Need help on fiberglass or concrete liner pool for first time pool owners

THENAPES

New member
Aug 13, 2019
3
Ohio
Hello all I’m new here and m wife and I are looking at building and owning our first pool.

We live in ohio (if weather is a factor for pool types)and so far we have had 3 quotes from local recommenced pool builders and all have said that fiberglass pools are garbage, that they crack and fade etc... However after looking at multiple sites and it looks like fiberglass pools if installed correct have a lower long term maintenance cost? We also really like the layout of some of the fiberglass pools and I really don’t want to replace a liner very 5-7 years as some are saying they have to do with the liner pools.

My question to all of you pool owners that have owned one type or both types what is the truth? I know if I talk to a builder that does fiberglass they are going to tell me theirs is the best and the same goes for the traditional liner builders?

Thanks in advance for your any help or advice.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
FG pools, if installed correctly, do not just arbitrarily crack or fade. But the same principle holds true for ANY type of pool. It must be installed correctly or it will develop issues later. As for maintenance, FG pools and vinyl do not have certain plaster start-up issues at first, but ALL pools require a certain amount of chemical balancing and care once established. We went with FG because of our shifting clay soil. We also have lots of dogs that love the water, so we didn't want to take a chance on tearing the liner. But those are just a couple examples. Many love their liner pools and wouldn't have it any other way. They like the pattern choices, costs options, and accept a liner change every x-amount of years and love them. Think about what may be right for your family and then listen to what fellow TFP members have to say. Good luck with your choice.
 

THENAPES

New member
Aug 13, 2019
3
Ohio
Thanks Texas

We have dogs as well and that was a concern I had also. I have sarted reading the forums and it looks like the contractor has big part of some issues with voids under steps or benches when they did not backfill right. Any other issues I need to watch out for if I go with FG
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The consensus nowadays is to back-fill FG with gravel not sand. Something I wish I would've known before finding TFP with our installation. Either way though, when you see the crews install a FG pool, back-fill, and pack the voids, they do all they can to prevent hollow areas under steps and such, but it's very difficult to completely avoid some settling and potential hollow spots. But today's FG pools are extremely strong and durable. A hollow spot under a step isn't such a big deal. More important is the bottom and sides to prevent settling or bowing in & out. The gravel back-fill should prevent that.
 

Rich D

Bronze Supporter
Aug 3, 2018
381
MA
We have dogs as well and that was a concern I had also
That would definitely sway me towards the FG. Do you really want to get all stressed out whenever they are around or in the pool?

Any other issues I need to watch out for if I go with FG
Be sure to ask every PB exactly what they use for backfill and how they handle compaction of the backfill and proper dewatering and drainage. Both liner and FG pools require a extensive amount of soil to be removed from the sides of the pool. This is what your very expensive deck will sit on. It seems most liner pools are simply backfilled with on site fill without compaction and they "let it settle for a while" then install your deck which will always settle in a few years when they are long gone.

Be sure that when they say "gravel" they are talking about a washed stone product (no fines). Up around these parts we refer to gravel as a stone and fine mix used for road bases.

Washed stone is by far the best backfill and a sign of a experienced and caring PB. It cost more money to haul off the extra dirt and washed stone cost more than a fill with fines in it, However washed stone is in theory does not require compacting but I will always compact it anyway.

When using washed stone you need to be very mindful of how to handle the ground and surface water that will collect in all that stone. The best scenario is if you have a spot on the property lower than Than the bottom of the pool to run a simple gravity drain from bottom of pool to daylight. This rarely possible for 'flatlanders' so the next option is install a sump pit or pits to pump the water out. Wich brings as to the big draw back of a liner pool in high water table areas. These will need to be continually pumped out to prevent the liner from floating where as with a fiberglass pool you will probably only need to pump out when draining the pool.
 

LoneWolfArcher

Well-known member
May 29, 2019
257
Michigan
My fiberglass pool was installed in 2003. It has never been drained. And looks as new as it did 16 years ago. I highly recommend fiberglass since you don't have to ever draing and replace a liner nor drain and reseal (gunite). Startup costs are higher but longterm savings and lack of heavy maintenance make them much easier to maintain over the years.

And if you follow TFP techniques you'll never have to worry about staining!