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“I have decided on a fibreglass shell for my new pool but I have limited access to the backyard… What are the minimum access requirements for the pool builder?”

The truth is that you can build a fibreglass pool in almost any backyard! Even in the tightest of spaces there is usually a way. Generally speaking, the bigger the excavation machinery, the more efficient the removal of dirt is, and therefore the cheaper your costs are for your pool build. If you have limited access to your backyard, don’t fret, it just means it may take us a little longer to excavate.

Standard Access

Standard access to build a new pool is 2m in width. Although your pool builder can arrange to crane in your fiberglass pool shell over a fence or over the house, the standard excavation equipment does require a ground-entry and exit point to your backyard, and this is where it can get complex for limited access sites. The machinery required for a standard access fibreglass pool construction is as follows:

  • A crane to lift in the shell. Normally a Crawler Crane or Franner Crane will suffice for jobs up to 8-20m that do not require a lengthy boom. A Franner Crane is a great lift, load and move crane, and the Crawler Crane is super flexible, making it perfect for smaller spaces.
  • An excavator and bobcat to dig and remove the dirt from your backyard that will be replaced by your sparkling new pool. These are heavy-duty construction machines primarily used to dig… Think of them like a well-evolved version of a shovel!

Limited Access

A tight access site (smaller than 2m width access) may require the following instead:

  • A larger crane if there is limited front of site/ street access or if the pool shell is extremely large or heavy. The size of the crane depends on how heavy the pool shell is, as well as how much length is required in the boom. A 55T or 90T Crane is recommended if a large boom length is required (greater than 20m)
  • A mini excavator to dig
  • Motorised wheelbarrows to transport the dirt to the front yard
  • A bobcat which can only be used in the front yard to load the dirt onto transport, fencing, payments and ordering of equipment and supplies, etc before the commencement of the pool construction.

As you can probably imagine, if smaller machines are used, the excavation is not as efficient as if multiple larger machines were employed. Normally a standard excavation runs quite smoothly… We set out the pool and its height, bring in the machines, and then start digging! As long as there are no hiccups we are in and out within the day. Things that can help this process run smoothly are clearing the paths for the machinery, running a simple soil test prior to the day to check for rock, as well as sewerage plumbing checks. A tight access site or a site with rock present would normally take 2-3 days to fully excavate and prepare for your new fibreglass pool.

An example of how we install a fibreglass pool with a limited access site can be found below:

We recently installed a 7.5m x 2.5m Silvermist Bellagio Fibreglass Pool in a beautiful Pakenham backyard. Not far from leafy Botanic Ridge and up and coming Clyde, this property was surrounded by picturesque views and tree lined fences. The property was on Highland Drive, which is no doubt a beautiful spot, but it comes at a price- a very steep block, and minimal access for excavation equipment. We were so excited to get that pool installed as the views from the pool will be simply amazing, but we knew it would be a little longer than your average site.

We began by setting out the pool and brought in a jackhammer and mini excavator to begin the dig. Luckily our soil test advised us that there was going to be rock so we were prepared to do the work by hand. We transported the rock and dirt to the front yard via motorised wheelbarrows and discarded of the soil with a bobcat that remained in the front yard. After 2.5 days we were ready to crane in the fibreglass shell and begin the build so the customer could be staring out over the hills to the sunset from their sparkling pool in no time!

For more case studies on a tight access sight, in Cheltenham or Beaumaris, please click here.

Pakenham Tight Access Dig 

Pakenham Tight Access Site

Pakenham Tight Access Pool Build


As you can see, no matter what your access levels are to your backyard, no excavation is too difficult for us. With approximately only 10% of new pool constructions being limited access, it is unlikely we couldn’t arrange a simple solution for your pool installation. It is always best to organise a quick site visit from our Construction Manager to confirm what equipment will be required for your excavation based on your individual requirements so you have all the information before your pool build is quoted. If you are in South East Melbourne, Bayside Melbourne or on the Mornington Peninsula, click here to organise a complimentary site visit from our Construction Manager today.