Adding a swimming pool to your outdoor space transforms what time at home means. For some, it means staycationing at will. For others, it means getting social, staying healthy, or having more memories with the family. Regardless of why you want a fiberglass pool, it’s natural to ask, “Is a new fiberglass pool a good investment?” Many factors make a fiberglass pool a good investment. Some will be universal to pools in general, some personal to you, and others specific to fiberglass versus other types of pools.
Here are a few quick facts about fiberglass pools that are helpful as you make your assessment of value:
Fiberglass pools are quick to install. Fiberglass pools typically take just a few weeks to install. The shell is pre-built in a controlled factory environment and arrives ready to put in at your site.
Fiberglass pools are aesthetically pleasing. They look good! The gelcoat finish of a quality-made and maintained fiberglass pool retains its beautiful appearance long after installation.
Fiberglass pools are not slippery. The shiny gelcoat finish appearance may lead you to think fiberglass pools are slippery. However, the smooth, durable fiberglass surface is non-skid and non-snag for stepping, walking, or sitting on the surface.
Fiberglass pools are durable. Fiberglass pools can last decades with minimal maintenance and no need for resurfacing, acid-washing, or relining.
Fiberglass pools are feature-rich. Today’s fiberglass pools have the most in-demand built-in features, like tanning ledges, wide-entry steps, wrap-around bench seating, and swim-outs.
Fiberglass pools require the lowest maintenance. Fiberglass pools are easier and less expensive to maintain because they are durable and resistant to algae and mineral deposits.
Let’s dig a little deeper into those fiberglass pool pros and how they compare with gunite and vinyl-lined pools:
Installation. A vinyl pool can cost a little less than fiberglass upfront but often takes longer to install because pool builders create them onsite. And a gunite pool will cost more than fiberglass or vinyl and can take three to six months to install.
Aesthetics. Your neighbor will not mistake a ten-year-old vinyl pool for new. You’ll probably need to get a new liner after only five to seven years. A gunite pool can look good for years, but maintaining a like-new appearance requires acid washing and a significant investment in regular maintenance.
Feel. Gunite feels and looks solid. Its porous surface may also have a more rough feel on feet and paws alike versus other pool types. . Vinyl generally feels soft and comfortable, but wrinkles and seams can cause tripping. Both vinyl-liner and gunite pools can be slippery due to algae buildup.
Features. Installing a vinyl-lined pool with complex features, like wrap-around benches, isn’t impossible, but it adds to both the cost and number of seams (which can harbor algae). You can build a gunite pool with any features you want, but they will be custom, more expensive, and may make cleaning the porous surface more difficult.
Durability and Maintenance. Vinyl can more easily tear from the scratch of a dog’s nail, and, as mentioned before, you’ll likely need to replace the liner after five to seven years. Gunite’s surface is porous and typically needs to be resurfaced after ten to twelve years on average. In addition, gunite requires more regular maintenance, scrubbing, and chemicals than fiberglass pools.
Don’t try to DIY. When you learn that fiberglass pool shells are durable and arrive at your site already constructed, it’s tempting to think you could save money by doing it yourself. We don’t advise that approach, especially if you’re thinking long-term about your investment. Warranties are invalid if a qualified dealer or installer doesn’t install the pool. And the technique, know-how, and tools an installer brings to the table are invaluable.
Installers need access. Fiberglass swimming pools are unique in that they arrive as constructed shells, as big as 41′ x 16′. If your backyard site is challenging to access, consult with a dealer. There may be an additional effort and investment required to get your pool into the desired location in some situations.
Marketability. The National Association of Realtors estimated a fiberglass pool could add more than 5% to the resale value of your home. However, according to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Spring 2021, with the current demand for pools skyrocketing, homes with pools are garnering 69 percent more than those without pools. The exact return on investment will vary. However, in a competitive market, the presence of a beautiful, relatively easy-to-maintain fiberglass pool could be a differentiator that gives your home a selling advantage.
Value comes with use. It’s not easy to calculate the return on investment of a fiberglass pool in the same way you might a mutual fund. And you probably won’t purchase a fiberglass pool to stage your home the way you might add a new coat of paint or carefully place a new sofa in the living room. We derive much of the value from our pool through its use.
Investment in yourself. Imagine how you will use a fiberglass pool and how that investment will add value to your life. A fiberglass pool is an investment in:
As you can see, whether a new fiberglass pool is a good investment or not is somewhat of a personal choice. Before you make your final decision, we urge you to talk with a dealer and discuss your unique situation.