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SITE INSPECTIONS

YOU’VE PATIENTLY SAVED FOR YOUR NEW SWIMMING POOL. Now it’s time to initiate the project. You’ve got quotes, drawings, permits, and found a great pool contractor. Now the work of the job is about to begin. Or is it?


Site inspections are perhaps the most important part of building a swimming pool. Where you put that pool and the ground you put it in is extremely important to having a long lasting project that your family will enjoy. Site inspections take into account everything from the mundane to the catastrophic, and everything in between. Your pool contractor and his excavation team are definitely going to want to look around the property, for various things.


EASY ACCESS

Your brand new pool will require a hole to be dug somewhere in your back yard. This hole will most likely be dug by heavy equipment such as a backhoe or bobcat. Many back yards have poor access, however, and your very first site inspection will determine the mundane yet crucial ability of a few things to occur: 1) can the machinery enter your back yard, and 2) how will the dirt leave your back yard? These are critical questions to answer during a site inspection. Most houses are offset a certain amount from the house next to them. Usually, a fence separates the back yard from the driveway, and this fence will need to be removed so that the digging equipment – and dirt – can both come and go. The cost to dig your pool will be directly proportional to the size of machinery that can be brought into your back yard. Small homes with small lots will find that a bobcat is the biggest digger that can be brought in, while homes with large yards can bring in a backhoe and dig a goodly size pool in a snap. While concrete trucks now have telescoping arms that can reach all the way over and around a home, we still haven’t figured out how to dig holes that way so pay attention to this factor during your site inspection.


STRUCTURAL CONCERNS

Clearly another reason for a site inspection is where to put the actual pool. Many factors go into this, all of which will be investigated by your pool contractor. Some of these factors are soil condition, the presence or absence of large overhanging trees, the view from inside the proposed pool and where it will face, the proximity of the pool to water, gas and electricity for the filling of the pool, the fueling of the heater, and the power to run the pumps, and also the best spot to place the pool so that some usable yard is left over. Placing the pool from a structural sense also takes into account the slope of the land and whether the pool will need to be shored up, buttressed, or reinforced on one or more sides. This is incredibly common with infinity pools as the illusion of the pool is that it, well, goes off into infinity. The part most people don’t realize is that the side that goes off into infinity is normally placed where the land naturally slopes, giving the impression that one side of the pool is floating in thin air. This is accomplished with careful use of retaining walls and shoring to keep the massive weight of the pool water in place.


Drawings and renderings can be made but nothing matches a good site inspection for actual data. Your site inspection is an important part of the build, and even seeing your prospective pool roped off with cord and wood stakes goes a long way to visualizing the investment you’re about to make.




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