When building a inground gunite pool you’ll sometimes hear conflicting information about how long it takes to build the pool. Specifically, you may be wondering how long to finish pool after gunite? Like many answers related to pools, ‘it depends’ is one response you may receive. However, there is some science to this question. We can help you understand some of the drivers of the schedule after gunite.
Gunite Cure Time
First, there’s the cure time for the concrete shell of the pool. I say concrete because that’s what gunite becomes after it is placed. Gunite is the process of placing concrete, not the concrete itself. The shell of the pool has a cure time of 28 days before it reaches its design strength. Design strength is usually 4,000 to 4,500 PSI.
Best practices dictate that you should wait until the pool shell has reached its design strength before you apply the finished plaster surface. This means you have at least a 28 day / 4 week wait time from the time your pool shell concrete is placed until the plaster goes in. Once the pool is plastered the pool is filled either the same day or the next day depending on the finish.
More Factors For How Long To Finish Pool After Gunite
Besides the cure time of gunite, there are still plenty of others things left to be done. While the curing has the longest time period of all, each of these factors have to be completed correctly.
Removing Forms And Starting Plumbing
What else can drive the schedule after gunite? Well beyond the cure time there are other factors which will cause your construction schedule to extend. Once the concrete shell is in place you must wait 5-7 days before removing the form work. Once the forms are removed you can finish the plumbing to the pool equipment pad and install the pool equipment.
Next, the electrician can come out and run the conduit from the lights to the junction boxes and from the junction boxes to the pool equipment location. Once the electrician gets their inspections you can backfill around the pool shell and compact. In between, you’ll need to prep the area around the pool for the new pool deck. Finally, you’ll need to have the electrician come back out and run a bond wire around the pool and get another inspection.
Tile, Coping And Decking
Next is where the pool can go a couple of different directions. First, if you are installing a poured pool deck with a cantilever edge, the tile is installed and then the deck can be poured. This order can be done vice versa depending on the deck forms being used.
Alternately, if you are building a pool with coping and a dry set or wet set deck, the coping can begin along with the tile work, followed by the deck material installation. It is good practice to finish all the deck work prior to plastering the pool. If you have a large stone deck being built, this can take weeks to complete depending on the material. If you have a poured concrete deck this can be done in a day or two.
Before you can plaster the pool and fill the pool with water you need to install your pool fence or make changes to your fence to meet your state, county or local barrier code. If there is no pool / spa barrier code where you live, it’s still a good idea to follow the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) at a minimum.
How Long To Finish Pool After Gunite Pro Tips
You also may want to bring in topsoil and do your landscaping before plastering the pool. Having a completed backyard prior to plastering the pool can reduce the amount of dust, dirt, and debris that end up in a newly completed pool. There is a lot of dust that ends up in the filter of a newly completed pool due to the plaster curing. You don’t need to add to it by having construction going on around the pool if you can help it.
How Long To Finish Pool After Gunite Bottom Line
As you can see, the 28 days after gunite can be filled with all sorts of activity. It’s not uncommon for there to be more work than can fit into the cure time of the gunite. Therefore, the completion schedule can extend beyond 28 days in some cases..
Just how far depends on a few items. First, the complexity of your patio space. Second, how much work there is to be done prior to plastering your pool. If your pool has an automatic cover, once the pool is plastered and filled with water, your cover can be installed.
Either way, the 1 or 2 months that it takes to start swimming after gunite is nothing compared to how many years your pool will last. Try to remain calm during pool construction, even when your backyard is completely torn apart.