Questions & Answers

Most commonly asked questions

About Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass swimming pool shell is like a huge portable Jacuzzi tub. Although that huge tub has no equipment connected to it. That why its called a “Shell”. 

The fiberglass swimming pools are made with the similar compost materials just like the fiberglass bouts are being made except with the different process. 

Fiberglass swimming pool shells that we sell are made by word leading fiberglass manufacturing companies that they manufacture these pool shells  throughout the states and abroad. 

This huge swimming pool shell is delivered in one large piece by commercial truck with the oversize signs and with combination of a few extra pilot cars for extra security on the road. When the truck with the pool shell reaches the job site or lets say your backyard, then the crane is ready to unload that pool shell from the truck straight into your backyard. Usually the hole for the swimming pool needs to be ready before the truck comes. And lets not forget, you have to have the permit for the installation of the swimming pool from your city before you put the swimming pool shell into the ground. The permit process may take up to 3 weeks. So think about the pool permit first or let your pool contractor deal with it.

Your pool contractor starts connecting pipes, lights, pump, filter, heater, electrical panels and other features just like he would do with any gunite pool.  Usually it takes about a few weeks for the fiberglass pool to be completely installed. 

About Gunite Pools

There are three main types of swimming pools.  Fiberglass pools, vinyl liner pools and gunite pools.  Gunite pools are made with the concrete right at the backyard.  That means the hole for the swimming pool is excavated, then a thick structural wire bended to mimic the shape of the future pool, then the pipes are installed and the concrete sprayed to create the desired shape of the pool.  After the concrete is completely dry, perhaps after 24 days, then the plaster is apply to the surface of the cement pool. This thin layer of plaster makes the raw concrete smooth and protects so that water would not leak through the concrete.  For the home owners who like the pebble finish look, contractors apply sticky tiny pebble mix instead of the plaster. 

In Northern Utah, the gunite swimming pool walls needs to be approx. three times thicker then in Southern states where is no winter freezing conditions. Therefore gunite pools in Northern UT are approx. three times more expensive. 

Building a gunite pool in your backyard may take up to 3 or more month no matter what the sales pitch from the pool company says.  The completion of the gunite pool depends on the weather conditions, the ground conditions, the access and the most important is your budget. You may ask, why your agreed pool budget has something to do with the completion of the gunite pool? According to city building permit department, many gunite pool projects take more than 6 month to complete and some simply left abandoned because gunite pools often dramatically exceeds the agreed pool installation budget. So, please get in writing from your gunite pool contractor who will be responsible for all unexpected extras. On the other hand by choosing a Fiberglass pool instead of a gunite pool is everything simple and budget stays the same, because the fiberglass pools are made at the factories where the process and the price stays the same. 

Imagine the situation, that you are at work and your gunite pool builder keeps calling you from you backyard that he needs more money because your pool requires more cement then he originally thought, that he needs more money for the rebar because inspector asking for it, that he needs extra money because his plaster subcontractor is not available now but for more money they would come and so on.  On the other hand this would never happen with the Fiberglass swimming pool. No Fiberglass manufacturing company calls you and says that they over estimated price for the manufacturing of your fiberglass pool. This is one of  the huge differences between the gunite vs fiberglass pools. 

So  as you can see, building the gunite pool requires a lot of effort to complete the pool and there are a lot of uncertainties along the way. Therefore it is very important to select not only the right gunite pool builder that you could trust but the most important is to put every detail into the contract of what ifs and who is going to be financially responsible for those unexpected ifs.

The average gunite swimming pool in Northern Utah cost approx. 90K. In comparison the same look gunite pool in TX would cost 30K. Although there is a huge difference between UT and TX gunite pools. In TX or other southern states the gunite pool concrete walls are about 4 inches thick because there is no winter freezing conditions that could damage the concrete. Although in northern Utah because of the freezing winter temperatures, the pool concrete walls must be three times thicker about 12 inches thick with extra metal rebar reinforced to prevent the concrete pool walls from cracking. So its like putting 3 pools in one pool. That why the price of the gunite pool becomes three times expensive.  

The maintenance of the gunite pool is much more expensive and complicated  than to maintain any fiberglass pool. It requires constant water ph balance check and almost continuos water filtration, because the concrete contains some metals and alkaloids that escapes into the pool water. The biggest maintenance expense is the fight of the algae and bacteria grow on the porous gunite pool surface. 

Another gunite pool disadvantage is the large utility bill associated with the constant water filtration and gunite pool heating. Some future gunite pool owners not realizing that by heating the pool and the gunite spa constantly, the bill might be hundreds of dollars a month. 

So by having a gunite pool in Northern state requires an extra budget for maintaining and running the gunite swimming pool.

We do have experience of building gunite pools in Utah, but we will talk you out of this mess no matter who is going to do it.  We provide all types of stone masonry around the pool. If you undecided what type of pool you would need, then the best advice would be not from us and not from any other pool contractor. And not even from the internet search.  In our opinion the best advice regarding which type of pool is the best for you is by asking  any pool owner who already has a pool for at least a few years.  Try to find who has a gunite pool and then who has a fiberglass pool and ask what they like about that particular pool and what not. If possible touch the surface of those pools with your hands and feel the difference. After talking to various pool owners you will be asking the right questions of your potential pool contractors and you wont have the same, perhaps crucial mistakes that those pool owners had.

We do not sell and we do not install vinyl liner pools because of the huge liability associated with the pool liner breakage and leakage for various reasons. Even if the pool liner has a 20 year warranty it could be damaged the very first day by the dog which tries simply to  get out from the pool and ripping the liner with his feet.  For these reasons vinyl pool contractors trying to use an extra thick liner to prevent the liner from accidents of the sharp objects. But the liner is simply a rubber which will be susceptible  to sharp objects anyway, ether if your kids are playing with the sharp toys or something sharp falling into a pool. If the liner pool is with the salt water system, then even if the pool leakage is small, the salt water will  compromise the structure of the porous concrete underneath that supports the liner. So then not only the liner needs to be changed but the entire pool bottom concrete might need to be replaced. Another issue with the vinyl liner pools if there is a presence of the ground water beneath the pool. The ground water eventually starts pushing the liner up from the bottom and the liner starts floating. This is actually one of the answer to the vinyl liner pool owners why their pool liner is floating. Another answer could be that the pool is already leaking and the escaped pool water starts pushing the liner up from behind.  So what are the pros of the vinyl liner pools?  The real advantage of the vinyl liner pool is the shipping and packaging. The vinyl liner pool kit could be shipped easily from anywhere in the world. In Northern Utah the complete vinyl liner pool installation with the cover runs around 55k.  So its not a very cheap proposition keeping in mind that these pools have a high risk factor.  Check with your insurance agent to see if the vinyl liner pool will not effect your home owners insurance.  To better understand what is the vinyl liner swimming pool in other words is the above ground rubber pool that its been put into the ground to make it nice. So this gives you the visual understanding of the value that you would be spending for this type of pool. Is this rubber pool going to last for 20 years? Perhaps yes …… if nobody uses the pool. In our opinion the vinyl liner pool could be used as a gentle fish pond but not as the active swimming pool. Hopefully we are wrong and perhaps there are some good success stories about this type of pool, unfortunately we have not found any good story yet from anybody who used this type of pool for at least of 5 years.  

Gunite pools are made with the concrete. Yes, we do install gunite pools, but let me cast a few shadows about gunite pools. Some people say with proudness that some day they will have a gunite pool. When I ask them why gunite and why not a fiberglass pool? Some get confused or insulted for a minute and some say that they need a real pool and not a fake pool. Some people in Northern Utah say that they are looking for a fiberglass pool because they can not afford a gunite pool, but if they would have a larger budget they would definitely would go with the gunite pool.  All this notion to me is some type of chaotic hypnosis and complete disorientation. So, lets try to sort it out. First at all the concrete is made with various ingredients as well as the fiberglass. So what’s the difference? The difference is huge! Its all about what material is designed to hold the water the best, because the swimming pool is all about safely containing a huge amount of water in your backyard. Oh, really? Containing water? … yes yes,  you immediately may start to think about barrels and plastic containers, the ones that you could store the water for emergencies!  But why not some type of concrete containers? Yes you are right, they are heavy to transport, but what if someone builds for you a concrete container for your emergencies so you could drink water when you need it, would you choose the concrete instead of the plastic? Of course you would never use the concrete container for water because in about a week inside the concrete container starts growing algae and bacteria and it would be tremendous effort to scrape that algae and bacteria out of that concrete container without some chemical usage. So why would you choose the concrete pool to hold the water instead of the plastic?  Some may say its last longer and that they have a large budget to pay for cleaning the concrete pool walls all the time. The budget is okay, but is it really concrete outlasts the fiberglass? Actually this was not a question, because at the wasteland field workers bury the concrete without any problem, because after 40 years the concrete loses its strength and starts detonating into the gravel but to bury plastics or fiberglass its another story. Plastics do not dissolve under ground by itself and it could stay for hundreds of years. So, there is a wasting time discussing about the longevity … the answer is obvious.  And we already learned that the water starts stink quickly inside the gunite/concrete pool, so no wonder why filtration equipment for the gunite pool must run constantly by dramatically increasing utility bill. I am not even talking about trying to heat a gunite pool in Northern states and hoping that your utility bill will not take your daily breakfast away.  On the other hand the fiberglass pool contains the fresh water of the pool very nicely not letting the algae and bacteria stick to the pool walls, therefore everything goes effortlessly straight into the filter, therefore chemicals becoming not necessary for the fiberglass pool … did I start talking about free maintenance pool which happens to be a fiberglass pool? You guess it right! But who cares about what happens later, because most of the people want the pool now  … without taking the time to inform themselves what to expect when someone starts the pool and most importantly, what to expect when the pool is done. But what a joy to me when I see informed customers who already did at least some research on various type of pools. Am I against the gunite pools? No, because gunite pools brings more money to a pool builders because of a lot of labor involved. I always inform my customers what type of music they will be facing after the pool is done. So what is the benefit of having the gunite pool? None … Sorry, perhaps there is one which is … that you could make any shape of the gunite swimming pool you like, but it does not mean that you will be enjoying the costly repairs of the gunite pool, dramatic maintenance and high utility bills. For that reason the fiberglass pools are all about fun, saving money and time. I have not seen an unhappy fiberglass pool owner yet, but I seen a lot of unhappy gunite pool owners despite who build the gunite pool for them.

About Boulder Retaining Walls