Swimming Pool Construction: How does it work and what’s involved?

Video transcription: I guess first off most clients have a bit of an understanding of what they want. From there I lead into what they’re going to use the pool for, how much room they think they might need, how many kids, do they entertain a lot. It’s basically finding out what they need. From there we can work out the best way to go about that.

I guess the most common questions that we’re always asked is should I lay pavers on sand or should I lay them on concrete? Traditionally, we used to lay all our pavers on sand around a pool. Most of the time they were a small format, so we could get away with laying them. These days, most people want large format pavers, large format concrete or natural stone. So nowadays you can’t lay pavers on sand around the pool purely because of the movements around the sand that washes out. You get a far better job on concrete.

A lot of the time we go to do houses they’ve either left their al fresco so we can tie in with the pool or they’ve already got tiles. Typically I say this is your pool area. You want it to be slightly different than the rest of your house if you’ve already got matching tiles. So you want the pool area to stand out and make that the showpiece for the house.

Every pool that sells obviously has to have a bond beam. A standard beam is suitable for one paver to go all the way round and that maintains the structural integrity of the pool. We can go anywhere from a standard paver up to whatever distance you want to go out from the pool depending on the size of your yard and the living area that you want.

To determine how far we go out, sometimes we try to match the area of what they’re laying with the size of the paver. That is so you can have a seamless line between the whole area reducing the cutting down. This is not for labour but more for the visual aspect of the job. So we try to help them out to whatever size paver to make that look good going round the whole job and working out with our fence lines and things like that.

A bond beam is a concrete beam, a structural beam that goes round the ring of the pool. That maintains the structural integrity of the pool. Typically it is 370mm wide. That suits a 600 x 400 paver or a 400 x 400 paver. You’re not limited to just the beam, you can extend that beam to whatever distance you want. It is better to extend the beam out so we have one seamless pour. Otherwise you’re going to have an expansion joint between the bond beam and the coping paver and the rest of the paver, whether you have concrete or whatnot. You want to try to eliminate that. If you can do it all in one pour, it is going to a lot stronger and you’re going to get a far better job.

Personally for me as a contractor for the type of work that we do, as much as I can, I like to try to speak to the owners of the pool before the pool goes in. That way you can eliminate any problems. You can get the right heights, you can work out where a cut and a fill may be, any retaining walls, any plumbing, where you’re going to run electricity so you don’t have a problem in the future. Probably the most important thing is the height of the pool, getting the height of the pool in relation to your al fresco area, your entertaining area, whatever it may be. That’s very critical because once the pool is in, you can’t move it.

I always like to speak to the clients about exactly what they want so we can map out the whole yard and get the result that they’re after. We always notify the client when we’re going to be there. We ring up a couple of days before, notify them what time we’re going to arrive on site, if they’re going to be home. Normally I like them to be there for the first day so we can go over the whole job and make sure they understand exactly what is going on. We make sure they understand what they are getting and how it is all going to look.

From there we set out the process of what happens, the order of operations of the job. We explain whether it is retaining walls first, whether it is concreting, we form up. Typically on a standard job, once Compass has finished installing the pool, we will come in and form up and pour the concrete. That cures for approximately two to three weeks and then we can come back and lay all the tiles or paving or whatever you choose. That can take anywhere from a day to two weeks depending on the size of the job.

Definitely get a contractor who can understand pool surrounds, typically a professional landscaper. Try to stick to one trade if they can, without having multiple trades. That way it cuts down on how many people are on the site. It cuts down any errors of communication between one trade and another trade. That’s why we’re experts in what we do because we can handle the whole lot.

I had a client yesterday. I said if they want to see the finished product, I can give them names and numbers or even organize for myself to go out there and take them out there. We can have a look at the products so they can feel it, so they can see what it is going to look like before they actually get the product installed.

People ask my opinion all the time. There are so many options you can have. Some people choose a longer coping paver and then they have a 400 x 400, a square paver for the surrounding area. People do the opposite. They have a smaller paver and then they have a longer paver for the outskirts or they have one product. There are so many different options.

I think when you try to overcomplicate a pool area that’s when it starts to get a bit messy. We try to keep one product and then split it up with a feature tile all they way through, something small that is not going to stand out too much. I think the subtle touches that you do are far better than trying to do different colours or mix and match that way.

Once we’ve finished laying the tiles or pavers, you have to wait a minimum of seven days before we can seal the pavers, just to let the grout cure and let the moisture come out before we seal them. Then after that, within twenty-four to forty-eight hours, they can start enjoying their pool. Give one of the team a call today on 1300 667 445.

If you are looking for a swimming pool constructor, please go to our Pool Builders page to select your closest authorised Compass Pool Dealer. Or give one of the team a call today on 1300 667 445.

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