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Construction Process


Curious about how pools are constructed? In this article we will discuss the process we go through to get your pool from an idea to reality.

Step – by – Step Overview

EXCAVATION
This is the big day, so don’t miss it! That hole in the ground is about to begin. Don’t forget what we said earlier about your having to approve, in writing, the layout of your pool and pool equipment location.
Now’s the time, too, to caution you about two things:
1. don’t let anyone touch or move the stakes, strings or other markers forming the layout of your pool. These markers are critical to the shape, elevation and placement of the pool.
2. once the hole is dug, keep your distance from it, and be especially mindful that your children remain safely away. The sides may have a tendency to crumble and could present a safety hazard unless you’re vigilant.
Our experienced excavators will take caution to minimize demolition, but by necessity, there will be some damage to any existing grass, shrubs etc. that are in the path of the equipment. We usually use rubber tired “Bobcats” to do the digging, but even soft tires will make a pathway between pool and dump truck and could leave black marks on the driveway. If you have any favorite plants that you want to save, be sure to arrange for their transplanting before the dig date.
Please turn off and permanently disable sprinkler zones in the pool dig access and construction areas, one-week prior to excavation or if you are in a new tract, saturate the pool area. These actions will reduce the damage of existing landscape, reduce dust and generally improve the conditions for construction.

Some areas that need to be identified that Pacific Paradise Pools cannot control include:
EASEMENTS – UNIDENTIFIED PROPERTY LINES – UTILITY LINES OR OTHER UNKNOWN OBJECTS BELOW THE GROUND SURFACE. (We will use DIG ALERT and Cable Locator Service to identify underground utility lines but you are responsible for sprinkler lines or other underground lines). If there is a potential problem, we need to know about it before beginning the excavation.
The excavation process will usually be accomplished in one - two days, depending on how much demolition is required before digging.
Projects that soils reports are required, a post-dig soils inspection will be called at this time.
Excavation Payment due.

Homeowner:
 do not touch or move stakes for pool layout
 disable sprinkler zones in access & dig areas
 move favorite plants
 identify any unmarked lines
 keep your distance from the hole
 mail payment once dig is complete

STEEL

Steel reinforcing bars are installed as a skeleton for the pool shell. This is a necessity to the structural strength of your pool. A one – two day operation.

PLUMBING
This operation includes the installation of all equipment, plumbing and gas lines… While installing the gas lines for the heater it may be necessary to turn off your house gas supply. We will re-light your pilots if you are home. If not, the plumber will leave a note on your door……. It’s still a good idea to check your hot water when you know the plumber has been around – just in case!!!!!!
The plumber uses a heavy duty-trenching machine to get to the required depth and cannot be responsible for unidentified lines or objects under the ground surface. If you know of any potential obstructions in the plumbing path, please make them known and/or arrange for their disposition. As a courtesy, they will reconnect sprinkler lines if they are easily defined and they have compatible supplies on their truck. Otherwise, sprinkler line repairs are your responsibility. Plumbing is usually a two-three day operation.
This is also a good time for you to call the gas company to check your meter for size to accommodate your pool heater. They will want to know the size of your heater, it is on your contract or you can always call the office.
Homeowner:
• check hot water – verify pilot light is lit
• call gas company to check meter size
• mark any known underground lines or objects before
plumber begins trenching

ELECTRIC
All underground conduits are placed from your electric panel to the equipment fixtures and controls. The wire is usually pulled at a later time, 1 – 2 days.
After plumbing and electrical are in, an inspection is called for pre-gunite.

GUNITE
This is the loudest operation of them all. If you’re the lucky one to be the first job of the day, then around 6:00am the artillery pulls up to get ready for the to begin at seven.
This is also the first time that you get to participate……. Besides paying the invoice, you get to water the freshly concreted pool. Start watering the day after gunite, morning and evening, then follow up for ten days with a good soaking two or three times per day – depending on how hot the weather is. Don’t be afraid to get too much water on it, especially around the top edges, seats, steps etc. A little water in the bottom is ok – just don’t make the masons and tile guys have to wear scuba gear!!!!

Homeowner:
• gunite payment due
• water for 10 days, twice a day
• make sure you have your tile choice
• have you determined pebble color
• have you decided on your rock and concrete color

MASONRY
All brick and rock work. This phase usually takes the longest to complete; anywhere from a couple of days to a month or more, depending on the scope of work, changes during this process can cause big delays.
There are usually one or two payments due during this phase. Depending on the types of walls, and inspections required.

CONCRETE DECKS AND DRAINS
Finally, no more dirt, mud and dust!!!! There are a couple of things you need to be aware of regarding the curing process, to avoid scratches. The concrete will cure enough to walk on in one day, but keep the surface clear of debris, pots, hoses etc., for at least two weeks; otherwise the outline may be there permanently. Concrete does not always cure out at a perfectly even rate, which may cause an uneven surface color.
We also take precautions on how and when we pour, we pre-soak the ground and build in crack control joints at all the critical points, but surface checks and cracks may still appear – it’s something that we cannot guarantee against.
For sandblasted concrete finishes the sandblasting process will usually take place 3-5 days after the pour. Unfortualy during the process there will be a lot of extra sand left on the job site. Much of this can be spead into planters and used by the landscapers.
For stamped concrete, take note that the colors of concrete and release will look nothing like what you expect until after the concrete has been sealed. This process should take place after the concrete has properly cured which is about 28 days after the pour
Total time for grading, installing drains, forming and pouring the concrete may take a week but the pouring is usually done in one or two days.
Proper drainage is essential for maintaining stability of the decks and your total property area. We will provide for drainage of the decks and get the water away from the pool, but it is your responsibility for final grading, providing drainage outside the pool area and setting of drain head elevations, (unless it is specifically called for in the contract).
Another payment is probably due along with a pre-deck inspection prior to the pour.

TILE
All tiles are applied in one to two days. This selection must be made as early as possible to insure stock. You can see many tile options on the National Pool Tile website. www.nptgonline.com for your selection or visit their showroom.

FENCE – GATES – CLEANUP
The pool area must be totally enclosed to meet local codes before we can call for pre-plaster inspection. Be sure you have made arrangements with your superintendent for this requirement.

ANY PROBLEMS?
Now is the time when the superintendent will be calling to schedule and pre-plaster walk-thru with you. Now is the time to clear up any questions you may have—and it is especially important to square them away. We are about to enter the final phase of construction, but before we do, we want to be sure everything is satisfactory to this point.

PLASTER
Now we’re about home free! Plastering and pebble application is another art form. They use “state-of-the-art” tools, spray wands, wheel barrels, hoses, buckets and trowels!! They initially work in the wet plaster while wearing “platform” shoes with spikes, then as the plaster hardens; they graduate to wearing sponges taped to their shoes.
For white plaster finish. We take all precautions to keep it that way, but again, it is a natural product out of the earth and sometimes it has a mind of its own. It will take over three weeks to cure and the white plaster will darken some during the process. All plaster will mottle (some variation in color) like your concrete decks – they are both cement products. Every pool is different and there is no way to predict or prevent some mottling.
The plasterers will start filling the pool before they leave. The pool should be filled as fast as possible, so round up at least two hoses – especially if you have low water pressure. It will take approximately 15 – 24 hours to fill but DO NOT STOP THE WATER FLOW until the water reaches the center of the tile line, otherwise you may end up with a permanent “ring around the pool”. If you get concerned that the water might overflow during the night, simply reduce the flow rate and set your spouse’s alarm to check it out! If you’ve chosen the pebble surface, the pool surface undergoes a mild acid wash to bring out the vibrant colors of pebble stones the following day.
Homeowner:
• Payment is due at or before the plaster begins.

START-UP
The pool equipment will be started up after the pool is filled so please call your Superintend or the office as soon as the pool reaches the middle of the skimmer. Instructions on operation will be given at that time or the next day, depending on your availability. We usually run the pumps continuously for 24 hours for a few days or until the cloudy water clears up.
Again it’s time for your muscle power. The plaster should be brushed – every square inch – 2 to 3 times per day or more until the “plaster dust” disappears, usually a couple of days. Then brush it once a day until the first week is up. This helps keep the plaster surface smooth and free of calcium deposits. The brushing is even more critical with gray plastered pools. Pebble pools typically need less brushing than plaster pools.

MAINTENANCE
Use the instructions in the chemical test kit that we provide to learn about proper water treatment. PROPER WATER CHEMISTRY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
FACTOR IN MAINTAINING THE BEAUTY AND FUNCTIONING OF YOUR POOL. One miscue can have lasting effects on your plaster and equipment.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE
For over 30 years, we have tailored our payment schedule so that we are not asking for monies in advance. Hopefully this gives you confidence that we will finish what we have started. Because we are building the pool with our industry relationships and your financial sources, it is critical that we receive payment promptly, according to the contracted schedule.

CONCLUSION
You are undertaking a major construction project and have probably heard some real horror stories about building a pool – but in this case, you have selected the most capable team to accomplish the project. One that is dedicated to making this an enjoyable process. So sit back and watch it happen!!!