The allure of the swimming pool motivates many homeowners to install one in their respective yards. Even though the Canadian summer is but a brief encounter with hot weather compared to our American neighbours almost every swimming pool contractor will be busy during this time. Although expensive, the thought of even ten to twelve weeks of having private dips in his or her backyard is still very motivating.
In the past inground swimming pools were made by excavating a large hole and then building forms for the pool walls. These forms were then meshed with tied steel reinforcing bars and then a few concrete trucks poured their contents while workers filled the voids. After the floors were poured the swimming pool builders usually tiled the surfaces or finished it off with thick coatings of paint. Because the job was labour-intensive the swimming pool cost was very high in relation to other construction projects.
The early swimming pools were solid concrete before a gunite, or shotcrete, pool came into vogue. These pools begin the same as formed-concrete, excavating a hole and installing the plumbing./ However this is where the similarities end. With a gunite pool the workers build the shape of the custom pool with a grid work of 3/8-inch steel reinforcing rods, or rebar. This grid is a ten-inch mesh, tied together with wire. In effect they build the skeleton of the pool.
With the form of rebar built, and a wooden form built behind it gunite, a mixture of cement and sand, is sprayed around the rebar. Dry gunite and water are mixed at the end of the nozzle to form a concrete mixture outside of the nozzle so that there are no clogs in the lines. As the reinforcing steel is covered, concrete workers trowel the gunite smooth into the shape of the pool. The walls are filled first and the spillage becomes the floor. This rough finishing is left to dry for a week and then a smooth, finishing layer is applied. The construction and installation of a gunite pools can take 1 to 3 months depending on the type of ground and the weather. Then most swimming pool builders finish off the surface with a heavy concrete paint.
Since gunite is not dependent on square forms pools and spas can be designed in almost any shape. For example, entertainment great, Liberace, had a pool made in the shape of a piano. Recreation and institutional pools are almost always made with gunite style and finishes can include everything from paint to tile or a jungle-style rock. In all, a gunite pool can cost of $37,000 for a 16' x 32' pool if the swimming pool builder does not run into any problems.
Vinyl Liners change the Industry
Even the best-made gunite pool can leak. This is because the cold Canadian winter can cause the gunite to crack in places. However, a new system of making the inground swimming has changed the custom pool industry as much as gunite did years before. This new system featured a placing a vinyl liner on the pool wall and floor so now inground swimming pools could be made with supporting materials like fiberglass, sheet steel and concrete and then covered with a vinyl liner instead of the expensive web of steel-reinforcing bars. Another feature with a vinyl liner changed pool refinishing. Now, leaking gunite pools just need to be coated with a vinyl instead of extensive repairs. With moderate excavating costs a 16' x 32' vinyl pool with steel walls starts at about $17,000.
Vinyl liners have a drawback - they can be punctured if the homeowner is not careful. However, repairs can be t. However, if the liner gets too tattered then it can be replaced for about $1,000. So even if you replaced a vinyl liner every 5 years you would rarely get up to the price of a gunite pool. And a gunite pool may need resurfacing as well.
An offshoot of the pool industry that is growing is the lap pool. This swimming pool is for the energetic homeowners who would rather swim that entertain or just cool off. Sometimes these pools are off to the side of a recreational swimming area but many are stand-alone tanks that are made for exercise.
The newcomer to exercising pools is the current pool. This pool can be as small as 5' x 10' and features a water current generator that flows against the swimmer, who can adjust the flow with a floating controller. These are between 3' and 4 ½' so they can even be put indoors with a good ventilation system. A favorite of athletes and sports trainers they are now making their way into residences.
All these swimming pools require the expertise of a good swimming pool contractor. For more information consult our Contractor Directory or post you project online at TrustedPros.ca and have one or more contact you.Posted by: TrustedPros