Inground Pools: Swimming Pool Construction Types

Pool Construction

When the decision has been made to construct a swimming pool, you may not know exactly where to start or what to focus on. There has never been more choice available to the homeowner shopping for a backyard swimming pool. Some provide flexibility with regard to size and shape. Others speak to durability and permanence. To help you decide what kind of pool best suits your needs, let's run down some of the Inground Pool Construction Types.

Types of In-ground Pool Materials

Preparing to invest in a swimming pool needs planning and making decisions on what type of material you'd like your pools made out of. We at Elite Pool Service want to help you make the best decisions possible for you and your family. Some of our childhood memories are created in the backyard, in the pools, and with our family. And being able to provide a memorable experience and create wonderful memories in a glittering jewel of a gathering place that you can call your own for you and your family is the very rewarding thing about what we do.

Concrete/Gunite Pools

The conventional building material of choice for in-ground pool construction is concrete.  It’s a popular type of in-ground pool because it’s durable and can be customized to any shape or size. Concrete pools are usually more expensive than other pools, but they offer many advantages that make them worth the investment.

A concrete swimming pool is designed to take up a full water load along with the capacity to withstand large pressure loads. The significant loads on the concrete pool structure are the weight of the earth outside the pools and the weight of water held within the pools. The thrust created varies when the water in the pool is emptied for cleaning purposes. It may or may not cause an effect on the concrete based on the design efficiency.

This type of pool begins with excavation and a framework of steel. Concrete is poured and then sealed with a coat of plaster (which can be re-applied over the years as needed).

Types of Concrete Swimming Pool

Gunite Pools

A gunite pool is an inground concrete inground pools. Gunite refers to a concrete pumping process where dry mixed concrete is pumped through lines and mixed with water at a spray nozzle. This mix is then sprayed into place forming the base pools structure.

Shotcrete Pools

A shotcrete pool is an inground concrete swimming pool. Shotcrete is similar to gunite except that the concrete is pre-mixed and pumped through the lines wet instead of dry. It is sprayed in place just like gunite otherwise.

Cast Pools

A cast pool is an inground concrete swimming pool. Casting refers to concrete that is placed via forming and pouring as opposed to shooting and hand carving like with shotcrete or gunite. Cast pools have both backside concrete forms as well as front-side concrete forms, whereas the sprayed pools would only have a backside form, and the interior of the shape of the pool is carved out and trowled by hand.


  • Beautiful designs
  • Long-lasting designs
  • Stands up to moisture and pools chemicals
  • Durable
  • Customizable
  • Aesthetically Pleasing


  • Difficult to repair/replace tiles, stone
  • Professionals are required for even small fixes
  • Requires precise chemical balance to avoid costly repairs
  • Long startup process
  • Rough surface
  • High maintenance
  • Significant time and money
  • Frequent refinishing

Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools are factory-molded into one giant bowl, which a crane sets into the excavated hole. As a result, fiberglass pools can be installed much more quickly than other pool types.

Unlike concrete pools, fiberglass pools are ready-made, making it difficult to request a customized design. Most fiberglass manufacturers offer many models and sizes to choose from, and things like steps, spas, and benches are usually pre-formed.

Fiberglass makes the pool-building process quick and easy. The smooth interior surface is slick, making it tough for algae to cling to. After 10 to 15 years of exposure to the sun and chemicals, the fiberglass gel coating deteriorates. Recoating the gel is not easy because the new coating does not stick easily to the older one.

Fiberglass inground pools are one of the most rewarding and customizable ways to transform your backyard into the ultimate outdoor sanctuary. Compared to concrete pools, fiberglass pools are the easiest to maintain and have the strongest and most durable material. When you invest in a fiberglass pool, you’re building a pool that will last a lifetime and remain a constant source of relaxation, fun, beauty, and delight year after year.

Do I need a Fiberglass Pool?

Fiberglass pools have a range of benefits over other pool types. The sides of the pool are manufactured at the same time as the flat bottom, so it starts out with solid, seamless construction that will provide greater durability over time. An inground fiberglass pool typically has much faster installation than other types, while remaining very low maintenance for the homeowner.

There is a wide range of sizes and shapes for fiberglass pools that extend far beyond the traditional rectangle shape options. You’ll find an inground pools design that includes tanning ledges, splash pads, benches, and hot tubs, making it much easier to make everyone in the family happy. With a smooth, high-quality gel coat finish, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful appearance for many years to come.


  • Low-maintenance
  • No deep surface refinishing is necessary
  • Not prone to algae growth
  • Cost-effective
  • Healthier for your family
  • Increased Durability
  • Efficient Installation process
  • No Liner Replacements


  • Limited shapes and sizes
  • Fiberglass deteriorates
  • Slick surface, re-coating difficult
  • Expensive Installation and Maintenance

Vinyl Liner Pools

Vinyl pools are made from a preformed flexible liner that fits into the excavated hole. It’s secured to a reinforced frame made of steel, aluminum, or non-corrosive polymer. A vast majority of vinyl pools are rectangular, but L-shaped and freeform liners are available from some manufacturers. Construction time for building a vinyl-lined pool is generally one to three weeks.

When considering a vinyl pool, be aware that pool toys, pets, and sharp objects can puncture the liner.

Like other materials, vinyl deteriorates over time with exposure to the elements as well as pool chemicals. Some liners come equipped with fungus and UV inhibitors, which can extend the life of a vinyl liner from 10 years to about 18 years.

Vinyl swimming pool liners are custom-made sheets of vinyl that hold the water within your swimming pool structure. The wall panel structure is secured together, and the pool floor is typically leveled out with sand or a cement-like material. Your liner is then installed and secured across the top of your pool, then tightly vacuumed into place to eliminate any folds or wrinkles before the pool is filled

Vinyl Liner Pools Maintenance

The smooth, non-porous surface of a vinyl liner helps inhibit algae growth, but you still must regularly keep up with your swimming pool maintenance routine: Test your water, add chemicals, remove debris, and brush the surfaces of your pool. Proper maintenance and chemical balance help extend the life of your liner and keep it from fading prematurely. Refer to the proper chemical levels recommended for your pool and use pool equipment designed for vinyl pools to lengthen the life of your liner.

If not properly cared for, vinyl swimming pool liners can be prone to waterlines (like a bathtub ring) if dirt and grime are allowed to build up in your pool. So, in addition to regular testing and balancing, wiping your waterline regularly with a soft brush or sponge should be part of your maintenance routine.


  • Least expensive type of installation
  • Any size/shape available
  • Can opt for fungus/UV inhibitors
  • Cost-effective
  • Low maintenance
  • Endless design options
  • Smooth to the touch
  • Fast installation time


  • Vinyl deteriorates
  • Liner replacement costly
  • Water chemicals need precise balancing to slow down the deterioration
  • More susceptible to algae growth
  • Slippery

Natural Pools Installation

A natural pool or swimming pond is a swimming pool that's filtered and purified hydro botanically by water plants and a biological filtration system. That means clear, hygienic, living water without the need for chemicals.

A natural swimming pool brings to mind a lake or pond in the backyard. This visual is not far off. Anyone who wants a watering hole that blends into its surroundings should consider getting a natural swimming pools.

Unlike traditional pools, natural pools require a living ecosystem to clean your water. This involves utilizing various plants, gravel, and filtration systems, so you don’t have to worry about using harmful chemicals.

How Do Natural Pools Stays Clean?

To keep natural swimming pools clean, some setups pump the water through the shingle, which acts as a filter, while others use plants to absorb nutrients, microorganisms, and pathogens. Many pools will have a shallow shelf around the perimeter with oxygenating plants to clean the water.

Some systems use a process that involves beneficial bacteria to break down and absorb organic material in the water, meaning there’s no need for disinfection chemicals, less pumping, and less energy use. These pools also come with a 50% reduction in technical maintenance versus conventional systems and running costs are also up to 50% lower.

Convert your Chlorinated Pool to Natural Pool

Perhaps you have an existing pool that has a conventional chlorine-based filtration system, and you want to convert it to a natural swimming pool. While it's a great idea, you need to know a few things first because this type of conversion isn't always practical. Depending on the conversion method, you may need extra space in your yard, and your living pool may have trouble surviving if you live in a climate with extreme temperatures. If the conversion does turn out to be feasible and you go ahead with it, expect your approach to pool maintenance to change considerably.


  • Natural/organic pools use very few to no chemicals
  • They blend in with the surrounding nature
  • They are eco friendly


  • They’re often a swampy green color
  • They require more space
  • You have to keep up with the plants (taking care of the regeneration zone is like having an underwater garden)
  • They’re often more expensive to build

What Type of Inground Pool Lasts the Longest

Now that you know a bit more about the types of inground pools, let’s talk about durability. And What Type of Inground Pool Lasts the Longest.


While a vinyl pool is significantly cheaper than fiberglass or concrete, they deteriorate quickly and are easier to damage. For instance, a severe storm could toss a table umbrella into your pool and pop goes the liner.

  • A well-maintained liner needs to be replaced every 10 to 15 years.
  • Easy to keep clean, but pool chemicals do wear out liner faster.
  • Longevity lessens with increased roughness.


Fiberglass pools are constructed from glass threads woven into fabric then hardened with a special polyester resin and smoothed out with weather-resistant gel. Boats and planes are also made from this, so you know fiberglass can party.

A well-maintained fiberglass pool will last you over 25 years. In fact, some fiberglass pools installed in the 60s and 70s are still holding up today.

  • A properly kept fiberglass shell lasts for 20 to 30 years
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Prefabricated—makes it hard to add features down the road


Concrete Pools will last for the rest of your life and beyond. When humans perish, gunite pools shall inherit the earth.

Due to its high level of durability, swimming pools that are built from concrete are truly built to last.

  • Lasts forever
  • Easy to add on features in the future

Elite Pool Service - Experienced & Qualified Inground Pool - Swimming Pools Experts

Either of these pools will look beautiful, especially when you have the best pool builder doing the installation. Elite Pool Services will work with you to ensure you have the perfect pool for your backyard and your budget. We provide custom design and install all types of in-ground pools from recreation- and fitness-focused swimming areas to luxury backyard oases. Whether you’re looking to create beautiful backyard memories with your grandchildren or build a luxury pool for extravagant entertaining, our team can help you bring your swimming pool vision to life.

After your pool is constructed and the finishing touches are in place, proper pool maintenance will ensure your custom swimming pool remains as stunning, functional, and enjoyable as the day it was installed.

Our Certified Pool Operators provide top-notch pool maintenance, 30+ years of experience, and reliable service. Call 918-893-3893 today!

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