Watch: Man builds swimming pool in his back garden entirely from YouTube tutorials
A man has found a unique way to cool off in the current heatwave after building a swimming pool in his back garden using YouTube tutorials for guidance.
While most of us are having to make do with dipping our toes into the paddling pool, Alex Dodman is able to beat the current heat by diving into his very own pool, which he built himself from scratch.
The dad-of-two, 36, from Saffron Walden, Essex, had always dreamt of building a swimming pool in his back garden, and with the help of some YouTube videos, he was able to do just that.
The ambulance worker is no stranger to taking on an impressive DIY project, having previously built a home cinema and gym and saving a whopping £75K in the process, but his latest build may just be his most impressive yet.
Having moved into his house in 2017 with partner Sarah, 36, an HR manager, and their two young children Allie, five, and Eddie, two, Dodman has been busy renovating the family home, but has saved his biggest project - the pool - til last.
"I did everything myself, from picking up the materials and carrying them into my garden, to hiring a digger and digging the hole as well as the tiling and all of the plumbing," Dodman explains.
"I watched a video on YouTube on my lunch break of someone building a pool and that same day I was on the phone hiring a mini digger.
"I had dreamt of having pool once the house was renovated, and I'd even earmarked a little patch to hopefully build it on one day."
Dodman says the moment he saw a YouTube video of a woman in Holland building a pool, he knew he was going to give it a go himself.
"I started building it in January 2020 and had dug the hole but then COVID hit and couldn't get any materials for ages," he continues.
"In retrospect, it was a bit of a blessing that I had to stop. It slowed it down which meant I was able to take my time with what I was buying and ordering and knowing what I needed."
As many suppliers were closed during lockdown, Dodman started buying the materials he needed from Facebook Marketplace, which he says was a lot cheaper.
"I bought building blocks from people's left over building projects, plumbing pipes, the tools to drill the holes and swimming pool equipment from Facebook too, it was great," he adds.
Buying most of the materials from Facebook and building the pool himself, Dodman estimates has saved him thousands, with the project coming in at £10K, compared to professional in-build swimming pools starting at £12K.
As well as COVID putting a stop to the project for a period, Dodman says there were other difficulties to overcome during the build including having to hand dig and rip out bushes and moving six tonnes of sub-base by himself.
"I did the whole thing by myself, from putting all the materials in my car and bringing them home to resurfacing the ground to make it flat," he explains.
"COVID stopped the project for months, and the area of the garden that it was in meant I had to do a lot of work with the earth, and by the time I could get round to getting back into doing it again, the mini digger had gone which meant I had to hand dig and rip out bushes myself, it took months to get the earth underneath flat as the garden was on a slope.
"I also had to move six tonnes of sub-base and add Astro turf around the pool which I was doing over the winter.
"It has definitely been a challenge," he says of the build process.
But now that he and the family are enjoying their very own private pool in the garden, he says it was definitely worth the effort.
"It even has its own heater so it won't be freezing cold," he adds.
Dodman has been documenting the swimming pool build process on TikTok, regularly updating his followers with the progress of the pool.
"I started making TikTok videos of pool in January 2020," he explains.
"I document a lot of my DIY around house, from the kitchen, to the home office, outdoor gym, pizza oven and the building of the pergola."
The pool build is the subject of an ongoing series on Dodman's TikTok channel, currently in 36 parts.
Additional reporting Caters.