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Fiberglass vs. Vinyl Liner vs. Concrete Pools

Which Type Is
is Right for You?

The first thing you need to decide is what type of swimming pool you want.

Let's break it
down to simple terms...

In-ground pools are so much more than a place to swim; they become the nucleus of your backyard, perfectly suited for endless family fun, from summertime water wars to sophisticated entertaining. An in-ground swimming pool is a valuable and multifaceted addition to your home, providing beauty, enthusiasm, and respite.

To get the very best experience from your new swimming pool, it’s crucial to choose the right type of pool for you and your family, taking into consideration your budget, maintenance, and space.

Pool Costs

Pool cost can be a wide range depending on a number of factors. Out of the three pool options, concrete is the most expensive, compared to fiberglass or vinyl liner pools. Vinyl liner pools are generaly the most economical option, while fiberglass pools cost more for the same sized pool, depending on what specifications you would like. Whereas concrete pools are on average twice the cost of a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool.

Longevity and Durability

Materials can influence the lifespan of your pool. Fiberglass pools are renowned for their long-lasting quality and can remain in good condition for the entire duration that you live in the house. Similarly, vinyl liner pools can also last a lifetime, but the liner may need to be changed about every decade to get a new appearance. Concrete pools may persist for decades, but it necessitates frequent maintenance such as acid washing and resurfacing every 10 years, which is costly.

Design Options

You can choose from a number of pool shapes including the traditional rectangle or a freeform or oasis pool. Beyond the look and feel, you can customize your pool by adding an auto cover, spill-over-spa, salt water sanitation, outdoor grill, and more.

Safety and Regulations

Proper pool safety is important to protect your loved ones. Every town, city and county has a specific building code for swimming pools that require homeowners with pools to have proper fencing, gates, covers and swimming pool alarms to prevent accidents from happening. These requirements may also influence the total cost.

Pool Building Timeline

Fiberglass pools have many advantages over alternatives. Unlike other pools, fiberglass pool installation can be accomplished quickly. Homeowners that purchase a Latham fiberglass pool will be luxuriating in their brand-new pool within two to three days after delivery, regardless of the size or shape of the pool itself.

Key Takeaways

Which Pool Type is Better for You?

Having a pool in your backyard can provide great pleasure and leisure for many years to come. Deciding which sort of pool is best for you comes down to what matters most in regards to your backyard pool experience. Looking at the advantages and disadvantages can aid you in selecting the ideal pool material, improving both recreation and relaxation from your pool over its lifetime.
Vinyl Liner Least Expensive
Inground Swimming Pools
From virtually endless customization options to affordability, vinyl liner pools have a number of advantages.
  • Installation
    Installation in a couple of weeks
  • Pricing
    Pricing is most economical
  • Maintenance
    Easy Upkeep
  • Warranty
    Limited Lifetime
    With liner replacement approximately every 10 years.
  • Customizable
    Pre-engineered walls with customizable shapes and sizes.
  • The Pros

    • Lower initial cost
    • Customizable to any size & shape
    • Nonabrasive surface
    • Doesn't foster algae
  • The Cons

    Liner will last 8-10 years and costs roughly $7,000 to replace.
  • Key Takeaway

    Vinyl liner pools can be made to any size or shape, however, you do have a liner that will at some point fail. These pools are the most economical upfront, but you will have to put money into them when it is time to replace the vinyl liner.
Fiberglass Most Popular
Inground Swimming Pools
Fiberglass pools have a number of advantages when comparing them vs. concrete pools or vinyl liner pools.
  • Installation
    Done in days
  • Pricing
    $10k - $15k more than a vinyl liner pool
  • Maintenance
    Minimal Maintenance
  • Warranty
    Limited Lifetime
  • Customizable
    Pre-engineered with customizable add-ons.
  • The Pros

    • Low maintenance
    • Little or no lifetime cost
    • Non-abrasive surface
    • Built-in seats and steps
    • Manufactured in a controlled environment
    • Quick installation
  • The Cons

    Because fiberglass pools are built from a mold, the consumer is limited to the shapes and sizes offered by the various fiberglass pool manufacturers.
  • Key Takeaway

    Fiberglass pools are extremely easy to maintain, can be installed quickly, are very durable, and can be beautifully designed. However, their initial cost can be higher than vinyl liner pools, and the shapes and sizes are not as customizable.
Concrete Highest Cost
Gunite Inground Pools
Concrete pools are sometimes referred to as gunite pools. While their ability to be highly customized is one of the most attractive features of a gunite pool, they can take longer to install.
  • Installation
    Months
  • Pricing
    Roughly twice the cost of a vinyl liner pool
  • Maintenance
    Most intensive and costly degree of care
  • Longevity
    Approx. 10 Years
    before acid washing and resurfacing
  • Customizable
    Customizable design options
  • The Pros

    • As big as you want
    • Concrete swimming pools are a solid structure and don't have a liner to fail.
    • Concrete pools are fully customizable to what you want – size, shape, depth.
  • The Cons

    • Very Expensive to Repair
    • Will Crack Eventually
    • Longer install time
  • Key Takeaway

    Concrete pools are extremely durable and allow for a highly customized size and shape. The disadvantages include more effort to maintain, more chemical usage, highest cost of ownership, a rough interior surface, and a slow installation time.
    *Installation costs based on national average selling and installation pricing. Actual costs depend on various factors, including location of service, pool model and options selected. Please consult with your Penguin Pools Design Team for a accurate estimate.

    Average Costs to Install Inground Swimming Pools & Covers

    When you install an inground swimming pool in your backyard, you're not just making an investment to upgrade your living space - you're creating memories that are priceless. On average, a backyard renovation ranges from $100k - $140k and may even be higher depending on the scope of the project. Plus, with the addition of your pool, your home's resale value can increase by approximately 7%, compared to similar homes without pools in the area. Not only will you turn heads when people come over to enjoy your pool during warm summer days - you'll also gain bragging rights for having added value to your home!

    Make Your Pool as Unique as You

    If you want to both swim and exercise in your pool but also relax in your backyard, look no further than tanning ledges as the ideal spot to lounge on summer days. With therapeutic features such as spillover spas, you will enjoy your time spent at the pool much more. If you're willing to invest a bit, these fun features can add a lot of value. Still unsure which type of pool material is the best choice for you? Take a look at our resource that outlines the pros and cons of fiberglass, vinyl and concrete pools - it might just help you out!

    Some Inspiration...

    Ready to Build Your Dream Pool?