There are two Texas brothers who always wanted a big pool. Always a bit jealous of the doctors and lawyers kids with in-ground pools. Two brothers who grew up swimming in everything they could get filled with water. They swam in a 6 foot diameter metal stock tank. They waded in the mud pond in the corner of the cow field. They rode their bikes many miles to the lake, into town to the city pool, or down to the Flamingo motel at the highway where they'd let kids in to swim in the motel pool for 50 cents. They would play under the "waterfall" of the house gutters during those summer thunderstorms. In desperation, even a sprinkler would do. After all, they spent their youth in a house with no "refrigerated air conditioning." Neither of them can remember learning to swim. Their father builds boats (as a hobby) and both parents thoroughly encouraged water activities with many trips to lakes and eventually buying a lakeside park. After a lifetime of dreaming about having a pool, ... a real pool, ... with a diving board, ... and a trapeze, ... and a water slide; it was time!
This is a 24 X 40 foot pool, made of poly reinforced structural concrete (as opposed to gunite.) There is a continuous welded rebar grid on 1 foot centers. The deep end is 10.5 ft deep X 15 ft, the "play area" is 4.5 ft deep X 16 ft and the shallow end is 2 ft deep X 9 ft. All three sections are 24 ft. across. The walls and floors are keyed together in various ways for strength. The concrete is 5.5 to 12 inches thick. Everything above grade was poured with forms on both sides. Everything below grade was poured with single forms against earth.
The only products we used in this project that I feel worthy of mentioning by name are from Thoro, a division of ChemRex®. Acryl 60®, Thoroseal®, and Thorite® (Trademarks of ChemRex® ) were crucial to this construction project. They performed admirably, even in the Texas summer heat. The Acryl 60® had to be refrigerated, but that was anticipated after reading the literature on the product. I have no dealings with ChemRex® other than as a happy customer.
We started this project on May 3, 2002 with the digging of the hole into which we poured money and sweat until September 15, 2002. This project won't ever be completely finished, but as far as we're concerned, the pool itself was finished on that date. There will be more descriptions and stories later, but for now, on with the pictures.
It took 3 days to dig the hole with the tractor/front loader. The upper 2 to 3 feet of the pool is above grade and we used the soil from the hole to backfill around the pool and to raise the "family area" to the appropriate level. The "family area" is the concrete pad adjacent to the pool. This area will eventually have a covered shelter, picnic tables, and Bar-B-Q pit.
After the 1st attempt to pour this wall ended in a minor disaster with spilled concrete and blown out forms, we decided to engage The Tractor Beam. Give 'er all she's got, Scottie.
Pool Home page
Construction links: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
* Most of the work was done by Jeff and Jim Miller. Sheril (Jeff's wife) also worked very hard and contributed significantly, especially concerning the building of forms, the concrete pours, and the incredible amount of tile work involved in this project (over 2000 sq ft). Bruce Lowry, our bro-in-law, helped out too. Even when his work schedule prevented him from being there in person, he was there in spirit in the form of his pressure washer and other tools which were more than niceties. My wife Lisa and sister Kathy helped some too.