Fiberglass pools are very durable and last longer than other kinds of pools. Vinyl liners are more expensive than fiberglass ones.
Plastic and metal wall panels are cheaper than fiberglass but less durable. Concrete pools are the most expensive because they require lots of money and time.
Fiberglass pools are cheaper than traditional concrete or vinyl pools, but they aren’t as easy to install.
You’ll need an experienced contractor to do this job right or clear guidelines if you decide to do it yourself.
There are various sizes and shapes you can choose from with fiberglass pools and they can be customized to your needs adding flexibility to your project.
How Are Fiberglass Pools Constructed?
Pool shells are built in factories under strict guidelines.
You’ll never see them being made before they arrive at your house so whatever pool shell you ultimately decide on, you should always talk with manufacturers to gather as much information as possible about the pool before you buy.
Approach the interview with the following Fiberglass goals: Understand their procedure, find out if they employ experienced technicians in the factory, vet skilled local builders to install your shell, and get references of customers you can talk to who have previously purchased the product.
Pool shells go through a proprietary method. Six layers of fiberglass and composite materials are bonded together making the pools very durable.
They are made out of thin plastic material that is strong enough to withstand impacts without cracking.
Fiberglass is also used as a building material because of its strength and durability.
Fiberglass pools are constructed on a mold, which can sometimes limit the range of shapes and sizes available for your pool project, however many molds are made from glass reinforced with steel bars.
Each layer of the shell sits on top of the molds, which means the pool shell is built from the inside (gelcoat) out.
Fiberglass pools are sometimes made by using a mold that is not true or level. This means that the bottom of the pool might not be flat when the pool is finished.
Choosing a company that uses steel reinforcement is a good choice and it’s useful to ask manufacturers if this is part of their specific pool making process.
Surface Gel Coat
The gel coat in fiberglass pools is super durable and smooth. They are designed to be algae resistant making them a great choice if you want a pool that is low maintenance.
Pool quotes should include everything you need to know before signing a contract. You should ask for a detailed breakdown of every part of the job.
A reputable contractor will tell you exactly what you’re paying for.
Don’t forget to ask about warranties, and whether your contractor will finish up around the house if you are having someone in to do the installation.
A fiberglass swimming pool costs anywhere from $15,000-$55,000 depending on where you live.
In California, the average cost is around $30,000. In Michigan, the average cost is about $35,000. A typical pool costs around $40,000.
Pool prices vary depending on where you live. An above-ground pool costs around $20,000 to $62,000.
Plunge pools (see also ‘What Is A Plunge Pool? Size, Cost & More‘) start at $15,000 and go up to $40,000, but they’re smaller and therefore cheaper.
In-ground pools are more expensive than saltwater pools. Lap pools cost less than fiberglass pools.
Labor And Materials
Although swimming pools can be expensive to buy, and even more expensive to maintain, there are many materials available that make them easier to maintain and clean as well as varying in price.
Fiberglass pools range from $4,500-$30,000. Labor averages out to be around $5.50/sq ft. and higher-priced areas may require more than double the labor cost.
Shipping, building site excavation, and components add to the overall cost.
Backfilling around the pool also adds to the total cost as well as adding decking (see also ‘Pool Deck Ideas (Full Deck)’) material and landscaping work.
Fiberglass pools require a lot of time, effort, and skill to install. Many homeowners prefer to do their own landscaping after installing a fiberglass pool.
A professional pool installer will typically charge by the square footage of the pool.
You’ll also want to know how much labor costs are included in the price of the installation before agreeing to the project.
DIY Or Not?
A complete DIY install requires the homeowner to manage every aspect of the project.
He/she must choose the pool, arrange for shipping, gather all necessary materials and tools, and follow local building and safety codes.
Homeowners should also find out about local building and code regulations.
An assisted installation includes the pool, filter, and pump systems, along with all of your plumbing needs.
In an assisted installation, the homeowners do most of the digging and pouring, but leave the installation of the shell and the plumbing to the pros.
So, let’s break down the cost a bit further.
The average cost of an in-ground pool is about $37,000. Most pools cost around $25,000-$40,000.
Adding saltwater adds another $2,500. Adding a waterfall feature will likely add another $3,000. Installing hot tubs adds another $6,000.
You should be prepared to spend anywhere from $20 up to $100 per hour of labor.
This is an estimate and rough figure, so the cost you will pay will vary significantly depending on who you hire, what percentage of the job you do yourself, where your house is located, how large the pool or spa is, whether you choose a concrete or fiberglass pool, and many other factors.
You can sometimes get a pool for as low as $500. But if you want to build a big pool, it’ll cost you more like $10,000. You can cut down on costs by buying a used one.
Indoor pools cost about $200,000 (Pool guy costs) because they include a lot of additional features.
You’ll need a ventilation and dehumidifying system, a heater, a cover, etc. All of these things add up to more money.
Adding an indoor swimming pool to an existing structure costs much less than building a new one.
Moisture-resistant drywall is expensive but necessary when adding an indoor pool to an existing structure.
Investing in a pool is an excellent idea if you want to increase the value of your house. You can expect to see about a 7% return on investment.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should add a pool to your yard. Make sure that you have enough space for other things too.
Pros And Cons
Having a pool is very beneficial because it provides a lot of fun activities. You can use it as a place to relax after work, hang out with your friends, or even host parties.
A pool is also a great space to entertain guests and share stories with them. Apart from the cost of maintenance and the need for regular cleaning, pools are a great addition to a home.
Having a swimming pool at home helps you save money by keeping you cool when temperatures rise as they can be used as an alternative to air conditioning.
Fiberglass pools are popular because they are very durable and require minimal maintenance.
Fiberglass pools are used throughout the world because they last a long time. They don’t absorb any moisture from the surface and are resistant to chemicals.
Fiberglass pools are perfect for families who want to enjoy a beautiful backyard without worrying about the cost of upkeep.
Fiberglass does not require an acid wash every year and also doesn’t wrinkle, puncture or tear like vinyl can.
Fiberglass pool resurfacing or coating finishes give a smooth surface.
You can choose a non-slip texture where needed and all other areas of the pool will feel soft and silky.
Fiberglass pools have lower lifetime cost than other types of pools and you will save money by not having a pool cleaner as often.
The downsides of fiberglass pools is that they have shape / size limitations. Each fiberglass pool manufacturer will have a set selection of shapes & sizes.
Custom fiberglass pools simply aren’t cost effective for anyone involved in pool construction. You should also know fiberglass pools can’t exceed a specific size for transport purposes.
Fiberglass pools are certainly more expensive than other types of pools.
But you can consider the initial cost increase as an investment that will provide savings in lower maintenance costs over the lifetime of your pool.
Osmotic blistering can be a common problem with fiberglass pools. It occurs when the gel coat traps water particles under the surface.
Bubbles form as the trapped water expands. This causes the bubbles to burst and release air into the pool, creating a large bubble.
When this happens, the pool must be drained and refinished. You’ll have to choose exactly what kind of shape you want your pool to be before installing it.
Sometimes after installation, it could warp or bend due to shifting of the backfill materials so this requires ongoing management.
Installing The Pool
If you decide to cut down costs by installing the pool yourself here’s a quick guide:
Step 1: Layout The Pool
Pool elevations should be established before any other part of the project.
You need to know what type of deck you want to install, how it’s going to be installed, and what’s the thickness of the concrete slabs.
After this, you need to know the slope of the apron, if there’s any drainage issues, whether the pool is going to drain into the ground or another body of water, and how much space is available for the pool.
Digging holes for pools is very easy, but you need to know what size the hole needs to be for your pool.
You also need to make sure there isn’t anything blocking the hole or making it too big. Marking the location of the pool is important so you can easily see where the hole should go.
Step 2: Excavate
Digging holes is easy, but there are many things we should avoid doing when digging holes. Over digging is the most important thing to avoid.
A big hole means more costs. There should be enough room for us to move around.
Add dirt where the features of our pool are. Leave the dirt for the contours and steps but don’t add dirt to compensate for over digging.
When installing fiberglass pools, you should consider the type of soil you have before digging the hole and also consider how the pool will settle over time.
Step 3: Set The Floor
A bed of gravel must be laid before construction of a swimming pool begins. Screed bars should be used to guide the slope of the pool floor (check out our guide on pool coving).
Compacting the gravel ensures that the floor is stable after installation.
Step 4: Delivery And Placement
Pool delivery includes a pool shell and filtration system. Pool is lifted into place using a crane.
Plumbing (see also ‘Pool Plumbing Diagram & Layout Schematic Examples‘) must be done during pool installation. Access to the site should be evaluated before installation.
Step 5: Plumbing
The first step is to fit a skimmer box. Next install deep end suction fittings, then return fittings, and finally a pump and filter.
Backfill material should be gravel, but could also use a flowable backfill material.
Once the pool is backfilled and reinforced, rebar is attached to the perimeter of the pool for extra support.
Concrete is poured approximately 8″ thick around the perimeter, creating a mechanical lock. This bond beam makes the pool much sturdier and provides stability to the coping finish.
Before installing a swimming pool, familiarize yourself with local planning regulations and building restrictions.
Use utility plans if available, and determine if any utilities will interfere with placing the pool.
If not available then use above-ground evidence such as manholes, to assess if there are likely to be any utilities that need moving.
You should determine the exact shape and size of the pool and, depending on your level of comfort, contact an engineer or architect to assist with minor works plans for submission.
At the same time, determine what kind of pump and filter you want and how much water will be needed.
Benefits Of Professional Installation
Pool installers must be licensed and insured. They will know how to obtain permits and write them as well as the legal requirements.
They will also know how much it costs and how long it takes to get them.
Building codes are very important and following them means avoiding fines and possibly having to abandon your project.
When using professionals they will ensure that inspections are carried out by the correct people who check every aspect of the construction process to make sure it is done properly.
They also inspect the finished product before leaving.
Fiberglass swimming pools come prefabricated, and will arrive at your house in an intact state on a flatbed truck.
You’ll need to move them, typically by crane, to their final resting place.
If you have a builder working with you, they will ensure the excavation is prepared properly, and that the pool is set up correctly.
He or she will also coordinate the landscape crew to ensure everything is completed as planned by handling all the details.
It is useful to remember it’s not just a swimming-pool that’s going into the ground.
There will also be pumps and filtration systems that must be installed and tested, along with other elements, such as lights and accessories that need to go into place.
A builder handles all the various details that turn your pool area and will ensure he installs your pool according to all engineering requirements to the laid out municipal standards reducing the risk of something getting missed if you were to do it yourself.
If standards aren’t met properly you may find your warranties are voided, as it only covers structure defects and not damage caused due to a faulty installation.
What’s more, your insurance company might not want to cover damages that were caused due to a faulty DIY project.
So there you have it, some ideas on how much it will cost to install a fiberglass pool and a quick guide on doing it yourself.
With the right information and guidance you could be Happy swimming in your own glorious pool sometime soon!