gunite swimming pool construction diagrams drawing engineering

Construction Terms

Pool Construction Terms

Swimming pool builders may speak a language that you do not understand yet! Many of our clients mention that they do not know all all of the terminology or “lingo” that we use to describe and calculate the swimming pool design. This article will help you learn exactly what we mean when we refer to the technical jargon!


The swimming pool “beam” is an important part of the structure. This part of the pool is located at the top and traces the perimeter shape.


The material that sits on top of the pool “beam” and follows the shape, concrete decking will butt up to the backside of this material with a “control joint”. You have your choice from brick, flagstone, or travertine included.


The measurement of the perimeter of the pool beam, as in tracing the shape of the pool. Also referred to as the “pool beam”. The image below is just a general guide to the terminology.


Specs for rebar are standard at 10″ “o/c” which stands for “on center” making a 10″ x 10″ square. We supersede this standard spec by using more steel at 8″ o/c. So, we install a tight rebar steel cage. The “boxed beam” supersedes standards by including 4 of the 5/8″ steel bars in a continuous loop inside the pool beam.


Is a form of concrete that can be “shot” through a high pressure hose, applied at a high velocity our gunite cures up to 4000psi over time after hardening. Gunite applicators MUST be certified to ensure our lifetime warranty. PSI refers to the curing strength of concrete, how much psi must be required before it cracks.

Check out the pool Construction Timeline

Surface Area

This term refers to the square footage of area of water only inside the pool. As a 2d top down representation.

Pool Interior

There is “white marcite” which is industry standard, cheap stuff. We will not use marcite because you get what you pay for. So, for the same price we have a white quartz blend with 2 color options included and has a 7 year warranty. The pool interior, surface is a material that bonds to the gunite shell and keeps the pool water from leaking, but is also has a very nice appeal to the overall look and feel of the pool. There are all kinds of crazy additives and prices but we have you in 40% quartz blend, with optional blue flakes on a white base with a 7 yr warranty.


will be 4.5″ thick concrete, to include footing and piers as needed along the edges to keep from cracking or separation, big deal to do this especially on sloping yards. Concrete is coated with a 1/16″ knock down texture and colored to your choice of any color.

Minimum Pool Specs

(This information should also be listed within your proposal details = 4 pages)

• Shape = Free form, aka custom or Geometric
• Length = Total length of pool interior at the longest point.
• Width = Total width of pool interior at the widest point.
• Surface Area = The “footprint” of pool in square feet.
• Perimeter = Trace the shape of the top level pool beam.
• Min Depth = The shallowest point of the pool.
• Max Depth = Deepest point of pool.
• Gallons = How much water the pool holds; volume.

• Decking Material = The finish material for pool decking.
• Decking Square Footage = Total amount of concrete decking in square feet.
• Decking Steps = as needed per design
• Footing, piers as needed to reinforce against shifting

Filtration Pump

is the main pool pump, it will run for 8hrs per day, so we have upgraded that to a variable speed to save you money in the long run, Hayward TriStar horse power =2, and runs on 4 speeds per day.

Control Center

is the Ecommand 4, pool only, and includes a wireless remote, and has full control of your pumps, light, timers, air & water temp sensors, freeze protection, and more.

Pool Cleaner

is the Polaris 280 pressure feed, the best you can get, and includes a booster pump that runs it for about 3hrs a day.

Pool Filter

is a Hayward cartridge with 4 elements which should only require cleaning about every 6 months


The means in which you will keep the pool water sanitary.