How Long Does It Take to Build a Pool?

Outdoor Additions
Additions and Remodels
Swimming Pools
By Contractors.com Team June 08, 2021

A pool is a great way to convert the space in your backyard into something recreational and useful. There are so many benefits to having a pool in your backyard. Swimming pools are a space for memories, cool moments, and endless family fun. To top it off, an inground swimming pool is a great long-term investment in your property and is a great way to increase your home’s value. Unlike semi-inground swimming pools or above-ground pools, inground pools are a permanent fixture. As such, they are virtually guaranteed to add resale value. So, while inground pools cost at least $10,000 more than above-ground pools, they are a worthwhile investment. 

If you intend to take the plunge and transform your lawn into an emerald blue piscina, you probably have some questions. Completing an inground pool project is a question of pool cost, but also of time. So, how long does it take to build an inground pool? Well, the short answer is 8 to 12 weeks on average. How long it takes is usually a function of many things, including pool size, your backyard’s particulars, and unforeseen complications. The easiest way to get a grasp on the timeline is to go through a summary of each of the steps in the inground pool construction process.     

1. Design Stage - 3 weeks

This is a fun one because you get to explore all the options for your future inground pool. There’s an almost limitless number of designs when it comes to the style, size, and shape of your pool. There are so many pool customization options out there that there’s bound to be one that is tailored to your exact wants and needs. The huge number of choices might seem overwhelming at first, but there are plenty of ways to make choosing an option easy and fun. You can look through some inspiration galleries to get an idea of what you like and want for your pool. 

The First Step In Building Your Swimming Pool

The First Step In Building Your Swimming Pool

Once you have a better idea of what you want you can get in touch with a professional pool designer who can create a 3D rendering of your design. A 3D rendering will give you a good idea of what your design will look like, and will allow you to tweak the design until you find exactly what you want. This designing process can take up to three weeks to complete since your pool design will go back and forth a few times as you revise it.  

2. Permits - 1-2 months

Unless you live out in the sticks, an inground pool project will require a building permit from your local municipality. This is the most unpredictable step in terms of the timeline since it depends mostly on your local government. For this reason, it is recommended that you start the process as soon as you can. Generally, the process of pulling a permit will take one or two months, and cost an average of $150. A swimming pool contractor can simplify this process. It is normal for licensed contractors to pull the permits themselves since they will know which permit you need and will know who to get in touch with to start the process. If you want to get the permits yourself, the best thing to do is get in touch with your local building inspector, as they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about permits. Once you get your permits, it’s time to get started.      

Getting the Right Permits to Build An Inground Pool

Getting the Right Permits to Build An Inground Pool

3. Laying Down the Groundwork - 2 days

Your contractor will now start the process of transforming your design into a real-world structure. The first step is to outline the shape of your pool as specified in your design with some wooden stakes and something like Mason’s line (string). This will be your first chance to see what the design will look like in your backyard. The contractor will go over some calculations and go over the building process with you in detail so that you are both on the same page in terms of how the pool will come together. The contractor will also pinpoint the location of important things to avoid such as wires, water pipes, and telephone cables. This entire stage should take no longer than two days. 

A General Timeline for Building a Swimming Pool

A General Timeline for Building a Swimming Pool

4. Excavation and Framing - 2 weeks

Now it’s time for the Bobcat (excavator) and dump truck to come in. Your yard is about to get pretty messy, but only for a day or two. Excavation will take between one and two weeks to complete, and this will depend on a bunch of different variables. As your contractor starts to clear earth, they may discover utility lines, boulders, moist soil, or other obstacles. If your backyard is hard to access that can also slow things down. Bad weather can also make the process longer. No need to worry though because a licensed pool technician will keep you updated as the project progresses. An established pool construction company will have plenty of experience installing pools in all kinds of difficult terrain, so any issues that crop up shouldn’t be major.    

Once the excavators have done their job, it’s time for the frame of your swimming pool to be put in. The frame of an inground swimming pool is typically made of steel rebar and is usually made up of latticework of horizontal and vertical bars. This will reinforce the concrete that will be put down later. It takes between 1 to 3 days to fully install. When the frame is fully installed, you’ll start to have a pretty good idea of the shape and size your pool will be.   

Laying the Foundation for An Inground Pool

Laying the Foundation for An Inground Pool

5. Plumbing - 1 week

With your pool’s skeleton now in place, it's time for your contractor to start work on installing your pool’s plumbing and piping. This is one of the most important stages. Plumbing is, after all, a central part of any swimming pool. The modern swimming pool design includes plumbing for a pump, a filtration system, and some even come with heaters. Any mistakes made here could lead to costly problems down the road, so your contractor should take their time to get this right. This is just one of many reasons you want to make sure you hire a contractor that is experienced and licensed. This will give you the priceless peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re in good hands. Expect this stage of the construction process to take at least a week. 

How Long It Takes to Install Swimming Pool Plumbing

How Long It Takes to Install Swimming Pool Plumbing

6. Electrics - About a week

None of the many pumps, sumps, or pipes of your inground pool will work properly without electricity. During this stage, all of the electrical connections will be hooked up so that pumps and other features such as lights, whirlpools, and fountains all have power. If your swimming pool has some cool additions like a firepit or barbecue range, gas lines will be installed for them during this stage. It’s rare that the installation process takes longer than two days. Both the electrics and the gas lines will have to be checked by an inspector, however, and that will add an extra three days at minimum to the project. 

When You Should Expect the Electrician to Come in When Building a Pool

When You Should Expect the Electrician to Come in When Building a Pool

7. Walls, Floor, Tiling, Aesthetics - 2 weeks

Now concrete is pumped onto your pool’s steel skeleton to cover it and form the pool’s structural base. It takes a day to fully cover an inground pool’s steel frame with concrete,  but the concrete will have to sit and cure for another five days before work can resume. Your contractor will see to it that the concrete is watered a few times a day as part of the curing process. Once the concrete has finished curing, it’s time to install tiling and coping. Tiles are typically installed on the upper half of the pool’s walls, and coping is the material that caps the top part of the pool. 

The Final Stages of Building a Custom Pool

The Final Stages of Building a Custom Pool

Tiles are mostly aesthetic, but coping plays an important structural function by keeping water from falling behind the concrete base of your pool. Depending on the material you choose, coping can also be slip-resistant for added safety. For a simple pool design, this process will take around three days. However, if your pool design is more complex and has some fun features like a slide, or a waterfall, it may add an extra three days to this stage at a minimum.    

8. Decking - 5 days

Now it’s time for the decking - meaning the walkways that surround the pool - to be either poured in or installed. Concrete decks are poured in and are quite popular because they're cheap, smooth (friendly to bare feet), and require very little maintenance. Stone pavers can give a more natural look, but they tend to cost more. Putting in the deck will take five days at maximum. 

Why Installing a Deck is Worth the Wait

Why Installing a Deck is Worth the Wait

9. Final Touches - 9 days

Your pool will undergo a final inspection once it is complete. It can take a few days before an inspector can find the time to visit, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait up to five days for a final inspection. Any equipment still on the job site is cleared away at this point. Once this is all done, a final layer of surfacing is shot onto the concrete of the pool’s base and is left to sit for a full day. Then, the surface is acid-washed and the pool can then be filled with water. It can take up to two days to 40 hours to fill an average-sized swimming pool (20,000 gallons) with a garden hose. The pool is chlorinated (which takes one day), and the pH verified to make sure everything is sanitized. 

The Hard Work of Building a Pool Pays off for Years to Come

The Hard Work of Building a Pool Pays off for Years to Come

Then, you can dive right into your new pool.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team

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