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Old 04-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #1
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The Ultimate DIY Project - A Pool!


Hey Everyone,
So this summer will be the summer! My wife and I are planning to do most of the landscaping in our backyard. After talking to a couple of landscapers, and seeing the type of money being asked, we have officially decided it to do it ourselves.

The backyard will consists of 6 main parts:

1. Pool (fiberglass, approx. 10'x20')
2. Paver Patio
3. Deck (surrounding the pool)
4. Shed/Pool House (approx. 10'x10')
5. Gazebo (approx. 10'x10')
6. Outdoor Kitchen (http://www.eldoradostone.com/outdoor/gallery.html)

A few things. The pool will sit approximately 10 to 12 inches above grade, where it will sit level with the deck. The decking material will be composite, sitting atop a pressure treated skeleton.

The paver patio will cover about 1/4-1/3 of the backyard and house the outdoor kitchen which will be covered by the gazebo.

The shed/pool house is pretty standard, and will be built atop a concrete slab.

Any ideas, opinions, things I should worry about?

I'm going to be renting a 48" excavator which can dig 6' deep. To be honest, I'm actually really excited for this part.

I'm hoping for this to all start in the next two months or so, and I will happily update this thread with pictures as we go along!

For now, please see a rough, rough layout of what the backyard will look like. Hopefully.


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Old 04-26-2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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The Ultimate DIY Project - A Pool!


They are popular elsewhere in the World but really just catching on in the US but look into natural pools. They tend to be very low maintenance, use essentially no chemicals but have safe water and they look great. Check your library for books or explore online. They have their own ecosystems too which seem cool. I wonder if you could get a green credit for putting one in?

I used to design a lot of black bottom gunite pools for people. They cut way down on heating, chemicals and maintenance. Do fiberglass ones come in black?

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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I would check to make sure the pool can extend above grade. I'm not sure how much water weight the fiberglass can hold back without some earth on the other side.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:57 PM   #4
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They are popular elsewhere in the World but really just catching on in the US but look into natural pools. They tend to be very low maintenance, use essentially no chemicals but have safe water and they look great. Check your library for books or explore online. They have their own ecosystems too which seem cool. I wonder if you could get a green credit for putting one in?

I used to design a lot of black bottom gunite pools for people. They cut way down on heating, chemicals and maintenance. Do fiberglass ones come in black?
Interesting, I have no idea what these natural pools are, but I will definitely do some research.

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I would check to make sure the pool can extend above grade. I'm not sure how much water weight the fiberglass can hold back without some earth on the other side.
I read online somewhere that the top of the fiberglass pool cannot exceed 18" above grade. I will have to look into this one a bit more though.

The fiberglass pool guy said that if I slope earth up towards the lip of the pool from the 10 to 12 inches below grade, that it should be fine. I should be able to do this and still have the deck sit flush with the top of the pool.
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
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The Ultimate DIY Project - A Pool!


Here is one starting point. There are others online but you will have to dig a bit. I remember seeing a beautiful book on natural pools at the library a few years ago and a lot of them were designed by a firm in Colorado as I remember but do not hold me to that.

http://www.bionovanaturalpools.com/

I also remember public natural pools in Europe using copper plates over which water flowed for some of the dangerous microbe killoff. Doubt it necessary for a home pool though.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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The Ultimate DIY Project - A Pool!


I am psyched to watch your progress on here.. sounds exciting and you are definately going to sweat some pounds off this summer at the same time!!

Around here, I always hear ads for Miss-Utility... essentially checking for underground stuff before you dig.. seems obvious, but worth repeating
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:48 AM   #7
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The Ultimate DIY Project - A Pool!


Okay guys, so the pool has been chosen. Digging is planned for Saturday June 11th! I'll be renting a 3.5 foot wide mini excavator that can dig up to 6 feet deep.

Now I'm going through the process of organizing deliveries, rental equipment and getting all the proper permits, locations of underground utilities, etc.

I'll take pictures soon of the backyard. For now, here is a picture of the pool we'll be getting (but no water feature).



It's 12' x 19', should be a perfect fit.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:18 PM   #8
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The Ultimate DIY Project - A Pool!


Okay folks, we are getting closer to the dig date! Met with the pool guy on Tuesday to finalize everything.

Scheduled day to break ground is Monday June 13th. The pool permit is in hand and we are ready!

Will be taking many pictures to add to this thread, here is one of what the backyard should look like when finished. Odds are we'll change a few things around, but the pool location will stay the same.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:32 PM   #9
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Awesome. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Just curious what software did you use to make the picture?
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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"The pool will sit approximately 10 to 12 inches above grade, where it will sit level with the deck. The decking material will be composite, sitting atop a pressure treated skeleton."

What is the advantage of this? It seems like you would want an inground pool at grade. In-grounds aren't done very much around here unless you live out in the country. They raise property taxes. The above ground pools do not.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #11
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Awesome. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Just curious what software did you use to make the picture?
Thanks. I used Google Sketchup. Free download.

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"The pool will sit approximately 10 to 12 inches above grade, where it will sit level with the deck. The decking material will be composite, sitting atop a pressure treated skeleton."

What is the advantage of this? It seems like you would want an inground pool at grade. In-grounds aren't done very much around here unless you live out in the country. They raise property taxes. The above ground pools do not.
Only reason I would do this is so that the decking can be level with the top of the pool. We are toying with the idea of putting a paver patio around the pool instead, so it may be level with the grade. We'll see.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:03 AM   #12
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The Ultimate DIY Project - A Pool!


I would not want my pool on grade unless you can guarantee that groundwater from heavy rains etc couldn't run into the pool. That is a mess you don't want to deal with, trust me.
Before you start pouring concrete or placing pavers or other decking, think about your electrical wiring (low and house voltage) and wiring for speakers (you'll want music at some point out there). Much easier to install all of that or just empty conduit runs for future use. Also, same for gas line for pool heater and/or gas grill.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:40 AM   #13
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Good point Bob. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:02 PM   #14
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Any fencing requirements to deal with?
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #15
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Any fencing requirements to deal with?
Yup, funny you should ask. My neighbour is also putting a pool in (having someone do it for him though), and this guy is by the books, so he has gotten information on all the codes surrounding the issue.

Fencing has to be a minimum of 6' high and can have no horizontal slats or foot holes that kids can use to climb. It makes sense. Actually the fence is being put in this weekend, they already started digging. I subbed out the fence because I really don't have time nor the energy to do the fence.

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