What’s the Best Small Fiberglass Pool for Your Needs? Costs, Sizes, Features
Having your own swimming pool should be a dream within your reach, no matter how big or small your yard, or your budget.
Of course, everyone knows inground swimming pools are major investment. You should also know a swimming pool can provide years of use, tons of fun, and lifetimes of memories for the whole family -- if not for your entire neighborhood.
Have you been dreaming of getting a durable and low-maintenance inground fiberglass pool, but you're also currently dealing with the realities of a smaller budget or a tiny yard?
We specialize in fiberglass pools of all sizes and shapes here at River Pools, so we've written this guide to show you that you still have real options for lower-cost and smaller-sized pools that won't sacrifice fun or functionality in the least.
We want you to gain a better sense of how much your small fiberglass pool will really cost, and whether or not fiberglass is the right type of pool type for your backyard.
Let’s start with some of the smaller-sized fiberglass pool models available today...
Small Fiberglass Pool Sizes
Fiberglass pools come in many sizes, from 10-by-20 foot pools to 16-by-40 foot pools. Some are similar in size to a cocktail pool, or may be a bit larger.
There are different terms for these smaller-sized pools, which might also be plunge pools or spools, which are spa-like pools. However, we consider all our fiberglass pool models to be true full-size full-function inground pools, because you'll always be able to play with the entire array of pool options and pool accessories when putting together your perfect pool project.
For example, the smallest fiberglass pool we currently offer is the R20, which is 10 feet wide and 20 feet long. This swimming pool has bench seats on both ends and a spacious open interior.
The next smallest size that we offer is a 12x24 foot swimming pool, the R24.
We offer fiberglass pools in a variety of shapes in these smaller sizes, so let's look at some of the design options available to you when buying fiberglass pools in this size range.
You can also put together a customized pool project with our Design and Price tool, which can give you a rough estimate of the costs you can expect when installing a smaller fiberglass pool with any bells and whistles you desire. Just click the button below to give it a try:
Small Fiberglass Pool Shapes
You’ll most often be choosing between a rectangular pool or a freeform pool when you're looking to install a smaller fiberglass pool in your backyard.
Remember: because fiberglass pools are created in manufacturing plants from a pre-designed mold, you won’t be able to customize the shape or alter the design of your pool once you've selected the model you want.
Small freeform fiberglass pools
If you want a small fiberglass pool shell with a freeform design, you’ll have a wide range of options to choose from from a number of different quality fiberglass pool manufacturers.
The smallest freeform design available in the River Pools line is the I Series pool.
The I25 is 12 feet wide and 25 feet long, and is 5’2” at its deepest point.
The I25 also features a tanning ledge and deep end bench seating on both sides. We also offer a modified version of this model called the I25s, which includes a built-in spa.
The I25s is a wonderful choice for homeowners who ant both a pool and a spa, but don't have a lot of space in their backyards. The picture below is a rendering of the I25, and you can also check out the I Series model page to see all our models based on this design.
Fiberglass pool with tanning ledge
Small rectangular fiberglass pools
One great thing about rectangular pools is they can use automatic covers.
It's simple to add an automatic pool cover with hidden and protected tracks underneath a rectangular pool's coping. No one has to know it’s there until you activate it! This isn't the case with freeform pools, because the irregular edges would stretch and distort the solid block of fabric used by most auto covers.
Our R series model has several different sizes of rectangular swimming pools with bench seats on both ends, as well as plenty of space for swimming laps -- 20 to 24 feet, or even more based on which size you go with.
The R20 is the closest thing we offer to a fiberglass cocktail pool or a fiberglass plunge pool. Plunge pools are some of the smallest pools on the market, but they're also among the deepest, with at least 4 to 5 feet of depth regardless of how long or wide they are.
Fiberglass pool with seats
Fiberglass pool with tanning ledge and seating
Want to figure out what pool shape you should get? Our new Pool Shape Selector quiz will give you answers in just a few clicks. Tap the button below to start your personalized quiz:
What's the best small fiberglass pool for exercise?
Your laps may be a bit shorter, but you can get plenty of exercise and burn some serious calories in just about any small swimming pool, as long as it’s got enough space.
We think rectangular pools offer the most swim space for laps, especially if they don't have a tanning ledge taking up the entire width of one end of the pool.
For example, our D24 fiberglass pool has a tanning ledge that spans the full width of one end. The D24 is still great for leisurely swimming, playing, and relaxing, but the R24 provides a bit more space for swimming laps, because it swaps out a tanning ledge in favor of a small space for bench seating on the shallow end.
Choosing a model like this can maximize your exercise area in a small space.
If you think that you'd rather have a narrower, longer lap pool that can still be budget-friendly, you might want to look into a shipping container pool.
What's the best small fiberglass pool for social gatherings?
If you’re looking to hang out with friends or entertain your family in a fiberglass pool, you might want to consider a model such as our I25s -- remember the one with the tanning ledge, bench seating, and built-in spa?
If you'd rather have multiple entertainment options, from reading to playing games to relaxing in a spa, look for a fiberglass pool that has these types of features.
If you don’t want a built-in spa, you might nonetheless want to consider a model with bench seating and a built-in tanning ledge, like our D24, which is versatile and has something for everyone to enjoy.
How deep are small fiberglass pools?
Typically, small fiberglass pools up to 12 feet wide and 24 feet long will be a bit more than five feet deep. For example, our R20 (10'x20') swimming pool is 5’2” deep, and our D24 (12'x24') swimming pool is 5’3” deep.
Keep in mind that small fiberglass pool depths also vary by manufacturer, model, and size.
Ask the manufacturer for the exact dimensions of each model to compare and decide what's right for you. There should be dig specs with these details readily available for every model.
How much does a small fiberglass pool cost?
Depending on where you live, your yard, and the installation package you choose, your small inground fiberglass pool might cost between $40,000 to $55,000 or more.
The more features you choose, and the more work needed to allow your yard to accommodate an inground pool, the more you should expect to pay.
Keep in mind: features like coping and patio can also add to the cost of your project, depending on which materials that you want used in their construction.
Small fiberglass pool prices can vary by manufacturer, even if they're roughly the same size and shape, so please feel free to shop around so you can find the best pool for your price range.
We want to emphasize quality. We never recommend choosing your fiberglass pool based on its price alone.
Make sure you also do some research on the manufacturing process that goes into creating your fiberglass pool shell before you buy, and don't forget to ask questions about the warranty, the quality of any manufacturing materials, and anything else that might concern you.
How much space do you need to install a small fiberglass pool?
You’re going to need enough space for the pool itself, which will probably be between 10 by 20 feet or 12 by 24 feet for a small pool.
You'll also need to consider the space that you will need to walk around your pool as well as the patio area that goes next to it.
To give you an idea of the patio space requirements for an inground pool, most people want between 600 and 900 square feet of patio space next to and around their swimming pools.
Also, it’s important to consider any setback rules that apply to your property.
For example, you may be required to keep your pool at least 5 feet away from your property line, so this will be an important factor when choosing your inground pool placement.
You can check with your city or county development services to find out your area's setback rules.
How long does it take to install a small fiberglass pool?
One great thing about fiberglass pool installations - they’re lightning fast.
Okay, maybe not that fast, but they are much quicker to finish than any other inground pool. In fact, your pool will be in the ground and full of water within as little as two days.
To give you a better idea of the small fiberglass pool installation timeline, you can expect your fiberglass pool project to be 100% completed within 2 to 4 weeks.
In comparison, vinyl liner pools take 4-8 weeks to install, and concrete pools take 3-6 months to build.
You can read more about fiberglass pool installations here.
Where can I get a small fiberglass pool?
If a small fiberglass pool sounds like the right fit for you, feel free to take a look at our catalog of models to see what kinds of options you’ll have in terms of shapes, sizes, and features.
If you’re interested in learning more about the cost of a fiberglass pool, you can try out our pool pricing calculator below or contact an independent installer to get the most accurate quote for your pool project.
Want to see about how much that cost will be with all your favorite pool accessories?
Use our Design and Price Tool to walk through your options and approximate price!
If you want to learn more about how to get started on your journey to a fiberglass swimming pool, be sure to download your free ebook below. If you have any questions at all, feel free to leave us a comment, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Editor's note: This article was updated on October 18, 2023.