A Plunge Pool in Progress

Floating in a pool free of gravity, I discovered that I don’t need to be in survival mode throughout the end of the dry, hot season in Nicaragua. A plunge pool sets me free. Free from the oppressive heat…from strangling dust that seeps into every pore and orifice in my body…from the brutal sun.

For several years I tried to convince Ron to build me a pool. His reasons for not building a pool were: 1. expense  2. maintenance  3. We live on…literally on the lake shore.

My reasons for building a pool were: 1. a plunge pool is cheaper to build  2. No filter needed and low maintenance  3. We live on the lake with a giant caiman lurking around our beach.

I won after Ron floated blissfully in my friend’s plunge pool in Granada. His sighs of content could be heard echoing all the way to the hardware store for materials to build our little rectangle of cool delight.

We decided to build the pool behind our house on the back porch for privacy. Plus, we have a view of our active volcano Concepcion. Work on the foundation began a few days after we returned from Granada.
IMG_7612We hired Raymond and Jose to build the plunge pool because they are experts in working with cement. The walls are going up and up.
IMG_7614The dimensions inside our pool are 4 ft deep x 48″ wide x 80″ long.
IMG_7618Raymond puts a fine coat of cement over the pool. It is called repayo in Spanish.
IMG_5289The floor is paved with bricks, then topped with a piece of mesh fencing we had leftover. Then the cement is poured on top.
IMG_5282I wanted a shelf on one side of the pool for flowers, cool drinks, and candles.
IMG_5293Next, tile lines the top of the pool.
IMG_7620Raymond smooths the cement around the tile. We didn’t want any sharp edges around the pool.
IMG_7621Then, we added a step to enter the pool from the front, and another one at the side of the pool. The bench and a drain in the wall complete the inside of the pool.
IMG_7627We wanted a tile patio in front of the door, so Raymond and Jose prepared the foundation.
IMG_5306I think the tile is beautiful. It’s slip resistant and will help control the dust and dirt in the dry season.
IMG_7629Next, we filled the pool for two days to help cure the cement. Of course, we had to dip often. I bought a food strainer for 1 dollar to clean the pool. After it is painted and filled again, we’ll add a teaspoon of pool chlorine and drain the pool once a week. We’re going to put a mosquito net over the pool to keep out leaves and flying insects. It will hang over the pool just like the mosquito net over our bed.
IMG_7635I am sad to report that we drained the 720 gallon plunge pool this morning. Monday, we  paint the inside of the pool with special pool paint made specifically for swimming pools. The outside of the pool will be the same mango color as the walls.

Pool is painted inside. Now, we wait for it to dry for 3 days before filling it with water.

We will start the landscaping next week, too. We’re going to build a stepping stone patio around the pool, make new flowerbeds, hang a hammock between the Neem trees, and move some of the electrical wires that are dangling from our internet tower.

I’m in the process of designing a mural for the wall behind the pool. I’m planning to add colorful, whimsical fish. I also decided to make a Pre-Colombian pottery shard caiman mosaic on the front wall of the pool. Take that you sneaky caiman! You won’t keep us from enjoying April and May floating blissfully in our new plunge pool.

The pool was built in one and a half weeks, and the total cost of the pool materials and the labor was less than $400. I believe plunge pools are the wave of the future. They are economical, almost maintenance free, and use very little water.

Stay tuned for the finished pool. Come float with us, soon!

25 thoughts on “A Plunge Pool in Progress

    • Hi Roxane,
      The drain in at the bottom of the wall inside the pool. There is a pipe that goes under the walkway and a shut off valve to drain the water into the yard. When the pool is full, we stuff socks in the drain hole in the pool, but when the valve is off, the water won’t go out, only to the end of the PVC drain pipe. We bought a portable filter pump for the pool, but we rarely use it. Instead we use a mesh colander and an old stocking to pick up stuff that drops into the pool. It is easier to drain the pool when it gets really dirty, then it takes about 3 hours with a garden hose to refill.
      It is cheap to build and a lifesaver in the hot, hot months. Send me pictures if you build one.

      • Brilliant idea! I like that you don’t even need a filter. Do you think at 8 feet long you could have a bench at the other end too or would it be too crowded? It would be nice to soak, while enjoying a drink with my husband. Btw, love the mango colour of the house.

  1. Wow!!! great idea !!!
    in Bali , where i ventured to when pondering a move to Ubud,many homes are built with something like this , outside ,,,but their basically huge bathtubs ,,,all the bathrooms are outside but done super cool,,,its very hot there as well,but not dry.
    i will be in your area early June ,,,we would love to chat with you, would u be interested?
    have fun with your new pool!!!!!

    • MH, I used to have a VW beetle in college. One day, I decided to see how many people I could fit in it. I gathered all of my friends, and we stuffed 18 people in my VW. Wouldn’t you know it? I was stopped by the police. They were amazed at the number of people that got out of my VW. I think it was such a surprise that they just gave me a warning. lol Hmmm…I wonder how many people we can fit in my plunge pool?

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