We know that you have lots of options when looking to install a new pool, from gunite/concrete to vinyl to fiberglass. If you’ve ever wondered how all of your options compare to each other I have a quick rundown on various features.
We only install Leisure Fiberglass Pools, which have a 35-year warranty from both the manufacturer and the contractor (namely us).
Your standard gunite (plaster) pool generally has a one to five year warranty guaranteed by the contractor.
A vinyl liner pool, both in-ground and above ground has a warranty on the liner seams only, guaranteed by the manufacturer.
Your fiberglass pool could be ready for decking in as little as three to five days.
Gunite pools can take anywhere from two to four months to complete construction.
Vinyl liner pools can be installed in as few as two to three weeks.
Estimated Chemical Usage
The surface in a fiberglass pool is non-reactive and will not alter the water’s chemical balance. As a result, fewer chemicals are needed to keep the pool properly balance.
The plaster surface of a gunite pool can react with the water causing a rise in pH levels. More acid and chlorine are necessary to combat this chemical reaction.
Vinyl liners are also non-reactive.
Entry & Exit
Fiberglass pools boast slip-resistant stair, floor and bench surfaces.
Gunite pools provide stairs in the shallow end and a ladder in the deep end.
Vinyl pools use a ladder both inside and outside of the pool.
Fiberglass pools have a smooth surface that is non-abrasive to skin and clothing. Walking and seating surfaces are lightly textured for slip resistance.
Gunite can be a little rough and will become rougher over time, causing abrasions to hands, feet and swimwear.
Vinyl is slippery and easily torn by toys, pets or rocks that make their way up to the surface of the ground under the pool.
Algae Penetration and Maintenance Time
Fiberglass is non-porous and algae sweeps off the wall with a simple brushing. Routine pool maintenance can be completed in about one hour per week.
The pores in the surface of gunite can harbor algae and encourage its growth. Acid baths and a lot of elbow grease are often required to remove algae deposits. Routine maintenance usually takes between six and eight hours per week.
Vinyl liners are rarely one-piece construction and therefore have seams. Those seams can harbor algae. Maintenance can take anywhere from four to eight hours per week.
As you may, or may not, know Premier Fiberglass specializes in pool renovation as well as new Leisure Pool installation. We rarely see requests for major renovation on fiberglass pools. And the requests we do get are usually for pools that are 25 to 30 years old. That is why we proudly say that with a Leisure Fiberglass Pool you essentially have no expectation of major renovations.
Gunite pools tend to need a resurfacing after somewhere between five and seven years of use.
You can also expect your vinyl liner to need replacing anywhere from three to seven years after installation.
Stairs & Seating
Leisure Pools have stairs and seating benches built right into the shell. Many of the models have multiple entry and exit points.
If you desire seating or an additional entry/exit point from your gunite pool you can expect to incur some additional costs.
For vinyl pools … well I’m actually not sure how you’d build a seating bench into a vinyl pool. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but if you do have one, it probably cost you extra.
Fiberglass pools are completely manufactured in a controlled environment. The Leisure factory has stringent quality control standards that their pools must meet before they leave the manufacturing floor.
Gunite pools are manufactured on-site in your yard. While it’s cool to watch the building process, there’s little control over environmental factors that can effect the concrete and other materials used to build the pool.
Vinyl pools are manufactured in a factory, so there is control there in the parts that are assembled to make your pool. However quality control of your end product varies depending on who installs it.
You will find that the most popular coping materials for gunite pools also work well with fiberglass pools: concrete, pavers or stone. As discussed before, these are beautiful ways to customize your pool.
Vinyl liner pools have aluminum coping.
If you find yourself thinking that a new fiberglass pool is the way to go, please give us a call. One of our designers will gladly discuss your project with you and provide an estimate for your new pool.