Maine Inground, Early Design Questions


Bronze Supporter
Aug 13, 2020

What a helpful site, so valuable to have folks willing to share their expertise!

We are planning to install a 20x40 (vinyl) or 16x40 (fiberglass) rectangular pool for laps, grandkids/friends/family, and hanging out. A few basic questions that I haven't been able to answer so far:

First, local installers are pretty backlogged, so I'd like to do as much of the install as possible. As a semi-retired general contractor, I have hands-on experience with sitework/drainage/plumbing etc., but not with pools. Dumb idea to DIY?

And type of pool:

Vinyl: I like that vinyl is less expensive initially, and replacing the liner gives the pool a make-over. But

1. Installing the 2" base material, and the liner itself, looks daunting.
2. The frame: it can be polymer or steel - will polymer be pushed around/damaged by Maine frost (I have high water table, clayey soils, code is 48" for frost)?
3. How long will a steel frame resist rusting out? Folks I've talked to don't recommend polymer here, but I'm concerned how long steel will hold up in wet soils and fairly high ground water.
4. Is it true that a salt water pool is not recommended with a steel frame?

Fiberglass: I like that it's easier to install, and should last a long time.

1. Is there a consensus on how long a good fiberglass pool can be expected to last?
2. And how long until it might need to be re-surfaced?
3. Will 48" frost and a high water table damage a fiberglass pool?
4. Is it true that a FG pool uses less chemicals and is easier to maintain than vinyl?

Many thanks in advance for guidance on this.


Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
Hey John and welcome !!

vinyl :
1). You have plenty of experience to help you
2) they both work and a 3rd option is a concrete foundation like shell that holds the liner.
3) Steel can be good for 40 years so pretty much ‘lifetime’ for most of us, but archeologists will find my concrete walls one day so there is that too.
4). The salt never touches the steel and it’s only 3k ppm coompared to 30k PPM of sea water. It is harmless.


1) should also last forever barring an earthquake or falling Russian satellite landing in it, but they do fade due to UV exposure (which is way better in Maine than Texas).
2). Not sure but plenty long enough like 10 to 15 years.
3). Defer to @jimmythegreek (NE building pro)
4). All pools need the same maintaining. Your choices are chlorine by liquid (bleach) or gas (salt/SWG). All the other parameters use the same generic chems like baking soda and borax


Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
Byran TX
You can research past builds, even some do it yourself ones -- Top of this page and type in your interest. Really, the search engine on this site is wonderful. I've researched past builds, finishes, water colors, etc.

Since you are in Maine, I'd search for other pool owners in the North East, read up on their experiences. It seems a lot of the new builds are in the southern states. Your winter and short mild summers will impact a lot of your decisions!