DIY Dipping Pool – Case Study, Roger, Dominican Republic

DIY Dipping Pool

DIY Dipping Pool – yes please!

What I love about what I do is the variety of people, countries and projects that I get to deal with.

Some projects I have a huge amount of involvement in. Some, like this one, I have some correspondence, supply some parts and then out of the blue, I get a wonderful email from Roger with a whole bunch of pictures of his build which is now complete.

This variety makes everyday different which I love!

In this post, I am going to explain all the stages that Roger went through when he was building his DIY dipping pool in his back yard in the Dominican Republic.

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Roger first got in touch as he wanted a plan for his dipping pool. I have lots of pre-made plans in my online store so that was what Roger used. So many of my case studies are custom designs with their own complications. This build, just shows you how simple yet effective things can be.

Roger’s biggest challenge on this build was getting the parts that he needed. We knew this from the start when we first began to discuss this project. I ship parts all over the world for customers so getting things to a forwarder for Roger was not a problem at all.

What this meant was he knew that he had the right parts for his Dipping Pool from the start! Knowing that you have the plan, and the right parts for the job is half the battle! 

Roger was going to be building an above ground dipping pool, so there was no real excavation on this project, just removing some of the turf.

DIY Dipping Pool
DIY Dipping Pool

What we can’t see below is that the base was poured for the dipping pool and the rebar risers placed ready for the blocks. What you can see here is that the team are beginning to lay the courses of block for the walls. They slot the blocks onto the vertical rebar to give the dipping pools walls lots of strength.

DIY Dipping Pool

It was all hand on deck for this project and Roger’s other half was involved too – especially on the mosaics which you will see later in this article.

The walls themselves went up pretty quick on the build as you can see below.

Below you can see that the structure of this pool is a dual skin cavity. This means that the plumbing pipework can be hidden out of sight and covered up with a second skin of non-load bearing blocks.

With the second skin and the plumbing in place, Roger and the guys turned their attention to the control room. This is another example of how something so simple can be so effective. 

Given the climate, there is no heater. Just a filter and circulation pump. However, Roger has mentioned that he does plan on adding a small heater for his dipping pool so he can prolong the season.

If you look at the style of the “jets” here is they are more like swimming pool returns than actual jets. Again, this is what was available locally but its simple, effective and it works.

OK, they will not be as strong in the dipping pool as a Gunite Jet with air feed but it doesn’t matter one bit. This build is all about simplicity

With the jets in and sealed up it was then time to put their attention onto the interior of the tub. This was rendered flat, sealed and waterproofed before the water line was tiled and the bottom of the tub was painted. It is always a good idea to tile the waterline even if you are not doing the whole tub. This makes cleaning much easier.

DIY Dipping Pool
DIY Dipping Pool

After leaving everything to cure, this is where the fun really starts. Fill up time! I remember when I started filling my tub for the first time, the anticipation was huge! I am sure Roger and team thought the same about his DIY Dipping Pool fill.

There was some beautiful mosaic work done on the ledge of the pool by Roger’s other half Simona. 

The look they were going for was that the dipping pool has just emerged from the ground – I think I looks fantastic!

DIY Dipping Pool
DIY Dipping Pool

And there we have it – DIY dipping pool done!

This whole project just shows that a dipping pool or small cocktail pool does not need to be complicated. The end result is just fantastic.

Roger, Simona, what a great job you have done. Congratulations!

After publishing this article, Roger got back in touch with some of the things that he learned along the way. Here they are!

Lessons Learned.

1. When we put the bench in, we considered if we needed to skim coat under the concrete bench and put pool paint on – in the end we thought there was no point so we didnt do it. When we filled the pool we found a leak path from under the bench and through the blocks of the bench and then through the wall to the pump area.
Fix: drain the pool, put on skim coat and waterproof pool paint and refilled. Problem resolved. Lesson is not to cut corners!!

2. ON refilling the pool, once the level went above the water return jets we discovered another small leak from 2 of the nozzles. This was caused by not enough skim coat around the jets. We found two small pin holes.

Fix: Drain the water down below the inlets, clean and cut back – redo everything and repaint the areas needed. Problem resolved. Lesson learned good and bad. Bad that we should have been more careful in these areas and be aware that just a pin hole is enough to cause a problem. Good – because we left the ‘windows’ at each inlet (later filled with resined art work from Simona), we could access the problem areas.

3. When refilling with water above the pool light, we found the water was coming out of the conduit pipe in the pump area. I had thought that the conduit pipe would be dry and that the seal of the pool light would make it waterproof. On reading the instructions again, it was clear that said the conduit pipe must be a certain height above water level – but it didn’t say why… hence I ignored it!

Fix: I had to build a small box above the level of the upper walkway to get sufficient height (you will see a small mosaic box at the pump end. Problem solved.
Lesson – instructions are there for a reason – follow them!


Thanks Roger!


Happy Hot Tubbin’



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Thanks - Andi


Hi, Andi here. I own and also write all of the articles and info pages on the site. Some years back now, I built my own hot tub but struggled to find the information I needed. So, once my tub was complete, I started this website to help others in their own pursuit of hot tub and plunge pools DIY building information.

Today, I've helped over 1000 DIY customers just like you all over the world build hot tubs and pools. Have a good look around the site, there are lots of resources here. Please do get in touch if I can help you. - Cheers, Andi

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