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Thread: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

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    Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Our new pool installation is underway. My PB actually sprayed the gunite this passed Friday. I have experience pouring concrete and the like....but have no experience with gunite installation. I have a couple questions based on concerns from looking at the pool and have not been able to find a post that would answer my questions. Would appreciate your feedback.

    First off....the gunite installation looks much more rough than I expected. I understand, from reading other forum postings, that the gunite should be rough to help the plaster adhere. However, my concern isnt with it feeling rough, it is with how well formed and smoothed the edges of things like steps and ledges were formed. You can see from the pictures below that they didn't seem to put too much effort into smoothing out the edges of the steps, where the steps meet the wall, or on the edges of steps, seats, ledges, etc. I assume they plan on filling all of this with plaster. Is that a problem? Is this typical?




    Also....the slope of the pool did not end up being what we discussed/I requested. Our pool is only about 28' long....and we are doing 3' to 6'. I asked if there were any slope requirements in our area and they said no. So I picked an area i wanted for my shallow end and told them i wanted a fairly gentle slope of 3-4.5' in the shallow end....and then a much sharper slope of 4.5' - 6' (over a shorter distance) for my deep end. Instead, they just did a constant slope of 3-6; over the entire pool. This made the entire pool on a much steeper slope than I wanted. Is there an easy way to fix this? Can they spray new gunite on top of cured gunite or do they have to add additional steel and dowel into the existing?
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    I'll offer of my very uneducated opinion, as I'm a newbie here and am still in the process of construction. So I'm sure others will have more informed opinions, but I'll just say that from what I've seen in other's and my own build...the gunite can and will look very rough in alot of areas. I think the plaster that will be applied will be the finishing touches and smooth out the irregularities.

    No idea on the slope question though, good luck!
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Twolabs View Post
    I'll offer of my very uneducated opinion, as I'm a newbie here and am still in the process of construction. So I'm sure others will have more informed opinions, but I'll just say that from what I've seen in other's and my own build...the gunite can and will look very rough in alot of areas. I think the plaster that will be applied will be the finishing touches and smooth out the irregularities.

    No idea on the slope question though, good luck!
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Your guntie looks fine.

    Yes they can add gunite and bring up the shallow end. Depending on what you wanted to do they may or may not add rebar. I would have a talk with my PB about it.
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Quote Originally Posted by stuarbc View Post
    Also....the slope of the pool did not end up being what we discussed/I requested. Our pool is only about 28' long....and we are doing 3' to 6'. I asked if there were any slope requirements in our area and they said no. So I picked an area i wanted for my shallow end and told them i wanted a fairly gentle slope of 3-4.5' in the shallow end....and then a much sharper slope of 4.5' - 6' (over a shorter distance) for my deep end. Instead, they just did a constant slope of 3-6; over the entire pool. This made the entire pool on a much steeper slope than I wanted. Is there an easy way to fix this? Can they spray new gunite on top of cured gunite or do they have to add additional steel and dowel into the existing?
    I'll preface this with a "you probably won't like this" but maybe it will help others. On the slope, you may not have been given what you wanted, however, your verbal request was likely not the best way to address this critical issue of your pool. It should have been drawn out to show what the depth would be at various areas. I can easily see how a gunite guy would interpret the exact wording you used to give you the pool that they produced. I see an area in the shallow side of the pool that has a more gentle slope than in the middle (though it may only be for one to three feet lengthwise. Then there is a steeper slope in the middle. The deep-end is, well, a deep-end. I've almost never seen a pool shell here that has a slope that slopes and achieves its maximum depth right at the end wall. When people say the want a 6' deep-end for example, they want some actual usable area with that depth. I may be in the minority with my take on the shell slope but that's my thought.

    As for how to make it what you want, yes it can and has been done by people on here. They do use steel to tie into the existing shell and shoot more gunite. One thought though before you think about how you want to change it, make sure you are considering the actual water depth (i.e. mid-skimmer level) when deciding if you want something different than was delivered. I would expect you to bear the full cost of the change in slope, but I wouldn't let that stop you from arguing otherwise with the PB. Not to do so would be admitting you're wrong. At most I'd say you were not clear, which led to the misinterpretation.

    On the smoothness, while not great and probably rougher than normal, it's certainly in the realm of what is normally seen on here. And more importantly, not an issue as the plaster guys will work their magic and give you a beautifully finished, smooth surface.

    Good luck working through the issue with your PB. The most important thing is for you to be happy in the end, regardless of the money honestly (that fades away).
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Quote Originally Posted by bmoreswim View Post
    I'll preface this with a "you probably won't like this" but maybe it will help others. On the slope, you may not have been given what you wanted, however, your verbal request was likely not the best way to address this critical issue of your pool. It should have been drawn out to show what the depth would be at various areas. I can easily see how a gunite guy would interpret the exact wording you used to give you the pool that they produced. I see an area in the shallow side of the pool that has a more gentle slope than in the middle (though it may only be for one to three feet lengthwise. Then there is a steeper slope in the middle. The deep-end is, well, a deep-end. I've almost never seen a pool shell here that has a slope that slopes and achieves its maximum depth right at the end wall. When people say the want a 6' deep-end for example, they want some actual usable area with that depth. I may be in the minority with my take on the shell slope but that's my thought.

    As for how to make it what you want, yes it can and has been done by people on here. They do use steel to tie into the existing shell and shoot more gunite. One thought though before you think about how you want to change it, make sure you are considering the actual water depth (i.e. mid-skimmer level) when deciding if you want something different than was delivered. I would expect you to bear the full cost of the change in slope, but I wouldn't let that stop you from arguing otherwise with the PB. Not to do so would be admitting you're wrong. At most I'd say you were not clear, which led to the misinterpretation.

    On the smoothness, while not great and probably rougher than normal, it's certainly in the realm of what is normally seen on here. And more importantly, not an issue as the plaster guys will work their magic and give you a beautifully finished, smooth surface.

    Good luck working through the issue with your PB. The most important thing is for you to be happy in the end, regardless of the money honestly (that fades away).
    Appreciate the response. However, It was explained better to them than I described on here. Their computer program couldn't handle the design of the slope in multiple directions, so we discussed it during the pool layout. Exact spots were identified where I wanted the slope changes to happen. I found the drawing the concrete guys worked off of....and there were hand written slope notes that didn't match what we all discussed. I'm not trying to debate it...just letting everyone know that is was very clearly described and agreed to.

    That being said, I would not be surprised if we just end up living with it. Its not what I wanted, but its not horrible. The only thing I don't like is that the slope is pretty steep on one side of the pool and starts at like a foot off the steps. So I just worry about kids stepping off the steps on that side and slipping on the steep slope. On the other side, there is enough of a plateaued shallow end.

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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Yeah, to echo the other posts. The gunite looks fine (mine looked very similar) but the slope thing.
    Sounds like the expressed and results certainly weren't the same and I am not sure how well modifying the current results would be, not only that if you have a "tiered" ramp, stubbing toes and such could be an issue with the ramps being different heights (IMHO).
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    You would have had a better slope option if it were not for the tanning ledge. More room means a less steep grade. I never understood why people pick those ledges. I mean, it looks like a huge waste of swim space. But, I suppose they must get used because they are popular. But, in your case where space is a premium I would have opted to have the space for swimming rather than tanning since tanning can be done outside the pool or on a float. Sorry, not picking, just more curiosity.
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Glock View Post
    You would have had a better slope option if it were not for the tanning ledge. More room means a less steep grade. I never understood why people pick those ledges. I mean, it looks like a huge waste of swim space. But, I suppose they must get used because they are popular. But, in your case where space is a premium I would have opted to have the space for swimming rather than tanning since tanning can be done outside the pool or on a float. Sorry, not picking, just more curiosity.
    No offense taken. We know a few people that have them and they are a very popular spot for the younger kids. We dropped ours to 12" deep to make it a spot that adults could also lay around in. And at 12"....you can still set a couple Adirondack chairs or even a lounger. With the loungers we have, your butt will just be skimming the surface.

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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Quote Originally Posted by stuarbc View Post
    No offense taken. We know a few people that have them and they are a very popular spot for the younger kids. We dropped ours to 12" deep to make it a spot that adults could also lay around in. And at 12"....you can still set a couple Adirondack chairs or even a lounger. With the loungers we have, your butt will just be skimming the surface.
    Ah, I can see the sense in that. Good idea to deepen it but your beer is going to need to be a longneck on a thick coaster. lol
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Every person wants a different thing ... and that is ok.

    I agree that I see no real purpose of a tanning ledge. Kids grow ... fast. By 5 yo they are more likely to be wanting to swim everywhere than sit in 12" of water. And I can get a floating lounger instead of setting a chair in the pool.

    Additionally, 6' is an odd depth to me. It is too deep for an adult to stand in and too shallow to be jumping into. It does offer a small area for threading water if so desired, but in my mind stick to 5' so you can stand everywhere and don't allow jumping or make it 8+ so that you can safely jump into the pool.

    As others have said, the bottom can be regraded, possibly with added rebar, if so desired. Not sure who will have to eat the cost though.
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    I had the same issue as you. When the gunite crew came out, they explained to me, that the steeper slope does not work well with pool cleaners and also people find a sudden drop to be unnerving, even if YOU know its there and warn people, kids and people who are not good swimmers can get into trouble with a sudden drop if they forget about it so they recommend to do a gradual slope instead. At that point I okayed the change. My pool is 28' long too and really walking in it, it doesn't seem steep at all, I'll have to see how it feels when its full of water, but it should be deep enough to swim in all the way to the shallow end, not feel too deep for me (I'm short at 5'2") for at least 2/3 of the pool and 6' is deep enough to play dive games (as in swim dive to retrieve stuff from the bottom of the pool, not dive off the edge) and allow my tall husband who is 6'1" to feel like he can tread water for exercise too.

    I think you'll be happy with it in the end but if not, like others have said, they can always add gunite if they need to, although if you don't have the request in writing as part of your contract you might end up paying for it. Gunite crews tend to do what is standard unless expressly written - we had some special steps in our spa, and it had to be specified in writing, submitted to the gunite crew ahead of time for the office to make sure the crew understood what to do. There were also detailed plans on site for the shoot.

    Your gunite looks absolutely fine too, my crew came around a couple of weeks after the shoot with these huge chisel things and neatened up some of the rougher parts and cleaned out around the pipes and drains.
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Thanks guys. Regarding the depth....their standard was 5' and we requested the 6'. I agree that it is a slightly odd depth....but I am 6'6 tall and didn't want to always feel like I was scraping my feet everywhere. I figure at 6' I can actually tread water and/or be able to swim underwater without banging a knee or scraping a foot. I agree it will be an odd depth for most other people....but I'll be the one using it the most....and most importantly....paying for it!

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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Quote Originally Posted by stuarbc View Post
    Thanks guys. Regarding the depth....their standard was 5' and we requested the 6'. I agree that it is a slightly odd depth....but I am 6'6 tall and didn't want to always feel like I was scraping my feet everywhere. I figure at 6' I can actually tread water and/or be able to swim underwater without banging a knee or scraping a foot. I agree it will be an odd depth for most other people....but I'll be the one using it the most....and most importantly....paying for it!
    This. Great. We build/design our pools for ourselves. It doesn't really matter what other people think about what we have or don't have in them. Our pool is going to be 6'3 at the deepest, at 6'2 I love the idea of it. We also have a massive sunledge area with 3 bubblers. With a 14 month old daughter and another kid (or 2 if my wife has her way) planned, we figure it will get a lot of use. Might not do anything for the adults, but that's not the point.
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    Re: Concerned about gunite installation...questions and pics

    Quote Originally Posted by eweberdc View Post
    This. Great. We build/design our pools for ourselves. It doesn't really matter what other people think about what we have or don't have in them. Our pool is going to be 6'3 at the deepest, at 6'2 I love the idea of it. We also have a massive sunledge area with 3 bubblers. With a 14 month old daughter and another kid (or 2 if my wife has her way) planned, we figure it will get a lot of use. Might not do anything for the adults, but that's not the point.
    We put in a tanning ledge for the adults so we could put chairs in there. The biggest use of it is with the dogs who now live in that area!
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