Why would I Pick a Fiberglass Pools vs Concrete?

Installing a swimming pool will add a new dimension of entertainment and be a gathering place for your family and friends to enjoy! It will have a lasting effect on your life. These are the 10 best reasons to choose a fiberglass pool.

1. Installation Time

Your fiberglass swimming pool comes directly from the Fiberglass Pool manufacturing facility, pre-made and ready to be installed. In fact, you can swim in as little as four days after the approval of the local building Dept. Compare this to a concrete pool that can take months to complete, and during that time your backyard is not usable for entertainment or relaxing.

Fiberglass vs Concrete vs Vinyl Swimming Pools, what is Best?

 Every Type of Pool Serves its purpose when taking into consideration Climate, Geographical Region, Its inherent Seasonal changes and its unique temperature extremes, Economic and practical feasibility when taking into account its terrain and type of soils. Not all Pools do well in all types of conditions. There’s not one pool that has the answer for every situation. Let us compare and contrast the similarities and differences of each type of in-ground pool. You be the judge on what is best for you. Nobody but you should be the ultimate decision maker for your specific situation.

Pros of Concrete Pools

Gunite & Shotcrete pools are both concrete pools. The term refers to the method used to apply concrete since the concrete is shot from a gun under compressed air pressure onto steel-reinforced rebar matrix walls.  Once the concrete sets, the surface is then either plastered to a smooth Hydro finish or tiled. Concrete pools are going to be the highest class of swimming pools on the market and are often referred to as a traditional pool.

Their major advantage is to being completely customizable. You can design these pools in whatever shape and size you like, the designs are endless for what can be done. Vanishing edges, grotto’s, multi-tiered levels, etc. concrete pools are completely open to design within safety limits. These pools are made out of a rebar structure that can be shaped into unlimited designs and contours to express whatever artistic design spark you can dream up. Concrete gets sprayed, over that unique design and then troweled to an ultra-fine hydro-plaster finished. Many colors and finishes are also available. But of course, all of these wonderful unique features come at a price.

Cons of Concrete Pools

Concrete pools have the tendency to cost the most due to the higher initial installation costs, the amount of chemical expense needed annually to maintain them and of course, refinishing the pool about every 15 years, makes them the most expensive to keep up.

Acid washing every 5 years or so if you don’t keep your Chems balance is a common occurrence, and resurfacing every 12-15 years is part of the common services needed. Most updating on a concrete pool needs to be performed (other than the routine cleaning) by an experienced professional. While many pool contractors will offer a “lifetime structure warranty”, it’s good to know that this will not cover anything to do with the pools finish, only the structure.

With the surface of a Gunite pool being concrete, not only will the walls and base of your pool be rougher on your swimmers and their bathing suits, but the pool itself can be more susceptible to fluctuations in water balance over time.

A big difference in this type of pool when compared to the others below, is that you’ll also have to be concerned with your water’s calcium levels. You will have to check more often that the levels stay within range when measuring your pool’s PH.

Pros of Vinyl Liner Pools

The main advantages of a vinyl liner swimming pool are the low cost of materials, fairly quick installation. In addition to these reasons, vinyl liner pools are fairly easy to maintain and the least expensive to own.

There are 2 main wall types with vinyl lined pools, steel and polymer. There are of course advantages to each, mainly based on the type of soil in your area. You can learn more about wall type here! And unlike a fiberglass pool, vinyl liners can be customized into many shapes but not depths. So, whether you want an ‘L’ shaped pool, a classic Roman, a Grecian, or even a pool shaped like a guitar, a vinyl liner pool will fit the bill.

One of the nicest things about vinyl liner pools is the softness and smoothness of the liner. There is no surface available in other pool types that will match the comfortable feel of a vinyl liner pool. It’s safe for even the wiggliest of swimmers! The surface of vinyl is not as porous as a plaster finish on a Gunite pool, which means vinyl liner pools use less sanitizer than a Gunite pool (roughly around 25% less on average.) The non-porous surface leads to less chemical usage during the season and therefore less money spent on chemicals.

Also, a vinyl liner pool can be a DIY project which could be a great savings if you are handy since one of the most expensive parts of a pool installation is the labor. This helps further elevate the fact that vinyl liner pools are the most cost-effective option for inground pools.

Cons of Vinyl Liner Pools

The liner will have to be replaced often. I’m sure that some of you are thinking how often is often? Liner replacements are usually done every 3-5 years (the better you take care of your pool the longer you can expect the liner to last), The average cost of replacement at $2,800-$5000. This is however much Less than the typical $4-$5k for resurfacing concrete or fiberglass which happens at much longer intervals. You will spend less money up front, but more money replacing vinyl pool liners than maintaining the other types of pools.

Pros of Fiberglass Pools

The main advantage of fiberglass swimming pools is the product is ready-made, delivered, and installed quickly in most cases. This can include several features besides just “the pool” portion such as steps, ledges, benches, and additional accessories. Basically, your entire pool is a single monolithic structure. Delivered as a finished shell that is dropped strategically in the ground, leveled, plumbed, backfilled and filled with water.

Additionally, the chemical benefits associated with vinyl lined pools are also applicable to fiberglass pools in most instances as these pools require less chemicals and maintenance when compared to Concrete pools.

Fiberglass pools are much more resistant to fading than liners, but you must keep in mind that when you do go to re-coat it, the cost is typically much higher when compared to a liner.

Cons of Fiberglass Pools

The major drawback of Fiberglass pools is the limited shapes and sizes most manufactures have in their selection of models. These pools get transported by truck all over the country, which only allows for them to be up to about 16′ wide and 40′ long. Most are not very deep compared to vinyl or concrete. There are many options that are available for fiberglass pools, like new finishes, tiles, etc. However, their overall maximum size remains reasonably restricted due to transportability challenges at the same.

Fiberglass pools can also be just as expensive as a comparable concrete pool in many cases. But also, modern-day Vinyl-ester fiberglass pools are as durable as their concrete counterpart as long as it’s from a reputable manufacturer using these highly durable resins and fiberglass cloths, which makes it an acceptable trade off.

Which one is for me- Concrete, Vinyl or Fiberglass?

The fact is that all of these pool types can last a long time if properly maintained. Typically speaking, vinyl is the cheapest to own, then fiberglass, then concrete. There are of course outliers for each of these. That being said, often the budget is the final determining factor.

Concrete swimming pool advantages:

Completely customizable and great aesthetics. The best return on your investment if you’re selling the house.

Vinyl liner swimming pools advantages:

Fairly easy to maintain and least expensive to own.
Liner replacement every 4-5 years.
Soft comfortable texture.
Easier installation with DIY as a possibility.

Fiberglass swimming pools advantages:

Less customization/sizing limits
Low maintenance
Minimal Chem Balancing needed
Quickest installation

Regardless of the pool type that you choose, know that PH balance, water maintenance, & keeping your pool clean will only help to extend the life of your pool.

Fiberglass pools aren’t for everyone. Big Splash Pools sells them and installs them, but our priority is customer satisfaction. We want you to be informed so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Fiberglass Pools

Although we don’t recommend DIY-ing a fiberglass pool, some people do choose to install the pool themselves, which can be a cost savings between $12,000–$30,000, depending on the pool size and any upgrades.

Most fiberglass pool projects cost $35,000–$85,000 for both manufacturing and installation, but they can be more depending on how fancy you get with landscaping, accessories, and water features.

Long-term, your only serious maintenance expenses will be in chemicals and electricity.

Concrete pool construction

Depending on the size and accessories can usually costs between $45,000 and $100,000 upfront.

Concrete pools need more of TLC to stay in good condition, so you’ll also need to budget for long-term maintenance such as acid washing, refinishing, and energy usage. Over the life of a concrete pool, maintenance costs more over 20 years because of the upkeep.

Customization of Fiberglas vs. Concrete pools?

Fiberglass pools typically run up to 16 feet wide, 40 feet long, and 6.5 feet deep. They’re created from pre-designed molds, so you’re limited to the established shapes and sizes from the Manufacture of choice.

Concrete pools have only the limit of your imagination when it comes to customization
Winner: Concrete

Even though outside of the size restrictions, you can customize your fiberglass pool with just about any aesthetic. From water features, tanning ledges, tiles, and colorful lights and finishes no different than with a concrete pool.

If you need a super long or deep pool, concrete is your best option. It costs more for each square foot, of course, but you can design your pool to look as dramatic as you like. You also have more freedom to design it to suit your specific needs. Fiberglass pools and concrete pools can be equally gorgeous, but concrete pools are almost unlimited in their size and shape options.

Looking for pricing information on all inground pools?
At Big Splash Pools, we are a San Juan fiberglass Pools Authorized Dealer but we will install any of the top manufacture’s Fiberglass Pools that you decide to buy directly. We will design with Pools we represent and submit to you a design for a fiberglass pool for our customers across the Tampa Bay Area. To get started on your journey to a fiberglass pool, contact us today to request a sight visit and to discuss the specifics of your inground pool project with our experienced staff.