If you want a swimming pool installed in your backyard, you may be wondering about what the right construction material would be. Until a few years ago, in-ground swimming pools were almost exclusively made from concrete. However, the costs and time involved in installing concrete pools were too high and too long, and the demand for an alternative to concrete as a construction material soared.
Fibreglass emerged as a result of the increasing demand and even though concrete remains a firm favourite for those who can afford it, fibreglass pools are the preferred choice of people who want a swimming pool without spending a fortune. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about fibreglass pools and their installation. So, let’s dive right in!
1. How are fiberglass pools installed and what are the installation charges like?
The following installation process is generally used by professional pool installers to install fibreglass pools:
- Soil excavation
- Setting the pool and levelling it
- Installation of the pool’s plumbing and filter systems
- Backfilling the pool shell
- Installing the patio and coping
- Installing the pool fence
During the installation process, professionals also keep an eye out for potential bulges, leaks, separation, and settling.
The charges related to the installation of fibreglass pools vary from one property to the next as the backyard dimensions will differ along with other factors such as access to the backyards, rocks, trees, or boulders to be removed, and of course, the size of the pool. On average, the initial costs of installing fibreglass pools would be in the range of $45,000 – $85,000.
2. How Are The Installation Charges Of Fibreglass Pools Different From Pools Constructed From Other Materials?
Presently, concrete, vinyl liner, and fibreglass are the most popular construction materials for swimming pools. In comparison to the $45,000 – $85,000 that you’d have to shell out initially for a fibreglass pool, the costs of installing concrete and vinyl liner pools would be in the respective ranges of $50,000 – $100,000 and $25,000 – $40,000.
3. Vinyl Liner Pools Are Much Cheaper Compared To Fibreglass And Concrete. Should I Consider A Vinyl Pool?
Although vinyl liner pools are significantly cheaper than both concrete and fibreglass pools, certain negatives would require you to spend more money in the long run, such as:
- The liner must be frequently replaced, resulting in repeated expenditure
- Warranties stated by liner manufacturers are questionable
- Vinyl liner pools are more prone than fibreglass pools to algae growth and infestations
4. How Long Is The Installation Process For Fibreglass Pools?
Fibreglass pools are the easiest types of pools to install and installations typically take around 3 – 6 weeks depending on the work that needs to be done to ensure proper installation. Vinyl liner pools can take up to 2 months to be installed and concrete pool installations can take 3 – 6 months to be completed.
5. Can I Customise A Fibreglass Pool Design?
While homeowners can customize fibreglass pool designs to some extent, the options aren’t as open as they are for concrete and vinyl liner pools, which are much more customizable. The reason behind this is simple; fibreglass pools are constructed from existing moulds, which isn’t the case for concrete and vinyl liner pools. The most popular fibreglass pool shapes are:
- Rectangular with arched ends, referred to as ‘Roman’
- Freeform (either lagoon-ish or curvy)
Fibreglass pools also have size restrictions; you can’t have one that measures more than 16 x 40 ft. because the pools have to be carried in trucks for delivery to the installation site. The smallest fibreglass pool size is 10 x 20 ft.; ideal for small yards.
Even though there are certain customization restrictions that you have to accept if you invest in a fibreglass pool, you can add a personal touch to your pool by customizing the following:
- Water features such as deck jets, cascades, and natural waterfalls
- Patio materials such as coping stones, brick pavers, and flagstones
- Tiles on the inlays and waterline and mosaics in the seats and steps
- Gelcoat colour
6. How Durable Are Fibreglass Pools?
Fibreglass pools are incredibly durable and the pool structure can be expected to last more than 50 years and their gelcoat surfaces will also last several decades before needing a refinish or replacement. Several pool manufacturers offer lifetime structural warranties as well.
7. Are Fibreglass Pools As Difficult And Costly To Maintain As Concrete Pools?
No. Fibreglass pools are incredibly easy to maintain and on average, maintenance costs over 10 years would set you back by less than $4,000. During the same period, you’d have to spend almost $12,000 and $28,000 for vinyl liner and concrete pools respectively.
- Here are some of the reasons as to why the costs of maintaining fibreglass pools are so low compared to concrete and vinyl liner pools:
- The gelcoat of fibreglass pools don’t have cavities and pores that are found in concrete pool plasters, which ensures that fibreglass pools stay algae-free
- Chemicals don’t need to be added regularly to the water to maintain the water chemistry, which reduces expenses and increases safety at the same time
- One circulation of the pool pump filter daily should be enough to rid the pool water of dirt and debris, which guarantees energy savings
8. I Want To Know About The Warranty Provided On Fibreglass Pools
Typically, two warranties are provided to customers by fibreglass pool manufacturers:
- Structural warranty that covers the entire pool shell structure
- Gelcoat warranty that covers the entire surface of the gelcoat
Remember to ask the following warranty-related queries to fibreglass pool manufacturers before finalizing your purchase:
- For how long will the warranty cover my pool?
- What are the exact aspects and features of the pool covered by the warranty?
- Can the warranty be transferred or is it non-transferrable?
- Is there anything excluded from the warranty?
9. I've Read That Fibreglass Pools Fade. Is It True?
Yes, fibreglass pools do fade, but if you take proper care and ensure proper maintenance of your pool, the life expectancy and appearances of their gelcoat surfaces remain intact for a long time. Even when they start fading, it’s an extremely slow and gradual process and typically, if you compare a brand new fibreglass pool to a 10 or 20-year-old-pool, it’ll be extremely hard for you to spot the fading.
To ensure that there’s no premature fading, you have to put in the minimal effort required to maintain the pool’s water chemistry and its gelcoat surface.
So, there you have it; nine of your most commonly asked questions about fibreglass pools along with their answers! Suppose you’re still undecided regarding the construction material to choose. In that case, you should get in touch with your nearest professional pool installers and consult them to know the pros and cons of each option in relation to your backyard. If you don’t want to go overboard with your pool-related expenses but want a pool to last long, there’s no better option than fibreglass. The installation costs are reasonable, and the long-term maintenance costs are way lower than those of concrete and vinyl liner pools, which make fibreglass pools the most pocket-friendly swimming pools.