Gunite – our pool actually is starting to look like a pool

The weather the last two months has been full of rain. We’re in a drought. I’m not complaining. I also think it has been great for our pool shell. Rain helps slow down how fast the gunite cures and the slower it cures the harder it gets. The shell has been done for about a month now and they  came back out and shot the back wall of the swim up bar a couple of weeks ago. We’re just waiting for our pool coping to be delivered so that we can move on to the next step.


We are now proud owners of a cement pond.

We just picked up all of our pool equipment – it’s sitting in the garage at the moment.

We also have all of our tile sitting in our entry way. The aqua iridescent tile will be used for the waterline and spillover in the spa. The white octagon tiles are for the swim up bar counter top. The Bellecrete square you can kinda see under my hand is a sample of the coping that we ordered. It is pre-cast concrete with a sand finish, modern profile in dark gray. They make it in all different radius’ so it works for us even though we have a free-form pool. It should be here Tuesday. It’s the next step and Mike and I plan on installing it ourselves.

We spent a few days just cleaning up all of the mess from the gunite. It started raining both times they came out so we ended up with tons (literally two full trailers worth) of concrete we had to haul out. I filled the wheel barrows and Mike loaded them into our dump trailer. Then we took family trips to the dump. So fun.

Lately, Mike has been filling the plumbing trenches with sand and leveling out the ground to get ready for pre-deck inspection. We are renting another bobcat Tuesday to move more dirt out of the yard, but this time it’s to get ready for the deck we are putting in. I’ve been drawing up plans for the deck and new patio cover we are thinking of building. After he levels and moves some dirt, we need to waterproof the retaining wall and bondbeam. Then, Mike and I will install the coping, pour the counter for the swim up bar and bar stools, and install the waterline and counter top tiles. Unlike the addition where we wanted to get back into our house as soon as possible, I don’t think I have been as pushy about getting the pool done. I just want it done by summer – I think that is a relatively achievable goal.

DIY Inground Pool Rough Plumbing and Electrical

Originally, to save money, Mike had planned on doing the rough plumbing and electrical himself. However, on a whim Mike called a plumber who had done our friends pool just to find out how much he would charge to do the job. He gave Mike and offer he couldn’t refuse. I was a little relieved because Mike still needed to finish our yard drains and we were really hoping to get the shell done before we got any more rain. The plumber worked quickly and was very clean. You can see how well he planned out his runs and everything. We have three bubblers in the baja shelf and he plumbed each one on a separate line rather than one long run. This will allows us to taper each bubbler individually so that they can all be the same height. He also plumbed the spa jets so that they won’t need a blower – this was big for us. Our pool equipment is close to the spa and we are already looking for ways to keep the sound down. Mike still plans on doing the finish plumbing and electrical, but this was a big time saver and we came in under budget.

See how nice and clean each runs is? Plus, he put in Jandy valves, which make fixing a problem later a lot easier as you don’t have to cut them out. He also plumbed everything higher off of the ground so that we could work on it without braking our backs later on. Mike seemed really impressed with his work ethic and knowledge and I think he’s pretty pumped that he decided to have him do the roughing in.


Digging a pool between rainstorms

Our pool dig has a theme dig, pump out rain water then dig some more. The hole is finally dug despite looking like a mud pit for awhile.

At some point, right around here, I started thinking maybe it would be best to plan a mud wrestling competition to help offset the cost of the pool. I had it all lined up with an announcer, someone to sing the national anthem, live streaming with the GoPro, referee costumes and whistles. I guess it must have been a slow day at work because everyone wanted to help plan the party. But when I got home Mike had pumped all the water out and my mud pit was ready to get a little deeper.

Bummer. No mud wrestling event. Over the next three days the pool was dug. Through it our dump truck got stuck three times at the dump site and took 2 hours to get it out each time. Maybe we were stupid for trying to dig between rain storms. Maybe we would have been smart to capitalize on it a little and build some epic memories (mud pit wrestling)…but the hole is dug. The end.

The rebar began just as the dig was ending.