3 things you need to know before building a New Orleans pool
3 things you better know
BEFORE you start building a pool in New Orleans:
1. Soil Conditions:
If your soil has a high sand content, and your water table is high, the excavation will collapse. Experienced builders know how to work around such conditions. The inexperienced and “faint-of -heart” might decide that perhaps building pools is not as glamorous as they thought, and abandon the project. But just know that for every problem, there is a solution.
Another thing to look for is if the soil is very high in organic matter. This will lead to the subsidence or sinking effect that is common in many areas because when organic matter decays it takes up less space. Te remedy the situation, be sure Piling support is used.
Soils that increase in volume when wet have a high clay content and are commonly known as “expansive soils”. The problem is once it starts to dry out, it shrinks. To detect if you have dry soil, check for cracks. If you spot a few, there is a good chance you have “expansive soil” which will require special demands on the structure of your pool and deck.
2. Permitting Requirements:
Each Louisiana Parish has its own set of rules that govern the issuance of building permits for swimming pools so it’s always a good idea to check before you start your project. Even inside a Parish, such as Jefferson, the requirements will differ in Harahan, Gretna, East & West Jefferson, and Kenner. For example, within 1000 feet of the “toe” of a levee, you are required to obtain a “Levee Permit”, which involves approval from the Levee Board, Core of Engineers, and the Dept. of Transportation.
In some areas of New Orleans, you may have to deal with “Tree Preservation Districts”, in others, you may have to deal with entities such as the “Vieux Carre’ Commission” and the “Historical District Commission.” On top of all of this, many subdivisions have their own “Architectural Review Committees” that must approve a project before you even apply for a building permit.
3. Water Table Levels:
As stated earlier, high water tables and sandy soils create what we refer to as “cave-ins”. In some extreme cases, the use of sheet-pilings and wooden cribbing may have to be employed, with the use of several pumps, to maintain an open, de-watered excavation to build your pool in. Conditions such as these can only be controlled by an experienced and tenacious contractor. Quality control becomes difficult for the experienced and impossible for the amateurs.
Our advice: Don’t look for a bargain on items such as parachutes, brain surgery, and pool construction! A few dollars saved can cost you a bundle in the long run.