Your pool type and design will factor into the cost of your fiberglass pool. You can pick from vinyl liner pools, fiberglass pools and gunite (concrete) pools. The lifetime cost of each depends on an array of factors, but fiberglass typically wins out in lifetime maintenance cost. If you go with fiberglass, the extent to which your design contains features, such as tanning ledges, benches, and beach entry will help determine your overall cost.
With installation you have digging, delivery, pool filtration setup maintenance and cleaning equipment set up, your first fill and decking. A typical fiberglass pool takes about three weeks to install, but costs and timing can vary. It’s good to talk to your dealer - or even several dealers in advance
Fiberglass pools run the gamut. A small wading pool may be in the neighborhood of 9’ x 9’, while a larger model could run a little beyond 40’ x 16’. Pool size determines not only how much material and design you’re purchasing, but also the complexity of the transport and placement, the volume of water, utilities requirements, and lifetime maintenance.
An experienced pool builder will insist on inspecting your site prior to pricing. Conditions the pool builder will look for will include various utilities on site and potential connection spots, elevation changes and backyard access.
Is your patio made up of clean lines in concrete and utilitarian or does it have specialized materials, like travertine pavers? The difference could be several thousand dollars.
As you dig into the process of purchasing a fiberglass pool, you’ll ask yourself questions about what you need and what you want. You may need an automatic pool cover and want a slide. There are ‘trim levels’ within almost every optional choice you can make.
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Fiberglass pools have a great deal of work, namely the production of the shell, done in advance of
installation. There are still choices to make that impact the final fiberglass pool cost. At the
very top of that list is geography – where you are installing your pool. Is it on a rocky
mountainside location? Is it a wide open flat suburban lot in middle America? The cost will vary.
Backing up to the shell, don’t forget pool size and design. Then, very broadly, you’ll have choices
to make for decking, backfill, landscaping, fencing, water, filtration and pool covers that will all
have some degree of variability.
You’ll also have costs that may not be as variable. Your location may require a flat cost permitting
fee. It may require the use of a crane to access the backyard space. Utilities, fencing and pool
covers may also fall under the required category. These items all factor into a typical fiberglass
pool build’s cost. You can expect a fiberglass pool installation to run between $40,000 and $60,000
depending on which direction you go on these basic decisions.
The big decisions you’ll need to make as you consider the installation of a fiberglass pool involve scoping out your back yard’s accommodating factors and considering your personal tastes and budget. How big is the back yard? How much deck will you want? Where are the utility connections? What design and shape will complement or enhance the home’s architectural design? There are classic rectangular pools and pool designs with an organic, wavy profile. And there are some that land in-between - they are a little of both. You can add a dive board, slides, rock or waterjet features, tile borders and more.
Geography, Topography and Neighborhood all impact cost as you zoom in on your pool’s location. Where you are placing your fiberglass pool will impact the cost. Do you like in an area with a strong freeze-thaw cycle? Do you have elevation changes? Is your backyard accessible? You can see how these factors physically impact installation. In addition, you may have municipal guidelines or HOA covenants that govern specifics of pool placement or designate a particular type of fencing or pool covers.
pool type is generally limited to three choices: vinyl liner, fiberglass and gunite (concrete). Vinyl liners are the lowest in initial cost. However, they have long-term upkeep and repair costs associated with them. In addition to regular annual maintenance costs, the average replacement cost of vinyl runs from $3,500 to $5,000. On average, they need to be replaced every 7 to 9 years. Fiberglass pools cost a little more at the outset, but require less annual maintenance and repair than vinyl. Fiberglass pools are durable and can last 30 years or more. Gunite pools allow for greater customization of design. They do require greater on-site construction work and usually cost more to install and maintain. The exception to higher installation cost is sunbelt states where concrete pools can cost less. The maintenance of a gunite pool includes acid wash/replastering approximately every five years and close attention to chemical treatment of algae.
pool builders come in various forms. A small, independent builder might oversee your project from start to finish. A larger firm might have multiple crews with specialties moving from one installation to the next in coordinated effort. One type is not necessarily better than another. Interview a couple builders. A helpful question to ask yourself is, “do I want these guys in my backyard for a few weeks?” Seek references or even check out some of their build sites in your area when possible.
pool design is one of the first decisions you’ll make. If you’ve not given backyard pools much thought before entering the market for one yourself, you might be surprised by the breadth of readily available fiberglass pool designs. The other thing you’ll likely be surprised by are the special design features, like tanning ledges, bench seating, beach entry and more, that are constructed into pool designs. A rectangular pool will cost a little less than a pool with curves and features built in.
pool size is a factor in fiberglass pool costs, but not as variable as you might find in gunite/concrete pool costs. Every fiberglass pool design must be capable of being transported as a shell from the manufacturer to the backyard site. So, they usually fall within a maximum of 40 feet long and 16 feet wide. With fiberglass pools, there is a wide variety of pool designs and options you can add, but the size/shape is at least somewhat constrained by transportability. Size will be a factor in installation and maintenance costs - more dirt removal, greater water volume.
the deck holds it all together. Working with your dealer or construction contractor, you’ll determine whether the surface you want for your pool patio is concrete, tile, stone or some other form of decking and landscaping materials. Costs can vary widely. For example, a standard broom-finish concrete pool deck might average $6.50 per square foot, whereas a travertine paver patio could run $16.00 per square foot. For a 1,000 square foot patio, that can mean a variance of nearly $10,000.
the options bring the pool experience to life. Whether you have a young family, or an active lifestyle, or a contingent determined to get the most sun possible, the options you choose can match your pool to your backyard lifestyle. The most common optional accessories include slides, water features and dive boards.
Site prepration is one of the variable costs for which it is good to consult with your dealer. A new, undeveloped piece of land will likely have totally different prep requirements versus a home in a wooded, historic neighborhood. Trees (and roots), underground/above ground utilities and neighborhood covenants are just a few of the potential considerations as you get your property ready for an install.
access come in various forms. A small, independent builder might oversee your project from start to finish. A larger firm might have multiple crews with specialties moving from one installation to the next in coordinated effort. One type is not necessarily better than another. Interview a couple builders. A helpful question to ask yourself is, “do I want these guys in my backyard for a few weeks?” Seek references or even check out some of their build sites in your area when possible.
permits is key to the efficiency and cost-effective delivery and installation of your fiberglass pool. Depending on the location of the backyard relative to the street and driveway, you may or may not require the use of specialized cranes or other equipment. The relative level of ease affects cost.
fencing is a requirement in some jurisdictions for safety and insurance compliance. Of course, there are a variety of fences available and you might be required to purchase or build a fence that meets specific material or design guidelines.
Restoration is a part of any large construction job, even if it’s referred to only as ‘clean-up.’ Pool installation can bring a combination of trucks, jackhammers and other heavy equipment to your backyard. When it’s all done and your pool is installed, there may be landscaping or hardscaping work to be done to make sure the surrounding environment does your beautiful new pool justice.
Electrical work is essential for the operation of your filtering system. It could also be needed for lights, jetting or other decorative work. A knowledgeable electrical contractor will help you assess your situation and determine if you need a new or updated breaker box for your backyard.
Maintenance and Cleaning Material is not the first thing you’ll look at when you’re buying a pool and you can hire professionals to perform some maintenance. However, you will always need a certain amount of cleaning equipment, chemicals and testing equipment at hand as a pool owner. In general, a fiberglass pool will require fewer chemicals and less scrubbing than other pool types.
Dirt hauling is something you could overlook if you were managing your own pool install. Consider the scope, though. You could be subtracting the equivalent of a one to two car garage’s worth of dirt before dropping your fiberglass pool shell into place.
Backfill material is the flipside of that equation. As your fiberglass pool is set into place, the walls need support before the water goes in. Backfill material, specified by your installer will be required to stabilize the pool in your location.
water is inexpensive, but it’s not free. And, depending on where you live, the size of your pool and how often you cycle through it, it’s a small or not as small part of the cost.