Although most months of the year are warm to mild in much of Western Australia, some months can be extremely hot. As the winter months approach and an unusually hot summer begins to recede, many homeowners begin making plans to do something about that heat next year, even though it is still months away. You are probably telling yourself it’s about time for a new inground pool.
So why not start planning to have one built while it’s cool enough to do the labour? You can easily add this to the list of DIY projects you had planned for yourself but before doing so, you might want to know what all is involved in a project of this magnitude. Is an inground Do It Yourself fiberglass pool really possible?
A Realistic Look at the Equipment You Will Need
At the moment, you are probably thinking in terms of getting that fiberglass pre measured and laid into the ground. You’ll need some sort of crane to do that and since most people just don’t happen to have heavy machinery lying about, you aren’t likely to have one at your disposal. Actually, there is much more to inground fiberglass pools than you might imagine. It’s much more than digging a hole and popping in a fiberglass insert.
Can You Avoid Any Costly Mishaps?
Nonetheless, even that is getting ahead of yourself. How is that precise hole going to get there in the first place? You will need an excavator to dig the hole and you will also need to know how to determine if there is anything running underground that would prevent you from placing that pool where you want it. This generally takes an industry professional to locate, with precision, anything which could pose a problem. You wouldn’t want to cut into a sewer line, now would you?
Don’t Forget That Building Permit!
At the moment, we are using an inground fiberglass pool in Western Australia as an example of whether or not a DIY project is possible, so let’s stick with that. In WA, as well as in most other areas of the country, you will need a building permit. The rules in WA stipulate that you’ll need a building permit if that pool is deeper than 300mm. You will also be required, by law, to construct a compliant barrier around a pool of that depth and this barrier/wall will need a permit as well. Are you prepared to go through all the legal red tape to get those permits?
Understanding the Mechanics of an Inground Pool
There is so much more to a swimming pool than a shell and the water you fill it with. From pumps to lighting to filters and everything in between, it is imperative that you understand the mechanics of a pool. You’ll need to know exactly what is needed and how to install every little part required during the installation and for the proper maintenance of your pool. That is a lot of knowledge necessary for a single DIY project, so perhaps it’s best to leave the installation to the pros.
One ‘Tiny’ Mistake Can Be Costly!
Now consider the overall cost of just the fiberglass pool alone without any of the parts, tools and chemicals needed for the installation and operation of that pool. Even the tiniest of mistakes can be quite costly. Consider for a moment what the cost wold be if you used an incorrect drill bit that led to a crack in the surface of the fiberglass. The entire insert could be made vulnerable to a series of spider cracks running from that seemingly little crack. Even if the crack didn’t spread, it could ultimately lead to other issues leading to the need for an entirely new shell. Then there are things like getting the shell level and setting it so that it is firmly supported so as to avoid future structural weaknesses.
If You Are on the Level…
Yes, this is meant to be a rather half-hearted pun, but if you are on the level with yourself, then you will understand that even keeping the pool level requires a great deal of knowledge and skill. After all, with an object that large you can’t simply take out a carpenter’s spirit (bubble) level to see if it is sitting absolutely level before cementing it into place. There is just so much to consider that if you are on the level with yourself, you will admit that this is not a DIY project to take on lightly. As mentioned above, one small mistake could literally double the amount you spend building that pool and ultimately so much more than if you had it professionally installed in the first place.
So, is a DIY fiberglass pool really possible? Perhaps, but why take the chance?