Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Some regular questions (FAQ) and answers:

Information: Please note that the guide does not cover the plaster and fibrelining process IN DETAIL as these tasks were contracted out.

'R' = Rands [The South African currency]
Q: Why does the guide sell for only R200-00 per download?
A
: The same person did the research, built the pool and developed/wrote the guide. If the research and development of this guide had to be outsourced, the total cost would have amounted to several hundred thousand rand. DIY people do projects themselves because 1) they end up producing a better quality product and 2) they can do the project by paying less for it. The last but not least, pride in their work.
@ R200 for a professional multi media guide, that could save you R15 000 or more, can only be rated as a very good investment. For your family and for your property value.

Q: How do I calculate the safe distance between my house and the "want to build" swimming pool?
A
: The Rule of 45 is a technical term used in physics and has a very practical application in Structural Engineering as it pertains to swimming pool construction.
For more detail: Goto:
http://www.howibuiltmyownpool.com/ and scroll down to The ''Rule of 45''

Q: Where on the Internet can you find some prices (quotes) for swimming pools?
A
: For a rough guideline on prices: http://www.swemgat.co.za/ConcretePools.htm

Q: Does the blocks used only compliment a rectangular shape?
A
: No the pool can be built to compliment your garden layout. Normal cement blocks of good quality, can also be use.

Q: Is the material available to the “Man in the street”?
A
: Yes, you as an individual have full access to the materials used. The guide also includes the contact details of the various suppliers. Normal MA190 cement blocks, of good quality, can be class as a safe alternative to the Lok-blocks I used. A good quality block is needed because the plaster (on the inner side of the pool) needs to attach itself to the block surface. An inferior block surface might not compliment the plaster quality for grip. Photos reflecting different kinds and quality of clamps and piping are also illustrated in the guide.

Q: What was the cost when the pool shown on the home page (3 x 4 metre) was built back in 2000/1?
A
: With very high quality standards, the pool (200mm concrete shell, 250mm foundation lined with fibreglass), pump, filter and piping was R18 000. Remember that this R18 000 can be spread over many months, as you continue with the project as your cashflow allows you to. No one big amount of money for a "ready to install kit"! At that stage (2000) I was quoted for a fully installed fibreglass shell, including a filter, pump and 0.5m paving all-round: R35 000. I got all this PLUS a concrete shell for 50% less.
In short:
I contracted companies to 1) dig the hole, 2) to take the soil away, 3) to plaster and fibreglass the pool.
The costs for the above [in 2000 / 2001] were: 1) R1 100, 2) R1 000, 3) R6 400. To summarise 1, 2 and 3 took up R8 500 of the budget. The rest of the R9 500 was spent on the blocks, cement, sand, stone, reinforcing steel rods, some vibacrete slabs and poles, pump and filter.

Q: Does the guide reflect the mixture ratios used for the concrete and mortar?
A
: Yes, the guide reflects all of the above and includes the size of crushed stone to be used. Also an easy way to mix concrete by hand.

Q: What tools will be needed?
A
: You can hire most of the tools needed, like a cement mixer and wheelbarrow(s). I would recommend you to buy an angle grinder, as it gets utilised over many days, after the foundation is in place. Except for the angle grinder, concrete mixer and wheelbarrow(s), a hacksaw, hammer, screwdrivers, spades, spirit level, rubber melot and a rake is needed. I made use of the basic tools needed to do the job. If you want to mix the concrete by hand, an easy method is shown in the CD guide.

Q: Will the “Man in the street” be able to understand and work from this guide?
A
: Yes, due to the fact that the same person that did the research, planning and building of the pool, developed and wrote the guide. The guide was written with the main focus on being user friendly and easy to use. No fancy words and a plain simple layout were used. Ever thought how you get the foundation level without fancy equipment? A basic method that anyone can understand is shown in the guide.

Q: What do I need to view this guide?
A
: You need a computer (Pentium 1 [100Mhz] or higher and about 8Mb ram). The software needed is Windows 95 or later version and an Internet browser.

Q: What does the content consist of?
A
: The guide has the feel of a website without the fancy design work that normally exhausts your PC resources. It includes text with links to photos, visual step-by-step displays, a few photo albums, sketches, plans and two executable video files. The content starts with the planning phase, thereafter the building phases and finally the filling of the pool with water, including steps to ensure that the water is clear. The material quality gets pointed out in terms of what to look out for and includes a section on how to install PVC solar panels and a chlorinator (chlorine generated from adding salt to the water).

The idea behind this product.

I always wanted to build my own pool. Many questions came to mind. Where to start, what to look out for and what next step needs to be taken?

The planning stage took three years of research making use of the Internet, libraries and talking to pool owners. This is all captured into the guide, to make your planning stage a breeze. What became prominent was the fact that all the DIY products on offer; consist of a ready to install kit. This is where the idea for a digital DIY (Do it Yourself) guide was born.

To write and develop the contents of the compact disk took eight months. The guide contains more than 240 digital photos and various sketches explaining step by step how to build a swimming pool from cement blocks, concrete and fibreglass. (I contracted the plaster and fibreglass work to a company.

This guide is not a gimmick and represents quality and good value for money. My pool is 12 years old (in 2012) and thus far used 14 bags of salt, some pool acid and 2,5 hours (Winter / Summer) of water circulation per day. After the first 6 months I replaced the sand in the filter once.  I replaced the sand again in 2007 and 2009. The reduction in maintenance cost already paid for the chlorinator. The pool is still in excellent condition as at the near end of 2012. Best of all is the fact that I clean the pool once every two weeks in Winter due to the PVC cover. I had to replace the PVC cover beginning 2006 as it started to wear on the sides (shaving on the brick paving). I replaced it with a cover that has strengthen sides (2 layers of PVC material). I replaced the cover again in 2011 with a 95% shaded material. The brass non return valve (used in the solar heating system channel) also had to be replaced because of wear (mainly because of the salt water). The brass replacement valve would have cost ± R220, but a PVC replacement valve was used costing only R20. (See "More Pool Info" tab for detailed description and photos)

*UPDATE: The PVC cover lasted until end 2010. The PVC cover is heavy and its middel floats on the water. Seems like the salt water "eats" through the waterproof material. This time I opt for a 95% shade cover (R1600).

In January 2011 I am re-lining the pool with the product on this website: www.poolsolutions.co.za. "More durable Than Normal Paints, Cost Much Less Than Fiberglass, A Tough and Durable 4-LAYER Epoxy Coat System. For Application on Marblite, Gunnite, Concrete, Fibreglass or almost Anything". Nothing wrong with my current fibrelining, but I am sure it will be a LONG TERM investment. (±R5200 - I will not be doing it myself)). In October 2013 I can report back: From my personal experience and view this product failed in MY swimming pool (TWICE). (see Home page for more information)

I re-fibreline the pool again in June 2014 for R8500.

I believe that our homes should be a safe family haven. As security and safety plays a vital role in our lives, we need to make our homes attractive to entertain ourselves in this safe environment.

With this DIY guide you can stop at any stage of the project (e.g. due to financial constrains, weather, time factor). This project could also be a good team building exercise for the family and promote communication. By making use of this guide, most people will be able to afford a low cost, low maintenance and good quality swimming pool.

Regards

Juan Bruwer

Juan Bruwer

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