Are Gunite Pools More Expensive?

Large backyard with slide, deck and pool

When you are searching for your new pool you probably have been researching the three main types, gunite, fiberglass, and vinyl liner.  Maybe you’ve even looked into stainless steel pools. You’re probably wondering as you do all this research, and look at all the pictures, are gunite pools more expensive?

Are Gunite Pools More Expensive?

The answer to this question like many questions related to backyard living, is it depends. A gunite pool is usually thought to be the most expensive option for your new pool.  However, if you were to compare an equally sized fiberglass pool to what would be a small gunite pool, you would find the pricing to be comparable.  Sometimes the fiberglass even costs a little more.  However, the fiberglass has the advantage of speedy installation, often taking less than a month for the whole process.  

Are Gunite Pools More Expensive Than Vinyl Liner Pools?

Vinyl liner pools are usually thought of as the least expensive option for inground pools.  However, you can blow the budget with today’s vinyl liner pools.  The builders of vinyl liner pools have gotten very creative,  providing vinyl infinity edges and advanced water features.  In the end, the price of your pool will be highly dependent on everything you choose in addition to the pool.  

The pool itself can become a minor part of the whole project when you consider everything else you can integrate into your backyard.  From pizza ovens, to outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and the patio itself.  Maybe you want to incorporate a pergola into the project.  All these features add measurably to the budget, whatever pool type you build.  

Hypothetical Pool Project Cost Difference

  • 18 x 36 Vinyl Liner Pool: $45,000
  • 14 x 36 Fiberglass Pool: $55,000 (smaller because it needs to go on the road in one piece)
  • 18 x 36 Gunite Pool: $60,000
Are Gunite Pools More Expensive Explained In Backyard With Waterfall and Planted Expensive Features

How Gunite Pools Become More Expensive: Pool Features

Next, you add the pool features.  The additional feature costs can vary widely. Gunite pools often looks more expensive because there is far more customization possible with a gunite pool.  You can build in giant boulders which are partially submerged.  Maybe you want to build in a sun shelf and put in bubbler features coming through a boulder arrangement. 

Then, there’s cleaning systems and interior finishes.  You can put in interior finishes on a gunite pool which cost as much as the base pool, or more if you tile the whole pool.  These features make the gunite pool look more expensive, but if you stick to the basics, a gunite pool is not too far off it’s companions in the grand scheme of budget.

Are Gunite Pools More Expensive Summary

Ultimately, the gunite pool is more expensive, but you might be surprised when you realize it’s not by much. Yes you can make a gunite pool far more expensive than a vinyl or fiberglass, but also remember your ancillary features and how they impact the total budget.  Keeping your new pool project on budget can be a challenge. Don’t hesitate to ask your salespeople for help in finding the right materials and features to keep your pool on budget.  Usually they’ll be more than happy to help, since they want you to build a pool almost as much as you want to.