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Blog | The Different Types of Swimming Pool Construction

First let's look at the different types of pools. There are in-ground pools and above ground pools.

Above ground pools are all very similar. You level out an area in your yard, then spread some sand for a base. Install a track that holds the pool wall, which is usually a type of metal. Put the walls up and install the vinyl liner. As the pool fills with water, you work out the wrinkles in the liner to the edge where they are less noticeable.

In ground pools vary quite a bit more, as does the installation. There are basically three types.......
 of in ground pools. They are fiberglass, vinyl liner, & gunite. There is also a wide range in cost between the three of them. Going from least expensive to most it would be fiberglass, vinyl liner then gunite. Here is a brief description of the different aspects of each.

Fiberglass pools are one of the fastest ways to get a pool in your yard. They can be installed in about a week, if the builder has a good crew. First they layout the area where the pool is going to be located. Then they excavate the hole for the vessel. It is over excavated usually by a couple of feet so they have room for plumbing and back fill. Once the hole is dug they put a sand base in the bottom of the hole. Then the pool is placed in the hole with a crane. After it is in, the plumbing is connected to the pool. Then the pool starts filling with water, as it fills the perimeter of the pool is back filled with sand. This sand is also soaked with water as the pool fills to get good compaction. The back filling and filling at the same time maintains equal pressure on both sides of the pool wall. After this is done the deck is formed and poured. Then the equipment is set and hooked up. You are now ready to swim!

The installation of the in-ground vinyl liner is a little more involved. Similar to the fiberglass, the pool is laid out and then over excavated by 2' all the way around. Then panels are bolted together around the edge of the dig. Depending on what brand your contractor uses these panels are made of either galvanized steel, fiberglass, wood, or thermal plastic. After they are secured and leveled, a concrete collar is poured around the 2' over dig to hold the panels in place. Plumbing is now ran to the equipment. Then a liner retainer coping is screwed to the top of the wall. The portion of the pool inside the panels (pool floor) is now just dirt. A thin layer of cement mixed with vermiculite is trowled over the floor. Then the liner is installed similar to the above ground pool. Water is started filling the pool. The deck can now be set up and poured. The equipment is set and hooked up. The pool is complete.

Although gunite pools are the most difficult to build, they offer the widest range of shapes and sizes. With a gunite pool you layout the shape, then form the pool one foot larger in all directions. This will allow for the thickness of the pool shell once it is shot in place. After forming, the pool is excavated. Then the pool is either plumbed or stub plumbed, depending on the builder's preference. Then a gravel base is usually installed, in some situations sand can be used. After the base, steel bars are installed as reinforcement for the gunite to stick. This is also what keeps the pool from cracking. Then after the steel, the gunite shell is shot. This is what gives the pool its shape and structure, it is also starting to look like a pool now. After gunite a tile of your choice is installed at the water line. It is normally 6" x 6" and is frost proof in our climate. Then decking forms are set up and decking is poured. The equipment is set and connections are made to it. Then the final phase is started, which is plaster of the interior of the pool. There are many choices of finishes available, from plaster to pebble to all tile pools. Click this link( ) to see some pictures of the different stages of pool construction.

This is an abbreviated explanation, but it gives you a general idea about pool construction.

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