In-ground pools come with a variety of options that affect the total cost of installation, including what the pool’s liner—or the surface of the pool—is made of. Liner choices for in-ground pools include gunite (concrete), vinyl and fiberglass, each of which have pros and cons. A fiberglass in-ground pool costs $10,000–$15,000 more than a vinyl-lined pool—and may even cost more initially than a concrete pool. In most cases, however, a fiberglass pool has a much longer life. Fiberglass pools require less chemical treatment than other types. Chemical treatment is a major upkeep cost with any swimming pool, so this factor could save hundreds of dollars per year. Additional benefits of a fiberglass in-ground pools include:
Lower maintenance costs over time
Ability to withstand salt-chlorine water treatment system
Smooth surface, which is less abrasive on bare feet and deters algae growth
Faster installation than other in-ground pool types (usually in four to five days)
The cost range to install a fiberglass in-ground pool is $15,000–$40,000 or more, depending on the pool size, how much excavation and other work the pool installer must perform, as well as any extra features, such as patio surround, decking, fencing, lighting, filtration system, and other bells and whistles.
Fiberglass pools are great for regions with high water tables and very cold winters. Many pool owners choose to drain their pool during the cold months. Kenny Zientek, owner of Today Pools in Cypress, Texas, and Jason Thomson of Dolphin Pool Maintenance in Mesa, Arizona, don’t typically install fiberglass pools in their parts of the country. Zientek says the ground in his area of Texas shifts so much that it increases the risk that a fiberglass shell could crack. Thomson says fiberglass pools are rare in Arizona because of the hardness of the clay-filled soil there.
Fiberglass pool shells are manufactured and shipped as a single piece. Prices vary by size as follows:
Small (less than 26 feet): $10,000–$19,000
Medium (27–34 feet): $13,000–$20,000
Large (35 feet and up): $15,000–$27,000
The prices above don’t include the cost of shipping, which varies depending on the distance between the plant and delivery location. Heating and filtration systems, excavation, a sump pump, the gravel pool bed and backfilling are all additional costs as well.
Having a hole dug for a fiberglass pool liner is the second most expensive aspect of putting in a fiberglass pool. This work typically costs $2,000–$4,000, including the gravel bed on which the liner will rest.
Most regions require a permit to install an in-ground pool, which increases overall project costs. Permit prices vary by region.
If pool pros detect excess moisture in the soil during excavation, they may recommend installing a sump pump under the deep end of the pool to help keep the moisture from causing problems down the road. The pump eliminates the risk that hydrostatic pressure will damage the fiberglass shell during very wet weather or if the pressure changes during draining and refilling of the pool. Hydrostatic pressure occurs when the force that the groundwater below the shell exerts on the shell becomes greater than the force created by the pool shell full of water. Some installers advise adding a sump pump, which can increase installation costs by $500–$700. A simpler, more affordable approach is to drop a 6- to 8-foot length of 8-inch PVC pipe at the deep end of the excavation site, encase the pipe in gravel, cut the top off and add a skimmer lid. If necessary in the future, pool pros can drop a pump down the pipe to remove any water that has collected. This shouldn’t cost more than $200.
Heat pumps vary in price, depending on the type of power and the manufacturer, as well as any additional wiring that needs to be done. Heat pumps cost $1,500–$3,500.
Most concrete patios range in size from 400 to 800 square feet around a swimming pool and can cost $23,000–$50,000.
Fiberglass pools can be customized in countless ways. Here are a few cost ranges for common add-ons:
Automatic pool cover: $5,000–$13,000
Waterline perimeter tile: $1,500–$3,000