Evaluating PBs right now and...

Garet Jax

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
Jul 3, 2012
Bel Air, MD
A couple of them tried to differentiate themselves through their building process. To be 100% honest, my eyes glossed over and my brain shut down when they did. Do I really care if they use shotkrete or gunite? Do I really care about the other differences or should I just choose the PB I feel most comfortable with and let them do their thing?

[EDIT]ok - let me ask another question - what factors are important for me to use to differentiate one pool builder from another?

I have evaluated fiberglass vs vinyl vs concrete and have decided that concrete is the way I want to go[/EDIT]


LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
Jul 14, 2011
San Diego, CA
My take -- Some of the details you can leave to the pool company, but at the end of the day: you are the one that is going to have to live with the result of what is built for however long you own the house, most pool builders contract out or have cheap workers do most of the work and only come around occasionally to supervise/review - so the more you know, the better you may be able to catch any issues early, and lastly don't bother selecting any pool builder that you aren't 100% comfortable with at the time of signing the contract. Building a pool isn't anything near just signing the document and suddenly a pool shows up in the backyard tomorrow. You'll have months of construction in the yard, dozens of decisions to make as things come up, and when done....even the best pool builders will have some issues after pool is started that will likely need to be resolved to make you comfortable with your pool. For us, it was a year long process here in SoCal. I'm glad that it took my time and went over everything before selecting the builder.

As to specifically, gunite versus shotcrete, my pool builder said that for all intensive purposes it doesn't matter. He could do either. Gunite take more experienced installers but has additional flexibility - shotcrete is meant to be easier to install in a manner that has less risk to the eventual strength of the pool shell. Odds are that your pool builder is going to contract this out to some third party regardless. Who your pool builder contracts out to is more important than which tech is used.


Well-known member
Jul 2, 2011
Broken Arrow, OK (Tulsa)
Just some more thoughts on selecting a PB:

Visit their office. You may be able to get a better feel as to whether they'll still be around in 5 years...and 10 years.

Look closely at their payment schedule. Ideally, the best would have a large final payment...many try to get by with a small final payment, leaving you little leverage if something's not right.

Look closely at what services they provide after the pool's done.

Compare what they provide and what they don't. For example, some pb's include electrical work in their bids, and some don't.

Ask for references...not only of pools they've recently completed, but also of pools 3-5 years old.


Silver Supporter
May 20, 2012
I liked looking at construction photos when interviewing PBs. If they do sub everything out, are they always using the same subs? A company that builds many pools at a time may need to use multiple subs, so which one will you get when it is time for your pool? Or do they keep the number of pools going at one time to a manageable level? How often is the PB at the site overseeing?

I liked looking at the excavavation, are they leveling and trimming or just shooting gunite into the hole the excavator dug? What does their steel look like? I have seen some construction photos with just one strand of rebar in the beam, a three bar or 4 bar box beam gives me a better feeling. Is all of the plumbing buried below the shell or is it laying on top of the dirt with the steel over it? Again, don't know how much real world difference these things make for longevity and durability, but I like seeing a PB that is detail oriented and taking care of all of the "little" things.