Fiberglass Pools Could Be Your Crystal-Clear Choice

Lately, there’s been quite a bit of buzz regarding fiberglass pools in the home and garden world. Fiberglass pools are beating out concrete and liner pools for several reasons: maintenance, cost, design, and installation time. Though there are positives to all three options, fiberglass pools continually prove that not all pools are created equal.

Fiberglass Pools vs. Concrete Pools vs. Liner Pools

Concrete pools are a good choice for those who want a completely customized pool. Concrete allows for tanning ledges, vanishing ledges, and even beach entrances. Since these pools are completely personalized, they come as big or as small as you want. However, this customizability comes with a price. Concrete pools take much longer to install, as the process is more complex. They also require the most everyday chemical maintenance and long-term renovation maintenance, driving up its lifetime cost.

Liner pools are popular because their initial installation cost is relatively low in comparison to concrete and fiberglass pools. Like concrete pools, liner pools are customizable in terms of both shape and size. However, just because the initial cost of a liner pool is low doesn’t mean its lifetime cost is the same. Liner pools typically have higher lifetime costs because the liner is subject to tear, especially if a dog goes for a swim. Though there are liner warranties, most are pro-rated – meaning you often have to pay more to replace or repair the liner than you had expected.

Fiberglass pools are the hottest ticket right now. Why? Because, unlike its counterparts, fiberglass pools require little to no upkeep, its shell does not have to be replaced or resurfaced, and it has the lowest lifetime cost overall. Though they are slightly less customizable than concrete or liner pools, fiberglass pools are a great investment for anyone who wants a pool without the work and ongoing cost of maintenance.

Interview with an Expert

Since fiberglass pools seem to stand out among their counterparts, we decided to sit down with Derek Blasker of Pool Designs in Yardville NJ to get the facts.

HGNJ: Why choose fiberglass pools over concrete or liner pools? What are the benefits?

DB:  Well, besides being 17-times stronger than concrete pools, fiberglass is a natural insulator. This means that your fiberglass pool will retain heat while a concrete pool will allow the heat to escape through its walls. Fiberglass is nonporous so algae can’t stick to it, unlike liners and concrete; we certainly call that an advantage. With a liner pool, you’ll always run the risk of puncture- the family dog, falling tree branches, even the sharp edge of a toy- these things can all result in a costly liner replacement. Fiberglass pools are perfect for bulkheads and high water table areas.

 HGNJ: Can fiberglass shells have decorative or colorful walls and floors like vinyl pools?

DB: Yes! Our fiberglass pools come with crystite finishes and there are 4 colors to choose from. There is a lifetime warranty on the shell to hold water and on the finish.

HGNJ: Can I really get a pool in a day? How?

DB: We do it all the time. Here’s how a typical install goes:

  • 7:30am – Excavation begins.
  • 11am – The hole is dug and base gravel is put into place. At this point, the pool is sitting on a truck in front of your house.
  • 2pm – The pool is positioned in the hole and partially backfilled. A water truck then arrives to fill pool. All connections are made to equipment.
  • 4pm – Done! Time for burgers and beers!

Any further electrical hookups can be completed now and the mason can come the following week to install the pool deck.

 HGNJ: What are the minimum and maximum depths for a fiberglass pool shell?

DB: Shallow ends are typically 3-5” and the deep ends are 8’. The longest pool is 44’ and the widest is 16’ (any wider and they won’t fit down the street!).

HGNJ: Thanks for answering our questions. Tell us a little about Pool Designs.

DB:  We’ve been a local, family-owned and operated business since 1998. We’ll travel all of New Jersey, from Cape May to Bergen County and into Eastern Pennsylvania. In addition to our quality fiberglass pools, we carry outdoor kitchens, patio furniture, pool supplies, and equipment. We provide service throughout all of NJ, Eastern PA, and Staten Island.

All photos courtesy of Viking Pools