If you’re in the market for a new pool, you might be interested in understanding how long it’s going to take to build it from scratch. Installing a swimming pool in your backyard isn’t an overnight job – pool builders need time for design, permits, excavation, setting up infrastructure, installing the pool, and putting the finishing touches on decking and landscaping.
Putting a specific timeline on the pool construction process isn’t always easy, but if you’ve got a good idea of what to expect, you can begin planning ahead. Not to mention, if you know what the potential delays or hang-ups are, you can aim to avoid them. From digging a gaping hole in your backyard to relaxing in pristine waters, here’s what you should know about building a swimming pool:
The Quick Answer
There are three different types of inground pools to consider: fiberglass, vinyl liner, and concrete (here’s the difference between them). The construction time and cost can vary between each:
- Fiberglass pools usually take anywhere from 14 to 30 days to build
- Vinyl liner pools usually take around 25 to 45 days to build
- Concrete pools typically take anywhere from 45 to 75 days build
However, it’s worth noting that the construction process happens in several stages. From the design phase to obtaining a permit and hiring professional help, we can break these numbers down even more for a more accurate model.
Design and Permitting Time: 7 to 60 Days
This is one of the most difficult time periods to try and estimate, but most of the time, it can take anywhere from a week to eight weeks. Working with a company to help design your pool can often depend on how clear your vision is, and if it’s obtainable. Some pools, like a concrete or vinyl liner pool, can take a little bit longer in the design process too.
Keep in mind that for most outdoor residential pools, you’ll need to meet certain regulations (based on your local government regulations) as well as obtain a permit. Permitting is, unfortunately, just out of anyone’s control. Most contractors have working relationships with municipalities and local governments, but depending on where you live, obtaining a permit can still take a few weeks.
If you’re trying to figure out a timeline, it’s a good idea to overestimate with this stage – designing your pool and getting the right permits shouldn’t take more than eight weeks unless there’s an unusual delay.
One delay, for instance, is if you don’t have everything you need for the swimming pool. A lot of places require that you have a gate with a childproof lock. If that’s not something you planned on, it could take extra time to install that before you obtain a permit.
A major thing you can do to try and prevent delays is to find out what’s required of you as a pool owner. If you need a gate for the permit, you can install that beforehand so that your city doesn’t immediately reject your permit. The contractor you plan to hire is probably already very familiar with city or county swimming pool regulations, so you can always talk to them as well.
Excavation Time: 7 to 10 Days
Once you’ve got the design and all the right permits, the excavation part of the construction process shouldn’t take long at all. Most contractors can do it in a week (or less), but depending on the size of your pool, it could take slightly longer.
For instance, excavating an Olympic-size lap pool in your backyard is likely to take a lot longer than digging something that’s only fifteen or twenty feet across.
Steel, Plumbing, and Electrical Time: 7 to 14 Days
Once your contractor has finished the excavation process, the next immediate step is to begin laying the steel, plumbing, and routing the electrical. While this shouldn’t take more than two weeks if there are no delays, it’s one of the most delicate parts of the process.
A pool that doesn’t have adequate steel or plumbing is likely to cause a lot of problems in the long run, so this isn’t a part of the process you want to rush.
Installation Time: 7 to 21 Days
Pool installation can take anywhere from a week to three weeks, depending on the type of pool you’re putting in. With a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool, the installation time should be pretty quick. The pool liner is already made, so all the contractor needs to do is pick it up and put it in.
With a concrete pool, there’s no pre-made pool liner. You’ll need to hire a gunite or shotcrete crew to handle the special mixture, and then wait for it to cure before you do anything else. Depending on the size, gunite/shotcrete can take a week or a little longer to completely cure.
Any additional water features and landscaping in the pool design will also extend the timeframe.
Decking and Landscaping Time: 7 to 30 Days
Before you grab your pool noodles, the final step in the construction process is installing a deck and dealing with any other custom landscaping that you might want to add on. This is the step where the pool truly begins to feel like your own.
Along with adding a deck, some homeowners might also want to include custom lighting, a tiny waterfall, or other special landscaping features that could tack on extra time. Individually, installing these special features might only take a day or two, but depending on how much you want to add, it could take up to a month to do everything.
If all you’re interested in is a simple deck with limited landscaping, this part of the process might only take a week. For anything more complicated, you should allow for more time.
Total Building Time: 1 Month to 3 Months
We’ve already given you the rough numbers above, but if you’re truly interested in calculating a construction time, it’s best to break down every part of the process and go from there. If you’re on a tighter schedule, you’re better off overestimating for time than underestimating. Try planning for potential delays rather than assuming everything will go off without a hitch.
Even if you’ve met all the city regulations and you’ve found a crew to build your pool, that doesn’t mean you might not still run into a mishap. It might take a week or two for the correct materials or pre-made pool liner to become available. Even poor weather can be a potential delay when it comes to building an outdoor pool.
Don’t forget that the type of pool you plan to build is always a consideration too. Fiberglass and vinyl liner pools usually have the quickest construction times, and building a pool with concrete could take a bit longer, so you’ll want to include that in your estimate.
None of this means that building your swimming pool has to be a hassle, but by understanding the potential concerns now, you could be saving yourself a lot of trouble later on. Timelines aside, the good news is that you’re only a couple of months (or sooner) from taking a refreshing dip in crystal waters!