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How Long Does It Take to Build A Gunite Pool?

One of the most common questions about our gunite pools that we get is: “how long does a pool take to build”? The question has a relatively simple answer, mainly because a pool builder does not know the EXACT amount of time. While a pool may be the focal point of a backyard project, it is not the ONLY part. 

You may have seen our posts on social media about the necessity of booking with us early in the season so that we can ensure a fully installed pool project by the July 4th weekend…there are many good reasons for this

Swimming pool construction must consider the size of the pool and the area surrounding it. Unless there are space constraints, this is commonly where the patio will be placed. Pools can demand a large area that could conflict with another backyard project. These conflicts can affect the time frame of construction. 

Our team has detailed some things that affect how long it takes to build a swimming pool. To help homeowners understand their role, we’ve broken things down into two main categories: items in your control, and items outside of your control. This is particularly true when looking to build a pool in southeastern Massachusetts, particularly Cape Cod & The Islands.  

At Living Waters Gunite Pools & Spas, we find that analogies are helpful. How long your pool will take to build can be akin to asking how long your work commute is in the morning. Most of the time, you end up close to a true estimation, give or take 5-10 minutes.  But occasionally, there could be a big accident that extends that timeline. Building a pool involves many uncontrollable factors for the builder and the homeowner. By working together and ensuring constant communication, the factors that are controllable can be handled properly on both sides. 

Items Within Your Control

Design Decisions 

Finalizing decisions on colors, patio size, and even pool size and shape after it has been excavated can be contributing factors. Sometimes we have seen homeowners decide to change the shape of a pool after it has been excavated and in instances where even after the gunite has been poured and installed. While Living Waters Gunite Pools & Spas can handle these design changes, they do add time to a project.  

Additional Backyard Structures 

Examples of additional backyard structures that must be considered can include pool houses, sheds, or cabanas. Typically, backyard structures are very close to the pool. For a pool and an associated pool patio to be completed, the structure’s foundation needs to be installed so that the pool plumbing which can run under the patio can be filled with dirt and compacted to build the patio on. 

Your Electrician & Plumbing (Gas Connections)  

It may be tempting to use a friend or relative who has electrical and/or plumbing experience. It’s very common for this situation to add time to the project. However well-meaning, our team has seen these favors or side jobs go wrong countless times. Sometimes family friends cannot commit the necessary time to complete the project, or they find themselves overwhelmed. Swimming pool electrical & plumbing systems can be very complicated, as many of our pool projects can require a significant amount of electrical & Plumbing work. 

There are many moving parts when it comes to the electrical system of a swimming pool. It’s not uncommon for there to be multiple motors, sensors, heating elements, disinfection items, lights, light systems, along with controllers and communication systems. All these options and factors fall under electrical codes and are required by law to be installed by a licensed electrician. Even electricians who operate pools regularly must do research, check code books, and read instructions on how all these components work together. 

Complex Designs 

Complex pool projects take longer than simple designs. Some pool projects require the pool to be built in specific phases, such as foundations to be installed before the pool can even be started. Some pools may have large structures built on top or adjacent to them or boulders installed as part of hardscapes, etc., so things like this need to wait until the gunite has gained its full strength. This work has to be performed by a structural engineer. 


Timing of Construction 

The timing of construction plays a big role in how long pools take to build.  The fastest time to build a swimming pool is in late fall (Oct-Nov) so that pools can be ready by Memorial Day to take advantage of our Cape Cod summers.  

Most homeowners don’t want their backyards under construction during the later summer months. So, if you want to get a pool built as quickly as possible now is the time to do it. The planning process should start around September to capitalize on an early fall construction time. Homeowners should even consider starting earlier if they anticipate permitting issues. 

Otherwise, the next best time to start a pool for ease of construction is in January – February. Starting in the winter season will help ensure that the pool is ready by the 4th of July. Given these factors, a little more patience is required to have springtime/ Winter pool construction, again stressing the need for planning early to have a pool ready for summer! 


Final Fill of Water 

The best way to fill a pool is by hiring a water company to deliver truckloads. Water companies pre-treat their water so that once it is in your pool, it only needs a small amount of chemicals and time to get it running properly. Backyard pools range from about 25,000 gallons to 35,000 gallons. A water truck holds approx. 8,000 gallons and pumps the water down a 4” hose into the pool. Most of the time the pool is filled by a truck in one day or less. 

If a homeowner chooses to use city water or well water, it can take much longer to fill a pool, and we could have lots of heavy metal that needs to be heavily treated causing stains and higher price for initial use. We highly discourage the use of city/ well water. An average well can only produce 8-10 gallons per minute. Therefore, a 30,000-gallon pool would require all your well water for 2-3 days (this time frame can also cause major structural problems – cracks, peelings etc.), providing the well has a good water supply. It is not uncommon for a well to run dry while trying to fill a pool. Once the pool is full of well water it can take a few more days and extra cost to restore balance to the pool water. It can cause other issues if it has strange characteristics. 

Items Out of Your Control

Backyard Surface Conditions 

Pools can be built just about anywhere, even on steep slopes and hills. If the yard has a slope, several measures can be taken. The pool can be engineered to retain the uphill soil. Retaining walls can be added before or after pool structure construction. The location grade of the yard will usually dictate which actions need to be installed first. Some pools are even built on deep foundations where piles or drilled piers are installed deep in the ground to hold the pool in place. 

Backyard Subsurface Conditions 

Living Waters Gunite Pools & Spas has a decade of experience with pool design and installation across southeastern New England. Our team is highly skilled at anticipating the level of difficulty with an excavation. However, sometimes surprises can arise. We have found a lot of surprises during excavations; some add time to the project timeline, and some do not. 

Discovering ledges or very large boulders can add time to a pool project. Soft soil conditions such as a layer of peat more commonly found near the coast can also add to excavation time. Poor water conditions are also possible in these cases.  

Permitting and Town Approval 

Local Town building departments have by law 30 days to approve or deny your building permitting process, this will vary according to many factors; Examples include but not limited to conservation areas, floating zones, waterfront buffer zones etc. There are some factors that can extend the process. If the desired pool location is within wetlands boundaries or property setbacks, there needs to be approval from the town to obtain a permit to build. Most of the time, if the property’s only option for a pool is within boundaries, but outside the buffer zones, the pool can still be built. Sometimes if the backyard is a wetland, permission may not be able to be obtained, however, these are rare occurrences. Every town has a slightly different permitting process.  To learn more about your town’s process, Google “[your town] pool permit”. 


Now that we’ve reviewed some items that affect swimming pool construction duration, back to answering the basic question!

To summarize, if the location of the pool is relatively level, and all decisions have been made upfront, and confirming that no other contractors will be involved with the project during pool construction, confirming that Living Waters Gunite Pools & Spas will manage the electrical and plumbing, and no subsurface conditions are encountered, a pool can be easily built from excavation to your first dive in within 7-10 weeks. Now, there may still be some final inspections and small items to settle, but after that 7–10-week period, there is an extra 28 days for the Pool Finish Curing Process to complete in which the pool cannot be used or heated.  After that, you will be ready to go.  

It is vitally important to have a full plan before construction! This is so the pool builder’s supervisor and any other contractors are all on the same page as to how decisions affect each other. A plan helps ensure that everything is lined up to happen at the right time, so nothing holds anything else up. 

This is where Living Waters Gunite Pools & Spas makes all this effortless for you! All you need to do is to contact us for a free estimate (either through our phone at (774) 368-4221 or by reaching out to us at www.capecodpooldesign.com, (and yes our other website address www.lwgpools.com works as well!) and let us know what you are envisioning, and we handle the rest! 

There is still some time left to get your pool project ideas to us today so that you can enjoy that backyard paradise by July 4th! Contact us today!