Educate Yourself On The Pool Construction Process Before Buying an Inground Pool

The very beginning of the pool construction process begins with your dream. Odds are you’ve been thinking of a swimming pool for quite some time. Now that you’ve moved on to the next step, picking a pool builder – it’s important to note how critical it is to pick the right one. 

Who you entrust with your dream is probably the most important step in the pool construction process. Homeowners are often confronted with many different estimates that may vary by many thousands of dollars. All things considered, if a consumer has no other differentiating factors to consider, many will base their buying decision on price. Smart shoppers look beneath the sticker price and consider things like quality, value, and customer service.

The Pool Construction Process in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida

If you’ve been considering building a swimming pool, it definitely pays to find out what is involved. Building a pool involves lots of different stages. Wondering what the pool construction process is like? Find out more information and educate yourself on what building a swimming pool really entails.

The Pool Construction Process in The Gulf Coast

Food for thought before your initial pool consultation

Set an appointment with one of our design consultants. If possible, we prefer appointments to be on site where the pool will be installed, but we also understand the global community and can meet via Skype or at an alternate location if the house and pool are both in the planning stages.


  • Will the pool be an orthogonal, lap, or a free-form splash pool?
  • When and how will the pool be utilized?
  • Is it for exercise, relaxation, or entertaining? (All of the above?)
  • What is the total project budget?


Every great project starts with great design, click here for complete details of the design process. After the design is selected and an agreement is made on the scope of the project, we are ready to begin construction of your custom gunite pool.


We are the top pool designers in the Gulf Coast area. We’re able to take a homeowners vision and translate into a beautiful 3D pool design. A design consultant will then walk you through the entire design to discuss features, options, and answer questions.

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The Permit Process For An Inground Pool

The first stage of the gunite pool construction process is permitting and approval from local agencies. We also contact 811 (Call Before You Dig) to make sure utilities are marked and out of the way. In many communities along the Gulf Coast, we also encounter HOA approvals that must be met before an inground pool can be constructed. Southern Poolscapes has experience with expediting the process for both Permits and HOA approvals. Our ability to streamline design specifications, blueprints and technical specifications is what seperates us from other local pool companies.

Outline & Forming An Inground Pool

Once we’ve received permit approvals we can proceed with actually outlining what the pool will look like in your backyard. We ask that you or your representative meet our team on-site to lay out the pool and equipment for the proposed final location and elevation. Both design and construction departments will be present for this meeting to ensure proper coordination and logistics.

The pool form is laid out using stakes and various forming materials. The form represents the outer edge of the pool shell and is typically one foot larger than the water’s edge to account for our oversized bond beam construction. If your home is under construction we will need access to water and electricity at this time. The forms should not be disturbed, as they represent the exact location, elevation, size, shape, and position of the finished pool.

Forming Pool For Excavation

How The Pool Excavation Process Works

After forming is complete, we will begin the excavation. We will haul the excess material off as needed or leave it on site for other phases of construction. It is your dirt, but we will haul it off at no charge while we are digging the pool. Excavation is done with heavy equipment and will be a dirty and noisy phase of construction. We recommend keeping windows and doors closed during this time and to keep children and pets away from the job site from now until completion. The pool excavation process is definitely entertaining to watch though from a safe distance. You’ll begin to see your swimming pool take shape as the heavy excavation equipment makes short work of the removing tons of soil from the site where your pool will go.

Gulf Coast Pool Excavation in Alabama, Florida & Mississippi

The Pool Inspection Process

Each municipality we work in requires different inspections necessary for your project. Necessary inspections are scheduled and executed before shooting the gunite shell.

There will be several inspections conducted during the entire process of building your pool, but this will be the first that is conducted. It’s a necessary process in order to ensure that the excavation job has been done properly, as well as to begin the next phases of constructing the pool.

Other inspections will occur to ensure the structural integrity of the shell, plumbing, electrical, and pre-operation inspections will occur.

Pool Construction Inspection

Steel Structure, Electrical & Rough Plumbing

Once the hole is excavated we install the shell steel, plumbing, and electrical conduit as required by your particular job and our engineering. We shape 3/8” steel reinforcing bars based on the pools’ design to strengthen the gunite shell with additional steel at points of high stress. Unlike many contractors, the steel is tied in place at every juncture regardless of local code. This insures a “tighter” shell with less opportunity for movement when the gunite is shot.

The steel is then placed on “chairs” or besser brick to get it off the ground so that it is fully encompassed by the gunite shell. All plumbing will be Schedule 40 PVC and install between the pool and the mechanical equipment location. Main drains, skimmers, returns, cleaner lines, therapy jets and water feature lines are all pressure tested prior to gunite placement to ensure against any leaks.

The Process For Creating a Gunite Shell

Shooting the gunite pool shell is the most exciting part of the process aside from finally jumping in. It is also the dirtiest and noisiest part of the project. During this phase the pool truly takes on the shape and design agreed upon. Steps, benches and swim-outs are installed at this point.

Your project manager will ask for the second draw at this time. For existing homes we ask the client to hose down the gunite pool shell twice a day for seven days, this aids in the curing of the pool shell.

The forms are then stripped from the pool and material is backfilled and washed in around the shell. Preliminary deck grading will also be done at this time.

The Process For Creating a Gunite Shell

Tile & Coping Installation Process

A band of tile is then installed on the top inside edge of the pool. This is typically a 6×6 tile, but many clients opt for mosaic or glass tile as well. This aids in cleaning the waterline and keeping the plaster hydrated below the water line. If trim tile is to be installed on the steps and benches, this will be done on the day of plaster. Brick, paver, or stone coping is then installed on the beam of the pool.

The Pool Tile & Coping Installation Process


Now the pool is ready for the deck. We ask again to meet with you or your representative to confirm the pool deck size and layout. Once approved, we then proceed with the deck installation based on material and design parameters. This step may vary depending on your choice in decking. (Pavers, Travertine, or Decorative Concrete)

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Equipment Setup

Once your decking is completed the pool equipment is then setup and installed. Filtering system, timers, controllers, feature pumps, and heaters are installed before plastering. We will schedule our electrician and plumber (or yours) to wire in the equipment and make connections for natural gas or propane heaters.

  • We analyze the conditions of your lot and look at wind speed and direction to determine skimmer placement.
  • We engineer the entire plumbing system to ensure the least possible amount of friction loss.
  • We include extra supply and return lines to further minimize total system head.
  • We use oversized pipe to eliminate unnecessary increases in pressure.
  • We include floor returns to circulate water and distribute temperature more effectively
  • We use only the most energy efficient pumps, filters and heaters.
  • Our gunite, quartz finish and steel rebar exceed even the highest industry standards.
  • We engineer our steel structure to compensate for different soil types.
Gulf Coast Pool Excavation in Alabama, Florida & Mississippi

Interior Finish

The gunite pool is now ready to be plastered. Before this final step is completed, the pool and surrounding area need to be kept as clean as possible. Local and state codes may require fencing to be in place before this occurs. Any ancillary projects need to be completed or postponed in order to keep dirt and dust to a minimum while the plaster is applied. We cannot be responsible for footprints or stains caused by dirt, dust, or other construction debris created by other trades.

10 things To Remember When Buying a Pool

Startup Process

After the plaster has set, we will begin filling the pool with water. We typically use your spigots to fill the pool and this process can take multiple days. Your water company may credit your bill for this portion of the project and any necessary documentation can be requested from our office. Once the water has started flowing never turn the water off or move the hose from its original position until the water rises to the middle of the tile.

This will eliminate the possibility of a dirt ring which is difficult to remove. When the pool is full please turn the water off and contact your project manager or the office. Under normal conditions it is not necessary to call us until the pool is full. There is no harm in not having the filter on for up to a week after filling. There is also no harm to the pool by swimming in the pool before the filter is started.

Pool Startup in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida

Pool School

Soon after the pool is full we will start the mechanical equipment. This is the first and most basic instruction for operating the pool. For the next 7-10 days you will need to: test and lower pH and brush the pool. We will also schedule a full Pool School to introduce you to the operation of your new oasis.

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