Brand New Here...trying to decide on pool type

balubalu

Member
Jul 31, 2020
5
New Jersey
I feel like all my research keeps taking me in circles, so I'll ask here..

1. What makes gunite a "high end" pool as opposed to fiberglass or vinyl liner? What do I really get extra ? I am looking to get a pool thats about a 20x40 rectangle , so the shape flexibility means nothing to me

2. In terms of maintenance, which pool type is
A. More forgiving ,
B. Least expensive


I live in New Jersey..I hear the part of the country makes a difference
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,365
NY
Hey balub and Welcome !! If your neighbors all have gunite then you probably need it too for resale value. Like anything else of value, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Vinyl is considerably cheaper to install and needs a ~$5k liner every 7-15 years. In the northeast they may use concrete or steel walls under the vinyl.

Gunite will typically last 15 years but cost up to $15k to resurface.

Both pools are equally wet.
 

balubalu

Member
Jul 31, 2020
5
New Jersey
Hey balub and Welcome !! If your neighbors all have gunite then you probably need it too for resale value. Like anything else of value, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Vinyl is considerably cheaper to install and needs a ~$5k liner every 7-15 years. In the northeast they may use concrete or steel walls under the vinyl.

Gunite will typically last 15 years but cost up to $15k to resurface.

Both pools are equally wet.
Thanks for the quick reply...I know at last 2 of my neighbors have vinyl liner pools. I know about the cost differences, but what extra benefit am I actually getting if I get a gunite pool? I know why first class on a plane costs more than economy for example, but the only advantage I keep hearing about a gunite pool is that its "high end" , as if that means anything in and of itself..
Looks like you have a 20x40 liner pool..I am guessing you have no complaints?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,365
NY
I keep hearing about a gunite pool is that its "high end" , as if that means anything in and of itself
Exactly. Some people *have* to have a particular countertop, car, pool. And good for them if it makes them happy.
Looks like you have a 20x40 liner pool..I am guessing you have no complaints?
I will be building it again after I move. Maybe even bigger.
looks like I posted int he wrong section
Well you are 'just getting started', so there's that :)
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,365
NY
Actually I would like to modify my answers. The gunite pools typically favor the form while the vinyl favors the function. You can go over the top with colorful glass tiles and build a gunite pool that is an amazing wonder to look at. We chose to get a much larger pool for swimming as opposed to a smaller pool for admiring. (For the same budget)
 

Kellyp

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
107
Acworth ga
As New dude already mentioned, a big factor is what your neighborhood has, you will want to try to stay consistent. I belive liner pools are more popular in the northeast because of frost heave issues. They are not popular with dog owners because the are much easier to puncture, and while cheaper than concrete or fiberglass, a liner replaced more often because of you beloved pet, gets expensive.

Fiberglass is the smoothest finish, as well as the quickest install, but i have been reading quite a lot lately on this board of problems with the gel coat getting milky and the only solution being hand sanding! Fiberglass has to be trucked to you on the highway and so have size limits, i don't believe they can offer 20 feet wide.

Concrete is the strongest, will last the longest. You can customize to your hearts desire if you have the funds. Plaster is very smooth and pebble finishes, which last even longer are beautiful and make a more natural looking pool.

Yes, in the end they are all wet, a lot of work, and more than worth it.

Here in the Atlanta area my quotes on 20 x 40 with swg, and comparable equipment,, were all within $10,000.00 of each other, with fiberglass being most expensive. All of my neighbors have gunite, so that nailed our choice.
 

jberger

Member
Jul 9, 2017
6
Alabama
We have been having the same discussions as we plan our new build.
I grew up dealing with a gunite pool and that's all our neighbors had as well, so I didn't deal with anything but gunite and didn't know any different.

Our last neighborhood was full of fiberglass and liner pools and that's what made us reconsider our options, I loved those pools. I would take care of the liner pool next door when they were out of town and thought it was much easier based on my memories of brushing rough plaster pools and my feet were not raw after playing with the kids the pool all day. We like the idea of fiberglass but we can't get the width or the benches we want in a fiberglass model so that was out.

I can certainly understand why liner is considered the "cheap" option if you go with white plastic bullnose, steps, etc. but you can dress up a liner pool to look very similar to a gunite pool and have a lot more money left over for the rest of the pool area. With borderless liners and covered steps, I'm not sure anyone but pool geeks can tell a difference and I'm not sure anyone else would care. The only thing that gives us pause on the liner, damage from the dogs when they escape the fence and go for a swim.

Based on our initial estimates from builders, we can get exactly what we want in a large liner pool for around 40% less than an equivalent gunite build, and about 15% less than a fiberglass unit. That's not going to lead to an overall cheaper project, it's just more money we can put in all of the goodies around the pool.