The Importance of Prepping Your Yard for A Swimming Pool
Guest Blogger: Andre’ Savoie
If you’re following along, you’ve read our first post about how to choose a pool design. Once that’s done, it’s time to prep your yard.
After looking over dozens of pool sites, not one of them talked about the importance of prepping your yard for a pool.
Sure, I saw mention of having “sufficient access” or “suitable soil”, but what the heck does that mean?
In my case, prepping my yard turned out to be a big deal and delayed the start of my pool project.
But don’t blame the pool builder, how were they supposed to put a pool in here?
My swampy, tree-filled back yard pre-pool:
My bushy, tree filled side yard pre-pool:
As you can see I had 3 major issues: (1) drainage & soggy soil, (2) lots and lots of trees and (3) a paver patio that needed to be removed.
Here was my experience with prepping the yard:
Step 1: Allocate Time for Homeowners Association Approval
If you live in a subdivision, there’s a good chance you’ll need to request approval of your pool construction & design from your HOA.
In my case, this delayed my project by 2 weeks as I had to have final plans & permits together before I could submit to them for approval.
Step 2: Removal of Pavers, Trees & Bushes
In my case, I had to remove 6 trees from my property in order to get access to the pool, firm up the soil and eliminate tons of leaves & debris which would fall in the pool each winter.
We also had to remove a fence so the heavy equipment could get into the yard & pick up an old patio made of brick pavers.
The removal of trees and patio further delayed the start of my pool by another week.
My 4 Foot Stack of Pavers Once They Were Removed:
Step 3: Sand & Drainage
Once the trees, shrubs & paver patio were out I could finally bring in some sand to firm things up.
In all, my yard took 5 yards of sand BEFORE they even started digging!
My yard post-tree removal & sand fill:
The moral of this story is have your yard prepped ahead of time to avoid delays on your end before your pool builder even starts.
Talk to your pool builder about this before you get started as it can potentially be a major factor. Pleasure Pools was honest with me about the condition of my yard so none of this came as a surprise, but I’m glad we did it as my backyard is finally dry and sunny!
Also, it’s worth noting that it cost another 10% of my total budget for the pool project just to get my yard prepped and suitable for a pool which again, is no fault of the pool builder. So as with the design part, make sure to factor in yard prep costs as part of your project.
Step 4: Check the Pool Placement
The last step of the process was the fun part…painting the outline of the pool in the yard so we could see what it would look like without trees & before digging.
My pool layout pre-dig:
The pool builder should paint the outline on the ground a few days before the dig so you can get a good look at how the pool will be placed on your lot.
I’m glad they did, because after seeing it on the ground we decided to move it because it was too close to the house!
While it looked good on the drawing and I was trying to save money on decking costs, after seeing the pool layout it was obvious that we needed to move the pool back as it would impact how we used the pool and backyard.
We met with Aimee Elam our designer and she helped me move the pool a few feet to free up some space.
Then, Homer Elam (our pool construction supervisor) came back to my hose and drew the new location on the ground to make sure it was what we wanted.
I’m thankful that the process worked this way because it helped us put the pool in what we think is now the perfect location!
Stay tuned for the next installment on excavation, steel & gunite!