Saturday, July 14, 2012

Vegas Pool Part 1: Structure

Project Budget: $4,000
Project Scope: Vegas style concrete pool (11' wide, 23' long, 42" deep) with Swimout and Swim Up Bar

After many trips to Vegas and with the hot summers in California I thought a small pool would be perfect in my backyard!  From start to finish here are the steps and costs, hopefully you'll be inspired to create your own!!

Step One: Planning and Layout
First thing you need to do is check your setbacks (the distance from your property line that you're allowed to build from), you can find yours by visiting or calling your city building department.  The setbacks on my property are five feet from the back and five feet from the sides.
You can use chalk, spray paint or stakes for the layout.  The two most important features to me for this project are the Swimout and the Swim Up Bar so those had to be planned carefully before we started.  A great program to use for free is!  The Swimout is going to be to the right, 5'6" wide and only 8" deep - I used the measurements from a lounge chair that I might use in there but typical depths are anywhere from 8" to 18" deep so it's really your choice.  For the Swim Up Bar I plan to have the outdoor kitchen area to the left so that's where the bar stools will go.

Time: 2hrs

Step Two: Digging
Once you plan you can start digging!  Since it's cheaper to build most of it above ground and my heart is set on the swim up bar we're only digging down 8", a couple inches are for the gravel base and 6" is for the cement (as are the walls 6" thick).

Since the Swimout is basically cantilevered we're using the dirt from the dig to somewhat support and fill in the space below the Swimout.  We also cut down a couple trees so that once we got the pool up and running we wouldn't have to worry about all the leaves falling in it.  Most likely they'll be replaced with palm trees!

Time: 8hrs
Cost: $100 for labor

Step Three: Gravel and Exterior Form Boards
Fill the base with gravel, any remaining amount should be used for the swimout.  Start building exterior form walls with plywood, use 2x4's for support.

The 2x4's up top are nailed at the exact dimension to help line everything up, then you can place stakes and make sure everything is level.  We used extra rock and brick from the yard to fill the area under the Swimout and cut the cost of concrete.

Time: 9hrs
Cost: $613 (Gravel $77, Plywood and 2x4's $536)

Step Four: Rebar
Next we added rebar approximately 16" apart on the walls and base.  Before we added rebar to the front of the Swimout wall we installed the form ties (see drawing below) to maintain the 6" thickness of the walls.

Then we added rebar to the top of the swimout, planning on filling that area with gravel, brick and rock as we go.

Time: 8hrs
Cost: $348 (Rebar $286, Form Ties $62)

Step Five: Interior Form Boards
After finishing the Swimout wall we added form ties to the exterior form walls and then installed the interior form walls.  

Time: 8hrs

Next step is ordering supplies...I'll have a full list of costs for labor and material at the end of the Part 2 post!

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