Yes. You will lose an average of one foot on each side of the pool because of the thickness of the gunite wall. My recommendation is to check the referrences of the contractor. Make sure they've done this kind of work before, and ask to see one, or more, of their conversions. Also, the costs involved are about the same as having a new pool installed... you're not saving a significant amount of money just because you already have the hole in the ground. Good Luck.
Dear Theresa, there are a lot of advantages for those who appreciate innovation and comfort. This kind of pools are a new technology mostly in steel and concrete structure with vinyl liner in different qualities. The liner has better behaviour with high temperature changes,the pool structure is auto-portable this means that a soil movement won't afect it, it's faster set up, the liner is easier to clean, the liner is easier and cheaper to repair and also replaceable (new pool! new design!), liner is more comfortable for the step, and you won't think in fixing ceramic tiles or painting the pool every year,... The selection of your pool should also take in consideration the right equipment for the volume of your pool (heart of the pool). Good luck! Xavier
Gunites are nice because of the "free-form" designs that can be generated. They are solid vessel structures made of a reinforced steel cage sprayed with high pressure gunite, then coated with plaster, or tile, or combination of both. They're great in hot wether areas such as Arizona, Texas and California.
However, as mentioned in the previous answer, todays vinyl liner pools are more agile when exposed to extreme weather fluctuations. Vinyl liner pools have developed a bad rap over the years due to poor materials, or craftmanship, of many kits in the early years (70's and early 80's). But, technology has made its mark on today's vinyl pool kits. You can get walls made of high-grade galvanized steel or thick, honey-combed polymer walls that are strong enough to handle the pressure of a Hummer rolling over them. Todays floors are usually made of vermiculite (an oatmeal-like aggregate) mixed with portland cement. Suggestion: opt for dual-track aluminum coping. The lower track for the liner to snap into, and the upper track made for optional fiber-optic lighting. Even if you don't want the lighting right away, you'll have the receiver for it pre-installed incase you want it in the future.
The above answer has some incorrect information in it. The Polymer, honey-combed, pool walls are NOT strong enough to withstand a Hummer driving over it. Polymer (structural foam) panels are about as strong as anything else made out of plastic.. that's what they are... plastic. If the above information is true, I'd love to see a video of it.
Gunite is a type of cement mix used in the walls of the pool, whereas a vinyl lining is just a layer on the walls, generally used for waterproofing purposes.
So, either of them will do, but my personal opinion is that using a lining is always better (hence vinyl lined pools are very common in England and other countries)
From my experience (two time 30 year gunite pool owner in Virginia and in Alabama) A vinyl pool will cost you about $10K-15K, and a gunite pool about $20-$35K. I put both my gunite pools on a second mortgage, which lets me enjoy it for about $200 per month. After about 10 years in a house, I have been able to pay off those loans with re-fi's (appreciation in value covering it) My pool was about $34K for a 58,000 gallon pool, 20x42 with diving board, heater, etc.
Not so simple though, as we all know that there are near costs and far costs--the maintenance on a gunite pool is relatively speaking, much less. You will puncture your vinyl liner about once every 1.5 years...costs about 2K, hopefully your homeowners will cover--they allow so many replacements over so many years.
Another factor is the chemicals--gunite buffers many alkaline and acid characteristics which the inert vinyl liner does not. The result is that you will continually be adding those chemicals to your vinyl pool...but after the 2nd year or so, all you will really need to add to your gunite pool on a weekly basis is chlorine.
Gunite is also much nicer for look and feel and allows for cool step and swimout designs without much added expense. Vinyl has a few options to shape and form, but not much.
Gunite Downside: After about 10-15 years, you might need to sandblast or re-plaster your gunite pool, at a cost of about $10K.
Most folks here in Alabama can't afford anything but vinyl. In Northern Virginia, it was the opposite--if you didn't go gunite you just put up a 12' kiddie pool! I would have tried vinyl, except the fear/hassle of punctured liners--just couldn't take coming out in the morning to a half-empty pool/mud pit. Some folks aren't bothered by that, but I guess I have an aversion to leaking water!
For a gunite pool, may I recommend Anthony Pools--tremendous nationwide chain with quick installation and great quality/warranty.
Glad I did: Didn't worry about making too much of a shallow end--instead made 5' on shallow and 12' on deep. We had four small kids when they put it in, but the kids have grown and are now teenagers--no one would like the typical 3 1/2 foot shallow end now and it just wastes usable pool area. Extra deep end for diving board, my wife's insistance as she is a nurse and sees lots of pool injuries, and the kids/friends all love diving (safely). Glad our pool guy put in 2" water lines, not the 1 1/2 as typical. What a difference in water flow! Glad we put in two "benches" to sit on in deep end--nice resting place for unsure deepend swimmers and lovebirds alike! Also glad didn't do slide--just a maintenance problem. Nice concrete margin around pool--min 8' and 12' on house side. Oh yeah, a polaris pool cleaner is a must, as is an automatic chlorinator. I literally do nothing to the pool but every weekend put in 1" chlorine tablets, empty skimmers and the polaris. 20 minutes tops! Nothing else! Also glad I went with a sand filter this time instead of the diatom filter.
What would I do different? Put down patio stones instead of concrete in area around pool. Maybe have gone with a waterfall. Would have put in one of those color changing lights. Wish I had put in an air-injector for a jacuzzi jet effect on the benches. Thought about one of those systems that doesn't use chlorine, but gotta tell ya, chlorine has worked all these years...not ready for anything new!
Very lucky I had Forbus pools in Dadeville, Alabama do my pool--they do mostly commercial, so naturally put in larger pipes, pump motors, etc. No real cost increase, but increased performance and equipment life.
Whats yer question?
Gunite, cement does not rust.
A fiberglass pool requires less maintenance, less repairs structurally in the future, is quick to install, and is good for smaller pools. Gunite pools are better for a pool deeper than 8 feet, custom shapes, and is a bit harder on the feet than a fiberglass pool.
"Another View" There are benefits of each, design and feature wise there are some things you can do with gunite that you can't do with steel. Although some steel manufacturers are getting more sophisticated with regards to in pool stairs and other features. Mostly in my professional opinion it depends on where you are. In the northern climates where we see harsh winters and ground freezing, gunite can and will crack, causing sometimes expensive repairs. A steel wall vinyl lined pool avoides this as it's able to flex with the freezing. You should consult a few contractors in your area, ask their opinions and weigh all the benefits and disadvantages. Also trust your gut on which persons opinion may be better. "One View" Assuming this to be an in-ground pool as opposed to an upper floor or rooftop pool, gunite is, beyond a doubt, far superior. Steel is used rarely as the material of choice for an in-ground pool. However, of the millions of in-ground swimming pools in the USA, I have little doubt that many steel pools exist. Particularly, pools built during the pre-gunite era, i.e. before 1970, when the only alternatives where concrete (much more costly), or vinyl liners (slightly more costly but very limited in surface area). For the above reasons, a number of commercial in-ground steel pools were constructed, but very few residential pools. At this point in time, a pool constructed totally of steel would be the worst possible choice. END
Steel takes longer to heat but stays hot longer. Aluminum heats up quickly but also cools down quickly.
Resists rust better.
SS is somewhat better in harsher weather.
The biggest problem with fiberglass is that it tends to start looking dull and faded after a few years. and the pving around them often starts to move because of the way they are installed.
A stainless steel one will ast a lifetime. Stainless steel also looks better than the standard one.
I am researching the same question and this is what I have found so far: having a "freeze line" is not a good condition for fiberglass pools. Fiberglass pools are cheaper to install and use less chemicals to maintain. I was told the chemicals also do less damage to fiberglass, if any?, than to gunite pools. Fiberglass pools must be filled at all times to avoid "popping up". The only thing that still has me leaning towards gunite is a custom pool shape we have in mind. Hope this helps. I am also trying to decide between fibergalss and gunite. I have been told (by a gunite dealer) that there is a problem with staining in fiberglass pools. Besides a low water level, what else might cause a fiberglass pool to pop up?
In my opinion, Marvel vs Capcom 3 is better.
Personally I prefer stainless steel due to the fact that you can clean it with boiling water, and you don't really need to worry about cracking. Enamel ware can crack from temperature change and can get scratched easily