A Brief Comparison of Pool Building Materials

If you’re thinking about getting a new in-ground pool, you have three choices when it comes to the pool’s material:

  • Concrete
  • Fiberglass
  • Vinyl


Which should you choose? That depends. There are pros and cons to each of these pool materials, and there’s no real front-runner in terms of an all-around solution that’s right for everyone. We will say, however, that fiberglass pools have become increasingly popular in recent years for reasons that will become apparent in our blog. So without further ado, here’s the lowdown on these three pool materials.

A Brief Comparison of Pool Building Materials


Concrete pools use a concrete base finished with plaster or another finishing agent like a pebble aggregate. Concrete pools were the first building material for in-ground pools, and homeowners continue to install them today. Why?


  • They’re the most customizable pool material out there. Concrete pools can be designed any way you like. If a unique, custom pool is what you’re after, concrete is your choice.
  • They’re very durable. Concrete is a highly durable material. High-end concrete finishes can last 15 years.



So what are some of the downsides of concrete?

  • It’s expensive. Concrete pools are the most expensive to build and to maintain.
  • They take the longest to build. A concrete pool takes a few months to install.
  • Concrete pools require the most hands-on maintenance of the three.



Fiberglass pools are a huge, one-piece fiberglass shell that is constructed and finished in a factory. Then, the shell is shipped to your home and placed into the hole in the ground dug by the contractor to fit the pool. In terms of installation expense, fiberglass pools are mid-range. They’re not as expensive as concrete, but are more expensive than vinyl.


  • Fiberglass pools are very durable. Unlike concrete, fiberglass is not a porous material, which is good in several ways. First, it means that the chemicals you use to clean your pool won’t be as harsh on fiberglass as they are on concrete. Second, bacteria like porous spaces because it’s easy for them to grow there. No pores means fewer bacteria, which means fewer chemicals in your pool. This means the water is easier on your skin, and reduces maintenance costs and requirements.
  • Fiberglass pool installation is much faster than concrete, clocking in at around a week.
  • Fiberglass pools cost less to maintain and require less work to maintain than concrete.



  • While fiberglass pools come in a large number of different designs, they are not customizable. You can only choose what the manufacturer has available.
  • Initially, fiberglass costs more than vinyl.



Vinyl pools are constructed using a vinyl liner. They are usually rectangular, but can be customized.


  • In terms of installation costs, they are easily the most affordable option.
  • They are customizable.



  • A vinyl liner will last 5-10 years before it needs to be replaced. This can cost up to $4,000. So while you save on initial installation costs, you will need to pay to replace the liner once every 5-10 years.
  • Vinyl liners can be punctured, and are expensive to repair.
  • Warranty coverage for vinyl pool liners is notoriously spotty.

To wrap it up, there’s no right or wrong choice, but fiberglass definitely has some big advantages such as quick installation and low lifetime cost of ownership and maintenance requirements.




Build a New Pool and Paying Off Your Bills

With a loan from HFS Financial, you can pay for both your bills and your new pool at the same time! Are you interested in learning more? Contact us today or fill out one of our simple60-second loan applications!

A Brief Comparison of Pool Building Materials

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