Pool Building Process

Know what to expect from the Sundance Pools experts.

Flip-flops on wooden background near swimming pool

Congratulations on deciding to build a pool!

You are going to love jumping into that cool water with your friends and family, having a barbeque cookout on your pool deck, and relaxing in the summer sun while the kids splash around. It’s a dream come true for you and your family and we’re so glad to be part of it.

We’re not new to this process, but we know that you are. So, we want you to know that as soon as your permit is approved, you’ve started a 10-14 week construction job on your property. Thats’s a big commitment and we’re really excited to be the team to help you make this happen.

We know that construction sites, timelines, and mess can be tedious and time-consuming, and confusing for the homeowner. This Pool Building Process guide includes:

We want you to know exactly what to expect when Sundance Pools builds you the perfect outdoor oasis you’ve always imagined.


As we mentioned earlier, once your permit is approved, your backyard and access side yard will be a construction zone for the next 10-14 weeks! We’ll need to be able to enter your space and will have a variety of our team members coming and going. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Our Promise to you

While the building process is happening, we promise to keep you informed of our progress, timelines, and goals. Our objective is to build you a pool as quickly as possible without compromising even one inch on quality.

If you have a question we’re a simple phone call or message away.


Ready to find out exactly what to expect now that you’ve entrusted your pool building to Sundance Pools? Take a look at our pool building process and let us know if you have any questions!

Meet your design consultant! Our expertly trained team will be asking for the specific details of that pool you always dreamed about. During this initial meeting, we’re going to try and capture your overall vision and preferences. The more detail you give us the better! This conversation is where your dream pool design is going to come from.

But, it’s not just about the dream. Our design consultant needs to check out your backyard space where you want the pool built. We’ll take a few measurements, examine positioning, look for any building setbacks, note the location of your utilities and discuss the accessibility of the construction site.

Once we have everything we need we’ll be creating a full pool design plan and proposal with construction costs for you to review and approve.

Let’s design a pool

Now that you’ve approved the pool design plan and proposal our next step is to design your plot plan with your property line measurements, location of pool and building codes. Once we have that done we submit your design to our engineer. We confirm there are no issues in the safety and engineering of your pool and they give us a structual engineering plan. The process takes 1-2 weeks, but when it’s complete we have four things that enable us to move forward on your pool construction process:

  • A plot plan
  • A pool plan
  • A structural engineering plan
    An application to the city or county building department.


All of these plans are required for construction and are in accordance with California law and the county or city you live in (e.g. Cityof Lincoln or Placer County).

The homeowner is responsible for pool safety barrier requirements. You can read more about this in Phase 12: Safety Fence and Alarms.

Sundance Pools is responsible for obtaining the permits and meeting the safety requirements and state and local building codes for the pool construction and decking so we take this part of our job very seriously. Sometimes we need to contact your local utilities to mark existing utility lines—especially if you do not have utility placement on your building plot records. This permitting time frame is another 1-2 weeks depending on the response time of your local utilities, city, or county offices.

This phase can feel long and tedious for customers! Even though it feels like nothing is happening on your construction project, the truth is we are setting the foundation for a successful build moving forward. Please be patient as our timeline is also based on the turnaround from the city and county offices. We encourage you to connect with us if you have any questions and remember that we’ll keep you informed as soon as we have information about the permitting and approvals!

Hooray! We have permits and all the plans have been approved!  It’s now time to begin construction. The first step is to schedule your pool for excavation.  This usually happens within two weeks of receiving the permit. Once we have an excavation date we set a time to meet with you and lay out where the pool is going to be placed on your property.  Once we have your approval on placement we set an excavation date. 

Next we pre-grade your property. This is when we haul away any debris and landscaping that is where the pool is going to be placed. 

The pool will be outlined or “staked out” with form boards. We set these carefully to make sure that the pool is in the exact location required by the permit and approved on the construction plans. We ask our clients to not move or shift them for any reason. If you believe that any of the form boards have been moved please let us know as soon as possible so we can adjust them and be sure that the next steps of the construction process are on target.

Things are about to get exciting! And messy, and dirty, and loud. It’s time to excavate your pool! 

Using the building forms and approved design our excavation crew will carefully dig and hand-trim your pool.  

Wondering what you might encounter during excavation? We can’t excavate in adverse weather so the weather conditions are always one possible hold-up. We also may run into types of rock or soil conditions that cause us to have to pause to make sure we can properly excavate through the material.  A lot of dirt will be dug up, but don’t worry. Most of it will be removed and trucked away. The dirt we keep on-site was left on purpose and will be used during some of our other construction phases.

When you look at the big hole in your yard it might be hard to envision that backyard oasis. Don’t worry!  It’s on its way to being the perfect lounging and relaxation spot for you and your family. 

Now that excavation is complete we reinforce the pool form with steel rebar. The rebar will be placed horizontally and vertically to form a rigid contoured grid that will be the backbone of your swimming pool. Our construction team will use wire to tie the rebar at certain intersections and place block spacers as needed under the steel to keep it above the soil and in place for when we pour the shotcrete. 

All of this work is done by hand and carefully completed according to the approved and permitted engineering plans.  When the team has completed the structural steel phase a pre-gunite inspection will be required by the building department.  This inspection process may take a few days up to a week to schedule and complete.

You may be wondering why we say plumbing happens after the steel structure. Do you see that we’ve done a little bit of rough plumbing or the “stub out” already?  Prior to the steel structure phase, we installed plumbing lines for skimmers and return lines.

Now it’s time to complete that part of your pool construction. This is when we add all plumbing for waterfalls, raised spas, cleaning systems, and any other enhancement. 

We designed the plumbing specifically to your pool design to make sure it has the best circulation and filtration process leaving you with crystal clear water and the lowest maintenance needs possible. We make hydraulic calculations to ensure the equipment and piping are the correct sizes for water clarity and energy conservation for your one-of-a-kind pool.

Shotcrete is a mixture of sand, cement, and water delivered by a concrete ready mix company. It is applied through a hose with highly pressurized air and is shot around your pool’s steel structure reinforcement grid. This is what forms your pool shell. Our Shotcrete crew is highly trained and very experienced. 

Shotcrete is an extremely hard substance and will create a pool floor with a compressive strength of 4500 psi. Sometimes you will hear shotcrete called gunite. Gunite is a similar product, but not quite the same. At Sundance Pools, our 30+ years of experience have found that the best results come with a shotcrete foundation.

Once the shotcrete has been applied the curing time frame is 5-7 days during which the homeowner will be instructed to spray water on the shotcrete  2 x’s a day for 7-10 days, depending upon the temperatures.   You may see water accumulating in the bottom of the pool. Don’t worry! It does not hurt the shotcrete foundation and will be pumped out before the pool’s interior is complete.

You can now envision your pool, but before we fill it up with water there are just a few more phases. First, we need to revisit the plumbing lines for the filtration equipment, water feature pumps, and any other optional equipment that you’ve chosen for your unique pool design. 

We will also run the electrical conduits for the pool equipment power and the interior pool lights that you’ve selected as part of your design. We will install a breaker box for the pool equipment. Any gas lines for heating the pool will also be run to the same equipment location. Once this phase is completed we can fill in the trenches and get you back to flat ground around your pool.

Time for personalization of your pool!  

Now we will be installing a few of the special features that you chose to make your pool the perfect representation of you and your family.

First, we’ll install the tile that you chose. During the design phase, you will have been given access to hundreds of options we have for every homeowner’s specific taste. We have tiles of every size, color, and shape. Do you want glitter or metallic? Iridescent or opaque? We’ve got a look you’re going to love. Your pool is now ready to have the tile you’ve selected installed.  

If your design calls for coping, that is the next step. Pool coping is the “edge” of pool decking, and it creates definition between the pool and the pool deck. Coping keeps the edge of the pool from being exposed. It can be made from poured concrete or  stone. 

Finally, we install any water features you’ve chosen for your pool such as the waterfalls, deck jets, sheer falls, wall sprays, etc.)

This process can take only a few days or up to a few weeks depending on the size of your pool and the intricacy of the design you have asked for. Once these three items are installed and set you now have a non-porous, extremely durable pool surface area that is ready for the final construction phases.

You’re in the home stretch! Your pool deck reflects the overall style of your poolscape. And gives you the space you need for entertaining around your pool!  

The most popular deck is concrete. Concrete decking will be poured and your selected finish is applied. If you chose to add stone or brick around the edge of your pool, those materials would be laid before the concrete is poured.  Our team is skilled in expertly completing this part of the process and making sure your new concrete deck is the perfect addition to your pool space.

The timeline for laying the deck material is dependent on the size (square feet) of the decking, the material chosen, and the intricacy of the  design. 

It’s time to get excited! You’ll be swimming very soon!

Your pool is almost done but before we can make sure that the final permitting requirements are met and in place, we need to clean up your space. 

Sundance Pools will remove all waste and unneeded construction materials from your site. We’ll also prepare the pool interior to be finished (the final step before you can use your pool!)

It’s time to make your new pool as safe as possible for all your friends and family.  In California the homeowner is responsible for the safety measure for their new swimming pool.   We can guide you through this process to make it as easy as possible.  

For pools  built in California the safety requirements are that

  1. All doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm that meets UL standards for Child Pool Safety Law. ( Sorry your Ring Camera will not work!) 
  2. All gates attached to the fencing,  providing direct access from the front yard to the pool area must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 60 inches above the ground. The gap between the gate and the ground can be no more that two inches. 


The building inspector will want to check each alarm to make sure it is up to code before letting us place water in your pool. 


The safety measures installed around your new pool are what will keep children, animals, and others safe. These safety requirements are subject to an inspection and cannot be skipped. Once the inspection has been scheduled and completed we’re on to the very last step.

If you have any questions or concerns please let us know so we can talk you through what is required by law as well as Sundance Pools’ dedication to providing the best quality and safest pool possible.

We’re at the final phase of your construction project. At this point, your pool and all decking have been built, the construction site cleaned up,  and safety measures installed and inspected.

Our final step is to coat the pool interior with your choice of plaster materials. We have a number of standard pool finishes or you can personalize it with any of the numerous pebble products that will give your pool that final personal touch.

The final finish of the pool’s interior will change the color of the water and affect the mood and appearance of your backyard oasis. Our design team can help guide you through this process based on your initial vision and make sure you choose something you’ll love for years to come. The coating and finishing process can take up to a week to complete.

HOMEOWNER’S RESPONSIBILITY: We’re at the end of our construction process, but there is one last thing the homeowner needs to make sure they have in place. In order to protect the new plaster as it cures, it’s important to have a pool service company ready to do all your chemical startup once the pool has been filled with water. This is a really important step to ensure the longevity of your pool plaster.

Congratulations on your new beautiful pool! It’s time to add the water and jump on in! We know that you’ll have years of making memories in your new backyard oasis and we’re so glad that you chose Sundance Pools to be your partner in creating that space for your family!

Thank you for sticking it out through the construction process. Thank you for your patience with our team and the local and state permitting and approvals. And thank you for trusting us to help make your pool dreams come true!

Let’s build a pool

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