Materials and Construction
Thanks to high tech materials and installation procedures, most homeowners can turn their pool dreams into reality in a matter of weeks. Your builder will be able to give you more information on the type of material best for your region and budget, but read on for a general guide to what's available:
Concrete and Gunite
Concrete and gunite (a type of reinforced concrete) are the strongest, most stable pool construction materials. They range in price depending on geographic location, type of landscaping, and design complexity.
Concrete and gunite are sprayed over a framework of steel rods and wire mesh then coated with plaster to give the pool a smooth, paintable surface.
Vinyl lined pools are generally less expensive than gunite and offer a smooth, non-porous surface that does not stain easily. They are popular in colder regions of the country because they can be quickly drained and covered in the winter.
Polymer or steel walls are bolted and fastened together on concrete flooring. The vinyl liner is spread over the floor and paneled walls and connected to the top of the walls by a vinyl rib at the outside edge of the liner. Construction time is usually one to three weeks. Generally, vinyl liners must be replaced - their lifespan depends on pool usage and geographic location.
Fiberglass pools are preformed and, like vinyl pools, have a non-porous surface which does not stain easily. Fiberglass requires fewer chemicals than concrete pools and does not have a liner.
Fiberglass pools are manufactured in a factory to your specifications. Once your yard has been excavated, the pool is delivered in one piece and installed. Construction time is generally 3 days to about two weeks.
Note: If you live in an earthquake-prone area, it is possible for fiberglass and concrete to crack under the pressure of moving earth (each can flex about two feet without sustaining major damage). Talk to your builder about which material will be best for your pool.