We’re Building a Pool | The Process

Hi friend! I hope you’re having a wonderful week! I’ve been mentioning here and there that we decided to put in a pool in our backyard and the process is almost complete!

Today, I’m sharing all the behind the scenes details with you and when she’s finally done, I can’t wait to share the finished pool with you.

As you might know, we moved into this house in March 2022 and absolutely love it. It has a really nice backyard with an outdoor grill and privacy trees surrounding the perimeter.

I thought it might be too small for a pool, but I checked with one of my friends that has a yard smaller than ours and she has a great pool that our kids have so much fun swimming in.

With my kids ages 7 & 13, I’d love to be the house where their friends enjoying coming over and hanging out at the pool in the summer – and beyond, let’s be honest, it’s Houston! And, I want to enjoy it with my friends and family too!

choosing a pool company

I interviewed three pool companies before deciding on Trahan Pools. This family owned company has done several pools in our area (Houston) and one of my friend’s pools.

It was wild to realize the price differences between the three companies, all for the same scope of work! I was able to save thousands by taking the time to get multiple bids. Thank you to Elliott for encouraging me to do that! If it weren’t for him, I may have went with the first company I talked to!

He’s been through a pool build before and was really helpful in asking several questions I wouldn’t have thought to ask. Before I signed the contract with Trahan, we had a three-way call with the owner, Yulonde, and he asked her a bunch of questions.

I asked him if he had a list of questions from that call, and he sent me this list:

Isn’t he thorough?! It was awesome to get to have this in-depth conversation and I felt very comfortable with Yulonde’s responses. She has been great to work with throughout this entire process.

Our Pool Build Process Timeline

I’ve been keeping notes about the entire pool building process, and specifically the timeline, which I’m sharing with you below.

The time it takes to build a pool can vary, but so far we’re at about 14 weeks with another couple weeks to go until it’s finished. I ended up having a change order and we’ve dealt with some severe weather which also caused some delay. Plus, we’re building in the winter and contractors workers’ often take some time off for the holidays.

I’ve heard of pools not getting attention in the entire month of December, but that didn’t happen with my pool build. Here’s my timeline notes:

October 20, 2024 – Signed the pool contract and Trahan submitted the permit application

October 31, 2024 – City came and marked where the utilities were located

November 7, 2024 – Trahan marked backyard where pool would be dug

November 9, 2024 – Pool was dug, steel and plumbing set

November 10, 2024 – Gunite poured and I watered the gunite with a hose twice a day for a week

November 17, 2024 – Chose tile, but my first, second and third choices weren’t available in the quantity needed, so I chose something similar

November 20, 2024 – Coping installed around pool

December 1, 2024 – Waterline pool tile installed

December 13, 2024 – Plumbing and equipment set

December 18, 2024 – Electrical and sprinkler system. I routed the sprinklers to go under the turf to help keep it clean from pets and also cool it on hot summer days

December 19, 2024 – Set form and pour concrete for extended patio

December 29, 2024 – Patio tile installed

January 6, 2024 – Concrete pour for additional patio & additional patio tile installed (this extended the timeline of the project a couple weeks)

January 19, 2024 – Pool cleaned in prep for plaster

Now, we’re waiting for the rain to stop and then the plaster can be poured! Then, they’ll fill the pool with water and I’ll brush the pool 2x a day for 7 days.

It will take an additional 7-10 days to balance the water and 3 more weeks before we can turn on the heater.

They also still need to install the turf and then we need to repair the landscaping, replace the tree that came down to allow access through my back fence, and also repair the fence.

Finally, there’s “pool school” where you learn how to keep the pool clean and how to use the equipment.

So, although everything isn’t completely finished yet, we are getting close! Now, let’s see some photos of the process!

Our Backyard Before

In the days before the pool dig, my brothers came over and got the soccer goal to give to our little nephew.

Original Pool Design

Two of the three companies I interviewed provided a computer-generated rendering of what the pool would look like and that’s super exciting to see! The technology is really advanced and you can see everything in 3D and also in video. One company even showed me the view of the pool from inside the house.

I originally planned to extend the patio three feet and then have turf surrounding the pool.

We have a sun deck in the pool that will fit three lounge chairs and a long bench along the far side.

Overall, it’s a pretty simple design without any fountains (just bubblers) and we aren’t adding a hot tub.

The pool will be heated, and even though we had a record-breaking brutally hot summer, I didn’t opt for a chiller – it’s super expensive and hopefully, we won’t need that. We can add hose water if we need to cool it down.

Before digging, they came out and staked the dimensions of the pool. It’s really wild to see it roped off like that, knowing that’s where a giant hole is about to be dug.

Behind our house is an alley, so the construction crew had access to my backyard through my back fence. We didn’t have to disturb the neighbors, except for the trucks blocking their garages occasionally. I texted my neighbors when I knew there would be a crew coming, and they crew would always move their vehicle immediately if need be. I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone, and I also invited them to come swim this summer!

And we have a pool! It was crazy how fast they dug that!! It was done in half a day! We have bubblers and umbrella anchors.

I was also lucky that they didn’t have to relocate my sewer line. That would have been an additional expense.

Tile & Coping

I knew from seeing my friend’s pool that I wanted white quartzite coping, but wasn’t really sure about the waterline tile. There are so many options to choose from!

I decided to keep it simple and ultimately chose Memory White Porcelain Tile (2.5×10) and had them stack it straight instead of in a subway pattern. I thought it would look more modern stacked.

I’m also not having any accent tile at the stairs, bench or tanning ledge. These are reasons to have a designer handy for decisions like this. I used Pinterest and my friend’s pool for inspiration.

This is the plumbing equipment in my side year and it’s gated off. The pump has a built-in computer that allows me to set a schedule and the lights can turn on with an app on my phone. The Easy Touch allows me to turn the heater on and off as well as the pump and lights.

Extending the Patio

Originally, I planned to extend the existing patio by 3 feet and also near where the dining room windows are. There was only grass there previously, so I wanted more room for lounge or sitting chairs.

But, once the concrete was poured, I realized that the three feet by the windows didn’t give us much usable space. I want to be able to put lounge chairs or possibly 4 chairs around a fire pit, so we needed more room.

Also, we thought it would look great if the patio extended all the way to the pool. That way, you walk right up to it.

So, I asked what the additional cost would be to change the original plans and it wasn’t too significant, so we made the change order. We ended up extending the patio on three sides of the pool, with the turf going only behind the pool.

We used the same white quartzite tile for the patio and it’s really beautiful in person.

I love how the tile extends the patio all the way up to the pool now and we have so much more room for entertaining and having friends over.

My trees currently have red berries that are dropping, so I hope they don’t stain it. My landscaper said these trees only get berries about every 5 years.

Then, they came to clean out the pool to prepare it for plaster.

The type of plaster you choose and determine how the water looks when the pool is filled. I chose a white mini pebble with blue glass beads.

For the plaster, I chose white mini pebble with blue glass beads. Fingers crossed on this one! The type of plaster you choose can determine what the water color looks like.

I have been very happy with Trahan Pools and glad I decided to go with them. Yulonde has been out on many occasions and she’s so knowledgeable, plus very easy to talk to.

This post and project isn’t sponsored and I didn’t receive any discount. This is just my personal experience building a pool and I wanted to share the name of the company we’re using in case you want to get in contact with them.

I’m so excited to see it all finally come together!! I’ve been researching patio furniture, but haven’t bought anything yet. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

I will continue to keep you posted, in the meantime, you can watch my Instagram Story highlight “POOL” for all the latest updates in video form.

Please feel free to leave a comment with any questions.

Have a fantastic day friend!

You Might Also Like

Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!

12 Comments

  1. This was amazing! Thank you for your thorough notes. We are in the process too, and it is giving me anxiety! I so appreciate your attention to detail in this post. So helpful to be frontloaded. Thank you! Did you go with salt water or “regular” water? Can you post some of your inspiration pictures?

  2. Love the whole pool area. The kids will love the pool more than they’ll miss the soccer goal! One question- is the pool filter system next to the neighbor’s house, and will it run during the day or night? I’ve lived with my own pool filter noise and the neighbor’s, so I’m always curious about this.

  3. It’s going to be beautiful!! I love the all white aesthetic and did something similar when we re-plastered a few years ago. We have fountains that cool down our water’s temp but my brother’s pool does not. They use these in the dead of the summer and they will cool your pool down 5-10 degrees!

    https://www.amazon.com/VYH-Adjustable-Waterfall-Sprinkler-Direction/dp/B0BY6JVDHS/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2R0QFF2JUDVHO&keywords=pool%2Bcooling%2Bfountain&qid=1706039558&sprefix=pool%2Bcooling%2Caps%2C100&sr=8-5&th=1

  4. It looks fabulous! How exciting. I also have a small yard and was able to put in a cocktail pool and spa. It’s amazing what pool companies can do with small spaces. Congrats!

  5. Lovely pool to be! I’m not sure your guy is correct about those berries. If the tree is an American Holly they have berries year round here in Maryland. Ask your landscaper otherwise you might have a berry filled pool if the wind blows hard one day. Good luck and can’t wait to see the finished area.

  6. I think it’s going to look amazing once it’s finished because it already looks great.

    *The first several dates in the timeline have 2024 as the year but should be 2023. I just wanted to let you know. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *