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Leveling Your Backyard for a Pool

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Leveling Your Backyard for a Pool

A swimming pool enables you to cool down in the heat of summer. Thus, swimming pools serve as excellent sources of relaxation and fun. Even so, very few people talk about the hustle involved in constructing this spectacular feature. The first thing to do before you proceed with pool installation is leveling your backyard. Unquestionably, you have to create an even and strong foundation for your pool. So, it is essential to level your backyard for the pool.

Leveling the ground for a pool in your backyard involves several steps.

Leveling your backyard for a pool can take several days. The time often varies depending on the complexity of your landscape. Contrary to popular belief, leveling your backyard for a pool is not very hard. Even a beginner can complete this process. Let’s look at how to level the ground for your pool.

First things first…

Before you start leveling your backyard for your pool, it is crucial to understand some things. First, always read the pool’s manufacturer’s guidelines. Also, keep in mind that you are likely to destroy the grass underneath the ground through pool installation. If you don’t have any knowledge or experience in conducting this process, always hire a professional.

Tips for Leveling your backyard for a Pool

  • To save on time, level an area that is not too raised.
  • The area you plan to level should not be muddy or have loose soil. Generally, it would be best if you worked on firm and steady ground.
  • Do not level spaces that have many trees, underground cables, and septic lines.

A detailed procedure about leveling your backyard for a pool

Step one: Choose an ideal location and get rid of all large debris around the area

The first thing to do would be to select a suitable area. Typically, the site you choose to level should be flat and far from underground cables, among any other obstacles. The soil around the area should also be firmly packed on the ground. After selecting a suitable location, clean the area. Get rid of any large dirt particles and stones from the site. Doing this will make the leveling process much easier. Additionally, remove all plants around the area using a shovel or tarp. Finally, dispose of the dirt in a proper place far from the worksite.

Step two: Place planks on the site 

Use planks to mark the specific areas you need to dig. Start placing the planks from the center of the site towards the outermost edge. These planks will guide you in all the areas that are not even.

Step three: Start digging

Now that you know where the ground is not even, start digging. Note that you have to dig strategically to ensure the ground becomes level. Use a shovel to even out all the raised parts of the ground. Before you start digging the ground, it would be best to identify the deepest part of the ground. This section will determine the standard height of the ground. Avoid adding soil to deep areas since it won’t deliver the best results. Digging to level the ground is often tedious and consumes a lot of time. So, at this stage, a lot of patience would help.

Step four: Continue until the ground becomes level

Dig across the area to ensure the ground is even. As you do this, move the planks to get a clear direction on where you need to continue digging. At the end of the entire process, the ground should be completely even across all sections.

Step five: Remove any obstacles

After you achieve a level ground, get rid of any large particles, stones, and rocks in the area. Use a rake for this. Once the area is spotless, spray water across the surface to make the soil moist. Afterward, compress the moist surface using a rolling tamper. At times, the pool instruction manual may require you to even out the area using sand after compressing. So, before you do this, confirm with the manual.

Step six: Contact landscaping or pool professional

Once your ground is level on all sections, consider hiring a professional for pool installation. Alternatively, you can choose to follow all the instructions indicated in the aboveground pool manual. Before installing the pool, ensure you have some background knowledge or experience. If you don’t, seek professional help from a pool expert.

Final thoughts

Leveling your backyard for a pool is pretty challenging. It can take days before you complete this process. Thus, it would be much easier to employ a dependable professional to level the ground for you. Besides, they will help you check whether the surface is level before you install the aboveground pool. Nevertheless, if you decide to level the yard yourself, ensure you follow all the detailed steps outlined in this article.

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email mpacker@poolmagazine.com your story idea.

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Pools

The One – “World’s Most Expensive Home” Has 5 Pools

Bel Air home has gone into receivership and set to sell for far below original $500M asking price

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"The One" is one of the largest custom luxury homes in the world and has 6 swimming pools.

“The One” – an extravagant luxury mansion – has been placed into receivership in order to pay off a startling amount of debt. The concept house was owned by developer Nile Niami, whose dream of constructing “The One,” a massive spec mansion on a five-acre Bel-Air parcel, has been buried beneath $165 million in defaulted loans and debts. The property will be sold to the highest bidder for a price that will almost certainly be significantly less than Niami’s 2017 fantasy ask of $500 million.

Twenty bedrooms, a running track, four bowling alleys, a nightclub, and two wine cellars comprise the ‘world’s most costly residence’.

British YouTube celebrity Producer Michael was granted access to the property in order to give the public its first glimpse of what is often regarded as one of the most, if not the most expensive private residence in the world.

Fast Facts About “The One” – Bel Air Mega Mansion

The Paul McClean-designed mega-mansion (which includes 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms, a 5,500-square-foot master suite, 5 pools, a 30-car garage with two car-display turntables, a moat, a 400-foot jogging track, and 360-degree views of Los Angeles) has been placed into receivership by Los Angeles County Superior Court and will be put on the market at a deep discount as soon as its court-appointed caretaker, Ted Lanes of Lansing takes receivership.

Even the servants quarters has its own swimming pool with easy access to the tennis courts. Photo Credit – Producer Michael

Even Niami admitted that building a home with 5 luxury pools (one of them an indoor pool) was probably overkill. In an interview with Curbed, he said “All those pools are probably not going to get very much use at all. “I think whoever is buying this house is going to have 10 other houses. Nobody buys a 100,000-square-foot house as their principal residence to use every day.”

Among the lenders demanding repayment regardless of how lavish Niami’s personal Xanadu was is Los Angeles billionaire Don Hankey of Hankey Capital, which loaned Niami over $115 million and slapped him with a default notice in March. Yogi Securities Holdings, which contributed over $36 million to “The One”, as well as Inferno Realty and Maybach Corporation Holdings, which each contributed $7 million. According to CNBC, the project is also approximately $1 million in debt to companies involved in air conditioning, concrete, and tool manufacturing.

Lenders of “The One” hope they will recoup their investment on the mansion. Photo Credit – Producer Michael

Lanes is not taking ownership of the property — which, for the record, is only the third largest in the United States. Oheka Castle in New York (109,000 square feet) holds the top spot and then Winterthur in Delaware (96,000 square feet). He has no interest whatsoever in taking on the onerous debt associated with the property. Rather than that, Lanes must now obtain the appropriate construction permit to complete construction and obtain a certificate of occupancy, after which he will sell the property to repay creditors and contractors.

The construction costs for the home accumulated over time. Niami gave GQ his first public interview on the property six years ago in 2015, admitting he intended to put the home on the market for $500 million once the estate was completed.

The One - Paul McClean Designed Mega Mansion Has Gone Into Receivership

Like many other stately homes, “The One” has likely enough amenities such as a library, a 30-seat home theater, a four-lane bowling alley, a gym, a spa, and a chef’s kitchen — all of which are the hallmarks of custom luxury homes. However, buyers are rarely exposed to such elaborate — and quirky — amenities as a butterfly installation, a beauty salon, a cigar room, a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, a 200-person capacity philanthropy wing, and “floating pods” overlooking the city. Niami did show some constraint in nixing plans for a candy room, a frozen room, and the jellyfish tank walls he was planning.

Photo Credit: Producer Michael

The exterior of the mansion is spectacularly lavish, with a 50-car garage and a 10,000-square-foot sky deck with a putting green with 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel mountains. According to Architectural Digest, the mansion is ringed on three sides by a moat and features a 400-foot-long jogging track that appears to float above Los Angeles.

"The One" a $500 million dollar mansion with 5 swimming pools has gone into receivership.
With 5 custom luxury pools, “The One” is one of the most expensive mansions in the world. Photo Credit: Producer Michael

Niami purchased three ranches in 2012 for $28 million from “Space Invaders” heiress Rita Kogan and rolled them into a singular larger estate that is “The One”. According to Architectural Digest, it took 600 employees eight years to construct this enormous custom luxury home.

It is unknown at this time how much “The One” will finally sell for or when it will come to market. Although the house was not yet on the market earlier this year, it has already been featured by various social media personalities. Take a guided tour inside this incredible home. It has to be seen to be believed.

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Pools

Mike Farley Makes Timelapse Pool Videos That Are Beyond Satisfying

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Time Lapse Pool Construction Video Is So Satisfying

One of the best things about using time lapse video photography is the way it quickly takes you through the entire life cycle of a project within minutes. The technique has become particularly popular with pool designers who are leveraging the technology to score huge wins on social media.

Mike Farley, CPB, ASLA of Farley Pool Designs in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area has used his prowess of creating compelling videos to help him grow his social media audience and consequently, his business.

Mike Farley has been featured in numerous TV shows such as HGTV’s Cool Pools and Ultimate Pools. Photo Credit: Claffey Pools

Farley is the co-founder of the Million Dollar Pool Challenge along with Reid Schindler and publisher of over 100 articles for Watershapes. Often one of the most popular design instructors at International and Regional Pool shows, Farley has gotten his video production game down to a science.

This particular time lapse is the perfect run time of about 12 minutes, but the immense satisfaction one gets at seeing this beautiful vessel come to life is a payoff that’s totally worth watching from beginning to end.

Claffey Pools are the builders behind this backyard gem with Brad Land (Allscapes, Inc.) and LaWanna Wood (LaWanna Wood Designs) contributing on the project as well.

Pool Features:

Large swimming pool, splash pad, Porcelain Decks, long 45′ Dolphin slide, two outdoor cabanas with moving glass wall systems – one with an outdoor kitchen and one for entertainment.

As far as pool build videos go, this one is definitely up there with some of the others I’ve watched that magnetically grab your attention during the wee hours of the morning.

I for one am used to stumbling upon the occasional video while scrolling through my timeline and getting sucked into the process. It’s definitely enjoyable watching how these pools are built but few folks build them quite like Claffey Pools. Don’t take my word though, check out the video and watch them do what they do best.

Learn More About This Project

Pool Chasers did a fantastic segment with Mike Farley about the construction of this particular build that you should definitely check out as well.

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Pools

How much does it Cost to Build an Inground Pool in 2021?

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How much does it Cost to Build an Inground Pool?

Unquestionably aspiring pool owners often get intimidated by the massive costs involved in pool construction. On average, the cost to build an inground pool has gone up roughly 30% over the last two years. Most prices around the country start at anywhere from $36,750 to $66,500. Of course, these costs vary depending on various factors. Some of these factors include the size and design of the pool. The cost of luxury pools can start at well over $100,000. So before you build an inground pool, it is best that you take time to analyze all the construction costs involved.

How much does it Cost to Build an Inground Pool?

Factors affecting inground pool costs

As mentioned earlier, the price of a pool varies based on different factors. Some of them include:

Size, type, and design

Generally, the bigger the pool, the higher the costs. Remember, a larger pool requires more materials, labor and equipment. So, you are likely to pay more for a bigger pool. Additionally, pools with complex shapes tend to be more expensive compared to pools with simpler designs. The pool type also influences the total pool construction costs. Concrete pools are the most expensive, while vinyl pools are the cheapest. 

Location

The location of your pool usually determines the total construction costs. Building an inground pool in warmer regions is more costly compared to building a pool in winter areas. Also, it is more costly to build a pool in urban areas.

Labor and Permits

Different pool contractors charge differently when it comes to pool construction. So, always compare quotes before hiring a particular contractor. The cost of obtaining pool construction permits also varies based on your state. Nevertheless, the labor prices of building a pool range from $5,000 to $30,000.

A breakdown of pool construction costs

Excavation:

The cost of digging the pool area often ranges from around $400 to $1,500. Needless to say, this cost varies based on the complexity of the landscape.

Landscaping

Once the excavation is complete, proceed with landscaping. Expect to spend approximately $5,000 to $10,000 for a decent landscaping job.

Materials

The materials used in pool construction significantly affect the total pool construction costs. Usually, concrete and porcelain tiles are the most expensive materials you can use. However, expect to spend between $30,000 to $70,000 on pool materials.

Filtration

Today, there are various pool filtration systems available. The one you choose often depends on your requirements. Pool professionals report that filtration systems cost approximately $700 to $4,000.

Heating systems

If you live in colder areas, you need to install a pool heater. A pool heater can cost up to $10,000. But on average, expect to spend $1,800 to $4,000 for a pool heater installation.

Additional features

You can use a broad spectrum of features to boost the pool’s aesthetics, functionality, and safety. When purchasing a pool cover, you may end up spending $600 to $2,200. Moreover, extra water features also increase pool construction costs by approximately 10% to 20%.

Types of Pools and their costs

At present, there are three major types of inground pools; concrete, vinyl and fiberglass. Each pool type varies in price.

Concrete pools

Building an inground concrete pool costs approximately $35,000 to $65,000. Concrete pools are the most expensive pool type. In fact, some concrete pools cost up to $100,000. It all depends on the water features and equipment you install in the pool. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that concrete pools offer the highest longevity.

Fiberglass pools

Fiberglass pools are averagely priced. They cost approximately $20,000 to $60,000. Fiberglass pools incorporate the least maintenance costs. Thus, they offer value for money. The size and design of the fiberglass pool contribute to the price variation.

Vinyl pools

Vinyl pools are the cheapest inground pools. Expect to spend roughly $20,000 to $50,000 when constructing an inground vinyl pool. However, you have to replace the liner after every 4 to 7 years.

How to save money when building an inground pool

The cost to build an inground pool is often high. Luckily, there are various ways you can use to save money during pool construction. They include:

Consider aboveground pools

 If you have a limited budget, install an aboveground pool. Aboveground pools are way cheaper compared to inground pools.

Postpone water feature installation

Generally, water features can increase pool construction costs by 20%. Therefore, if you have a tight budget, consider installing water features in the future.

Compare quotes

Before settling for a particular pool contractor, it would be best to compare quotes. Evaluating different costs offered by different contractors helps you find the most affordable option.

Consider a smaller pool

Smaller pools also serve as excellent sources of aesthetics and functionality. So, consider building a small inground pool if you have a limited budget.

Ultimately

The cost to build an inground pool varies based on various factors. But averagely, building an inground pool costs approximately $20,000 to $65,000. If you plan to build an inground pool, always take time to analyze all the costs involved. This way, you’ll be able to cut down the costs.

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