The decision to build a pool is a big one, and building a pool is a big job! It is something that takes time and the process can be tedious, but the more informed you are, the easier it is for everyone. You’ll be giving up your backyard for a good chunk of time, around 10-14 weeks once the pool shell is shot, but we promise to keep you informed of our progress throughout the project. Our goal is to deliver you a pool as quickly as possible without compromising quality. So, what exactly should you be expecting to happen once you pull the trigger to build your dream pool with Pools by Bradley? Take a look at the steps below to learn about each phase involved in the process of building your new pool from start to finish.
Project Design and Approval
The very first thing you will do is have a meeting with one of our expertly trained design consultants. It is during this meeting that your design consultant will find out what exactly you are looking for, your design preferences, and get an overall idea of your vision. Every one of our clients has different tastes and we design pools specifically for each of our customers. One of our technicians will also take a detailed survey of the proposed area where your pool will be built as well as take dimensions of your home and lot. They will also examine positioning, look for any building setbacks, note the location of your utilities and how accessible the construction site is. A few days later, you will receive a full plan and proposal with construction costs to review and approve.
Permitting and Engineering
The next step is to pull the necessary permits for residential swimming pool zoning and construction in accordance with Florida law and the county you live in (e.g. Orange County). Pools by Bradley is responsible for acquiring the permits for the actual construction of the pool and decking. Separate permits will need to be pulled for gas hook-ups which are acquired by the person or company that is hired to do that portion of the work. All plans must be in compliance with state and local building codes. We will also call Sunshine Locators will also be contacted to locate all existing utility lines as well as call for all required inspections, including electrical bonding, plumbing and footer. This will all be completed before construction begins.
Once you have approved and signed off on the plans and all required permits have been pulled, the construction process may begin! You will meet with our construction department onsite and they will review all the construction stages with you and answer any questions you may have. Next, the pool will be “staked out” or outlined with form boards. These are set with great care to make sure the pool is in the exact location required and that the layout complies with the approved construction plan. If these boards are moved or shifted for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible as these form boards guide us in the rest of the construction process.
This is when things start to get exciting!! After the forms are set and approved, the excavation of your pool may start. Excavation is a messy, dirty process, but its unavoidable. Our excavation crew will carefully dig and hand-trim your pool in accordance with the approved design specifications. This process usually takes a few days and is reliant on soil and weather conditions. A lot of dirt will be dug up during this phase, but don’t worry, we will remove most of it during the excavation. If you notice any dirt remaining, it is kept on purpose and will be used for other phases of construction.
The pool form is then reinforced with Grad 60 #3 steel rebar, which is placed horizontally and vertically forming a rigid contoured grid that creates the backbone of your swimming pool. Tie wires are placed at some of the intersections, tying the steel together. Block spacers are also placed under the steel to help hold the steel above the soil, keeping it in place for its final home in the middle of the gunite. All of this work is performed by hand! Once your pool is completely steeled, a steel and ground inspection is required and will be requested.
Rough plumbing, or “stub out” is done before the steel installation. This includes the installation of the plumbing lines for the main drains and skimmers and return lines. All other lines needed for waterfalls, raised spas, cleaning systems and any other enhancements will also be installed at this time. We design the plumbing specifically for each pool to ensure it has the best circulation and filtration leaving you with crystal clear water and low maintenance. Hydraulic calculations are performed to make sure that all the equipment and piping are the correct size for water clarity and energy conservation.
Gunite is a mixture of sand, rock and cement. It is applied by a trained technician through a hose with highly pressurized air and is shot around your pool’s steel reinforcement grid, forming your pool shell. This process creates a pool floor with a compressive strength of 3,000-3,500 psi! It is this step of the process when you really start to see your pool come to life and that hole in your backyard starts to look like a swimming pool. Once the application is complete, the gunite will need to cure. You may notice water accumulating at the bottom of the pool. This is totally fine, and the water will be pumped out before the pool’s interior is completed.
Equipment Set, Electric & Gas
It’s now time for plumbing to come back into the picture and plumb in all the filtration equipment, including any water feature pumps or other optional equipment you may have chosen. Electrical conduits for your pool equipment power and pool lights will be run and the breaker box for the pool equipment will be installed, ready for the equipment to be set. Any gas lines to a pool heater or heaters will also be run to the equipment location. Your field superintendent will provide direction on how, where and when the gas lines should be installed.
Tile & Coping
The next step of the construction process is the tile. The tile installed will be the one you have selected from hundreds of tiles you have to choose from (we have something for every taste!). The coping around the pool edge is also installed as well as any water features you have chosen, such as deck jets, waterfalls, sheer falls, wall sprays etc. Coping is the term used to identify the stone or concrete material used to cap the pool shell wall. The tile and coping installation process will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and is dependent upon the size and intricacy of job. Once the tile has completely set, you will have a non-porous, extremely durable surface that will last years.
You’re now in the home stretch! It’s important to choose a pool deck that reflects the overall theme of your pool project, including design, pattern and color. Luckily we have 100’s of decking and coping materials to choose from! The two most popular decking options are concrete or pavers. Concrete decking will be poured and then the finish applied. Usually any stone or brick will be completed before the concrete pouring. Pavers have become very popular due to their beautiful aesthetic, longevity and low maintenance. The timeline for this part of the process will be determined by the number of square feet of decking being laid/poured. No matter what option you choose, you’ll be swimming soon!
Site Clean Up
Your project is nearing completion! At this point we will remove all waste and unneeded construction materials from the site. We will also prepare the pool interior to be finished.
Pool Screen Installation
If you have purchased a pool enclosure, it will be installed at this point in the construction process.
Safety Fence and Alarms
After the pool screen is complete, the pool’s safety fence and alarm systems will be put in place. It is required by Florida law that all new pool construction meet at least one of the following requirements relating to pool safety features: (a) the pool must be isolated from access to a home by an enclosure that meets the pool barrier requirements; (b) the pool must be equipped with an approved safety pool cover; (c) all doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm that has a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet; or (d) all doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor.
After a safety inspection is completed on the safety fence and alarms installed, the final stage of construction can begin – coating the pool interior with your choice of materials. You can choose from a standard finish or select from numerous Wet Edge finishes. Depending upon the finish you choose, the effects and moods on the pool water will vary as well as the overall appearance of your backyard area. Once the coating is finished being applied, the pool is then filled with water.
Fire Up and Orientation
The last step of building your new pool is setting up a time for one of our service technicians to come to your home. The tech will check the installation and start all of the pool and/or spa equipment, ensuring that your new pool is fully operational. They will also go over all maintenance operations with you including everything you need to know about routine maintenance, troubleshooting tips and answer any other questions you have. If you find you have additional questions or need technical support after this appointment, remember we are only a phone call away!
Pools by Bradley is Here for YOU
Everyone here at Pools by Bradley lives and breathes our mission of designing and building your ultimate outdoor pool atmosphere. We intend to inspire you to improve the recreational time you spend with your family and friends in your new outdoor environment. Our motto is “take care of the customer and everything else will take care of itself”. When you choose Pools by Bradley to help you build your dream pool, you can rest assured that you’re choosing the very best. As a local family owned and operated company founded in back 1996, we have received numerous design awards and honors. Pools by Bradley is rated as one of the top 50 pool builders in the U.S., plus recognized as the “Best Pool Company” in Orlando by Orlando Magazine several years in a row! We offer custom built pools and spas with additions ranging from water features and lighting effects to rain curtains and water slides…the sky’s the limit! Contact us online or call us today at 407-323-7946 (Lake Mary) or 386-410-7946 (New Smyrna Beach) to see how we can help you build the pool of your dreams!