Homeowners who are looking to transform their backyard with an inground swimming pool will find that there are 3 main options to consider. While pools can be constructed out of many different materials, you’ll find that most pool contractors throughout the United States primarily construct either Vinyl, Fiberglass, or Gunite pools.

There are advantages and drawback of each type of swimming pool. We’ll go over the basics of how these pools are constructed and give you some insight as to which pool will be perfect in your backyard depending on where you live in the country. Let’s take a look at how swimming pools are made.

Gunite / Shotcrete Pool

Gunite pools are fantastic for homeowners that want the permanence of an inground pool and the flexibility to construct it in any form they please. Gunite pools typically last longer than any other type of pool and offer more versatility in terms of customization. The look of a gunite pool is unmistakable and denotes luxury. It’s no wonder why these pools are found in the backyards of high end homes across America.

How Gunite Pools Are Made

An excavation crew will typically dig the perimeter for the pool area. A work crew will then outline the entire perimate with wood forms and then begin constructing the steel understructure using rebar. The structure and design of the pool can be literally any shape you can imagine.

Once the rebar phase is completed a second crew will come in to shoot Gunite or Shotcrete through a high pressure hose to form a rock hard pool shell on the walls and floor of the pool. Once the curing process is finished, a plaster or aggregate finish can be applied to the interior of the pool alone with tile and coping.

Gunite Pools are most popular in California, Texas and Florida. The price range for an average sized Gunite Pool starts at around $35,000 with deck in most parts of the country.

Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools are extremely popular with homeowners due to how easy they are to install in comparison to gunite or vinyl pools. Their ultra smooth interior finish is extremely desirable as the pool walls and floor feel better on hands and feet than Vinyl liner pools and Gunite pools.

How Fiberglass Pools Are Made

A fiberglass pool is typically cast in a mold at a factory. The large one-piece shell can be transported cross country by truck. Once it arrives at it’s destination at the homeowners residence it’s then positioned into the excavated hole using a crane.

Unlike Vinyl & Gunite pools which can be constructed into any shape, there are a limited number of shapes and variations. Steps, spas, and benches are usually pre-formed. Fiberglass are typically more costly than Vinyl pools and less expensive then Gunite (this may vary on where you live in the country).

After about a decade or so of exposure to pool chemicals and the sun, the interior fiberglass glaze will deteriorate. Resurfacing a fiberglass pool can be costly, so it’s definitely something homeowners should consider.

The price range for an average sized Fiberglass Pool starts at around $30,000 with deck in most parts of the country.

Vinyl Pools

A vinyl liner pool is a swimming pool can be constructed above or below ground. A vinyl pools metal or plastic frames are typically set into an excavated hole to form an inground pool.

How Vinyl Liner Pools Are Made

Building methods vary throughout the country, but the following is the general process for constructing a vinyl pool. Prefab supporting walls or panels made of plastic, steel, or aluminum are joined to the frame, making a form that is then lined with heavy vinyl to form the pool shell.

The pool floor sits on a bed of sand or other material, while the top is held down by the coping, which creates a finished edge and also acts as a border for the pool deck.

Out of all 3 types of pools, vinyl pools deteriorate the fastest. With longtime exposure to the elements along with pool chemicals. Some liners come equipped with fungus and UV inhibitors, which can extend the life of a vinyl liner from 10 to about 18 years or so.

The price range for an average sized Vinyl Liner Pool starts at around $22,000 with deck in most parts of the country.