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Pool digging

This week excavation started for the pool. Our narrow access, less than 1.2m, required a small excavator (or digger) and 1.5 days to remove the spoil.

The day started at 7am Thursday with the pool being marked out with string lines. We had to be there to set the level of the pool. We're planning a paved area between the pool and house, hence the finished level of the pool coping was set to be 10mm about our verandah. This allows for a gradual slope towards the house, with a strip drain along the house wall.

Setting out the pool also identified that the house is not parallel to the side fence, so we had to decide which one the pool would be parallel to.  We decided the house, so that the paving would also be "square" to the house, ensuring it would be cheaper to lay and a more professional look.

The excavator was a tight squeeze. Removing the gate from its hinges helped, and to get past the wall-mounted gas hot water heater a board was placed on the ground to tilt the machine sideways so it could squeeze past.

Motorised wheelbarrows were used to remove the spoil to the driveway, from where a bobcat was used to transfer it to a dump truck.

In our sandy soil, at first the excavator was having to wait for the two wheelbarrows to be ready. However, as the dig progressed, the deeper clayey sands slowed down the digging and the barrows were soon waiting for the digger.

With the excavation so close to the house, at the end of the dig the excavator was taken out through our gate on the other side of the house.  This was a much longer path but turned out to be quite easy despite numerous obstacles along the way, and some skilful driving.

The bottom of the excavation was then covered with screenings for drainage to a sump at the deep end of the pool.

Structural ply was put in place to stop minor slippages, and reduce the risk to people walking around the top of the excavation.

With small children in our family, a dog and friends visiting, a safety fence was essential.

At the end of 1.5 days we had a hole.


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