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Thread: How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

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    How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

    Assuming the same depth, what is the more relevant cost driver, linear feet perimeter or square footage of pool surface?

    Our current design is a 100LF/600sqft free form. We are looking at alternative designs, including a rectangular/geometric design which is significantly bigger from a LF perspective (115LF) but almost identical from a sqft perspective. Our large sun shelf (9x12) is a big driver of the extra LF. Throughout the design process the tweaks we made to expand LF have cost us about $225 per LF.

    Should I expect to pay the $225 per LF for the extra 15 feet or should I argue it is the same sqft? It seems sqft would more accurately drive builder costs (dig, gunite, diamond Brite). Also, should the LF associated with the shelf cost the same as LF of pool perimeter? There doesn't seem to be nearly as much builder cost for 6-9" of gunite.

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    Re: How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpiebk View Post
    Assuming the same depth, what is the more relevant cost driver, linear feet perimeter or square footage of pool surface?

    Our current design is a 100LF/600sqft free form. We are looking at alternative designs, including a rectangular/geometric design which is significantly bigger from a LF perspective (115LF) but almost identical from a sqft perspective. Our large sun shelf (9x12) is a big driver of the extra LF. Throughout the design process the tweaks we made to expand LF have cost us about $225 per LF.

    Should I expect to pay the $225 per LF for the extra 15 feet or should I argue it is the same sqft? It seems sqft would more accurately drive builder costs (dig, gunite, diamond Brite). Also, should the LF associated with the shelf cost the same as LF of pool perimeter? There doesn't seem to be nearly as much builder cost for 6-9" of gunite.
    I'm working with several builders and it seems the perimeter feet is what drives their cost more than square footage. This makes sense to me as the amount of re-bar, gunite, coping, etc scale relative to perimeter feet. I was also told that gunite companies have a surcharge/additional charge for sun shelfs/tanning ledges. I would expect that you will pay more if you increase the perimeter feet even if the sq footage is the same.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

    It is the same amount of gunite and plaster whether it is a foot deep or 4 feet deep. The vertical wall is just on the other side of the shelf instead of under the coping. And the floor of the pool is the same amount of space as the floor of the sun shelf. All PB's charge by linear foot, not square foot. It is best to optimize the layout. Although, I don't see how you could add a lot of linear feet without also adding square feet unless it is a lazy river or something.
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    Re: How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

    Thanks. What you are both saying makes a lot of sense. Not sure why I wasn't thinking about it that way. I think the quoted square footage had me thrown off as well. I'm wondering if my PB had the sun shelf included in the sqft from the original design but not the new geometric design. I'll see what they say.

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    Re: How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

    Our builder charged by surface area only. However then in return we could get all the extras we wanted at no extra cost, swimouts, sitting benches, sun shelfs. I am sure we paid higher than average per square foot but it was nice to get as many extras as we wanted.
    To be built Spring 2016. 750 sq foot gunite free form. Raised spa with spillover and dedicated pump, 16 foot fiberglass slide built into hill with bolder steps, approx 1,000 sq foot stamped concrete deck, Pentair VS+SVRS pump, Sta-Rite 400,000 btu gas heater, Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter, Pentair Intellichlor IC60 SWG, Pentair Intellichem, Pentair Easytouch, Rapids 4WD pool cleaner, 2 LED Intellibrite lights.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

    There isnt an industry standad or buiilder standard. But most builders base their 'starting point' on perimeter feet. From there, upcharges and options be added to determine the final price.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Re: How do dimensions impact cost of gunite pools?

    Based on my limited experience, the PBs I talked with seem to use linear feet or square feet as a shortcut for pricing. The shotcrete company we used simply charged by the cubic yard, and it didn't matter whether the shotcrete was being applied to walls, benches, floor, or raised wall for water features. In my area (Tucson, Arizona) pool builders really compete on price at the low end and probably make very little profit on a basic pool, and instead make money by upcharges for any extra benches, tanning ledges, etc., even though there isn't really much added cost to the PB to add the extras.
    Owner Build. 32x16, with 6x8 raised spa. Broke ground April 1, 2016, swimming July 18. Pentair Intelliflo VS + Whisperflo for Water features; Clean & Clear Filter 420; Master Temp Heater 400k BTU; Intellibrite 120V pool and spa lights; Regular ol' plaster.

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