Today, in Costa Blanca area – Southern Spain, the majority of new in ground pool installations are concrete pools. This is not a local phenomenon as in most of Spain the liner is considered a rarity. We, at Eden Pool, are strong believers in the superiority of the gunite pool over the lined pool for the following reasons:
1) Design flexibility and aesthetics.
Using gunite construction, the only limiting factor in pool design are your budget and imagination. There are no limits with respect to things like steps, benches, water features, depths, shapes, hot tubs etc. In contrast, the lined pool is a prefabricated product that comes in a limited number of shape variations due to manufacturing limitations. Further, the concrete pool affords almost unlimited choice when it comes to finishes including tile, interior colour, coping style and material. There are severe limitations with the liner pool when it comes to trying to customise the product for a particular installation.
Even that the concrete pool initially will cost 25-30% more, on the long run it will cost less. That’s because of the durability of the concrete, combined with significantly lower maintenance consts.
The majority of the concrete pools that we refurbish, have more than 30 years old. From our experience, if the pool concrete structure is properly built, it has and indefinite life span.
As a comparison between the two systems, the concrete pool requires an acid clean/ re-grout every 7-10 years and the lined pool needs a liner replacement every 7-8 years and a complete replacement every 25-30 years. When you consider that just the liner replacement cost several thousand euros, you realise why this system is not our favourite.
The plastic components that are integrated in this type of pools are difficult to replace, as the back connections are behind the pool structure.
Another significant source of aggravation and expense in a liner pool represents the LEAKS. Often, small holes in the vinyl (from the variety of reasons. Ex: family dog etc..) are nearly impossible to locate. When the annual depreciation expense of the product is considered, the concrete pool is actually the cheaper choice. Further, when incorporating accessories like hot tubs, walls, water features etc.. into the pool, the gunite shell can be used as a foundation. This is impossible to do with a lined pool. We often see people start with a liner pool thinking it’s going to be cheaper and end up having to spend significantly more overall in order to incorporate these ideas into their plan.
3) Impact on the environment.
Imagine the resulted waste after a liner pool is ripped out of the ground and disposed of. The vinyl used is not biodegradable. A typical liner weighs about 120-150 Kg, and here on the southern Spain, because of the powerful sun UV, it lasts about six to nine years. That means every liner pool out there is generating around 25 kg of vinyl waste every year, an equivalent of 417.000 plastic grocery bags. In contrast, a concrete swimming pool is a solid permanent structure and in the rare event of a reconstruction, the waste generated is being recycled back and reused in new construction.
4) Resale value.
Real Estate recent studies have shown that a well maintained concrete swimming pool is considered a luxury item and has a positive impact on the value of a property. For example, when two properties are on the market, it will always sell first the one with a swimming pool built in.
In fact, we often build pools for home builders who include the pool as a feature on a spec home. This proves to us that the pool has a net positive impact on the house price. The same cannot be said for a liner pool. The impact on house price has been shown to be neutral or slightly negative. We feel that this is because of the commonplace nature of the in ground liner as well as the previously mentioned high annualised depreciation costs.
For these reasons, Eden Pool is exclusively committed to the installation and repair of concrete pools. We feel confident that as the customer becomes more educated about the differences between the various types of pools they will come to the same conclusion that we have.
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