When it comes to picking the right type of pool for your home, many factors come into play, with budget being a big one.
There are basically three types of swimming pools; concrete, fiberglass and vinyl liner. Let’s examine each and talk about the pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Fiberglass, Vinyl, and Concrete Swimming Pools
1.) Fiberglass Pool
A fiberglass swimming pool is a good fit for someone looking to get a pool installed quickly. Fiberglass Swimming Pools are made from a mold in a factory. It is a one piece shell constructed entirely of fiberglass materials.
On the plus side, fiberglass pools are very low in maintenance and don’t cost a fortune in upkeep. One reason they are so easy to maintain is that a fiberglass pool is non porous as opposed to a concrete pool. Algae can hide in a porous surface and it can difficult and labor intensive to keep clean. Fiberglass pools are durable and won’t tear or rip like a vinyl pool liner.
Another plus is the speed at which a fiberglass pool can be installed and running, typically within a few days. In addition, if you want a salt water system, fiberglass pools work well with salt and won’t cause damage to the surface, as opposed to concrete pools.
The biggest disadvantage to choosing a fiberglass pool is the lack of customization. You are limited in size, shape, and depth of your pool.
The initial cost of a fiberglass pool is $45,000 – 85,000, more than that of a vinyl pool.
2.) Vinyl Liner Pool
The second type of pool is a vinyl liner. Vinyl liner pools are more affordable to install than a fiberglass pool and are customizable. A large majority of vinyl liner pools are rectangular, but you can customize shape, size, and depth.
The biggest disadvantage of this type of pool is the cost and frequency of replacing the liner. Today’s vinyl liners will typically last between five and nine years at an average cost of around $4,000 to replace when factoring in the cost of the liner, labor, water to fill the pool, and other minor expenses. This means the low initial cost of the pool could be off-set within the first ten years after construction…and over the entire lifetime of the pool, it will cost much more than a fiberglass pool in the long run.
As far as being a porous surface, the surface of a vinyl liner pool is relatively non porous. However, certain parts of the pool such as where the white plastic steps attach to the pool wall, and behind light niches, have submerged areas that do not have circulated water. Consequently, algae grows in those areas and spawns new algae growth.
A vinyl liner pool will run between $35,000 – $65,000 and may be a good option if you don’t plan to live in your home for a long time and can move out before the dreaded first liner replacement 😉
3.) Concrete Pool
The third and most expensive option for a swimming pool is concrete, otherwise known as gunite. The biggest advantage to a concrete pool is the endless customization options available to the home owner.
From infinity edges, to tanning ledges, to waterfalls, to multi tiered level pools…the possibilities are endless when you choose a concrete pool. A concrete pools allows a home owner to customize a pool built from their wildest dreams. Of course this comes with a big price tag, ranging anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000.
Concrete pools cost more upfront and are more expensive to maintain than their counterparts. Concrete pools have a rougher interior surface and are porous, allowing algae to grow. They also take much longer to build than a vinyl liner or fiberglass pool.
But if customization is important to you, a concrete pool is the way to go. We are currently building a pool and decided on concrete. We wanted to be able to customize a spa, customize a larger than normal size pool and add a tanning ledge. Our pool will also have an automatic cover. Was it the cheapest option…absolutely not but we believe it was the best decision for us in the long run.
Check out our pool progress so far in the links below.
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