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in ground swimming pools

Updated on June 21, 2011

Custom In Ground Swimming Pools

There are three primary types of in ground pools on the market today. The vinyl liner pool, the
fiberglass pool, and the gunite pool.
A vinyl liner pool consists of a metal or composite frame that retains the shape for the vinyl liner. There is large selection of shapes and sizes available in the vinyl liner pool so most homeowners can usually find a vinyl liner pool that complements their yard and suits the needs of their family.
The fiberglass pool consists of a precast fiberglass shell that is delivered to the site on a trailer
ready to be installed in a pre dug site. Again there is a fair selection of shapes and sizes
available, but they are limited in size due to the transportation factor since they are delivered completely assembled.
The only option for an in ground pool that is completely customizable and constructed 100% on site is the gunite swimming pool. In gunite pool construction the shape and size of the pool is laid out on the job site, After the excavation has been completed, form boards are set up around the outside perimeter of the dig. Then a steel re-enforcement grid is made by laying re bar across and length wise the pool and up the walls of the pool, in most cases to form 12 inch by 12 inch squares. The pool is stub plumbed for skimmers ,main drains, and return lines. The light niches are put into place and the cage is bonded with copper ground wire. The re bar cage is placed on top of 3 inch concrete spacers so when the concrete is placed the cage will be encapsulated in the middle of the concrete. After inspection the concrete is applied to form the pool shell. The 2 methods used for this procedure is dry mix gunite or ready mix shotcrete. Both are concrete mixtures of sand and cement. The gunite process blows dry mixed sand and cement through a hose and water is added to the mix at the end of the hose through the spray nozzle. Shotcrete is pre-mixed concrete containing sand, cement, and small aggregate with water already added at the batch plant. It is pumped through a hose ready to use and air pressure is added at the nozzle to aid in the spraying of the mix. With either process the cement is sprayed to the walls of the pool and floor approximately 6 inches thick. It is then cut and troweled to produce the desired shape.
The size and shape of a gunite pool is limited only by ones imagination and of course their
The options on a gunite swimming pool are almost as endless. You say you want a tanning ledge, no problem , where at and how deep. Spas are very popular options for gunite pools as well. Just decide on the shape of your spa and how many people you need it to accommodate.
For those that live on the lake or other bodies of water, an impressive feature for the gunite pool is the "negative edge" or "vanishing edge" as it is sometimes referred to. Looking across the pool with the lake in the background gives one the illusion that the pool and the lake simply run together. In reality there is a retention trough across the back of the edge to catch the overflowing water and recirculate it back into the pool.
As you can imagine gunite is also the most expensive option for an in ground pool as well.
Design flexibility of gunite pools have always made them architects preferred choice in swimming pool construction. Durability and low maintenance makes gunite pools the #1 choice for commercial use. Cost is probably the main reason the gunite pool is not practical for many homeowners. If you're looking for freedom of design and fiberglass or vinyl liner pools just doesn't offer the features you're looking for in a pool, the gunite pool will surely fill the spot.

Gunite Swimming Pools

Some of the features available on a gunite swimming pool
Some of the features available on a gunite swimming pool


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