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Thread: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

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    Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Any rough idea of cost for converting from vinyl to gunite (in new england)?

    Should I make it a plain rectangle instead of this shape?

    FYI the main part is 40x20, it's heated and salt water, and I plan on replacing the brick with bluestone or similar.
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Converting vinyl to gunite will likely cost more than a new gunite pool. You might find a builder who would tackle that but I doubt it. Most will want to come in and tear out the vinyl pool and then install a new gunite.

    That's a beautiful pool that looks well taken care of.......why are you thinking of switching?
    Dave S.
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    We like the look of gunite much more, especially with the bluestone and grass we want to replace the decking with. It's also good for house values in this area. The expectation with nicer homes is a gunite pool.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    I can not imagine that it would be cost effective to switch to gunite for aesthetic and house value reasons ... you would likely be looking at around the cost of installing an entirely new pool.

    You are aware that you can get vinyl liners in many different colors? ... from tan, to blue, to pebbled, to black. Likely you will be able to achieve the look you desire by just switching to a different color custom liner.
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Latham offers a trutile liner that even has ceramic tile at the top of the vinyl.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Like the others have said, the cost would likely be about the same as building a gunite pool from scratch. When it comes to real estate values, there is going to be little difference in the selling price for a vinyl pool vs a gunite pool in most markets. In fact in many markets you will get little or no additional value for having a pool at all, and loose as many perspective buyers as it gains. I know personally if I were in the market for a house and had two identical choices where the only difference was a vinyl vs a gunite pool, I would pick the gunite, but would not pay much of a premium for it (maybe an extra $5,000 - $10,000), but I am a pool person, and many / most home buyers are not.

    Ike
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Ike. You're probably right on value. For added context though, this house is in a unique market (high end summer homes) where pools are highly desired and gunite is considered standard. Which is why we feel compelled to do it. Also, we much prefer the look and finishes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    Like the others have said, the cost would likely be about the same as building a gunite pool from scratch. When it comes to real estate values, there is going to be little difference in the selling price for a vinyl pool vs a gunite pool in most markets. In fact in many markets you will get little or no additional value for having a pool at all, and loose as many perspective buyers as it gains. I know personally if I were in the market for a house and had two identical choices where the only difference was a vinyl vs a gunite pool, I would pick the gunite, but would not pay much of a premium for it (maybe an extra $5,000 - $10,000), but I am a pool person, and many / most home buyers are not.

    Ike
    13.5k gal, IG plaster, DE, Pentair 4060, 6lbs DE, 3 hp Pentair Vari-flow, Auto water make-up, Cover Pools Automatic Safety cover, Hayward Navigator vacuum, LED light.

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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    What is interesting about this is I have seen several cases where I'm looking at houses with existing pools to become a pool owner. If I saw a place that had a ready to go swimming pool that looked this good even if it was made out of vinyl I would keep it and operate it as is in that it looks in great shape. Personally if I had a pool that was in this good shape I would add a green house or a large sun room to it to give it year around use if it was in a northern area otherwise I wouldn't do anything to it expect basic repairs to it.


    In terms of replacing a vinyl pool with gunite I have seen several houses where they had vinyl pools in their backyards where they where very old and ripped up and looked like they hadn't been in use for years. If I had a junker pool where it needed to be torn out I would gut the pool and rebuild it with gunite and during the rebuild I would make it a little bigger.

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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    It all depends on what you want and what your goals are, if it is effectively improving the value of the house, then there are more effective ways, replace decking, change the coping on the vinyl pool to one with cantilever stone, perhaps add the tile top style liner as mentioned above. Then spend the $30-40,000 more you would have to spend on gunite with some other improvement, add a sunroom, or an aquashield style slide off pool enclosure. However if you just want a gunite pool and don't mind spending the money then just do it.

    Ike
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Welcome, Petecon! We recently began the renovation of an existing gunite pool, and explored the option of reshaping the pool to a simple rectangle with autocover. It was cost prohibitive for us, and essentially the difference was between a $35K basic reno and a $60K extreme reno. I would guess the allocation was about $10K for the autocover portion of the bid, so about a $15K-20K cost just in reshaping the pool. That would not account for the amount that it would cost to convert vinyl to gunite, but might help you gauge a little bit for the reshape. In our case, it was sort of "once you have the gunite truck out, you might as well get the tanning ledge, bench, swimout, etc. you might want" as there was somewhat a baseline cost to just get started and every little thing didn't double the price once they were there.

    In our area, even the basic reno of $35K for our large pool is comparable in price to building a brand new smaller pool. Just a case of more square footage and more materials making a much larger impact. In our case, we could probably build a smaller pool (if we had the room) for about the same price or less, but not actually demo the existing pool within that budget. In hindsight, I wonder if buying a house with no pool and building a smaller pool someday would have been more economical, but c'est la vie!

    In your case, I would suggest starting to get some bids, and ask builders for two bids - a basic and "extreme" remodel and see where you end up. I wish I had required a standardized list of our reno must-haves to have builders use so I could compare all apples to apples, but as I met with each one, new issues or considerations were raised or ironed out so the bids all vary slightly in scope, even though I gave them all the same sketch and list of items to work from.

    If you do not have the funds to completely change from vinyl to gunite, I think one thing that would really change the look of your pool would be to change from the cantilevered coping to a regular coping (like the bluestone you mentioned). In my mind, that is more consistent with a gunite "look" so might help you get the look you envision. One of my favorite styles of pool is bluestone coping with grass right up to it (a very Cape Cod style, which I think is what you described) but my husband nixed it for mowing purposes. We even looked at artificial grass, which would have solved the mowing issue but in our climate, a perpetually green lawn just isn't natural so we went back to a concrete deck.
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Thanks for sharing your experience MiaOKC. Helpful and interesting. And yes, that grass and bluestone look is what we envision, which is also very popular in the Hamptons (not too dissimilar from the Cape).


    Quote Originally Posted by MiaOKC
    Welcome, Petecon! We recently began the renovation of an existing gunite pool...
    13.5k gal, IG plaster, DE, Pentair 4060, 6lbs DE, 3 hp Pentair Vari-flow, Auto water make-up, Cover Pools Automatic Safety cover, Hayward Navigator vacuum, LED light.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    If you plan to own this home for a long time and you just want, want, want a gunite pool then go for it. If you plan to hold on to the home only a few years and want to go gunite to raise the home value then I would advise you not to do it. The cost to remove the old pool and build a new one is likely much higher than the value a gunite pool adds to the home. Odds are you will lose money on the deal.

    In a high end house I would want a fabulous outdoor kitchen and entertainment area with high end decking or stone work and beautiful landscaping and a nice pool house with a full bathroom. You may want to look into adding things like that to raise value and sell-ability.

    You can also talk to a realtor and find out much value the changes you want to make will add to your home and decide whether those changes would be a good investment.

    Ultimately it is your house. While it is wise to keep resale in mind when making changes you should create the home you want to live in now, not the home you think someone else is going to want 5 years down the road.
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    Yes, Hamptons style is gorgeous and definitely one of my inspirations for our remodel (our house is a Cape Cod Dutch Gambrel style - in the middle of Oklahoma, it's somewhat unusual!). If you find yourself unable or unwilling to convert the pool to gunite after you get some preliminary estimates, I definitely think the coping will be key to achieving a good copycat look. The white rim around your pool is one of the more obvious things that points out it is vinyl, IMHO, but things can be done to update vinyl to a higher end look. This is a quick search for bluestone coping with vinyl pool. Looks pretty close to gunite look to me! http://www.minoguebros.com/photoview.as ... 4&photo=46 And this houzz link talks about disguising a vinyl liner under a coping a little bit. Cannot copy pics from houzz to here, I guess, but I did a whole ideabook that I shared with my PB so he knows what we want to do. Very helpful!
    http://www.houzz.com/photos/20817/Schap ... l-new-york

    Please keep us updated on whatever you decide. I love remodel threads!
    35,000 gallon gunite pool, semi-T-shaped, 29x15 shallow end and 16x22 deep end, built in the mid-1970s and renovated 2013-2014 // Polaris 9300 Sport robotic cleaner // Taylor K-2006 ... Learning as we go and so grateful to everyone here for their help! Our reno thread

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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    You can remove your existing decking go to a poured cantilever coping or do a bluestone cantilever then have a trutile liner put in that gives you the gunite appearance without the extreme cost of removing an existing pool and building from scratch. It will cost you as much to replace the liner with gunite as to build a new gunite pool. There are alot of advancements in vinyl so look at renovating with a knowledgable vinyl builder. You might be surprised
    Over 30 years in the pool business
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    +1 what swimcmp said.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Convert vinyl pool to gunite? Change shape?

    We just recently bought our house and are in the process of adding a pool, which was much more than we anticipated but all of the PB were in approximately the same ballpark. I talked to our realtor prior to signing the papers regarding resale and she indicated that you pretty much eat the cost of a pool. However, as zea3 said, outdoor living areas and outdoor kitchens will make your money back and then some. She said most of those that she had seen here in the DFW area that had installed the gas grills, refrigerators, granite or stone countertops were seeing 100 - 150% of their investment.
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