34,000 gallons of water in my backyard

by john on September 26, 2003


Unlike the bad luck of those out east awash in Isabelle, this water is all good. I never thought I’d own a swimming pool but I can see already that I will be getting a ton of use out of it and that come next summer it will change our lives. Amy’s thought about making this investment was that it would mean our kids and their friends would spend more time at our house, we would know where our kids are and we would know who their friends are. As we did our due diligence before we made this commitment we heard from other families that we were not the only ones to get a pool for that reason, and they confirmed it in fact worked. As a family we will be spending a lot more time outside next summer and that means me too – I’m going to have to get a laptop and setup a wireless access point on my home network. Either that or I’ll start reading even more than I already do. Maybe I can even get enough exercise swimming that I can actually get down to the weight I want to be.

The pool building process is pretty interesting. This pool is a steel-lined pool with a vinyl liner. The pool has a vermiculite base. Concrete piers run every 4 feet or so around the edge of the pool, supporting the steel frame. Interestingly, the liner is not adhered to the frame in any way but the pressure of the water of the pool. This means two things – first, when they are building the pool they put water in it right away and as the pool slowly fills up they suction out the air behind the liner to give it a tight fit. You can see one of the vacuums in the picture below. Second, it means that when winter comes around (here in Minnesota that will be in a few weeks) you don’t actually drain the pool – it must be full of water at all times. When you close the pool you drop the water level enough to blow out and plug the lines, then you refill the pool again and wait for spring.


I’ll be keeping close tabs on the increased costs of electricity and gas and the cost of the chemicals we need to maintain the pool. I talked with an excavating contractor awhile back who said that about as many of his residential jobs were filling in pools as digging holes for new pools. Here’s hoping things never get that bad with ours!

For one, I wouldn’t want to have to go back to mowing all that grass.

{ 1 comment }

Joe April 18, 2006 at 1:15 pm

Would you share the approximate total cost for installing your pool (and related landscaping)? Also interested in the contractor you selected and dimensions of your pool.

We are looking at installing a similar inground pool and also live in the twin cities. Thanks

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