When you think of an in-ground swimming pool, what comes to mind? Many will imagine the typical concrete/gunite swimming pool that you might find at a hotel. I would think that to be a common conception of what an in-ground swimming pool is. The fact is that while a concrete pool may have tended to be the industry standard in years past, it is no longer the only material option available for building an in-ground swimming pool. Just like everything else in the world, technology has provided consumers with better, more reliable products. Concrete is still available and used quite a bit, but now there are other types of in-ground swimming pools. There are one piece fiberglass pools available, and what the industry would call vinyl liner pools. Although all three are common in the swimming pool industry, there are a few big differences in what they have to offer. When contemplating what type of pool best suits you, really take the time to look at what the advantages a vinyl liner pool are. To do this, you need to first understand what the disadvantages of getting a concrete or fiberglass pool are.
To start, let us consider the disadvantages of gunite/concrete pools. Some people might tell you that a gunite/concrete pool is like the “Cadillac” of the pool industry. There is a certain element of “class” that comes with this type of pool; a gunite/concrete pool acts as a symbol of social class. If improving class rank is the only reason someone might want a swimming pool, then they probably wouldn’t care to consider what lies ahead of them with the purchase of their new pool. For others whom might want to get a pool to have summer fun and bring the family together, you will want to consider long term care and expenses. While there is some truth to the whole “Cadillac” argument, it is probably with regard to the initial cost of installing the pool and the A concrete/gunite pool is the most expensive pool in the market, which is why I say that it is a symbol of social class. In addition to that, the pool would need to be resurfaced every 7 – 10 years at a considerable cost. Why, you you ask? The need to resurface is due to the fact that the surface is porous and susceptible to damage by water chemistry, which can be difficult to maintain at times.
Another thing to consider is that concrete can crack. If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who has worked with it. Have you ever wondered why a side walk or road is cut into sections? That is done in an effort to control where the cracks occur. Let’s look at the surface in more depth. It is a rough, abrasive surface that is not really skin friendly or all that easy to clean. It is the cause of skinned knees, and it has plenty of little groves for bacteria and algae to cling to. Now, you have expensive repair. Had enough? Not yet. Keeping all that in mind, know that the installation process can take months as well. Being that the pool is manufactured on site it will likely come with very short warranties, if there are any warranties at all.
The next matter to consider is that all in-ground swimming pool installations require
some plumbing. This plumbing is done using PVC pipes and fittings that are glued together to allow water to flow from the pool to the filter, heater, chlorinator, etc. and back to the pool again. Now, heaven forbid there every be a leak at one of the fittings around or under the pool. With a concrete pool, to repair that fitting, the pool would need to be drained, the concrete busted out, the fitting replaced and then the concrete would have to get re-poured. That would undoubtedly be a fairly
cost of maintenance.
Now lets consider a one piece fiberglass pool. I have worked with these in the past and I was not all that impressed. If you look at the size of a one piece fiberglass pool, there are two things that really stand out. First, even the largest of fiberglass pools are average in size, and that the advertised size of the pool is not a valid representation of the actual usable size of the pool. The other thing is that although their size may be average they are still big, awkward objects that need to be brought to your house and taken from the front yard to the back yard. If you have trees in the way, well no worries they can be cut down (sarcasm). Another thing about these pools is that they can not be custom designed to fit your personal taste or your backyard needs. Basically, it’s a take it or leave it type of situation. Be aware that the surface is susceptible to fading and deterioration, and be careful when draining a one piece fiberglass pool because the structure is not self supportive and may buckle or collapse under the weight of the surrounding ground pressing inward.
One piece fiberglass pool owners are at risk to spend more money even when the pool is empty. When a pool is full, the water in the pool counteracts the pressure pushing in from the outside. Additionally, consumers should know that a deep hole in the ground has a tendency to fill with water. This is not always the case, but more often than not ground water will begin to seep in. When a pool is full of water, the water inside the pool is heavy enough to hold back any water from the ground underneath. When emptied, though, the ground water now has a place to go, and moving water is a very strong force. I have seen the ability of water to pop a one piece fiberglass pool right out of the ground. You know what that means: $$$. With all that considered, there is one more thing. These pools usually come with suspiciously short warranties on some color surfaces, and no warranties against buckling or floating. If you are considering a one piece fiberglass pool, you should also consider the expense of potential repairs.
Finally, we get to the good stuff: the advantages of getting a vinyl liner pool. I have installed these many, many times. In my opinion they are without a doubt the “best bang for your buck.” Unlike the one piece fiberglass, a vinyl liner pool can be custom designed to fit personal preferences and backyard needs. They can easily achieve that high end look of a concrete pool without the high end cost. Seriously, I have seen some amazing vinyl liner pools. A huge benefit is that they come with long manufacturer warranties because they are manufactured in a controlled environment (extra piece of mind). Another positive is that vinyl liner pools are self supportive. No worrying about the pool collapsing if it needs to be drained, which it will occasionally. So, why will it need to be drained? Sun damage is a common factor and, as with all pools, chemicals required to clean and maintain the pools chemistry can be unbalanced and have adverse effects. Basically, at some point the liner will need to be replaced. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Replacing a liner is more economical than resurfacing other pool types. Also, the need for a new liner affords homeowners the opportunity to change the look of their pool.
about them unlike a one piece fiberglass pool is that if properly installed they are
There are countless designs and color choices to choose from and replacing an old liner can be like getting a new pool! The liners are also smooth so they are easy on the skin, and easy to clean. Last but not least, a vinyl liner pool is the easiest and least expensive to repair. As stated before, technology has provided consumers with improved products, and it is no different when it comes to swimming pools. If considering getting a swimming pool, I would strongly recommend getting a vinyl liner rather than purchasing a concrete or fiberglass pool.