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Thread: Building your own pool...crazy or not?

  1. #1
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    Building your own pool...crazy or not?

    My front/side garden is a mess. The main problem is that we do not use it because it is not walled in so we cannot be there with the dogs plus there is no privacy. Although I keep it slightly trimmed (once every couple of months ), it's time to do something about it and make it really lekker.

    So we are going to wall it in, put in pool, some lekker lawn with irrigation, built in flower beds with mainly water wise plants, lighting, gazebo....

    the space is not huge so a smallish pool is needed. We've had a quote for R48,000 for a fibre glass pool (5.2m x 3m) installed and ready to go. We where kinda happy with that (ouch, but what we where expecting), until visiting a clients house on Friday, and she built a 12m x 2.5 m pool for R22,000!

    Now looking into it, it might be the way to go. I would like a slightly above ground pool anyway (so you have about 400mm above ground), nice seating place and helps to keep dirt out.

    haven't cleared up all the issues but seems pretty basic.

    Dig hole, bottom needs around 20cm compacted building sand, lay 30cm reinforced concrete slab with steel reinforced poles around the border, lay out course bricks, lay inner course bricks, fill in between with concrete, build steps, plaster inside, fibreglass.

    I would not lay the brickwork myself, and maybe not the fibreglassing, but everything else I think could be done fairly quickly with a little help...

    Am I kidding myself? Am I being extremely naive and leave it for the experts?

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I know someone who built a hand packed concrete pool using 2 layers of steel mesh and as far as i know he didn't have any problems.

    You might need to just speak to a structural engineer about the suitability of the spec your planning and get advice on how to tie the upright walls to the base slab.

    There's lot of companies around who specialise in fiber glass lining of pools, especially old marblite with the black algae problems. The fiber glass work is definitely a job you won't want to do yourself.
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    Full Member Cream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pap_sak View Post
    Dig hole, bottom needs around 20cm compacted building sand, lay 30cm reinforced concrete slab with steel reinforced poles around the border, lay out course bricks, lay inner course bricks, fill in between with concrete, build steps, plaster inside, fibreglass.
    When you're done with your pool, I'd like one too please

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    Had a look at threads that I started and saw this one from a year ago

    Well, I did actually build this pool with the help of one guy (and to be fair he did a lot of the work). What a mission. Not a very big pool, but took 1 and a half months of some back breaking labour to complete. And it costs WAY more than I thought...around R48K, quote for a fiberglass pool at the time where was around R52K. 49 trips to the dump with my bantam half ton loaded with 700-850kg of sand a time...2.5tons of cement, never mind sand and stone.

    Oh well, with a roof it could quite easily become a bomb shelter. Worst day...laying the 20cm thick concrete base, just two of us and a small concrete mixed - and having to do it in one lay.

    Next time I'll get a fiberglass shell - although I do get some satisfaction telling people I built it myself...until the wife chips in that David did alot of the grunt work.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Well I'm glad you finished the project successfully. As for how much work and expense was involved, that's just school fees unfortunately. I know the feeling though, there's several jobs I've done myself over the years that with hindsight it would have been better not to tackle them.
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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    I would just buy the ready made unit and drop it in the hole, must be easier?
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    Gold Member Dave S's Avatar
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    Pap Sak, i tried this myself many years ago, got the base layed, built up the walls, and I marbleited the shell to finish off. problems came a few years later when we realised that we had not waterproofed the brickwork, seepage started to discolour the marblelite, and caused bricks to compress, causing cracks. Long story short, I got a contractor to solve the problem, bill was R28K. back in 1993.

    If you remember to put in damp proofing under the base, around the outside of the brickwork, reinforcement between the brickwork (outer/inner walls). Oh... and use clay bricks, cement bricks tend to absorb more moisture and this causes them to compress and create cracks.
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    Hi Dave S

    The inside was plastered using a waterproofing compound an then fiberglassed (15K, had to pay a bit more as it was done a couple of days before christmas). The ouside walls are concrete, lock in blocks, filled with concrete - about 50 cm wide.

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    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Our pool cracked last year - had a team of 6 in for 4 days to lay additional steel reinforcing, hand pack concrete, re-do piping and paving ( ring-beam ) and plaster ready for fibreglass.

    Trust me when I say - this is HARD LABOUR !!!

    The fibreglass was done in less than a day. If you're in the Durban area, I can tell you who we used - very professional - Hennie at Falcon Fibreglass - has an excellent name in our area.

    If you are putting in a pool, consider doing this at the start :

    When adding the piping and return inlet to the pool, add an additional inlet for the return from the solar heating (panel or coils).

    When ours was done, I added the following :

    From the pump outlet that goes back to the pool : added a T-piece and a ball valve ( for flow control ) to each side of the T.
    One ball value is piped to your normal return inlet jet.
    The other goes to the solar heating location. I don't have the solar coils on the roof yet, but the pipe from the pool pump is sitting there waiting for that day.
    From the location of the solar coils, have a return pipe back to the pool, going to a second inlet jet.

    Once you ( & I ) get round to adding the solar coils, use the ball valves to regulate the flow of return water so that some passes through the coils, and back to the second inlet jet. The remainder of the water travels to the first (standard) inlet jet.

    My point is, that if you think you might want to add some heating at a later stage, add the piping and inlet jet now.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    I had thought of that but the pool costs where mounting up and I was gatvol at the end with the whole thing! But working with PVC pipe is so easy, I will just cut out a section - I did all the plumbing so kept it basic!

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