Can You Make An Inground Pool Bigger questioned in a sprawling backyard

Can You Make An Inground Pool Bigger?

When you look at your pool you realize that it doesn’t fit your needs. You might wish there was some way to add a deep end. Or, perhaps you want another your pool to be 20 feet longer so you could swim a decent lap.  Whatever your circumstance, it’s not uncommon to wonder, can you make an inground pool bigger?  

Can You Make An Inground Pool Bigger?

The short answer is yes, you can make inground pool bigger.  Doing this project does come with a few caveats and assumes you have a concrete or gunite poolIf you have a fiberglass pool, the answer is an emphatic no.  You cannot change the size of a fiberglass pool without removing the pool and starting over.  With a vinyl liner pool, it is similarly complicated to do so. You may as well end up rebuilding the whole pool before you get too far into a renovation trying to enlarge it.  But if you have a gunite or concrete pool, you can absolutely make it bigger.  This project just takes some planning ahead execute it right.

How To Make An Inground Pool Bigger

First, you need to find out what the setbacks are on your property for building a pool.  Next, you need to design your pool enlargement and renovation. Once you have your project design underway, you will know how large you will be making your pool. Then, you need to come to grips with the fact that you’ll likely need to redo all of your deck. In addition, this will also carry into redoing the tile around the perimeter of your pool as well as the interior finish.  Making your pool bigger is possible, but it will be expensive.

Homeowners wonder can you make an inground pool bigger

Additional Considerations

Unless you have the perfect layout, you’ll likely be replacing your deck as a part of the renovation. The perfect layout would entail heavy equipment being able to access your existing pool, perform the excavation work and demolition of a portion of your pool wall without affecting the existing deck. 

Consider Other Improvements

Additionally, when making your pool bigger, this is a great time to consider improving other parts of your pool. You may want to add a skimmer and some pool returns in the new portion of your pool.  This will require some extra plumbing work and some connection to the existing plumbing of the pool. You could also choose to add some lights to the pool.  If so, you must employ an electrician to add these fixtures and wire them correctly.

Hire A Structural Engineer

You will want to employ a structural engineer. They will design how the new structure will integrate with the pool as you know it.  There will be structural details for how the two concrete structures interplay and how the new portion of the pool should be built.  Now that you have your pool and the structure designed, it’s time to look into permitting.  

Permits Required When Making A Pool Bigger

Enlarging a pool will generally trigger a permitting process which will vary by municipality, county, and state.  You may need to employ a civil engineer or surveyor to show the layout of the enlarged pool on the plan for submission for permit.  You will also likely need a demolition permit for the removal work to take place.  Once you have all your permits, but before you do absolutely any work on the pool, you must call 811, and have the underground utilities located on your property.

Safety Tips When Making Your Pool Bigger

Before you do any demolition, it’s a good idea to have your electrician disconnect the power to the pool equipment.  If there are any fire features or gas lines in the area, you want to have your utility provider or a licensed plumber come out and disconnect the gas.  

Construction Process For Making Your Pool Bigger

Given that this is a gunite pool, the construction process largely be broken down to before, during and after this phase.

Before Gunite

Next comes the demolition of a portion of the existing structure as well as the layout and excavation of the enlarged portion.  Demolition is followed by the forming and plumbing, and then by the reinforcement steel and electrical work.  Once you are ready for gunite, generally there is a building inspection for the electrical work and the structural steel. 

Gunite Phase

Once these inspections are passed, it’s time for gunite.  During the gunite process, it is imperative that the gunite company follow the engineer’s design for the joint between the old concrete and the new.  It is possible to do this in such a way to make a continuation of the old structure, and avoid a leaky cold joint.  This is only possible if the gunite crew does their job perfectly though, so this is a good time to plan on having your structural engineer come on site and oversee the gunite process.

After Gunite

Once your gunite is completed, there’s a 5-7 day wait until you can remove the form work. After the forms are removed, the electrical conduit and plumbing can be completed and backfilling can take place.  Then the coping and tile can be completed, followed by the deck work and any fencing that may be required.  It’s a good idea to complete any landscaping work prior to installing the interior finish.  Once your landscaping is done and your pool is plastered and filled, it’s time to enjoy your newly enlarged pool.

Bottom Line

While this project can sound like a lot of work, and it is, you can make an inground pool bigger. The process does resemble new pool construction. Instead of building a whole new pool, you’re adding on a section. You should be prepared to spend a large sum of money when considering this type of project. Although, with gunite pools, at least the option of making a pool bigger is possible. You cannot say the same for fiberglass or vinyl liner pools.