First, once you have picked a pool design, went through the necessary municipality's requirements, and signed the contract the dig process begins. The basics of this include digging the hole to the proper oversize. They have dig your pool bigger than it actually is to accommodate the thickness of the gunite and possible water features. This means it will be wider and deeper than it actually will end up. This is the most important part for pool builders because this can soak up all their profits and ultimately effect the rest of the build process.
Second, the next stage is adding the electrical,plumbing, and steel. The plumbing should be sized adequately for the type equipment used and its purpose. Basically, on a standard pool with a 1.5 horsepower pump the plumbing needs to be 1.5" minimum. Pools with pumps 2 horsepower need plumbing of 2" diameter minimum and so on. Spas will need 2" plumbing minimum and will perform much better with 2.5" piping. For the pool's steel, it needs to be minimum 3/8" steel re-bar on 12" centers. This is actually pretty poor. Most custom pool builders in Texas use 3/8" re-bar on 10" centers. The best would either 1/2" re-bar on 8" centers or 3/8" re-bar on 6" centers with a 12" box beam (where the coping and tile are set). Also there should be deck ties every 3'.
Third, the gunite stage where the actual pool begins to take shape. Gunite is 2X's stronger than concrete! This is also stronger than Shot-Crete obvious because this process still uses concrete. On this stage, the pool needs a 12x12 box beam on top. The walls and floors need to be 6" thick minimum. In places where ground movement is an issue then you will want 9" thick walls and floors.
Fourth, this is the time where the coping and tile are added to the pool. Basically at this stage, the groundwork has been laid. Any competent mason can install any pool friendly stonework to your liking. Pool friendly material around pool s include: brick, Oklahoma flagstone, white Austin, travertine, and cast stone.
Fifth, now it is time to add decking to the pool. Pool decking is tied to the aforementioned deck ties. These keep your pool deck from heaving completely above the pool. The pool deck steel should 3/8" re-bar on 12" centers. The concrete should be 3-4" and piers added as need.
Sixth, the last and final stage is the pool plaster. The hardest part of this stage is picking a color and finish. There several colors and finishes available. The pebble, quartz, and glass bead type are the most durable but can be the roughest on your feet. Definitely keep this mind when making your selection.
Above are the most important key specifications you need to make sure your pool has to endure long life. If the joker pool builders cut corners on these specs (which they will to make money) then your pool will be a constant pain in your side. Be careful when selecting a pool builder. Plus remember you get what you pay for!
For a knowledgeable an trustworthy pool builder: