The actual process of building a swimming pool doesn’t take very long at all. Depending on the size and type of pool you want, it could take anything from five days to eight weeks. Let’s dive in and find out more.
For example, the time required to build a 3m x 2m fibreglass shell pool could be as little as five days for installation and another two days to lay the paving around the pool.
How long does it take to build a swimming pool on the other end of the spectrum? A large gunite pool (say 6m x 3m) could take four to six weeks to build.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean you’ll be able to throw your first pool party next weekend. Various environmental and practical factors come into play and could potentially slow things down. These factors include things like:
- The condition of the soil
- How easy it is to access the site
- The prevailing weather conditions
Let’s take a look at each of these factors in more detail:
The condition of the soil
In most areas of the Berea, Durban North, Westville and the Dolphin Coast (think Zimbali, Ballito, Westbrook. Salt Rock and Sheffield Beach), the soil conditions for building a pool are almost too perfect.
Soft soil conditions like the ones found in these areas are great for the builder because the excavation goes quickly. This means that in theory, it doesn’t take long at all to build a pool for you and your family to enjoy.
However, if the soil is too soft, then there’s a risk of the walls collapsing. Should this happen, then the builder will require extra labour, materials and of course time to shore up and sandbag the pool walls. This will regain its shape.
If the soil conditions are too soft then the engineer may ask the contractor to place piles, ground beams and ribs under the base and along the sides of the pool.
This will prevent any settlement of the pool shell. If the engineer working on your pool recommends this, it’s best to listen to them and not try to take shortcuts.
In these cases, shortcuts can sometimes double or triple the original cost quoted – especially if you have to demolish the pool and start building again after a year of dealing with a leaky pool.
On the other hand, if the soil is very hard (like shale or rock), the cost of the excavation – and the length of time needed to build your pool – may increase. While engineers prefer harder soil conditions because of the stable foundations they offer, builders tend to disagree.
Access to the site
When it comes to accessing the site, factors that will affect how long it takes to build your swimming pool and how much it will cost start with where the compressor will be positioned. Ideally, the compressor should be less than 30 metres away from the pool, although it may be possible to extend the pipes to up to 60 metres.
Also, if you are installing a fibreglass shell, consider whether the pool has to come over the roof or a boundary wall. In some cases, one can hire a crane. This raises questions about whether your driveway and/or pavement can accommodate the weight of the crane.
A final factor to consider here is removing the excavated soil from the site. If the soil removal truck cannot access the pool area easily, one will have to hire extra labour to carry the soil out manually in wheelbarrows.
Prevailing weather conditions
Weather plays a big role in pool installation. In KZN, the rainy season is summer, so winter is the best time to build a pool. This is not to say that the planning and preparation work shouldn’t start in the summer though.
If it rains before the gunite has been laid in a newly dug pool, the walls can collapse. The collapsing walls sometimes take the concrete ring beam down with them. Once the gunite has been laid, on the other hand, then a few days of rain won’t hurt, as 90% of the wet works are complete.
Over and above these factors, if you’re in Durban and you’re asking how long a pool takes to build, then you need to think about bureaucratic matters.
The most time-consuming part of building a pool is having the local authorities approve the plans. We advise allowing at least three to six months for this process, but unfortunately, given the current state of Durban’s municipal offices, town planning office and city engineers’ department, it can sometimes take a year or more to get final approval on your plans.
There is an array of factors that go into determining how long a pool takes to build and how much it will cost.
The first step is to get in touch with a trusted and experienced swimming pool company like Blupool.