Positive And Negative Points of Fiberglass Pools

Points in Favor of Fiberglass Pools

If you have considered having a swimming pool installed in your back yard, then you have looked at the different options out there. Above ground or inground, the choices are many. But one of the best choices out there is the fiberglass pool.  Over the years, fiberglass pools have garnered a reputation as an easily installed and much faster alternative to the more traditional gunite or concrete pool construction. These are even considered a more practical option in higher class installations. But what exactly do these pools have to offer to the owner.

This type of pool is one of the faster growing choices in the swimming pool industry. The first point in this pool’s favor is the ease of installation. A  gunite or concrete swimming pool can take up to triple the time to install. However, one month is the usual amount of construction time for the fiberglass choice.

These pools have a finishing coat of smooth gel. This gel is a natural algae repellent which concrete or gunite does not have. This makes it much faster to clean this type of pool and it also means less need for repairs.

This type of pool also has much more selections of shapes. This has played a huge role in the popularity of these pools over the other two options. This also allows the pool to show more of a reflection of the buyer’s individual personality.

Everyone wants a pool which is tasteful and has a touch of class to it. The quick installation time of these pools have given them a reputation of being cheap and shoddy in appearance, while in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. With the availability of numerous custom designs,  as well as tile, stone, and brick copings, each pool has it’s own unique look.

The Cons of This Type of Pool

Actually, there is only one major setback with this type of pool. Sometimes a crack will appear or a leak will start for some other reason. If this happens, do not lower the water level or completely drain the pool in order to repair it yourself.  There is a very high chance that the pool will rise out of the ground if all of the water is drained or if the water level is lowered too much. This is one of those cases when you actually must call a fiberglass pool repair person to come and fix the damage.  Only a trained professional should ever try to make repairs. This is also true in the case of area flooding. Once the flood waters have receded, there is still too much moisture in the ground to attempt draining the pool and fiberglass does float. Once this happens, repairs are more expensive than having an entire new pool installed.


How Are Fiberglass Pools Installed

What Makes Up A Fiberglass Pool

Fiberglass pools have been around for a while now. In fact, they have been around for fifty years now. These are made in one piece shells  made from fiberglass, resins and are finished with a coating made of gel. This makes it a non-porous surface which is similar to the hulls of boats.

These pools can be bought in all shapes and sizes with various decorative tiles, fiber optic lights, and in-floor cleaning are all possible accessories. These are mainly maintenance free pools except for cleaning and you will need protection for the gel coat.

Actual Installation of These Pools

The first step of installing one of these pools is, of course, to figure out where you want the pool to be and then mark it with wooden stakes. When planning where to put your pool be sure to consider sun exposure, an area for you or your guests to sit, bathroom access, and accessibility of the pool. Traditionally guests will choose to gather on the shallow pool end and side closer to the house. Then pour your deck where you want it to be. Once you have the pool area established, mark it with chalk and begin digging the hole.

The next step is digging a hole according to the pool’s dig instructions. This step can take three to six hours and how difficult it is depends on how complex the pool’s shape is. A Sports Pool with a flat, level bottom is the easiest to dig.  The important thing to remember when digging the hole for your pool is to check and measure constantly using a builder’s level as you go. Or you can rent a laser level which is much more accurate. Once you have the hole finished you will need to use string to set the exact grade that the pool will be. This string will be your guide when you line the bottom of the hole with sand or gravel.

When the truck delivers your pool it will be ready to install. Either a boom truck or, if the pool is small enough, a trackhoe will lift the pool from the truck. The pool has to be level to less than an inch. This may get a bit boring if this is your first time installing a pool. One end cannot be higher than the other so this job is very important. Once this is done, backfill the dirt around the edges of the hole.

Drill two to four 2in. holes for the outflow and inflow of the filter. Plumbing is done by gluing together PVC pipes. Connect the plumbing and power to the filter. Take your time doing this so that no accidents happen. This can take 3-5 hours.

Now you can start filling your pool with water. A water truck is the fastest and easiest way to do this. The water has to be 12” higher than the backfill.  This will help the pool to keep it’s shape. This sounds like a lot to do but it can be done in about three days and you will be swimming in your fiberglass pool and having fun.

How Much Does A Fiberglass Pool Cost

Differences In The Cost Of A Fiberglass Pool

One of the main factors in the cost of a fiberglass pool is the size that is purchased. For instance, a pool which is 18X36 can cost $30K to $50K, depending on how many bells and whistles you add. Why so much money? This price includes installation, crane delivery, concrete decking, etc. And don’t forget the water truck with at least 3500 gallons of water.

This may seem like a lot of money but if you go ahead and do this, it will be worth the cost in the long run because not only are these pools low maintenance, but because of the smooth surface of the inside, it is much harder for algae to grow. Also, cracks that might show up in fiberglass are much easier to repair. Replacing a vinyl liner runs around $2,000 and repairs to a gunite pool can cost $500-$1000. This is reinvesting and can drain your money very quickly.

However, with a fiberglass pool, your repair costs will be lower because it comes with a 25+ year warranty which is transferable. Also, if you buy a heater for the pool so that you can swim in colder months, fiberglass keeps the water 10 degrees warmer than the other options do. A good recommendation is to use a salt chlorinator for silky soft water.

What Are Other Factors To Be Considered With This Type of Pool

Before you decide on what type of pool that you want, you should find out what type of soil you have in your yard. For one thing, you might need to build up the area first if it is too low. If you live in an area with the wrong type of soil, then fiberglass might not be the best choice for you.

Doing some of the labor yourself can cut down the cost of the pool. The digging can be done yourself with a backhoe and if you need to haul in some dirt to build up the area for the pool, then shop around and you can find some good deals on dirt delivery services. This can knock a couple of hundred dollars off the cost.  After the pool is installed you can do the back fill yourself too. And as far as landscaping around your pool, only you know what plants you want to decorate with.

Do some research online to see what accessories are necessary and which ones are not. Metal steps on the sides of the pools would be a necessity for some, but not for others. A heater might be an extravagance but a pool pump is vital to keeping your pool clean. Just get what you really need to keep the pool running filtered clean water and keep the water clean. Save the other pretties for later.

A safety fence is a good idea if there are small children in your family. More children drown each year from pool accidents than from any other cause. Don’t let your fiberglass pool costs include a hospital stay for a young loved one.