We have an approximately 22' x 44' gunite/plaster in-ground pool that was built in 1999 (so it's about 15 years old now). The plaster in the pool is not in bad shape, but about 5 years ago, when we opened the pool after winter, we noticed that one of the decking sections near the deep end had lifted up slightly and one of the coping bricks in that area had cracked slightly and tiles started falling off (both near that area and also around the hot tub which is at the shallow end). Since then, tiles have started falling off at various places.
We've had several pool builders look at it, and have been told that we need to do a complete renovation including replacing all of the coping, tiles and re-plastering.
According to one builder (the one that we mainly use for our maintenance (not the original builder)) the problems are because the coping and the tiles were not "properly" installed, and they are now "hollow" (he went around the pool and tapped on the coping and tiles and that made a "hollow" sound).
So, we are faced with doing a full renovation, and wondering about which surface type to use (plaster, pebbletec, etc.).
Doing some research, I actually would prefer to just re-plaster. I don't care for the darker colors and also have seen references about the rough surfaces, etc. with pebbletec, and I like plaster.
The questions I have are:
1) Is it true (or not true) that if the new coping and tiles are installed properly when we renovate (with plaster) that "normally" we wouldn't have problems with the tiles falling off? Is tiles falling off a "normal" problem with an older pool?
2) Assuming that the new coping/tiles get installed properly and we don't have problems with falling tiles in the future, but say we have to re-plaster at some point, can the pool be just re-plastered WITHOUT having to re-tile and replace the coping?
3) In general, what would be reasonable cost for such a renovation (just ballpark, for a sanity check)? FYI, we are in Virginia.
I guess that, in general, I had always assumed that re-plastering was something that gets done at some point, but I am surprised that we also have to re-do the coping and the tiles at the same time.