You have decided an inground pool would be perfect in your backyard. You can see it now! The kids playing together. Getting up early to swim laps before work. A night of relaxation at pool side, the grill fired up and some cold drinks in hand. The family spending time together. Laying out, catching some sun, and letting the work-week drift away as you float on the water. Having a pool at home can be an amazing experience.
Before you get to enjoy it, you need to have it built. Before you can have it built, you need to choose what *kind* of inground pool, as well as who you would like to have build it! These are very important things to consider, and because the needs are different for every area of the country, I’m going to focus on the Midwest, since we’re based out of Iowa.
Concrete Pools are often the first thing that come to mind when we think of an inground pool. They can be customized to any shape, size, and depth, and they can have a variety of different finishes to make them as intricate or simple as you please. While that sounds great, the reality is that those fancy shapes often create “dead spots,” or places where there is no water circulation. This leads to algae growth, and it would be something you battle for the life of your pool.
In places like the Midwest, you must also consider that we experience extreme cold AND extreme heat. You’ve seen the concrete roads crack and holes develop. The shifting of temperature will do the same thing to a concrete pool. If you’ve ever been in one, you’ve likely seen the cracks. This means you’ll be struggling with contaminants in your water (more money on chemicals), and also potential leaks. Every 5-7 years you need to drain the pool, have it acid washed, and re-finished. While concrete pools are possibly the most BEAUTIFUL option, they are also the most expensive and the most difficult to maintain.
Fiberglass Pools are good pools. They are very well-made these days and can be an attractive addition to any backyard. Low-maintenance is a big selling point on a fiberglass pool, just like on liner pools. They last a long time, and generally don’t need much upkeep on water or appearance, though you *may* find that the finish could be a challenge. In most cases, an easy to conquer challenge, but research the type of finish used on the pool you are thinking of. Lesser quality will be harder to repair, and more prone to spider cracks all over the surface.
The main issue people seem to have with fiberglass pools are the size limitations. The largest pool you can do would be 16×40 feet, up to 8 feet deep. If you want to do much diving, or are looking for an interestingly shaped pool, fiberglass may not be the option for you. They are also, on average, around $10k more than liner pools.
Inground Liner Pools have been around for a long time and have evolved into something with many options regarding beauty and style. With hundreds of liners to choose from, lighting, fountains, and other modifications, you can get a lot of the beauty you would expect from concrete pools for a much lower price. Liners typically have a warranty of 20 years, though they don’t all last that long. The typical complaint is bleaching of the liner, but if you keep your water balanced it shouldn’t be much of an issue. They are available in almost limitless shapes and sizes, they are low-maintenance, and fairly quick to install which helps keep the price lower than all other inground pool options. Liner pools typically start at 3′ deep and can go as deep as you wish!
Now that you have some pros and cons on concrete, fiberglass, and liner pools, weigh out your options, and what you want to use the pool for. Call some local stores or-better yet- stop into their showrooms and check them out. Talking to employees is a great way to get a feel for a place, as is seeing their showroom. Is it clean? Bright? Taken care-of? Does their inground pool expert know what they’re talking about? If they don’t take care of their place of business, it’s hard to believe they’re going to take care of you and your back yard.
Any questions? Comments? You KNOW I want to hear them? From those who already have had pools–what did you like and dislike about the one you chose?
Thanks for Reading!
Central Iowa Pool & Spa