Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pool story

Here's a story about how two people (and the occasional days brick laying help from friends), built their own swimming pool.

My wife and I built this pool directly next to the house (which we also built, but isn't finished yet) on our property in rural Toledo (Spain).

I'll start at the beginning, those of you who cant wait to see the final result just scroll down.....

Our house is situated on the top part of a sloping section. There is room to put a swimming pool in front of the house but as we have a horse who lives on our land (its only 500m2) we needed to leave room for him. We also want to fit the horses house and a double garage on the section, so decide to build our pool directly adjacent to the house.

This also meant minimal digging because the section was already sloped. Because of the location of the proposed pool, we couldn't get a digger in, so dug out the hole needed by hand. We only needed to dig a small amount out at the shallow end (top part of our section), but make no mistake, it took months! You can see the hollow that we dug out on the right side of this photo:

(left: the view looking down the section, right: from the bottom of the pool looking back up)

After building a 20cm brick framework at the bottom, we filled the base with concrete. Lucky that Mike and Kim were there as I ordered too much concrete and we had to scree the pool plus move the extra concrete to a useful position before it all set (in Spanish weather concrete sets FAST!).

Luckily Jesus (one of our neighbours) helped so after a small miracle the pool base was finished.

Then we laid the bricks. All walls were made from rows of single bricks and a space in between where we later put steel re-enforced concrete. Here are some photos from that construction phase which lasted about 1 and a half years (because we had a baby in the middle of it).

My father in law (right) and I (left) hard at work bricking. He helped for a week and a half and managed 3 rows of bricks (which is actually alot).

Here you can see the side wall almost up to height. Note the space in the middle for the concrete. Our son looks on from his play-pen.

Here is the pool up to height. Note the black waterproofing done between the pool wall and the house. The concrete inside the brick walls also has a water proofing additive.

This was my first ever cement rendering job. The cement render also has waterproofing added (we weren't taking any chances). Smooth huh?

Here is the pool cement rendered. My wife Karin is standing in the deep end to give it some scale. Up the shallow end its just about a meter deep.

The last step was to put on the tiles and grouting, install the slabs on top of the sides and then fill the pool with water. We couldn't fill it all the way because there was no support in front of the deep end (which is completely out of the gound). Nevertheless after doing all that the pool was more or less finished.

We have no in-between shots after the pool was cement rendered, instead, hold your breath and scroll down to the finished pool.

---scroll down to the finished pool---

---scroll down to the finished pool---

Go here for more on how we built our Spanish swimming pool

1 comment:

Shellmo said...

Beautiful pool! I wish I was so handy!