Pool Excavation, Steel & Gunite from a Homeowner’s Perspective
Guest Blogger: Andre’ Savoie
If you’ve been following along in our series, you’ll know that we’ve covered a few important areas in the pool building process from the homeowner’s standpoint on choosing a design and prepping your yard.
Both of those steps involve active work on the homeowner’s part.
But once they’re done, it’s time to sit back and be a kid for a little while and watch the men play with the big equipment!
It’s kind of funny to me that our builder referred to a “Dig Date” on the contract. But really, once you get to that part, it’s like being pregnant and having a “Due Date”, there’s no going back!
On dig day, an army of people showed up with a bobcat, excavator and more dump trucks than I can count.
The first thing they did was stake out the pool design:
Man it looked small when they did this! I won’t lie – I had a slight panic attack that we had agreed to a pool that would be too small!
But after talking to Aimee (our designer) & Homer (our construction supervisor) about this, they assured me that the 2 dimensional drawing of the pool on the ground ALWAYS looks small, and that once they started digging we wouldn’t believe how big the pool would feel.
Boy were they right!
My son and his pal had a field day watching the heavy equipment at work digging the pool:
Pool Begins to Take Shape
As the equipment continued to dig, the pool began to take shape.
We watched in amazement as the hole seemed impossibly deep and the side walls and bottom began to look like pool walls and ledges.
Steel & Gravel
After completing the excavation in just 1 day, the very next day the steel guys were back to put in the steel and add in some gravel. At this point it’s starting to look like a swimming pool!
As soon as the steel was in, the next army of guys and equipment showed up, this time to “shoot the gunite”.
Gunite is basically concrete that can be shot out instead of poured and doesn’t have the same “liquidy” (my word) composure so it stays in place while they form walls, curves and steps.
If you look at this picture you will see what I mean. Notice the gunite being shot out and the other guys smoothing it out. You can also see the steel in the background that wasn’t covered yet when the picture was taken.
Finished Gunite Pool
Once the men were finished and the equipment was gone, I had what looked like a swimming pool.
All of this was done in just 3 days!
You can clearly see the deep end with the extended seat, the tanning ledge, the side areas where the scuppers will go and the plumbing and electrical conduits.
All in all it was pretty amazing to see a giant hole dug in your yard, several tons of dirt being hauled off, then having steel and concrete formed into a pool.
Once the gunite is done, it’s time to start putting the finishing touches on the pool.
Next phase – tile, coping and electrical. Stay tuned for those updates!