DIY Swimming Pools - How to Build a Swimming Pool in Your Garden

Summary: DIY Swimming Pools. In this project we give you a run down on all the steps involved in how to build a swimming pool in your garden. Also featured is a case study of a swimming pool build carried out for a customer that details each step involved in building a swimming pool including the initial planning, digging the hole for the pool, adding the retaining walls, screeding the base and also a breakdown of the costs involved.

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There are many considerations to think about when taking on construction of a swimming pool here are just a few of the main ones you need to decide upon to get you going:

DIY swimming pool build plans

DIY swimming pool build plans

Excavating the site

Excavating the site

Positioning the pool walls

Positioning the pool walls

Screeding the pool base

Screeding the pool base

The completed DIY swimming pool build!

The completed DIY swimming pool build!

  • Access to site: Consideration would have to made for accessing your garden with plant equipment and for the removal of soil.
  • Size/depth of the pool: How big do you want the pool and what style and depth do you require?
  • Orientation of the pool: Where is the pool to be placed in relation to any adjoining buildings, walls etc. Other factors include wind, shade and overall views of the pool from the house and possibly your neighbours property?
  • Positioning of flow control, lights or steps/bays: What extras do you want on the pool and where will they be positioned?
  • Ground conditions - Clay, chalk, high water table, etc: What will you be excavating and how do you intend to dispose of this material? Is there a high water table? This is not a design issue as we have come up against many ground conditions. If detected at an early stage we will be able to advise you accordingly.
  • Heating: If you are heating the pool then will it be by electricity, gas or oil?
  • Environmental control within the pool hall: If the project is indoors, there will be a requirement for inclusion of a dehumidification system. This will control the water temperature and the environment in the pool enclosure.
  • Usage of the pool: Will the pool be used for exercise, fun, hydrotherapy, public use, diving, etc?
  • Services available to site: Is there access to electrics, water, gas, oil, etc?

Below you will find an actual case study of an actual pool build carried out for Mr Gary Searle:

When Gary Searle first considered owning a swimming pool he had to face a number of decisions. In this case study, we give you an honest and transparent overview of what the typical installation will require. This includes the cost of the pool and equipment as well as the man hours and raw materials required to get the job finished.

In Gary’s own words “ I was at first daunted by the choices I had from the start. I knew I wanted a liner pool as I was aware they were popular in countries like the States and France for example. The next thing I had to decide was the actual method to build the pool shell itself. I simply searched on the Internet for Diy swimming pool kits, which took me to A and P Pools.

Marking out the pool area

Marking out the excavation

Digging the hole

Digging the hole

Bottom channel goes down straight on top of the dig

Bottom channel goes down straight on top of the dig

Panels Placed in Bottom Channel

Panels placed in bottom channel and walls erected

Adding the step unit

Step unit is cam-locked to the pool shell

Screeding Pool Bottom

Pool bottom screeded - note main drains protruding at ground level

Completed Pool Floor

Screeded floor completed

Backfilling pool Panels

Behind the pool panels is then backfilled

Errecting pool Surround

Pool surround is erected

Polystyrene Applied to Pool Floor

25mm Polystyrene applied to screeded floor

Floor Covering Completed

Completed floor covering

Pool Floor Lined

Liner is placed at the bottom of the pool

Locking of the liner

Liner is locked into place

Vaccuming Pool Liner Back

Pool liner is vacuumed back to pool sides removing all creases

Liner Gathered Around Corner Step

Liner is gathered around the corner step unit

Pool is filled and decking surround added

Pool is filled and decking surround added

Swimming pool project complete!

Swimming pool project complete!

  • Dig + Soil removal £890 + VAT using grab lorries via contractor found in yellow pages (A and P Pools)
  • Excavation £470 + VAT for plant (3 tonne mini-digger, mini-dumper for one week)
  • Materials for pool £820 + VAT (5 bags of sand, 70 bags of cement, 5 ton of pea-shingle, 20 ton of ballast, 2’ x 1’ batten for hopper, polystyrene for base)
    • Labour costs using contractors and network of tradesmen/friends.
    • 7.2m x 3.6m complete kit £9,444.65 inc VAT
    • Liner fitting £1000 inc VAT
    • Paving slabs & bricks £150 inc VAT
    • Decking £1500 inc VAT
    • Winter cover £354 inc VAT
    • Boiler + Heat Exchanger £1000 inc VAT
  • Man Hours The project took a total of 180 man hours with an average of 2 men on site at any one time. This equates to 10 full working days to complete the project, however this was actually done during spare time & weekends.
  • Running costs - 24 x 12 pool, £260 + VAT to run this pool on gas for season (May to October). Concrete or blockwork liner pool would cost a minimum of £600 + VAT to run.

The system was explained to me along with the fact that I would receive technical support from the suppliers of the pool - Pollypool throughout the build. The benefits of the Polypool system outweighed any other presented to me by other companies I had contacted about this project. I’m an engineer myself and did spend a lot of time studying the concept of the Polypool system. The first thing that struck me was the way it all went together. It was very straight forward. I employed the services of a few good friends and took my time. Whenever I had some spare time, I would do a little bit more. This whole job was completed mainly at week-ends and evenings. I brought in contractors to excavate, put the panels in, screed the floor and fit the liner. In hindsight I needn’t have done that.

The bottom channel system and the panels went in no time and had I known how simple it was I would have done it myself. I was asked to work out how many man-hours the job took and to calculate the overall cost of the pool including the kit, the raw materials and any additional labour supplied by my contractors. I would just like to add that building this pool myself not only saved me a lot of money but also gave me a lot of satisfaction.

The long-term benefit for me is that the running costs are already proving to be far lower than they would have been without the heat retention Polypool offered me. After one season, I estimate that the pool has cost us £500 to run including heating and chemicals etc.

The family have had a lot of fun in and around the pool and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever bought after my house and my car.”

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