Hitting ledge during your in-ground pool excavation

One factor that can make or break your in-ground pool budget is buried deep beneath the surface of your yard and may not be known until you start digging. What I am talking about is ledge.

Last year we started on an in-ground pool project in Gloucester MA which turned into one of the biggest excavation projects we have had here a Precision Pool.

Now that the pool is finished I wanted to throw up some pictures from the pool excavation and the completed pool.

pool pictures 005.jpgHere you can see we are about midway through the pool dig and have hit the main slab of ledge.  The ledge here was so thick we brought in an outside rock splitting company to help us on this  dig. Here you can see their giant rock splitter is breaking p the ledge in the deep end hopper. As  you can see we are bot very deep only about 3-4′ and we need to dig out an 8′ deep end hopper.

The rock splitting crew than    got in their with their  jackhammers to really break the rock up into small pieces which can be dug out.pool pictures 028.jpg

The cost of hitting ledge……

What we have to discuss here is how a dig like this can affect your  overall pool project budget. This is one of the more severe ledge  situations we have encountered but it is good to know what  something like this might cost.

We usually can get into your yard and dig the hole for your pool in one day with the normal excavator and the cost of removing fill with the truck is included in the pool cost. On this particular job we needed to contract a rock splitting company with heavy machinery and a large crew to break up all the ledge. This is on top of the normal pool excavation costs.

A dig like this can be upwards of $15,000.00 to break up and remove all of the rock from the pool area.  This is why it is very important to find out ahead of the dig if there is a possibility of hitting ledge in your area and should be discussed with your pool installer during the at home site visit. Find out what their clause is in the contract if they hit ledge and approximately how much it could add to the cost. The problem is because the ledge is underground, even if you know ledgeis present it is hard to estimate the total cost of its removal.

What to do with all that rock from the pool dig?

Now if your going to spend all this money to remove rock and ledge from the pool excavation your going to want to put it to good use. We had a couple of great design ideas already in place for this pool and the natural rock we got out of the ground would work out beautifully.pool pictures 011.jpg

The first idea was to have a cascading waterfall  flowing down into the pool. We  then built a natural stone fire pit beside the waterfall over looking to pool for a great outdoor summer hangout spot.

You can see we used the mini excavator to move these giant rocks into position for the waterfall. We were lucky to have some rock with smooth flat edges so we could really deign a nice cascading effect.

Also notice the liner pattern choice the liner border blends in smoothly with the natural rock color.

Recently we were down there and were able to get some great pictures of the completed pool project which you can see below. We have recently installed a pool side slide that comes around the backside of the waterfall and I should have pictures of that installation very soon.

oasis vinyl liner pool with waterfall and paver patio Gloucester MA

The retaining wall you see around the pool area we built also using stone from the pool dig.  The ledge was expensive to get out but was used to give the yard a nice natural look.

Waterfall feature on an in-ground pool in MA

So before you get into the pool dig it is very important to ask about the possibility of hitting ledge in your yard.  It is an unexpected expense that could really break the budget if you are not prepared for it.  This is why a good thorough site visit with your pool company is very important and is one of the questions that should be addressed before the project starts.

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