As you dream of your backyard pool and you shop around, either online or by visiting a pool dealer, you’ll likely have a lot of questions. Naturally, you want to know things like how much a pool costs and what features you can get for a pool within your budget. When you think about the long term, you may also wonder, “how long do fiberglass pools last?”
As you give serious consideration to a fiberglass pool, you are not alone. Fiberglass pools have become a hot trend among builders and homeowners in the past two decades. There are a number of reasons for that, including the quality of the manufacturing, the durability of fiberglass, and the advent of popular features in fiberglass pool designs like Beach Entries and Tanning Ledges. There are many great reasons to purchase a fiberglass pool—elegance and durability are among the top.
Fiberglass pools are made to last. Just think, your kids and grandkids could enjoy the same pool! Additionally, fiberglass is an algae-resistant material. If you’ve spent hours battling algae growth in the seams of a vinyl liner or on the walls of a gunite(concrete) pool, you will definitely appreciate this feature. Algae resistance means you’ll likely be brushing and applying harsh chemicals far less often. Your fiberglass pool endures because it’s made well and to be used by people, not abused by chemicals and brushes.
Of course, fiberglass pools require balanced water chemistry and regular maintenance, but it’s a matter of quantity and duration. With a fiberglass pool, you’re likely to spend one hour per week in maintenance versus four to eight hours per week with gunite or two to three hours with vinyl. That’s a significant investment of your time and/or money. With vinyl and gunite, you may be paying as much as $5,000 to $12,000 more in annual maintenance costs versus fiberglass. And if you don’t want to worry about maintenance at all, hire a pool maintenance professional to help you protect your investment.
Technology has come a long way in a few short decades. So, what if you have an older fiberglass pool that you think needs resurfacing? You do have a few options you can consider. For speed, durability and color match capability, the thermoplastic coating is an optimum choice. Depending on pool size, the cost can range from $10,000 to $15,000, and you’ll be able to fill the pool and jump in almost immediately. A less expensive option is epoxy paints. There are some drawbacks to this option: it works on bare surfaces only and requires two weeks to cure. However, it can be done for as little as $2,500 to $3,000 in materials. Do you repair, replace, renovate or remove? These are questions you may have to consider as you weigh the benefits of resurfacing an older pool.
If you’re researching pools and considering what’s right for the long haul, you may also want to know about the durability of other pool types on the market, namely vinyl and gunite. These options have their pros and cons. With vinyl, maintenance includes watching out for daily wear and tear. A pet’s nails, for instance, can easily tear your vinyl. A rip may just require an inexpensive patch. But for replacement, which you’ll need regardless every seven to nine years, you’ll see costs range from $4,000 to $5,500.
With gunite, chemical usage, surface care and electrical load are among the items that will factor heavily into your annual maintenance costs. even if you’ve taken great care of the pool surface, you’ll typically need to resurface a gunite pool every five to seven years. You may get away with an inexpensive epoxy paint resurface, but more likely you’ll have to go with pool tile, aggregate or pool plaster. These options are likely to cost between $15,000 to $25,000.
We know purchasing a pool is a big investment. And we recognize that you want to make smart, informed decisions when it comes to your investments—especially investments that affect the health and happiness of your family. If you want to learn more and get a detailed description of the differences between fiberglass pools, vinyl pools and gunite pools, download our eBook: Inground Vinyl, Gunite & Fiberglass Pools. A Comprehensive Comparison.
Lastly, we always recommend taking time to get to know your local dealer. In addition to giving you an estimate on your pool’s costs, they can advise on maintenance specific to your region’s climate and provide local permitting insights. If you’re ready to talk to a dealer but want to make sure you have a good conversation, here are a few additional questions you can use to prepare.
Thursday Pools designs and manufactures the world’s most durable and elegantly crafted fiberglass pools. We are ISO 9001 certified, which means that fiberglass pool shells are made with the highest standards and from the best quality material available. We are also ISO 14001 certified, which means we are committed to environmental stewardship.