Is Buying a Used Fiberglass Pool Shell a Good Idea?
Yes, people do buy used fiberglass swimming pools. And no, I’m not kidding. How does it happen?
In most cases, a ‘used’ fiberglass pool is one that was partially installed, got damaged during the process, and then had to be taken back to the factory for repair (as the repair was too much to do on the job site itself).
Also, in a very few cases, fully installed fiberglass pool shells have been removed from the ground in order for the homeowners to install another pool or change the backyard design in general. But because fiberglass shells can last 50+ years, this typically isn't an issue.
So let’s assume you’re considering the purchase of a used fiberglass shell. What are the things you should look for?
Three main considerations
1. Has the pool cracked previously?
This is almost always noticeable, as there is typically a discoloration of sorts on the inside or outside of the shell showing where the damage was. Just because a shell was previously damaged does not necessarily mean the pool is any weaker in that particular area. In fact, because of the way fiberglass shells are made, the pool may be even stronger than it was before in the repaired area.
2. What will the warranty be?
This question is critical. Most fiberglass pool shells have a minimum of a 25-year structural warranty. If you plan on buying a used shell, be sure to get this warranty in writing but also find out exactly who (the original manufacturer or pool builder) will be doing the repair if one is ever needed.
3. How does the pool look cosmetically?
Depending on the type of pool and the quality of the repair, the cosmetic finish and look of a repair can vary drastically. In some cases, you may find the repair almost blends perfectly. In other cases, it might stick out like a sore thumb. Either way, this is certainly a consideration you’ll want to make.
How much should a used shell cost?
Ahh yes, very good question to consider. Although there is no industry standard to answer this question, the range here can vary quite a bit. For example, a pool shell that has been in the ground for years should be at 50–75% off of the regular retail shell cost in my opinion. If the pool shell is still new and just slightly damaged, and if the repair looks great, then the discount may only be as low as 5–15% off the regular price (of the shell itself).
So there you have it folks, your guide to buying a used fiberglass pool shell. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts below.