I live in NJ and have gotten different views on whether to install the pool patio with an expansion gap or directly connected to the pool. I'm looking to put in a Norwegian Buff patio without the traditional coping. The coping will be part of the stone patio so it would look seemless to the pool edge. One of the builders said the expansion gap is necessary or I run the risk of the patio moving and cracking the shell (as it will be permanently connected together). Another builder said the risks are miniscule and that he's never seen a cracked shell from doing it this way.
What are your thoughts? I like the directly connected method as it's better looking than the expansion gap. Has anyone experience a cracked shell from a directly connection patio shifting?
Also, my soil is mostly dense clay so I assume this will help minimize shifting of the patio.