Pool Excavation: Questions You Should Ask Your Pool Builder

Digging the hole for your pool, or excavation, is probably the most intrusive part of the swimming pool construction process. Your pool builder needs to work with heavy machinery around your home and move a lot of dirt to make room for your swimming pool. I’ve seen this part of the pool installation process go horribly wrong with some inexperienced builders, so it’s important that as a homeowner, you find the right pool builder who isn’t going to cause long-term damage around your home and do a nice clean job excavating for your pool.

Below are some questions you should ask your pool builder before they start the excavation process so that you are on the same page about what is going to happen.

What Is Going to Happen to My Yard?

This question is more to prepare you for the process of pool excavation. This type of project requires heavy machinery and a lot of traffic in and out of your yard. A professional pool builder will let you know honestly and in detail what kind of side effects you may face.

The area around your pool site and where they store supplies during the building process will affect the grass and ground in your backyard. Your entrance and exit, including the driveway or laneway, can suffer some moderate damage if there is grass or soft gravel and dirt. It would help to prepare for some additional landscaping touch ups after the build is complete.

You should also know the relative size of the hole they are going to dig. The contractor should mark it with wood frames, stakes, and string lines to give you a rough idea of the pool shape and size.

How Much Dirt Will You Need to Dig Out?

The answer to this question may surprise you. The result of pool excavation will be a significant amount of dirt. After all, they are digging a big hole in the ground. Once it is out, the soil is not as compacted and should be anywhere from two to three times more than the volume inside your pool.

This amount can also lead to further questions of how they remove the dirt from around the pool and your yard. A reputable builder will handle all the removal and not leave you with a huge pile to relocate yourself on the weekend.

What If You Hit a Rock or Water When You Are Excavating?

This vital question helps you determine a what a builder will do if they encounter this issue during the pool construction process. You could be looking at extra costs if these situations happen during excavation, and you should prepare for any uncertainties like rocks or water. Also check to make sure your builder has insurance and/or warranties.

Some companies have practices to help foresee any rock or water problems. Be sure to ask your pool builder if they have any methods to determine potential issues while excavating.

Hitting Rock

Your pool builder should have several options for you if they come across rock during the excavation process. Once the digging has begun, many companies can hammer or blast them out and continue building if they present a problem,

There can be significant costs associated with this method, though. There will be additional labor costs, and any extra equipment rental fees for specialty tools to break up and remove the rock materials.

Another viable solution is to elevate your pool in the original spot. This alternative will have extra costs with the wall formations and supplies to complete this pool build style.

Your builder may suggest moving the pool to a different location. For some homeowners, this is not an option. At this time, you may have to decide if you want to proceed with one of the previous solutions or abandon the idea of a swimming pool.

Hitting Water

Coming in contact with groundwater does not have to be a disastrous situation. High water tables can pose struggles for building inground pools, but they do not have to halt your dream of swimming outside.

Dewatering systems are terrific ways to remove any water that appears when the excavation gets to a deeper level. For homeowners who choose a fiberglass pool, keeping water away is relatively easy since installing this material style is faster than other types of inground pools, like concrete. A professional pool contractor can install a fiberglass pool shell and fill it with water within hours of excavation.

Another solution when facing excessive groundwater is to modify your installation to accommodate elevation as you would with rock problems. This alternative will require additional costs of materials and labor to adjust your pool specifications.

Can I Save Money by Digging My Own Hole?

The option of digging your hole for an inground pool is open for any homeowner. The reality, though, is if it is worth it? Overall, you could save yourself anywhere from $500 up to $1,500 in costs by digging your hole for the pool installation. There are essential things to consider when choosing to go this route.

  • Equipment rental costs
  • Your time and effort
  • Relocation of the dirt
  • Facing unknown situations like rocks or groundwater

Pool builders need to bring their large equipment into your yard to lift and set your pool during installation. Professionals are experienced in excavation and could have this process complete faster than you might during a weekend or evening when you have time. They also have all the necessary trucks and equipment to relocate the dirt from your yard.

These experienced pool contractors are well-trained if they come across any rock or groundwater and how to handle those situations. When comparing the possible outcomes of digging your own hole, you may be best leaving this part of the process up to the professionals. It may save you a marginal amount of money, but the hassle and headache may not be worth the trouble.

Can Your Heavy Machinery Make It into My Yard Easily?

A pool contractor needs to be able to get the necessary heavy equipment into your backyard for digging the hole and building your pool. That type of heavy machinery could include equipment like a dump truck, backhoe, or excavator. Often, the space needed is not as large as you may think. There are several creative ways to move our heavy machinery in residential areas for pool excavation.

You may have to temporarily remove a section of a fence or a gate for yards with narrow fence lines or laneways. This situation does not happen often, but it is a possibility if you have limited access to your yard. A standard opening of eight feet is usually enough to get our machinery into a yard for excavation and building.

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Final Thoughts

You, as a homeowner, should feel comfortable with the company that you select for pool excavation. Choosing a reputable contractor that welcomes inquiries and can provide you the necessary information for your project will give a good indication of their professionalism and authority on the process.

Asking the right questions and having open communication with your pool contractor is essential during the entire process. This way, the project will go smoothly, and you can avoid any costly surprises later.

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