We all deal with grief in different ways. Some people like to stuff their faces with extra large bowls of ice cream while others like to go outside and get their hands dirty with some hard work. After the loss of his beloved dog one man decided to build a koi pond in his back yard. However, plans quickly changed when he decided to turn the half dug hole into a swimming pool paradise. Here are the 40 steps he took to make his dream pool become a reality!
40. The plan takes shape.
So, the story goes that he had planned on digging out a koi pond in his back yard. Our landscaping hero said that he deals with his grief by working in the yard and this was a solid start. However, after the birth of his son he decided to change things up and plan out a small and exotic looking swimming pool.
39. The ugly beginnings on display.
Even the Great Pyramids of Giza at one time were a pile of bricks. Here we see the hole that had initially been dug for the never-to-be built koi pond. It’s important to know how far this project came so that you can appreciate it when we get to the end!
38. The hole begins to grow.
Going by /u/ucrackercortex on Reddit, our pool building protagonist needed help to create a bigger hole for the job. So, he turned to an unemployed friend to help get the project underway – friendship done right.
37. The pool begins to take shape.
With the hole expanded and the pool outlined we are beginning to see a glimpse of things to come. Here the pool’s foundation is strengthened and reinforced by sandbags – safety first.
36. Leveling out the area.
As you can already begin to tell, there are a ton of different steps to creating your own pool. Here we see the two man crew begin to mark off and level the different depths of the pool. You’ll see why this is important later on.
35. The plumbing begins.
Most people aren’t technically sufficient enough to handle their own DIY plumbing. Here we see the groundwork for what will eventually become the pool’s plumbing system. If you don’t have the expertise to do it yourself, find someone who can.
34. Heavy duty pump in place.
We aren’t looking at a soon-to-be koi pond anymore and so an upgraded pump was needed. Here is a heavy duty pump installed with a concrete pad pour in place.
33. Mid July, hard work underway.
Having a pool during the hot seasons in July can be a life changer. Unfortunately, building your own pool during the dog days of July can also be a life changer – in a bad way. An erected canopy helps keep the team cool during work.
32. The pool is becoming real.
We are now at a point where the pool is finally able to really be seen. Here we see the different tiers of the project layered out.
31. Hauling dirt never ends.
As construction on the pool continues it becomes apparent that hauling dirt away is a never ending job. Hauling this dirt was accomplished bucket by bucket. During this time span it never got under 105 degrees at the hottest point of the day.
30. The retention wall is put in place.
With odd level choices it was important to have a sturdy retention wall put in place. With the slopes of the pool figured out, the wall was installed.
29. Water discharge and skimmer tanks are installed.
In order to keep the pool clean and functioning at a high level it was important to have a proper place to discharge water. A waterfall skimmer tank was also installed at this point in time.
28. A grotto was created for decoration.
If you are going to build your own backyard paradise then you need to have a cave. Here construction on the grotto has begun and you are going to be amazed at how it turns out – our favorite feature in the entire design.
27. The rebar is installed.
Utilizing 8×8 grids we now see that the rebar has been installed. This rebar is made out of 5 steel.
26. Here’s a side view post-rebar.
Here we get a great profile shot of the pool’s construction after the rebar cages have been put in place. You can see how the pool goes right up to their already installed deck for ease of access. So far we are around $5 thousand into the construction process.
25. Rebar grid is fully in place.
With the rebar grid fully installed we now can see the general footprint and depth that the water is going to sit at. You can even see the beginnings of the plumbing work in place at the top right section of the photo. Remember: it was over 100 degrees throughout the construction process.
24. Water discharge tank has been installed.
Transitioning from a koi pond to a swimming pool meant that there was going to be some serious upgrading needed at the water discharge tank position.
23. The cave is now outlined.
It took a ton of elbow grease and more than a couple six packs of beer to get through the grotto outlining process. Here our homeowner had to bend and shape the rebar to the general shape of the soon-to-be cave.
22. Rebar work is nearly finished.
It is one kind of job to haul dirt out of a hole but it is an entirely different task to shape steel to fit your needs. Wear some heavy duty gloves and be prepared to sweat if you take up this job.
21. Side view of rebar completion.
Here we get another view of the finished rebar outlining along with the pretty tree line behind his yard.
20. Homeowner displays his work.
After finishing the pool’s construction he would go on to say, “I would rather dig then cut, bend and tie rebar all day.” We are with him on that count.
19. Baby for reference.
Though the passing of his dog inspired him to begin construction on the pool it was really for his son that all of the work was put in. Here we see the baby sitting in the pool for size reference.
18. Kitty gets in on the action.
The internet loves cats, right? We’re not sure exactly how helpful this furry little creature ended up being but it was probably demanding all the same.
17. Off-property view of the work.
Remember the tree line across the fence in the other picture? Here is a view of the pool’s construction process from that greenbelt. Lot’s of busy hands on display and a yard that has been completely torn up for the work.
16. August 7th brings the machines.
Now it is time to get the concrete for the pool prepared. Remember, this project was started in the beginning of July and at this point we have reached August 7th.
15. Prepping the concrete.
Can you tell that these guys are ready to be done putting this pool together? The concrete pouring is about to begin and everyone is ready to finish up.
14. Shotcrete on display.
The Shotcrete concrete pouring machine is being used and the pool is ready to take the next big step toward being something more than an eyesore.
13. Concrete application continues.
It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it, right? Here we see the guys filling out the rebar frame with concrete by starting at the top of the slope.
12. Almost finished with the Shotcrete.
Can you actually see the pool taking shape? Using the Shotcrete and other leveling devices they were able to sculpt out ‘rock’ formations for a visual improvement.
11. A week later….
A week later the Shotcrete work has been finished and now we are seeing a gorgeous base in its place. Can you imagine spending a few hours in this thing, assuming the pool is filled?
10. The pool has multiple levels.
A stroke of genius leads to the creation of varying levels of water depth. Here we see a baby pool built out of two divets.
9. The retention wall is finished.
What used to be an ugly wall of concrete and rebar is now a good looking retention wall with a concrete layer overtop all of it. This wall is integral in the safety of the pool’s construction.
8. View from the other side.
We are so close to having the water put into the pool. Here’s a nice in depth view of the pool post-Shotcrete leveling. We have four different holes that will soon be filled with water.
7. View from the roof.
The Shotcrete machine ended up being a game changer and we can see just how it came to be from this aerial view. Here our homeowner is standing on his roof looking down at his creation.
6. The rocks are put in place.
To add some extra texture to the design of the pool we now see that a few rock creations have been put into place to give the design some life. The addition of the rocks makes the pool look much more exotic.
5. The first splash!
Two months and $10 thousand dollars later the pool is ready for usage! Here we see one of our hard workers taking the first dip into the pool. That has to feel good.
4. We told you the cave was good looking!
Didn’t we say that the grotto was our favorite feature in the pool? Here the cave is complete and it looks like a great place to soak with the sun away from your eyes. Don’t mind us, we’ll just be chilling out under there with a beer in hand.
3. Son takes his first dip.
He said that he built this pool for his son and here we see the child taking advantage of it. There are going to be a ton of memories made here.
2. Do you think that he likes it?
The pool looks like something snagged straight out of a home design magazine. Here son and pup enjoy the pool in equal measures. That smile has to make it all worth it for the dad, right?
1. And we’re finished.
With a few more landscaping tweaks, namely the fire pit and added plant fixtures, we are able to see the pool in its complete form. Now this has to be the image that our pool owner had in mind when he first started to brainstorm creating the pool for his family. What a masterpiece!
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