Selecting a Construction Company
In the last blog we discussed the design of your new backyard oasis. If you were lucky enough to be able to find a company that you were confident in to do the design and could also build the design, then you are in luck. No need to go out and find a pool contractor, but if you were not, then the search is on for a pool contractor. As with your search for a company to design your pool, you will have to do your due diligence in this area too. The first place to search is to ask the company who did your design for recommendations. Design companies usually have worked closely with a few builders and can give you an idea as to how each interact with their customers, which ones will be faithful to your design and will adhere to the cost estimate developed by the design company. Otherwise, you will follow the same process as you used to find the design company. This time, it should be easier because you have a full and complete detailed design with reasonably accurate cost estimates.
With your detailed design in hand, your contractor with first go about laying out the pool area on the ground so that you can see what it will look like and how it fits within the area you have specified for the pool. Once you approve the physical layout, then the excavation with begin.
Excavating will probably be the messiest part of your project. Large excavating equipment will be brought in to dig out the hole for the pool. Given that you have a full plan for your backyard oasis, some, if not all the dirt taken to make the hole where the pool will go, can be used for other aspects of the total design. Once the hole is dug, then the frame work for the pool is installed. The frame work is made from rebar which is bent to the correct form and then tied together to create a reinforced shell. This will be your first good look at the finished pool.
Once the shell is completed, the work of laying out and installing plumbing pipes and electrical wiring with begin. Your detailed plan will include sizing for both the pipes and wires that will provide the flow of water and electricity to your pool equipment and lights.
Now that the plumbing and wiring is installed, the next step is to apply a concrete mixture called gunite. This mixture is forcefully sprayed over the rebar shell, thus creating the interior of your pool. After the gunite has hardened, this is when your water line tile and the mosaics you have selected are installed. Now your pool is beginning to look like a pool!
With the gunite and tile work completed, work on the pool stops while all the other aspects of your backyard oasis are completed. The reason for this is that once the finish coat you have selected during the design stage is applied, the pool is filled and chemicals are added. This step causes your finish coat to cure. Since the finish will be in a fragile state, you would not want any construction debris to get into your pool and ruin your finish.
Outdoor Living Space
Now that the pool shell and tile work is completed, it is time for the contractor to turn his attention to your Outdoor Living Space. The Outdoor Living Space is the entire deck area around your pool and covered patio including your outdoor kitchen and shower.
During the process of excavating your pool, the contractor would have used the same equipment to grade the area around your pool and the area where the patio will be located. Once the grading is done, all necessary plumbing and wiring will be laid and then the concrete base will be poured. When the concrete cures, the contractor will then lay the tile or pavers you have selected during the design stage. All permanent equipment such as your build in kitchen, outdoor shower, lighting, gas fire pit and pool equipment will be installed. The good news is that this phase of your project will not take as long as the building of your pool. Keep in mind, however, you are not ready to put the finish coat on your pool until the landscaping is complete.
The same equipment used to excavate the pool and grade the outdoor living space, will be used to move dirt, rocks and other elements of your landscaping. This is also the time the contractor will add features such as a rock wall water fountain/slide, yard lighting and other building features such as a bath house, gazebo or private lounging area away from the main outdoor living area.
Once all the trees, plants, grass and any other ground features are completed, it is time to finally apply the finish coat to your gunite pool and fill it with water. You cannot go swimming yet because you will have to wait a few days for the finish coat to fully cure.
Depending on the size of your Backyard Oasis project, the process from concept, to design, to building, to furniture can be a long process, but once it is completed, you, your family and friends will be able to enjoy your backyard oasis for years to come. Just think of the many years you will have enjoying backyard holiday parties, birthday parties and just parties for party’s sake.