Q: How long does it take to build a custom, inground, gunite swimming pool?
A: Typically, we begin digging and building your swimming pool within three weeks of contract signing--after line location and building permits are secured. We ask 6-8 weeks to complete construction in the contract, but usually have your pool built within 3-4 weeks, weather permitting.
Q: When should I begin planning to build a swimming pool?
A: If you are buying, building, or modifying your home, or landscape; planning a pool debut party; or have specific climate concerns; consider your variables, the time you will need, and plan accordingly.
Home constuction example: There is not much room between you and your neighbors. You are planning to build a garage, and a new swimming pool. You are not sure which to build first. One thing to consider, would be whether or not placement of your new garage would restrict your pool construction access. How we will access your yard in order to build your pool, is something we will plan with you when we come out to do your free, in-home, 3-D design and estimate. We will need to find the necessary clearance to get the excavator, other machines, and materials from the street to the pool. We typically like an access that is at least 8' wide and runs from the street to the pool area. But, we can accommodate smaller spaces, using alternate methods and machines to get a job done.
Landscape example: You want to sod your yard and plant bushes in the pool construction and access areas. You would probably want to do that after construction is complete, to avoid damaging your new greenery. If you're uncertain about what to do with the green space around your new pool, we can help you plan and execute a landscaping design.
Climate concern example: You find yourself in Spring and it is too hot already. You can't imagine what you'll do without a pool in the extreme heat of June, July and August. Call before you start sweating and dreading, so you can be cooling off in your pool by the time the heat really kicks up.
Or, you dream of cooler weather and watching the leaves change color from the the warmth and comfort of your custom, heated pool and spa. Make it so you are ready for us to to dig two months before you anticipate the leaves will be just right.
We build pools and spas year round and are usually ready to begin digging and constructing your swimming pool within three weeks of signing your contract. We ask 6-8 weeks to complete construction, but usually have your pool and deck built within 3-4 weeks, not counting rain days. (Note: plaster is the last phase of the build, we ask that you allow 2 weeks for plaster to fully cure before you get in the water.)
By the time you sign your contract, you will need to have chosen the location, size, shape and design of your custom gunite pool. We can help you with all of this.
Anytime is a good time for us to build your swimming pool. We build pools every season. In mild autumn, cold of winter, bliss of spring and through the heat of summer. We are ready when you are.
Q: Are gunite pools better than fiberglass or liner pools?
A: There are many options available for pool construction. Inground gunite, fiberglass, and liner pools are the three most common. An inground gunite swimming pool is the way to go if you are looking for elegance, durability and custom finishes. Other types of pools can be pretty too, but none are as durable as gunite. Fiberglass pools are 3/16"- 3/8" thick and are made of fiberglass. Our gunite pools are 12" thick at the bond beam and then approximately 8" to 10" thick in the floors and walls- and are reinforced with 3/8" rebar on 10" centers, throughout. You can create any shape with gunite, unlike fiberglass and liner pools. Pricing is surprisingly similar between gunite and fiberglass pools in many areas. In the end, it comes down to your needs, the design you have envisioned and the budget you have to create it. Before you commit to anything, do your homework. Research online, talk to contractors, and ask friends with each of these three types of pools what they think.
Q: What is gunite?
A: Gunite is a drier, "stackable" form of concrete, with sand used as the aggregate. It is shot pneumatically, through a hose, at a high velocity, onto a steel frame. (Steel frame consists of 3/8" rebar on 10" centers.)
Q: Do you offer financing?
A: We do not offer in-house financing. But, many outside lending sources exist. Visit our Financing page for links to pool financing companies recommended to us by some of our customers.
Q: I have a small, oddly shaped yard with limited access. Can you still build a pool for me?
A: Yes, most likely. We can custom create a pool to fit your unique situation. Shapes can be modified to fit around existing structures or scaled down to fit small spaces; alternative methods and construction equipment can be used if your yard access is limited. We find ways around obstacles that might impede other builders.
Q: Can you build a pool to accommodate a special needs or physically disabled customer?
A: We work closely with all of our customers to design pools and spas that meet individual requirements for accessibility and usage. The addition of handrails or a beach entry (gradual sloped entrance into pool rather than stairs), are two of the most common accommodations. Other modifications can be made as well. Every customer is unique. It is very likely that we can create a pool and spa to meet your special needs.
Q: How long do I have to wait, after the pool is filled with water, before I can swim?
A: We begin filling the pool with water on the day we plaster. We recommend allowing the plaster to fully cure and the chemicals to dissipate to safe levels before anyone enters the pool. This takes two weeks.
Q: Why do saltwater pools start on chlorine for the first two weeks?
A: Our saltwater pools start off on chlorine for the first two weeks, following plaster. It takes two weeks for the plaster to cure completely. Pool salt is composed of large granules, if it is added before the plaster has cured, it may crystallize on the plaster and cause it to have a rough texture. We convert the pool over to saltwater after a two week waiting period.
Q: Which is better, a Chlorine or Saltwater pool?
A: For a time, we preferred saltwater. Salt is easy to manage, economical, and safe. However, we are very impressed with the ease of use and effectiveness of the Rainbow Automatic Chlorine Feeder and Paramount UV System. This chlorinator uses 50% less chemicals than traditional systems and uses tablets instead of granulated chlorine. In addition, the UV System inactivates 99.9% of bacteria, fungus, algae and other micro-organisms that filter through the system.
We have begun installing this chlorinator and UV system on all of our new pools, but, will continue to install salt systems per customer request.
Q: How often should I add salt to my pool?
A: If you have a saltwater pool, you will need to add one to two 40 lb bags of pool salt to your pool every month. Typically, one bag in the cooler months, and two bags in the hotter months. Saltwater evaporates faster in the heat. Your salt system should have indicators that alert you when it is time to add salt. Salt system are easy to operate; they have display lights and a value screen that indicate when salt levels are low. For example, if your pool has been steadily maintained and one or both green lights on your salt system turns red, it is probably time to add salt. In this case, add one 40 lb bag of pool salt and brush the salt granules down toward main drains. Wait 24 hours. If lights are still red and value screen is low, add one more 40 lb bag of pool salt and wait another 24 hours. If lights remain red, take a water sample to your local pool supply store for analysis. If you are unsure, or your salt system does not have any indicators built into it, or if your pool has been neglected for some time, it would be wise to start by taking a water sample to be analyzed first, before adding any salt. Many pool supply companies will analyze water samples for free and it is done very quickly.
We conduct a "pool school" with all of our customers, showing them how to use and maintain pool and all pool equipment. We also supply them with a step by step user's manual.
Q: Can I use table salt in my saltwater pool?
A: You should use only pool salt in saltwater pools. Table salt contains iodine, pool salt does not. Iodine might stain your plaster. Why risk it? Pool salt is inexpensive. It can be found easily at your local pool supply store, most home improvement stores and many major retail supermarkets. A 40 lb bag of pool salt in this region sells for about $6.00 and tax.
Q: What Can I Expect From my Pool Plaster?
A: We offer Light Grey or White Plaster as our standard pool interior finishes. We install other colors per request and at an additional cost. If you properly maintain your pool and its water chemistry, you can expect your plaster to last 10-15 years before resurfacing is needed.
Plaster is applied over the gunite and is the final step in the pool's construction before water is added. The plaster seals the porous gunite shell and keeps water from leaking out. It is important to note that plaster is a cementitious product and may be subject to mottling or slightly uneven color distribution.
Plaster feels smooth against your feet and hands. And in the normal daylight, a pool’s plaster surface appears smooth. Turn on the pool light at night, and you will realize the surface is not perfectly smooth. You might be surprised to see dips and bumps along the surface, that are made to look worse by the pool light and the angle at which it shines. It is normal for pool plaster to not be perfectly smooth and to have slight imperfections in color. It was applied by human hands; this will be evident if you look for the signs.
Some things you can do to keep your plaster beautiful for years to come are to keep your water chemistry right, brush regularly, keep metal objects out of your pool, don’t let fertilizer fall into your pool, remove grass clippings, mulch or any other debris which might make its way in there during the regular course of life and address algae as soon as you see it appear. For more information, we suggest visiting the website for the National Plasterers Council.
Q: What can I expect from my Spray Deck Acrylic Top Coat?
A: We offer a Spray Deck Acrylic Top Coat as our standard concrete pool deck surface. We will install any deck surface, such as flagstone or travertine pavers per request and at an additional cost. The Spray Deck is cooler on your feet than bare concrete. It is installed in two parts. First we apply a non-skid surface with a hopper and then hand trowel it to “knock it down” and smooth it out. Once this is dry, we apply the acrylic top coat by painting it on. There are several colors from which to choose. The finished surface is very pretty and practical. In order to keep it beautiful for years to come, as with all types of decks we install, we recommend not dragging furniture or other items which might scratch it across your deck, not letting rusted items sit atop it and being mindful with lawn mowers and weed whackers. Spray Deck holds up to extended use very well. Another nice thing about Spray Deck, is that if you do happen to chip it or end up with spots where rusty furniture sat, you can touch it up yourself with a bit of Spray Deck paint.
We welcome your questions or comments. Contact us by e-mail or phone, or visit us on Facebook.
Gulf Gunite Pools, LLC.
Custom Swimming Pool Contractors
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Licensed & Insured Builder
Located in Long Beach, MS
Proudly building custom, inground, gunite swimming pools in New Orleans, LA; Gulfport, Biloxi and Hattiesburg, MS and all surrounding areas.