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14 Dec 2022  /  by Aqua Blue Custom Pools   /   0 Comments

Concrete Pool Basics: How They're Made: The Pros & Cons

You know that a custom pool is not just a pool. Right? To understand the differences between the 3 main swimming pool types: concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass pools, it is important to consider your options when planning such a large home improvement investment. Aqua Blue Pools specializes in concrete swimming pools. However, we understand that you will need to know about all the types of custom pools to choose from to make an informed decision on the best pool installed and built for you.

Concrete pools are, for many people, one of the best options. These are the essential facts about concrete pools, whether you're new to the subject or an old hand at it.
  1. Components
  2. Cost
  3. Both pros and cons
  4. Construction process
Let's begin by explaining more about a concrete pool.

What is a concrete pool?

Concrete is made up of cement and sand. However, we often use both words interchangeably. Concrete is a mixture of water, cement, and sand and contains a coarse aggregate (stone, gravel).
Concrete pool shells are created by spraying either shotcrete or gunite. Gunite, a dry mixture with water in a sprayer, is used to create concrete pool shells, and shotcrete is already moist. If done correctly, both methods will produce identical results and no significant differences in quality.
It takes time for concrete to reach its full potential after being sprayed, and it does not dry by itself; it hardens, strengthens, and hardens even more over a lengthy curing process. This takes around 28 days for a pool shell.
Concrete strength is measured in psi. This refers to the amount of concrete that must be crushed. 3500-4000 PSI is the average concrete strength. Concrete strength is affected by the number of cement sacks that are added to the mix. The more cement, the concrete will be stronger. Concrete can only be crushed by using a lot of pressure because the aggregate (the gravel or rocks mixed in) has high compressive strengths.
Concrete has a low tensile strength, so if you bend or flex it, it will pull on the surface and crack it. Houston Concrete pools can suffer from structural cracks or surface damage, and this is not ideal.

What is the average cost of a concrete pool?

What is the average price of a concrete pool in Cyprus or Houston?

A concrete pool can be priced at $50,000.00, up to 100,000 depending on the area. However, it is common for concrete pools built to be more expensive, especially if they are complemented with
landscaping and other accessories. Pool maintenance costs can add $20,000 to the total cost of ownership.

What are the pros and cons of owning a concrete pool?

What are the pros and disadvantages of having a concrete pool?

Concrete has many advantages in appearance. Maintaining that appearance requires a lot of effort, money, and time.

Concrete Pool Advantages

  1. You can customize
  2. Durable
  3. Pretty

You can customize

Concrete is highly customizable, and this is its primary advantage. Concrete pools allow you to modify the size and shape of the pool, as well as any other features you might need.


Concrete pools are also very long-lasting, like fiberglass. Vinyl liners are weak, so you don't need to be afraid of sharp objects hitting the pool. Your pets' nails won't damage concrete if they are allowed to swim in it.
Side note: The plaster of the pool (the inside finish) is less durable than the concrete structure and will need to be refinished, which adds to the cost of the entire lifetime.


Concrete pool designs also look great. Concrete Houston pools look great and are beautiful. Concrete pools don't need to be flooded or separated, and you can avoid algae and staining by maintaining a good concrete pool maintenance program.

Concrete Pool Advantages:

  1. Long Startup Process
  2. Surface rough
  3. Maintenance is very important
  4. It takes a lot of time and money
  5. Frequent refinishing

Long Startup Process

A concrete pool startup is slow and tedious. The curing process takes nearly a month, and many other steps are involved in the Cyprus or Houston, TX, pool construction process. Concrete pools take 3 to 6 months to construct, compared to vinyl and fiberglass pools which can be done in a matter of weeks.

Surface rough

Concrete pools are durable but can scratch your skin. Even if you refinish the plaster frequently, there is little you can do to change this texture.

Maintenance is essential

Concrete pools have a higher lifetime cost than fiberglass or vinyl liners. Concrete pools need extensive and constant maintenance. Concrete is porous and can easily harbor algae. Algae can become embedded in concrete pools' surfaces and are very difficult to get rid of. Concrete pool builders in Cyprus, TX, & Houston recommend brushing all surfaces with a steel brush once weekly to eliminate algae.
You will be responsible for maintaining your pool, and most routine maintenance is not worth professional effort. A professional pool cleaner will save you time and money.

Save time and money

Concrete pools can also have problems with water chemistry. You will need to use more chemicals to get rid of the algae. Concrete is also alkaline based, which causes the pool water to be constantly pH higher. To maintain a pH balance, you must regularly test your water and add acid to it. Maintaining a pool requires more money and time.

How are concrete pools made?

Frequent refinishing

Concrete is not compatible with salt so the dissolved salt in pool water will reduce the life expectancy of concrete pools. This means that plaster must be refinished every 10-15 years. You will need to hire professionals to do this job.
Concrete pools are more expensive to maintain than vinyl or fiberglass liner pools. The initial price is compounded by follow-up maintenance and expenses such as acid washing by professionals every 3-5 years, more money in chemicals, more money spent on electricity, and refinishing/remodeling.

How is concrete made?

A Houston concrete pool in Texas can be installed in about 3-6 months. You can find this detailed description of concrete pool construction. Concrete Pool Excavation The earth is excavated by the builders and then either transported off-site or used on the property. This could take up to two days.

1. Steel Placement

Builders tie together a steel bar cage, known as rebar, before encasing it in a concrete shell. This helps to prevent structural failure by creating a web of strength. Concrete structures such as swimming pools can be strengthened by adding steel. This increases their flexibility and ability to move in accordance with the environment. This stage takes about 1-2 days.

2. Concrete Pool Plumbing

The builders place the pipes necessary to circulate the pool water before laying the concrete shell. Most of the plumbing was installed before the steel phase, but some plumbing is supported and installed after. During the placement of concrete shells, the builders must cap and pressure test the plumbing. A plumbing and steel inspection is required before placing the concrete pool shell. This process will take about 1-2 days.

3. Concrete Shell Placement

Concrete (shotcrete or gunite) is poured into place using a nozzle. Then, the builders shape the concrete with straight edges and flat-edged trowels. You'll see the pool taking shape in 1-2 Days.

4. 28-Day Cure Time

Curing refers to the process by which certain molecules in cement are hydrated with water. Concrete that has been cured or hydrated is stronger. Concrete takes 28 days for a complete cure.

5. Waterproofing

The pool shell may be waterproofed by the builders. The builders may smoothen any areas on the body and thoroughly clean the surface before applying the waterproofing material. This process takes between 1-3 days.

6. Tile and Coping

Concrete pools have porous surfaces that can stain the waterline. tile is required to cover the top 6 inches. Coping refers to the concrete or stone border that is placed around the pool's perimeter and serves as a transition between the pool and the patio. Tile and coping are usually done together by the same contractor. Coping can take 3 to 2 weeks.

7. Patio Installation

Curing refers to the process by which certain molecules in cement are hydrated with water. Concrete that has been cured or hydrated is stronger. Concrete takes 28 days for a complete cure.

8. Plaster

In the final phase of pool construction, the Houston pool builders apply the interior surface. Plaster combines cement, sand, and marble dust with pigment. It is pumped through a hose and poured onto the pool shell. Then, it is trolled to create a flat surface. This is usually completed by builders in one day.

9. Concrete Pool Start-Up

You, or the builders, should check and balance the water's chemistry every day. To remove plaster dust, you must brush the pool at least twice daily for the first ten days. Pool heaters should be stopped before plaster dust has been removed. For at least 48 hours, you should not introduce chlorine. The start-up of the pool will take 10 working days.

What other options do I have?

This information will help you make the best decision for your situation. To ensure you get the best value for your money and the perfect fit for your home, you can review the pros and cons of fiberglass, vinyl liner, and concrete pools.

About Us

Aqua Blue Custom Pools is an inground swimming pool contractor located in Houston, TX. We specialize in creating custom pools and outdoor living spaces that are shaped around our customer's lifestyles.