Concrete and Fiberglass Pools: How Should You Choose Between the Two?

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With summer just around the corner, one would definitely look for ways to escape the scorching heat. If a drive down the beach is impossible, then the next best thing is to dive in a swimming pool! While visiting the community pool is an option, owning an in-ground swimming pool has its benefits.

Aside from having an easy access to relax and keep in shape, owning a backyard pool is an amazing way to spend time with family and friends. What’s more, installing a swimming pool increases the value of your home. Now the question is, how do you choose between concrete and fiberglass pools?

Let’s take a look at the unique characteristics of these two swimming pools.

Installation Period

In constructing a concrete pool, the material is dry-mixed on-site.  This method results in a high-grade cement compared to a wet-mixed concrete. Additionally, pool construction involves installing reinforced bars, mesh, and formwork set in a sizable hole. With all the work it entails, installation can take several months.

Meanwhile, precast fiberglass pools are simple and quick to install. This type of pool is factory-created. It will arrive at your home as a single piece and will be fitted on top of a concrete or sand base inside a massive hole. As the work is mostly done in the factory, installation can be wrapped up in three to five weeks.

Approximate Costs

If you’re in favor of the longer construction of a concrete pool, materials and full installation of a 12×24 foot in-ground pool is roughly around $20,710. This estimate consists of the required site excavation and preparation, a pump, concrete with forms and reinforcements, proper tubing, sealant, paint, lamp, and finally ladder.

There are additional components as well that you can include such as water heating system, perimeter walkway, privacy fence, and vinyl pool cover. The add-on features come with additional labor costs, thus, the total approximate cost will come about at $29,600.

Take note though, since concrete pools can be flexible when it comes to design, you can request your builder to adjust your pool to your liking. The customizable feature may come as an advantage, still bear in mind it can ramp up your cost.

Now if you’re leaning towards the fiberglass type, a 12×24 pool approximately costs $22,460. This rate comprises of the pool shell, installation, site excavation and preparation, required tubing, lamp, and also a ladder. Adding in a heating system, perimeter walkway, privacy fence, and vinyl pool cover is possible. With these features plus additional labor, final costs are more or less $31,400.

Since fiberglass pools are factory made, there are limits when it comes to shapes and sizes. The pool shell will be transported by land thus you can only choose on the predetermined form offered by your manufacturer.

While this may be a curtailing factor, keep in mind that you can include other unique built-in customization to your pool like beach entries, additional swim-outs, and lounge areas. Also, as this type of pool is prefinished with a smooth gel surface it doesn’t require extra sealant.

Surface Finish

As mentioned above, fiberglass pools have a smooth non-porous surface. As a result, algae and bacteria growth are easier to control. On the downside though, the gel coat surface can be slippery when wet. It can bring possible slip or fall injuries.

Most concrete pool surfaces, on one hand, are rough on the finish. They have a porous surface which needs a chemical sealant to minimize moisture absorption. One of their setbacks though is that they can quickly trap bacteria which trigger algae growth. Once algae accumulate on the pores of the pool surface, it may be quite entirely difficult to remove.

Furthermore, with a rough surface, you run the risks of grazes and scrapes. Kids, in particular, may sustain these while swimming, jumping, or playing.

Material Durability

Having used strong and reliable materials and building methods, concrete pools are long-lasting.  With periodic upkeep, resurfacing, and cleaning, you can bet your pool will last a long time.

Similarly, fiberglass pools are tremendously durable. It can last between 20-25 years, with the required reapplication of its interior gel finish every 10 years. While it may be tough, the pool shell sitting on top of a concrete or sand material is highly prone to cracking when the floor shifts or settles.

Basic Maintenance

Quality time is necessary if you want to keep your concrete pool healthy and safe for your family. To safeguard your premium investment, it is essential to follow a regular scrubbing and cleaning schedule as well as a steady rebalancing of pool chemicals.

Likewise, to prevent moisture from seeping in and maintain its surface, it warrants a complete resurfacing every 10-15 years. Unfortunately, with this kind of necessary upkeep for concrete pools, it can be expensive to maintain in the long term.

Meantime, a fiberglass pool involves less routine maintenance. With its type of surface, it does not entail resurfacing in its lifetime.  What’s good also is that it only needs limited chemicals to control the bacteria in the water. Needless to say, this type of pool is less expensive to clean and maintain. You can look here to know the costs.

Heat Condition

Fiberglass pools are warmer and can retain heat longer. Its pool shell and liner are thinly constructed which does not absorb heat. This in return quickly warms your water while retaining its heated condition.

As you may know, concrete absorbs heat. While it heats the pool water, the available heating system needs to warm the concrete to retain its temperature. This involves a longer method plus greater energy to warm your water.

The Verdict

Overall, both types of pool possess distinctive qualities. Choosing depends on your budget and preferences. If you’re gravitating towards the concrete pool and the long construction doesn’t daunt you, by all means, go for it! Just make sure to invest and save for its routine maintenance.

Otherwise, if you require a quick to install type then go for a fiberglass pool. Though this kind may have certain limitations and higher installation fees, it involves low maintenance cost in the long run.

Remember, in deciding what’s essential, your choice will suit your needs. Either way, keep in mind installing a pool of any type will surely increase the value of your home.

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