5 Steps for Installing a Fiberglass Swimming Pool
Learn about the steps to take to install a fiberglass swimming pool.
A fiberglass swimming pool provides an affordable option for many families that want to enjoy swimming in their own backyard. These pools are durable and can usually be installed in much less time than a gunite pool. However, the installation of any in ground pool will come with its fair share of inconvenience and mess. This article will provide the basic steps in installing a fiberglass pool so you will know what to expect with the process.
Choosing a Location
Fiberglass pools come in pre-manufactured shells, so you must be sure you have room for the pool you choose. Select a location in your backyard that gets plenty of sun and is easily accessible from your backdoor. Measure the space carefully, taking into consideration that you will need extra room for decking around the pool. Check to see if the ground is relatively level and high enough that water will not be draining into the pool from the rest of the yard. Once you have chosen your spot and carefully measured your space, you are ready to order the fiberglass shell that will provide the best fit.
Excavating the Ground
Whether you hire a contractor for the process or decide to do the work yourself, the next step will be to dig the hole that the shell will fit into. If you will be doing the work yourself, the manufacturer will send you a digging guide before the shell arrives. If your contractor will be doing the digging, he will send a crew out to excavate your property by digging a hole to the precise specification of the shell you chose. The hole needs to be dug carefully, with frequent breaks for measurements, to ensure the space is accurate.
After the hole is dug, sand will need to be added to the bottom of the space. In most cases, string line will be placed to ensure the right amount of sand is added. Most fiberglass pools require a minimum of three inches of sand surrounding the shell. The sand provides a sturdy, level base for the fiberglass shell to rest in. make sure the sand is well compacted before bringing in your shell.
Setting the Shell
The fiberglass shell is usually set into the ground using large equipment like a back hoe. Sometimes it takes a crane to get the large structure into place. Once the shell is set, it must be checked to ensure it is level. A small amount of water is usually added to the shell to hold it in place, while dirt is backfilled around the shell to create the specific form of the pool including built-in steps and seats.
Holes will need to be drilled into the fiberglass shell so that the plumbing can be installed. Once the plumbing is in place, the pool can be filled with water, using your garden hose or shipped water if you live on property with a well. Once the pool is filled, coping and concrete decking can be added. The pool should be allowed to sit full for a couple of days to allow the sand to settle before it is used.