Choosing The Right In-Ground Pool

There's no better experience than taking a quick dip in the cool, refreshing waters of a brand-new pool. But that experience won't become a reality unless you take the first steps towards purchasing your pool with the help of professionals like Dolphin Pools & Spas. In addition to your pool's overall design, you'll also have to choose the base material it'll be built from.

The following takes a close look at the three most common materials used for building in-ground pools. Knowing each of their perks and drawbacks can help you make a sound decision during your build.

Vinyl

Vinyl liners are a highly popular choice in the pool world and for good reason. A good vinyl liner can be made to mimic the look of a wide variety of materials and textures, making them highly versatile when it comes to making your pool stand out. Vinyl liners are also a very economical choice for many homeowners. According to CostHelper, the average cost of a vinyl liner ranges from $700 to $1,500 for the liner itself and up to $2,500 or more for labor.

Unfortunately, vinyl liners come with their share of potential downsides:

  • Vinyl's porous surfaces make it an ideal hangout spot for bacteria and algae. Over time, you'll end up using more chlorine to keep your vinyl liner pool clean than with any other type of pool.
  • Vinyl liners are also relatively easy to scratch or cut, so you have to be careful with any hard or sharp objects (such as a mechanical pool cleaner, for instance).
  • If it's damaged, you can't just replace one section of vinyl. You'll have to replace the entire liner and at considerable expense.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is another popular option for in-ground pools. The average fiberglass pool features a super-smooth gel coating over the base material, preventing algae and bacteria from taking hold on the surface. This means you'll use less chlorine to keep your pool clean in the long run.

Whereas other types require a large amount of lead time for creation and installation, a fiberglass pool can be installed in as little as three days, according to Popular Mechanics' Joseph Truini. This is because fiberglass pools are pre-made within a factory and shipped out to the installation site. Of course, this affects the selection and installation of the pool in a variety of ways:

  • Fiberglass pools are built as one single piece. This makes installation much easier, but it can make shipping a pain, as most shipments are treated as oversized loads.
  • The pre-fab nature of a fiberglass pool means you can't get the sheer plethora of sizes, shapes and designs offered by other pool types.

Concrete

Concrete is the most flexible material of the three, giving you an opportunity to build your pool in almost any size and shape. It's also a popular choice among homeowners, as well as commercial customers, thanks to its excellent longevity. It's no surprise to see a well-maintained concrete pool remain in use for decades on end.

Most concrete pools are built by spraying dry-mix shotcrete, also known as gunite, over a steel rod and wire mesh framework. The foundation is then coated with plaster for a smoother appearance and a surface that can be painted over. Unfortunately, this process can take several weeks to complete, making this method the slowest of the three when it comes to installation times. However, you can enlarge and update your pool with relative ease, unlike with fiberglass or vinyl liner pools.

Concrete pools are usually more expensive than fiberglass or vinyl liner pools. A typical concrete pool costs $17,000 to $45,000 to install, with prices for custom designs running much higher. Nevertheless, the impressive longevity and potential for expansion can help offset the initial costs of installation.

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