Pool Construction Process and Policy Explanation.
This detail has been put together to help you have an experience during a commonly frustrating process known as POOL installation and construction that is not as daunting as it seems at times once we explain the process.
We have discovered over the years that the #1 cause of frustration is CLIENTS not knowing what to expect. We hope that this guide will give you a better understanding of the swimming pool construction process.
Your entire yard is about to be a complete mess for the next 12 to 24 weeks (This starts the day construction starts not when proposal is signed Greencare has no control over you HOA or city permitting delays) depending on the scope of your project and unforeseen obstacles and delays a pool could take longer than 24 weeks but is unlikely. This packet will really help answer your questions and address your concerns. Please read in in its entirety and refer back to it throughout the process.
PROFESSIONAL POOL CONSTRUCTION STAGES
First step is sending your design off to be structurally engineered. At this point slight changes are needed to ensure the pool and options are structurally sound.
The next stage is obtaining all building permits. This takes time sometimes spending an entire day at a government permitting facility only to be told they have changed a variance or code in your area so we need to adjust the engineered plan to meet there new requirement or a soils report may be needed.
All scheduled dates are tentative and subject to change due to:
- Each phase is always approved to have been completed properly by the construction office before scheduling next phase which takes time. It is the only way to ensure things are done right.
- Adverse weather conditions, such as wind or rain, can delay steel, shotcrete, deck and plaster. If this occurs, we reschedule for the next available date. This means if it is windy or rainy for 2 weeks and then it clears up on your installation date. The crews will be busy completing the all other jobs that were delayed during that 2 week period first then once those jobs are done yours will follow.
- Revisions or changes of any kind along the way to the final approved plan will cause delays.
- There may be days (or rarely even a week or more) when no work is performed on site. At times if a specialist is needed it takes a week or more to get them on site. Material delays can and often cause an extended delay also (this is why we need all final selections to be made as soon as possible). A specialist may arrive and spend only an hour or two then leave. This is due to the specialized nature of Greencare’s guys and crews then scheduling them in and out. Sometimes the one little thing that required the specialist doesn’t take long but holds up the process.
- Tile & Rock Work/Waterfalls
- Safety Barriers
- Final Inspection
- Plaster / Quartz / Pebble
- Start Up & Orientation
- Final Walk / Punch List
- Pool shape is spray painted out per engineering.
- Superintendent checks the layout for accuracy and the lot thoroughly for construction conflicts. Slight adjustments are made accordingly.
- If the homeowner wishes to make changes, now is the time. It is much easier to erase paint and re-spray, than to fill and re-dig a hole.
If a larger pool is requested than written on proposal it will be at an added cost. No matter what was verbally discussed or promised it must be written on contract to be included. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Sometimes there is slight stucco damage. If this occurs we will repair it when job is complete.
At times for access we will need to knock down access walls. It will be an additional charge to rebuild these walls when job is complete.
- The pool is dug.
- Mounds are formed at the location of steps.
- Dump trucks full of dirt are very heavy. Concrete may break if they cross over it to obtain backyard access. Asphalt will take on some minor damage that looks terrible but is superficial and does not affect structural integrity. Concrete will also have black tire marks that fade with time and if extreme can be power washed to lighten them up.
- Trucks and tractors will make a mess of the access area. This cannot be avoided. The access area will be cleaned when pool construction is completed.
>>Usually the dig will take (01) day as seen in above pictures.
- The superintendent will inspect and verify it is a hard dig. Large breaker equipment will need to be brought in to complete the dig.
- If caliche is found, additional fees will be charged to continue digging and remove the caliche. When you run into caliche there is absolutely nothing that can be done except to bring in the heavy equipment. We do not know until we start digging that there is going to be caliche. It is an unforeseeable delay and it adds extra costs. If rock or unusual soil conditions are encountered during excavation, a hard dig will result. It is at a cost of $200.00 per hour additional and is unavoidable.
If caliche or hard dig is found under the ground once dig has started it will be at an added cost of 200.00 per hour, client is to pay Dig Company added costs directly if caliche is encountered. Unfortunately it is impossible to pre-determine if caliche will be found deep in the ground or a foot down. It is rare and unfortunate when caliche is hit but we cannot know in advance whether or not it is under the ground. We apologize in advance for this unforeseen potential cost.
- Below is what a normal dig looks like when plumbed.
- All plumbing and pool equipment are installed.
- The system is pressurized and checked for leaks.
- Any plumbing leaks visible by a wet area or drip are repaired.
- Installation of any gas lines (if applicable) is scheduled.
- It should be noted: the final gas hook up, connecting the stub to the meter, can only be
performed by Southwest Gas. The homeowner is required to make an appointment and there is no
charge for this service but the contractor cannot schedule this.
Done by other: Above is an example of a BAD and completely nonfunctioning plumbing & electric job. It was actually installed this way by someone. Greencare was called in after the contractor was long gone with this poor clients’ money. We ended ripping it all out and eventually re-doing the entire pool. Be very careful who you hire.
- PSteel bars (rebar) are placed in a grid-like pattern throughout the pool.
- Steel is placed on top of the mounds for the steps.
- Rough electric is done and Preliminary electrical inspections are scheduled.
- Steel is tied to follow structural engineering calculations, every pool is different based upon depths, configuration and engineering spec. Req.
- Installation of light niche, rough electrical and bonding is performed. National codes require all
metal within 5′ of the water’s edge is bonded. Bonding is a copper wire connected to all metal and is
similar to grounding.
- If someone other than Greencare is installing your wrought iron, make sure they perform the
bonding sufficiently. Be sure to leave all breakers off. Pre-Gunite inspection is scheduled.
Concrete is sprayed to create the pool shell and the steps are formed.
The client is required to spray shotcrete with water thoroughly 2-3 times per day for the next 7 days. If you’re not going to be home or cannot arrange someone to do this Greencare can do this for you but it is at a cost of $150.00 per day and must be pre-arranged. Keeping the concrete damp enables it to cure properly and reach full strength integrity. Don’t worry if water collects on the bottom while curing. Shrinkage cracks are normal and not structural in nature.
Proper watering on the first day minimizes shrinkage cracks, although it will not prevent them. At this point double verify all color selections for tile, grout, flagstone, deck and interior finish are correct. We go off signed selection sheet, text or emailed confirmation. Final color outcome may vary from samples. Greencare assumes no responsibility for manufacturer color variations. If you do not like a final color selection once installed or ordered added cost to reinstall or reorder material will be added. No matter what was verbally discussed or promised it must be written on contract to be included. NO EXCEPTIONS.
The left picture above shows a GOOD picture correspondence (including the name) The one above on right is BAD because it could easily be mistaken. Name, color and supplier must be clearly visible.
TILE & ROCK WORK/WATERFALLS
- Waterfalls, Geometric water features or other rock work is scheduled. On water features it is extremely rare for us to be able to duplicate an exact duplicate from a previous build. All water features are custom built and vary in exact size and shape. We do our absolute best to make each water feature as close to the proposal verbiage and photos as possible but there will be a difference. Sometimes minimal and sometimes dramatic (on natural stone it is a matter of personal opinion as to what is minimal or dramatic). Greencare assumes no responsibility for variation’s on
- A row of 6” wide tile is installed under deck placement and where specified per plan.
(standard tile selections included)
- Unless specifically requested, we do not place tile on rolled beams.
- Pre-deck inspection is scheduled (sometimes inspections fail this is normal and ensures proper steps have been completed) If you do fail we schedule the item to be completed that was the cause of failing then re-schedule inspection.
- Upon approval, clean up and deck are scheduled.
- Reminder – barrier requirements must be met. Drainage will be placed as needed for city code requirements. No specific drainage location can be determined prior to deck lay out. We place drains as needed per proper code. Greencare not responsible for barrier requirements.
Safety codes are governed by the city (it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure codes are met) This is to prevent children unsupervised access to the pool.
- Codes vary per city and HOA requirements. Greencare assumes no responsibility that proper requirements are met. If added cost is to be incurred it will be the homeowners responsibility to hire a contractor to meet code requirements.
- Typical barrier requirements are:
– Minimum 5′ high block wall fence around the yard.
– An outward opening gate to yard that is self-closing and self-latching. (01) 3’ gate included.
– Additional charge if more access points need to be pool coded.
– All windows opening to yard have locks 54” high to prevent windows from opening more than 4”.
– Max 10 windows and 3 doors. Additional charge if more access points need to have an alarm installed.
– Sliding glass windows must be self-closing and self-latching with the handle54” high.
– Doors opening to the yard must have a lock 54” high.
– Doors opening to the pool area must have door alarms.
- Greencare can be contracted to obtain current barrier codes and bring residence to compliance,
otherwise it is your responsibility.
- A final or pre-plaster inspection is scheduled.
- City inspector checks all safety barriers.
- You must be home for this inspection. (sometimes inspections fail this is normal and ensures proper steps have been completed) If you do fail we schedule the item to be completed that was the cause of failing. The city offers a 3 day window for the city inspector to show up at your home for this
inspection. (yes we realize this is ridiculous) It is what they offer and we apologize for them.
- Upon passing final pre plaster we will do a pre site inspection and prepare for plaster, pebble or quartz installation. We ask that you please remain patient this is an extremely important phase and weather conditions must be ideal. If it has been windy for weeks then rained for a week and your scheduled date was the first clear day we have had in 3 weeks it doesn’t mean we are still scheduled for that day. It means we have to install all of the other projects that have been patiently waiting that were originally scheduled in that 3 week period, then yours. If it is windy in the morning the plaster crew will attempt to wait it out for a maximum of 30 minutes. If they are forced to pull off the jobsite they go home for the day and will attempt to return the following day depending on weather. This is the #1 complaint we receive. Please be patient. We are doing all we can to get your job done as quickly as possible. It is in our best interest to do so because our goal is to add another happy customer that will refer us in the future. We want to admit this is the point where we at times lose our clients patience and it is due to clients just not understanding we cannot do anything about this delay. We apologize for all delays in advance but the fact is that unforeseen delays are in the nature of the business.
- A 1/2” thick layer of plaster, quartz or pebbled finish, depending on your contract, is sprayed and troweled onto the shotcrete surface.
- Immediately after finish is applied, water begins filling the pool and/or spa.
- Continue filling until water level is halfway up the tiles. It is the client’s responsibility to turn off the water. If you’re not going to be home or cannot arrange someone to do this Greencare can do this for you but it is at a cost of $150.00 and must be pre-arranged.
- For plaster finish pools, begin brushing 3-5 times per day once the pool is full for a period of 7 to 10 days. If you’re not going to be home or cannot arrange someone to do this Greencare can do this for you but it is at a cost of $150.00 and must be pre-arranged. Greencare assumes no responsibility if this is not done.
START UP & ORIENTATION
- When your pool is full, contact the office to schedule your start up.
- Our technician will come out to get the pool up and running Do not attempt to turn on the pool yourself.
- Homeowner is responsible for startup chemicals.
(we highly recommend HIRING a service provider at this time)
- Technician will orient you on equipment functionality and maintenance.
FINAL WALK/PUNCH LIST
- We will walk the project with you to note any unfinished items or necessary repairs.
- A date for repairs will be scheduled with our office and the final punch list will be completed.