How to Build a Pool

If you’ve ever wondered how to build a pool, this post is for you.  We hear it all the time. Customers come to us asking if they absolutely need to hire a professional pool builder.  The truth is – not for everything.  You don’t need a professional pool builder to manage the project, but it’s highly recommended due to the number of things involved. Subcontractors will be needed for all the key elements like structural engineering, electrical, and so on.  And, you should expect to spend a minimum of $40,000, so budget accordingly.

Steps to Build Your Own Pool

  1. Decide on the shape.  Don’t go crazy with this, especially if you’re brand new to construction work.  Keep the pool layout simple.  Keep in mind that a rectangle is the simplest design, while something like a figure-8 becomes more of a challenge.  The more complexity you add, the more prep work (and expense) you’ll need to endure.
  2. Choose the size.  How much room can you afford to take up in your yard?  There needs to be enough space for the pool and for the deck around it, unless of course you want dirt and grass getting in the pool it all the time.
  3. Determine the depth.  For DIY pool building, 4 feet seems to be the average depth.  That’s enough for you to hop in the water on a hot, sunny day and cool off, but not quite enough for diving.  If you need to be able to dive in, you’re going to have to dig a bit deeper; aim for 8 feet or more.
  4. Contact a pool company.  You’ll need subcontractors for every element of the pool from design to electrical to plumbing to concrete, so it’s best to simply hire a qualified pool builder.  Submit bids and talk with each potential person.  You can share what you’re thinking for the design and they can help model your pool in a program like Adobe to make sure you’re on the right track.
  5. Get a permit.  It’s up to you whether you do it yourself or ask for help, but you need approval from the city before building your pool because of building and zoning laws.  These requirements are things like: a fence, maintaining a specific distance from the property line, staying away from sewer piping and septic tanks, etc.
  6. Keep communication strong. Once the project begins, keep in constant communication with the project manager assigned to the job.  He can inform you of the work being performed by each of the subcontractors and whether they’re on schedule for final delivery.
  7. Decide on a pool deck. Prior to the completion of the pool build, decide on the type of pool deck you’d like to install.  Concrete is a common surface, but there are a host of other pool deck materials that can be used as well.  It all depends on the look you’d like to achieve.  Some homeowners choose stamped pavers, while others prefer a standard concrete surface with Kool Deck on top to maintain grip and added safety. Visit for more information on pool deck installation.  That project can start right after the pool build ends.
  8. Review the pool build. Before signing off on the pool build, set a time to review the work with the general contractor or project manager that’s in charge.  Now is the time to make sure all the final touches are in place.
  9. Pay for the pool. If you’re satisfied with the work that’s been done, make your payment for the pool build and end the contract by signing on the dotted line.
  10. Fill and maintain it. Once the pool is complete, fill it up with water.  Keep in mind that from here on out, you’ll need to ensure proper pool maintenance to make it last a long time.