How Long Does It Take to Build an Inground Pool?

Process of Building An Inground Pool

A backyard swimming pool is an attractive addition to any property. If you are considering the addition of a pool to your yard, it can be helpful to learn how long it takes to build an inground pool. This information will help you manage your expectations for when construction will begin and end, as well as provide you with an estimate for the total cost of your pool.

So, how long does it take to build an inground pool? Build time for in-ground pools can vary depending upon many factors, including the location of the pool and its size. According to experts, most backyard pools take up to six weeks to build. However, they may take longer if serious complications arise.

Keep reading for a step by step process:

Planning Time: 1 Day

The first thing that has to be done when building an in-ground pool is to provide the plans and relevant permits to the building department. This will allow you to legally build an in-ground pool on your property. It allows for proper inspections throughout the process of the construction.

Installation Time: 1 Day

You must hire a contractor who can do all parts of construction, including digging and installing the pool. This ensures all parts of the pool will be properly installed. The excavation process can take several days because it is important to maintain a level grade around and under the pool.

Concrete Time: 1 Day

The next step is building the form for the concrete wall that will surround the pool. A form is a mold for the concrete and can easily be built in one day. Knowing how long it takes to build an inground pool will ensure that your project runs smoothly and efficiently.

Length of Time to Build a Pool

On average, an inground pool can be built in as little as three weeks. This estimate is dependent on the size and complexity of the project.

The average time that it takes to construct a custom-shaped swimming pool has been reported to range from 2 weeks to 4 weeks, depending on the complexity of design and features.

If you are a repeat customer planning to use your existing contractor, there may be a faster turnaround time since project materials will already be on site.

Swimming Pool Construction Time Factors

Swimming pool construction can range from a couple of days to several months. The amount of time it takes is contingent upon factors such as size, shape, and features.

As you know, the larger and more intricate the pool is, the longer it will take to build. However; thanks to modern innovations in pool design and manufacturing (namely materials like gunite), pools can be built quickly and efficiently.

Construction of a concrete in-ground pool typically spans several weeks depending upon its size and the scope of work. The time for this project can range from 2 to 4 weeks.

Breakdown of Steps to Build An Inground Pool

Below we have listed the basic steps from a builder when building an in-ground pool.

1. Plans and Permits

Before beginning any work, we obtain the complete set of plans and permits from you (the homeowner). We make copies for our job file. These are kept at the job site.

We then submit all plans and permits to the local city and county government, depending on where your pool is located. It varies from one place to the next as to what is required for permits.

2. Excavate and Determine Grade

We remove all trees, bushes, roots, and other obstructions from a predetermined area. The area is measured and the bottom of the excavation leveled with wood shims or a laser if available.

We then determine grade around the entire perimeter to ensure that we have proper drainage away from the excavation. This is accomplished by digging small ditches as needed to correct the grade to the desired fall.

3. Build Forms

With grades finished, we are ready to begin building the forms for the inside of your pool. We start with a 2″x6″ wood fence around the entire excavation.

We attach these boards by screwing them to metal T-brackets which are attached at each corner. We then screw these boards to metal stakes which are driven into the ground.

Using our trencher, we trencher out 2″ deep trenches along the inside perimeter of the fence (to allow for decking) and also up to each end where the deck will be poured (for columns).

4. Pour Walls, Columns, and Decks

Once the forms are finished, we pour your pool’s walls, columns, and deck as per the blueprints. Most pools use a standard 8″ block wall on the inside of the fence to which we tie all plumbing, electrical, and filter equipment.

In some cases where space is limited, we will build a 4″ block wall. We also pour columns on the inside of the pool where it is needed to support the decking.

5. Install Rebar

If your pool has any penetrating decks or roads that go into the ground, we install rebar here for strength and to hold up the concrete. If no decks are planned, then no rebar is needed.

6. Pour Concrete

After the forms are finished and all rebar is in place, we pour the concrete around your pool walls. This takes 2-3 days to cure before we can do any further work.

7. Reinforce Deck

Once the walls are fully cured, we remove the forms and install more 2″x6″ boards across the top of your excavation where needed for strength.

The next step is to reinforce the decking with rebar or rod iron if it needs support. This can be tricky on decks that are built around trees, but we have some knowledge on how to do this without harming your trees.

Once the deck is poured, we will work with you to choose a plant and shrub layout if needed.

8. Install Coping

We pour concrete around your pool walls on top of the forms for coping (the blue/grey material at the edge of your pool). We use special flanges which attach to metal rods driven into the ground.

9. Install Underlayment

We install geotextile drainage fabric under your coping stones to prevent fine soil from clogging up the spaces between your stones. We also place this material on top of the deck where it is not covered by tiles or coping stones.

We then install your tiles or coping stones on top of this material. The underlayment protects the soil from being eroded by water running off the deck and also prevents small objects from entering the pool from the deck.

10. Build Splash Walls

We build special concrete wall sections both at the deep end and shallow end of the pool. These create a small water feature in your pool which also prevents people from walking out over the deep end too far.

The concrete is hand sculpted from behind to create a waterfall effect, and it can be painted or tiled if desired. It’s quite nice when done properly.

11. Install Diving Board

If we are installing a diving board, we will build up your deck where the diving board is to be located using special wood beams and forms. We then pour concrete around it and allow time for curing.

12. Install Water Features

We install all the necessary plumbing and electrical wiring required for your pool’s water features; waterfalls, fountains, lights, pumps, and other electrical devices. We build special concrete boxes for these water features both in the ground and on the pool deck.

13. Clean Up

Finally, we clean up your property by removing all forms and debris. We also move any topsoil or existing grass back to where it was (or return it to the company we got it from) and groom your lawn for the final appearance.

Summary

Here’s a quick summary of the process of building an inground pool:

Time Requirements

The average pool construction time has been reported as approximately 3 weeks, but it depends on the size and complexity of the project. Factors such as size, design, and features all affect how long a pool project takes to complete.

As you know, larger and more intricate pools can take longer to build. Fortunately, modern innovations in pool materials/designs have made it possible for contractors to build them faster and more efficiently.

Five weeks is the average construction time on a custom-shaped swimming pool of any size or design. It can take up to 4 months on a large project that requires a deep excavation and a new pool shell.

It is helpful to know that building a new inground pool varies drastically by many factors. Keep these in mind if you or your family is looking to make a new addition to your home.

Permit Requirements

Before beginning the construction process, you will need to secure a permit from the city in which you live. Your design plans will be reviewed by local officials, and once they have been approved, the building can begin.

If there are any changes to the plans following a review of a permit application, it may be necessary for you to submit a new application, which will delay the process.

It is also possible that your property does not meet all of the requirements for an inground pool to be built at that location, and you may need to move the proposed building site.

Construction Process

If your design plans are in order and meet all local specifications, construction can begin with excavation. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove 4 inches of topsoil to get down to the type of hard-packed earth that is needed for proper drainage.

A small backyard pool can take anywhere between four and six weeks to complete, while larger pools may require up to eight weeks or more of construction time.

Once the excavation work has been completed, concrete will need to harden for about 48 hours before the pool shell can be formed and poured.

The concrete must be set completely, which typically takes about 28 days. Once that has been completed, an acid stain or colorant is applied to the inside of the pool to create a solid color throughout the structure.

Tile Edge and Coping Process

The final step of the pool construction process is adding the tile edge and coping. Tile will be applied along all of the surfaces that meet water, including the top edge of the walls and floor of the pool, as well as around the actual pool drain.

The work required for this step can take anywhere from a single day to a couple of weeks, depending on how detailed the tile work is.

We hope this information will be helpful as you plan to build your new inground pool!

Matt McWilliams

Hi there! My name is Matt. I've been a pool owner for over 15 years. I've owned a variety of above ground and in-ground pools. I've also had the pleasure of working with some swimming pool experts over the years. I enjoy writing about everything related to your swimming pool, pool care and products. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming in the pool and watching sports on our porch.

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