Thinking about purchasing a Swimming Pool for your backyard and don’t know which type is the best for you. Here are a few of my thoughts on Fiberglass vs Gunite Swimming Pools. We have installed each type hundreds of times in and around Mobile Al areas as far over as Foley, Fairhope, Spanish Fort, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. Each area will present its own set of construction challenges.
Lets start with the pros and cons of each type:
Fiberglass Pools are easy and quick to install. There’s no question about this. Fiberglass pools also have a nice smooth surface. The Fiberglass manufacturers mostly offer lifetime warranties on shells as well as 15 years warranties on the Gel Coat surface of the pool. The fiberglass pools are also manufactured in a controlled facility which usually produces a uniform product. The problem when shopping for a fiberglass pool is going to be limited shape options. Tanning Ledges and other add on fiberglass structures are always going to be a problem because they are not manufactured as a part of the original shell. You basically have two structure connected. That connection area can have problems.
Gunite Pools on the other hand aren’t as quick to install. Where the Gunite Pool will take 4-8 weeks to install, the fiberglass pool will usually take 3-4 weeks for a completed product. Gunite Pool can be built in any shape and size unlike Fiberglass. Your tanning ledges, spas and seating areas are a part of the original structure so there are usually no problems with this. One of the problems that usually occurs with Gunite Pools is the pool will have to be refinished at some point in the 8-15 year range, though this will give you a much wanted face lift. Yes, the cost sucks and usually is between 4k-7k to plaster a gunite pool. The good in this is that you can refinish a Gunite Pool. What are you going to do when your fiberglass pool starts to look rough?
My final thoughts on Gunite vs. Fiberglass:
Take into consideration how long your going to be in your home, what your total budget is and how tight access is. For the homeowner that will be in their home for 5-15 years with good access, I would recommend a fiberglass pool. If your in your retirement home or a home that will be passed down to the next generation and you can afford it, go Gunite.