An excavation crew carefully digs, forms and hand-trims your pool in precise accordance with every detail of your swimming pool design specifications.
The excavation process usually takes one day; however, it may take longer depending on the soil conditions as well as unexpected weather delays. You will note the wooden forms around your swimming pool are not the exact dimension of your finished swimming pool.
They will be approximately six inches narrower all the way around, thus leaving six inches of concrete to conclude the overall dimensions per the plans. This dimension varies again if the spa gets double bull-nose coping, or if travertine is chosen for the deck material. The majority of dirt from the excavation process will be removed the day of the excavation. Some dirt will remain, as we will use this for other phases of the construction.
Next, a steel crew forms a rigid, contoured-grid of reinforcing steel designed by our engineer, to create the backbone of your swimming pool. You will see bars crossing one another for the utmost in reinforcement. Notice the tie wires at every other intersection, they tie the steel together forming a continuous bond. All of the steel is electrically grounded and that will be noticed by the copper bonding wires and clamps.
There will be a minimum of five bonding points on your pool. You will also notice that there are blocks, which are used as spacers in between the steel and the ground soil. This helps to hold up the steel above the soil, so that the steel will end up fully encased and surrounded by the gunite.
When the steel is finished it will appear like the steps are missing. Don’t be alarmed; the steps will be shot in at the next stage, which is gunite, or also called dry-mix shotcrete. Please be advised, that when inspecting the progress of your pool, the steel is sharp. So please take caution and do not enter the construction area.
The next step of your pool construction is the application of the gunite. Gunite is a version of a process known as shotcrete, where concrete is pneumatically applied with a pressured air. The velocity of the application allows the concrete to stick to the walls. Technicians will skillfully shoot the gunite around your pool’s steel reinforcement grid with a powerful hose and finish the concrete by the use of a hand trowel. After your gunite has been completed, it will need a couple of days to cure before our next step.
Your pool is now ready to be plumbed. We will use “Schedule 40” PVC pipe. All pipe connections are solidly glued and the entire plumbing system is hydrostatically pressure tested. As with every other stage of your new pool, the plumbing is done in accordance with your pool design specifications and we ensure the plumbing meets our rigid standards of quality and design.
The plumbing crew will dig a trench around the pool where the suction and return lines will be placed. This trench will lead to the equipment location, marked on your print, where the pump, filter, chlorinator, etc. will be installed. After all the plumbing lines have been installed and inspections passed, the trench will be filled in with dirt, compacted and now ready for the next stage of the construction process.
Next, the outline of your decking is formed around the perimeter of your new pool. There are two choices for your deck foundation, one is a concrete a deck and the other a concrete or stone paver. Both types of decks will be compacted, treated for termites near the house, and have reinforcing steel placed in the footers and electrically grounded.
The concrete deck is a “cantilever-formed” deck which overhangs the interior perimeter of your pool to provide the swimmer with a non-skid safety edge. The procedure will begin with the crew forming the deck out of wood forms and placing reinforcing steel bars in the footing. The wood forms will be nailed in place and are not easily moved. The deck is usually formed in one day; the soil compacted and then treated with pesticide for termites. All of the steel is bonded and that will be apparent by the copper bonding wires and clamps.
Usually the next day, if not the same day, the deck is ready for inspection and will be poured shortly there after. The deck is given seven days to cure before applying the deck finish. The deck finish is the next step after installing the tile, if you have not chosen pavers or travertine deck material. If pavers or travertine are chosen, just a concrete footing will then be poured around the perimeter of the deck. This is also a step in the construction process that comes after the plumbing and has the same structural steel reinforcement as a concrete deck along the footing.
The concrete footing is poured to allow for the installation and structural security for the screen cage, while also providing continuous design curvature from the pool perimeter to raised areas above the normal deck. After the footing is poured, the “coping/bull-nose” paver or travertine will then be installed around the perimeter of the pool shell. During most construction schedules, the actual deck finish or brick pavers and/or travertine will not be installed until the house has been painted
The next step in the construction process is the installation of your pool tile. The weather resistant tile will be hand-laid and carefully grouted around the waterline of your pool by a skilled craftsperson. The tiling process should take approximately 1 to 2 days to complete depending on the size and complexity of the job.
Acrylic Deck Topping:
Once the deck as cured, the acrylic topping crew will begin to apply the texture and primer coat. They begin by taping off all the areas, where the house and pool tile around the deck meet, to prevent texture splatter and paint from getting on them. Do not be alarmed after the primer coat has been applied and does not match your selection or does not appear to be put on thick enough. This is only a primer coat and there is still a final coat yet to come.
Once the deck stage of construction has been completed, the screen measurements will be taken to begin the fabrication of the screen cage. The screen sections are fabricated off-site, but then delivered by truck to the job site for assembly and installation. The installation usually only takes about one day, however, will vary depending on size of job and complexity. It begins with the installation of the gutters and then the screen installation following right after.
Child Safety Fence/Alarms:
After the cage is installed, the child safety fence is installed in accordance with the Florida Building Code. The child safety fence is a removable mesh pool fence designed specifically to provide a safety barrier around residential swimming pools for toddlers and young children. The fence is installed in sections to provide convenience for easy removal when in use by adults, supervising children, and reinstallation by you, the homeowner.
Pool Pump and Equipment:
Prior to the interior finish being applied to the pool, our licensed-professional electrical and plumbing contractors carefully assemble the pool equipment and make all necessary electrical connections. The lights are installed, the pumps are wired and electrical breakers installed. Waterscapes Pools & Spas will contact the municipality for all inspections.
Now that your pool has passed the building safety inspections up to this point, an experienced surfacing crew applies the pool interior surface you have selected. Your interior finish will be installed in a two-day process; the first day the pool will be cleaned of any loose debris, a bonding material will be installed around all fittings, and prepped for the finish coat. The second day the crew will return to install the interior finish.
A Waterscapes Pools & Spas Trade Partner will be out to start the pool up the day that it is filled with water. The start-up process takes up to 28 days to chemically balance the water. During at least half of this time, the pool will be running for 24 hours a day, every day.
Final Deck Clean:
Now that the pool is up and running, it’s now time to clean the deck. If a concrete deck is chosen, the same crew that did the initial texture and primer coat will return to apply the final coat of paint. This is a two day process; one to wash and the other to apply the last coat of paint. If a paver/travertine deck is chosen, then the deck will be washed with a high pressure hose. The construction of your new pool is now complete!
When you're 100% satisfied, a pool service technician will set up your pool orientation, or "Pool School." You will learn all the functions of your new pool and how to properly care for it.