A father-of-two has revealed how he built a swimming pool from scratch in his back garden – using only YouTube tutorials.
Alex Dodman, 36, from Saffron Walden, Essex, dreamed of building a swimming pool in his back garden after moving into his home with his partner Sarah, 36, in 2017.
After starting construction of the pool in 2020, Alex bought most of the materials from Facebook, saving him thousands. The total cost of construction was just £10,000 compared to over £12,000 for a professional in-ground swimming pool.
The paramedic explained, “I did everything myself, from picking up the materials and carrying them to my yard to renting a backhoe and digging the hole and tiling and all the plumbing work.”
Alex Dodman, 36, from Saffron Walden, Essex, has revealed how he built a swimming pool from scratch in his back garden – using only YouTube tutorials (left at the start of his build in 2020 and right during the 2020 build). building).
The total cost of construction was just £10,000 compared to over £12,000 for a professional in-ground swimming pool
The father-of-two is involved in impressive home improvement projects, having previously built a home cinema and gym and saved £75,000, with this latest project being his most impressive yet.
Alex moved into his home in 2017 with his partner Sarah, 36, a human resources manager, and their two young children, Allie, five, and Eddie, two, and has been busy renovating the family home, ripping it out and starting over .
Alex started a DIY hobby and always knew he wanted to build his own swimming pool after seeing a corner of his garden that looked like it needed some maintenance.
In anticipation of the future, Alex took it upon himself to learn all the skills needed.
The father-of-two is involved in impressive home improvement projects, having previously built a home cinema and gym and saved £75,000, with this latest project being his most impressive yet
But even though his friends and family were used to his wild ideas, Alex underestimated how difficult it would really be to build the pool all by himself.
Alex explains: “I saw a video on YouTube during my lunch break of someone building a pool and on the same day I rented a mini excavator over the phone.
“I had dreamed of having a pool after renovating the house and I even earmarked a small piece of land to hopefully build one day.”
“When I saw a YouTube video of a woman in Holland building a pool, I knew I wanted to do it.”
He started the project in January 2020 after watching a YouTube video of someone building a pool during his lunch break
The father-of-two said he “bookmarked” a spot in the garden where he wanted the pool (left) and quickly set about the “challenging” project (right).
He continued, “I ordered the materials I needed from local hardware stores and had rented a mini excavator.
“I started building and digging the hole in January 2020 but then Covid struck and couldn’t get any material for ages.”
Describing the project as “very stop-start”, he added: “Covid put it on hold for months and the area of the garden it was in meant I had to do a lot of earth work.
“By the time I could get back to it, the mini digger was gone, which meant I had to do hand digging and uprooting bushes myself.
“It took months for the soil underneath to be flat as the garden was on a slope.”
When the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t long impact Alex’s project, the father-of-two ended up buying lots of items for the pool on Facebook Marketplace
The father-of-two was able to find cheaper materials for the project, which he described as “stop and start,” after buying them online
However, he added: “Looking back, it was a small blessing that I had to quit. It slowed it down, which meant I could take my time with what I was buying and ordering and knowing what I needed.’
“Since most of the stores were closed, I started buying the things I needed from Facebook Marketplace, which was a lot cheaper.
“I bought building blocks from people’s leftover building projects that were so much cheaper than the first batch of blocks I bought from the hardware stores.
“I also got plumbing pipes, tools to drill the holes and pool equipment from Facebook, it was great.
The paramedic built the entire pool himself, from stowing all the materials in his car to redoing the floor (left and right the pool in the final stages of construction)
“It even has its own heater so it doesn’t get freezing cold.”
Alex added, “I did everything myself, from packing all the materials in my car and transporting them home to refinishing the floor to make it level.”
The father-of-two said he continued work over the next two years to complete the pool.
He said: “I then did some work in the winter of 2020 and then I got going again in the autumn of 2021, I had to move six tons of substructure and add artificial grass around the pool, which I did in the winter.
The father-of-two has now completed the incredible pool for his whole family to enjoy – and said the project cost him just £10,000 in total
The ambulance worker has made a habit of enjoying a glass of champagne at the pool’s edge over the past few days (left and right)
The pool is now fully completed with a decking area and artificial grass flooring on the sides
“It was definitely a challenge.”
Meanwhile, Alex has built a following on TikTok where he documents his handy work and regularly updates his followers on the progress of the pool, currently there is a 36-part progress video.
Alex adds: “I started making TikTok videos of billiards in January 2020 so I had a backlog of videos I needed to record so I broke them up and posted them in parts.
“I document a lot of my DIY jobs around the house, from the kitchen to the home office, the outdoor gym, the pizza oven to building the pergola.”
Meanwhile, Alex has built a following on TikTok where he documents his handy work and regularly updates his followers on the progress of the pool, currently there is a 36-part progress video