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Thread: potential new pool owner - which is best gunite/fibreglass?

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    potential new pool owner - which is best gunite/fibreglass?

    Hope this doesn;t set off a firestorm as I've seen varying views on other sites.

    Also, I'm in the Marietta, Georgia area - currently getting quotes from 2 gunite and 1 fibreglass pool co - can anyone recommend a good company out here?
    Also, please warn of bad ones!

    Thanks
    Eric
    15000 Gal (I think) Gunite In-ground. Cartridge Filter. SWG.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Welcome to TFP!
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    You're done SLAMing when:
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    Joyce, I gotta admit that that was a very non-committal response -but still a very nice welcome

    Maffe, I second Joyce's welcome to TFP!!!

    I can't say anything about Ga. builders, but will comment a bit on the types of pool you are considering.

    Gunite/ shotcrete lets you have just about any shape/ size you'd care to have - fiberglass pools have many styles but no way to customize one to meet your desires. I've never installed nor bought a fiberglass pool but they've gotta be at least 1/2 the $ of a similar 'crete pool. The chemical balance requirements are probably more demanding for a plaster pool (I'm honestly not very knowledgeable on fiberglass pools ). A crete pool usually takes a month+ to install, whereas a fiberglass pool can be installed in 1 day(after the prep-work is done).

    You've got to ask yourself if the extra $ for a gunite pool is worth it. Ask yourself how you plan on using the pool and if you need something customized for the way you want to use the pool. Take into account the $.

    The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to go with an installer that does quality work and stands behind the finished product!!!!!!!!!! I feel that any pool will fit the need to go in, get wet, cool off,and swim a few laps - the company you hire to build the pool will be the MOST important factor in getting the pool installed (once it's in, we'll help you keep the pool trouble free )
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    [quote="waste"]Joyce, I gotta admit that that was a very non-committal response -but still a very nice welcome

    quote]

    Hey, Waste (Ted) Who you callin' non-commital I resemble that remark! See if you get a birthday card this year! :P JK I just wanted to welcome the folks and not get involved in the pool preference! Thought I'd leave that to those who eiher work with pools professionally or have made a decision on what kind of pool to build. You know, we bought a house that had a pool - so, no decisions for us on that! btw, Waste, thanks for all your help on TFP
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    I used Neptune Pools and would recommend them.
    Gary
    21k gal SW, IG Gunite PebbleSheen, 1HP Jandy, Jandy 340 filter, Polaris 280, 17' fiberglass slide w/ 2HP pump.

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    Eric, please excuse the 'playful asides' !! This forum has a bunch of 'regulars' that know each other from sharing threads/ helping each other/ commiserating over shared pool problems. It's been a long winter for us and the 'play' is just our way of 'renewing' our ties. Even though we may 'play' with each other in the posts, we are all committed to providing the BEST help we can for any question. In the welcome we gave you was the invitation to join in the fun

    I sincerely hope (!) that the that Joyce and I did does not 'turn you off' of this site I know that I was unable to fully answer your question, but I gave you the best advice I could, given my very limited experience with fiberglass pools
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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    As for your original question....which is better?

    Sorta' like comparing lions and tigers....similar, but not quite the same.

    Fibreglas is limited in size selection, somewhat more prone to stain possibilities. Conversely, it has a very nice "feel" to the surface, perhaps the least troublesome to install.....most start-ups are virtually flawless and, generally, a little less money than gunite.

    Gunite has unlimited design possibilities, strongest, most permanent installation, etc. Most obtrusive interruption during construction.

    So, the answer is there really is no answer. It depends on which type best suits your situation and budget.

    There are other benefits and detractions I have not mentioned but all of them, including those above, are certainly not deal-breakers but more like "features" which you should consider.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Folks,
    Thanks for the replies. Hopefully I'll get a couple more from people that have actually used pool companies in the atlanta/Marietta area.

    Eric
    15000 Gal (I think) Gunite In-ground. Cartridge Filter. SWG.

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    Fiberglass was until recently the most expensive type of pool you could get but the price of 'crete has gone through the roof so it is now a cost effective type of pool. IMHO, they are the best kind IF you find a shape and deign you like. (San Juan pools probably has more different models than any other manufacturer, including ones with beach entries, tanning ledge, negative edges, and built in spas) but that is not usually THAT big a problem.
    Fiberglass a non reactive surface so water balancing is MUCH easier and chemical consumption is much less. Also the gelcoat last quite a long time so maintenance costs are lower over the years (no vinyl liners to replace, no acid washing and replastering. These are all normal maintenance for both vinyl and 'crete pools and either will cost in the thousands when they need to be done. Liners are usually good for 7-12 years and acid washing is usually needed every 3-5 years and replastering about every 10-15),

    The ONLY reason I would suggest 'crete is because you want or need a custom design (perhaps your space does not allow you to put in a fiberglass pool) or because you are so far from a factory that the shipping costs on the fiberglass pool become so great that it's just not cost effective.

    As you can tell I like fiberglass, which is why I has one installed, and have not regretted it. It can give you a pool that is much more maintenance free.
    Algae does not stick to the surface like it can with 'crete so it is even less of a problem.

    There are really only 2 downsides to fiberglass. One is that it is more prone to staining, particularly iron staining but removing the stains are fairly easy. vitamin c takes care of it! (I do need to treat my pool yearly to keep it stain free.) The second is that fiberglass pools CANNOT be drained without special precautions and maybe bracing since they can either pop out of the ground (but so can 'crete pools) or they can deform and warp. However, vinyl pools can't be drained completely either because the liner will wrinkle! In actualy use this is very rarely a problem since the usually reason a 'crete pool is drained is to acid wash, replaster, or paint. None of these are needed witha fiberglass pool.
    Finally, some people object to the white color of most fiberglass pools but then again if you look at my avitar you will see that the water looks blue even though the pool is white (And if you put in color changing lights the night time effects become spectacular!) remember that many people do use white plaster in 'crete pools. Also, many fiberglass manufacturers are now making colored gelcoat on their fiberglass pool so this is becoming a non issue for those that WANT a colored pool (personally I prefer the white).

    I can also tell you that my customers with fiberglass (AND vinyl) pools have much more stable water chemistry and fewer water balancing issues than those with 'crete pools.

    Here are some pics of my pool.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Hi Maffie and welcome. I have had a liner pool and a fiberglass pool and by far prefer the fiberglass pool. The gunite pool is not much of a option in my area so I will leave that one alone. Waterbear covered the fiberglass pool very nice but I would like to talk about installation. My exp. was I had to supply the permits and the electric for the pump. The pool builder supplied me with all the cross section drawing's of the pool and how the plumbing would have to be run including the pump and filter size. I just had to add how many feet from property line's, well and septic tank. obtaining permits was very easy and I did the wiring also and had to show the plan for permits. My pool builder did all the rest except the fence and I did that. My glass pool is blue and is holding up to the sun very nicely but I don't get near the sun you would get in Georgia. It took three days to do the prep and finish the pool. My pool builder was a family operation that built the pool, installed the pool and sold the pools. All brothers and sisters and have had the business for over thirty years. The install of my pool went perfect. If you can find somebody like this go for it because there is no sales tax charged in a operation like this and is a very big savings. I like Waterbear think fiberglass is the way to go there is to many horrible stories about sub contractors out there but maybe we just here about the bad ones and people don't post about the good. What ever you choose good luck with the install you will love your new pool and the great memory's that it will bring to your family.
    Good Luck
    Ric W.
    Ric W
    My Pool
    8605 gal fiberglass, 3/4 hp pump, sand filter, aquabot cleaner, heat siphon heat pump, tiger river(sumatran) spa

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