Pulling the trigger on an in-ground pool is exciting. It provides tons of summer fun and adds value to your property. But if you’ve never had a pool installed before, you might be confused by all of the material options available.
No, a pool isn’t just a pool – it’s a customized structure set into your property that can either be a maintenance nightmare, or your favorite part of coming home. Here are a few different materials you can choose from.
Fiberglass pools can be marketed as straight fiberglass, a composite, or laminate. After the hole has been dug, a pre-formed shell is set inside, with a base plate underneath and perhaps some concrete behind the side walls.
It sounds super easy, and it is, but there are a few considerations. One is that being totally pre-formed, you don’t have free reign over design. You will have to choose the size and shape of your pool from a limited number of stock options.
The other is deterioration. You may need to replace your fiberglass or composite shell totally in less than 20 years, as the ability to refinish or recoat the surface is uncertain.
Just as with fiberglass, vinyl pools begin with a base plate and may require concrete behind the sides. From there, plates made from any number of materials, including steel and polypropylene, are installed.
Finally, the vinyl is laid on top of this. Many owners choose vinyl because it is a very cost-effective option. And to be sure, it will look great – at first.
As we know well, vinyl isn’t anywhere close to impenetrable. Rips and tears can drive you into replacing the liner more often than you’d like, destroying those cost benefits. And of course, there is the possibility of unsightly wrinkling. However, with gentle use and UV/fungus repellant capabilities, you could potentially enjoy this liner for a few decades.
A pool made from rebar and concrete is the most popular option for a number of reasons. In the first place, owners can choose exactly how large, how deep, and what shape they’d like their in-ground pool to be, making it suitable for a wide range of property sizes and personal tastes.
Being made of concrete, these pools last the longest. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck! Concrete pools can be customized over the years with various attractive finishes that aren’t available to vinyl liners and fiberglass shell pools. Stone, pebble aggregates, mosaic tiles – you can update your pool with many personal touches.
And it’s not just the pool itself that lasts – the steps and any other custom features you like won’t degrade over time. No more ladders! But all of this does take time, so if you want to go concrete, start installation well before it’s time to swim.
In the end, ask yourself what your highest priorities in a pool are. The length of time it lasts and your ability to customize to exact specifications may impact your decision most. Finally, weigh the cost against how long your pool is expected to be beautiful and totally functional.