Designing and building the pool stairs
When I designed the pool, I placed the entrance in the corner nearest the main residence. The elevation of the pool deck at this point is 1200mm below that of the wooden deck above it, which is at the same level as the house. Stairs are thus required. Once through...more
Customizing the solar control electronics
With a plethora of manufacturers and models for pool solar controllers, it can be challenging to put together a system that just works, without resorting to sourcing everything from a single manufacturer and buying their overpriced controllers. Our Equipment Our pump is a premium variable speed model, but has no...more
Solar heating preparations
Once the core project is complete, we'll be having someone install solar-thermal panels on the roof of the house. It's the one job I've decided to outsource as I'm not keen on spending a few days on the second story roof securing them. I also don't have the requisite safety...more
Laying the coping tiles
Around the pool perimeter we're laying 30mm ivory travertine stone and continuing it onto the pool deck. The 30mm thickness provides a nice lip for the pool edge. The two main edging options for the lip are square edge or bullnose (i.e. rounded). Our stone tiles already have a...more
Tiling the retaining walls
As discussed in the last tiling post, we're using a slate stacked stone to provide texture on the retaining walls and to give a nice dark contrast against the ivory travertine deck and coping. The texture of the stacked stone will also provide great shadows for the on wall lighting....more
Let the tiling begin
With all of the structural elements in place, we can now begin the work of making everything look pretty. The bulk of this work involves tiling all of the surfaces. Specifically: Pool retaining walls Flower bed Pool deck Rear wall behind deck Stairs down to pool deck Pool coping Cupboard...more
Drainage from the pool deck
As discussed in the "How to avoid your pool turning into a boat" post, the project requires a great deal of drainage: A plethora of drainage locations This post covers drainage locations 1, 2 and 3. Drainage from behind the rear wall, top of the rear wall, and...more
Creating a private swimming environment
Our block straddles a a hill that slopes down towards the ocean. This provides tremendous views on the downhill side, but at the cost of providing the uphill neighbors an elevated perch from which to witness our summer frolicking. In the service of privacy, we decided to erect a modest...more
Adding a vegetable garden
I haven't bothered to write too much about the landscaping efforts surrounding the pool itself as it's not particularly interesting, but below are a few photos of the vegetable garden built on the downhill edge of the pool. The construction is a straightforward combination of 50 and 80mm sleepers on...more
Skimmer installation
The original plan called for placing the skimmer on the deck side of the pool, simplifying the pipework and avoiding any interference with the retaining walls on the other sides. This also would have simplified the bond beam concreting for the skimmer, with the ground providing natural formwork. The originally...more
Filling the gap
There's a lot of backfilling to be done. In addition to filling the gap between the pool shell and the newly built retaining walls, there's also the rear retaining wall that can now be safely filled in. The graphic below shows the key areas in red: The rear wall must...more
Building the pool retaining walls
The next step is to build the retaining walls that will enclose the pool on three sides. These walls are built upon the footings that were poured just before we broke for winter. The walls are built using hollow concrete blocks, which will be filled with concrete, per the design...more
Water is the driver of nature
Once the inspector had completed inspecting our glorious temporary fence, it was time to finally get some water into the pool. A milestone to be sure. Since the fibreglass shell is not strong enough to support the hydro-static pressure of the water, the outside must be back-filled at the same...more