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Pros, Costs & Cons: Fiberglass Pools

by Matt Goering

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Fiberglass pools have long held a reputation as an easy-to-install, faster alternative to traditional concrete and gunite pool construction. What might surprise many homeowners is that fiberglass pools are fast gaining recognition as a high-quality option for higher-end installations, as well. Just what do fiberglass pools have to offer if you're thinking about installing a new swimming pool on your property? In this segment of Pros, Cons & Costs, we'll examine the benefits of this often overlooked pool option, its downsides, and what you should expect to spend if you think a fiberglass pool installation may be in your future.

Fiberglass Pools: The Pros
Fiberglass pools make up one of the fastest growing segments of the pool industry, and there are studies to prove it. According to a study commissioned by Pool & Spa News, fiberglass pool installations are on the rise in almost every region across the United States. Why? There are a host of reasons, including ease of installation, a growing range of styles to choose from, and an industry that has placed an emphasis on creating long-lasting, durable products. Here's our list of "Pros" when it comes to fiberglass pools.

  • Faster Installation Times — Talk to anybody involved in pool construction, and you'll hear that one of the biggest selling points of fiberglass pools is a faster installation. A concrete or gunite pool can take as long as two months to install, while a month is standard for fiberglass pools. Pool & Spa News suggests that it can be done even faster, quoting one installer as saying that his reputation hinges on being able to do "a job in two weeks instead of two months."
  • Reduced Maintenance — Fiberglass pools are finished with a smooth gel coat that resists algae growth better than concrete or gunite pools. The result: faster cleaning times and fewer repairs.
  • Selection — According to Pool & Spa News, pool manufacturers "have broken away from the standard rectangle, with some manufacturers boasting as many as 40 shapes." That's played a big role in the growing popularity of fiberglass pools, since it allows for more customized designs for high-end installations.
  • Appearance — The focus on quick installation has given fiberglass pools a bad rap in the looks department. Custom pool designs, as well as tile, stone, and brick copings, are just a few of the options that can make a fiberglass pool every bit as attractive as more traditional options.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.