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How to build a DIY overflow swimming pool

By April 8,2020 September 29th, 2023 No Comments

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About 60,000 indoor and outdoor swimming pools are built or installed in France, placing the French market in second place after the United States. Over the last 25 years, the pool market has changed a lot, and more and more people want to build a nice overflow pool without breaking the bank.

Can you build your own pool

The pool has long been synonymous with luxury and dreams; more than 25 years ago, when we made our first infinity pool, only a wealthy clientele or 5-star hotels could have access to this type of pool. Today, this is no longer true. The market is opening up, and different possibilities exist.
The average in-ground pool size is 15 feet x 30 feet. The average depth is 5,50 feet.

The swimming pool in kit

Contrary to popular belief, not all kit pools are above-ground or skimmer pools; more and more manufacturers offer in-ground pools; the structure can be steel, wood, modular panels, or polystyrene blocks. Overflow option now exists for the kit pool; you could find an infinity swimming pool (on one side) or deck level pool (perimeter).

 It is cheaper if the customer installs the kit; the manufacturer typically provides an installation manual or a video to explain how to install it. However, it is always possible to ask a third party to install it. It is now possible to find overflow pools. 

The main advantage of the kit is the price; it is undoubtedly the solution for those who want a pool in their garden but have a tight budget. Calling in the installer can double the total cost.

The shapes and dimensions are imposed, so you will have to adapt your project and not the other way around. The recirculation system is often rudimentary. Some manufacturers offer custom projects, but the budget is not the same, and other options may be preferable.

Note: Waterproofing will be ensured by a liner provided in the kit. We will tell you more about pool linings here.

The overflow shell pool

To adapt to the growing customer demand, manufacturers of polyester shells or acrylic shells have asked themselves how to make an infinity pool by themselves. They, therefore, propose, as an option, to add an overflow, either perimeter or on one side.
Once the owner has carried out the excavation, only a few hours are necessary to install the pool. It is delivered to the construction site by a particular crane truck. Once the shell installation is over, people connect the recirculation system and fill the pool with water.
This option, which is more expensive than the previous one, does not offer a custom-made model. You can see some models on this site. 

A DIY concrete pool

Another option is to do the job yourself. When we mention a concrete in-ground pool, we usually think swimming pool builder, but there is another solution. More and more blogs are springing up to explain how to build your own pool; it’s very trendy!

The basic principle is simple: you make your pool from plans designed by you or a professional. The most suitable construction system is hollow blocks, which is easy to use by any DIY-er.  The implementation is relatively simple since the blocks are used as formwork and the structure is therefore made in steel-reinforced concrete.

So, you decide on the size, water surface, and shape of the pool. You can choose to add a hot tub and select the pool lighting. You also keep control of your budget and the progress of the work.
Indeed, depending on your available leisure time and your DIY skills, you can decide to call in outside contractors or build it yourself. Your involvement will determine the total cost of the project.


How to build an infinity  pool with non-specialised companies

At this point, you must decide how actively you want to participate in the construction of your pool or spa. You can use the services of a general building company or independent masons, plumbers, and tilers.

If you don’t have any time to get involved in your building site, it is better to ask a general contractor to take charge of the construction site from A to Z.  This is the easiest but most expensive solution. Your involvement will then be limited to an overall comparison of quotes. You may be able to take advantage of an opportunity to reduce the price quoted and obtain the guarantees and payment terms that are most advantageous to you. In this way, you can save a minimum of 10% compared to the quote from a pool builder.

Suppose you can manage the materials et equipment purchases. In that case, you can ask companies for a fixed-price contract for labor only, specifying that you will provide, at their request, all the necessary purchases. It will require a good follow-up of the building site and time to look for the best possible prices. This solution can save you another ± 15%.

Let’s assume that you have time to manage totally and daily the construction site. You can hire workmen (mason, plumber). Furthermore, you will still have to provide them with all the necessary materials and equipment, but you will not be able to rely on them too much for order forecasting or site management. You have to title of “entrepreneur.” Such involvement can save a minimum of 30 to 40% compared to the price of a professional pool builder.

Or you are very handy, and you have leisure time. Those who have the required knowledge in the building process can carry out this project alone or with friends. One-half of the swimming pool cost corresponds to labor and the other to materials and equipment. Therefore, we can say that the savings are more than 50% compared to the same project built by a pool builder.

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What is the difference between a regular pool and  an infinity pool

In an overflow pool, a weir replaces the skimmer. A zero or a negative deck level pool needs a balance tank to work correctly. Another specificity is the mandatory installation of fittings on the pool floor.

There are three kinds of overflow pools

• The negative edge or infinity swimming pool is fantastic for sloping ground or terraced land. One wall is lower than the others, and water spills over the weir and goes to the catch basin.

• The pool water level is the same as the deck in the zero-edge pool. Zen’s effect is guaranteed with an overflow on the pool’s perimeter. The pool seems to “sit” on the deck like a mirror.

• But it is also possible to mix the two previous overflow kinds: deck level and negative edge pool.

If you are wondering why, you should have overflow pools work, it’s here!

Can you build your own infinity pool ?

Of course, it is! And the first step is to choose which kind of overflow pool you like. You can ask a pool designer to tell you which one will fit better on your ground.

How to get help to make an infinity pool

Building a swimming pool is an adventure, during which it can be interesting to have technical support before and during the work.

The design of the pool

An architect or an independent design office specializing in swimming pools provides pool drawings.

Note: Architects can often design your pool but cannot always foresee the hydraulic diagrams essential for the work. 

For these plans to be helpful during construction, they should therefore contain the following minimum information:

  • General plan with measurements in inches and feet or meters and centimeters. It must include the catch tank and the pump room.
  • One or more pool sections to see the pool floor profile, the steps, the submerged beach, and more.
  • Details of the overflow, including the gutter
  • Water recirculation layout explains the pool’s fittings, drain, lighting, and piping system.
  • Pump system drawing with the location of the pump, the filter, the mandatory valves, and the drainage.
  • An advice folder will be a must. It can specify the pump flow rate, the filter diameter, and the process to install the equipment.

Precise drawings are really the basis for a successful pool construction.

See drawings samples

The search for companies

You can do it yourself or ask a design office to solicit companies, compare quotes and give you a comparative study. All you have to do is choose the company or companies that suit you. In this way, you stay controlling this crucial issue: who’s going to build my overflow pool?

Site supervision

Assistance provided by a professional can be helpful from earthwork to commissioning, including pouring the floor, raising every wall, building the basin tank, and installing the inlets and the drain. Thanks to instant messaging or chatting platforms, a work supervision can be done remotely. Occasionally, a maintenance guide is provided at the end of the works.

Don’t forget: Whatever the construction method selected, overflow pools must be buried or semi-buried. In France, they are therefore subject to administrative procedures and may require the filing of a declaration of work form or obtaining a building permit, depending on their surface area.

The options for installing your indoor or outdoor pool with a skimmer or overflow no longer hold any secrets for you.
Before deciding which system to choose, you might want to read this article. You may be surprised by the price of an overflow pool. And contrary to popular belief, its maintenance is not more expensive than a skimmer swimming pool.

You'd love to swim in an overflow pool Make your dream comme true