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Thread: Fibreglass vs Vinyl

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    Fibreglass vs Vinyl

    Hi everyone, I am new here and hoping I am putting this post in the right forum.

    My husband and I are wanting to install a pool this spring and we are debating between fibreglass and vinyl. We live in Canada about 30 minutes from the North Dakota border. After much research we know for sure we want a SWCG, a heat pump and a sand filter. Also we want a "medium" sized pool (12x25) We have 4 young children so we are wanting his pool to last a very long time as we don't plan on moving EVER lol.

    So my question, is it worth the extra money to get the fibreglass pool? We also plan on doing a DIY with help of a dealer for the actual setting of the pool. Or do we save our money and do a DIY steel/vinyl pool? Or do we spend the same amount as a fibreglass pool and get it completely done for us?

    Thank you all for you input

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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: Fibreglass vs Vinyl

    Welcome to TFP.

    I'm no expert on the matter you are questioning but I'd be pressing the folks you are talking to hard. How will fiberglass handle in a hard freeze environment? That bugs me the most. I don't live in a climate where we actually "close" our pools.

    I'm in SC and have a friend here who go a small leaking crack in their fiberglass pool. Original builder wouldn't fix under warranty as they weren't original purchasers. By contrast vinyl is pretty easy to replace when needed and far less expensive to replace a vinyl liner. With a fiberglass pool......you're stuck with just that. If something goes wrong with shell......replacement almost equals new pool.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Fibreglass vs Vinyl

    Hi Jablonski, and welcome to TFP.

    I have a vinyl liner pool purchased in a foreclosure. I'm fortunate that the liner has lasted 15 years. I'm not sure that I would change my pool type even if cost weren't a factor, but my reasons aren't necessarily sound Before I bought this house, i'd been shopping to install a pool at my old house. So first off, I will say that the cheapest way to get a pool is to buy a house that already has a pool

    I am not personally a DIYer on bigger ticket items like a pool build, so both notions are unnerving to me But if you two are very handy, then it would be a matter of what's most forgiving/easiest to install given your set of skills. So for example if you're really good at excavation, plumbing, measuring, leveling and are confident you can do the exact prep for the fiberglass install, then you're golden. But when a fiberglass install goes wrong, it can go REALLY wrong....eg cracks in the surface or "popping" if groundwater/hydro-geological features of the site aren't weighed/controlled etc.

    In terms of cost, your initial outlay is less with a vinyl liner, but over a lifetime, likely on par with fiberglass given the need to change the liner. However, when you do change the liner, you also have the opportunity to inspect and improve the condition of the walls or xtend the longevity. Today, they also make high impact polymer walls that are supposed to last longer than steel.

    I'm not sure as to which build type handles the freeze-thaw cycle better...for possibly irrational reasons, my gut would say that vinyl might be more forgiving in this case, which I think is why vinyl is typically more ubiquitous in Canada.

    A slight advantage of vinyl is that you can create as deep of a diving well as you like, even 12'. You aso have a little more freedom to "free form" features...unless you're buying a package. I don't think a deep diving well (beyond 8') is possible in fiberglass, from my recollection 5 years ago. Maybe this has changed.

    An advantage of fiberglass is that some believe it has better resale value as there is theoretically no maintenance (or at least' changing of liners). The sales folks will make sure you know "its classier" to have the steps and coping integrated For the same money though, I'd figured at the time I could put the difference into the surrounding deck and create concealed coving so I had found that argument a little sales-pitchy

    YMMV. To me, the most important feature of any pool is crystal clear water and fun-quotient, so I suspect you'll be delighted any way you go ... Especially now that you've found TFP
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Fibreglass vs Vinyl

    Very pleased with my FB pool. Pics below in my sig. If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Fibreglass vs Vinyl

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Very pleased with my FB pool. Pics below. If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.
    Ill second FG. It's great. Low maintanence, less opportunity for algae to growth, it's stronger than concrete, and has a lower lifetime cost. The only downside is the upfront cost is higher
    Fiberglass pool 5300 gallons (trilogy eclipse)
    inground
    Cartridge filter
    2HP hayward ecostar sp3400vsp

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Fibreglass vs Vinyl

    On a side point, since you live in a climate where it may be a benefit to store pool equipment inside during the winter due to the fact that plastic gets brittle at the extreme cold temperatures you experience, you may want to rethink having a sand filter, as it is much easier to move a DE or cartridge filter that weighs 30-50 pounds inside once they are drained of water vs moving a sand filter with 500+ pounds of sand inside, not to mention sand filters don't like to be moved unless emptied of sand first.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Fibreglass vs Vinyl

    Hey, Texas, no pics were attached

    Aimee, I was curious about the freeze thaw angle. Latham, a mfg of both who is solid, says Fiberglass is well suited to northern climes...here's an article: Type of pool to buy? - Latham Pool Products

    Hope that helps.

    Did any of you above with FG pools DIY? Any tips for Aimee?
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!
    Helpful Links:
    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

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