Gunite shell durability

Belldiver

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2007
344
0
Lafayette, Louisiana
#1
Hi folks!

I'm very seriously considering self-contracting my pool build. I've spoken to several PB's in town and have not gotten what I would consider a very good response. Very high bids and a tough time getting return calls. I guess they have enough work that they can do this right now. I have a friend that is doing the same in town and has accumulated a list of subs by himself and is halfway through a build right now. He has an (approximate) 900 sq ft IG-Gunite shell in the ground with the rough plumb/electrical completed and only has about 12K into it so far. It took the subs about three days to accomplish all of this... He's looking for tile/coping and finishers right now. He's a bright guy with alot of local contacts.

I'm considering pulling the trigger on my build within the next month and taking my chances. The cost savings will be immense. Even if I have a few delays or screw up ordering some equipment or finish/tile, I'll still come out way ahead. I've done alot of research and understand the basics of the gunite shell with regard to bond beam/shell thickness/rebar/plumbing. It will the same shell that any PB in the area would build. I'll just have to accept the warranty. I work construction myself...just not pools...

My question is...how long can I leave the bare gunite shell in the ground without a proper finish and full of muddy/slimy water over the winter if I have delays getting it all tiled and finished/filled. Will the muddy water cause problems for the finishers when it comes time to clean it and apply the plaster (or pebble)? Can I fill the bare gunite shell with extra water to insure I don't have a pop-out issue if I do have delays? Can I add chlorine and/or other chemicals to keep the slime to a reasonable level without concern for the final finish adhering to the gunite?

I'm not counting on any huge delays, but because I'm doing this myself, the possiblility exists. The winter season in south Louisiana should not cause any real delays. We won't get any real freeze issues, just a little extra rain, so the water table is my only concern. If I get this going now, instead of in the spring/summer, I'm guessing I'll have an easier time scheduling the subs too...

I'm sure I'll be documenting the whole thing here and asking lots of questions.

Thanks for any responses. I'm getting anxious to get this going over the fall/winter so it's ready in the spring!

Jim
 

DLSDO

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2007
330
0
Midwest
#2
My PB bored a 6" diameter hole in the deep end with the gunite. This is specifically placed to prevent pop up during the time after gunite and before filling. It also kept the pool empty so no swamp prior to plaster. In addition we have 2 main drains and 2 wellpoints. This is standard for my PB. We do not have any issues with a high water table.

If you end up contracting the project yourself would you please post the build here. I would love to follow the progress.
 

Belldiver

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2007
344
0
Lafayette, Louisiana
#3
dlsdo,

Where are your wellpoints and how were they dug/maintained during the build? Were they a few feet away and monitored? or were they just a separate hole dug for the initial construction and immediately filled in? I'm also interested if anyone ever installs a permanent (but sealable) drain in the bottom of the pool to allow water to enter if the pool ever needs to be drained for maintenance so you don't have to bore another hole in the shell.

I may have water table issues here in Louisiana and fully expect to have muddy water in the shell most of the time to make sure it stays down. Pop-out is actually the only thing that worries me at all about self contracting, so I want to do everything I can to insure against it. I know the gunite crew will leave a hole at the bottom, but I may take it a step farther and have them put some gravel under the deep end to make sure the clay doesn't block the hole.

I will absolutely document the build here. I've learned so much already from the TFP family, it's the least I can do. I'll likely have plenty of questions as I go along too.
 

carlos31

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2007
104
0
Central Texas
#4
belldiver,

I am also building a pool over the winter and was intending to leave the shell until the spring. However, I did find one article on the Internet which advised against this.

http://www.ppoa.org/print_plaster-fail.htm

This article should be of interest to those who need re-plaster work or repairs. I assume it applies to all IG pool finishes except tile and fiberglass. Unfortunately, tile seems expensive and I don't know anything about fiberglass.
 

dschlic1

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 5, 2007
560
0
62
Valrico, FL
#5
I am having a PB construct my pool. The drain fittings he used (two of them, local regs) have an opening to the ground below the pool. These openings have a NPT pipe thread that accepts a PVC pipe plug fitting. He left one of them open until he started to fill the pool. You could do the same thing. I do not know the make or model of the drain fixtures.
 

Belldiver

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2007
344
0
Lafayette, Louisiana
#6
Carlos,

Interesting article. It seems to counter what all the local pool builders claim, that the gunite shell should cure for at least 3-4 weeks before finish coating is applied. I think I'll have to conact the finish manufacturing company and get their opinion on that timeline.

dschlic,

I never thought of a simple NPT pipe plug. You could just bury a perforated pvc drain below the gunite in some gravel and run the plug in before the fill. It would be nice to find something aesthetically pleasing though.

Thanks all...

Anybody else???
 

cobra46

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2007
467
0
Rocklin, Ca
#9
Small world.

The machine I am designing is likely to be used by your company soon. In fact, one of your managers was in my office a few days ago.

Regards,

Kevin