There is nothing like having an in-ground pool in your backyard during the summer, but hiring someone to install one is expensive. Believe it or not, you can install an in-ground pool with a cement bottom and plastic walls for a fraction of the cost, and the project is not as difficult as you might imagine.
Before your begin, know your neighborhood's building codes and secure the proper permits. After that is taken care of, you have some thinking to do. Think about where in your yard you want to place your pool. Think about how deep you want to deep end to be and how high the pool deck should rise above the ground. Once you choose your pool location, mark its outline with string tied between stakes. Call the city to ask about underground cables in your chosen location. Finally, gather all of your needed materials. You'll need a pool kit, a pool liner, cement, vermiculite, a sliding board, and all of the supplies you'll need for your finished pool, like a vacuum.
Once everything is in place, start digging! It is best to start at the deep end of the pool. You should have purchased a pool kit appropriate for the measurements for your planned pool. When you dig, dig the perimeter about 2 feet wider than your original outline to give yourself room to work.
Once you have a properly sized hole in your yard, smooth out the rough parts and make the bottom of the pool level. Even if the bottom is only 1 inch off, you will not be able to properly place your panels. It is also a good idea to dig out the drain area at this point. Place it in the deep end of the pool.
Now you are ready to install your panels. Make sure they are level and secure them to the ground the rebar stakes. When you are sure the panels are level, install your coping, which will help keep the wall of your pool straight.
Once the sides are installed properly, you can get the bottom of the pool ready for the cement. Run string two inches above the bottom of the earth so you know how deep to pour the cement. It is important that the plumbing is installed before the cement. You will use PVC plumbing to make a wall line, a drain line for the bottom, and a return line for the skimmer, which should be put in the deep end.
Now you are ready to mix and pour your concrete. It is a good idea to rent a large mixer for this step. Pour your footer concrete first. This will lock the pool walls in place. Next, you should pour the bottom. It should be 2 inches thick and should be relatively smooth and flat, but don't worry about perfection. Start in the deep end and work out toward the shallow end. As you go, remove the strings you placed as measurement.
After you've poured the bottom, it's time to install the pool liner, which should have been custom made for your particular project. Working from the deep end, spread out the liner. Line up the seams in the vinyl with wall panel seams, and hook the liner into the groove present in the coping. After you have the liner hooked in, smooth out wrinkles and press the liner into the pool's corners. Keep in mind that the liner will stretch after you fill the pool. Pull part of the liner away from the panels and insert a shop vacuum with a hose that touches the pool bottom. Secure the opening with duct tape, turn on the vacuum, and you will notice that the liner is pulled tight to the pool sides.
Now you can fill your pool. When you have just 2 inches of water in the diving area, smooth out the wrinkles, secure the drain, cut the liner from the drain box, and install the drain's top. Continue filling the pool, treat the water, and cool off on a hot summer day!