There’s nothing like a shimmering backyard pool. It offers an invitation to sun, swim laps, cool off, and even win your neighborhood’s aquatic volleyball championship! Like a multi-purpose arena, you can change the way you relax and even how you get those fitness blocks into your week when you have a pool just outside the door.
Besides all the extraordinary extras and add-ons that make the modern pool a mecca for outdoor entertaining, the first essential question you must ask yourself, is the kind of pool you want. And not just the design, but the actual foundation that supports that design as well as the pool’s fountains and baja shelves. Should your pool be fiberglass, concrete, or sport a vinyl liner?
Concrete and Vinyl
The extraordinary swimming pool professionals at New York’s Latham are experts in all kinds of pools. In a recent article they weighed in on concrete and vinyl.
“Gunite or concrete swimming pools are often used in commercial applications, such as hotel swimming pools. Gunite pools are not recommended for areas with cold weather seasons, because freezing-thawing cycles can cause cracks that require acid washing and replastering. Installation of a gunite swimming pool can take several months. It is the most expensive type of pool to install and maintain, monthly pool service is required, as is excessive use of chemicals and electricity. Estimated maintenance cost over 10 years is over $16,000.”
Still, these pools can be super luxurious as there’s pretty much no end to the design options. And the that’s reflected in the price tag!
Latham also provides insight on vinyl liner pools, “Also known as packaged pools, these consist of components, including wall panels, braces, steps and a vinyl liner, that are assembled together to create a swimming pool. These types of pools are typically ‘engineered’ meaning they are designed and produced to predefined standards in a controlled factory environment. All components are designed to fit together.”
Overall, they consider them: “Easy to maintain; less expensive; variety of liner patterns available and soft to the touch; engineered to standards; repairs are typically quick and inexpensive; and many shapes and design options available.”
The big caveat with vinyl liner pools is that the liner will eventually need replacement.
Like anything else, every pool type has its own pros and cons. As a future pool owner, you must consider what’s important to you and what your budget will allow.
Fiberglass pools are a viable choice because they strike a happy medium when it comes to flexibility and affordability – two key elements in any home improvement venture.
From their catalog of over 80 options, feast your eyes on these masterpieces from the magicians at San Juan Pools in Florida! The oldest manufacturer of fiberglass pool and spa swimming pools in the United States, they’ve “been constructing fiberglass swimming pools since 1958 and are the leaders in fiberglass technology & innovation.”
Consider too, that although these design ideas are prefabricated, they are going to look different in every yard because the pool will not only be framed by your landscaping, but it will be complemented by your unique aesthetic.
Top Five Benefits of Fiberglass Pools
1. Weather Resistance
You won’t be hindered by weather fluctuations with these pools. According to Latham, “Fiberglass swimming pools are one-piece shells that can be ‘dropped in’ to your yard in a very short period of time – just 3 to 5 days in most cases. They are well suited to areas with cold weather seasons because the flexural strength of fiberglass prevents cracking during freezing-thawing cycles.”
Vinyl liner pools require that the ambient temperature be at a particular degree, so the liner doesn’t wrinkle when it’s laid in. Concrete is also rather fickle as the rain and extreme temps can cause complications.
With fiberglass, unless your yard is under seven feet of snow or you’ve got a hurricane headed your way, there’s not much that will impede its installation.
2. Durability and Longevity
Unlike the eventual repairs and replacement demanded by concrete and vinyl-lined pools, fiberglass pool shells can last a lifetime. They just need the same TLC as anything else. The regular maintenance on fiberglass pools is extremely easy to perform and takes probably less than one hour per week. You just need to brush it gently and watch that water chemistry. The non-porous gel coat requires less frequent cleaning than its pool surface counterparts. Just skim the top to keep it free from leaves and twigs and be sure to maintain the water level so it stays around the center of the skimmer plate to keep all the components running optimally.
Concrete pools can be notorious for their rough surfaces that can be hard on your feet if you use your pool to play games like volleyball. The smoother surface of fiberglass is gentler on your skin. A huge plus is also that the silkier surface hinders the growth of algae that tends to collect in the minute crevices of a concrete installation.
4. Compatibility with Saltwater Systems
Today, many homeowners are turning to saltwater pools versus chlorine. The saltwater pools are designed to create their own chlorine using salt. It’s a process known as “electrolysis,” and it negates the need to manually introduce chlorine.
However, while fiberglass surfaces are very tolerant of salt, many concrete pool builders do not allow for salt chlorinators because of its inclination to damage the plaster finish more readily.
5. Cost and Turnaround Time
The pricing is a great alternative to the costs of custom concrete pool construction. With manufacturers offering a deep inventory of “pre-fab” pool solutions, you can still devise modifications that allow you to “make it your own.” And since time is precious, you will spend more of it “in” your pool and not working “on” it.
Another important distinction is the turnaround from when you sign the contract to when your new pool is dropped into the ground. This pool solution offers more instant gratification than the alternatives. You’ll be swimming sooner!
Different pool types meet different standards. Bottom line, having choices is a good thing when it comes to giving your family the best gift ever.
Providing pool and home improvement loans since 1979, Lyon Financial loves the great outdoors…and all kinds of 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.