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Not sure what type of pool is best for your home and Family? The answer may be easier than you imagined! Here is an unbiased break down of the advantages and disadvantages of Fiberglass, Gunite, and Vinyl Liner Pools.

Fiberglass:

Advantages:

Low maintenance: The gel coat surface of a fiberglass pool shell is nonporous.  This inhibits the growth of algae and reduces the amount of chemicals required to maintain the pool.

Quick installation: A fiberglass pool can be in the ground and ready to use in a matter of days, as opposed to weeks (or even months) with other construction types. A typical Gulfstream installation takes 2-5 weeks.

Non-Abrasive surface: Fiberglass pool’s gel coat surface is smooth and isn’t harsh on skin.

Feature rich: Because fiberglass pools are built from molds. Pools are loaded with convenience features such as built in seats, benches, and ledges at no extra cost. Such options are considered custom on other types of pools and can cost extra.

Lowest long term cost: Modern fiberglass pools that are properly maintained require little to no investments for aging repairs. On the other hand, vinyl liners are replaced about every 7 years and concrete pools resurfaced every 10 years.

Lowest total cost of ownership.  

Disadvantages:

Limited shapes: Because fiberglass pools are built on a mold there are limited shapes and sizes to choose from.

Width restrictions: Fiberglass pools have size limitations due to their need to be transported on the road. The widest a fiberglass shell can be is 16 feet.

Higher initial cost:  Most fiberglass pools cost more than vinyl liner pools. Fiberglass pools cost about the same price of gunite pools. For the best Fiberglass deals in Southeast Louisiana see our specials page.

Vinyl Liner Pools:

Advantages:

 Low cost: Generally, vinyl liner pools are the lowest cost in ground pool. (Don’t forget to visit our specials page for fiberglass pools at a vinyl liner price.

Unlimited sizes: Vinyl liner pools can be custom built to almost any size.

Non-Abrasive surface: Vinyl liner are smooth to touch, and not harsh on skin.

Algae resistant: Vinyl material is made to resist algae growth.

Disadvantages:

High lifetime cost to own: Vinyl liners are generally replaced every 7 years. Replacing a vinyl liner can cost $2,500-$5,000 dollars.

Warranty coverage: While vinyl liners advertise their warranties; they generally only cover manufacturing issues such as seam separations. These warranties are also pro-rated, diminishing their value over time.

Use with care: While vinyl is extremely resistant to tearing kids, dogs, and nature can find a way to cost you BIG bucks.

Lower resale value: When selling your house objections about the vinyl liner pool can often become an issue with request to change the liner.

Concrete Pools

Advantages:

Unlimited options: Concrete pools can be any shape, size, or depth. You can make a Mickey Mouse face if that’s what you’re into.

More design options: Concrete pools have some unique design features such as beach entry.

Made to fit: Concrete pools can be made to fit size or odd shaped yard.

Disadvantages:

Significant lifetime cost: Every 10-20 years a concrete pool will need to be renovated. Resurfacing and re-tiling a concrete pool can cost between $8,000-$15,000.

More chemical cost: Concrete pool surfaces are porous, and are more susceptible to algae growth. With a concrete pool, your filter must run longer and more chemicals are required for sanitation. The surface of a concrete pool can constantly raise water pH, and require more acid that other pools.

Additional Labor: Concrete Pools need to be broomed frequently to prevent algae growth in the plaster aggregate surface.

Install time: Concrete pools are the longest to install. Installation usually last 2–4 months with proper practice of letting the materials cure.

Drew Daigle, Owner, Gulfstream Pools and Spas