How to Build a DIY Luxury Swimming Pool For $10,000 - Part 2

by Pool Builders on 01-16-2009 in Articles

This article describes in outline how a non-construction professional can install and commission a very long lasting in-ground swimming pool for about 10,000 dollars on a DIY basis. It is based on a system used in France on 40 pools that is in turn based on the theory described in Part 1 of this article.

The walls are built using hollow polystyrene blocks a bit like giant lego. The blocks are filled with high strength concrete that is reinforced by vertical and horizontal steel bars.

The pool floor is provided by the subsoil at the pool site and a thin covering of concrete and screed to level it up - ready to receive the PVC liner. The tops of the pool walls are then propped by concrete slabs that span back onto the undisturbed ground outside the pool excavation. The construction sequence is as follows:-

  • The excavation for the pool is dug 1 metre longer and 1 metre wider than the pool size
  • A 500 mm wide footing is cast around the perimeter of the pool with vertical reinforcing bars extending up for full the height of the pool wall
  • The polystyrene block formwork for the pool walls is erected, the through the wall pool PVC furniture in installed and the walls are filled with concrete (can be Quadlock type or similar in the US)
  • The pool floor is covered with leveling concrete and then 50mm of sand cement screed
  • The external buried pipework is installed and the void outside the pool walls backfilled
  • The liner lock is fixed down to the top of the pool wall
  • The underfelt and liner are installed and the pool filled with water.

The weight of water in the pool is transferred directly to the subsoil that forms the floor of the pool without the assistance of a structural element to reduce any subsidence that might arise from soft spots in the pool floor. The leveling concrete and screed finish that forms the pool floor may have the affect of stiffening up the surface of the sub-soil but it is not designed to do so. Therefore if, during pool construction, there are any doubts about any area of the pool floor, any soft-spots should be dug out and replaced with concrete. The walling system will provide the vertical face of the pool walls and the rigid concrete slabs that bridge across the backfilled gap between the pool walls and the side of the excavation for the swimming pool will stop subsidence around the pool and prop the top of the walls thus sustaining any large ice loads that will develop in most winters in the northern hemisphere.

The PVC liner will keep the structure watertight and if built properly the pool structure will be a significant asset to the property where it is built for at least 40 years The liner will need to be replaced in 12 to 15 years time - depending of course on how well the owner looks after the water temperature and the water chemistry. If top quality through the wall elements are used, such as skimmers, lights etc as provided by a major manufacturer, it should be possible to go back to them for new gaskets etc when the liner eventually needs to be renewed.

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