Pool design

It’s pretty easy to come up with reasons why you’d want your own backyard pool. But you might know very little about how swimming pools are actually installed. There are essentially three pool construction methods used for most residential pools. Here’s a breakdown of how in ground pools are typically constructed:


Concrete pools are the most popular choice because they offer nearly endless options in terms of customization. To create a concrete pool, pool builders first dig a hole of the desired shape and size, then install steel-reinforced walls. Concrete is then shot from a gun onto the walls; that’s why you may also hear these kinds of pools referred to as “gunite” or “shockcrete”. The walls are then plastered smooth, painted or covered with tile (or some combination thereof). These types of pools take the longest to install — up to 12 weeks — but one major advantage is that they can be enlarged or otherwise remodeled in the future.


Vinyl-lined pool construction also starts with contractors digging an appropriate hole. A reinforced frame typically made of aluminum, steel or non-corrosive polymer is then put into place. This frame allows a pre-fabricated flexible vinyl liner to be fitted into place. Most vinyl-lined pools are rectangular, but some L-shaped liners are also sold. Liners come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, but the major downside is that sharp objects can pierce the side of the lining. That makes pool toys or letting pets swim risky. It normally takes just a few weeks to install a vinyl pool, since the liner is pre-formed.


Fiberglass pools are also molded at a factory, but they’re typically made in one giant bowl-like piece. This piece is then set into the pre-excavated spot in your yard via a crane. The major upsides of fiberglass pools are that they’re very durable and nonporous (meaning you have to use fewer chemicals to keep them algae-free). They can also sometimes be installed in just a few days. However, delivery can sometimes be a problem because some states regulate the transportation of very large shipments.

Do you have any other questions or comments about pool construction? Share them below.

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