Swimming Pool Blog

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How Long Does It Take to Build a Pool?

Summer will be here soon, and temperatures are already heating up. After a stressful winter, we don’t blame you for dreaming of spending your days floating in your backyard pool. But before you can enjoy the many social and health benefits of having your own pool, you’ll need to design and build it. As you gaze out your window at increasingly sunny days, you may be wondering, “How long does it take to build a pool?” 

On Average, How Long Does It Take to Build a Pool? 

Luckily, you may still have time to enjoy your pool this summer! Although many variables impact installation time, the average for a backyard pool is about six to 12 weeks. 

To help you estimate and plan, we’ve detailed the main steps involved in the pool-building process and the estimated time needed for each. Read on to discover all you need to know to get your summer plans moving as soon as possible.  

Design Your Pool Project and Apply for Permits 

When you decide you’re ready to build a pool, this is just the first of many important decisions you’ll need to make. Next, you’ll need to start exploring your options regarding size, shape, and other design elements, all of which impact how long it takes to build a pool. 

Your pool customization options are virtually limitless, so take some time to think about what you want. It’s often helpful to look through inspiration galleries so you can get an idea of the wide array of possibilities. 

Once you have an idea of what you want, a professional pool designer can provide you with 3D representations of your finished project. You may need to back and forth a few times before you finalize the design and are ready to go. 

In general, you can expect the design process to take one to three weeks from the initial consultation until completion. The total time of how long it takes to build a pool depends on how complex your custom pool will be and how many revisions are needed to achieve your vision.   

The next step is to request the permits needed to build your pool legally. Unfortunately, this is one area where you and your pool contractors have little control. The length of time it will take to get your permit will depend on your municipality. It can be anywhere from one week to two months. However, once you have the permit in hand, you’re ready to start building your pool! 

Average time: Two weeks to two months 

Plan Initial Layout 

With all the legalities in place, your pool builder can now get started. They’ll come into your backyard and outline the shape and placement of your pool, typically with wooden stakes or form boards. 

This stage is your opportunity to see what the pool will look like on your property. The builder will also calculate your pool elevation and discuss the rest of the building process with you in detail. This process generally won’t take more than one or two days for an average pool. 

Average time: One to two days 

Start Excavation 

Once the planning and permitting are ready, your builder will be able to get started. They will begin with excavation, using heavy machinery to remove the dirt where your new pool will be. This process usually takes between one and two weeks. 

Excavation time depends on a variety of factors. Physical aspects of your yard can impact excavation, such as how accessible it is, the existence of exposed utility lines, and natural obstructions, such as boulders and branches. Weather and soil conditions will also impact how long this process takes.  

Although there can be obstacles to a clean and simple excavation, a professional pool construction company will be prepared from the planning and layout stage. They will also keep you in the loop as to how things are progressing.  

Average time: One to two weeks 

Related: Your Home Is Your Sanctuary 

Install the Frame 

After excavation, the builder will install the steel frame that gives a swimming pool its structure. After this step, you’ll have a better idea of your pool’s exact shape.  

It usually takes one to three days to complete the framing. 

Average time: One to three days 

Put in Plumbing and Pipes 

Pipes and plumbing allow water to flow so you can run your filter, pump, and heater. This aspect of pool installation is critical, and your builder needs to do it properly to avoid unreasonable repair costs later. This process takes about a week. 

Average time: One week 

Hook Up the Electrical 

After installing the pipes, it’s time to hook up the electrical connections for features like lights, pumps, heaters, waterfalls, and fountains. Expect this step to take a day or two. 

Average time: One to two days 

Related: Is It a Good Time to Build a Pool During a Pandemic? 

Add the Walls and Floor 

Wall and floor installation is the step that varies most in the pool-building process. The time it takes depends on the material that you choose, so when you’re wondering how long it takes to build a pool, this stage in the process has to be factored in. For a fully custom concrete-lined pool, wall and floor installation can take anywhere from 20 to 60 days.  

This step is dependent not only on the design of your pool but also on the weather, so make sure to take the seasons into account when budgeting your time. 

Average time: 20 to 60 days 

Finish with Tiling, Coping, and Aesthetics 

Now it’s time to add creative touches, like tile, coping, and decorative lining, such as marble or brick. Depending on the choices you make, expect this to take one to three days. 

Then you’ll need to finish the pool up by adding your pool deck and decorative lighting (one to two weeks) and landscaping (up to one week). Remember to factor in time for any necessary clean-up and, for concrete pools, the final coating application (one to two weeks). 

Finally, your pool is complete. Just one more step!  

Average time (total): Three to six weeks 

Prepare Your New Pool for Swimming 

Before you jump in, you’ll have to make sure the pool is ready for you to use. This process includes: 

  • Filling your pool with water (two to three days) 
  • Installing the pool pump (one to three hours) 
  • Installing the pool filter (less than 48 hours) 
  • Installing the pool heater (one to seven days, depending on the heater type) 
  • Adding pool chemicals (less than 24 hours) 

Average time (total): One to two weeks 

As you can see, the answer to the question, “How long does it take to build a pool?” comes with many variables, so it’s crucial to get a professional estimate for your specific project. At California Pools, we work with each customer throughout planning and installation, making sure the whole process is straightforward and understandable.  

Contact us today and schedule an appointment. We’ll help you decide on essential design elements, give you an accurate estimate, and let you know how long your specific project will take. Get your summer plans started now.