Unlike a factory-manufactured, concrete gunite Custom Spas are a multiphase construction project with many variables—ranging from a backyard’s shape and elevation to equipment options. As a result, our team at Emerald Pool & Patio ask that we do a thorough evaluation process either in store or at your place of residence.
Asking “how much does an inground gunite pool or spa cost?” is like asking “how much does it cost to build a new home?” Before offering an estimate, it is critical for our pool and spa builders to understand all of the features and elements you want for your pool/spa and to account for all of the variables involved in construction. Giving “guesstimates” to customers would be a disservice; Emerald Pool and Patio believe in providing pricing information that leaves no room for surprises!
Let’s learn a bit more about why we choose to only build with Gunite Spas, and what is the process to build them out.
Before we get into the complexities of a custom-built gunite spa, let’s learn a little about why gunite spas are your best bang for your buck!
What Is a Gunite Spa?
As you research information on a potential new backyard spa, you will often read or hear the term “gunite.” What exactly is gunite? and What makes it so popular in the spa building market?
Gunite is a dry mix—with water added to it with a hose at the job site; vs shotcrete is a “wet mix” that’s blended up beforehand.
A Gunite in-ground swimming spa utilizes a rebar framework which is sprayed over with a mixture of sand and cement under very high pressure. This high-pressure spray packs the mixture so you end up with more concrete material per cubic yard. This method is preferred above the alternative of pouring concrete which needs an entire wooden framework which holds the overall shape of the basin.
Gunite is made to be durable and robust, which is why Emerald Pool and Patio only use gunite for their in-ground hot tub shells, making spas that last.
What’s most important to understand here is that both gunite and shotcrete are a form of concrete. Between the two, the term gunite is more widely used in reference to swimming pools or spas. However, it’s worth nothing that gunite is actually a type of shotcrete.
Gunite’s proven track record spans decades and all parts of the country (and globe). The key to its performance lies in its tensile strength—its ability to endure external force over time.
Along with boasting an extremely high tensile fortitude, gunite brings something else to the table: flexibility. That’s right, being flexible makes gunite perform even better in a spa.
The reason comes down to dirt—that is, shifting ground. Never entirely static, soil under and around a spa moves in place. It contracts and expands from factors like compaction, water intrusion, freezing and thawing, and dry conditions like drought. And of course, soil changes occur from earthquakes—even tiny ones we do not realize ever happened.
The lesson here is that a spa shell needs to “give” and be able to “go with the flow.” The structure—as tough and solid as it is—must have a dual personality so it can move and expand—and do it all without cracking!
Besides that, the gunite shell can handle the pressure that most any backyard can dish out.
This is hugely important for commercial spas. There’s a reason it’s rare to see any spas made from something besides gunite at a hotel or resort. Businesses that own and maintain these properties know what works best and provides the most value for their lasting in-ground hot tub shells. They need facilities that can be used by scores of guests and still hold up their appearance, safety, and durability.