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Swimming is the ultimate way to spend quality time with your loved during the warm season. With today’s ever busy lifestyle full meetings, work schedules, and school, it can prove to be extremely hard to spend quality time with family and friends. Having a swimming pool right in the backyard gives you an opportunity to have outdoor games and bond with your kids and loved ones. It’s also the perfect chance to exercise and lose those extra calories you have been stressing about.
Having a swimming pool right in your backyard is the perfect way to have access to it anytime you need it. But, the type of swimming pool you install in your home will have an impact on your swimming experience, maintenance and most importantly, your landscaping.
When it comes to pools homeowner, you will be faced with so many options to consider. One of the pool options that should stand out is the in-ground swimming pool which further takes us to fiberglass pools. The other choices for the in-ground pool will be concrete and vinyl. Each of these in-ground pool options has its pros and cons, but for this guide, we will dig deep on cost and benefits of fiberglass pools.
Fiberglass pools are the same as the traditional concrete built-in pools. However, fiberglass pools come pre-molded into different shapes and sizes. This means that they are already pre-made and they are ready to sit in the ground, usually on top of several layers of gravel. It looks incredibly beautiful, and it’s one of the most expensive among the pool options. But compared to other pool options, fiberglass pools require minimal maintenance and care. The installation process of fiberglass pools is so short since most of the work is done at the factory. The pool comes in one piece, all ready for installation.
Fiberglass pools come with most of the features such as benches, steps, and swim-outs already installed in place ready to be lowered into a prepared hole. All you need to do as part of preparation is to dig the in-ground hole and install plumbing. The fiberglass pool will then be lowered into the excavated ground, and then the hole will be leveled. With this kind of pool, you will not need any form of framing. The pool comes complete, ready for its placement into the ground.
Fiberglass pools are increasingly gaining popularity among homeowners. A recent report shows that one of the fastest growing section in pool industry in Canada and America is the fiberglass pool construction. Fiberglass pools have grown in popularity in most countries and are now the leading choice in most residential construction taking up almost 55% of the market.
The demand for fiberglass pools is growing rapidly in most countries and for good reasons. Let’s look at the benefits fiberglass pools and you why should consider them as your pool option.
Fiberglass pools have gone through technological advancements and improvements in gel coats and resins which have resulted to a modern pool that is extremely flexible, sturdy, resistant to UV effects and incredibly easy to install. There was old a myth that fiberglass pools are weak and can’t withstand extremely cold climate. But, it turns out the myth was wrong and misplaced. Fiberglass pools are extremely durable; they can withstand even the harshest of climate. They can stretch to accommodate freezing and thawing when the temperatures fluctuate. In fact, ice has no effect on this kind of pool like it is the case with vinyl pool. They are flexible and can cope with any type of climate.
More so, fiberglass pools do not have a liner, which eliminates the need for you to worry about punctures on the pool surface. Punctures can happen as a result of simple things like a dog accidentally getting in the pool, or if you have trees nearby, a branch can fall in the swimming pool. When you consider the cost of replacing a vinyl liner, you will realize that it does not come cheaper ether. Mostly, the cost of replacing a vinyl liner ranges from $4000 to $9000 going upwards.
Therefore, with a fiberglass pool installation, you do need to worry about damages. Even with daily use, a fiberglass pool will last for years without any major damages. The type of material used to manufacture fiberglass pool is less likely to gain any sort of damage even with consistent use.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why fiberglass pools are becoming pretty popular among homeowners. In fact, it has already been established that fiberglass pools are one of the easiest to maintain compared to other pool options. As a homeowner, it would make sense for you to go for pool option that will have you spent as little as possible on maintenance costs.
This pool comes with cleaning products and chemical meaning you will be faced with minimal repairs after installation. In addition, fiberglass pools have a smooth gel coat finish which resists algae growth meaning your cleaning process will be easy with fewer repairs. In fact, you will only require about 10 to 20 minutes per week to clean and maintain your pool.
With vinyl and concrete pools, you will require more time and a lot of effort to maintain them. Even the wrong choice of cleaning chemicals on a liner or vinyl pool can destroy the pool, and you may end with a costly repair bill. While excess or wrong use of cleaning chemicals may damage the liner or cause it to fade, or, disintegrate the concrete shell, a fiberglass shell can withstand any form of abuse, and you will not even notice any damages.
More so, fiberglass pools don’t require resurfacing as it is the case with concrete pools. Remember, the tools needed for pool maintenance don’t come cheap. So, having a fiberglass pool that requires minimal maintenance is good news to your pool care budget.
Ask anyone in the pool construction sector, and you will learn that one the best thing about fiberglass pools it’s the faster installation time. If we look at the construction of concrete or gunite pools, you will find that it takes almost two months to three to complete their installation. This means your yard will be in a state of disarray for an extended period. While a fiberglass pool that comes already pre-molded will take you three days to a maximum of two weeks on installation. In fact, you could be swimming in your pool seven days after purchase.
In addition, the weather does not affect the installation of fiberglass pools. When we talk of installation of vinyl liner pool, you have to factor in the weather condition. Otherwise, if the weather drops or rises to certain levels, it can cause havoc to the liner.
Fiberglass pools have over the years evolved to attractive designs that elegant and extremely stylish. You are likely to get designs that are something close to a luxurious white tub in the ground. When installed in your backyard, fiberglass pools can transform your landscape into a magnificent space with an exotic feel. You can get any design you want to suit your landscape; round, oval, square, asymmetrical, oblong, etc.
They are available in beautiful color finishes and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Fiberglass pools are available in ceramic tiles designs, equipped with molded steps, covers, benches, and sundeck configurations. They come with tanning ledges, elevated spas, attractive pool lights, and many other stunning features that make the pool design resemble the modern hot bathtub. The aesthetic aspect of fiberglass pools has made it become one the most desirable pool option to most homeowners.
Fiberglass pools have a smooth gel coat that is resistant to algae growth. Since their surfaces are less porous, fiberglass pools do not harbor algae as easily as it is with vinyl liner pools. This quality makes their maintenance pretty easy and manageable and gives them a longer lifespan.
Fiberglass pools do not corrode. When you factor in salt purification system made for pools, you will be grateful for owning a fiberglass pool. Salt can be extremely hard on a metal surface and more so, on concrete surfaces. Fiberglass pools can take in salt chlorinators pretty well without undergoing any form of damage or getting corroded.
Fiberglass pool has a smooth interior surface, unlike concrete which has a rough, hard surface that is torture to your feet. With fiberglass pool, your feet will not experience anything like sore feet. It is the best type of pool for your feet, and the smooth surface gives your feet a pleasant feel.
You can swim for hours in a fiberglass pool, and you will not experience bloody toes or suffer any form of discomfort while in the water. Concrete pools are known for scrapping hands, knees and feet. Fiberglass pools, on the other hand, have a non-abrasive shell that is extremely comfortable to the skin.
It’s true that the initial cost of purchasing fiberglass pool is a bit on the higher side as compared to other types of pools. However, if you look at the lifetime spending, you will release that you will spend far much less costs in its maintenance as compared to other pool options.
In fact, it’s been established that fiberglass pools have the lowest lifetime costs. The fiberglass shell is resistant to algae growth; it insulates better, and you will never have to incur the cost of liner replacement. In addition, fiberglass pools do not require resurfacing as it the case with concrete and vinyl liner pools.
These are just some of the advantages of fiberglass pools. Mostly considered as a green choice, fiberglass pool will offer you a lifetime peace of mind. But, just like everything else in life, fiberglass pools come with a few drawbacks that you should be aware of.
Limited Size and non-customizable shape: even though fiberglass pools are available in various sizes, the biggest size you can get is 16′ wide pool, and there is nothing much you can do to increase the size or the depth. This comes as a big drawback to a person looking to have a bigger pool. The size limitation can be discouraging to some homeowners.
Secondly, you can change the design slightly, but you will probably end up with the shape of the pool the manufacturer has. Basically, what you see at the time of purchase, is what you will get. Most people are likely to get a fiberglass pool that perfectly meets their needs, but, if you are looking for a bigger and customized shape, then fiberglass pools may not be the one for you.
Initial cost of purchase is high: the cost of constructing fiberglass pool is higher, which consequently makes this type of a pool more expensive to purchase than the other pool options. Fiberglass pool requires high-quality resins and a lot of reinforcement materials.
But, as mentioned earlier, fiberglass pools need minimal maintenance costs. In the long run, the initial cost of purchasing and installing a fiberglass pool will even out, and the long-term costs will be lower than it would be with other pool options.
Moving logistics: since fiberglass pools are pre-made, you have to factor in the logistics of transporting the pool from the point of purchase to your home. This means added costs of shipping or transporting the pool. In addition, you have to factor in the possibility of damages during transportation to your home. The fiberglass pool structure can be bulky; it’s usually large, and it has to be handled with care during delivery and installation.
The above are the pros associated with fiberglass pools. If you are planning to install a fiberglass pool in your backyard, it would be best to weigh your requirements to see if this type of a pool will meet your swimming pool needs. But, going by swimming pool reports, 90% of homeowners do get a fiberglass pool that suits their needs and meets their demands.
Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of fiberglass pools, it’s time to look at the cost of installation and cost factors. As a shopper, your first question will probably be “how much do fiberglass pools cost?” As you start your research process, it’s good to be aware of cost estimates of fiberglass pools to enable you to shop wisely and budget accordingly.
When you are going to shop for a fiberglass pool, the experience will be similar to that of purchasing a car. A car may have a base price, but you soon, you will learn that it needs additional features such as tracking system, GPS, power seats, etc. The same applies to fiberglass pools. The pool may have a low price tag, but it will require decking, security covers, heat pumps and many other essential features that will make the pool fully functional.
Before you purchase the pool, it’s essential to know your requirements, why you need the pool, its use and how you will maintain it. Fiberglass pools come in different sizes, shapes, and designs. You need to be clear about your needs to make sure that you purchase the right one. A fiberglass pool is a big investment that you can’t trade in if you make a wrong choice, so be sure to make the right decision.
When purchasing a fiberglass pool, the first step will be to get the fiberglass pool shell. The shell itself is relatively cheap, and will only take up about half the price of the installation cost. The cost of a fiberglass pool shell will depend on its shape, size, depth, design, etc. But, the table below will show you the average costs of different sizes of fiberglass pool shell.
|Size of fiberglass pool shell||Measurements||Average costs|
|A small fiberglass pool shell||26’ or less||$10000-$19500|
|A medium size fiberglass pool shell||27' to 34.'||$13000-$20000|
|A large fiberglass pool shell||35’ or more||$15000-$30000|
It’s important to note that the above pool shell costs do not include the shipping costs, and other essential features such as the filter system, backfill, pumps, etc. The above costs are for the pool shell of the standard size of 16’ wide.
The basic cost of fiberglass installation ranges from $20000 to $45000. This basic installation cost does not include pool options such as electrical work, decking, fencing, etc. A basic installation of a fiberglass pool caters for the following:
Factors such as how far the pool will be shipped, excavation and the site preparation can affect the basic installation cost. Generally, the installation process requires a five-person crew, and the whole installation process will take about 160 hours of labor. Even though the labor charges will depend on the size of the pool, fiberglass pool installers charge $5.50 per square foot. When getting a quote, the labor cost should be included. Normally, labor charges come to a total of about $1500.
|Fiberglass pool installation cost estimates|
|National average cost||$27,500|
|The typical cost range||$20000-$45000|
|Minimal or low-end cost||$5,000|
|Maximum or high cost||$45,000|
Fiberglass pools are usually more expensive compared to other pool options. But, if we look at the low maintenance cost of a fiberglass pool, the initial cost eventually evens out in the long run. A vinyl liner pool will cost way less than a fiberglass pool, but if you consider the cost of occasional liner replacement and the maintenance costs, it might turn out to be an expensive option in the long term.
Have a look at the table below that shows different prices for various pool options for comparison purposes.
|Types of pools||Average cost||Other costs|
|In-ground gunite/concrete pool||$20000-$45000||Re-plastering after every 7 to 12 years: $6500-$1000|
|Above-ground pools||$1500-$6000||Installation- $1000-$3000|
|In-ground vinyl pools||$5000-$35000||Liner replacement: $4000- $9000|
|In-ground fiberglass pools||$20000-$45000|
If you are planning to install a fiberglass pool, you need to be aware of cost factors that will influence the overall cost of the pool. This way, as you make your pool choice in terms of size, design and other features, you will be more informed of the cost implication.
Here are the cost factors that are likely to affect the cost of your fiberglass pool and its installation:
It goes without saying that the larger the pool, the more it will cost you. A big pool requires lots of time and materials to construct. It will cost more to transport a larger fiberglass pool shell. Even though the cost of a pool will depend on the manufacturer and the quality of the pool material used, the most significant cost factor is the size of the pool.
On average, a fiberglass pool shell costs about $800 per square foot. However, this square footage cost does not include the cost of installation and other features such as decking and fencing. If you add the cost of extra pool features, the average cost of a fiberglass pool will come to about $1200 per square foot.
Your pool will require a deck around it. Normally, the deck is constructed with concrete. For a rough feet grip, you will need a rough finish which will cost you about $4 to $9 per square foot. Expect to spend between $6 to $12 per square foot for a textured concrete.
Alternatively, you can choose to use pavers or stamped concrete, but you should expect varying degrees of slip resistance. For these two decking options, expect to spend anywhere between $12 to $20 per square foot.
If done right, pool decking can significantly increase the aesthetic appeal of your pool. It will also provide you with enough space for sitting, relaxing and entertaining as you enjoy the warm weather. It also offers you an ideal spot to watch over your children as they swim. Therefore, as you purchase the spool shell, factor in the cost of decking your pool area which will depend on the size of the pool.
Pool fences are an essential part of your pool. Fencing enhances security and safety around the pool surroundings. If you have children, fencing your pool will ensure that you kids are barred from accessing the pool without your supervision. This way, you will avoid accidents, injuries and even death as a result of accidental drowning.
By securing your pool area with a fence, you will have provided security around the pool area. This way, only the authorized people such as your family and friends can access the pool. In fact, most communities require homeowners with pools to install fencing around their pool for safety reasons.
Wood fencing is popular among most homeowners. Most find it attractive and prefer to use wood fencing for their pool. The average cost of wood fencing ranges from $15 to $32 per linear foot. Another type of pool fencing is PVC which provides privacy around the pool area. PVC pool fencing costs about $20 to $ 45 per linear foot.
The other pool fencing option is powdered aluminum. This one is the most common fencing option that you are most likely to see around most pools. Powdered aluminum pool fence will cost you about $ 25 to 45 per linear foot. The fencing will require a safety gate to be complete. Safety gate prices vary depending on various factors such as the style of the gate and the extra features such as child-proofing. A pool safety gate will cost you anywhere between $330 to $500.
Construction and installation of an in-ground pool will require you to get permits from the relevant authorities. Most pool contractors are aware of the permits required and will most probably be the ones to apply for the permits before the start of installation. One of the requirements in most estates is that, before you dig, you are supposed to call the utility companies to ensure that the ground is clear to avoid damaging anything that is located underground and probably end-up complicating your pool installation process. Power lines, gas lines, and water lines are some of the utility lines you are likely to tamper with when digging.
A permit will authorize inspections to ensure that the pool installation process meets the necessary safety requirements. If you are unsure about the required permits and the cost of application, you should contact the local authorities for clarification.
Other features include automatic pool costs which will cost you about $9000 to $13000. You should also consider pool security covers which will cost you anywhere between $2500 to $4000. Other pool requirements include salt chlorine generators that come at an average cost of about $1500 to $2500. You may also require a heat pump which costs about $4500 to $7000.
Other additions that you may consider for your fiberglass pool include:
The cost of these additional pool features and extras will depend on the manufacturer, the size of your pool, and your style. You do not have to buy the extras at once. After the installation, you can continue shopping around for extra pool features and get the best bargains. As you purchase for the extras, make sure you inquire if the quoted prices include installation costs.
Also, as you plan to install a fiberglass in-ground pool, you need to factor in insurance cover costs and added property taxes. Before installation of a fiberglass pool, you should contact your insurance agent and your local tax officials to find out the additional charges that you may incur as a result of the pool installation.
All types of swimming pools require regular maintenance. But, fiberglass pools are generally less involving and will cost minimally when it comes to maintenance. Some professional pool installers offer maintenance services that can cost about $15 to $20 per month. But, generally, extensive professional pool maintenance services can cost anywhere between $70 to $100 per hour. If you choose to maintain your pool through DIY, expect to spend about $170 to $180 per month. This cost will include supplies and pool chemicals.
Here some of the maintenance requirements for fiberglass pools;
Skimming: this is a cleaning process that involves removing leaves, dirt, and debris from the surface of your pool water. To skim your fiberglass pool, you will need a skimming net which is usually attached to a telescoping pole. You can clean the pool floor using a pool vacuum to get rid of dirt and debris. To thoroughly clean the walls and floor of your fiberglass pool, you will need to use a sponge, a soft-bristle brush and pool cleaners that are specially made for cleaning fiberglass pool surface.
Stain removal: when the level of metal in pool water goes high, it is likely to stain a fiberglass shell and leave it with unsightly stains. Excessive iron levels in pool water can result to rusty stains, while too much copper in pool water, can discolor a fiberglass shell leaving it with blue-green stains. Thus, you will need to use metal chelating agents regularly to help maintain the right levels of metal in your water. This way, your fiberglass pool shell will stay stain-free for a long time. Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the usage of the chelating agents.
Balancing pool chemicals: your pool should have the right chemical balance always to allow you to have a safe swimming experience and enjoy your swimming moments. If your pool is frequently in use, you should make it a daily routine to test the water, especially during the warmer seasons. Your fiberglass pool should always have P.H levels that range from 7.4 to 7.6 and chlorine levels of about 1.0 to 3.0ppm (parts per million). The alkalinity levels should fall anywhere around 80 to 140 parts per million.
The above are figures are the ideal pool chemical balances that will help you maintain healthy pool water. If for example, chlorine levels go higher than the recommended figures, you will start experiencing red eyes and what most people refer to as swimmers itch. You can maintain a clean pool with well-balanced chemicals by making sure that you turn the pool filter every time after you sue it.
Polish your fiberglass pool: After about 9 to 15 years, your fiberglass pool might start fading and eventually lose its once beautiful shine. The spool shell will require polishing to take it back to its original shine. The process is done through the use of buffing equipment made for fiberglass pools. If your pool starts looking a bit aged, consider polishing it to give it a new luster.
Invest in a pool cover: a pool cover is an essential investment that will give your pool an extended lifespan. The cover protects your pool from dirt, leaves, and debris. Pool covers also minimize the need for frequent cleaning since by covering the pool when not in use, you are keeping out debris and dirt.
A pool cover costs about anywhere between $2500 to $4000. You can go for a solar pool cover that will keep you swimming water warm when the weather is cooler.
As a homeowner, you can choose to purchase the pool shell package and have it shipped to your home. If you choose to install the fiberglass pool shell through DIY, it means you will be responsible for the whole project including labor. The installation of a fiberglass pool will include excavating the ground, installing the pool shell, backfilling, filling the pool with water, preparing and setting concrete, grading, plumbing, fencing and many processes.
Installing a fiberglass pool may not be a technical process, but, the installation requires attention to detail. In fact, there is no room for error with fiberglass pool installation. To be on the safe side, it would be better if you hired a skilled pool installation professional.
You should only attempt a DIY installation if you are skilled with the whole process of fiberglass installation, you have excavation knowledge, and you know how to handle the equipment involved. If you choose to DIY, expect to spend about $12500 to $30000. The cost will depend on the size of the pool and the extra features to be installed.
Fiberglass pools have become a popular pool option for many homeowners. This pool option is incredibly easy to maintain which is probably the reason why it’s becoming a number one choice for most people. They come pre-made which makes their installation pretty fast. These pools are extremely durable and have an incredible strength that makes them flex without any possibility of cracking regardless of the weather.
The cost of a fiberglass pool will depend on its size and additional design features. Before purchasing a fiberglass pool, you should be knowing the reason why you need the pool, its uses, and establish who will be maintaining it. Carry out extensive research to know the type, and the design of a fiberglass pool to invest in. Fiberglass pools are available in various designs, shapes, and sizes. Once you start shopping for one, you will undoubtedly get a fiberglass pool that meets your needs and requirements, and in a few days, you will be enjoying a swim right in your backyard.