Looking forward to jumping into your own inground pool this summer? Before you can make a splash and have fun as a family, you’ll need to prepare for dig day!

After all, a pool isn’t going to appear in your backyard overnight. Instead, the process requires a lot of noise, heavy machinery, messy soil piles, and sometimes a few delays. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, it helps to know what to expect.

There are about 10.4 million residential pools in the country. If you want one, too, here’s everything you can expect before, during, and after pool excavations.

With this guide, we’ll prepare you for the entire swimming pool excavation process. 

Once it’s over, you can enjoy your pool all year long! Prepare yourself for your swimming pool excavation with this step-by-step process. 

The Design & Proposal

First, you’ll need to schedule an in-home consultation with the swimming pool company. The pool designers will create a backyard design that will complement your existing backyard. 

During the design process, you can discuss improvements, upgrades, and pool accessories as well. That way, you can design a pool that suits your family’s needs. 

This step also allows the pool excavation team to determine a project layout that will satisfy:

  • HOA deed restrictions
  • Utility set-backs
  • Local municipal ordinances

Once the design is finalized, you can review the proposal and make sure the cost fits your budget. The average pool excavation cost for a residential swimming pool is about $40,060 nationally.


Once the design and budget are finalized, the pool company will submit the scaled and rendered drawings to:

  • Your neighborhood association
  • Architectural committee
  • Local city permitting office

The pool company will need approval from these organizations before they can start working. In some cases, you won’t have to worry about local restrictions. If not, you can get started without the approval process slowing you down.

Make sure to work with a company that’s experienced with pool excavations. Their experience with local authorities can sometimes speed up the turnaround times. 

Preparing to Dig

Depending on weather and labor, your pool project can take between six to 10 weeks. Make sure to speak with the pool company before they start to get a more accurate timeline. 

Once the pool excavation is ready to begin, make sure to clear your backyard of:

  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • Decorations
  • Appliances

Make sure to keep your children and pets inside once the swimming pool excavation begins. 

The pool builders will layout the pool’s design using wooden stakes. The wooden outline will help guide them before they start digging. Once the weather is ideal, the team will break ground and start digging.


The Excavation Process

Swimming pool excavations usually take about one full day. Get ready for a lot of noise! 

Here’s what to expect once the company starts digging a pool.

Forms & Excavation

Using the wood stakes as an outline, the team will start digging and removing soil. They’ll also use your design plan to determine how deep to dig.

The team might conserve some of the soil to adjust your yard’s typography for drainage. What they can’t use, they’ll haul away.

Prepare for a lot of noise. The excavation process is loud, especially while the heavy machinery is digging a hole in your yard. During this step, you’ll see a lot of loose dirt get pulled from the ground.

Then, a dump truck will take the excess soil away. 

Rebar & Stub-out

The beam of the pool connects the outer decking slabs to the flush pool level. This ensures the expansion and contraction of the decking slab and pool beam.

Once your pool is full of water, a tremendous amount of outward force will push against the pool’s structure. It’s important to take the proper measures to ensure the shell of your swimming pool is structurally enforced. 

Once the structural steel is installed in the excavated shape, the team will install the stub-out plumbing. This includes placing:

  • Water-return jets
  • Water features
  • Suction lines
  • Spa plumbing systems

It’s important to install these stub-out locations in the right place to maximize performance and serviceability. 

Next, the team will install the pool’s gunite structural shell. It can take between 24 hours and 2 weeks for the gunite material to set.  

Plumbing & Equipment

Pool excavations aren’t complete without the proper plumbing. The team will organize the network of pipes that carry water to and from your pool. During this step, the team will need to consider your pool’s position, elevation, and water features. 

Tile & Decking

Tile installers will then carefully install your pool’s tile and decorative stone materials. This is when your pool begins to develop its personality and unique style.

After clearing away the dirt and mug, the swimming pool company will start the decking installation. You’ll begin to see the flow of your pool space, as well as its functionality. You can select different stone pavers and decking types during the design stage.


Once the plaster is set, it can take two full days and nights to completely fill your swimming pool. During this stage, the pool excavation company will also test your pool’s functionality. That includes testing the functionality of all installed components to make sure each piece works as expected. 

Once the start-up procedure begins, you’ll need to wait at least a week before you can jump into your pool. 

Potential Delays

As exciting as it is to get a new pool installed in your backyard, you also need to remain realistic. You might experience a few delays that will push back the expected completion date. 

For example, the pool excavation company won’t know what’s under your hard until they start digging. They might find rock or groundwater. While there are solutions to these issues, it can still cause a delay. 

Weather can also delay pool excavations. If you’re expecting a hurricane or rainy season around the corner, you might want to wait.

Pool Excavations: What to Expect Before Enjoying Your Oasis

Make a splash this summer! Now that you know all about pool excavations, you can start planning your dream pool today. Get ready for plenty of summer fun with your new pool.

Ready to watch your dream pool come to life? Request a no-cost consultation from our experienced team today!