When it comes to relaxing with family and friends nothing beats ownership of a well-maintained inground swimming pool to make you the envy of the neighborhood. But pool ownership can be so much more. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to keep your fiberglass pool in tip-top condition, or fun tricks to expand your enjoyment of your existing backyard pool environment, you’ll find plenty of ideas here to inspire you.
When shopping for a swimming pool, there are many different factors to consider. The first decision you must make involves what type of pool you should choose—there are several types of swimming pools available, each with its own pros and cons. One of the most popular types of swimming pools available is the fiberglass pool. Such pools are widely respected for elegance, practicality, and their variety of features. If you’re in the market for a fiberglass pool we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for your consideration while shopping for your new pool.
The benefits of fiberglass pools
It should be noted that not all fiberglass pools are created equally. The advantages we'll cover in this list apply to high-quality, well-manufactured fiberglass swimming pools of the sort produced by our manufacturing team at Barrier Reef Fiberglass Pools, LLC. The standards we hold for our fiberglass pools are high, but these qualities may not apply to all manufacturers.
Durable and Flexible
A primary benefit of fiberglass swimming pools is their high durability— inside and out. Both the structure and the surface of a high-quality fiberglass pool can last many years, provided you properly maintain your pool. The gelcoat on a fiberglass pool is intended to last the lifetime of the pool without needing to be replaced. If a fiberglass pool needs to be resurfaced, it is generally only after decades of regular use. Fiberglass pools are notoriously hardy while remaining elegant and attractive, as well as being easy to take care of.
It is common for the earth to shift subtly over time, which is often the reason for cosmetic or even structural cracks that can appear in concrete pools. Fiberglass is strong and durable, but it also maintains a flexibility that allows it to move with the earth and refrain from cracking as long as it has been backfilled properly. Unpredictable, rapidly changing weather may also cause damage to other kinds of pools. The expansion and contraction of water in the cold or heat may also apply stress pressure that would cause cracking on other types of pools. Fiberglass pools are much better able to resist such damage.
For those who dislike pool chores, a fiberglass pool might be the right fit for you. Algae is a common enemy in the fight for a clean and clear pool. Concrete pools quickly become algae breeding grounds due to the porous plaster they are lined with. This means you’ll need to add more chemicals, run your pump more, and scrub to keep a concrete pool clean. This isn’t the case with fiberglass pools. The non-porous gelcoat surface on a fiberglass pool is smooth and resistant to algae growth and won’t react negatively to chemicals commonly used to sanitize pool water. This reduces the amount of time you’ll have to spend carefully balancing chemicals, scrubbing down the walls of your pool, or changing a liner.
No Scraped Knees or Elbows
The non-porous gelcoat of a fiberglass pool is algae resistant, but it’s also great for keeping little ones from getting scraped knees. The smooth gelcoat means there’s no rough plaster to scrape yourself on. Despite being smooth, fiberglass pools are still slip-resistant. Texture is added to pool entrances and exit stairs to help prevent accidents.
Over the lifetime of a concrete or vinyl pool, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars simply maintaining it. Between acid washing, resurfacing, and liner replacement, a concrete or vinyl pool ends up costing far more than its sticker price. Because a fiberglass pool doesn’t require this sort of maintenance, you can save thousands of dollars on overall costs.
The installation process for a concrete pool is about 2 to 3 months. The installation process for vinyl is admittedly faster, taking several weeks, but nothing can top the speedy installation of a fiberglass pool. A fiberglass pool can often be set up and ready for decking in as little as 3 to 5 days, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy it during the warm summer months. The actual installation time will of course vary depending upon the specifications of each project.
Once the pool is in the ground and the backfilling process begins, the pool is already being filled with water, speeding up the whole installation process. This leaves everything else around your pool ready to be installed, such as decking, water features, etc. Fiberglass pools arrive ready to install, which speeds up the installation process. Above or inground, with or without a deck, even on a roof. The possibilities are endless with a fiberglass pool.
Compatible with Saltwater Systems
Though it is often advertised that saltwater systems work with any swimming pool, this is not the case. It is not recommended that you use saltwater systems in concrete pools because they wear down the plaster faster, meaning you’ll need to resurface them sooner. Vinyl pools also aren’t a good fit for saltwater systems because the salt can corrode the metal walls that often lay behind the vinyl liner. Fiberglass pools, however, work well with saltwater systems. The gelcoat that makes it algae-resistant also allows it to hold up against saltwater.
Fiberglass pools come in a wide range of colors, and at Barrier Reef we have chosen colors that specifically make our fiberglass pool models stand out, while adding vibrancy to your overall living space. If you’re looking for specific features such as a deep-end pool, a style with seating, or adding a spa, a fiberglass pool will come with these options.
Fiberglass Pool Cons
Fiberglass pools are amazing, but even the best solutions aren’t perfect. Different expectations across the owner spectrum, coupled with situational factors, might result in a downside of owning a fiberglass pool. Much depends upon the needs and wants of the individual pool owner. We’ve compiled a list of a few factors to help you make the best decision for your home before buying a pool.
While there are a wide range of fiberglass pool designs, it is impossible to accommodate for every single customer. The ability to select a surface color and add-ons is available the same as in other pool types, except you will have limited ability to choose a completely custom shape or adjust it to be a specific size and depth. Fiberglass pools are made with expensive molds, so a completely custom shape would require a brand-new mold. It’s cost-prohibitive to both the manufacturer and consumer if completely new pattern molds were built for every single pool.
Fiberglass pools also tend to have a maximum width. While theoretically, you could make a very large fiberglass pool, transporting it is another issue. In order to adhere to shipping laws, prefabricated swimming pools are not recommended to be wider than 16 feet. If you do want a superload-size pool, specific permits must be acquired from government regulatory bodies, further complicating the process. But by keeping a pool underneath 16 feet wide, we are able to ship all over the country in a timely manner.
In the event that the gelcoat on a fiberglass pool needs to be repaired, it can sometimes be difficult to match the exact color. Fiberglass pools will also fade slightly over time, so the repaired areas may slightly stand out.
If you’re looking to install a pool that is the most cost-effective over time, a fiberglass pool would be the best investment! Vinyl pools are generally considered to be the cheapest pool option, whereas fiberglass pools can cost up to a third more upfront. However, the additional cost may be outweighed by the longer lifespan and lower long-term maintenance cost of a fiberglass pool, saving the owner money in the long run. This should be factored into the equation when weighing your options.
We encourage you to browse our selection of fiberglass swimming pools. For any questions, please contact us here or reach out to us on our social media listed below. We would love to help you find your new pool!
Fiberglass pools tend to be easier and less expensive to own than other types of pools. They require fewer chemicals and less electricity to correctly maintain and seldom suffer from stains when properly managed. But that doesn’t make a fiberglass pool immune to staining.
Wipe It Off
Pool stains need to be cleaned as soon as possible since they become more difficult to remove the longer they are left unaddressed.
The first step is to try to wipe or scrub the stain/discoloration off the fiberglass. Be careful not to use abrasive scrubs, hard brushes, or harsh chemicals… use a soft sponge or cloth, and try to only use products specifically intended for use on fiberglass pools. Rough materials and harsh chemical abrasives might inadvertently damage the gelcoat of the fiberglass pool shell surface, compounding the problem.
If the stain or discoloration cannot be wiped away or removed by simple scrubbing, you will need to further determine the cause and type of the stain. Please contact your local certified pool maintenance company.
Is the stain organic, or inorganic?
If you are unsure of the nature of the staining, you can use a commercial stain identifying kit (chemical testing agents you add to the pool water) to determine what sort of stain you’re dealing with. But in many cases, the cause of the stain will be easy to visually detect. Before using any chemicals please contact your local certified pool maintenance company for more information.
Common Sources of Organic Fiberglass Pool Stains
- Leaves, twigs, brush
- Fruit or berries from overhanging or adjacent plants or trees
- Algae: though this isn’t technically a stain, black algae can appear as black spots growing on the pool shell.
Common Sources of Inorganic Fiberglass Pool Stains
Metal staining was formerly a real problem on older models of white fiberglass pools, though it’s no longer as common on modern pool shells.
Identify the Type of Metal-Based Stain by the Color:
- Iron (rust - orange, brown, or tan)
- Copper (verdigris - green or blue)
- Manganese (brown, black, or purple)
- Cobalt stains (black spots on the pool shell surface)
Though “cobalting” is technically not a stain, it is a condition that occurs when pool water penetrates pinhole gaps in the gelcoat and chemically reacts with the resin beneath by osmosis, creating crystallized areas of black discoloration on the fiberglass pool shell.
"Calcium scaling" also isn’t technically staining. It’s a condition caused by calcium crystals that accumulate on the surface of the pool. Though not itself a staining agent, it can still cause discoloration and damage the fiberglass pool shell if allowed to build up on pool surfaces.
Removing Fiberglass Pool Stains
Organic stains can often be removed with simple contact cleaning, by brushing.
If a brush doesn’t completely eliminate the stain on the first try, be aware that really tough stains may require multiple contact cleaning sessions. The passage of time (plus consistent exposure to UV sunlight) will aid you in encouraging stubborn stains to fade naturally.
Repeat the scrubbing process regularly as necessary. Most organic stains should fade and disappear when treated. If they don’t, consider having the stain professionally treated by a certified pool maintenance company or try contacting them first if uncertain.
Often you can eliminate most rust stains by scrubbing the area with a chlorine tablet (don’t rub too hard, lest you damage the fiberglass surface). Another option is to apply a Vitamin C tablet directly to the stain itself, which can act to chemically dissolve the stain. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any excess rust.
If your fiberglass pool has been sufficiently contaminated by rust that you have multiple rust spots and extreme staining on your pool shell, you can fight back by running ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) powder through your pool filter. Be sure to follow your pool manufacturer's specifications for the best results. And again, if the staining is too great for you to remedy, a call to a professional fiberglass pool maintenance company may be in order.
One way to remove copper-based, turquoise-colored verdigris stains is by scrubbing them with a mild commercial tile cleaner. Afterward, you can follow up by treating your pool water with chelating or sequestering pool chemicals (specifically intended for copper stain removal). Always follow the chemical manufacturer's instructions regarding amounts and the proper dilution level based on the water content of your pool. These products will cause any copper still in the pool water to form clumps that can be removed by cleaning or filtering the water.
Most non-ferrous metal stains can be removed by scrubbing them with a mild commercial tile cleaner.
You can remove calcium carbonate by adding a fiberglass pool safe scaling treatment to the water.
Calcium silicate build-up almost always requires a professional fiberglass pool safe scaling treatment. Consult the professionals at a certified pool maintenance company for a list of options.
Ring Around the Pool
An ugly discoloration (like that of a bathtub ring) can appear around your pool’s waterline, caused by an accumulation of suntan creams, body oils, and excess metals from your pool maintenance chemicals.
Remove oily stains from the waterline by scrubbing with a soft cloth or sponge. You can prevent oily buildup by using an enzyme in the water. You’ll have to filter the water and restabilize your pool’s chlorine and PH levels afterward. NOTE: it’s always a good idea to consult a fiberglass pool maintenance professional before using such additives.
Avoiding Fiberglass Pool Stains In The Future
The best offense is a good defense: prevention is the best way to combat fiberglass pool stains. Since these actions are a common part of standard pool maintenance it’s likely that you are already performing them regularly: maintain your water chemistry in the ideal range, add water treatments and preventatives whenever necessary, and regularly check your pool's pH to keep it at ideal levels. Clean your pool regularly by sifting or vacuuming any foreign matter (dirt, leaves, insects) to prevent waterline staining, and carefully removing any foreign metal objects from your pool before they have a chance to rust or corrode from water exposure. Be sure to run the filter system throughout pollen season and while deciduous trees are shedding their leaves, to circulate the water and prevent foreign matter from settling onto the fiberglass surfaces of the pool shell long enough to stain it.
If you are forced to deal with the unsightly staining of your fiberglass pool, do not despair. There are many ways to eradicate such stains, as we have outlined here. If you're unable or unwilling to try to remove the stain yourself, consider contacting a professional company that specializes in cleaning and maintaining fiberglass swimming pools.
Fiberglass Pool installation - Difficult ground soils to work with
Interested in learning more about installing a pool in rough soil types? Here's a helpful video we've posted on our YouTube page about installing a pool in rough soil types. This video discusses installation of a Billabong Splash pool in very difficult terrain in southeast Oklahoma.
Video Transcript | Length ~ 2 minutes
Ross Moore - Owner of Red River Outdoor Living & Landscape
Maybe you've been told by other pool builders that they can't put a pool in because you've got black land, or you've got rock, or your slope is too much, or countless other reasons they may have given you for not being able to put a pool in, or not guaranteeing their work on putting that pool in.
Well we've got a solution for you. The Barrier Reef fiberglass pools. They go in anywhere.
As you can see, today, we're in southeast Oklahoma. We're on a very sloping site. This is a very rocky site. We're in the heart of timber country here. A lot of trees, a lot of slope, and a lot of rock. We'll show you the pool we put in here today.
This is a Barrier Reef Billabong (Splash) 27 pool. As with all the Barrier Reef Pools - lifetime structural warranty on this pool, no matter your soil type, no matter your slope, no matter your terrain, no matter your location. That's the great thing about the fiberglass Barrier Reef pools.
If you've got black lands, these pools withstand that. The drainage system that we put around those, is able to mitigate that movement - the black land. If you've got sandy soil, the drainage system and the engineering that goes into this pool, and the insulation system, is able to mitigate that.
We've got some detailed videos on that, about the full (pool) construction, day one through six, on our Youtube channel. Check those out if you want to see individual detailed shots on those. But the answer is yes, we can put a pull in at your house, no matter your location, no matter your terrain or soil type - black land, sand, red gumbo clay, rock - it doesn't matter. There's a way to do it, and we've got that way. So give us a call at Red River Pools at 903-739-2365.
Swimming Pool Extras That Won’t Break The Bank
Pool Cleaning Equipmenta. Telescopic Poles These poles are used in skimming, vacuuming and brushing. Most poles are made from aluminum and fiberglass. These poles often have two to three holes at its end for attachment on butterfly clips. b. Vacuum Hose and Heads Vacuum pool cleaners work by sucking in water, while filtering out particles. The head is attached to the hose. There are also robotic pool cleaners that work without human assistance and can be programmed for specific use. c. Leaf Traps The leaf trap is connected to a pole or hose to trap and remove leaves or debris. Often the trap has a rectangular or circular shape with a straining net. The net allows you to easily maneuver it through the water as needed. Once full you empty the leaves into the trash. d. Pool Brushes Over time, various pool types may develop algae across the surface of the pool. A pool brush is a simple way to remove and clean algae from the pool walls and floor. NOTE: This should be done at least once a week. e. Salt Chlorine Generators This equipment regulates the chlorine content into the pool water. Unlike chlorine tablets or liquid, the salt is converted to hypochlorous acid using electrolysis. A salt chlorination system will help you clean and remove algae much more efficiently than traditional systems and works great with fiberglass swimming pools.
Pool Safety Equipmenta. Pool Fences Fences are created to serve as a barrier to prevent outsiders and animals from attempting to enter the pool. Pool safety fences are also great for keeping smaller children out of the main pool area. There are many types of pool fences. Most common fences include aluminum and steel fences respectively. They often come in different lengths and sizes depending on the total perimeter of the pool. b. Pool Safety Net These nets provide an excellent barrier to ensure that small children won’t easily fall through it. Nets are a great way to see in the water without having to remove anything. Most important is to keep the pool net nice and tight so that it serves its purpose effectively. c. Safety Pool Covers Similar to nets these covers are applied to protect your pool from objects falling into the pool. Safety pool covers provide full coverage so when the pool is covered you will not be able to see into the water. Two types used for fiberglass pools are mesh and solid covers. These covers are typically made from vinyl and other UV stabilized materials. d. Pool Alarms Pool alarms are installed to ensure the safety of people and pets and help to prevent drownings. A pool alarm is an electronic monitoring system that automatically sounds an alarm when children, pets or anything above a certain threshold falls into your unsupervised pool. There are various types of pool alarms to include floating sensors and infrared motion detectors.
Recreational Swimming Add-onsa. Pool Lighting The most common type of pool lighting today is LED based. LED lighting can provide many unique colors to your pool experience and allow for better lighting during evening swims. LED Lighting can also be a great addition for your outdoor living areas. b. Toys and Games There are many great add on features for your pool. Basketball hoops, volleyball nets and swim jets are all great options for adding exercise options to your pool. You could also buy different pool toys to facilitate fun for the kids. There are unique pool toys available for all age groups. c. Slides A pool with a slide provides an additional option for family and friends to have fun while enjoying the pool water. There are many types of pool slides and colors to fit your pool’s environment. Its important to keep your slide clean and free of debris for safe usage.
ConclusionThe add-on pool options you have available are numerous and every year new and innovative products are created and available for sale. Visit your local pool store and speak with different pool installers to get the right add-on products for your pool. Take the time to evaluate your options and consider using the best products that will enhance your overall swimming pool experience.
How to Choose the Right Swimming Pool Size for Your Family and Your Home
What is your purpose for a pool?
- For a family of six to eight people, an 18 foot by 36-foot pool is recommended. This should be sufficient to avoid crowding and allow for the playing of games. Rectangle shaped pools look best for this size. Want to see a great model in this size range? See the Grande.
- For a family of less than six, a 16 foot by 32 foot would be a little more compatible. This size would allow for swimming and casual relaxation while staying cool in the pool. Kidney, free form, or bean-shaped pools work best for this pool size. The Coral Sea and Oyster are good options for this size range.
- For smaller backyard foot prints, you will be looking for a pool that offers the ability to just chill and relax. For that kind of pool, you will be looking for a size that’s under the 14-foot by 25-foot size range. You can get a lot of versatility from smaller pools and they take up a much smaller space, which is perfect if you have a smaller backyard to work with. The Outback Escape, Milano and Pixie are good fiberglass pool models in this size range.
How Big is your Living Space?Not all pool needs are the same and not all backyards are of a standard size. So, the space you must work with in your backyard will dictate the pool size you can install and any other design features you will want to integrate. Nonetheless, not all houses have large outdoor spaces to accommodate wide-ranging pool sizes. Thus, it’s important to maximize the use of your living space when designing your swimming pool project. Because we offer a wide range of pool sizes you will be able to optimize your project accordingly.
How often you will use your fiberglass pool?Another factor to consider is the frequency of usage. This will have an impact on the amount of pool maintenance your pool will need. Humans, pets, insects and other debris can make your pool unusable, so it’s important to consider maintenance when determining the right pool size for your needs. An in-ground fiberglass swimming pool will provide you with longevity and stability. Using strong and secure materials such as fiberglass rather than concrete will help insure you get the most from your pool while minimizing your pool maintenance efforts.
What kind of budget do you have to work with? Do you need financing?Long-term financial planning is often an important part when considering the size of your pool project. Pools cost money to install, operate and maintain, so there is no magic number when determining how to plan for maintaining you pool long term. It’s best to gauge your expenses on your usage, location and a maintenance schedule determined with your builder. Other payments to consider include; general pool maintenance, covers, fencing, chemicals, cleaning and more. Your pool size will impact every aspect of the mentioned pool requirements. That is why you should understand what pool size or design will be most convenient for your budget. To help minimize your upfront expenses from your pool project, there are many finance companies that provide financing specifically for outdoor living and fiberglass installation projects. This type of financing can provide you with the pool you desire while freeing up money for maintenance and other related pool upkeep needs over the long term.
To wrap things up on the right swimming pool size for youChoosing the perfect swimming pool size and shape for your family may not be as easy as you once thought. You will have to consider many things and it might seem overwhelming at first. This is where a good swimming pool installer can help you out. They can help you explore your swimming pool model options, based on your needs and help you decide the best pool size to meet all the considerations we discussed in this blog post. However, if you’re still uncertain on who to contact, we work with many great dealers across the USA and we can recommend a dealer to you. Contact us today and we can put you in touch with a Barrier Reef Fiberglass Pool dealer and you could be swimming in the perfect size pool to meet your needs this summer.
In this video we explore the question How much do fiberglass pools cost?
Curious how much a fiberglass pool costs? Here's a helpful video we've posted on our YouTube page about the cost of a fiberglass pool.
Video Transcript | Length ~ 4 minutes
In-ground fiberglass swimming pools - How much do they cost?
In this video we're going to answer that question. How much do fiberglass pools cost?
One of the first questions dealers are commonly asked, is what's the price of a fiberglass pool?
It makes sense that cost would be the first question that comes to mind as you begin the pool buying process. Like purchasing a car, you want to know what you’re getting, and how much it’s going to cost.
There isn’t much out there describing the costs of fiberglass pools, and that’s because there are many variables that change from project to project, and from one location to another. Often there are unforeseeable issues that occur, which is why it’s best to have a good, and reputable pool company install your swimming pool.
But we understand. The cost of a pool matters. So, let’s discuss some basic estimates, and price ranges. Please note that final costs can change dramatically, from one manufacturer to another, and from one installer to another.
In general, most fiberglass pool projects cost between $45,000 and $85,000. This usually includes concrete or paver patios, standard pool operating equipment, and basic accessories. As with any swimming pool installation project, these costs can increase drastically when you add other outdoor living features, like water falls, stone hardscaping, lighting, salt water systems, and so on.
A general guideline can be used for the cost of a pool shell. A small pool shell, 26 feet or less, is roughly between $12,000 and $16,000. A medium shell, between 27 and 34 feet, is in the range of $15,000 to $20,000. A large shell, 35 foot or longer, is in the range of $18,000 to $30,000. And a fiberglass spa is in the range of $4,000 to $7,000.
Now a basic installation package. If there were such a thing as a “basic” installation package, it might include things as the fiberglass pool shell, the shipping of that shell, excavation, backfill, the pool collar, usually 3' of concrete around the pool, a pump filter system, the electrical components for the pool, and the filling of the pool with water. Most basic pool packages don't include premium outdoor living options, such as a fire feature, patios, pergolas, bars, kitchens, etc. Typical price range for a basic pool package is in the range of $35,000 to $50,000 when all is said and done.
Now if you were to go with a basic install like we just discussed, and throw in some paverscapes, some more custom options if you will, such as a paverscaped patio or seating area with a firepit, the typical price range of a project of that nature would be in the $45,000 to $60,000 range.
So in conclusion, the cost estimates we've discussed in this video, are for general purposes, and are meant as a guideline to help you during your pool shopping experience. You may notice that costs may vary significantly from one dealer to another, so it will be important to check reputations, and all the information that might be available to you online.
Thanks for watching the video, and we hope that you get into a pool soon.
In-ground fiberglass swimming pools, how much do they cost?
One of the first questions we’re asked is what’s the price of a fiberglass pool?
A Fiberglass Pool ShellI just want to buy the fiberglass pool shell! At Barrier Reef we don’t sell our fiberglass pool shells directly to the consumer. We use a dealer network of highly qualified dealers and installers that can maintain the warranty on our pools. However, there are other manufacturers that do sell direct so we’ll cover what those costs might look like. (Keep in mind these price ranges do not include shipping or additional features) Small pool shell (26 ft. long or less): $12,000–$16,000 Medium shell (27–34 ft. long): $15,000–$20,000 Large shell (35 ft. long or more): $18,000–$30,000
Fiberglass Spa: $4,000–$7,000
Basic Installation PackagesIf there were a “basic” package it might typically include:
- Pool collar
- 3’ of concrete around pool
- Pump/filter system
- Filling the pool