West coast east coast construction differences?


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 29, 2010
Buckeye, AZ 85326
It seems to me that there is a pretty big difference in the way pools are constructed from coast to coast. Out west most pools are shotcrete and plaster. It seems on the east coast most pools are ABG, vinyl or fiberglass with the exception of Florida and in the middle of the country the construction process seems to be split. My guess is that its climate based? Any insite would calm my wandering mind :hammer:


Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2010
Stephens City, VA
Living in the midwest I actually see a trend from North to South as well. Seems many more above ground the farther north you go and it mixes southward, and then like you said in the southern.

It's economics related to climate considerations, IMO. We bought the house and it came with the pool...so we had no choice in what we ended up with.

We open our pool in April. We aren't swimming until late May. We swim until just about after labor day and we're done with it as nighttime temps just get down too far unless you have a heater. And I'm closer to Kentucky than I am Michigan so our weather is rather mild compared to my family closer to Michigan. I'm going to think long and hard about investing 10s of thousands of dollars into an inground that I can only use on the high side...5 months of the year that really doesn't increase the value of my home and CAN be a hindrance to it's future sale.

Likewise, if I lived in a climate where the pool was open all year, even if a couple months too chilly to swim, I'd have the full out inground with built in spa and who knows what else because I'd use it or at least enjoy looking at it all year. We spend a good 5 months of the year inside here. Not the case in warmer climates.

I'm sure there's construction considerations related to the climate, but I'm the bookkeeper of the family, not the builder so I look at it from an economic standpoint.


LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2009
Northern Middle Tn.
I could have built a house for what it would have cost me to have a concrete or shotcrete pool here in Tn. I would say it would have been 60-80K :shock: I went with a FG cause I live out in the country with a lot of varmits. :) One raccoon, groundhog, or possum in a vinyl pool would be the end of it. :shock:


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 29, 2010
Buckeye, AZ 85326
Lana537 said:
I'm still wanting to know the difference between gunite, shotcrete, and dry gun.......

I keep forgetting to ask Simicrintz that question.....

I'm pretty sure gunite and shotcrete are the same but I'm not sure about dry gun.


Gunite is a somewhat generic term (like saying Coke or Kleenex) that applies to the material used to shoot a swimming pool (or various other things, like brow ditches, for example). Shotcrete is technically gunite, but it is a special concrete formulation with "slump" properties which allow it to be built up on pool walls. Shotcrete typically tests out at 3,500 PSI or greater, but is somewhat "brittle". The shotcrete outfit I uses often tests out at 5,000 PSI or greater!

Dry gun is sand and cement that is pumped dry through the hose and mixed with water at the nozzle. The "nozzle man" can control the amount of water that he adds to the mix. Dry gun seldom reaches 2,000 PSI, and is easier to "cut" than shotcrete, making a more aesthetically pleasing rough finish to the eye, whereas shotcrete is rougher in texture. Plasterers don't care what they finish over, and the roughness of shotcrete is actually a bit better due to its rough nature. Dry gun can have dry pockets of material, if the nozzle man is not paying attention; not good!

Here, we see very little dry gun anymore. Our sand is round, and you cannot stack round sand (try stacking marbles sometime!). You need angular sand for good dry gun mix, as that will stack. All of our engineering is predicated on dry gun and its strength, but since it is expensive to truck in the angular sand, most everyone has switched to shotcrete here. Typical cost to shoot shotcrete here is about $225.00 a yard, placed. Typical pools run $12,000.00 to $15,000.00 in shotcrete costs alone!