Backyard Oasis Pools takes a very detailed and thorough approach to every aspect of the entire construction process -- regardless of whether we're building a swimming pool, spa or water feature. Below is a list of "Frequently Asked Questions" that can help you get a better idea of the way we work.
If you'd like to learn more, or don't see your question listed here, please contact us directly by phone at 919-556-7227, by email, or by filling out our Contact Form. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you realize your goals.
How long will it take to build my pool?
Backyard Oasis Pools averages just over 5 weeks of actual construction
time for every pool we build. This is our "mark of excellence" considering the complexity of many of our pools. A good rule of thumb to use when planning a project is one week construction time for every $7,000 of pool cost. In other words, a $28,000 pool should be complete in 4 weeks; a $70,000 will take about 10 weeks. Many factors combine to effect construction time. We find that through pool planning and design can reduce changes and unexpected delays.
What should I know about pool layout?
The pool layout is the painted shape and position of the pool that we
paint on your ground prior to any work being done. It is used as a guide for excavators when we dig your pool. We ask that you approve the location and shape of the pool prior to the scheduling dig. The layout will appear much smaller than the finished pool due to it being a flat representation of your pool. It is interesting that we get calls about the pool being to small at this stage and the same people will many times comment on the pool seeming too large as soon as it is dug. We layout the pool 12" larger in every direction. In other words, a pool which will finish 30' long must be laid out and dug 32'. This allows for 12" thick concrete on the pool walls so the finish will be exact and correct.
I've heard about dust, noise, and destruction that can happen at dig, is this true?
There is no gentle way to remove 15 to 30 dump truck loads of dirt out of
a backyard. This will be one of the nosiest and is certainly the dustiest stage of construction. It is also one of the most exciting. We routinely see kids of all ages with their noses pressed against the window as the pool begins to take shape. Protecting plants and existing landscape is a must since anything between the street and the pool, which is not cared for, will be ground into soil by this heavy machinery. Fences need to be removed, pets cared for, and care taken to use the right machinery for the conditions in your particular yard. Your pool designer will have discussed the options and pricing with you when the pool was designed.
What is a rock dig and how are the extra costs involved handled?
A rock excavation is encountered when the machinery, which has been
planned, for your yard cannot dig the pool without using special techniques and equipment. The crew, which comes to your house, plans for the best and attempts to dig your pool. However, they may find out rather quickly that their machinery is incapable of the dig. If this happens, the excavators will expose the soil condition by digging a hole and leaving it open. Typically we will secure 2-3 bids and get your approval on the extra costs prior to proceeding. If you suspect you are in rocky areas, we can secure a bid and make it part of the original agreement. This can save time and allow for the extra costs to be financed. Many times excavators can dig a rock pool in about the same time as a pool in softer soil. The extra dollars they charge is more for the know how, larger equipment costs and wear and tear on the machinery, than for the time it takes.
What does the steel reinforcing do for my pool?
The steel rebar is installed in a grid pattern. Depending on the loads and
soil condition, it can be 12" apart, 6" apart, or in rare cases 3" apart. Our civil engineers work out the exact pattern to be used for you pool permit and for our structural specifications. The steel is blocked 2-3" off of the excavated floor and walls of the pool. It greatly strengthens concrete by providing tensile strength. Be careful, although we cover or bend the ends of the bars to protect people, the wires used to tie the steel together are very sharp. Please insure the safety of children and pets. A scratch from the steel or tie wire can infect easily and may require tetanus vaccination.
What protects my pool from electrical problems?
In most cases, a trench will be dug from your electric panel to the
equipment location. This conduit by code must be metal, wrapped with insulation, and buried 18" underground. It is important to mark any sprinkler lines or other obstructions that must be protected. The conduit must remain uncovered until the city inspects it. GFI circuits protect all light and electrical plugs. These are also used near sinks and bathrooms inside your house. GFI protected circuits instantly trip and shut down when contact is made with water. In addition; all steel, motors, and metal within 5' of the pool is grounded. You may notice small copper wire attached to metal windows, fences, handrails, and diving boards.
When does the city inspect my pool?
The first inspection occurs after electric and before shotcrete. The city
insures all electrical connections and work is proper. They also review the pool's structural engineering and steelwork. They do not inspect the shape of the pool, pool depth, or in most cases pool plumbing as these are not safety or code issues. They will check the pool's location to insure that it is out of all setback and easements. We typically have very little problem and get a green tag to proceed quickly. In some cases, inspectors will ask to see more engineering verification than is normally necessary. We provide this at our expense. While the delay can be frustrating, it is better to be safe now than sorry later. Remember that these inspectors are trying to insure the best and safest possible construction. We do not control their schedules but in most cases they are remarkably responsive considering the building boom in the Triangle area.
When will my pool start looking like a pool?
The pool really begins to take shape when the concrete is placed. Steps
and benches are formed, spas take shape, and the pool begins to look like a pool. Shotcrete (premixed concrete) is sprayed into your pool through a hose under pressure. It's noisy, messy, surprisingly artistic, and fun to watch. A curtain is put up around the pool to block the over spray from getting on your house. Shotcrete dries and gets hard very quickly. As a matter of fact, it can dry too quickly. It is necessary for you to water cure your shotcrete to slow the drying time down. In the summer, wet the pool down at least 5 times a day, more if you can get to it. In cooler months (temperatures below 80 degrees F), 2 to 3 times a day is fine. Spray water on the sides until it starts to "sheet" off. Then move on to another part of the pool. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete a pool watering. Don't worry; you can't over water a pool. A puddle will accumulate in the bottom of the pool... that's o k; we'll pump it out later. You will also notice cracks forming in the pool, particularly in the floor. This is normal. These are shrinkage cracks and do not affect the structural integrity of the pool. The shotcrete shell needs to cure for 3-4 days before we can proceed with construction.
What has to happen before my deck is installed?
We must have all rockwork, if there are boulders and waterfalls to be
done on your pool, completed prior to deck. This is also a good time to install any masonry such as barbecues, fire pits benches, and equipment walls. Any gas lines, landscape sprinkler and drip lines, landscape lighting lines etc. that are to be under the deck, should be in before we form your deck. This is also a good time to review and make sure that your deck that you have planned is on the plan the way you want it. Extra costs may result if you have us form the deck one way and then decide to change it after forming.
What are my responsibilities concerning the deck?
Here is where the pool starts to look really pretty. We always find that
once the deck gets started, our customers get very excited and start planning their first pool party. Be patient... the process is almost complete. The deck crew will come out and put up forms (thin strips of wood) outlining the deck. You will see where any steps and drains go. You must approve these forms prior to the pouring of deck. Once the deck is poured, it cannot be changed. It is a good idea to double check the color and texture you have chosen to make sure it is still your favorite. The concrete for the deck will be poured into the forms and troweled to a smooth finish. If you have cool decking, it will be applied now. If you have Kool Deck,
it will be applied when the concrete is dry enough to let it stick. Other types of toppings and deck, such as flagstone, tiles, or cultured stone have their own requirements. Regardless of what kind of deck topping you have; stop water curing your pool, do not walk on or get water on the deck, and do not cover the deck with anything for at least 48 hours. Concrete does not dry evenly so it will appear to be darker in some places and lighter in others. Don't worry, it will reach a consistent hue after it gets through a full summer's heat.
When do I get rid of this construction mess?
We would like your help in policing any personal trash. It is absolutely our
policy that gum wrappers, drink cups, lunch bags, etc. never be left on your property. However, we find that our crews are human and take constant reminding. We consider it to be a great help if you let us know at any time you see trash of this kind left in your yard. By staying on top of this problem together, we can keep it to a minimum! (The unavoidable construction mess begins at shotcrete as the concrete truck gets cleaned out. This continues and builds through the deck process. All of this gets cleaned up just prior to the pool being finished). Trenches are all filled, light grading is done, and the yard is raked. Basically we make everything neat and presentable. Landscaping is not provided unless it was part of your pool contract.
How do they get the plaster or Quartz Aggregate into my pool?
At last! Seemed like forever huh? All interior finishes are pumped into the
pool from the closest access.
Plaster: Plaster will be applied and the plasterers will start your hose going to fill the pool as soon as they are done. DO NOT TURN OFF THE WATER UNTIL YOUR POOL IS FULL! Let the pool fill all of the way up until it reaches about an inch below the deck then turn the water off. This is slightly overfilled, but you will be backwashing and it helps to have a little extra water in the pool until the plaster dust is filtered out. Follow the plaster care instructions given to you by Backyard Oasis Pools. The plaster may appear a little mottled because the plaster does not dry evenly (yes, it really does dry under water). Some parts stay wet longer and so they appear darker, like a wet spot on a shirt. Brushing the pool and chemical balancing are extremely important on a plaster pool. Plan to spend a lot of time during that first week caring for your pool.
When do I learn how to use the pool?
At start-up we turn the pool on, check out the system to make sure
everything is working properly and then tell you everything you wanted to know about a pool and probably some stuff you were not sure you wanted to know. Plus we show you how to work the pump, filter, light and the rest of the equipment. It's a lot of stuff to know. Video cameras are permitted and encouraged. You can also refer to our Pool Care FAQ for some of the most common question (there's good stuff there). We're always available to answer questions; feel free to call.
When can I swim?
Is it hot out? Is the pool full? Go have fun, and thanks for choosing
Backyard Oasis Pools.