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Two Brothers Pavers and Pools

A Guide to Fiberglass Pool Costs

One of the first questions potential pool owners want to know when they call our company is: How much does a fiberglass pool cost?

Although this is a very difficult question to answer, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines.

The purchase of a swimming pool is much like the purchase of a vehicle or even a home. With so many options available, price ranges can vary drastically.

Just as a Jeep Wrangler can start at around $31k with just a basic package, it can quickly cost over $45k once a shopper adds such items as tinted windows, hard top, all-leather interior, chrome finishes, turbo diesel engine, upgraded doors, upgraded grille, and a custom painted exterior.

Considering that the average American sells or trades in their vehicle within the first five years of purchase, why do so many people elect to get so many upgrades? The answer is because most people understand the importance of getting what they want the first time so as to not have any regrets down the road. Because most Americans spend over 30 minutes a day in their vehicles, they want to make sure their vehicle will provide them with comfort, quality, longevity, and ease of use.

These same principles typically apply to most inground swimming pool shoppers.

You’re going to see your pool every day for as long as you live in your home, and picking the right pool with the right options the first time is critical to ensure maximum enjoyment with minimum maintenance. Because of this, most shoppers elect to get the pool that will make them happiest in the long-run.

Unfortunately, some people only focus on the initial price of the pool with the goal of finding the cheapest contractor, therefore sacrificing low-maintenance, quality, warranty, and aesthetics, which inevitably leads to regret—especially considering that unlike a vehicle, a swimming pool cannot be traded in if one is dissatisfied and disenchanted.

Some of the most common “add-ons” found in the purchase of a swimming pool:

  • Perimeter/waterline tile
  • Colored pool surface finishes
  • Fiber optic lighting/low voltage lighting
  • Extra concrete decking
  • Decorative concrete decking (stamped concrete, spray deck, colored broom finish, pavers, etc.)
  • Sliding boards
  • Mosaic inlays
  • Salt chlorine generators
  • Security covers
  • Automatic covers
  • Diving boards
  • Handrails and ladders
  • Water features
  • Additional jetting
  • Automatic vacuums
  • Inground and above-ground hot tubs
  • Raised bond beams
  • Retaining walls

As you can see, there are many options available. When someone receives a quote from our company, we thoroughly examine each option as to educate the homeowner on the option’s benefits. We want to identify its overall importance to the success of the project.

How much does a fiberglass pool cost?

The average price of a fiberglass pool (including patio and accessories) is $45,000–$85,000. For comparison, liner pools cost $35,000–$65,000, and concrete pools run $50,000–$100,000. But over 10 years you spend only $3,760 in maintenance, rather than $11,500 for vinyl-liner or $27,400 for concrete.

How the pool installation affects the cost

When someone inquires how much our pools cost, extent of installation is also a key factor. What I mean by this is that as a company, we have four different packages we offer our customers. Unlike most pool companies, we will do as much or as little as our customers would have us do. This flexibility leads to less stress and more savings for the customer.

The installation packages are as follows, with their corresponding price ranges:

1. Self-Install (DIY)

This package includes the pool shell to be shipped to the homeowner’s house. With a self-install, the homeowner is responsible for all labor involved with the project, including excavation, setting of pool, backfilling, adding water, concrete prepping and forming, final grading, electrical, fencing, permits, etc, etc.

Although the concept of installing a fiberglass pool is not very complex, it does require quite a bit of attention to detail and there is a small margin for error. I recommend self-installs to homeowners who are very skilled with excavation and construction knowledge, and have the needed equipment to facilitate the process.

The average person spends between $12,000–$30,000 on a self-install, based on the size of the pool and the options that come with it.

2. Pool without Concrete Decking

This package includes pool shell, shipping, pool equipment, excavation, setting of pool, backfill, filling pool with water, installation and pool permit.

The homeowner is responsible for concrete forming and prepping, final grading, cleaning of pool, electrical, and fencing.

The price of this package typically ranges from $20,000–$45,000, again depending on the size and options.

3. Pool with Concrete Decking

Package #3 includes everything mentioned in #2, but it also includes the concrete decking, pool cleaning, and final grading.

Most homeowners will spend on average $30,000–$65,000 for package #3.

Many homeowners would rather just deal with one company instead of many. We at River Pools and Spas are one of the few companies that will offer our clients true ‘turn-key’ pool installations. This package includes all that is found in package #3, as well as fencing and electrical.

Most customers will spend $45,000–$85,000 for a turn-key project, with a large majority falling in the $45,000–$65,000 price range.