Fiberglass pool prices are known for being higher than either vinyl or gunite (concrete). But is this really true? It’s a fact that as far as inground pools go, the initial cost of a fiberglass pool is often the highest of the three. However, when you look beyond the initial price tag and consider the big picture, you might be surprised to learn that the cost of fiberglass pools can actually be lower than the other two.
The reason this is so is due to the fact that fiberglass pools are more durable and require less maintenance than either vinyl or gunite. So yes, you might pay more now – but in the long run you could end up saving money.
How Much Does a Fiberglass Pool Cost?
As with all inground pools, the price varies dramatically depending on the options you choose. But as a very rough estimate, you might pay around $40,000 for a medium-sized fiberglass pool fully installed. This is slightly more than a gunite pool, and considerably more than vinyl.
The cost of the actual pool shell is much less – perhaps $10,000-$30,000, depending on features and size. Since fiberglass pool shells are shipped intact from the manufacturer, they tend to be easier to install than other pool types. For those considering self-installation, this fact could mean the difference between hiring a contractor and doing it yourself.
However, even at the higher price that comes with professional installation, fiberglass pools can end up being cheaper.
Why a Fiberglass Pool Might Still Offer the Best Deal
The chief advantage of fiberglass pool shells is that they are durable and non-porous. Fiberglass lasts for a lifetime for all intents and purposes, whereas vinyl and gunite have to be replaced or renovated periodically – at a cost of thousands of dollars. You might get lucky with a gunite pool that lasts for decades, but more likely, you’re looking at another expensive project down the road.
Fiberglass pools also require less chemical treatment, a major upkeep cost of any swimming pool. Because they are non-porous, fiberglass pools are also more resistant to algae. Using less chemicals could literally save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Beyond Fiberglass Pool Prices
Lest you think this is an advertisement for fiberglass pools, let us just say that they aren’t for everyone. Beyond the high initial cost, there are reasons why you might choose vinyl or gunite. For one thing, since fiberglass pool shells are fully assembled at the plant, there are a limited number of shapes to choose from. If you want or need a different shape than what is available, this will obviously be a deal-breaker for you.
Similarly, because of shipping constraints, there’s an upper limit to how big fiberglass pools can be. With vinyl or gunite, the only limit is the size of your budget and your backyard.
However, if cost is the only reason you’ve eliminated fiberglass pools as an option, you might want to take another look at the numbers. You’re going to have your inground pool for a long time, so it only makes sense to take a long view of the costs.