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Acting as your own general contractor - feasible?

Acting as your own general contractor - feasible?


Old 04-04-05, 08:14 AM
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Acting as your own general contractor - feasible?

My wife and I are contemplating building a pool and we have discussed "doing it ourselves". Is it feasible to act as your own general contractor for an in-ground, gunite pool construction project? I would imagine that there are not a whole lot of contractors to coordinate, but I was told by a neighbor they saved close to 40%. As a starting point can someone give me the necessary list of contractors and the order they work, or is that too much for this forum? Can they quote and work from a dimensioned drawing I make, or does there need to be a more formal set of architectural type plans?

Thnaks for the help - I'm sure I will have a lot of questions during the project.
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Old 04-04-05, 09:26 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Calif.
Posts: 540
yes you can, however be prepaired for a trying experience, not being familar with construction in general and pool construction specifically, firts check with your local building department, they will tell you what is necessary in order for them to issue you a permit, most bldg. dept. want a drawing showing your lot dimentions, include easements, where the dwelling sits and where the intended pool & equipment is to be , include gas & ele runs. also draw in any slopes that may need a retaining wall, and be sure to discuss this with the person you talk to as this will require additional measures.

research for pool contractors , become somewhat knowledgeable in the construction of the pool also [ theres books ] the more knowledgeable the better ]

after the plans are approved, you need to set up the form for the pool using stakes and bender board lay out the shape the pool is to be remembering to add 8 " for the gunite, next. dig the hole, [ you will need access to the back yard size depending on what the digger uses ] after the hole is dug have the reinforcing steel placed, after this the plumbing / electrical / and gas runs can be made / also in most places the equipment can be installed,
most places the all the plumbing needs to be pressure tested, [ our area calls for 35 psi ] every aspect needs to be inspected and singned off by the people who issued the permit. after all this has been done and approved you can gunite, after the gunite, comes the deck or coping [ which ever you use, then the tile and last and final the plaster,

use only licensed contractors, [ if you have a problem you have recourse] put everything in writing , and have them sign, if in the course of performing some job or installing some piece of equipment and you decide on something different, fill out a change notice and have the other party sign it.
get a mechanics lien release on ony monies you pay out,

if you and say the plumber agree on a certain amount of money for say installing the equipment, don't pay untill after the job is completed. 10 % advance may be ok check with your states contractor laws regarding thease issues.

the more you become informed before starting the smoother things will go,
people do this all the time , some with other than desired results, remember, to do your homework, don't let anyone rush you and you should be ok.

Old 04-04-05, 02:22 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389

Like said know what you are doing if you want to be your own general. . There will be things pop up that you didnt even think of.

Old 04-05-05, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 164
A lot of people act as owner builders for there swimming pools. You can save your self some money but you can also run into a lot of problems. Also you take responsibility for the pool; there is no Pool Builder to correct any errors that have been made. The subs that you hire will know that you are not a Pool Builder and may or may not take some short cuts on you. (1)Excavation (2) rough plumbing and electrical (3) steel (4) gunite (5) tile and coping (6) Final plumbing and electrical (7) deck (8) plaster fill it up and get the water balanced. As a home owner and not a Pool Builder you will not know if the subs listed above are doing what they need to do for your particular pool. If the pool is not dug right and they do not use the right steel schedule your pool can shift or crack. If they do not plumb it right, it may not circulate or stay clean. And so on. This is why hiring a reputable Pool Builder comes in handy. If you do decide to go at it on your own you will need a set of engineered blue prints to obtain your building permit. Check all your subs out thoroughly to see if they are licensed have workers comp and liability insurance and stay on top of them

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