Should I Invest In A Fiberglass Or Vinyl Pool?
All inground swimming pools aren't made equal. And each type of pool, whether it's concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl-lined, has its own pros and cons.
Vinyl and fiberglass pools are produced offsite, and they're subject to more structural constraints than concrete. So we'll focus on those two. Hopefully, by the end of the post, you'll have a good idea whether you should...
INVEST IN A FIBERGLASS OR VINYL POOL.
We'll give you the facts – and you can pick the winner.
READY TO DIVE IN? GRAB A TOWEL.
1) FIBERGLASS INGROUND POOLS
Since they're built in a climate-controlled factory, fiberglass pool shells have predictable quality.
Many fiberglass pool shells incorporate seats – and virtually all of them have molded steps.
The gel coat boasted by fiberglass pools is smooth as silk, making for a non-abrasive experience.
Minimal Replacement Cost
Fiberglass pool shells last a very long time – decades, even. And they've got no vinyl liner that needs replacing.
Fiberglass pools have a non-porous gel coat. Algae doesn't grow very well on it and you don't have to use as many chemicals to sanitize the water.
Since you're having a pre-built shell installed, installation is simple and fast – as fast as 2 weeks under the right conditions.
Fiberglass pools are formed around a mold – so you're limited to whatever styles are available. There's choice, but not flexibility.
Fiberglass inground pools are shipped on street-legal flatbed trailers. Roadway width calls for fiberglass pool shells to be no more than 16' wide.
Should you need to repair your fiberglass pool shell (as unlikely as it is), you'll have a hard time finding repair materials that match the shell's original color – especially if it's faded over time.
High Initial Price
Because they're super durable and of high quality, fiberglass pools cost more up front. You can count on spending at least $5,000 more than you would for a vinyl and steel inground pool.
2) VINYL INGROUND POOLS
Low Initial Price
Because of their modularity and simple materials, vinyl pools cost the least up front of all inground pool types.
Since they're made from a vinyl liner and steel panels that can be connected together to any length, width, and shape, vinyl inground pools are virtually limitless.
The vinyl liner is a soft, smooth material that feels soothing underfoot.
Vinyl pool liners are basically non-porous, helping to prevent major algae growth.
Your vinyl pool liner will likely last somewhere between 8 and 12 years. Replacement cost will be in the ballpark of $2,500 to $3,500.
Because vinyl liners degrade over time, their warranties are pro-rated. Ask your dealer for details. The steel walls are different. Some are poorly warranted. Others of better quality actually have transferrable lifetime warranties.
Need to Be Careful
Dogs' sharp nails, kids tossing stones into the water, falling tree branches. You'll have to watch out for all those. Your vinyl liner is between 20 and 30 mil thick. Picture a few sheets of paper. It's strong – and thin.
If you sell your home, one of the first questions buyers will ask is, "How old is the vinyl liner?" A liner more than 3 or 4 years old can lead to a higher chance that prospective buyers will ask you to replace the liner before closing.
That's a misleading heading … on purpose. We have no conclusion. We just have the facts. Making a list of pros and cons can be super helpful when you're making a big decision.
So should you invest in a fiberglass or vinyl pool? The choice is up to you. No matter what you decide, we'd love to help you get the best pool for your home. Happy hunting!