A fiberglass pool typically has the highest upfront cost but the lowest maintenance cost. They are quick to install, but because they're built from a mold the shape is not customizable (and they can't be wider than 16 feet). A vinyl pool has the lowest installation cost and can be built to any size and shape.
A fiberglass pool is not prone to growing algae, which is one of the main reasons why this pool is easier to maintain. Anyone who is looking for a pool that doesn't require a lot of maintenance may want to consider going with a fiberglass pool.
The main budget-friendly inground pool options include fiberglass and vinyl pools. These pools are more affordable compared to concrete. Moreover, there are numerous ways which can lower inground pool construction costs.
You want to come home, relax, and enjoy your swimming pool. Fiberglass pools are low maintenance because of the finished gel coat surface that is extraordinarily smooth and non-porous. This type of surface eliminates dirt and algae's ability to gather as it does in concrete pools and vinyl liner pools.
In conclusion: what is the best type of swimming pool? We firmly believe that the Leisure Pools composite fiberglass swimming pool is the best available swimming pool structure for 95% of customer requirements. We urge people on a budget to look at fiberglass before above ground and vinyl liner pools.
Vinyl Means Lower Maintenance
Modern vinyl liners are extremely durable. Vinyl is a nonporous surface which means it won't require as many chemicals as a concrete pool. Vinyl's smooth surface also makes it harder for contaminants like algae to take hold and wreak havoc on your pool.
For a family of 8 people, a pool size of 18 by 36 feet is adequate. Even if you all decide to swim at the same time, there will be enough space for everyone. A rectangular shape is the best choice for this size of the pool. If there are six or less in your family, a pool size of 16 by 32 feet will be sufficient.
The cons associated with fiberglass pools are primarily related to cost and installation issues. Contrary to popular belief, fiberglass pools aren't cheaper than traditional options like concrete (we'll provide more details in the “Costs” section later on).
Most fiberglass pools are known to last 25-30 years, but we take that to the next level. Our manufacturer, Narellan Pools, makes the best fiberglass pools around. Their unique fiberglass formula results in a pool that can last as long as 50 years! Plus, these pools are notoriously easy to maintain.
When it comes to construction, take note: Rectangular pools typically cost more than curved pools. The reason why is increased perimeter footage. Rectangles may require more square footage in a backyard.
For either a custom-built pool or a prebuilt liner shape, the most affordable inground pools are those with the least-interesting shape—those with a rectangle or an oval shape will generally be the most inexpensive.
Is a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool better for me? Vinyl liner pools typically cost about $10,000 less than fiberglass pools upfront. However, they need the liner replaced every 5–9 years and tend to look cheap. Fiberglass pools are much more durable, need less maintenance, and look classy.
Pros of Saltwater Pools
There's less chlorine and less of the heavy chemical scent and content. They're gentler on the skin, with less irritation to the eyes, hair and swimsuits. The water has a softer, silkier feel to it compared to chlorine water. They have lower maintenance costs than chlorine pools.
Fiberglass pools need the least maintenance, and they cost the least ($3,750 over 10 years).
Smaller Pool Means Less Maintenance
One of the biggest drawbacks to big pools is the fact that they require regular maintenance, which can be so boring and exhausting. The biggest benefit of having a small pool is the fact that it requires less maintenance and less work.
Fiberglass pools are extremely easy to maintain, can be installed quickly, are very durable, and can be beautifully designed. However, their initial cost can be higher than vinyl liner pools, and the shapes and sizes are not as customizable.
Fiberglass pools can craze or check crack from imprecise manufacturing or when the surface is not fully supported, like under the steps or areas where the backfill is eroded. Gelcoat can also crack during transport and installation if it gets bumped around too much.
A Common Gripe About Fiberglass Pools
One of the biggest gripes that we see have to do with the slippery surface of a fiberglass pool. The fact is, this material can be so slick that pool users can actually slip and fall. This can be a real problem for pool steps, where a slip-and-fall accident can be dangerous.
While they are easier to install, fiberglass pools are nowhere near as durable as a gunite inground pool. The inside surface of this type pool is a gel coat on which the fiberglass has been laminated. The walls of the pool are only ½ to ⅜ inch thick compared to the 8 to 10 inch thickness of a gunite pool.
Luckily, heating is not only an option for fiberglass pools, it's actually a wonderful idea for them. Fiberglass pools are both the easiest type of pool to heat and the least expensive.
Fiberglass pools tend to be the least problematic in freezing conditions. This is because the materials used in the surface and structure of the pool are flexible and can withstand both high and low temperatures.
A 12x24 foot pool has a surface area that covers 288 feet, so it should be big enough for your needs based on this rough calculation.
In general, the most common inground pool sizes are: 5-10 ft long (spa size) 10-15 ft.
We recommend a minimum of 30 feet in length to provide enough space for lap swimming and exercise. The swim lane is important, but so is the depth and other features.