Posts Tagged ‘swimming pool builder NJ’

Gunite Swimming Pools NJ -The Advantages of Gunite Pools NJ

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

 

Gunite Swimming Pools NJ -The Advantages of Gunite Pools NJ

Gunite Swimming Pools NJ – Custom pool builder shares advantages of gunite swimming pools, expert construction techniques, and the benefits of concrete pools.

 

What is gunite? Gunite is a specialty concrete that is pneumatically installed; in general, the term gets its name from the fact that it is “shot” from a hose like a “gun.” The product was originally used by taxidermists to fill plaster models of animals. Today, gunite is commonly known for its use in the swimming pool industry, where it is used to create custom structures on a much larger scale. From taxidermy to building repairs, gunite has a long history of structural uses and artistic applications. In the swimming pool industry, gunite is both structural AND artistic.

There are, as you know, different types of inground pools from which to choose. You can get a liner pool, a fiberglass pool, or a concrete gunite swimming pool. The different structures offer different challenges and benefits. Fiberglass pools, for example, are extremely easy to install because they come in prefabricated shapes that are put in the ground. Concrete pools do not have the luxury of prefabricated shapes, but they do have the luxury of achieving any type of structure you can imagine. With the highly customizable structure comes the challenge of building that structure.

The best way to provide insight into concrete swimming pools is to explain how gunite fits into the pool construction process. As I said earlier, gunite is a special concrete that is pneumatically applied to create inground pools. For concrete pools, the gunite is applied or “shot” at a minimum compressive strength of 4000 psi at 28 days. In the process of pool construction, gunite comes after the pool is excavated, formed, and plumbed. First, the pool is dug and formed. Then plumbing and rebar are completed. Next the pool is shot with gunite to complete the basic structure.

A couple challenges presented by concrete pool designs revolve around the gunite itself. When applied, the builder must be mindful of the gunite that bounces back off the rebar called (rebound). This rebound cannot be used in the structure and must be cleared away so as not to trap the waste material inside the pool shell. The builder must also be very mindful of the curing rate of the pool; in some cases the pool must be watered in areas in order to create a consistent cure throughout the structure. The gunite applier must keep in mind that the gunite needs to wrap tightly all around the rebar to avoid little pockets, known as shadowing. Lastly, pool designs must also address the protection of the concrete. Plasters and tile finishes provide one solution for protecting the structure from the water it holds.

Concrete pools are very appealing because they feature highly customizable pool designs. They offer a great amount of freedom in terms of style and structure. While the advantages are many, challenges present themselves and hands-on experience is required to build the luxurious structures. The gunite plays largely into the safety and durability of a well-built swimming pool. Inground pools, regardless of their beauty and luxurious features, are only as valuable as the structures themselves. The most luxurious pool designs will be a costly waste of time and money if they run into structural problems down the road. The key to avoiding such problems is to deal with a pool company that has experience building complex gunite pools.

 

NJ Swimming Pool Builder, Bankrupt Pool Contractor Abandons Pool Construction in Mahwah New Jersey

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Deceitful and Inexperienced Pool Contractors Can Turn Residential and Commercial Swimming Pool Projects into Expensive, Time-Consuming Construction Nightmares

Last week, we inherited an abandoned swimming pool project at the Marriott Hotel in Mahwah, NJ. The defunct indoor pool and spa was in complete disrepair and not even close to meeting standards required by the board of health. While we were grateful to consult with engineers, the Mahwah health department, and the property owner regarding repair options, and equally grateful we were eventually awarded the bid, we feel that a valuable lesson can be learned from the abandoned Marriott Hotel project.

What was wrong with the pool? It was all-around poorly constructed. The engineering plan and the actual pool construction had serious inconsistencies. (Whether this was intentionally done to cut corners or unintentionally done out of simple ineptness, we do not know. Both issues of honesty and experience seem serious enough to question either way.) First of all, the swimming pool slope into the deep end was too drastic and didn’t match the plans. The spa plumbing and construction was not up to code and condemned. It was so hopeless that the safest and cheapest solution would be to demolish it and start from scratch. The equipment room included three pumps, but instead of the pumps specified in the plans, the previous contractor used smaller substitutions. The two heaters on the project also failed to meet code and had to be removed and replaced. Lastly, the saltwater chlorination system was  removed because it can’t be the sole chlorination system for a commercial grade pool. Imagine, for a second, that the project was not abandoned. Since the pool and spa were not up to code, the spa and the swimming pool would have required complete demolition after the final health department inspection.

What are the odds that the dishonest contractor who cut corners is going to have enough integrity to go back and responsibly fix everything? More often than not, it is easier for a contractor to claim bankruptcy than to fix a non-compliant swimming pool. Abandoned or not, the inexperienced pool contractor dug a very deep hole for the property owner, literally and financially.

But how might homeowners and property owners see these major shortcomings before awarding a bid to a pool contractor? It does seem slightly unreasonable to think that these disreputable pool companies would represent themselves honestly from the start. The same company that started the Marriot project also abandoned a residential swimming pool in Haworth, New Jersey this past year. This pool company was infamous for taking pictures off association websites and posting them on his own. Believe it or not the owner went as far as to take a photograph of a pool built by a Long Island company, mirror it in Photoshop, and use it in a full page advertisement in 201 Magazine.  This is by no means an isolated incident. Another local pool contractor currently advertises as “The Leading Swimming Pool Design & Construction Company” and claims to be a full-service pool and landscape company; not surprisingly, this firm just removed another company’s landscaping pictures from their website. The problem is that these companies often pay big money to marketing firms in order to create an aura of expertise with bogus testimonials and quotes taken out of context and other dishonest tactics. Unfortunately it’s so easy for an unsuspecting consumer to fall into these traps!

What can you do to assure yourself of a company’s credibility? On our website: PlantNJ.com, we offer a contractor disclosure form that homeowners and property owners can use to review pool contractors based on ethical advertising practices, general business standing, professional licensing, and overall experience. The contractor disclosure will hopefully weed out fraudulent and inexperienced bidders on your job. The disclosure agreement also leaves a place for the contractor to sign off on the information provided in the checklist, acknowledging that any misrepresentations are in violation of the NJ Consumer Fraud Act. In general, the Marriott Hotel project demonstrates that contractor credibility, experience, and dedication are invaluable. A contractor disclosure checklist may be a good way to find out which NJ inground pool builders really possess all those qualities in order to keep this nightmare from happening to you.