The Cost of Going with a Vinyl Liner Pool vs Fiberglass Pools
We have written a blog on this subject a few years ago, and after visiting the Pool and Spa show in Atlantic City I felt that the topic needed to be revisited. I had heard that some fiberglass pool manufacturers who also have vested interest in vinyl liner pools manufacturing are requesting that their fiberglass pool dealers install vinyl liner pools also. I have no problem with that as long as the sales person keeps the customer's best interest in mind when working with them. I have installed vinyl liner pools myself and under the right conditions, I would do it now.
The Issue of Money
Here is the problem. A lot of times the customer is looking to spend around 30K on a pool and in most cases that will not happen with a fiberglass pool. Now the salesman, if he has integrity, will first look at the fiberglass options and let the customer decide if they are willing to spend the extra 10 to 15K for a much better swimming pool and investment.
Most sales people are looking at the commission that they will make, and are willing to sell the consumer whatever they ask for, or downgrade what they are selling to make the sale happen. I have found that in a lot of cases the customer will wait a year or two to get the right product. Every year I have at least a half dozen people contact me who are people I've given a quote to on a fiberglass pool a year of two earlier. When I originally talked with them the price was out of their budget and they waited until they had the extra money.
I could have easily sold them a vinyl liner pool and walked away putting money in my pocket. We found out early that our vinyl liner customers although happy are nowhere near as happy as our fiberglass pool owners.
The problem that I see here is the customer says we have 30 to 35K to work with and then the pool builder immediately starts to sell the customer on a vinyl liner swimming pool. When in most cases the customer would have bought a fiberglass pool had they been educated properly. I have also seen this in the gunite industry also. There is a large gunite company that sells fiberglass pools as well as gunite. Most of the time when they meet with a customer they will actually try and talk the customer out of a fiberglass pool and the try and sell them on gunite because again gunite is much cheaper and they feel that it is easier to sell something cheap over quality. Not all gunite pool companies put in cheap pools so keep in mind when brand A gunite pool company quotes you 35K and brand B company quotes you 50K, there is usually a reason for the big difference in price. Remember this is an extension of your home, not something you can just get rid of if you are not happy.
What they don’t tell the customer that after 7 to 10 years they will of spent the money that they saved on their vinyl or gunite pool in refinishing work, chemicals, electricity and on top of that they will spend much more time maintaining the pool. And guess what, they have now spent just as much money on their vinyl liner pool or gunite and they still have a vinyl liner pool or gunite pool.
There is a reason we have had customers who had a vinyl liner swimming pool have us replace the pool with a fiberglass swimming pool. Most people when they call or email us looking for a price to replace their vinyl liner swimming pool with a fiberglass pool get sticker shock because they assume the hole is already there and all we have to do is set the fiberglass pool in its place. It is not quite that easy. We will get around 20 to 30 requests a year to replace a vinyl liner pool swimming pool with a fiberglass pool. The cost is usually around 60K and for this reason only a handful of people will go ahead and do it. Once they make the switch though they are very happy. We have replaced gunite pools too with a fiberglass pool. I have yet to hear a story or have yet to get a call asking if we could replace their fiberglass pool with a vinyl liner pool or gunite pool.
I only ask that you consider everything when purchasing your swimming pool. Fiberglass swimming pools are not for everyone, but don’t let someone convince that you can’t afford one by pre qualifying you and then trying to convince you that vinyl or gunite is better for you and that you will be saving a lot of money. In most cases that is just not true.
If you'd like to learn more about the different pool options available to you, be sure to check out our free eBook, "Comparing Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Liner Pools in the Modern Age".