Ultimate Guide to Choosing Between Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools have gained popularity due to their durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. However, choosing the right fiberglass pool involves considering various factors, from size and shape to installation and cost. This guide will help you navigate the options and make an informed decision.

Understanding Fiberglass Pools
What is a Fiberglass Pool?
A fiberglass pool is a pre-formed shell made from layers of fiberglass and a special resin. These pools are manufactured off-site and then transported to your location for installation. The smooth, non-porous surface of fiberglass pools makes them resistant to algae growth and easy to clean.

Advantages of Fiberglass Pools
Durability: Fiberglass pools are less prone to cracking compared to concrete pools.
Low Maintenance: The non-porous surface reduces the need for frequent cleaning and chemical use.
Quick Installation: Fiberglass pools can be installed in a matter of days, unlike concrete pools that can take weeks or months.
Smooth Surface: The smooth finish is gentle on the skin and less likely to cause abrasions.
Energy Efficiency: Fiberglass pools tend to retain heat better, reducing heating costs.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Fiberglass Pool
Size and Shape
Pool Size
The size of your pool depends on several factors, including the size of your yard, intended use, and budget. Here are some common sizes:

Small Pools: Ideal for compact spaces or for use as plunge pools.
Medium Pools: Suitable for most families, providing a balance between space and cost.
Large Pools: Perfect for those who want ample swimming space and have a larger yard.
Pool Shape
Fiberglass pools come in various shapes to suit different preferences and yard layouts:

Rectangular: Classic and versatile, ideal for lap swimming.
Freeform: Natural and flowing, blends well with landscaping.
Kidney: Curved design, often used in residential settings.
Roman: Elegant with rounded ends, adds a touch of sophistication.
Pool Depth
Consider the intended use of the pool when choosing the depth. For general use, a depth of 3 to 5 feet is common. For diving, ensure at least 8 feet of depth at one end.

Installation Site
Soil Type
The type of soil in your yard affects the installation process. Sandy or rocky soils may require additional preparation.

Accessibility
Ensure that the installation site is accessible for the equipment needed to transport and install the pool.

Zoning and Permits
Check local zoning laws and obtain any necessary permits before installation.

Cost of Fiberglass Pools
Initial Cost
The initial cost of a fiberglass pool includes the pool shell, delivery, and installation. On average, prices range from $20,000 to $60,000, depending on the size and features.

Maintenance Costs
Fiberglass pools have lower maintenance costs compared to concrete pools. Expect to spend less on cleaning, chemicals, and repairs over the pool’s lifetime.

Additional Features
Adding features such as lighting, heating, waterfalls, or a spa can increase the overall cost but also enhance the pool’s functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Installation Process
Site Preparation
Site preparation involves excavation, leveling, and ensuring proper drainage. This step is crucial for the longevity and stability of the pool.

Pool Delivery
The fiberglass shell is delivered to your site. Ensure that the delivery route is clear of obstacles and that there is enough space for the crane to lift and position the pool.

Installation
The pool is placed into the excavated hole, and plumbing and electrical systems are connected. The pool is then backfilled with gravel or sand to secure it in place.

Filling and Finishing
The pool is filled with water, and any additional features are installed. The surrounding area is landscaped or paved as desired.

Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Pools
Pros
Quick Installation: Installation can be completed in a week or less.
Low Maintenance: Requires less cleaning and fewer chemicals.
Durability: Resistant to algae growth and less prone to damage.
Aesthetic Appeal: Available in various shapes, sizes, and finishes.
Cons
Limited Customization: Pre-formed shells may not fit every yard or preference.
Transportation Restrictions: Large shells may be difficult to transport to certain locations.
Initial Cost: Higher upfront cost compared to vinyl liner pools.
Comparing Fiberglass to Other Pool Types
Fiberglass vs. Concrete Pools
Installation Time: Fiberglass pools are quicker to install.
Maintenance: Fiberglass pools require less maintenance.
Customization: Concrete pools offer more customization options.
Durability: Both are durable, but fiberglass is less prone to cracking.
Fiberglass vs. Vinyl Liner Pools
Durability: Fiberglass pools are more durable and long-lasting.
Maintenance: Fiberglass pools are easier to maintain.
Cost: Vinyl liner pools have a lower initial cost but higher long-term maintenance costs.
Aesthetics: Fiberglass pools offer a more polished look.
Maintenance Tips for Fiberglass Pools
Regular Cleaning
Skim the Surface: Remove debris regularly to keep the pool clean.
Vacuum: Use a pool vacuum to clean the bottom of the pool.
Brush: Brush the walls and steps to prevent algae buildup.
Chemical Balance
Test Water Regularly: Test the water at least once a week to ensure proper chemical balance.
pH Levels: Maintain pH levels between 7.2 and 7.8.
Chlorine: Keep chlorine levels within the recommended range to prevent bacteria growth.
Winterization
Lower Water Level: Lower the water level below the skimmer to prevent damage from freezing.
Cover the Pool: Use a pool cover to protect the pool from debris and weather elements.
Drain and Store Equipment: Drain and store pool equipment to prevent damage.
Conclusion
Choosing the right fiberglass pool involves considering various factors such as size, shape, installation site, and cost. Understanding these elements will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your pool provides years of enjoyment with minimal maintenance. Whether you’re looking for a compact plunge pool or a large family pool, fiberglass offers a durable, low-maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing option for any backyard.

Ultimate Guide to Choosing Between Fiberglass Pools