A swimming pool will add value to any home, particularly in areas where summer temperatures are high. While owning a swimming pool can be a fulfilling experience, deciding which type of pool to choose can be challenging. Swimming pools fall into four broad types: above-ground, in-ground vinyl lined, in-ground fiberglass and in-ground concrete. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of each of these types of swimming pool.
Above-ground pools are the least expensive option in terms of cost and installation. The main cost saving associated with these types of pools is the fact that no excavation is required to install them in a back yard; there is no need to be concerned about the type of ground, how difficult it is to dig and whether there are underground obstacles such as pipes and cable to consider. It is nonetheless the fastest and cheapest way to get a pool installed.
Many people, however, consider above-ground pools to be unattractive – even when they are surrounded by decking – and it is difficult to incorporate this type of pool into landscaping in a back yard. Although inexpensive in terms of excavation, the metal framing that an above-ground pool requires only has a lifespan of between 7 and 12 years after which it must be replaced. This can mean that an above-ground pool is costlier in the long-run and can also have a negative impact on a home’s value when it is for sale.
In-Ground Vinyl Pools
Vinyl lined pools are the least expensive forms of in-ground pools and the material allows considerable versatility since any shape and size can be accommodated. Vinyl is soft and prevents the growth of algae which can save money on the costs of chemicals for filtering the pool.
The vinyl covering the pool will, however, need to be replaced after between 7 and 15 years of use and this can be an expensive process. In addition, a vinyl liner can be subject to tearing or other damage that creates a hole in it which means that the entire liner can be replaced. Just like above-ground pools, a vinyl lined pool can negatively effect a home’s sale price.
In-Ground Fiberglass Pools
Pools covered in fiberglass generally require the least maintenance and have the lowest overall lifetime costs of various type of swimming pools. Fiberglass is strong and long-lasting and inhibits the growth of algae and does not stain easily. Once the pool is excavated and the fiberglass shell installed it will withstand a lifetime of use without any additional maintenance required.
There are some limitations, however, in terms of the shape, size and design that come with fiberglass pools. Often they are made in specific shapes and sizes in a mold that is expensive to make which means that you are limited to the designs that the manufacturer offers and have few options when it comes to customization. Because the fibreglass structure is created at the factory and then requires transport to its eventual installation site, there are some limitations on the size of the pool – typically they can be no wider than 16ft, for example.
In-Ground Concrete Pools
In terms of shape and design options, in-ground concrete pools provide the greatest flexibility and unlimited shapes and types. Because they are custom made on-site, they can be made to any depth, size or shape and can offer certain design features, such as vanishing edges, islands and tanning ledges, that are not possible with other types of pools. A well-designed concrete pool can be incorporated into landscaping with a customized shape and adds significant value to a home.
This type of pool is expensive to install and has significant maintenance costs in that it requires resurfacing or re-tiling every 10 to 20 years. In addition, because concrete is porous, it tends to be susceptible to algae and more chemicals and filtration are required to keep the pool clean.
Kim Mortley is the owner of Dolphin Pools in Melbourne. Dolphin is a family business that has been operating for over 50 years. Dolphin Pools, specialise in quality, affordability and incredible results!