Here at Five Ace Pools, we work with 2 types of pools: Fiberglass pools & G-unite pools
Concrete Pools are very popular because the word “concrete” conveys the idea of strength and durability. In reality concrete and water don’t really mix well for various reasons. This is why ships are mostly made of steel and lots of boats are made of fiberglass.
Fiberglass Pools really set the bar high as far as durability, lower maintenance costs and long-term overall costs.
In the U.S. most pools are made of either concrete or fiberglass and typically the initial price for c
oncrete pools vs fiberglass pools is going to be about the same price. You might find bigger pool price differences between concrete and fiberglass in special areas around the country, but for the most part, in most places, especially in our area. (Southwest Florida, Lee County, Fort Myers, Estero, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Lehigh Acres, Labelle), they’re about the same price. For more info on in-ground fiberglass pool pricing please click here to visit our article on pricing or see the video below on YouTube by Jason at River Pools. They’re a fiberglass pool company out of Tennessee but have really good YouTube videos for our industry.
Pricing is always good to talk about first because it is the biggest concern of most homeowners. This though is only one of many differences in which fiberglass swimming pools are superior to concrete/G-unite pools.
Our Two Favorite Differences
We’ve chosen two main reasons why we personally prefer fiberglass pools over concrete pools.
- Pool Installation Time. Although permitting varies from city to city, actual installation time for a fiberglass pool is typically only 1 – 2 weeks. This is amazing considering its concrete counterpart can take up to 8- 12 weeks for completion.
- Long-term Cost. The biggest cost differences is in the chemicals, electric bill & refinish. Over a 10 year span, you will easily save over $6,000 on chemicals. In that same span, your energy efficient fiberglass pool will save you, on average, half on your electric bill. Finally, all pools must be refinished at one point or another, Fiberglass pools only require refinishing once every 30 years verses concrete pools need refinishing every 10 years, a savings of about $20,000.
There are many advantages to owning a fiberglass pool, like:
Fiberglass pools are so easy to maintain because their surface is sealed well.
The surface finish of a fiberglass pool, called the gel-coat, is practically non-porous. In contrast, the surface of a concrete pool is extremely
porous and rough.
These pores and rough cavities give algae a place to hide and grow, making pool clean-up and thus ownership much more difficult.
Concrete pool builders teach their clients that weekly brushing of the entire pool surface is mandatory to keep algae at bay.
In addition, chemical usage in concrete pools is much higher because of the need to penetrate the pool surface to kill algae.
Concrete pools also require daily doses of muriatic acid to lower the pH of the water. This is because concrete is alkaline based and constantly increases the pH of pool water. Fiberglass pools, on the other hand, are inert and do not effect water chemistry in any way.
For these reasons, fiberglass swimming pool owners typically spend 75% less time and money maintaining their pools. This means anyone who owns a fiberglass pool will spend more time in the pool and less time maintaining it.
Speed of Installation
Because the fiberglass pool shell is manufactured off site, the installation of the shell typically occurs in about two days.
Compare this with three to six months with a concrete pool, and we’re talking about a huge difference in the duration of time your yard is in disarray…and often the difference between swimming this year or waiting until next summer.
Because fiberglass swimming pools are not porous, there’s no need to concern yourself with additional maintenance procedures that would cause you to have to refinish your pool sooner. This is the case with concrete gunite pools and their surfaces.
Refinishing a pool surface is not cheap…often upwards of $5–15k depending upon size. This needs to be done on concrete pools every 5 – 10 years on average on concrete pools versus fiberglass pools which only need it done every 25 – 30 years. Which means Fiberglass pools are incredibly strong and durable, so there’s no need to be concerned about wearing out the finish to quickly from daily use.
Over the past 30 years, fiberglass inground pools have transformed from the typical white bathtub you’d find at a rental beach house, to the elegant swimming pool designs and aesthetic features that are now as much works of art as the pool.
This is due to advancements in the industry such as beautiful colored finishes, ceramic tile, tanning ledges, water features, stunning pool lights, elevated spas, poolside walls, etc.
This is one of the many reasons why fiberglass pools have gained exponential market share over the past decade.
Compatibility with Salt Systems
Salt chlorinators have proven to be a low maintenance, high water quality option for pool owners.
However, if you have ever seen what de-icing salt does to the surface of a sidewalk, you can guess what it does to the surface of a concrete pool. In our opinion, this makes the combination of salt systems and concrete pools unfavorable.
In comparison, fiberglass pools and salt systems go together like peanut butter and jelly.
With no adverse effect on the fiberglass shell, you can enjoy the low-maintenance benefits of salt with confidence that your pool is not compromised.
If a pool comes with the property, home buyers want something that looks good, needs little maintenance, and will last a long time.
Concrete pools need a new finish every 5–10 years. Often a buyer will require the current owners to do refinish the pool before they buy the home.
Above-ground pools don’t look great, either, and can detract value.
By contrast, a fiberglass pool adds to the value of your home. Low-maintenance beauty and durability are a win-win for both parties.
Although it won’t recoup the original cost of the pool itself, but the greatest value is the joy that the pool brings you & your family.