Lyon Financial

The 4 Different Types of Inground Pools

Inground Pool

Today, we consumers have an abundance of choices. Have you looked for a new shampoo lately? The selection is dizzying. Need to buy soda? Every shelf on either side of Aisle 9 is stocked with cans and bottles of sugary effervescence. That’s all wonderful… but options can be overwhelming.

That’s especially true about pools. Backyards are the new destination. Whether a wedding or a staycation, we can outfit that glorious outdoor space with every amenity. This alfresco retreat can be customized to the hilt to suit your lifestyle.

The one thing standing between you and the haven of your dreams? That’s right. Decisions.

The first thing to consider is the space you have to work with. Are you considering a vegetable garden? Wish to cultivate roses? Perhaps an outdoor kitchen and all weather flatscreens are must-haves. Pergolas and a gazebo may be on your wish list. You don’t have to be an architect to do a rough sketch of your dream space.

Once you have an idea of what will go where, then you’ll have a decent estimate of how large a pool to install.

Now that you have the approximate dimensions, (your pool contractor will of course help with the fine tuning of placement and advise of local building codes and locations of easements) you can decide the actual type of pool you wish to install.

Pool Types

Inground pools fall into four general categories, but there are variations on each that in most cases, can be tailored to suit.

  1. Fiberglass

For a less stress and less mess solution, these pools make for an expedited installation. First of all, they are stock items, so you will peruse a catalog to choose the one with the features you need, like baja ledges, spas, and steps. While not a custom solution per se, you’ll find a bountiful assortment of pool shells.

The installation itself is fun as both your pool and a crane will be delivered to your house. So, you’ll get to watch them hoist the fiberglass pool up and over to place it in the excavated pit. Then all the beautiful finishing touches like the decking and landscaping can commence!

What’s nice about fiberglass is that the finish is smooth, so keeping it free from algae attacks is easier; the algae can’t cling as readily.

Fiberglass may be a bit pricier than other solutions, and it can break down a bit after 10 to 15 years of sun and chemical exposure. While you might want to add that in the “con column,” fiberglass is still very much a solution worth discussing with your contractor.

  1. Alternative Finishes

Traditional pool finishes were white-painted concrete. Contemporary pool finishes enable the creation of sheer works of art, allowing backyard pools to shine like an exquisite centerpiece.

According to, “Exposed aggregate pool finishes incorporate stones, pebbles, and/or glass beads into the pool plaster to add resilience and aesthetic qualities. Because of this, aggregate finishes are more resistant to pool chemical imbalances than other finishes and last much longer. Exposed aggregate pool finishes have been shown to have a lifespan of between 15 and 20 years. The recent trend toward an aggregate pool finish over pool plaster will add life to any swimming pool.”

They recommend taking a look at NPT’s JewelScapes® for the “sparkle and brilliance of the world’s finest gems in a stunning, durable interior pool finish.” If you’d like a more rustic aesthetic, “give your pool or hot tub the natural beauty of a pebble-bottomed stream with a StoneScapes® pool finish.”

For a distinctive look, the “NPT Pool Finish Collection offers a wide array of colors and textures to make your pool as unique as you are. From rustic pebble to silky smooth quartz, or even striking glass beads – you’ll find a finish to suit every pool.”

NPT even offers a free pool design app so you can get a better visual on planning your masterpiece!

  1. Concrete

For probably the best durability, we can return to the traditional pool building material with good, old-fashioned concrete.

The pluses about concrete are that it’s both durable and porous, so it effectively holds water and can pretty easily just be replastered to address wear and tear. The construction process may be a little more laborious than if it were a fiberglass pool, but a steel-reinforced concrete shell will stand by you!

After the hole is dug, both bottom and sides are framed out with steel rods, also known as rebar. These rods can be twisted and bent into any imaginable shape, so therein lies the uniqueness of your pool’s design. Then the finish is sprayed on, generally done with shotcrete or gunite. The former being a pre-mixed, wet concrete shot out of a hose, and the latter a dry concrete mixed with water as it’s being sprayed.

Coupled with the rebar, this spray on process enables even more customization to give your pool the precise look you want.

  1. Vinyl

Along the lines of concrete pools are those lined with vinyl. A similar construction concept calls for plastic or metal frames to be erected. Then prefab supporting “walls” made of anything from plastic to steel to aluminum are connected to the frame and then outfitted in a heavy-duty vinyl to comprise the shell.

Once atop a foundation of sand or something similar, the coping (the material that caps the shell wall) seals the deal.

Note that these vinyl pool structures can live above ground or inground.

The other fact of note is that you can purchase a better quality of vinyl with embedded fungus and UV inhibitors; these can serve to extend the liner’s life span.

At the end of the day, your head may be swirling with decisions, but it’s nice to have alternatives – and even nicer to have a shimmery surface to welcome you, and your family and friends home to your sensational outdoor getaway!

Providing pool and home improvement loan solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves backyard pools. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about creating your ideal backyard oasis.