Even if you've never observed the construction of inground pool, it should be easy to understand why a fiberglass pool can be installed so much faster than any other type of inground pool. Vinyl-liner and concrete pools must be hand-crafted, piece-by-piece, step-by-step, in multiple phases in your back-yard. These steps are often performed by different crews, on different days, with various pauses or delays in between. A fiberglass pool, by contrast, doesn’t need to be “constructed” or “assembled” in your yard. It was already constructed/assembled at the factory. When it arrives at your home, it’s ready to install. There's no "on-site construction," other than perhaps the deck you may choose to put around your brand-new pool. You just have to:
Have you ever watched one of those "extreme makeover" TV shows where they totally transform a home and yard in less than 7 days? If the project includes a swimming pool, it's ALWAYS a fiberglass pool. (In fact, they typically finish the pool around day #3, and then take shots of the show's host relaxing in the pool, while the rest of the crew is still busily working on the house. THAT’S why fiberglass is such an easy choice.)
No doubt about it, fiberglass pool installation is about is swift and "turn-key" as it gets.
As crazy as it may sound, fiberglass pools actually use less chemicals that other types of pools, and here's why. The “dirty little secret” that most Gunite/concrete pool builders don't like to talk about is that the plaster or aggregate finish on a Gunite pool will actively and aggressively react with the chemicals in your pool water. As the plaster and grout erodes away (which it does), it consumes chlorine in the water, and also changes the pH, the alkalinity, the water hardness and the total dissolved solids. No wonder managing your chemicals in a Gunite pool is such a challenge!
By contrast, the finish on a fiberglass pool is "inert," which means it doesn't react with any chemicals in the pool water at all. (Ask any experienced pool service technician, and they'll tell you that a similar-sized Gunite pool will require an additional 50% to 125% MORE chlorine than a fiberglass pool, just to stay clean and “in balance.”)
This brings up another issue that Gunite pool builders don't like to talk about. It's the rough, porous surface of the Gunite pool’s interior finish. Plaster and grout are both absolutely outstanding hiding places for all kinds of algae and other small dirt and debris. Of course, the Gunite builder will tell you "It's easy to just brush that stuff off the walls and floor a couple of times each week." But I say “It's a heck of a lot easier to just sit on your deck with a nice beverage and watch the sunrise or sunset, since the fiberglass pool doesn't have any dirt on the walls to brush off in the first place.”
By the way – you may have noticed that some Gunite pool builders will offer a highly sophisticated "in-floor cleaning system" upgrade with their pools. That's because they know that homeowners don't want to have to brush the debris out of their pool every 3 days for the rest of their lives. It's not a bad technology, but it's fairly complicated, and definitely expensive. (It’s also not available in all climates.) So again – why pay extra money to "fix" the Gunite pool problem when fiberglass lets you avoid the problem altogether in the first place?
Plaster interiors and vinyl-liner interiors are both commonly expected to last somewhere between 7 and 15 years. Replacement costs typically run somewhere between $2000 and $10,000, depending on the material and the size of the pool. (That doesn't include the cost of the water, which obviously has to be 100% pumped out and then replaced with new water when the project is finished.)
By contrast, you NEVER have to replace the interior of a fiberglass pool. Even if someone were to somehow scratch the super-hard interior finish of your fiberglass pool with a sharp metal object, your local pool service company can quickly and easily perform a simple cosmetic touchup to eliminate the scratch completely and permanently. (You should also keep in mind that anything hard enough and sharp enough to damage the super-hard finish of a fiberglass pool will also cause SERIOUS damage to a plaster finish, and an INSTANT LEAK in any vinyl-liner pool. )
The strength and long-term reliability of a Gunite pool is 100% dependent on the handiwork of a dozen or more local individuals who will come and go in and out of your backyard over a period of several months. From the guy who digs the hole, to the guy who bends the steel, to the guy who shoots the Gunite, to the guy who decides on the shapes, the curves, and thicknesses of the floor and walls - EVERYTHING is performed somewhat "experimentally" during the construction of your pool. (The construction of a concrete pool is often rightfully referred to as “a one-of-a-kind, in-the-field fabrication using variable materials in an uncontrolled environment.”) Whether or not the unique combination of decisions and actions in building a concrete pool result in trouble or success is something you may not know for years to come.
Vinyl-liner pool construction isn't quite as temperamental as Gunite pools, but even the "cookie-cutter" models require some unique "in your yard" decisions in craftsmanship which can affect the overall quality and reliability of your project.
Imagine Pools™ is a privately-owned, family-run company and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of composite fiberglass. We currently offer 34 designs of premium quality swimming pools, spas and tanning ledges.
Over the past twenty years we have built, delivered and installed thousands of swimming pools to excited families all across the country who are now enjoying the happiness that comes from owning their own swimming pool.
Our mission to help as many families as possible enjoy “Life at its Best” works in collaboration with our unique network of independent dealers providing “Five Star Service” and high-quality installations.