Pool Excavation & Construction Excavation Steel Work, Plumbing, and Electrical Installing the Pool Shell Decking, Custom Features, and Landscaping Adding Water, Chemicals, and Mechanical Start-Up Orientation
Step 5:

Pool Excavation & Construction

The final stage of building a pool is of course the excavation and construction of your backyard oasis! You’ve probably spent about a month finding the right builder, decided on a pool type, designing the best pool for your budget and needs, and getting the appropriate permits. The remaining construction will probably take 6 – 8 weeks.

For a full outline, see our article on how long it will take to build a pool. If you are looking to build an above ground pool, see our page on above ground yard preparation.

There are several steps to the physical construction of your pool:

  • Excavation – Digging the hole in the ground
  • Steel Work, Plumbing, and Electrical – Installing the power and water lines
  • Installing the Concrete, Fiberglass, or Vinyl Shell
  • Building the decking, finish, custom features, and landscaping
  • Filling the pool, adding chemicals, and mechanical start-up
  • Orientation

Here’s what you can expect at each stage:


When your pool contractor starts building your pool, they may perform a soil test to gauge the composition of the ground you are building in. Salts, organic matter, clay, sand, gravel, and silt can affect the digging conditions for your pool. They want to ensure that the soil is uniform and suitable for pool construction.

Next, they will bring in heavy duty equipment such as a backhoe to start digging. You may be surprised by the amount of dirt that will come out of the ground. Because there is such a high volume of dirt, they will probably haul it away or else it will take up a major chunk of your yard.

During the process of digging, hauling dirt, and storing materials, you should be prepared for your yard to incur damage. Heavy equipment and trucks will create an access lane through your yard and destroy your grass. This is a necessary part of the construction process.

Steel Work, Plumbing, and Electrical

Next up is the installation of the power and water lines that make your pool function. This will include building the equipment pad which will hold your pump and filter systems. The plumbing may be built below the ground inside concrete or on top of a pad depending on how discreet you want it to be. This process may take longer if your pool has a lot of extra features like lights, water features, and spas.

Steel Work, Plumbing & Electrical Works, Pool Building

Installing the Pool Shell

Now for the exciting part! It’s time to build the actual “pool” part of your swimming pool. A gunite (sprayed concrete) pool will involve building a steel-reinforced rebar skeleton. This combines well with gunite because they bond well, they have similar expansion characteristics in different temperatures, and concrete protects the steel from corrosion.

Building Inground Swimming Pool, Pool Builders

If you are installing a vinyl or fiberglass pool, the process will typically go faster since the pool walls or shell will be created off-site, shipped, and installed directly. Part of installing a fiberglass pool will be leveling the pool and taking measurements around the pool. This can often take many adjustments by crane to ensure that the pool is secure.

Decking, Custom Features, and Landscaping

After the pool base is finished, the contractor will build the surface level deck and extra features, apply your pool finish and develop the surrounding landscaping. Depending on how complex you want your pool to be this can take longer.

Adding Water, Chemicals, and Mechanical Start-Up

After your interior finish is installed, the pool will be filled with water. This may include an acid wash the day before filling. After that, a technician will start up your equipment and install a cleaner if applicable.


Finally, the day is here! Your pool is built and running, and you can enjoy the luxurious joy of a refreshing pool. You will be guided around the pool by a project manager who will answer any questions or concerns you may have. They will give you the instructions you need to maintain your pool. Congratulations, you now have your own backyard oasis!

If you are just getting started and looking for a builder, our builder locator can connect you with a network of proven professionals. Find a Builder Near You.

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