swimming pool construction
Read this before investing in swimming pool plans
Hard economic times seems to have spurred an upward trend of people wanting to build their own swimming pool.
It seems there are plenty of sites offering up information (for a fee of course) on how to build your own pool using cement block.
As a pool builder, I was interested in just how popular this method is becoming and have also tried to do some price comparisons based on what I know.
Pool Construction PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Should I consider concrete block to build my pool?
Now it seems from what I'm reading on these sites offering plans for block wall pools the norm is to use the concrete block shell with a vinyl liner. To me that just seems like a huge waste of time and money. There is absolutely no way you can construct a block wall pool shell to be used with a liner cheaper than you can get a steel wall pool kit for. The time invested in pouring a footer and laying block for this type of setup would be ridiculous compared to the time it would take to build a steel wall vinyl liner pool.
With that being said the only viable reason for wanting to construct the pool walls using concrete block was if the builder intended to plaster the pool upon completion of the pool shell. This is the exact scenario I have tried to compare prices with and if you are interested in building your own swimming pool and have all intentions of it being a complete concrete pool without the use of a vinyl liner then you indeed should read the following.
Pool costs shotcrete vs block walls
I am at the present involved in helping a homeowner to build his own shotcrete pool. The date is 03/07/2010. So you have figures that are not outdated and can reasonably assume that you can duplicate the process. Please make sure you check with local sources as prices for materials and labor can vary greatly from state to state. I am located in central South Carolina and all the figures that I am presenting are based on today's costs.
Cost to build a shotcrete in ground pool:
(This is an 18 'x 36' kidney shaped pool 3' to 8' Deep)
* Forming $400.00
* Digging $750.00
* Skimmer 2 @$90.00 $180.00
* Drains 2@$20.00 $40.00
* Misc. Plumbing (just stubbed) $40.00
* Rebar 190@$2.80 $532.00
* Rebar (labor) 190@$3.00 $570.00
* Shotcrete (material) 31yds @$118.00 $3658.00
* Shotcrete (labor) 31yds @$75.00 $2325.00
* Light Niche $55.00
* Ground wire (roll) $180.00
Total right now $8730.00
This is not the total finished price of the swimming pool. This is what he has invested as it stands which is a completed shotcrete pool shell ready for tile, coping and plaster.
To figure this same job using cement block instead of shotcrete, realistically the only thing I have to re figure is the shotcrete and labor as all the other items will still be required to build the pool using block.
If we were to dig a footer around the perimeter 12" x 12" to support the walls we would need 4 yards of concrete for this.
We will need about 12 yards of concrete for the floor, for a total of 16 yards @ $100.00= $1600.00 (no labor added for pouring and finishing the floor)
We will need about 600 block to construct the pool walls. Provided we can get this done for $4 per block (which by the way is a very conservative number) (materials and labor) our cost is going to be $2400.00 . Now the block will need to be filled which for all practical purposes will require hiring a pump @ $350.00 and approximately 6 yards of pump mix @ $115.00 = $690.00 (While the pump is there it would be an excellent opportunity to build the steps and benches).
No materials or labor added for benches or steps.
Substitute this for the shotcrete and labor from the previous pool cost.
- Floor $1600.00
- Walls (block+ labor + filling) $3440.00
- Total $5040.00
If you will note from the other estimate, shotcrete and labor was $5983.00. But something to take into account here is I added no cost on the block version for finishing the concrete floor and I added no cost for benches or steps. As it stands you have saved about $900.00 and still have to build benches and steps and have to do your own pouring and finishing in the pool floor. I personally feel like anyone would be wasting valuable time and money to try to construct a pool using the concrete block method unless you are dead set on doing much of the labor yourself and even then it is really not cost effective to use block for the swimming pool walls.