Once you’ve taken the plunge and decided to install a swimming pool, all that’s left is the anticipation.

Actually, the pool construction process is pretty interesting. We’ll assume you’ve already met with your designer, the design is finalized and it’s time to get rolling on the swimming pool construction.

Let’s take a look at what happens, from start to finish.

(And, no — we’re not done yet.)

Establish The Swimming Pool Construction Timeline

Commercial PoolsThere are a lot of steps involved in building a pool, and the process differs depending on which type of pool you choose.

A gunite pool uses concrete as its foundation, while a vinyl pool will use a steel frame lined with a vinyl cover. Either way, things start by setting the start and completion dates.

A vinyl liner pool itself takes about two weeks to install. But the accompanying patio can take from one week to a year, depending on the construction process.

A gunite pool takes six to eight weeks from excavation to your first swim.

Those time frames don’t include the permit process, which, as you’ll see in a minute, can be tricky. And they don’t include the weeks you may have to wait before your pool project breaks ground, so to speak.

Obtain Permits

Yes, municipalities have to approve your plans for a pool, so that’s one of the first steps.

Here’s where things can go quickly and easily, or they can get hung up for months. It all depends on your city or town, and how long officials take to approve permits. It also depends on how informed and educated your pool contractor is when it comes to what’s required to move the approval process along as smooth as possible.

Some municipalities approve permits quickly, and you’ll have approval in two weeks.

Others require several different approvals, attendance at a planning board meeting and involvement from an engineer, and can take up to six months to approve your construction.

Excavate Property, Perform Rough Grading For Pool, Patio And Planting Areas

Your pool construction team needs to dig a hole three feet larger all around than the actual size of your pool, to accommodate constructionOnce your pool contractor has the necessary permits, it’s time to dig. But any good pool builder likely has a backlog of work, and clients are in line on a first-come, first-served basis. Expect to wait between one and four weeks from the time you get your permit to your excavation.

That wait time increases as construction season heats up.

Then, brace yourself. You’ll see heavy machinery scoop large chunks of grass and dirt out of your yard. Be aware that your contractor isn’t just digging a hole for the pool. There’s the patio to consider, too.

Your pool construction team needs to dig a hole three feet larger all around than the actual size of your pool, to accommodate construction.

That means once the pool is installed, they have to backfill that extra space, either with the same dirt they excavated or with gravel they haul to your site.

Using the existing dirt is the less expensive option, but the dirt has to settle before the patio can be constructed on top of it.

Ideally, that existing dirt will need to settle through the fall, winter and spring seasons to endure a freeze and thaw cycle. If your crew brings in gravel, at an extra cost, they can construct the patio right away.

Install Framing And Plumbing

A rigid grid of reinforcing steel creates the backbone of your swimming pool.As you watch the framing go in, you’ll start to really see your pool take shape.

A rigid grid of reinforcing steel creates the backbone of your swimming pool. You’ll see bars crossing one another, like a giant cage. Tie wires at some intersections tie the steel together.

Where there’s water, there are pipes.

Once all the PVC pipe is installed, crews will run 10 psi — pounds per square inch — of pressure through the pipes to test for leaks. That pressure will be constant for the next several weeks as they continue to work. A gauge will tell if it wavers at all. No movement means no leaks.  

Install Gunite/Shotcrete Shell Or Floor And Liner (For Vinyl)

Gunite is the cool — and messy — part.

Workers spray a mix of sand, cement, water and air pressure through a big hose to coat the walls of your pool.

It’s sort of like spray painting — but ultimately much more artistic.

After crews spray on the gunite, they use trowels to hand sculpt the final shape and features. It’s impressive to watch. These artisans have honed their skills for years.

Once the gunite is complete, a set of sprinklers on timers will water it down a few times a day, part of the curing process.

Install Pool Masonry, Tile, Coping

After the completion of the gunite phase, it’s time for the decorative tile. The tile you selected will be installed on the inside perimeter of your pool shell.

Pool coping is the stone or concrete material that caps the pool shelf wall around the edges.

It’s looking more and more like an actual pool.

Install Filtration Equipment And Pumps

The pump is essentially the heart of the swimming pool's circulation system.This part isn’t much to look at, but it’s important.

The plumbing for your pool is designed to give it the best circulation and filtration for crystal clear water, efficiency and power as well as ease of maintenance.

The pump is essentially the heart of the swimming pool’s circulation system. It pulls water from the pool through the skimmer and main drain, pushes it through the filter, and returns it to the pool through the main returns.

The crystal clear water you’re looking forward to starts here.

Install Pool Patio, Plantings, Fencing, Lighting

A pool is a great start, but your outdoor living area really springs to life when the setting evolves. The patio gives you a place to lounge, poolside. The landscaping adds beauty and a softness. Fencing adds crucial safety, and lighting adds both safety and ambiance.

There’s no limit to what Neave Pools can offer you, beyond the pool itself. We can add pool houses, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, grottos, water features as well as landscaping services.

Hello, backyard paradise!

Plaster Pool And Fill With Water

When it’s time for plaster, a big mixing truck shows up to mix the plaster in the color and texture you selected.It won’t be long now!

When it’s time for plaster, a big mixing truck shows up to mix the plaster in the color and texture you selected.

Workers spray it on, then hand trowel it to perfection.

They wash off the extra with a light acid, then the water goes in right away that day, before the plaster has a chance to dry out.

Establish Chemical Balances

This chemistry stuff may sound boring, but it’s crucial to the health of your pool — and the swimmers enjoying it.

A pool filled with improperly treated water is the perfect place for disease-carrying microorganisms to move from one person to another.

The wrong balance of pool chemicals can do damage, eating away at your liner, the heater, the plumbing.

Unbalanced chemicals will make your eyes burn and your skin feel dry and itchy. The right balance, on the other hand, will extend the life of your pool and its assorted components.

It’s kind of a tricky task, but here at Neave pools, we love this kind of stuff. We’ll start your pool out with the perfect chemical balance, and we’re happy to keep it that way, year in and year out.

Final Inspection

From the landscaping to the architecture of your home, Neave Pools takes a holistic approach to your new pool construction.Last, but not least, your town’s building inspector will stop by to make sure everything is safe, up to code, and done according to plan before issuing a certificate of occupancy to show everything is A-OK.

Dive In!

This is what you’ve been waiting for. the pool is open for your clients to enjoy!

Leave Your Pool Construction To Neave

At Neave Pools, we don’t just design and construct pools. We proudly take a holistic approach to your new pool construction. We consider everything around the pool, too, from the landscaping to the architecture of your home.

Neave. Staffed For Success

During the pool construction phase, rest easy — everyone working on your new pool is held to the highest industry standards. This includes all laborers, engineers, designers and any members of the construction team.

We have a team of Association of Pool and Spa Professionals Certified Building Professionals, Certified Service Technicians, and Certified Maintenance Specialists on staff that will oversee the whole process from pool design and pool construction all the way to start-up to ensure that your pool is built and continuously maintained to the highest industry standards.

We’d love to hear from you, so our experts can start turning your pool dreams into reality.

And if you’d like a helpful head start on how to choose the best contractor to create your dream pool, download our Essential Guide To Hiring A Swimming Pool Contractor.

This comprehensive 18-page guide walks you through the process, explains what pool contractors actually do, offers questions to ask, red flags to watch out for and shares tips for good communication.

When you decide Neave Pools is the best company for the job, give us a call.

If you’re in Hudson Valley, call (845) 463-0592. Westchester, call (914) 271-7996 and in Connecticut, call (203) 212-4800. Or fill out the handy web form on this page, and we’ll get in touch with you to schedule a complimentary swimming pool consultation.

Get The Essential Guide To Hiring A Swimming Pool Contractor