9 Surprising Things You Can Expect During Pool Construction

dogs in swimming pool

Written by Reaves Newsom


September 14, 2021

Swimming for sport or as a pastime is quickly becoming an activity that people look forward to all year. But, having your own pool can seem overwhelming and stressful. Knowing what you can expect is vital.

Here are a few facts on swimming that you may not know: 

  • Swimming is among the top five most popular activities in America
  • California has a record 3,000,000 active pools
  • The pool industry generates about $1.1 billion annually
  • Doctors recommend regular swimming as part of a complete workout regimen

It is normal to have stress once the ground construction work begins, especially if you have no prior knowledge of what new pool construction involves. However, a simple understanding of what to expect during pool construction can make a world of difference as it worsens before it becomes better.

What to Expect During Pool Construction

The work that goes into an in-ground pool construction roughly follows the outline below. Of course, your specific wants/needs can vary this process.

  1. Layout

Before the actual groundwork begins, experts pay a visit to your home and take measurements of your property line and utility area. This allows them to obtain conclusive figures of the design you want while also determining the entry and exit paths for the machinery and vehicles carrying the construction materials.

If your gate is too small, you may have to bring down part of your fence to create extra space. However, make sure you agree on who foots this portion of the bill when signing terms with your preferred contractors.

  1. Excavation

The first step of excavation involves clearing the marked pool area of obstructive elements such as trees or plants. This is through the use of specialized equipment to minimize damage to the entire landscape.

Once everything is out of the way, a front loader will then dig out the marked area to your specific measurements. It takes a few hours for the machine to do a complete excavation of the dirt that you decide whether to keep for a later purpose or get rid of.

Only after a successful excavation process can the experts go on to install a gravel drainage bed on the pool’s bottom surface that covers the underlying dirt.

The excavation process is always messy and physically draining; thus, you must be patient enough to get through to the next stage.

  1. Structural Support

Builders get hands-on installing reinforced steel rebar that acts as a skeleton for the pool’s final structure. It goes around the pool’s surfaces, including the steps and walls, to provide enough structural support for the swimming pool shell.

This is the part where the actual image of your in-ground swimming pool begins to take shape, although it is still a hole in the ground.

  1. Plumbing and Electrical

Here, the plumber installs a PVC pipe comprising skimmers, water features, main drain, or other mechanical lines (depending on your contractual agreement) beneath the deck and extending it to the equipment location.

The entire piping system is tested and left pressurized to prevent any leaks once they place the gunite.

Electricians come into the scene and connect a bonding wire to the pool’s shell and install lighting from the pool’s wall to the deck. They also put a breaker box where the filter, pool pump, and heater control the circuit flow.

Professional Atlanta pool builders can do a comprehensive inspection of the wiring process and take care of any permits required during the process.

  1. Gunite

The gunite application process is perhaps the most exciting, as you can now determine how the final pool may look. It is loud and chaotic; thus, you may find yourself preoccupied with the events as they happen.

Gunite is a mixture of sand and cement that is blown through a hose onto the pool surface at a high pressure as water regulation occurs at the nozzle. Most of the gunite that is sprayed out goes over and behind the rebar, while experts curve out and sculpt the rest to the precise pool shape using trowels.

Benefits of Using Gunite Instead of Concrete

The benefits of using gunite instead of the traditional concrete pour include:


Thanks to the high-pressure spray, the layer of concrete becomes more robust and lasts longer, adding to your pool shelf life.


The robust nature of gunite makes it adaptable to different pool structures, whether oval, rectangular or L-shape.

Variety of Finish Options

Once you use gunite on your pool, you can select from an array of finishing options that include quartz, glass, or pebble.

Gunite may take days or even weeks to dry out completely, and you must be careful not to allow too much rainwater or debris to accumulate on the surface during this time, as it may affect the quality of the pool.

Be on the lookout for cracks that may develop as the gunite dries and report back to the builder if you notice any extra-large cracks.

  1. Tile Installation and Coping

Only after the gunite takes shape can the masons initiate the process of tile placement, depending on your prior selections. At this juncture, the experts also consider special features to include in your pool, such as a custom waterfall, raised beam, or other additional water features.

Coping stones are for additional safety or water drainage improvement.

  1. Deck Pour or Plaster

Plaster installed on the pool deck, including on the pool shell and rebar, serves as an extra layer of protection while also making the surface easy to clean.

  1. Pool Equipment

Mechanical components, such as the filter system, pumps, cleaner and heater, all undergo optimization for the flow from the pool to the equipment to be as smooth as possible.

  1. Finishing and Start-Up

The type of finish you choose will determine how long your pool will take to complete. For example, simple interiors like quartz and glass take a day, while complex ones such as pebble may require two days.

Your builders’ professional duty is to leave the pool filling water and advise you on the suitable water level. In any case, they should leave you with care instructions and a start-up pool guide as help.

Pool Construction Expectations

An in-ground swimming pool offers numerous benefits such as boosting the aesthetic appeal of your home, saving you money, increasing your property’s value on the market. Contrary to what other people tell you, the pool installation process doesn’t feel cumbersome in the right hands.

The above process should be your go-to guide during pool construction.

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