Pool Construction Process and Policy Explanation.
This detail has been put together to help you have an experience during a commonly frustrating process known as POOL installation and construction that is not as daunting as it seems at times once we explain the process.
We have discovered over the years that the #1 cause of frustration is CLIENTS not knowing what to expect. We hope that this guide will give you a better understanding of the swimming pool construction process.
Your entire yard is about to be a complete mess for the next 12 to 24 weeks (This starts the day construction starts not when proposal is signed Greencare has no control over you HOA or city permitting delays) depending on the scope of your project and unforeseen obstacles and delays a pool could take longer than 24 weeks but is unlikely. This packet will really help answer your questions and address your concerns. Please read in in its entirety and refer back to it throughout the process.
PROFESSIONAL POOL CONSTRUCTION STAGES
First step is sending your design off to be structurally engineered. At this point slight changes are needed to ensure the pool and options are structurally sound.
The next stage is obtaining all building permits. This takes time sometimes spending an entire day at a government permitting facility only to be told they have changed a variance or code in your area so we need to adjust the engineered plan to meet there new requirement or a soils report may be needed.
All scheduled dates are tentative and subject to change due to:
- Each phase is always approved to have been completed properly by the construction office before scheduling next phase which takes time. It is the only way to ensure things are done right.
- Adverse weather conditions, such as wind or rain, can delay steel, shotcrete, deck and plaster. If this occurs, we reschedule for the next available date. This means if it is windy or rainy for 2 weeks and then it clears up on your installation date. The crews will be busy completing the all other jobs that were delayed during that 2 week period first then once those jobs are done yours will follow.
- Revisions or changes of any kind along the way to the final approved plan will cause delays.
- There may be days (or rarely even a week or more) when no work is performed on site. At times if a specialist is needed it takes a week or more to get them on site. Material delays can and often cause an extended delay also (this is why we need all final selections to be made as soon as possible). A specialist may arrive and spend only an hour or two then leave. This is due to the specialized nature of Greencare’s guys and crews then scheduling them in and out. Sometimes the one little thing that required the specialist doesn’t take long but holds up the process.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 3 Layout
- 4 Excavation
- 5 Caliche
- 6 Plumbing
- 7 Steel
- 8 Electrical
- 9 Pre-Gunite Inspection
- 10 Shotcrete
- 11 Tile & Rock Work / Waterfalls
- 12 Clean Up and Deck
- 13 Safety Barriers
- 14 Final Inspection
- 15 Plaster / Pebble
- 16 Start Up & Orientation
- 17 Final Walk / Punch List
- Pool shape is spray painted out per engineering.
- Superintendent checks the layout for accuracy and the lot thoroughly for construction conflicts. Slight adjustments are made accordingly.
- If the homeowner wishes to make changes, now is the time. It is much easier to erase paint and re-spray, than to fill and re-dig a hole.
If a larger pool is requested than written on proposal it will be at an added cost. No matter what was verbally discussed or promised it must be written on contract to be included. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Sometimes there is slight stucco damage. If this occurs we will repair it when job is complete.
At times for access we will need to knock down access walls. It will be an additional charge to rebuild these walls when job is complete.
- The pool is dug.
- Mounds are formed at the location of steps.
- Dump trucks full of dirt are very heavy. Concrete may break if they cross over it to obtain backyard access. Asphalt will take on some minor damage that looks terrible but is superficial and does not affect structural integrity. Concrete will also have black tire marks that fade with time and if extreme can be power washed to lighten them up.
- Trucks and tractors will make a mess of the access area. This cannot be avoided. The access area will be cleaned when pool construction is completed.
- The superintendent will inspect and verify it is a hard dig. Large breaker equipment will need to be brought in to complete the dig.
- If caliche is found, additional fees will be charged to continue digging and remove the caliche. When you run into caliche there is absolutely nothing that can be done except to bring in the heavy equipment. We do not know until we start digging that there is going to be caliche. It is an unforeseeable delay and it adds extra costs. If rock or unusual soil conditions are encountered during excavation, a hard dig will result. It is at a cost of $200.00 per hour additional and is unavoidable.
- The system is pressurized and checked for leaks.
- Any plumbing leaks visible by a wet area or drip are repaired.
- Installation of any gas lines (if applicable) is scheduled.
- It should be noted: the final gas hook up, connecting the stub to the meter, can only be
performed by Southwest Gas. The homeowner is required to make an appointment and there is no
charge for this service but the contractor cannot schedule this.
Below is what a normal dig looks like when plumbed.
All plumbing and pool equipment are installed.
- PSteel bars (rebar) are placed in a grid-like pattern throughout the pool.
- Steel is placed on top of the mounds for the steps.
- Rough electric is done and Preliminary electrical inspections are scheduled.
- Steel is tied to follow structural engineering calculations, every pool is different based upon depths,
configuration and engineering spec. Req.
- Installation of light niche, rough electrical and bonding is performed. National codes require all
metal within 5′ of the water’s edge is bonded. Bonding is a copper wire connected to all metal and is
similar to grounding.
- If someone other than Greencare is installing your wrought iron, make sure they perform the
bonding sufficiently. Be sure to leave all breakers off. Pre-Gunite inspection is scheduled.
- A city building inspector will check the electrical, plumbing and steel for proper bonding and to ensure the pool is ready for shotcrete. (sometimes inspections fail this is normal and ensures proper steps have been completed) If you do fail we schedule the item that caused the failed inspection to be completed and reschedule the inspection.
- Once inspection is approved, shotcrete will be scheduled.
- Concrete is sprayed to create the pool shell and the steps are formed.
The client is required to spray shotcrete with water thoroughly 2-3 times per day for the next 7 days. If you’re not going to be home or cannot arrange someone to do this Greencare can do this for you but it is at a cost of $50.00 per day and must be pre-arranged. Keeping the concrete damp enables it to cure properly and
reach full strength integrity. Don’t worry if water collects on the bottom while curing. Shrinkage cracks are normal and not structural in nature.
Proper watering on the first day minimizes shrinkage cracks, although it will not prevent them. At this point double verify all color selections for tile, grout, flagstone, deck and interior finish are correct. We go off signed selection sheet, text or emailed confirmation. Final color outcome may vary from samples. Greencare assumes no responsibility for manufacturer color variations. If you do not like a final color selection once installed or ordered added cost to reinstall or reorder material will be added. No matter what was verbally discussed or promised it must be written on contract to be included. NO EXCEPTIONS.
TILE & ROCK WORK/WATERFALLS
- Waterfalls, Geometric water features or other rock work is scheduled. On water features it is extremely rare for us to be able to duplicate an exact duplicate from a previous build. All water features are custom built and vary in exact size and shape. We do our absolute best to make each water feature as close to the proposal verbiage and photos as possible but there will be a difference. Sometimes minimal and sometimes dramatic (on natural stone it is a matter of personal opinion as to what is minimal or dramatic). Greencare assumes no responsibility for variation’s on
- A row of 6” wide tile is installed under deck placement and where specified per plan.
(standard tile selections included)
- Unless specifically requested, we do not place tile on rolled beams.
- Pre-deck inspection is scheduled (sometimes inspections fail this is normal and ensures proper steps have been completed) If you do fail we schedule the item to be completed that was the cause of failing then re-schedule inspection.
- Upon approval, clean up and deck are scheduled.
- Reminder – barrier requirements must be met. Drainage will be placed as needed for city code requirements. No specific drainage location can be determined prior to deck lay out. We place drains as needed per proper code. Greencare not responsible for barrier requirements.
DECK FORMING AND GRADING
- All forms are installed; correct deck levels are determined and proper grading is done. At times a very aggressive grade downward away from pool is needed. There is nothing that can be done about this. Water must be diverted to drains and drain out of yard properly.
- Concrete is poured and deck is sprayed with chosen color.
- Clean up around pool and yard is completed.
- DO NOT WALK ON WET CEMENT FOR AT LEAST 24 HOURS.
- Additional masonry work is scheduled if on contract and if applicable.
- Gate coding and window alarms are scheduled prior to final inspection. If not already done.
Keep children and pets out of the area for 36 hours.
- Safety codes are governed by the city (it is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure codes are met) This is to prevent children unsupervised access to the pool.
- Greencare can be contracted to obtain current barrier codes and bring residence to compliance,
otherwise it is your responsibility.
- A final or pre-plaster inspection is scheduled.
a. Codes vary per city and HOA requirements. Greencare assumes no responsibility that proper requirements
are met. If added cost is to be incurred it will be the homeowners responsibility to hire a contractor to
meet code requirements
b. Typical barrier requirements are:
– Minimum 5′ high block wall fence around the yard.
– An outward opening gate to yard that is self-closing and self-latching. (01) 3’ gate included.
Additional charge if more access points need to be pool coded.
– All windows opening to yard have locks 54” high to prevent windows from opening more than 4”.
Max 10 windows and 3 doors. Additional charge
if more access points need to have an alarm installed.
– Sliding glass windows must be self-closing and self-latching with the handle
– Doors opening to the yard must have a lock 54” high.
– Doors opening to the pool area must have door alarms.
- City inspector checks all safety barriers.
- You must be home for this inspection. (sometimes inspections fail this is normal and ensures proper steps have been completed) If you do fail we schedule the item to be completed that was the cause of failing. The city offers a 3 day window for the city inspector to show up at your home for this
inspection. (yes we realize this is ridiculous) It is what they offer and we apologize for them.
- Upon passing final pre plaster we will do a pre site inspection and prepare for plaster, pebble or quartz installation. We ask that you please remain patient this is an extremely important phase and weather conditions must be ideal. If it has been windy for weeks then rained for a week and your scheduled date was the first clear day we have had in 3 weeks it doesn’t mean we are still scheduled for that day. It means we have to install all of the other projects that have been patiently waiting that were originally scheduled in that 3 week period, then yours. If it is windy in the morning the plaster crew will attempt to wait it out for a maximum of 30 minutes. If they are forced to pull off the jobsite they go home for the day and will attempt to return the following day depending on weather. This is the #1 complaint we receive. Please be patient. We are doing all we can to get your job done as quickly as possible. It is in our best interest to do so because our goal is to add another happy customer that will refer us in the future. We want to admit this is the point where we at times lose our clients patience and it is due to clients just not understanding we cannot do anything about this delay. We apologize for all delays in advance but the fact is that unforeseen delays are in the nature of the business.
- A 1/2” thick layer of plaster, quartz or pebbled finish, depending on your contract, is sprayed and troweled onto the shotcrete surface.
- Immediately after finish is applied, water begins filling the pool and/or spa.
- Continue filling until water level is halfway up the tiles. It is the client’s responsibility to turn off the water. If you’re not going to be home or cannot arrange someone to do this Greencare can do this for you but it is at a cost of $50.00 and must be pre-arranged.
- For plaster finish pools, begin brushing 3-5 times per day once the pool is full for a period of 7 to 10 days. If you’re not going to be home or cannot arrange someone to do this Greencare can do this for you but it is at a cost of $50.00 and must be pre-arranged. Greencare assumes no responsibility if this is not done.
START UP & ORIENTATION
- When your pool is full, contact the office to schedule your start up.
- Our technician will come out to get the pool up and running Do not attempt to turn on the pool yourself.
- Homeowner is responsible for startup chemicals.
(we highly recommend HIRING a service provider at this time)
- Technician will orient you on equipment functionality and maintenance.
FINAL WALK/PUNCH LIST
- We will walk the project with you to note any unfinished items or necessary repairs.
- A date for repairs will be scheduled with our office and the final punch list will be completed.
PLEASE READ THIS PACKET IN DETAIL AND REFER BACK TO IT THROUGH THE POOL CONSTRUCTION PROCESS
Q: There are lines in my Synthetic Turf? Is it defective?
A: This synthetic grass issue is caused by the sun and the reflection off of windows (sometimes yours, sometimes your neighbors), it is not under warranty due to the fact we cannot control the placements of windows or where the suns reflection hits the ground? The Low E windows are reflecting the sun back on to the ground and acting like a magnifying glass. The reason the melting takes place in lines is because that is how a reflection off of the window hits the ground (in a line about the length of the window) it may not burn the full length though due more heat generated in certain spots.
The reason the line movement goes across the grass in different locations is because the sun placement moves in the sky. As the days go by and the seasons change the sun moves from directly above at the peak of summer, toward the south then back toward the north as seasons pass each year. The reason it doesn’t burn everywhere and only certain random spots is due to hotter and more intense heat on some days. Also cloud cover on some days and not on others.
You need to first identify the window and place a cover shade over it.
Once the window is covered we can come out and either patch the grass (which it may not match perfectly or have very apparent seams) or redo the whole thing at a 20% discount from current market price. You can also choose to remove grass and do something else in that spot. Real grass does not burn. We do apologize but we cannot foresee this potential issue. It is an unfortunate yet unforeseeable problem that does happen from time to time.
Let us know when the window has been identified or if you choose to change out the synthetic turf and which route you choose. Note: Sometimes if there is left over scraps it is a good idea to keep the extra pieces just in case this rare occurrence takes place, it will be a much better match if it’s possible to patch (sometimes it’s not possible).
You will still see the edges of the patch work. It won’t look as bad if same dye pattern. We can most likely do the patch if you have the leftover pieces. We can also do the patch with a new piece but it will not match. If putting Synthetic back down? You need to get solar covers and they come in several different colors. If you just look up a solar screen company on Google they can usually come in and put those in for you.
Just let us know when complete and we will get a work order in to patch grass once screens are on. Or give you a quote to replace all of it. We can do something besides synthetic in that location as well. We are usually about 1 to 2 weeks out so let us know as soon as possible. We will evaluate what needs to be done and give you the best quote we can.
Other Important Information regarding landscape and deck installation.
Sometimes we have to lower the grade on projects to create proper drainage. This may be how the sides of the house look after the original dirt is removed and the correct level is set for a paver or concrete walkway. Greencare is not responsible for replacing or refurbishing any stucco or exterior elements in these areas.
Some information and detail we want to explain about the process of professional project installation. Once proposal is finalized the final engineered construction plans are put together. We need all design decisions to be made at this point to expedite the installation process.
At times calls are made to check on current availability for materials. Availability of materials changes periodically due to supply and demand variations. This back and forth process can sometimes take a week or more between suppliers, designers and homeowners to be sure what is selected is still available. Even if it is in the sample book or on our website or another website, manufacturers discontinue products without notice. You will be asked to make another selection if this takes place.
Once Finalized the plans are examined and signed off by homeowner and designer to be sure all items are correct, or final construction plan can be confirmed to be correct via email (email is best). Items must be written on original proposal and a fair price agreed to be included on final construction plan.
Once final construction plan is verified job scheduling is sent over and reviewed with the construction department and crew. A Greencare team member from this department or the accounting email serves as a notice materials will be arriving soon and your project is about to start.
Materials are ordered and job will begin. We can only verify delivery times of materials but suppliers run into unforeseen delays which although we strive to avoid do still occur. Please understand it is possible there will be a few unforeseen delays on your project.
Please note: On grading and slopes of decking as well as grade/slopes in yard with just deco rock there is a needed slope for water to run off correctly during flash flooding. A deck sometimes will have an aggressive slope THAT WE MUST MAINTAIN. If a homeowner is requesting a reduced grade than left by builder, added material and labor is needed and a drainage system must be installed which will be added cost. If an existing deck installed by builder is not being removed, we must stay with there grade and pitch. A step down is at times needed. If no step is desired this may add cost.
The worksite is dangerous until complete. Open trenches, tools lying around, unmarked holes etc… are all part of the jobsite. To the untrained eye it will look like a complete mess at times. While work is underway our insurance does not allow homeowners in the work area. Please avoid entering your yard while under construction. If you choose to enter your construction site it is at your own risk.
We put this letter together to notify you in advance that we are working diligently to get your project complete. We ask that you please be patient throughout this process and know that we are striving to get the job done right. We have spent over a decade putting the right team of installers together to insure the highest quality installation process possible so you can enjoy problem free fun in the sun for many years to come.
For proper watering schedule please click the link below. For the first 30 days we set your timer to water everyday. This is needed for the plants to get acclimated. After 30 days you will need to change your timer to your area watering schedule.
Also click link below for printable PDF instructions on how to set your timer. You are responsible for setting and changing your own timer. It needs to be adjusted Sept. 1, March 1 and May 1 Here’s how: (CLICK BELOW)
PLEASE READ AND BE AWARE OF CONCRETE SCHEDULING.
DUE TO OUR HIGH STANDARDS AND QUALITY CONTROL WE ADVISE THE FOLLOWING. CONCRETE IS A PERISHABLE ITEM AND WEATHER IS A MAJOR FACTOR IN CONCRETE QUALITY. EXCESSIVE SURFACE DRYING DUE TO THE WIND IS THE #1 REASON CRACKS HAPPEN. IF THERE IS EXCESSIVE WIND 20+MPH CONCRETE WILL BE DELAYED (HIGH RISK OF CRACKS). IF THERE IS ANY CHANCE OF RAIN, CONCRETE WILL BE DELAYED (RISK OF PITTING OR EXPOSING AGGREGATE) ALSO BE AWARE THAT IF YOUR CONCRETE WAS SET TO BE INSTALLED TWO WEEKS OUT AND THERE WAS WIND OR RAIN IN THAT TWO WEEK PERIOD YOUR CONCRETE WILL BE DELAYED ACCORDINGLY SO WE CAN COMPLETE THE JOBS PRIOR TO YOURS THAT WERE SCHEDULED IN THAT TIME PERIOD. THE SEALANT IS SCHEDULED A MINIMUM OF 30 TO 60 DAYS AFTER CONCRETE INSTALLATION. ON STAMPED COLOR CONCRETE OR CONCRETE SEALANT THE FINAL OUTCOME CANNOT BE PREDETERMINED WE GET AS CLOSE TO THE SELECTED COLOR BUT DUE TO THE WAY CONCRETE CURES THERE MAY BE MILD TO EXTREME COLOR VARIATIONS AND GREENCARE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR FINAL OUTCOME OR EXACT COLOR.
Asphalt Damage Facts & Disclaimer
A loader & excavators are needed for digging a pool, underground or heavy dirt movement work. It is common to have immediate damage to asphalt just by driving the machinery on it. In a short time especially through one summer it becomes nearly invisible when the job is done. Machines that are designed to dig there wheels in for traction with no slippage are used.
When we are finished with the project and clean up at the end of the project and summer hits the temperature will be around 102 to 115 on any given day. All asphalt will be extremely soft near the point of melting. It will smooth out naturally. It is designed to do so. To patch asphalt on public streets a major overhaul is not req. If cuts are not greater than 2″ a repair is not normally needed. It does not affect the integrity of the street. It is an esthetic fix that will become nearly invisible with a little time. Public roads are continually repaired on local city standard maintenance schedules. If extensive damage is apparent it is repaired by stripping to a depth slightly more than the depth of existing damage to the asphalt or equal to the existing asphalt section depth. Only if asphalt is so damaged that the gravel or the type 2 is visible would we recommend damaged asphalt be removed and redone. Standard asphalt is strong enough to sustain structural integrity far greater than the weight of equipment used for digging a pool. Its section depth and type 2 or base compaction can handle all heavy equip used. The damage that occurs is superficial and although looks bad it’s normal. The sun and the weight of vehicular traffic usually fix the problem quickly.
We need to be clear because any little damage and imperfections in the asphalt will still be visible after job is complete. Pool digging is a process that requires heavy equipment and it will be driven on streets as well as over sidewalks. The tires will leave black marks but they will fade and be hardly noticeable over time.
A new pool has many pros and a few cons. Let’s go over some of them. For the pros: A pool is hands down the focal point of any outdoor paradise. Fun in the sun and a place to cool off forever The cons are listed above and the yard is tore up for 3 to 6 months. It’s worth it!
Finally, pool construction can be rather unpredictable as far as exactly what delays will arise. Wind, rain, material delays, failed inspections, guys being out sick and slight adjustments along the way are all part of the process. All of these things cause delays. Anywhere from 3” to 12” of adjustment on pool layout is normal and acceptable throughout the industry. Pool will not be moved once dug without added cost to do so. Greencare assumes no responsibility for slight imperfections in several elements on a pool. These slight imperfections are considered part of the natural beauty of the project.
PATIO COVER INSTALLATION DETAIL.
All patio covers are fabricated for your specific color and size so please be patient on this part of the project. This step is a tedious one so please read all detail below as it will answer many of your questions and make it an easier process.
Your patio cover is scheduled to be installed but could be delayed as much as 4 weeks due to the fabrication process (normally 1 to 2 weeks for installation).
Once fabrication is complete, we schedule a 2 to 4 day window and we do all we can to get it done within this time. But even then there are numerous unforeseeable delays that can take place on the installation of a patio cover. These reasons are specifically why we like to give you ample notice of potential delays. We schedule our installer about 1 to 2 weeks out for the patio cover installations and sometimes we run into a string of unforeseeable issues that need to be resolved along the way which takes time. We care about the quality of the job over meeting a deadline. If we rushed to meet time lines the quality would suffer because the installers would rush through the installations. All covers are custom fabricated for specific color and size and are ordered weeks in advance for each specific project.
Plans are first engineered to ensure the patio is structurally sound. At times, a post may need to be added for the necessary support the engineer deems to be required (even if not on original plan, sometimes it’s needed to add a center post for support). Once plans are complete, it is presented to the proper government permitting facility to be sure that all guidelines are followed and proper permits are obtained. An entire day is often times spent at the government facility only to be made aware that a guideline or variance has changed and then we are required to make changes.
Patio cover planning and installation takes time even though we work diligently to get covers completed as quickly as possible there are often delays. With the covers being custom built to fit your project, engineering, permitting, inspections and installation, it does take time. All covers are estimated for completion 2 to 4 weeks from the time, you the homeowner, notifies Greencare of HOA approval.
The excavation is scheduled for the footers which are large holes dug into the ground for the posts to be set into concrete (this secures the cover to ensure it doesn’t blow away during high winds). Then an inspection is required to examine the footers which once scheduled, we are at the mercy of the city timelines. Footers are usually not needed if the patio is mounted to a concrete slab, but sometimes they are needed even if secured to concrete. After footers are dug, the inspection is scheduled.
Several inspections are needed through the process on patio covers depending on if you need footers or not. These inspections sometimes take a week or more and the city gives a time line of 7 am to 7 pm (this is city policy). It is best to let the inspectors come and go without discussing the project. If a homeowner is in the yard delaying the inspector and pointing things out that normally are not an issue, the inspector may become frustrated. Our experience at Greencare is at times, the inspector will then look into every last detail on the plan and all variances in your area and find something to fail the inspection.
The inspector will then fail the inspections for an item that would have been “OK” had the inspector been allowed to come in and look at what they needed, sign off and leave. If you do fail an inspection, we may end up having to change something on the paperwork or the cover itself when it would have been fine otherwise, thus causing more unneeded delays. Although even when the inspector is left alone sometimes inspections fail do to an unforeseen issue. If it does fail, we schedule the item that caused the failed inspection to be fixed per the inspectors request and re-schedule the inspection. A failed inspection is not an issue, we simply do as they request then move on. It does happen and is nothing to worry about.
***On patio covers we caulk abundantly on house side but upon heavy rain (due to how homes are constructed with stucco and wood), the water will seep into materials on the home and water will leak slightly between the house and cover. This is standard on aftermarket patio covers and there is nothing that can be done to completely seal this off.
***The top of the cover that is not visible from below is a white color which helps with heat reflection. You can have the top colored with panels that are color of choice (additional cost for this) but the heat will resonate more if not left white.