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Different Types of Pools

  Tips about the variations of swimming pools.

Please remember - when in doubt, consult a proffesional in order to avoid damage to yourself, other swimmers and equipment!

Different types of Pools

In Ground Pools

    In Ground Pools typically come in one of three main types, concrete, vinyl and fiberglass.  In todayís market, almost all types of pools offer a wide range of options and come in all price ranges.  For example, finishes, water features and hot tubs are available for all types of pools.  Generally, any type of pool is ideal for some situations and most likely acceptable in any situation.  For every situation there are pluses and minuses to each type of pool.  It is also important to note that not all types of pools are equally available in all locations.  In some markets there may be a six month waiting list for one type of pool and a 20% price premium as well.  It is a mistake to go into the pool purchase process determined to pick one type of pool over another or unwilling to make design decisions based on availability and price.  It is also important to be open minded about design options.  The best way to understand the advantages and disadvantages for each type for your specific situation is to speak to the experts.  

Concrete Pools - Gunite or Shotcrete Pools

     Concrete pools are often referred to as Gunite or Shotcrete pools.  The terms gunite and shotcrete primarily refer to the application process of the concrete to the poolís steel structure.  Basically, gunite in pumped in the poolís steel skeleton and shotcrete is sprayed into the poolís steel skeleton.  

     Concrete pools can be finished with plaster, pebble aggregate, colored plaster, polished marble, glass bead, painting and/or tile. To some degree, concrete pools do offer more design flexibility because by their nature they are custom built.  Popular additions to gunite pools (and pools in general) include spas, rock or step waterfalls.  Concrete pools can take a while to complete, typically between 8 and 12 weeks.

Vinyl Liner Pools

     In Ground vinyl pools are typically reinforced steel or other material wall pools with vinyl-liners inside the walls. The walls are prefabricated and locked into place on site.  Once the hole is dug and the walls are in place, the vinyl liner is applied to the pool.

There are a wide variety of pre-fabricated shapes of vinyl liner pools, some types are so flexible that almost any custom design is possible.  Vinyl liners come in many patterns as well from the single color or fancy design.  While the vinyl liners are very strong, reasonable care must be taken to maintain a puncture-free liner.  These pools can usually be installed quicker than concrete pools.

Fiberglass Pools

     Fiberglass pools are typically one-piece fiberglass shells that are manufactured off site and shipped to the pool site.  Once the hole is dug and leveled, the fiberglass pool is placed into the hole.  Installation is usually quicker than other types of pools, although similar to vinyl installs.  

Above Ground Pools

     Above ground swimming pools can be an economical swimming pool solution for swimming pool buyers that are looking for an inexpensive, quick swimming pool.  In addition to being relatively inexpensive, above ground pools can be installed quickly either by a professional above ground pool installer or by do it yourselfers.  Above ground pools can be hard sided or soft sided.  Typically hard sided above ground pools are constructed of fiberglass or metallic materials.  The hard sided above ground pools are typically more expensive and more durable than soft sided options.  Above ground pools can also be soft sided, typically constructed out of latex, rubber or a similar material.  These types of above ground pools are typically economical and start at under $100.   Intex pools which are a popular soft sided above ground pool start at under $100. Prices on above ground swimming pools go up from there from a few hundred dollars for the smaller, simpler pools to thousands of dollars for hard sided above ground pools with decks and more.  

     Todayís higher end above ground pools are legitimate options for some people that have their heartís set on in ground pools.  For people with slanted backyards, or split levels above ground pools may wind up looking and feeling like in ground pools.  

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