Pool Building 101

Pool Design & Bidding Phase

Your swimming pool is a major investment that will increase the value of your home and add hours of outdoor enjoyment for years to come. You want to make sure your future backyard is perfect down to the smallest detail. Many companies offer flat 2D drawings of designs. While these plans and printouts give you an overview of your design, important details are often difficult to understand.

For example, have you considered how your new pool will enhance the view from your kitchen? Have you thought about how the color and surface of the decking will match your house color; or how the arrangement of lights will help you enjoy your pool at night? 

No flat drawing can properly show these details. Only Pool Studio, the state-of-the-art professional 3D swimming pool design software gives you the fully rendered experience you need to make the important decisions about your investment.

Pool Studio - Professional Pool Design Software 

The Best Pool Design Software Made
Sample 2D Drawing of 3D Presentation

Preconstruction and Excavation Phase

Preconstruction includes finalizing the design, securing the proper permits, and making sure the site has been properly prepared. Tree removal, if needed, should be completed before excavation begins and all underground sprinkler systems should be shut down. If there are any obstructions regarding access such as fences or landscaping it should be addressed at this time. 

Elevation on all pools is determined by the grade of the yard and where the drainage around the pool is to be taken. Drainage is the number one key to a building a well structured pool without any shifting problems in the future. All form boards are sturdy and set to elevation.

All pools are dug with a Cat 315L on tracks (trackhoe) unless access to the dig sight is narrow with limited space. If this is the case, then a Bobcat or rubber tire tractor is used. 

The pool and deck area are graded so that drainage is correct and the proper amount of cushion sand and cement are used during construction. 

What to expect on the dig day. Big Tractors and Dump Trucks!

Steel Phase

All steel is done by Zodiac Pools. We normally use 10 inch centers and double all stress points to 5 inch centers.

If unstable soil is a problem, we then tighten up the centers even more. We use a #3 steel in the basket of the pool and a #4 steel in the bond beam. 

Steel is always tied in a uniform manner and is kept clear of mud and other matter that may weaken the bond to the Gunite. 

Example of steel rebar being placed in a pool.

Plumbing Phase

The plumbing pipes are buried at a reasonable depth and are pressure checked during the construction of the pool. All plumbing at the equipment level is done in a 2" manifold for proper circulation.

Plumbing on a pool is very important; it is the heart of the pool and can help save a lot of self maintenance by the homeowner.

We like to set our valves at the equipment in a manner that is not complicated and easy to understand for the customer. We label all connections and pipes for ease of understanding and operation.
Plumbing Details of a Spa.

Electrical Phase

After the pool plumbing & steel is completed, our electricians show up to install the electrical & automation system (if you have one).  This includes the pool lights, the time clock, any subpanels, maybe some barbecue or landscape outlets, connection of pool pumps/heaters/etc, and all bonding of the pool. Some of the current electrical codes require these safety measures to be done to properly protect you from electrical surges and issues.

All electrical work is done by a bonded and licensed electrician. Our electrical work is done to meet all city, state and national codes. All pools are grounded for safety purposes. A freeze guard is included with all pools and GFCIs are placed on all lights and outlets. 

The next steps involve finalizing all the underground aspects of your project – and getting ready for inspections.  These aspects are the “brains” behind your pool – assuming you are going with one of our state-of-the-art automation systems.  

Our Pentair Easytouch & Intellitouch systems allow for convenient programming & control of your new pool & spa.  The ability to control your equipment from remotes, program times for your water features to turn on & off, push a button to heat your spa!  It’s all there, and our electricians make it all possible.  

Some of the complex low-voltage & high voltage wiring that is involved in our pool & spa systems!

Gunite Phase

Gunite is done with the most modern equipment available and uses a ratio of six sack cement to one yard of sand. We shoot dry gunite brought out in a mobile mixer.

We gunite a 12" beam on the pool and all walls and floors are 7" to 9" inches thick. 

The shell of the pool is warranted for the life of the pool. You heard that right, lifetime warranty on the body of the pool. 

All rebound is picked up and placed neatly in a pile and is held until the final clean-up crew arrives. 

All gunite is subject to a core test.

The attached video is from our partners at Prestige Gunite/US Gunite.

Tile and Coping Phase

Tile and coping is a very important part of the pool makeup and aesthetics. It shows the quality of the pool design. The hand sculptured rock done by Zodiac's professional craftsman enhances the beauty of the pool.

All flagstone and tile are cut on short radius's and angels so that there are no wide grout joints between the tile and coping.

All tile is set to the exact level of the water line on the pool.

Completed tile and coping on raised bond beam wall

Decking Phase

Mastic Joint Phase

Mastic is rubbery caulking used between the coping and the deck on a swimming pool. A perforated Styrofoam is placed between the deck and coping when the deck is poured.

Plaster Phase

Plaster is a very important feature of the pool. It is actually what seals the gunite so that it holds water. Plaster is also important cosmetically. If the pool is not plastered in a fine workmanship manner it can be very noticeable.

Plaster is a mix of white sand, cement & marble dust. The plaster is actually shot on and troweled out twice. It is best not to shoot the plaster on a windy day, because of the debris in the air.

After the pool is full of water, it is very important to broom the plaster two or three times a day until it has cured.

Once the plaster is shot it is immediately filled with water. The curing of the plaster is done under water. 

Start Up Phase

When the pool is full of water we will then start it up. We will teach the customer how to broom and backwash the pool. It is very important to broom the pool. If the pool is properly broomed the surface will be smooth. The plaster is actually being cured at this time. No one should swim for the first few days.

After the pool is cured we will then instruct you how to operate the pool correctly, balance chemicals and maintain the pool equipment. This will give you maximum life of the equipment.

Retaining Walls Phase

All walls over four feet tall will have to be engineered according to city specifications, easements and ordinances. Any time retaining walls are needed you have a choice between a rock retaining wall, railroad tie wall or raising the bond beam in the pool to serve as a retaining wall. Grade #1 ties are always used on tie walls. One the rock walls a higher PSI grade of mortar is used for strength and stability purposes.

Fence Repair Phase

There are basically two types of fencing that we recommend around a pool. Wood or wrought iron. This depends on if you are wanting a privacy fence or a fence that does not block a pretty view. These prices will run by the foot. The fence is usually installed after gunite. We suggest the customer should get at least two different bids.

Landscaping  and Sprinkler Repair Phase

We offer sprinkler repair and landscaping. This is done in a coordination with the pool construction. The sprinklers will be capped prior to excavation of the pool.

Outdoor Living & Other Options

Please speak with us about an outdoor living space to complete your back yard paradise.

Give us a call today at 940.535.7018 or email us at sales@zodiacpoolstx.com for a complimentary pool design and analysis based upon your ideas and backyard.

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