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Build your own pool - Full version

This video shows the entire construction of my pool "from design to final result". But winter preparation is also discussed and the video ends with an impression of the swimming pool in winter.

Building a swimming pool - The preparations

This is what the swimming pool of my previous house looked like.

And this is how the garden of my current house looked like before the construction of the swimming pool.

First we had an above ground pool.

After many measurements and calculations I had made a final design.

The design

First sub-projects; 1. Mark out the pool with stakes. 2. Pouring a concrete floor to put the pump cabinet on.

2. Building a swimming pool - Digging

Here a hole of 4 x 6 meters and 1.15 meters deep must be made. Am I going to dig the hole and clean up the soil myself?

No rather not!

We have outsourced this.

A mini excavator ...

... 2 tracked dumpers ...

... and 4 men got the job done in 1 day.

Temporary storage of the sand in front of the house.

The mountain is growing steadily.

The last batch ...

... and done!

That just fit.

And then you have this hole ...

... And 32 cubic meters of sand in front of the door.

Fortunately, the sand was removed the next day.

It's neat again.

3. Building a swimming pool - Pouring the concrete floor

After digging the hole ...

... unfortunately groundwater appeared.

And there was also rainwater.

With a submersible pump, all that water had to be pumped out regularly ...

... to prevent further erosion and collapse of the walls.

In this way the formwork could be applied.

With planks of "concrete plywood" I applied formwork all around.

And keep pumping.

Unfortunately, every now and then a wall collapsed.

Scoop the sand away and continue.

Formwork ready. Laying foil, half concrete tiles scattered on top and ...

... placed steel reinforcement mats on top.

Braiding concrete ...

... and pumping all the time ...

... until just before the arrival of ...

... the concrete mixer ...

... and the concrete pump.

A 25 meter hose was rolled out from the street to ...

... the dug hole in the backyard.

And just start.

The concrete has been poured.

Spread the concrete as well as possible with a rake.

Smooth the concrete with a trowel.


The next day I could already walk on it.

4. Build a swimming pool - Brick walls Lay out

the walls on the concrete floor. Taking into account the dimensions of the concrete blocks and a joint of 1 centimeter.

A minimum of 10 centimeters of concrete floor must remain free behind the walls.

Just swipe. The concrete floor is higher than the groundwater.

Right angles ... ... and stake out

a perfect rectangle. The "Pythagorean Theorem" helped me with this (A + B = C).

Strengthening of the sloping walls to prevent collapse.

Submersible pump on standby to pump out rainwater.

When it was clear which outer dimensions I could maintain (5.6 x 3.5 meters) ...

... I could order the concrete blocks.

Four days later, the 450 ordered concrete blocks and reinforcing steel were delivered.

This is what you need in concrete blocks for a 5.6 x 3.5 x 1.2 meter pool with stairs and bench.

I lugged all 450 concrete blocks from the driveway to the backyard.

1/5 of the delivered concrete blocks are terminal blocks.

To avoid having to build bricks in the rain ...

... we decided to set up a party tent of 4 x 6 meters.

The tent is up! Now rainwater falls next to the concrete floor, I am dry and mortar does not wash away.

That is quite a large space.

The concrete blocks, for the first layer, lugged to the tent and put in place.

4 masonry profiles with 8 stellates prepared ...

... to then install them.

Preparations for bricklaying.

I measured whether the floor was level with a line laser.

And then I marked the 6 layers on the 4 masonry profiles.

The line laser turned out to be an indispensable tool for this type of work.

Here I built the first 15 concrete blocks. I made the first layer of mortar 2 centimeters thick. I maintained a joint thickness of 1 centimeter between the concrete blocks.

Here the entire first layer is bricked, including the bottom step ...

... and the bottom layer of the underwater seat.

I am going to bring the concrete blocks for the second layer here to the tent.

Placed the second layer of concrete blocks. I laid reinforcing steel (Murfor) between the first and second layers.

Because I did everything on my own, the bricklaying didn't go that fast. I built about 10 to 12 concrete blocks a day.

I then used 2 bags of masonry mortar per day. I only worked afternoons, so it remained fun for me.

Here I had started laying the second layer of concrete blocks.

Bricklaying below 5 degrees Celsius is not recommended.

The bricklaying of the second layer was finished here, except for the stairs.

The horizontal reinforcing steel (Murfor) is clearly visible here. I have not applied vertical reinforcement because they are relatively small walls. In addition, I later also poured stabilized sand behind the walls for greater strength.

I built the second step here and laid the third layer of concrete blocks ready.

Here I was building the third layer.

With 3 layers of concrete blocks I had reached half of the total number of layers.

Although there was never bricklaying in the evening, lighting in the tent was very comfortable.

Third layer done. This was the last layer for the underwater seat. The fourth layer is already here.

All concrete blocks stored in the tent.

With the line laser I checked the height and level of each layer, here I do that for the fourth layer.

In the fourth layer I laid the wall terminal for the underwater lighting.

I did the bricking in of the wall terminal in phases. This was phase 1.

Second phase.

Third phase

The wall terminal creates an opening, or fitting piece, at another location, which must be bricked up.

I closed the fitting piece with paving stones and cement.

As a result, I did not have to grind concrete blocks to size.

Top view of the closed brick fitting piece.

The fourth step is bricked. I added joints here later.

Despite strong winds ...

... and hailstorms, I was able to continue working thanks to the tent.

When the fourth layer was laid, the focus shifted to reinforcing the walls at the back.

First I applied masonry mortar on the floor behind the walls to better resist any rising groundwater.

With these bags of cement and sand I made stabilized sand (abbreviated "stab sand"). I made that by mixing 1 part cement with 5 parts sand without adding water.

Then I poured the stab sand between a plank and the wall and then tamped it down well.

After two days I was able to remove the planks and fill the channel behind it with sand.

The stab sand becomes rock hard and forms an extra strong layer.

This makes the pool walls extra strong and even better water resistant.

Together with the concrete blocks, this makes the pool walls 35 centimeters thick.

In the end I applied the stab sand to just below the top of the fifth layer and ...

.. will also serve as support for the edge tiles.

Here the first part of stable sand, behind the walls, and the filling of the trench with sand is finished. Then I went back to laying the concrete blocks of the fifth layer.

The fifth layer is the penultimate layer and the top of it is level with ground level.

In this fifth layer, two wall feed-throughs for the injectors and 1 wall feed-through for the bottom vacuum will be bricked.

In the middle, between the 2 injectors, another fitting piece has been created.

The wall duct for the second injector is almost bricked in and the wall duct for the bottom vacuum still has to be done.

Here the sun is still shining, but a heavy storm (Ciara) has been predicted.

A party tent is not designed for a storm. So I removed the tarpaulin and ...

... all the tools and anything loose.

For the first time we got a better spatial view of the pool.

Ready for the storm ...

10-02-2020 The storm is over. Fortunately no damage, just a lot of rainwater in the pool.

Here I am playing around with the submersible pump.

Water pumped away, tent cloth replaced and again with the masonry.

This wall terminal is for underwater lighting.

This one is for nozzle number 1.

This one for nozzle number 2.

And this wall duct is for the bottom vacuum cleaner.

Wall feed-throughs for the 2 injectors are completely bricked in. Unfortunately, another storm (Dennis) was expected. To tidy everything up ... phew, too much work. I took the risk and left everything as it was.

16-02-2020 Storm Dennis has started. Here and there I had to do some repairs.

Oops, the wind is blowing very hard now! Hope it turns out fine.

Minor disaster. Dennis's last gust of wind completely destroyed the tent.

Tent canvas torn, frame bent. Everything cleaned up in the pouring rain.

Then just continue building without a tent ...

... in the open air.

The entire fifth layer of concrete blocks has been bricked. Only 1 layer to go.

The stairs are finished with the laying of the fifth step.

The skimmer had now been delivered. It was bigger than I expected.

All concrete blocks are ready for the sixth (and last) layer. Likewise the skimmer.

Nice overview, but that sixth layer still needs to be laid ...

Okay, done. Only the skimmer and fitting have to be done here.

The last phase of bricklaying has started ...

On Saturday, November 2, 2019, I started laying the walls and on March 20, 2020 I laid the last layer above the skimmer.

Then this is the end result of all the masonry.

5. Building a swimming pool - The technical installation

Supply of sand.

I needed no less than 6 big bags with sand to fill half of the trench after laying the pipes. But also for the "stab sand" and the paving.

From this point I applied electricity to the shed and pump box.

This is how the cable lies in the ground.

In the shed I mounted a shelf to mount the electrical components.

For convenience, an outlet outside the shed.

I placed the underwater lighting on the wall lead-through and pulled the connection cable through it.

This U-turn makes it possible to replace the underwater lighting when the pool is full.

The connection cable of the lamp goes to a central box and is connected there to the ground cable.

This special waterproof central box will be placed just below ground level. The ground cable goes ...

... from the central box to ...

... the shed.

All electrics installed and connected, on the shelf in the barn.

Connection of the underwater lighting to the transformer.

Now that the underwater lighting is connected, we can test it. Nice all those colors.

And on ...... here I have laid a ground cable from the shed to the pump cabinet.

A ground cable goes from the pump cabinet to a socket in the garden.

Here I cut a board to size for the pump cabinet.

Now it's the turn of the water pipes. I connected the injectors together using elbows and a T-piece, made of high pressure resistant PVC (PN16), and a flexible PVC tube with a diameter of 50 mm.

In a swimming pool, nozzles are needed to inject filtered water into the pool. From here I laid a flexible PVC pipe to ...

the left side of the pump box.

Another water line goes from the bottom suction connection to ...

the right side of the pump box. The other water pipe, on the right, comes from the ....

.... skimmer. A skimmer is needed to suck in the surface water. The water is sucked in by the pump.

The pool water is heated by solar collectors, which are placed on the roof terrace. Here I laid the supply and discharge pipes (made of flexible PVC) in the ground.

I mounted two rigid PVC pipes on the wall of the house and glued them to the flexible PVC pipes.

View of the tubes from the roof terrace.

These two pipes go to ...

... the left side of the pump box.

In between and after laying all the pipes I made "stab sand" (see also part 4 of the video series) and poured it behind the walls of the pool.

For example, I mixed 1 part cement with 5 parts sand.

I applied the "stab sand" up to the top of the fifth layer, directly behind the wall. And I filled the channel behind it with normal sand.

Pump, sand filter, ball valves, non-return valve and piping installed in the pump box.



Sand filter

6-way valve

Pressure gauge


valves Non-return valve

water flows; from skimmer to pump

water flows; water flows from pump to 6-way valve

; water flows from 6-way valve to injectors

; bypass solar collectors water flows;

water flows from 6-way valve to solar collectors

; from solar collectors to injectors

water flows; from bottom vacuum to pump

Bypass of the solar collectors.

Outside of the pump box on the left.

streams of water; water flows

to solar collectors ; from solar collectors

water flows; to injectors

Outside of the pump box on the right.

streams of water; from bottom suction

water flows; from skimmer

After the pump cabinet installations were finished, I continued with the solar collectors. They were delivered as a kit.

12 m solar collectors put together.

Thanks to the removable end caps, I can easily drain the solar collectors before the winter season starts.

I weighted the solar collectors with tiles and attached them with storm straps so that they do not blow away in strong winds.

Filtered water from the sand filter, here flows through the line on the right ....

.... and then flows through the solar collectors ....

.... the solar collectors give off the collected solar heat to the water that flows through them. The heated water is collected in the power pipe and then flows ...

... through the return pipe and injectors back into the pool. In sunny weather, the water temperature can rise as much as 3 degrees Celsius per day.

Of course it must remain nice weather!

In any case, the solar collectors remained in place.

6. Building a swimming pool - Plastering and painting

Before I could plastering I first had to impregnate the walls.

I impregnated the walls 2 times with universal primer.

Then I started plastering.

Quite hard work, luckily I could sit now and then. I used light gray cement-based stucco mortar.

This is the result of 1 day of plastering.

The next day I continued plastering and also applied corner profiles to the stairs and the underwater seat.

Start the third day with the plaster. I had unscrewed the lamp to be able to plaster behind it.

And stopped again. Not come that far this day. The sun dried the patch too quickly to be able to correct it.

Two days later. By plastering later in the day, I avoided the bright sun which allowed me to speed up a bit. Here the walls are finished, then I plastered the stairs and the underwater seat.

Here I plastered the first step.

Job done.

The plaster had to dry for 4 weeks before I could paint it with the special blue pool paint.

Not so bad and luckily it had barely rained during that period. The next job was leveling the floor.

In preparation for leveling, I first vacuumed the floor and then the walls.

Leveling the pool floor was necessary because the concrete was too coarse to walk on with bare feet. First I treated the floor with Schnox KH primer.

For leveling I needed 10 bags of self-leveling synthetic resin cement, of the brand Schnox type FPL Plus. This leveling compound is particularly suitable for swimming pool floors.

Mix 1 bag of leveling compound with a quantity of water and then pour it directly onto the floor. This is a job that you have to do with two people.

That gives this very nice result.

The processing time was 40 minutes. After 4 hours it should already be walkable.

After 4 days it could be painted.

The next day I tried the floor. As can be seen, be very careful. And indeed, it was already walkable.

Unfortunately it did rain occasionally during the drying time. Hey, this is the Netherlands.

I simply pumped away the rainwater and luckily everything dried up quickly due to the warm spring weather.

In the meantime, I had started repaving the terrace.

What do I hear there?

Oh yes, the ordered pool curbstones were delivered.

The curbs serve to support the edge tiles. Here I have put some of them in their place.

I made distance bars first. This made it easy for me to place the curbs at the correct distance from and parallel to the pool edge.

Good protection was needed to ...

... grind some curbs to size.

In this way I built the curbs on the wall of "stab sand".

Put on the curbs and tap.

I cemented the space between the skimmer and the edge of the pool and the two curbs.

I also bricked the U-turn pipe of the underwater lighting.

My wife, while filming, says; "Well there is Martin then, in the rain. It would stay dry. So he thought," I'll go on with the stab sand ". But he's a real go-getter, so he just keeps going, isn't he Martin?"

I answer; "Yes, just keep going!"

I filled the gap between the curbs and the edge of the pool all around with stab sand, up to 3 cm below the top.

Then I walled up that 3 cm with cement.

While she's filming, my wife says; "Martin, what are you doing?"

I say; Dear viewers, I close the gap between the concrete blocks and the curbs so that later the edge tiles can be built on them.

My wife says; "Very good, keep up the good work, see you soon!"

I say; "Bye."

The pool edge is now finished and 30 cm thick, so edge tiles ...

... can be built on it at some point.

In the meantime, I had ordered additional tiles to be able to pave around the pool for a path and terraces.

Before paving, I first dug out a layer of earth, 20 cm deep, and then poured sand.

Then I stamped the sand bed and laid the tiles.

For now the last paving work, because ....

.... the drying time of the plaster was over. So it was possible to paint. First I brushed the walls and then vacuumed the floor. I also sealed the connections between the skimmer and the wall, and the 4 wall feed-throughs and the wall with a white pool kit.

This is where I started applying the special pool paint on the walls. That was a nice job.

With that paint you actually apply a colored layer of rubber to the wall. The first layer had to be thinned with some kind of solvent, hence the mouth cap.

The first coat of paint is on the walls.

Of all the work at the pool, this was the most satisfying job.

Painting in bright sun is not recommended, so I did the first layer of the floor early in the evening. And in the same way I did the next day with the second coat of the walls and the floor.

And then this is the result.

In the evening with the pool lighting on ...

In various colors.

The paint had to dry for 12 days before the pool could be filled with water.

So I started with other tasks. Here I put gravel on a layer of sand mixed with a little cement. This strip of gravel is necessary for the rapid drainage of rainwater that falls on the terrace. It's a nice finish too.

7. Building a pool - Filling and finishing

12 days after the paint had dried, the pool could be filled with water. I vacuumed the floor first.

Here I screw the bottom vacuum adapter into the wall duct.

And here I screw the adapter of nozzle 1 into the wall duct.

Finally I screw the adapter of nozzle 2 into the wall duct.

The injectors are ready.

The filling can begin. On June 1, 2020 at 1:45 PM I hung the garden hose in the pool and turned on the tap.

That takes a while.

3 hours later.

More than 9 hours later at 11 p.m. the water level had risen to 42 centimeters.

The next morning at 8:30 am, after filling all night, the water level had risen to 78 centimeters.

At 4 p.m. the water level was above 1.05 meters.

An hour later the height was 1.10 meters.

The skimmer can now fill up at any time.

Here the water flows into the skimmer for the first time in very small streams.

2 minutes later it flowed a lot faster.

At 6:00 PM the water level was high enough to turn on the pump.

The water level was now 1.15 meters, the filling of the pool was completed.

Filling took 28 hours.

It took 18.5 cubic meters of water to fill the pool.

The water temperature was then 21 degrees Celsius. Too cold to go for a swim right away.

The next day (June 3, 2020) I took the opportunity to take my first dive.

The water temperature had risen to 24 degrees Celsius thanks to the solar collectors on the roof terrace.

Moments later, the grandchildren came to swim and play in the new pool for the first time. That was very nice.

We had ordered a good summer blanket with roll-up system, but unfortunately they were not delivered on time.

To avoid too much cooling down, especially at night, we really needed a summer blanket. That is why we bought this summer blanket as a temporary solution.

Here I had to make another path of tiles with gravel next to it.

And here too. The bags of gravel were ready.

I laid a few tiles every day and dumped some gravel, but mostly I went swimming.

Fortunately, the roll-up system and the good summer blanket were finally delivered and the path around the pool is also ready.

Here I dug soil and then poured sand and then gravel.

After the border tiles, which we have been waiting for so long, were finally delivered, I was able to put them on the edge of the pool.

Here almost all the border tiles are in place, I had to cut four more. However, because the weather was still nice I had postponed this job and the bricklaying and grouting of these tiles. First a nice swim.

Play with the grandchildren.

Decorating the garden.

We used a container service twice to dispose of all excavated soil.

It is a container that can hold 3 m of soil.

I had first collected all the excavated soil in big bags that I had put in the driveway. Later I shoveled the soil into the container.

A total of 6 m of soil was removed.

The soil from this part of the garden went directly into the container via the wheelbarrow.

It was great to be able to swim after all that work.

Paving and pouring gravel is ready.

Building a swimming pool - The end result

Building a swimming pool - Preparing for winter

It was already October here. For the winter period I had halved the water level and blown the water pipes with compressed air.

I put caps in the injectors and skimmer, also put a 'Gizzmo' in the skimmer and I had put a string of floating ice protectors in the water.

While preparing the pool for winter, I had stored the pump and pressure gauge in the storage room.

Before the winter cover went over the swimming pool, I had first cut 4 edge tiles to size with the grinder. I had decided to start laying and grouting the edge tiles next spring.

Then the winter cover could be placed over the pool. The winter cover is attached at 24 points to ground anchors, which I had placed in the garden tiles. The feathers keep the winter clothing tight.

This also looks good.

In the middle of the winter cover is a strip that allows rainwater to pass through but no sunlight. As a result, algae has less chance of growing.

At the end of December I had to pump water from the pool. Due to heavy rainfall, the water level had become too high.

Last images of the swimming pool in 2020. Unfortunately, a mole has discovered our garden.

Building a swimming pool - Swimming pool in winter

One day strong winds blown the sun mats a bit from their place, despite the heavy stones.

Everything put right again. I have to figure out how to prevent recurrence.

The pool in the rain. There you have those molehills again.


Here you can clearly see how rainwater is drained through the winter cover.

After the rain we got a period of frost, the winter cover turned white.

Strong wind and snow ...

... on 7 and 8 February 2021 ...

... gave this winter image of the garden and the swimming pool.

Despite the harsh ...

... weather conditions ...

... the winter cover held up well.

The snow slowly disappeared due to rain and higher temperatures.

Due to the weight of snow and ice, the winter cover collapsed a bit.

The solar collectors were of course also covered with snow.

Here too the snow slowly disappeared.

All the snow is gone and the winter cover is tight again.

Thanks to the 24 sprung attachment points ...

These consist of a spring on a ground anchor ...

... which is attached to the winter cover by a sturdy strap.

This attachment point at the skimmer is a bit unfortunate and therefore I have not set it so tight.

This was the full version of; "Build your own pool" I'd love it if you subscribe and / or click "Like" if you liked the video. Do you have a question or comment? Leave a comment. Thank you for watching.

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