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Which pool to install

Old 07-02-2013, 04:40 AM
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Default Which pool to install

starting the preliminary planning of a pool installation and I am look for suggestions on which type of pool to install. Im interested in the pros and cons of either a gunite or fiberglass pool.

Also weighing in on pavers or stamped concrete to surround the pool.
Old 07-02-2013, 04:51 AM
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Pavers on a sand base - the subground will eventually bleed through, pavers will settle, sand will be tracked around the pool and home. Spraydeck requires repainting every so often. Although not slick, spray deck is definitely more slippery than pavers.
I have a salt water, gunnite pool and have been very happy with it. We swim daily almost year 'round. Pool is heated by solar panel and backed up with a heat pump that I rarely use.
Screened enclosure keeps the leaves, pests and insects out, but does require cleaning periodically.
I considered fiberglass but very few in my area to compare with. One thing I thought about was the longevity of the fiberglass in the hot sun. Not sure if you can re-fiberglass a pool but you certainly can re-do the gunnite surface at a future time.
Old 07-02-2013, 04:51 AM
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DON'T waste money on anything other than gunite/shotcrete!!!

Any pool shell that has to be filled with water at the SAME time as it is backfilled is GARBAGE!!!!

Gotta go to work now trying to repair a GARBAGE vinyl liner pool.
Old 07-02-2013, 05:29 AM
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Over the last 20 years I've watched 4 gunite pools dug and sprayed in our neighborhood. Its a pretty cool process. Those 4 pools still look brand new, the oldest one was done 19 years ago. I've also seen 2 large fiberglass pools go in. One was 7 years ago, the other was 3 years ago by two separate companies. Both fiberglass pools as of this March and April were pulled out and replaced by gunite pools. One had a few cracks (and leaked) the other had leaks in the plumbing.
Old 07-02-2013, 05:41 AM
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Shot/finite, pavers, salt. Whatever u do don't do vinyl and concrete deck.
Old 07-02-2013, 05:49 AM
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Have an autofill put in. Also a hot tub if you like one.
Old 07-02-2013, 05:55 AM
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I would get a bigger boat
Old 07-02-2013, 06:27 AM
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Salt:
Easy to maintain, cheap to operate, easy on the kid's eyes (no goggles in our pool) No liquid Cl.
downside is salt is corrosive - furniture, toys, even sunglass hinges will rust. Watch where you hang the towels. Salt water also kills grass - no more adjusting the level after a big rain by making waves.

Gunnite:
Longevity, repairable/re-surfacable, and retains value to the property. A must.

Screened enclosure:
Good for bugs (no-seeum areas need the extra fine screen) adds 20% - 30% shade to the pool, and also no leaves. Downside: ruins the view, aesthetically unpleasing.
Old 07-02-2013, 06:30 AM
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I have a fiberglass pool and stamped concrete that were installed by the previous owner. Pool is probably 15 years old and there are some areas where the blue coloring of the pool has been worn away. If I was willing to deal with the expense and mess of replacing the pool I would replace it tomorrow.

The stamped concrete is still in good shape. The only cracks are around the pool where there has been some settlement.

I would recommend against the fiberglass pool but no matter what type of pool it is make sure you compact the soil around the pool with a tamper. I have both stamped concrete and pavers in the back of the house and I prefer the stamped concrete since it's easier to keep clean.
Old 07-02-2013, 10:47 AM
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19 years vinyl liner, polymer side panel , vermiculite Portland bottom

Had friends with gunnite pools ,spent their time smoothing the walls.

When we changed the liner ( to sell the house) it was still usable

Concrete around the deck of the pool.
Old 07-02-2013, 11:22 AM
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Gunnite! No pavers.

Our current pool is twenty five years old. It has been resurfaced once due to a previous owner improperly using one of those robot-cleaners and wearing a couple of spots in the Marcite. It looks perfect, and I expect it to remain that way for another twenty five.

During that same period all the fiberglass pools in the neighborhood have been replaced by gunnite. The one owner who replaced with fiberglass had a second failure.

I have a concrete deck covered with a surface called (I think) Cool-Deck. The original surface was fine at year 17, but I chose to resurface at the same time as the pool so as to match an adjoining porch. Seven years in it looks perfect with one pressure wash a year.

My neighbor has pavers, and after a few years they began to move, sink, etc. - Just doesn't look as "tidy / perfect" as I like.

Had a pool with no screen enclosure for fifteen years and loved it. Then bought a house with an enclosure and found out how much easier it was to deal with. Never again wth no screen.
Old 07-02-2013, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fatcat14 View Post
starting the preliminary planning of a pool installation and I am look for suggestions on which type of pool to install. Im interested in the pros and cons of either a gunite or fiberglass pool.

Also weighing in on pavers or stamped concrete to surround the pool.
I'm a Florida pool contractor, PM me with any questions before or during your build.
Old 07-02-2013, 05:22 PM
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Default thanks for the insight

Your advice has been helpful and I will continue to do my homework. I was quoted approx. 27,000 for a fiberglass pool installed with all equipement 50 year warranty, which I am not sure what that means. One of my first obstacles is a terraced back yard, so I will have to start with a retaining wall and have to create a solid base to eliminate settling. Will be doing a ground survey shortly.
Old 07-04-2013, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by fatcat14 View Post
One of my first obstacles is a terraced back yard, so I will have to start with a retaining wall and have to create a solid base to eliminate settling. Will be doing a ground survey shortly.
Yes, irregardless of the type of pool you need to consider soil type and settlement issues. A properly constructed gunnite pool should be resistant to cracks, but it will settle (become not level) and it will float (as in a boat) in certain conditions and actually pop out of the earth.
Interesting story - a buddy had a gunnite pool and was in the process of doing a pressure wash (why, i don't know). At any rate he emptied the pool to prepare for the wash. He and wife woke up in the middle of the night to a huge "bang". They look out windows and saw nothing, went out front door - still nothing, opened and looked out back door - still nothing, walked out back door into the pool area and realized they were walking uphill and downhhill on the spraydeck. The pool had floated up and actually broke away from the surrounding concrete deck and ended with one side of the pool about 6" higher than the other side. The pool itself was totally intact, uncracked. In retrospect, he had emptied the pool after a week of really hard rains and apparently the groundwater level was really high causing the pool to float. Talk about an aw$heet.
Old 07-04-2013, 04:32 AM
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I do pool installs and have done all three types for customers. Basically they will all work if installed properly. I oversee each company that does the install, mainly cause we do all the finish work around the pool area. I have seen gunite pools crack and the finish coat peel after a few seasons. This is due mainly to conditions of weather or mixing, trying to get the perfect conditions to do the shooting sometimes is impossible. It depends where you live. I mainly due fiberglass and have never had a problem. Again it is all about site prep and base compaction, etc. The company I use for them builds such a strong pool i think you could install it wrong and it still would'nt crack. Its got to be an inch think of solid glass woven roving and no coring. Ive had them pulled off the trailer and pushed down the street and into the yard without nothing more then a stratched bottom. To me its the way to go because its a fast install- one day and your swimming by 5'oclock that day. They are easy to keep clean will last forever with just about zero maintenance and come in all shapes and colors.I havent had one pop out of the ground yet, but I do put in a well point and pump just in case it needed to be drained and ground water was high- popping is possible just not as easy as people think. As far as salt or chlorine tabs- I say salt all the way, and I do pavers around pool area. I like stamped concrete, but it is very slippery when wet and needs to be resealed every couple of years.
Old 07-04-2013, 04:40 AM
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I would rate the pools this way
1. Gunite .... infinite amount of design choices, structure should last a lifetime
2. Vinyl... plenty of choices in liners, smooth service, not as indestructible as Gunite but can be rehabbed easily.
3. Fiberglass....... limited choices, finish should last a long time, can be refinished if necessary.

I would probably plan on a three year project in your situation depending on amount of terracing involved. Back yard needs to be leveled off. Wait one year for settling. Pool can be installed the following year after any settling has occurred. Pool gets installed and you wait another year before decks get added. In the meantime pool can be used w/o decks. Ground can be compacted but I believe waiting between steps is a better solution to any settling that might occur. I installed a vinyl pool in my yard and waited a full season before I added paver's. I have had some settling but overall 10yrs later decks still look good. Even if you use concrete you should still wait a season before putting it down.
Old 07-04-2013, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
Interesting story - a buddy had a gunnite pool and was in the process of doing a pressure wash (why, i don't know). At any rate he emptied the pool to prepare for the wash. He and wife woke up in the middle of the night to a huge "bang". They look out windows and saw nothing, went out front door - still nothing, opened and looked out back door - still nothing, walked out back door into the pool area and realized they were walking uphill and downhhill on the spraydeck. The pool had floated up and actually broke away from the surrounding concrete deck and ended with one side of the pool about 6" higher than the other side. The pool itself was totally intact, uncracked. In retrospect, he had emptied the pool after a week of really hard rains and apparently the groundwater level was really high causing the pool to float. Talk about an aw$heet.
This will happen to FG probably easier than the heavy gunite pool. VL will just lose the bottom as most are only 1- 1&1/2" thick although I have seem them much less.
Old 07-06-2013, 06:58 AM
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I've had a fiberglass one for 9 years. Love everything shoutout except the width. They are max 16 feet wide (to get down the road) which after any curves in the sides and 6 inch edge part, it makes the pool long and skinny.

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