Dockside Chat - How many have in ground pools?

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View Full Version : How many have in ground pools?

08-01-2006, 10:13 PM
It is a water topic, although not necessarily boating. I am curious if fiberglass or gunnite has better customer satisfaction overall. I have heard many comments form the salepeople about cleaning issues, durability, etc. but I would rather hear from pool owners for I am about to drop a considerable amount for a pool and would like to know more. Its in the Charleston area and the ground is solid clay.

08-01-2006, 10:23 PM
I have an in ground pool. I believe it was built in the 50s. It was re-finished with Diamond Brite about five years ago and looks great. I don't know much about the fiberglass pools, though I would think that over time the sun and clorine would beat up the gel coat.

If you go with a gunnite pool make sure you get Diamond Brite. It lasts longer and does not stain as easy. The pool in my last house looked like crap because it was Marcite. Marcite can look nice but it takes more care, every little spot shows up on it. Just like your white boat.

08-01-2006, 10:30 PM
Thanks for the tip on the Diamond Brite. I used to have a similar Scarab with twin Johnson that the factory in Waukegan couldnt even fix. Hope your rudes are better.

08-01-2006, 11:05 PM
The boat used to have the original Evinrude 200s that came with the boat in 1994. They ran very strong but used a lot of gas. These new Evinrudes run super nice and burn a lot less fuel. I could not be more happy with them.

What year Scarab did you have?

08-01-2006, 11:09 PM
What have you heard which is better cement diamond brite here and with the chlorine dispenser and pool shark cleaner its basically maintence free.

08-02-2006, 07:16 AM
The wife wants one.I did some research into fiberglass pools.What I found is that they do have problems cracking in and around suction and discharge points.Good side is that they don't suck up chemicals like gunite pools.Back to the fiberglass.Sun and chemicals do fade the gelcoat over time,but you can paint them too!Another problem is water table in your area.You must keep them full at all times or they will pop up if the water table is high.Cost wise,gunite would be the way to go over a life time.Now if I just can keep my wife from wanting a dam pool I will be able to buy my next new boat sooner!

08-02-2006, 08:01 AM
Worked with a pool contractor as a sideline, gunnite-gunnite-gunnite-gunnite. It was and still is the end all be all. If you notice when talking to sales people they will all compare thier product to gunnite or use a phrase such as "as good as gunnite".

08-02-2006, 08:31 AM
My company plasters over 1500 pools a year. Go with a gunite or shotcrete pool. As far as the finish goes, Diamond Brite is an upscaled marcite. Go with Pebble Tec, or the new Pebble sheen finish. There is imitations of the aggregate finish, but finding somebody expierenced to do the peebble surface is what your looking for. I cant tell you how many fiber tech pools we redo, and the cost is more cause of whats involved to prep them. And as far as painting anything that is underwater will not hold up under water chemistery. Good Luck

08-02-2006, 08:48 AM
I have a marcite surfaced pool, easy maintenance with the Baracuda and proper balance of chemicals.

08-02-2006, 09:15 AM
I have a gunnite pool. We had it built about 5 years ago. Its finish is Pebble Tec. The whole thing took 8-9 days. We had looked at fiberglass, but I did not want to take the chance of cracking. We plan to live here another 20 years. Our pool guy had showed us the many plans they can build once they had measured out the yard. Day 1 was the major digging, now heres the cool part. I wanted the pool somewhat larger, no problem. I took off work on day 2 and watched them dig for about 2 hours to modify the hole. Can't do that on a fiberglass pool. Some more digging here, some there and by noon they were done with the hole. I must say a gunnite pool is more $$$ than fiberglass and my hopes it will still be in good shape in 20 years. We paid around 40K. Which included a 3.5ft curtain around the pool and other landscaping. Size of the pool is about 38 x 20 ish.

08-02-2006, 09:32 AM
My pool is surfaced with fiberglass. The contractor was Fibre Tech Of South Florida/Jay Cohen,owner. The surface is deteriorating after six years of use. There are few contractors doing fiberglass surfaced pools in my part of the country ( South Florida ) and getting someone to do a re-surface is difficult. Thumbs down on fiberglass surfaced pool !!!

08-02-2006, 09:45 AM
well I have a fiberglass pool, it is 32 years old. looks almost new still...... one small crack...

08-02-2006, 09:47 AM
My neighbor had a fiberglass pool put in 3 years ago and has had many issues with cracks, has been a real nightmare for her. I have a pool put in 7 years ago with a Pebble Tec finish and the surface is as good as day one!


08-02-2006, 09:59 AM
c-mac, or anyone else, how small can you feasibly go with gunnite? I was on the verge of getting a small (8x16x5'6") fiberglass pool. Can you effectively build a small gunnite pool? All I want is a cold tub. It's tempting to get a dam above ground for 20% of the cost and 1/10th of the time to install. It's HOT here!

08-02-2006, 09:59 AM
Gunite for me, cleaner Polaris, Pool was built with house in 1989. One year + layed fallow when we were out of house thanks to Hurricane Andrew. Had it re-marcited in 1994. Still looks good, but not used as all 4 of my kids have moved on. Anyone want to go swimming?

08-02-2006, 10:18 AM
Everyone I know with an in-ground pool in my part of the country wishes they did NOT have it. The local realtors and appraisers will tell you the pool is a negative factor, not a positive, upon the sale of the house.

08-02-2006, 10:46 AM
Stretch, I have heard that before, but do you think that applies to homes in all price ranges. This will be about a 2mm home complete with covered dock and boat lift when finished. I see a lot of pools on HDTV homes in the upper price category. Either way I do believe I am going forward because its getting hotter every year. ;cool;

08-02-2006, 10:57 AM
I can only speak for my area. Where I live, building a $2 mil home would be dumber than dumb because the resale market would be nonexistent. Someone near and dear to me had $1.3 mil in a magnificent home in THE prime location on the finest golf course within 80 miles and sold it for $700K after it being on the market for two solid years. If it had an inground pool, it would have brought even less.

08-02-2006, 11:02 AM
You can build them as big or small as you want. I have a buddy that built a big spa, and did alot of the work himself, and saved a lot of money.

A lot of people say that there marcite is 20 years old and looks great, but dont realize EPA took out the aspestice(SP) and marcite now days just doesnt last. So they came out with Diamond Brite. Diamond Brite just doesnt have a consistancy in the color.Yes there are some good looking ones out there and depends on WHO does them right, and who is out to pump in 5-a day. See they sell all this material to who ever wants to buy it. You have to be a Liscenced Pebble Tec applicator to get there product. They just dont sell it to anybody. Brick Copping, Pavers and Pebble Tec, and you cant go wrong.

08-02-2006, 12:01 PM
I have 2 gunite pools 1 in SC, 1 in AZ. I just redid the AZ pool with Marcite after ~9 yrs - cost was $5k.
The SC pool needs refinishing, and when I was researching the AZ pool refinish I ran across a material made by 3M that I was impressed with. Is that what you're calling Diamond Brite? I didn't go with it due to cost, since I don't plan on having the AZ place much more than a year, but when I get back to SC, that pool will be a first priority.
Also, if you're going to a pebble finsh, use Pebble Sheen, and I think they have even one more finish that's even smoother. The pebble tec I found to be a rough finish - not easy on the feet.

08-02-2006, 12:07 PM
Installed 20 x 40 in ground rectangular vinyl liner pool in 1991. So far I replaced the hayward filter pump. I will have to replace liner and steps next year I'm guessing it will cost about $6,000. Paid 12K to build the pool. I hate spending anything but overall cost of ownership has been as good as or better han any other technology. The galvanized wall and frame structure is good as new.

08-02-2006, 12:24 PM
Also looking into inground and there is a contractor in my area that does poured concrete. How does this differ from gunite? Better/worse. The pool place has been around a long time with good rep.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


08-02-2006, 02:13 PM
Well I haven't signed the contract, but with all the great feedback, I think I will go gunnite. 60% of the pools in the US are gunnite, 9% fiberglass, and the rest vinyl liner. There must be a reason. Being on the water, I am in a flood zone and I feel more comfortable with concrete and rebar. I will also go with the saltwater system. Its sounds as if its the cat's ass for easy maintenance.

08-02-2006, 03:08 PM
My father has a Gunite pool he had it marble dusted 2 years ago and it looks awesome, I have a Vinyl Liner pool with no problems just put a new liner in 3 years ago, when you get the pool dont let them talk you into an earth filters waste of money and more maintenace than a sand you can get a sand filter and use zeo sand which filters the water down to 3 microns the same as an earth filter

08-02-2006, 08:30 PM
For the pool surface, we like pebble tec. If you are going to be in your home for many years, it is worth the extra cost. Selling soon, do not put in a pool.

Their web site is

I would stay away from fiberglass. Can you imagine paying for a new gel coat job for it???

I tried to send you a copy of a newspaper article, but your e-mail failed. You have received some real good advice from previous posters, but there were a few that were just plain wrong.

Good luck on your quest for information.

08-02-2006, 10:19 PM
kennyboy, before you anything, contact my old friend and fishing buddy Earl Fore. He ownes Aqua Blue Pools in Charleston and Hilton Head. As you can see from this story at the Charleston Trident Home Builders Associations web site, he knows what he's doing and won't steer you in the wrong direction.
Just tell him his old longhaired fishing buddy from Tennessee sent ya!
He's in the Charleston Yellow Pages.

08-03-2006, 10:30 AM
Well, I just went the "trailer park" route. A good friend runs the local pool store. We started putting #'s together for either a glass pool or a gunite. (Both small) When we started adding everything to it we were looking at $10-12K+ which is steep with two in school right now. Years ago the same guy had given me an 8 ft above ground demo that he had in his showroom. It was perfect. Low maintenance and got us a cool as a full sized pool would have. It finally fell apart last year. I brought up the subject of an above ground and he had a 15 footer in stock that he really wanted to get rid of. Plus, my son has been installing above grounds the last two summers and has access to a loader. We are going to build it Sunday and water truck will be here Monday.


Pool = $500
Filter and pump = already have one
Power = already run to old pool
Bobcat = can get for free but will probably give the guy $100
Installation = Junior already owes me big time
Water truck = $150

Total for me and the admiral to beat this heat = $750

Optional trailer to park next to it = $??? :grin:

Seriously, this will buy us a year or so until we see how the $$ are running and decide on something more permanant. :thumbsup:

08-03-2006, 01:17 PM
I went the above ground route myself, 24'. Not exactly because of the dollars involved but more about having a big hole in my yard, insurance costs differances and maintance associated with the plumbing being in the ground. It's easy to maintain and if we ever get tired of it, I can get 1/2 my money back and I will be left with a very nice 24' level section in my back yard that I can use for a patio or whatever. All you can do with an inground is fill in the hole and cover your investment. I was helping my buddy part time at his pool and spa store and got a demo. he had at another location when he decided to close that store. I already had the pump and all external pieces and parts from the 15 footer a renter left me in lew of unpaid rent so I was good to go! He dug the site free for me letting him leave the bobcat in my yard for a week or so and my total investment was less than $1,000.00, which I worked out building pools and delivering spas. I'd still contact Earl tho. JMHO.

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