How much is gunite or fiberglass worth over vinyl?

nobueno

Active member
Sep 25, 2019
39
Erie, CO
We're starting to get some quotes coming in and a gunite pool looks like it's going to start at 110k. 3 fiberglass bids so far, 120k, 95k and 78k. One vinyl bid so far 37k. These bids are for a 16x40x8.5 diving pool fairly comparably equipped with no decking or landscaping, just basic pool connected and running. The lowest fiberglass bid is from a contractor with so-so reviews who I probably wouldn't build with. The vinyl bid is from a very well respected and well reviewed contractor who installs all three types of pools, both commercially and residential, and recommended vinyl to me. He installed vinyl at his house as well.

Can someone justify how gunite or even fiberglass would be worth almost 3x the price of a vinyl pool? Should I even be considering them at this point? At these prices I could literally afford to replace the vinyl liner every year for 30 years and come out at the same price. We're not planning on selling the house so the resale concern doesn't particularly appeal to me and he installed vinyl at four different million dollar + homes in our area.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,175
NY
This discussion has gone on here 1000 times. It appears it comes down to regional preferences more times than not. If everybody else has gunite around you, your vinyl will be looked down upon. It wouldn’t matter long term unless you were selling your house and the new people wanted to keep up with the Jones’s. In my general region we have all walks of life. The overwhelming majority are some form of vinyl. Mine is a concrete wall with sand bottom but they used to use the metal walls here and now use the composite walls instead. There are Fiberglass pools around but not many. Gunite is done as a status symbol here. My PB told me to add $20k to our $28k build if we wanted gunite. Pool/equipment only).
 
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sktn77a

Gold Supporter
May 16, 2010
1,421
Chapel Hill, NC
No, they don't cost 3x as much. However, if a builder hasn't built many (any!) gunite or fiberglass pools, he's billing in his uncertainty and, worse, learning on your dime.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,428
Central MD
For what your market it charging for a delta, I would have a vinyl pool. I'd estimate ours would have been $20-30K less for vinyl vs. gunite.
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
205
Urbana, MD
110k for a 16x40 pool? thats insane... I paid less than half of that for mine and its gunite, measures 35x16 with a 7x7 spa attached as well.. If I where you, I would look into more gunite bids...
 

newpoolbuild

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2019
84
NY
My Gunite pool quote 20x40’ was about 100k just plain shell. Excavation of rocks and led lights, water features, spas are extra.
Vinyl is about 40k.

We're starting to get some quotes coming in and a gunite pool looks like it's going to start at 110k. 3 fiberglass bids so far, 120k, 95k and 78k. One vinyl bid so far 37k. These bids are for a 16x40x8.5 diving pool fairly comparably equipped with no decking or landscaping, just basic pool connected and running. The lowest fiberglass bid is from a contractor with so-so reviews who I probably wouldn't build with. The vinyl bid is from a very well respected and well reviewed contractor who installs all three types of pools, both commercially and residential, and recommended vinyl to me. He installed vinyl at his house as well.

Can someone justify how gunite or even fiberglass would be worth almost 3x the price of a vinyl pool? Should I even be considering them at this point? At these prices I could literally afford to replace the vinyl liner every year for 30 years and come out at the same price. We're not planning on selling the house so the resale concern doesn't particularly appeal to me and he installed vinyl at four different million dollar + homes in our area.
 
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nobueno

Active member
Sep 25, 2019
39
Erie, CO
110k for a 16x40 pool? thats insane... I paid less than half of that for mine and its gunite, measures 35x16 with a 7x7 spa attached as well.. If I where you, I would look into more gunite bids...
I think it's just our area. I've had a few bids, all of which tell me that even for a small, non-diving gunite pool, they're starting at or near 100k. Still have more feelers out and waiting on estimates but I'm not hopeful. Even the best known fiberglass builder in our area scoffed at me when I said I really thought I should be able to get a 16x40 fiberglass pool installed for under 80k. Mind you this is no decking, landscaping etc.
 

nobueno

Active member
Sep 25, 2019
39
Erie, CO
My Gunite pool quote 20x40’ was about 100k just plain shell. Excavation of rocks and led lights, water features, spas are extra.
Vinyl is about 40k.
I guess I was primarily wondering if everyone with gunite was still choosing gunite if the price difference was normally so drastic. Apparently that is not the case in most places except NY and CO.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,175
NY
I might like Gunite if there was no price difference. For $20k or more, notsomuch. Occasionally somebody will ask me what kind of pool we bullt. 'I built a wet one.... a very very wet one'
 
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malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
69
Middletown, NY
Those prices for fiberglass and concrete are very high. Quotes I got for a 16x40 (non diving pool) are as follows (includes heat pump and automation, not including coping or deck): Fiberglass: 72000, Gunite: 75000 (plaster finish), vinyl: 43000.
 

newpoolbuild

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2019
84
NY
@malba2366 i am not far from you. $75k for Gunite is much better than my quote. We decided to put the money saved into patio and retaining wall. Hopefully we will be out of the house bf the vinyl needs to be replaced:)

Those prices for fiberglass and concrete are very high. Quotes I got for a 16x40 (non diving pool) are as follows (includes heat pump and automation, not including coping or deck): Fiberglass: 72000, Gunite: 75000 (plaster finish), vinyl: 43000.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,175
NY
I cant wrap my head around the fiberglass prices. It should be fairly regulated for MSRP around the country. If the brand you like isnt close you'd pay for shipping but not $30k for shipping. I know many for hire truck drivers. This is the kind of job they would take. Go to XYZ state, pick up ABC and deliver it to LMNOP. Even at $1000 a day it would be at most a week.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,175
NY
@malba2366 Hopefully we will be out of the house bf the vinyl needs to be replaced:)
A quality IG liner for most people is $4-5k installed. With proper chemistry you can get 15 years per liner. Friends just did theirs this year. At 14 years it was a tad faded so they were half happy it started to leak and had the excuse to replace it. My friend's take on it was that even with the cost he had no complaints because it lasted as long as it did.
 
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malba2366

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2016
69
Middletown, NY
It should be relatively the same my pool builder was pretty forward with me. The pool shell delivered to the home is around $27000. Should be within a couple thousand dollars of that everywhere depending on distance.
 

Jcvader99

Bronze Supporter
Feb 8, 2018
54
Charleston SC
I am guessing you have alot of rock or other ground issues to deal with, which bring the price up to as high as you haven mentioned. For reference, here in "the south", I had quotes on all three types last year. All pools were similar size and volume, but the vinyl and gunite were free-form shape versus the rectangle fiberglass. These prices all include decking, all equipment and finished pool, but no landscaping...

Fiberglass with spa & concrete deck: 16x40 - $48k
Vinyl (no spa) with concrete deck: 22x38 - $54k
Gunite (no spa) Pebble finish & Travertine Deck: 24x36 - $63k

If any of these would have approached $100k, I wouldn't have a pool right now. :eek:
 

nobueno

Active member
Sep 25, 2019
39
Erie, CO
I cant wrap my head around the fiberglass prices. It should be fairly regulated for MSRP around the country. If the brand you like isnt close you'd pay for shipping but not $30k for shipping. I know many for hire truck drivers. This is the kind of job they would take. Go to XYZ state, pick up ABC and deliver it to LMNOP. Even at $1000 a day it would be at most a week.
That's how I felt. On the fiberglass PB website it stated: "Ballpark figures would be $32,000-$35,000 for smaller pools, $42,000-$45,000 for medium pools, and $50,000+ for large pools." As the total cost of the pool installed. Then when I talked to him on the phone, he tried to tell me that was their cost for the shell and their builds started at over 100k. I stopped talking to him after that.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
1,175
NY
that was their cost for the shell and their builds started at over 100k. I stopped talking to him after that.
So $50k to dig a hole. Shoot I’ll rent a truck and a backhoe and come do it for $35k. Deal ? Tell your neighbors. I’ll give you a 10% finders fee each time. Lol