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Building pool structure. When you get to stage of putting your pool kit together, pay real attention to all levels and measurements. MEASURE TWICE, DO ONCE, check all dimensions are what they are supposed to be, horizontally, vertically and diagonally. If something doesnít look right, it probably isnít. This bit may take anything from a day to three or four depending on type of kit used and how much concrete is needed to support structure.
Preparing base. Most D.I.Y. pool kits have liners, most of which be installed on a base of compact sand or, a weak sand and cement screed. A cement base can be smoother than sand and makes for a more professional finish so ask your supplier to see what they recommend. For a sand base, wet sand and use a 45kg compactor or hand garden type roller to flatten base. If concrete is preferred use a semi dry mix, reinforced with metal or fibre, draw a screed rail over surface to make around a 6cm thickness then smooth off with a ďtalocheĒ or board type float.
Preparing pool interior. Some liners need around a 4-5Ē fillet all way around base of pool between walls and floor at 45 degrees so that they are less stressed at seams. Check walls of your pool for any sharp edges and either cover them with duct tape or silicone sealent. Sweep base of pool if itís a cement base, any holes or digs in base can be covered with a thin layer of just dry cement powder smoothed out. Extra protection for liner can be provided by a felt or foam under lining placed on floor and walls.
Fitting White Goods. Itís normally at this stage that skimmers, jets, lights, plumbing and any other fittings needed, are cut and fitted into structure of your pool. Skimmers are usually placed at opposite side to inlet jets, take care to measure their positions accurately. Pay attention to all seals and use a suitable sealing compound if required.
TIP: Donít fit an underwater projector facing a house as they can be far too bright at night.
Stage 8. Installing liner. Ensure all fittings are well sealed and check one last time for any sharp edges. Feel all over floor and if a stone or clump of sand can be felt a quick thump from a hammer will get rid of them. Youíll be surprised how large smallest grains can feel when they are under a piece of felt. Try to fit your liner when itís a hot day, unfold liner and it will become supple enough to get any creases or folds out.
Secure liner at top of pool and place tube of a vacuum cleaner between liner and pool wall in a central position. Seal off all other gaps and as you begin to add water, smooth out wrinkles in base of pool with your feet. At same time switch on vacuum and liner will sit back against walls of pool getting rid of wrinkles and creases.
TIP: Cut your toenails before you start, long nails can puncture a liner easily when itís being installed. Stage 9.
Cutting liner. If you have to cut liner in a pool for skimmers, jets, roman end or whatever, always fill pool to just below level of fitting before cutting it out, this way liner will already be stretched into position and will not tear. Pay special attention and make absolutely certain of where you need to cut liner. A hole in wrong place at this stage would not be ideal. You can normally clamp liner into place around whatever you are fitting, then cut out liner, donít try to cut (by eye) before liner is in place, no-ones free hand is that good!
Finishing off. Backfilling any pool is one of most laborious jobs to do, especially if you donít have a digger at hand. Continue to fill pool and backfill at same time. Some pools will need a backfill of dry sand and cement, others use stone for better drainage or just spoil from hole, consult your kit supplier.
Connect your pump and filtration system and fit any marjelles (coping) if required. Any stone marjelles (coping) should be fitted using white cement mixed with a water proofing compound such as hydro-fuge.
Thatís it. Your pool is now ready for use, once you have added either salt or chlorine to treat water. Even if you still have to build a terrace you can taste fruits of your labour. Go on dive in!
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Lee is currently residing in the South of France running several successfull business ventures which include swimming pools, spa's, sauna's mini diggers and property maintenance.