GUNITE VS. VINYL
First, Let’s Start Off By Describing The 2 Different Types Of Construction.
Gunite is a form of concrete. It’s applied with what looks like a firehouse. Like you see here.
This only represents a small part of the vessel, though. In the same picture you can see the steel cage that is being encapsulated by the gunite. The steel, along with the plumbing, forms and gravel bed are all crucial parts of the vessel that you will never see. Yet, these are the most important parts to the puzzle that determine the longevity of your swimming pool. Here in the Hudson Valley, we go thru a freeze/thaw cycle. Many years, like this one, we have gone through a few freeze thaw cycles in the same winter months. That’s why this part of the construction is so important. Your vessel has to withstand the incredible pressures of these winter months. The rest of the work is veneer. Tile, coping, Diamond Brite and/or marble dust finishes are applied to the vessel, once it has the opportunity to cure properly. For the most part, these are the part of the vessel that turn it into the pool you’ve been waiting for.
In short, gunite pools are a great deal more reliant on workmanship than other types of construction. It relies on raw material, none of which are premanufactured. At NeJame Pool Specialists, we are not only certified by our industry to do this work, but we’ve been doing it since before certification was available.
Vinyl lined pools are more like assembled panels, like you see here.
Workmanship is still important, but the engineering of the premanufactured product is much more important. Even when some vinyl lined pools are assembled exactly to specs, they might still not be designed to withstand the freeze/thaw cycle, especially if the water is not in the pool to help support the wall structure. While gunite construction is a bit generic, vinyl lined pools can vary quite a bit. At NeJame, we decided back in the 60’s, the only vinyl lined pool we would sell and install would be one that we could guarantee against bowing, buckling or collapsing. That same guarantee is still part of any vinyl lined pool we sell and it’s in place regardless of there being water in the pool. That just proves how strong our pools are. How do you determine that? Ask for a labor and material guarantee for the life of the structure.
Now for the largest reason that will determine which pool is best for you.
Gunite pools are generally more expensive than vinyl pools, at least here in the Dutchess County, Ulster County, Putnam County, Orange County, Westchester County & Columbia County. Most would say that the cost difference is largely due to the labor intensity of a gunite pool. However, most would also say that your return on investment and mortality rate is much better with a gunite pool.
What’s best for you?
There really is no wrong answer to this question. The first issue is economic. Don’t forget that the pool is only part of the investment. Patio, electric, fence & landscaping, just to name a few, are all other expenses that you have to take into consideration. Once you can break the purchase down by price, that’s when the hard part begins. The pool is only as good as the people behind it.
Here are some questions to ask:
- How long have they been serving that area? The NeJame name has been designing and building pools in this area since before 1960.
- Who is selling you the pool vs who is installing it? We don’t employ sales people. The person you meet at the sales call is family and will be there throughout the process.
- Do they have references? This is always a hard one because everybody has pleased somebody at some point, so be careful.
- Are they capable of doing it all, if you want them to? At NeJame, we can take you from concept to completion or we can just do the pool.
We service several counties, from Rhinebeck, Red Hook to North Salem, Briarcliff Manor. Give us a call at 845-677-7665 if you would like some help walking you through the process.