What are the differences and advantages of a gunite pool over a liner or fiberglass pool?
Fiberglass have limited designs and limited sizes. The most permanent pool you can build, the most structurally sound is a gunite pool. From an engineering perspective, there is no better pool than a gunite/shotcrete pool and it will be the least expensive pool to own over time. Gunite pools are also always customized. Even something as “simple” as a kidney or a rectangle is customized in terms of items like stairs (where, how many, how large), swim outs, depths, light locations – everything. And there is no charge for custom designs; if you can draw it we can build it. A fiberglass pool must be small enough to be transferable by a truck and lifted into the backyard with a crane (or similar). And do not be fooled by all you read on the internet. Gunite pools DO NOT need to be drained regularly. Any water chemistry issues associated with ANY pool will affect gunite, fiberglass or liner pools. For the most years of trouble free ownership, there is no choice but to have a gunite pool. If one looks at all hotel, campground or any other type of commercial pool, pools that are built to last over time and give a “return on investment”, they are almost always gunite. With fiberglass, non-level pools are VERY common. If that’s OK, then don’t worry about it. But the base must be PERFECT before the crane lowers this pool in. It will sit nicely without the weight of the water but once you add the water (water is HEAVY) it may settle in an uneven fashion. This is a huge concern. The fiberglass can blister. Dark spots will occur. Manufacturers state that they have “pretty much eliminated that issue”. But not completely. Maintenance is NOT trouble free as some say. One still needs to “follow our guidelines” according to the largest manufacturer. So, water testing, water balance, and all the “stuff” that we educate a customer about still applies with fiberglass pools. The fiberglass benefit of “impervious” to algae (not true) and chemicals (not true) require that it is slick and slippery. Like a liner pool.