Family Owned and Operated since 1968   423.899.6780

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is a Gunite swimming pool?
A: A Gunite swimming pool is a steel reinforced concrete structure that is applied with high pressure air, shot from a hose with a special nozzle attached. The material going through the hose can be either a mix of sand and concrete that is wet at the nozzle, or a wet mix that is delivered by Ready Mix trucks and air at the nozzle sprays the mix.

Q: Why do I want a Gunite pool instead of a vinyl or fiberglass pool?
A: With Gunite pools you can build different shapes and depths with more creativity. With a Gunited pool, you can add more features and build in more difficult terrains than you can with prefab pools. Gunite pools will last longer and are easier to maintain and repair. It is like comparing a brick house to a mobile home. They both serve the same function, but the brick house will usually look better longer, be easier to maintain and hold its value longer.

Q: Who purchases the building permit?
A: We are a Licensed General Contractor with $1,000,000 of Liability Insurance and Workman's Compensation Insurance. We will purchase all necessary permits: building, electrical or environmental health. If a variance is needed, the homeowners will be responsible for any additional fees. If a Home Owners Association Landscape plan is required, we can provide this service for a small fee.

Q: Do I need a survey plat?
A: If you are not sure where your boundaries are marked, you may need a survey plat. If you are on septic system and you do not know where your tank or lines are, you will need a survey plat of your system from Environmental Health. The cost of a survey plat of your property can range in price from $300 to $1200 and up, depending on the size of your property. An environmental survey from the Health Department may be on record at the Health Department, depending on when the house was built. Cost can be anywhere from $100 and up.

Q: If I need trees removed or retaining walls built, can you do this type of work?
A: Yes. We can handle all of your tree removal or retaining wall needs.

Q: What kinds of equipment do you use and how much area do you need to enter or exit my backyard?
A: We use a track hoe to dig the pool and we will have large dump trucks and concrete trucks entering and leaving your property. We will need at least twelve feet of width and height for these types of equipment.

Q: What happens if my driveway is broken?
A: We will make every effort not to damage any of your property, but it is the homeowners responsibility to provide us with access to the job site. We cannot be held responsible for damages that may be incurred by heavy machinery.

Q: What happens if you should hit rock while digging?
A: Our excavator will stop the digging and will work up a proposal with an approximation of the additional cost for removing the rock. Once the proposal for the rock removal has been submitted the homeowner makes the decision to continue digging, or you may get a proposal from another excavator, or you may stop the job from proceeding and have the excavator fill in the yard, pay the excavator for his time and stop the work on the pool. We would tear up the contract and thank you for choosing our company to do business with and hope that you will remember us should you ever change your mind or move to a location without rock.

Q: How thick is the Gunite and how strong?
A: Our walls and floors average 8 inches thick with a 12 inch inside top beam for our pool coping to rest on. We shoot a mix that sets up around 7000 P.S.I.

Q: What size steel is used?
A: We never use any steel smaller 1/2 inch thick vertical and horizontal on 10 to 12 inch centers in all pools. Depending on the engineering needs of the pool structure, some jobs may require larger steel or even double walled steel, such as for negative edge pools

Q: What kind of top trim do you use?
A: We generally use "Alabama Shadow Stone Limestone Rock" for our pool coping, but we have different color slate stone, brick and pavers that can be used for the top border edge of the pool. Beneath the pool coping is a 6 inch by 6 inch tile running the perimeter of the pool with accent tiles on the steps, benches, swim-outs, and loveseats. We have several patterns and textures to choose from.

Q: How thick is the pool plaster?
A: We trowel our plaster on an average of 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch thick. We have several colors and textures to choose from.

Q: What type of plumbing do you install?
A: Chattanooga Pool uses schedule 40 PVC pressure type plumbing and pressure type plumbing fittings throughout the pool. All piping and fittings are a minimum of 2 inch PVC and all plumbing is run separately to the filter pad. We use two or more skimmers on pools larger than 500 square feet. We always install two main drains with Anti Entrapment lids. We install at least four return lines, one automatic cleaner line, one overfill line and an automatic water fill line.

Q: What electrical requirements are needed?
A: All pumps and heaters are wired 220/230 services; each pool light is 110/115 services. You also will need a duplex receptacle within 20 feet of the pool and you may want extra electrical for other duplexes or outside lighting. A licensed electrician will be needed for all electrical work. This is generally an additional cost, but we can have the electrical work priced into the job once we have inspected the job site.

Q: What types of tile are available?
A: We let the homeowner's choose the tile color and pattern that suits their taste from the large selection of sample boards that we have in our showroom. We will guide you during your selection of tile and let you know which tiles will last longer and give you the least amount of trouble.

Q: What type of concrete deck or concrete apron is around the pool?
A: All types of decking are available. Broom finish concrete is the most common decking, but colors and patterns can change the look dramatically, also available are pavers in different patterns and colors. Stamped concrete is also available in different patterns and colors and different types of stone.

Q: Do I have to install a fence?
A: Yes, there is a 4 foot minimum height fence law for most areas in the tri-state region; some cities will require taller fences. Gates on fences have to be self-closing, self-latching and self locking. Check with your city or county building permits office and check with your homeowner's insurance agent for the fence regulations for your property.

Q: Do you landscape after the pool has been installed?
A: We do a fine grading of the area around the pool. We can do a landscape, such as build walls, plant trees, shrubs, grass and flowers for an additional cost.

Q: What can I expect to pay for things such as chemicals, electricity and water?
A: Several things can determine these costs. The size of the pool, the amount of the use, the amount of sunlight, how much vegetation surrounds the pool, if the pool has an automatic pool cover, how much time your pump and filter are running, and your automatic cleaner pump running. Costs also will vary because of water and electric companies cost to you.

Q: How much time is involved in maintain and servicing the pool?
A: With the equipment that we provide with your pool, normal maintenance should not take any longer than it took to mow the grass before the pool was installed.

Q: Do you offer a service plan?
A: Yes, we have a certified service technician that can come to your home on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. They will test your water, add the required chemicals, clean your pool, and check your equipment for wear.

Q: Is an automatic pool cover worth the money?
A: Yes, automatic pool covers will save you money on electrical, water, chemicals and heating the pool. It is also an additional deterrent with your fencing for safety. The cost depends on the size and shape of your pool. On average the cost can range from $6,000 - $11,000.

Q: How long does it take to build a Gunite pool?
A: Anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. Depending on the size of the pool, the difficulty of the yard, and the amount of extras your pool has, such as whirlpools, fountains or waterfalls.

Q: Do you carry insurance?
A: All of our workers and subcontractors have Workman's Compensation Insurance and we carry $1,000,000 in Liability Insurance. A copy of a Certificate of Insurance will be given to the homeowner whenever a contract is signed?

Q: What is the warranty on your Gunite pools?
A: We warrant the Gunite shell against structural damage, sacks in the Gunite to the original owner for as long as he/she owns the property where the pool was built. The warranty can be transferred to a new owner with an inspection done by Chattanooga Pool and payment of $500 for a transfer fee.

Q: Will the pool add any value to my property?
A: Yes, a maintained pool will increase the value of your property.

Q: What is the cost of a Gunite pool?
A: Starting prices for a Gunite pool will depend on the size, depth, shape, type of materials used for finishes and type and brand of equipment. A small shallow pool 3 1/5 to 5 1/2 feet deep with a minimum amount of decking can start around $55,000.

Q: What types of accessories come with the pool?
A: Ladder, pool light, two main drains, skimmer, three return lines, automatic chlorinator, vacuum equipment, maintenance equipment, steps and handrails, pool cover, pump and filter, testing equipment and startup chemicals. The accessories listed above are standard equipment for all pools. Equipment such as additional skimmers, lights, returns, automatic cleaners, heaters, automatic covers, fountains and waterfalls are available at an additional cost.

Q: Can you describe the pool construction process?
A: PREPARATION: Prior to construction, we survey the job site, design the pool and the pool hydraulics, and purchase all necessary permits. We will assist the owners in choosing materials and colors to be used in their outdoor room addition.

EXCAVATION: When the pool has been laid out on the area agreed to by owners and the pool contractor, our skilled workman and special excavation equipment begin to dig and shape the excavated pool. When the pool has been excavated, a 2 inch to 6 inch layer of gravel is installed. The gravel will allow drainage under the concrete bottom and the steel reinforcing rods free of mud.

FRAMEWORK: The excavated pool area is formed so that we have a visual pool form to work to. Plumbing such as skimmers, returns, main drains, lights and cleaning equipment are stubbed in.

STEEL: A steel grid of reinforcing rods are tied together with extra steel in the pool beam. The steel reinforcing rods add strength and longevity to the finished pool shell.

GUNITE POOL SHELL: The floors and walls of the pool are then shot on average of 8 inches with a concrete mix called shortcrete, which is a mixture of concrete, sand and gravel, which is mixed at the Ready Mix Plant and delivered to the pool site and fed into the shortcrete pump. The mix sets up around 7500 P.S.I. Sometimes a richer mix is used for an even stronger finish.

POOL COPING: When the pool shell has been shortcreted and all forms have been stripped and moved out of the way the pool coping will be installed. Most of the time that will be a 2 inch thick polished limestone called "Alabama Shadow Stone", with a rounded bull nose on the poolside edge

POOL TILE: We offer several colors and patterns of tile as well as different types of tile. A 6 inch row of tile will be installed at the water line to accent the pool as well as to help make it easier to clean the water line

PLUMBING: Contractor shall install all plumbing pipe at least 1 foot below the top level of the pool and cover with gravel. All plumbing shall be schedule-40 pressure pipe with pressure fittings and run separately to the filter pad.

DECKING: Decking around the pool area is very important to the final look and finish and enjoyment of your pool. There are several types of material in different colors and patterns, and designs available for use in the deck area.

POOL EQUIPMENT: The pool equipment shall be installed in different stages of the pool construction. Skimmers, main drains and light niches are installed prior to the shotcrete being applied. Ladders, rails, and diving boards are installed with or after the decking has been finished. Pumps, filters heaters, automatic covers and lights are installed after the decking has been installed, but before the pool has been plastered.

PLASTER FINISH: When all of the pool equipment has been installed and all of the electrical work has been completed and all grade work and landscaping has been completed, the pool shell shall be cleaned, acid washed, water plugged and applied with a bond coat to make the plaster finish bond with the gunite shell more firmly. The pool surface can be finished with several types of plaster finishes with different colors and textures available to the owner, some at an up charge. This durable and attractive finish will complete your ultimate outdoor recreation area

START-UP: Once the pool is filled with water a certified pool operator starts up the equipment and makes sure that everything is operating correctly. The pool operator shall instruct the owner in the use of all equipment and the maintaining of the pools chemical balance. The owner will be given a three-ring binder with all paper work including warranties on all pool equipment and pool as well as blueprints of the pool, pool coping, in floor cleaning system (if applicable) Our office and cellular telephone numbers will also be provided, because we know that you will think of questions that you forgot to ask or questions about your pool operation that you forgot. We will always return you call.

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