As any homeowner would agree, owning a home can be a job in and of itself. First, there are the repairs that must be identified and done. Then there are the occasional emergency or purely for aesthetic tasks that help make the home more attractive to the people living in it. There is also the amount of time you have to spend researching the best tools and materials for whatever job you hope to accomplish.
For many people adding a below ground pool to their property, one of the first questions asked is what kind of pool material should be used. Within the US, there are a couple of options available. In particular, pools made of fiberglass have exploded in their use. However, because relatively little is known regarding these pools, many people aren’t sure if fiberglass is right for their pool. Lets take a moment to review fiberglass pools and look at the pros and cons associated with them.
The Pros of Fiberglass Pools
1. Not As Bad As You Would Believe
Oddly enough, one of the biggest pros about fiberglass pools is that they are significantly better then the incredible number of myths surrounding them. For example, it is advertised that fiberglass pools should not be chosen because they can “pop-up” from the ground. While this may be true, there are no known records of this happening. Even if there were, the frequency would be so low compared to the total amount of pools installed that it would easily fall within the standards for pool installations. Another commonly held misconception is that fiberglass pools only work in warm climates. This has also been proven to be not true.
2. Less Expensive Repairs Down The Road
Fiberglass pools, unlike concrete pools, require less money down the road in repairs. This is in part due to how the fiberglass material interacts with water when compared to concrete. Either way, fiberglass will last significantly longer.
3. Softer On Your Feet
Many people who have concrete pools complain about how rough the material is on their feet. A fiberglass pool on the other hand is smooth and has no risk of cutting your feet when walking on it.
4. Flex Strength
What fiberglass has that concrete does not is flex strength. Flex strength is the ability for the pool to resist torsion like forces. These forces can come from things like large trucks rolling by, earthquakes, quarry mining, and the like.
5. Quick and Less Expensive Pool Install
Unlike concrete pools, fiberglass pools can be installed quickly. In addition, in both cost of materials and installation fees, fiberglass is less expensive then the alternatives. This makes fiberglass particularly appealing to anyone on a budget. The one thing to remember however is that although fiberglass pools will cost less over the course of ownership and installation, they normally have a higher initial fee associated with purchase. With that in mind, it is important to note that fiberglass pools have a higher resell value then their concrete alternatives
The Cons of Fiberglass Pools
1. Can Look Cheap
Fiberglass pools have a reputation for looking cheap. In fact, this is very true when examining models from 10 to 15 years back. However, advancements in design have lead fiberglass pools to look significantly less cheap with the newer models. Either way, you may have to aim for a more expensive fiberglass pool in order to get one that does not look cheap.
2. Not Very Customizable
One aspect that fiberglass pools fail in is customizability. Fiberglass pools are only capable of coming in prefabricated molds. Originally, there were only a few molds to choose from, greatly limiting possible options. To its credit, fiberglass pools are now created in a wide variety of shapes and sizes to better meet individual demand. However, it still does not compare to concrete.
With concrete, you can create nearly any shaped pool that you want. Concrete is necessary when you want to install a pool that is wider then 16 feet, in a weird shape like an L, or is more then 8 feet deep. In addition, concrete is normally preferred when trying to create a pond like feel with your pool, or otherwise doing something different from the general molds provided by fiberglass pool manufacturers.
3. Limited Uses
Pools can be created in a number of different places and serve a wide variety of purposes. For example, pools can be created on the beach and feed directly into the sea. Pools can be multi-leveled to create an amazing variety of forms. With fiberglass pools, you are limited to what is provided and the intended use that comes with it. While this will help you save money, it is also more challenging to create what you want, unless all you desire is the generic shapes provided.