–by Wes Gohlke—
One very common question we receive is how long will it take to build an in-ground swimming pool? This is a very loaded question, being that there is much more to the process than excavating the pool and proceeding from there. Much like building a home, there is a considerable amount of planning that takes place before clearing the lot, setting foundation forms, and beginning the job. You can expect numerous design meetings, budget modifications, material selections, a lengthy funding process, HOA approvals, permitting, and many things in between. Therefore, a six-to-twelve-week home building process is merely the tip of the iceberg of what should be expected as a whole. The same goes with a swimming pool. As less complicated jobs can take eight to ten weeks from excavation to completion, and more intricate jobs fourteen to eighteen weeks to completion, the planning process is something that needs to be considered sooner rather than later. Following is a timeline of what can be expected on most pool projects:
Design/Approvals: 4-8 weeks
As many may not consider, there are multiple meetings that need to take place before a design concept is agreed upon. Once a concept is accepted, several approvals are required before any work can begin. The design/approval process can be expected to take anywhere from four to eight weeks to complete. This process can include, but is not limited to, funding, electrical/HOA approval, engineering if required, and city permitting. An exception to this is when a pool project falls outside of a municipality that requires a building permit and no financing is needed.
Excavation: 1-4 days
Average jobs take one or two days for pool excavation to be completed. However, complications need to be considered as well. Access restrictions, weather, utility obstructions, and the potential for hitting rock can add to this timeline.
Steel, plumbing, and electrical: 2-3 weeks
After the pool is excavated, steel, plumbing, and electrical can take place. This process is where the “bones” of your pool are formed. Additionally, all plumbing, equipment, and electrical will be installed.
Gunite: 1 day + curing process time
Gunite (concrete) is the day on which most people say their pool begins to take shape. While gunite only takes a day on average to install, this process needs three to four weeks for sufficient curing. During this curing process, several other phases of the project will ensue.
Prior to plaster: 3 weeks
While the gunite is curing, the beginning of many other processes will begin. During the three-to-four-week curing process, you can expect to see tile and coping take place (plus any additional stonework that may include grills, fireplaces, and firepits). During this phase, you can also expect any gas plumbing and deck forming/pouring to take place. While it doesn’t happen on every job, this would be the time that any arbors, gazebos, or any supplemental installations would take place. You can also expect any landscaping, access repair, and sprinkler work to take place. Lastly, the pool plaster takes place, and the pool will begin to be filled with water.
In short, an eight-to-ten-week building process can create the façade of a four to six-month process. In other words, it is never too early to begin this process.