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Inground Pool Cost of Ownership: Fiberglass vs Concrete vs Vinyl

Inground Pool Cost of Ownership: Fiberglass vs Concrete vs Vinyl

Fiberglass Pool Information  |  Fiberglass vs Concrete vs Vinyl Liner  |  Cost and Pricing

If you are considering the purchase of an inground pool, you're already researching how much the pool will cost upfront. It's important! However, you’re probably also wondering what maintenance and repair costs you can expect to encounter as the years pass on.

As you’ll see, the answer to that question largely depends on the type of pool that you choose: concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass.

Which Type of Pool Costs the Least, Long-Term?

Cost of Owning a Concrete Pool

Concrete Pools have the highest cost of ownership. This is due to several factors.

First, because the surface of a concrete pool is extremely porous, it harbors algae and this means two things to concrete pool owners: more chemical usage and running the pump and filter for longer periods of time.

Of course, consuming both more chemicals and electricity equals more money spent. Also, because concrete pools require more maintenance, many concrete pool owners chose to have a pool company service their pool on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Secondly, concrete pools require acid washing every three to six years at a cost of around $500 a pop depending on the location. This is another consequence of algae embedding into the pool surface. Acid washing is a treatment that requires draining the pool and cleaning the surface with a mild acid solution to kill spores and therefore prevent what’s known as an algae bloom.

Finally, most concrete pools require resurfacing and re-tiling about every 10–15 years at a cost of $10,000 or more.

Cost of Owning a Vinyl Liner Pool

Vinyl Liner Pools are unlike concrete pools in that they do not require the time or money investment to battle algae. However, despite their low initial cost, vinyl pool owners should be prepared to fork out $4,000 or more every 5–12 years when it’s time to replace the liner.

What about the 20-year liner warranty you ask? Read the fine print, my friend. It only covers where the liner is seamed together and then on an extremely pro-rated schedule…and then the warranty does not cover labor to replace the liner or the cost of water to re-fill the pool.

Cost of Owning a Fiberglass Pool

Fiberglass Pools have the lowest cost of ownership of any inground pool for several reasons. First, fiberglass pools require less chemicals and filter run time because the surface of the pool is non-porous therefore inhibiting the growth of algae. This equates to about 70% less chemical usage than concrete pools. Furthermore, because fiberglass pools are so easy to maintain, fiberglass pool owners typically opt to maintain their own pool instead of hiring a pool service company.

Second, the majority of fiberglass pools that are properly built and maintained require no significant maintenance to the pool shell for at least the first 20 or 30 years. With no liner to replace or need to acid wash, this leaves the pool owner with only the year to year costs of electricity and chemicals.


10 year pool cost projection

Without question, each type of inground pool has its advantages. But when it comes to lifetime cost of ownership, fiberglass pools take the cake…hands down!

If you’re interested in learning more about fiberglass pools, please take a minute and check out more of our blog articles, or visit our educational video library. If you have a question, there's a good chance we've written about it.

Feel free to leave a question or comment below. To learn more about the different types of pool options available, be sure to check out our free ebook: Comparing Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Liner Pools in the Modern Age.

which type of pool is right for you? FIBERGLASS ... CONCRETE ... VINYL LINER? OUR FREE GUIDE HAS ANSWERS - GET IT  HERE!

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Editor’s note (5/3/24):  
This article was written by Jason Hughes, (Founder, River Pools Virginia, Genesis Course Instructor). The opinions expressed are those of the author. Any pricing information is based on information that was readily available at the time of publication.

River Pools is a brand of inground fiberglass pools produced via the River Pools division of the manufacturing facility in Fortville, IN. While our expertise is in fiberglass pool manufacturing, we are part of an extensive network of experts relating to all things inground pools. Our own collective experience from over the years spans manufacturing, project design, installation, and pool service. We often tap into this knowledge base and share information freely with homeowners, just like you, who are considering having a swimming pool installed in your backyard.