Trying to decide on Fiberglass as an option

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
Hi Everyone!
I put a pool in almost 3 years ago. We are looking at moving (out to the country) soon and even though I said I would never put another pool in a house it is looking like I'll do just that. Our first pool was gunite and we have had very few issues. I like most things about it but would make a few changes if I could go back in time. Anyway I am considering putting in a fiberglass pool in the new house. Mainly because I do not think I want to go through 3-4 months of construction again. I just do not know a lot about them and from what I read on the internet appears to be pretty biased. The biggest con I have seen so far is the size limitations but that is not really a concern for me I found a 16x40 that would be plenty big enough for me. Will probably add a spa this time around as well. Who has one and loves/hates it?
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
6,411
Central MD
Would you do a fiberglass spillover spa or freestanding? I’ve seen a lot of fiberglass chatter lately which I chalk up to it’s being the quickest to install and folks trying to get pools in for stay at home fun.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
@bmoreswim Yes Ideally a spill over but it is a possibility I may add the spa later. It does not seem to be as big of a deal to add later as it would have been on our gunite pool but I need to do some more research on this. One huge regret on our current pool is we did not add a heater. Our builder swore we wouldn't need on but there are several months here in North Texas where the outside temp is fairly warm but pool water still too cold to swim. So I may just add a heater but where we are going we would be on propane so need to do some digging on that.

@thomasandanita Good to know! I was actually interested in fiberglass when we built our gunite pool but out HOA did not allow them for some reason so we went the other route. Did you price compare it to gunite?
 

bmoreswim

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Jul 16, 2012
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@bmoreswim Yes Ideally a spill over but it is a possibility I may add the spa later. It does not seem to be as big of a deal to add later as it would have been on our gunite pool but I need to do some more research on this. One huge regret on our current pool is we did not add a heater. Our builder swore we wouldn't need on but there are several months here in North Texas where the outside temp is fairly warm but pool water still too cold to swim. So I may just add a heater but where we are going we would be on propane so need to do some digging on that.
The digging will be into your wallet monthly. But money is earned to be spent, preferably on things that make you or others happy.
 

TheDeuce

Gold Supporter
Jul 9, 2019
135
Winnipeg, Manitoba
@bmoreswim Yes Ideally a spill over but it is a possibility I may add the spa later. It does not seem to be as big of a deal to add later as it would have been on our gunite pool but I need to do some more research on this. One huge regret on our current pool is we did not add a heater. Our builder swore we wouldn't need on but there are several months here in North Texas where the outside temp is fairly warm but pool water still too cold to swim. So I may just add a heater but where we are going we would be on propane so need to do some digging on that.

@thomasandanita Good to know! I was actually interested in fiberglass when we built our gunite pool but out HOA did not allow them for some reason so we went the other route. Did you price compare it to gunite?
Would propane be more cost effective than an electric heat pump? We went heat pump and our energy costs are a fraction of our neighbour's gas unit.


m.
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
504
Martinez, CA
If,the lower price difference justifies it, I might consider fiberglass but in my area they upsell fiberglass pools for the same price as gunite. In that situation, I’d go gunite every time.
 

thomasandanita

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2019
145
willis texas
@bmoreswim Yes Ideally a spill over but it is a possibility I may add the spa later. It does not seem to be as big of a deal to add later as it would have been on our gunite pool but I need to do some more research on this. One huge regret on our current pool is we did not add a heater. Our builder swore we wouldn't need on but there are several months here in North Texas where the outside temp is fairly warm but pool water still too cold to swim. So I may just add a heater but where we are going we would be on propane so need to do some digging on that.

@thomasandanita Good to know! I was actually interested in fiberglass when we built our gunite pool but out HOA did not allow them for some reason so we went the other route. Did you price compare it to gunite?

yes, we priced similar perimeter gunite pool without spa or heater and it was over the fiber glass with both features.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
Would propane be more cost effective than an electric heat pump? We went heat pump and our energy costs are a fraction of our neighbour's gas unit.


m.
That is a good question. I believe propane and natural gas are very similar in efficiency so an electric heat pump may be a good option to look at.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
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Jul 16, 2012
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The efficiency of propane and NG are similar. The cost however, is not. Propane is much more expensive per unit. It's always a trade-off. Heat pumps are great for keeping the water nice and warm in relatively warm ambient temperatures. And if you need to raise it a lot, you measure in days, not hours. For me, I'd get a heat pump where I live because I might like 5 degree warmer water during the main swim season with no real need to extend because I don't like to swim if its much below 80 outside anyway. For you, summer temps will heat your pool fine and you are more likely interested in heating for a somewhat off-season swim period (birthday party, spring break, suddenly warm winter break) where it may or may not be warm outside, but the kids want or deserve a treat. Or heating during cool air temps in the shoulder seasons. That's gas heat territory.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
The efficiency of propane and NG are similar. The cost however, is not. Propane is much more expensive per unit. It's always a trade-off. Heat pumps are great for keeping the water nice and warm in relatively warm ambient temperatures. And if you need to raise it a lot, you measure in days, not hours. For me, I'd get a heat pump where I live because I might like 5 degree warmer water during the main swim season with no real need to extend because I don't like to swim if its much below 80 outside anyway. For you, summer temps will heat your pool fine and you are more likely interested in heating for a somewhat off-season swim period (birthday party, spring break, suddenly warm winter break) where it may or may not be warm outside, but the kids want or deserve a treat. Or heating during cool air temps in the shoulder seasons. That's gas heat territory.
Ok so I did some research and yes looks like heat pump is the way to go. Yes we are the same way. I do not plan on swimming when it is 60 outside but we can get a couple months in spring and sometimes even fall where the outside temp is 80-85 but the water temp is too low mainly because it cools off so much in the evening. I'd just want to raise the temp 5 degrees at most. On the other hand starting in July and typically to September the water is almost too warm in the mid to high 90's. We still swim of course but it is not what I would call refreshing. So I am looking at the heat/cool heat pumps now which I think would allow for an April-October swim season with perfect temperature (I like around 85 degrees). They are very $$$ though.
 

TheDeuce

Gold Supporter
Jul 9, 2019
135
Winnipeg, Manitoba
It would be very interesting to see how the analysis changes, vis a vis cost, depending on the market. In Manitoba we pay 8.74 cents Canadian (6.5 cents USD) per kilowatt hour for electricity and 8.63 cents per cubic meter for natural gas. Price per BTU when comparing an electric heat pump versus a natural gas heater isn't even close - the heat pump wins in a blowout. Yep, it doesn't work very well when the temperatures drop but we don't want to be swimming when it's cold anyway.

If I could do it all over again though I might have done some research into the hybrid gas & heat pump unit that Pentair released. I have no idea what the initial cost is but it's an interesting concept.


m.
 

JW1

Well-known member
Sep 4, 2019
163
SW Ohio
We had a fiberglass pool installed last October. It was a two day install. Very quick and easy. But it did take another week and half to get the cantilever coping and pool deck poured. It seemed the FB pool installers was like a la cart approach vs an inclusive package with a liner pool install. Be aware of the water table and impact on a FB pool. My PB installed a sump pit, but we are dry, so no worries. Others in nearby communities monitor and supposedly pump out the water that accumulates under the pool. So far I’m very happy with our decision.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
After some price comparisons the fiberglass option is almost identical to gunite as far as cost. I did notice there were several things that were also included as "standard" on my gunite pool that are all extras on the fiberglass route and I am thinking a deeper dive may reveal that the fiberglass route will result in a little more cost initially but from what I have read less cost down the road.
 

revitup

Bronze Supporter
Nov 30, 2019
319
Pawleys Island, SC
We love out heat/cool HP. It actually runs on cool way more than heat during the main swim season here in the 'deep south'. Easily holds water temp just below 90 where we like it.
 

BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
338
Katy, Texas
Another heating option for a new pool:
The economics for a retrofit are not very good, but it might work as part of an all new pool and new home.
 

Mcow

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2017
190
Wylie, Texas
We love out heat/cool HP. It actually runs on cool way more than heat during the main swim season here in the 'deep south'. Easily holds water temp just below 90 where we like it.
That is good to hear. I would actually end up using it to cool probably more than heat. Our water gets really warm here in Texas.
 

Rossterman

Well-known member
Jun 5, 2016
504
Martinez, CA
After some price comparisons the fiberglass option is almost identical to gunite as far as cost. I did notice there were several things that were also included as "standard" on my gunite pool that are all extras on the fiberglass route and I am thinking a deeper dive may reveal that the fiberglass route will result in a little more cost initially but from what I have read less cost down the road.
Interesting perspective. What aspects led you to that conclusion?