The pictures below are the same pool. The first picture was taken during the construction process, and the second picture was taken 2 years after completion.
When you purchase a Gunite swimming pool, you will probably be spending a large amount of money. This is why you should be educated as much as possible about where your money is going and how it is being used. Learning about the construction process can help ease some of your worries that are associated with spending that amount of money. There are three main phases to the initial construction process. First you dig the hole for the pool, next you frame and set the steel re-bar, and lastly you pour the concrete/gunite shell (Click here to learn more about Swimming Pool Construction). After these three steps, there is much more to do to get your pool to a finished product, but these are the first and main things you should know about.
The first step is digging the hole where the pool is going. We use construction machines such as an excavator and bobcat to do this, as well as good old fashion man power. After we mark the yard with spray paint and string line, we skim the top of the ground with the bobcat to remove the grass. Then we begin to dig. This process takes one full day (depending on unknown circumstances or weather), and when it’s done, you will already begin to see how your new gunite swimming pool will look. The shape that the hole is dug to is the shape your new pool will be. No surprises.
After we finish digging the hole, we begin to frame and lay the steel that will act as the skeleton and structure for the concrete. We use standard ½ inch re-bar and wood to do this. The wood is put into place so that the re-bar has something to be secured. The wood also sets up and edge or frame for the pool to go in. When the concrete is poured, it only goes to the wood, no further. The re-bar is put in place to hold the concrete/gunite together after it is poured. Without some sort of skeleton, the concrete would shift and crack with the ground. With re-bar in place, this doesn’t happen. Gunite swimming pools are made to last for 30+years and this is one of the main reasons why.
After all of these steps have been completed, we can move on to the actual pouring of the concrete. This is a one day process that consists of “shooting” the concrete out of a hose onto the floor and walls of your pool. There are many laborers in the pool at this time because as the concrete is being “shot”, they have to smoothen it out. Without adding a smooth finish, the concrete would not be flat and have curves and edges to it. This is NOT what you, the customer, want when purchasing an expensive item like a Gunite swimming pool.
Once the concrete is poured and it is all smooth, we let it dry. When it dries, you will not have the beautiful pool you are looking for… not yet at least. There are still a few more things that need to be done to get your new gunite pool to look like something straight out of a magazine. To find out, click the link to read the next article, “Gunite Swimming Pool Construction Process (Part 2)”