New Pool Build Estimates/Comparison - Are we missing anything?

MeowMeow724

Active member
Jun 2, 2019
30
Destin, FL
Hello!
We are in the process of meeting with builders, getting quotes and deciding what we want to do. To say we are overwhelmed is an understatement... :oops: I am seeking advice/input to make sure we cover all of our bases and don't miss anything.

We've quoted gunite and vinyl. There has generally been about a $10k difference between the two with gunite obviously being the most expensive. We like that we can do a sunshelf and different step/bench styles in the gunite but aren't sure that's worth $10k to us. In general we plan to use the pool as a hangout/relaxation spot, float around, and maybe some exercise.
Both material types have their pros and cons, and I think we understand most of them. The turnoff of gunite for us is the extra $, but also that it sounds like more maintenance, and because it's porous it sounds like there would be more chemical usage and temperature loss. We understand liners will need to be replaced, but gunite will also need to be refinished and at a higher expense. But gunite also adds more to property value, and likely home buyers may like gunite more-- but we have no idea at this time if we'd move out of our house or if so- when we would.

We are meeting with one of the companies Thursday to hash out any final questions, and waiting to hear back from the other to do the same. We also still have one more meeting with another vendor tomorrow, so we will see how that goes.

Given the attached estimates - one set being way more detailed than the other of course- are we missing anything to consider for equipment, add-ons, details, etc.? These are each a vinyl and gunite quote from 2 companies.
I have added some specific items I want to ask about onto two of these as well.

Thank you for any advice, suggestions, input.. we are very grateful!
 

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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,296
Chapel Hill, NC
Well, I'm biased but I'd bite the bullet and go for the gunite pool. They are not porous and I don't think there's a significant difference in maintenance or ongoing costs. Vinyl liners last about 7 years or so, while a good plaster job should last 20. I'd always be worried about anything puncturing/tearing the liner. And for resale, I don't think a vinyl pool is anywhere near as attractive as a vinyl pool
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,255
Tucson, AZ
Chemicals and maintenance are virtually identical between the 2 pool surfaces. You still have to test the same things, although there are a few more things to keep an eye on for the plaster.

General:
Make sure floor drains and skimmers are plumbed separately to the pump with Jandy Neverlube (or equivalent) valves to control them ... don't let them use cheap ball valves anywhere.


Vinyl_estimate & gunite_estimate:
Filter seems small
Aqua-rite says 20,000 gallons, but then lists the T-15 which is a 40k cell ... get confirmation and get the T-15
I would never get a pressure side cleaner that has a booster pump ... very inefficient because you have to run 2 pumps. Ditch and get electric robot.

VINYL_POOL & GUNITE_POOL:
Where are the details?
Ditch pressure cleaner
What size SWG?
This filter is double the size of the above which is good
 
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MeowMeow724

Active member
Jun 2, 2019
30
Destin, FL
I would never get a pressure side cleaner that has a booster pump ... very inefficient because you have to run 2 pumps. Ditch and get electric robot.

VINYL_POOL & GUNITE_POOL:
Where are the details?
Ditch pressure cleaner
What size SWG?
This filter is double the size of the above which is good
-I am not sure what details are needed?
Vinyl is approximately 16x32 - the vinyl one that says "freeform" has confused me so I am waiting to confirm what that means. We want something like "mountain pond", which is what the other vinyl quote is for.

-Regarding the pressure cleaner-- that is what was recommended to us because of our trees. We have a couple laurel oaks and we think a water oak that drop leaves and acorns.

-SWG-- I think is "salt water generator"?

Thank you for your input- I appreciate it :)
 

MeowMeow724

Active member
Jun 2, 2019
30
Destin, FL
Well, I'm biased but I'd bite the bullet and go for the gunite pool. They are not porous and I don't think there's a significant difference in maintenance or ongoing costs. Vinyl liners last about 7 years or so, while a good plaster job should last 20. I'd always be worried about anything puncturing/tearing the liner. And for resale, I don't think a vinyl pool is anywhere near as attractive as a vinyl pool
Valid point on the liner.. we just have to decide how concerned we are about that.

Gunite is not porous? Everything I have found online has said otherwise. Things I have read say you waste more chemicals, heat loss, have to wash the walls down often because of it being porous, etc. Hmmm. This is why I am posting here because I am not sure what I find online is for "modern-day" gunite/vinyl or old info that is moot. :) Thank you!
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
506
Alamo, CA
One estimate says
System includes:
Polaris vac sweep robot
Polaris booster pump
A Polaris which uses a booster pump is neither a vac nor a robot. It is a pressure-side cleaner. These have largely fallen out of favor. I have one and it works OK for me because my pool is covered most of the time. The 280 is a mid-line cleaner. The 390 and 3900 may prove more durable. I replaced my 280 with a 3900 and it's definitely an improvement.

If you're not married to the free-form or pond shape and can live with a rectangle, I recommend a motorized safety auto-cover. It'll keep that oak debris out of your pool, minimize evaporation, and preserve chlorine. It'll also keep critters (and children) from falling in and drowning.

I agree with the above that the quoted filters, e.g., the Pentair 320, are too small. Get at least something the size of the Pentair 420. The smaller the filter, the sooner it will fill with debris, and the more often you'll have to clean it. I replaced my 420 with a 520 and I could go a year between cleanings.

A gunite pool is not porous. Gunite is the concrete under the pool surface. Pool plaster is applied on top of the gunite, It's quite waterproof.
 

Uncle Salty

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2017
292
South Carolina
Like everything they both have their pros & cons, I have vinyl but it was either that or fiberglass as no builders near me do Gunite or we would have gone that route for sure. As others have said dump the pressure cleaner and purchase a robot on your own as they’re cheaper and cost virtually nothing to run and will do a better job keeping your pool clean.

Salty
 

MeowMeow724

Active member
Jun 2, 2019
30
Destin, FL
Thanks all! Very helpful :)

On the robot/vacuum situation.....
It was recommended to me by a friend to get a "plumbed vacuum". What does that mean... and is that what I have on the estimate with the booster?

I am a little embarrassed to say that I thought the robot/pressurized vacuum somehow got plumbed in/wired in and that is why I kept it on our quotes. I assumed the pool builder had to do something/set something up to ensure it was ready to go for a vacuum. But I can buy them much cheaper myself it seems. When hubby looked up the vacuums he said that the price made more sense because of the booster, rather than a vacuum by itself. I am clueless on this...

So, if I wanted a pressurized vacuum, because of oak leaves.. what one do you suggest? And I literally just buy the vacuum and hook it up/stick it in the pool? :oops:
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,255
Tucson, AZ
Review the article above. I think you are using terms interchangeably.
When we say "robot" we mean an electric robot that you plug into the wall and put in your pool. It is not attached to your pool's plumbing in any way.
When we say vacuum or suction cleaner we mean the vac is attached to your pool's suction line and the debris is pulled into a strainer and your filter. This would not be good for a lot of leaves.
What you have on your quotes are the pressure side cleaners which are attached to a special plumbing return line to your pool. The water entering the pool drives the cleaner around and the debris is captures. This would certainly be better for you than a suction cleaner, but an electric robot will clean faster and better and not require you to run 2 pumps that are using a lot of electricity.
 

Chickinvic

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2017
215
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Well, I'm biased but I'd bite the bullet and go for the gunite pool. They are not porous and I don't think there's a significant difference in maintenance or ongoing costs. Vinyl liners last about 7 years or so, while a good plaster job should last 20. I'd always be worried about anything puncturing/tearing the liner. And for resale, I don't think a vinyl pool is anywhere near as attractive as a vinyl pool
I think the liner we are just having changed in our inground pool is 30 years old - just saying lol. It is still functional, but not as pretty (we've only owned the house less than 2 years, so the old liner wasn't our fault). I think 7 years is pretty frequent for liner changes, although I know they can sometimes wear out that quickly. I'm hoping for about 12 years from this new one and I'll be happy. Maybe because here in Ottawa the pool is only used about 5 months per year and then winterized might help protect the liner from constant UV exposure?
 
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