Can You Change the Shape of Gunite Pool

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Gunite pools are renowned for their durability, versatility, and timeless appeal, making them a popular choice among homeowners seeking a luxurious oasis in their backyard.

However, as personal tastes evolve and landscaping preferences change, you might find yourself wondering if it’s possible to transform the shape of your existing gunite pool to better suit your current vision.

In this article, we will explore the intriguing question of whether it’s possible to alter the shape of a gunite pool and delve into the considerations, challenges, and possibilities that come with such a project.

So, if you’re contemplating a pool makeover and seeking expert insights, read on to discover what it takes to reshape your gunite pool and create a refreshing outdoor retreat that perfectly complements your lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Gunite pools are popular for their durability and versatility, but as personal tastes change, pool owners may consider reshaping their existing pools to better suit their preferences.

  • Reasons for changing the shape of a gunite pool include enhancing aesthetics, improving functionality, optimizing space, addressing design flaws, and adding new features.

  • Yes, it is possible to change the shape of a gunite pool. The process involves excavation, construction work, and refinishing to achieve the desired shape.

  • Important factors to consider before changing the shape include budget, design and functionality, permits and regulations, surrounding landscape, plumbing and equipment modifications, and the construction timeline.

  • Gunite pools offer various shapes, including rectangular, freeform, L-shaped, Roman or Grecian, kidney-shaped, and fully customized designs.

  • The cost of changing the shape of a gunite pool can range from $30,000 to $60,000, depending on the pool’s size, complexity, and additional features.

  • Limitations and risks associated with reshaping a gunite pool include ensuring structural integrity, proper plumbing and equipment modifications, adherence to budget, potential delays, landscaping implications, and compliance with permits and regulations.

Why Change the Shape of Gunite Pool

Owning a gunite pool offers a wealth of enjoyment and relaxation for homeowners. However, as time goes on, our preferences and needs may shift, leading us to contemplate changes to our beloved pool’s design.

Below, we will explore the reasons behind considering a transformation in the shape of your gunite pool. From enhancing aesthetics and functionality to adapting to evolving lifestyles, discover the compelling motivations that drive pool owners to embark on this exciting journey of reshaping their aquatic haven.

  • Aesthetics: Changing the shape of the pool can help enhance the overall appearance of the backyard. A new shape can give the pool a more modern or contemporary look, and it can also be customized to complement the surrounding landscape or architectural style of the home.

  • Functionality: Different pool shapes offer different functionalities. For example, a rectangular or lap pool shape is better suited for swimming laps or exercising, while a kidney-shaped or freeform pool shape provides a more casual and relaxed atmosphere. Changing the shape of the pool can help ensure that it meets specific functional requirements or preferences of the homeowner.

  • Space optimization: In some cases, the existing shape of the pool may not be utilizing the available space efficiently. Changing the shape can provide additional area for seating, sunbathing, or landscaping around the pool, making the space more functional and enjoyable.

  • Resolving design flaws or issues: Sometimes, the original shape of the pool may have design flaws or issues that need to be addressed. For example, a pool with sharp corners or odd angles may not be safe or user-friendly. Changing the shape can help rectify these flaws and create a more user-friendly and visually pleasing pool.

  • Adding features or amenities: Changing the shape of the pool can also provide an opportunity to add new features or amenities. For example, a new shape may allow for the installation of a spa, a beach entry, a tanning shelf, or other water features that were not feasible with the original shape.

Can You Change the Shape of Gunite Pool

Yes, it is possible to change the shape of a gunite pool. Changing the shape of a gunite pool means altering the existing design or structure of the pool to create a different shape.

Gunite pools are made of a mixture of concrete and sand that is sprayed onto a steel or wire framework, creating a durable and customizable pool structure.

By changing the shape of a gunite pool, the overall layout and appearance of the pool can be transformed to meet the homeowner’s desired aesthetics, functionality, or space optimization goals.

This process typically involves excavation and construction work to reshape the pool, followed by refinishing and resurfacing to create a new and updated look.

However, changing the shape of a gunite pool is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

  • Budget: Changing the shape of a gunite pool can be a costly project. It involves excavation, construction, plumbing, and finishing work, which can add up in terms of labor and materials. It’s essential to set a realistic budget and factor in any additional features or amenities you plan to add.

  • Design and functionality: Consider how the new shape will affect the pool’s design and functionality. Think about how the pool will be used and what activities you want to accommodate. For example, if you want to swim laps, a rectangular shape might be more suitable. If you want a more organic and natural look, a freeform or kidney shape could be a better fit.

  • Permits and regulations: Check local building codes and obtain any necessary permits before starting the project. Municipal regulations may dictate setback requirements, pool size limitations, or specific safety features that need to be incorporated.

  • Surrounding landscape: Consider how the new shape of the pool will fit into the surrounding landscape. Think about sightlines, outdoor living areas, and any existing trees or structures that may affect the pool’s shape or position. Ensure that the new shape complements and enhances the overall outdoor space.

  • Plumbing and equipment: Changing the shape of the pool may require adjustments to the plumbing and equipment systems. Consider how this will affect the efficiency and performance of the pool. Consult with a professional pool contractor to ensure that the necessary modifications are made to accommodate the new pool shape without compromising functionality.

  • Construction timeline: Understand that changing the shape of a pool is a time-consuming process. Excavation, construction, and finishing work can take several weeks or even months, depending on the scope of the project. Plan accordingly and be prepared for possible delays.

  • Hiring professionals: Changing the shape of a gunite pool is not a DIY project. It requires the expertise of pool contractors and professionals who are experienced in pool construction and renovation. Research and hire a reputable and licensed contractor with a proven track record in pool remodeling.

How to Change the Shape of Gunite Pool

Transforming the shape of a gunite pool can breathe new life into your outdoor oasis and elevate your poolside experience. While the process may seem daunting, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the essential stages of reshaping your gunite pool.

From envisioning the new design to collaborating with skilled professionals and ensuring a successful transformation, you’ll gain valuable insights into the art of reshaping your pool. Discover how a careful plan and expert execution can turn your existing pool into a stunning and customized aquatic retreat, perfectly tailored to suit your lifestyle and preferences.

  • Consultation and design: Start by consulting with a pool contractor or designer who specializes in pool renovations. Discuss your goals, preferences, and budget. They will work with you to create a design plan for the new pool shape, taking into account factors like functionality, aesthetics, and any additional features or amenities you want to incorporate.

  • Excavation: Once the design is finalized, the existing pool will need to be excavated to reshape it. This typically involves draining the pool, removing any existing pool finishes, and using excavation equipment to dig out the new shape. All excavated material should be properly disposed of.

  • Reinforcement: The pool walls and floor will be properly reinforced to support the new shape. Steel reinforcement, including rebar or wire mesh, may be necessary to strengthen the structure and ensure its longevity.

  • Gunite application: Gunite, a mixture of sand, concrete, and water, is sprayed onto the steel reinforcement to form the new pool structure. This process involves skilled workers who use specialized equipment to apply the gunite evenly and smoothly to the desired shape.

  • Curing and finishing: After the gunite is applied, it needs time to cure and harden. During this curing period, the pool will be kept moist and protected from the elements. Once the gunite has cured, the pool’s interior surface will be finished using materials like plaster, pebble, or tile.

  • Plumbing and equipment installation: The pool’s plumbing and equipment systems will need to be adjusted to accommodate the new shape. This may include repositioning or modifying the pool’s skimmers, returns, drains, and other necessary features. The electrical connections for pumps, filters, and other equipment may also need to be relocated or adjusted.

  • Landscaping and final touches: Once the pool structure and systems are in place, the surrounding landscape can be enhanced and customized. This may involve grading the area, adding new decking or patio surfaces, planting vegetation, and installing other desired features like lighting or water fountains.

What is the Ideal Shape for a Gunite Pool

The ideal shape for a gunite pool ultimately depends on your personal preferences, the available space, and the intended use of the pool. Gunite pools offer incredible design flexibility, allowing you to choose from a wide range of shapes. Here are a few popular shapes that are often considered ideal for gunite pools:

  • Rectangular or Geometric Shapes: Rectangular or geometric shapes are timeless and classic. They offer clean lines, symmetry, and a sense of elegance. Rectangular pools are well-suited for those who enjoy swimming laps or engaging in water-based exercises. Geometric shapes, such as squares or rectangles with rounded corners, provide a modern and sleek aesthetic.

  • Free-Form Shapes: Free-form pools have gained popularity for their organic and natural appearance. These shapes mimic the curves and contours found in nature, such as kidney shapes, amoeba shapes, or custom-designed shapes that mimic lagoons or ponds. Free-form pools offer a more relaxed and informal atmosphere, ideal for creating a backyard oasis.

  • L-Shaped Pools: L-shaped pools combine the functionality of a rectangular pool with a more unique design element. They often feature a larger main area for swimming and recreation, with a separate smaller section branching off for relaxation, a spa, or shallow lounging area. L-shaped pools provide versatility and can be visually striking.

  • Roman or Grecian Shapes: Inspired by ancient architecture, Roman or Grecian-shaped pools exude a sense of grandeur and timelessness. They typically feature elegant curves, semi-circular or oval ends, and symmetrical proportions. Roman or Grecian pools are well-suited for those seeking a more formal and sophisticated pool design.

  • Kidney-shaped: A kidney-shaped pool is similar to a freeform pool but with a more defined shape. It has an asymmetrical and rounded shape that can provide a visually appealing and unique look. A kidney-shaped pool often works well in smaller or irregularly shaped yards and can include various depths and alcoves.

  • Customized Shapes: One of the advantages of gunite pools is the ability to create fully customized shapes. You can work with a pool designer to bring your unique vision to life. From abstract shapes to personalized designs reflecting your hobbies or interests, the possibilities are limitless.

When determining the ideal shape for your gunite pool, consider factors such as the available space, the surrounding landscape, the architectural style of your home, and how you plan to use the pool. It’s also important to balance aesthetics with functionality and to ensure that the shape integrates seamlessly with the overall design of your outdoor living area.

Working with an experienced pool designer or builder who specializes in gunite pools can help you explore various shape options, understand the pros and cons of each, and ultimately make an informed decision based on your specific preferences and needs. Remember, the ideal shape is the one that brings you joy and creates a beautiful and functional space for relaxation, recreation, and enjoyment.

Is It Expensive to Change the Shape of a Pool

The cost of changing the shape of a pool can vary significantly based on several factors. These factors include pool size, complexity of the desired shape change, materials used for construction, and any additional features incorporated into the design.

To obtain an accurate cost estimate, it is recommended to consult with a reputable swimming pool contractor and schedule an on-site consultation.

However, changing the shape of a pool is the most expensive type of pool renovation and can cost between $30,000 and $60,000.

Yes, changing the shape of a pool can be an expensive undertaking. The cost will depend on various factors, including the size of the pool, the complexity of the shape change, the extent of excavation and construction work required, and any additional features or amenities that you want to incorporate.

Here are some cost considerations:

  • Excavation and construction: Changing the shape of a pool typically involves excavation to remove the existing structure and create the new shape. This excavation work can be labor-intensive and may require heavy equipment, which contributes to the overall cost.

  • Materials and finishes: The new pool shape will require construction materials such as gunite (concrete and sand mix), reinforcing steel, plumbing pipes, and interior finishes such as plaster, pebble, or tile. The cost of these materials will vary depending on the size of the pool and your chosen finishes.

  • Plumbing and equipment modifications: Altering the pool shape may require adjustments to the plumbing and equipment systems. This can involve rerouting pipes, relocating skimmers and drains, and modifying equipment connections. The complexity of these modifications can add to the overall cost.

  • Additional features or amenities: If you plan to add features or amenities such as a spa, waterfalls, or lighting, these will incur additional costs. The complexity and scale of these features will impact the overall expenses.

  • Labor and professional fees: Hiring experienced pool contractors or designers is crucial to ensure a successful shape change. Their expertise and labor will contribute to the overall cost of the project. Additionally, if permits or inspections are required, there may be associated fees.

  • Landscaping and hardscaping: Changing the shape of the pool may have implications for the surrounding landscape or hardscape. Adjustments to grading, deck surfaces, or vegetation may be necessary to integrate the new pool shape. These landscaping costs should also be factored into the overall expense.

Limitations or Risks Associated With Changing the Shape of a Gunite Pool

While the idea of changing the shape of your gunite pool may be alluring, it’s essential to be aware of the limitations and potential risks involved in such a significant undertaking. Below are some key considerations before embarking on this transformational journey. By understanding these limitations and risks, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your vision and budget while ensuring the long-term enjoyment and functionality of your revamped pool.

  • Structural integrity: Altering the shape of a gunite pool requires significant construction work. It is important to ensure that the pool’s structural integrity is not compromised during the process. Working with experienced pool contractors can help mitigate this risk, as they can assess the feasibility of the desired changes and implement appropriate reinforcement measures.

  • Plumbing and equipment modifications: Changing the shape of a pool may necessitate modifications to the plumbing and equipment systems. This can be complex and may require rerouting pipes, adjusting skimmers and drains, or relocating equipment. Improper modifications can lead to plumbing leaks or inefficient water circulation, which can affect the pool’s performance and maintenance.

  • Budgetary considerations: Changing the shape of a gunite pool can be a costly endeavor. The extent of the modifications, including excavation, structural reinforcements, and finishing work, can quickly add up in terms of labor and material costs. It is crucial to have a realistic budget in place and carefully consider the financial implications of the project.

  • Construction timeline: Changing the shape of a pool can take a significant amount of time. Excavation, construction, curing, and finishing work can span several weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of the project and any unforeseen challenges that may arise. It is important to have a clear understanding of the timeline and be prepared for potential delays in project completion.

  • Landscaping implications: Altering the pool’s shape may impact the surrounding landscape. It is crucial to consider the implications on existing structures, vegetation, and the overall aesthetics of the outdoor space. Adequate planning and coordination with landscaping professionals can help ensure that the new pool shape integrates smoothly with the surrounding environment.

  • Permits and regulations: Changing the shape of a pool may require permits and adherence to local building codes and regulations. It is essential to research and obtain all necessary permits before commencing any construction work. Failure to comply with regulations can result in legal issues or the need to undo any modifications made.

If you’re looking to enhance your swimming pool experience through pool renovation and expansion projects, our ultimate guides are your go-to resource. We offer comprehensive and detailed information on a variety of pool renovation options and expansion possibilities. Whether you’re interested in adding a spa, changing the shape or depth, or expanding the size of your gunite pool, our guides will provide step-by-step guidance from the initial planning and design stages to the successful execution and completion of your project.

Can You Expand Gunite Pool: If you desire to extend your gunite pool, you can explore the possibilities of expansion while considering the feasibility, design adjustments, and construction process to achieve your desired pool size. Expanding a gunite pool requires careful planning, evaluation of the existing structure, and engaging skilled professionals to ensure a seamless integration with the current pool design.

How to Prepare for Gunite Pool Renovation: Before undertaking a gunite pool renovation, thorough preparation is essential, encompassing aspects such as careful planning, budgeting, selecting reputable contractors, and ensuring compliance with local regulations to ensure a successful and satisfying pool transformation. By understanding the renovation process and setting clear goals, you can create a revitalized and improved pool space that meets your vision and expectations.

Can You Integrate a Spa to an Existing Gunite Pool: Enhancing your existing gunite pool with a spa is indeed possible, and understanding the design, technical requirements, and potential benefits will guide you through this exciting pool renovation process. By collaborating with experienced pool designers and contractors, you can seamlessly integrate a spa into your gunite pool, elevating your pool experience with added relaxation and luxury.

Can You Change the Depth of a Gunite Pool: Altering the depth of a gunite pool can be considered, but it involves a precise construction process, safety evaluations, and compliance with relevant codes to achieve the desired pool depth modification effectively. Engaging a professional pool contractor is crucial to assess the structural integrity of the pool, address potential challenges, and ensure the modifications align with safety standards and your preferences.

Can You Change the Size of a Gunite Pool: Whether enlarging or reducing the size of your gunite pool, assessing structural implications, design adjustments, and regulatory considerations will guide you in making informed decisions for your pool size modification. Engaging experienced pool professionals will help you determine the most suitable size adjustments while ensuring the pool’s structural integrity, functionality, and aesthetic appeal are preserved.


The prospect of changing the shape of a gunite pool is an alluring one, offering the promise of a renewed and personalized aquatic haven. However, this undertaking should not be taken lightly, as it comes with significant considerations and potential challenges. To embark on this transformative journey, careful planning, collaboration with experienced professionals, and adherence to local regulations are paramount.

As pool owners seek to align their outdoor retreats with evolving tastes and lifestyles, the decision to reshape a gunite pool requires thoughtful reflection and a realistic assessment of the associated limitations and risks. Structural integrity, budgetary constraints, permitting, and the time investment involved must all be taken into account.

When approached with care and guided by expertise, changing the shape of a gunite pool can result in a stunning and functional masterpiece, uniquely tailored to the homeowner’s vision. By weighing the benefits against the challenges and making informed choices, pool owners can embrace the rewarding transformation of their beloved aquatic oasis, enjoying years of blissful relaxation and countless cherished moments by the water’s edge.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it hard to reshape a pool?

Reshaping a pool can be a challenging and complex task, especially if it involves major changes to the pool’s structure and layout. The difficulty depends on various factors, including the type of pool (gunite, fiberglass, vinyl, etc.), the extent of the desired changes, and the skill level of the pool contractor performing the work. Minor cosmetic changes may be easier, but significant alterations often require professional expertise and careful planning to avoid potential damage and ensure structural integrity.

2. What is the best shape pool to get?

The best shape pool is one that complements your outdoor space and aligns with your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences. Consider the pool’s function, how it fits into your overall landscape, and what design brings you the most joy and satisfaction. Rectangular or square pools are classic and versatile, ideal for swimming laps and hosting gatherings, while kidney-shaped pools offer a more organic and curvy design, creating a relaxing, natural ambiance. Freeform pools provide an artistic and irregular shape, blending well with landscaped environments. Geometric shapes, such as oval or L-shaped, offer a simple and modern look that fits well in contemporary settings.

3. What shape of pool is less expensive?

In general, simpler and more geometric shapes tend to be less expensive to build than complex and custom-designed shapes. Rectangular or square pools are often the most cost-effective because they require less labor and materials. On the other hand, freeform or custom-designed pools involve more intricate construction, which can drive up the overall cost.

4. What shape pool is easiest to maintain?

Simple, geometric shapes like rectangular or square pools are usually the easiest to maintain. These shapes have clear lines and fewer nooks and crannies, making them less prone to debris accumulation. Additionally, standard pool covers and cleaning equipment are generally more effective on these shapes.

5. Can you change the shape of a gunite pool without excavation?

Changing the shape of a gunite pool without excavation is challenging, but it may be possible in some cases. Pool owners can explore the option of pool remodeling, where certain cosmetic changes are made to the existing gunite shell, such as altering the entry steps or adding features like benches or tanning ledges. However, significant shape changes or resizing typically require excavation and significant renovations, which can be costly and time-consuming. It is essential to consult with experienced pool professionals to assess the feasibility and limitations of any shape-changing project without excavation.

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Written By Scott Keller

Scott Keller is an experienced pool industry professional with over 20 years of expertise in gunite pool design, construction, and maintenance.

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