Having a custom pool installed in your backyard can be a dream come true. Finally, you have a place where you can relax by the water and enjoy the exact shape, size, and depth of pool you've always wanted. With today's customizeable options, you can have anything from a slide to an in-pool seat. One decision you will have to make at the beginning is what material you'd prefer your custom pool to be made from. While vinyl and fiberglass pools do have their benefits, in most cases, you're best off opting for a custom pool made from gunite. Here's a closer look.
What is gunite?
Gunite is a type of concrete structure that consists of a metal mesh framework sprayed with concrete. When it is built, your pool installation team will first create a network of metal bars in the shape of your pool. Then, a special machine will be used to spray concrete over the metal framework. It will be built up until it fully covers the metal.
Why does gunite work so well for custom pools?
Vinyl and fiberglass pools are generally made off-site and then installed into a pre-dug hole. It is tough for the contractors to make sure the hole is perfectly sized to the pool. There is a lot of measuring and careful planning involved. Gunite pools, on the other hand, are made on site. This is so much easier when you have an oddly shaped, custom pool. As long as the hole is dug in the proper shape, the contractors can then just "fill it in" with the metal bars and concrete spray. There is a lot less room for error.
It's also very easy for contractors to create custom elements, like steps, seats, and inclines, when working with gunite. If you ever decide you want to add a new element to the pool, it will be much easier to do so than with fiberglass or vinyl since these pools can't typically be modified once they're built.
Gunite can also be finished in most any color you please. After the concrete is applied, your pool contractors will apply a final layer of plaster, which can be colored to your preferences. Again, if you ever change your mind about the color you want, you can have the pool re-finished with a different color of plaster.
Are there any downfalls to gunite?
Gunite pools tend to be a bit more costly than vinyl and fiberglass pools, though this is partially because the people who choose them tend to request more intricate designs than are possible with other materials.
The other main downfall of having a gunite pool installed is that you'll have a pool contracting team in your backyard for a while. Since the pool is made on-site and the concrete must harden before the plaster layer can be applied, you can expect them to be working on the pool for at least a week -- often two. In contrast, a pre-made vinyl or fiberglass pool can often be set up in a day or two.
How much will a gunite pool cost?
Costs vary widely depending on the size and shape of pool you choose. In general, you can expect to pay between $50,000 and $100,000 for a custom-made gunite pool. To get a better idea of your exact cost, start contacting pool contractors in your area and ask for some estimates. The more detail you give them about what you want, the more accurate a quote they'll be able to give you.
Gunite really is a great choice if you're in the market for a custom pool. It's durable, easy to modify, and can be customized to most any style.