Looking for options when it comes to inground pools in Katy or Houston? Let us build you your dream pool.
So, you’ve finally gotten tired of the emptiness of your backyard and decided to get a swimming pool. What a great idea! But when you started asking around and looking up online for a pool builder, it only confused you more. Who knew there were so many things to take into consideration and pick from? And there are different types of inground pools? As a top-tier specialist in inground pools in the Katy and Houston area, we can help you.
Now, we can’t give you all the information in one post (that would turn into an encyclopedia). But we can talk about one of the first choices you’re going to have to make when you decide to get a swimming pool in your backyard: What kind of pool do you want?
There are three main types of inground pools you can get, and they all have their pros and cons. Be sure to talk to your pool contractor about your options and what might be the best for your space. In this article, we’re going to talk about which one is better: concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass?
Concrete pools are pretty straightforward: you dig a hole, build a cage made of rebar (steel bars), and the cement mix is shot through a gun nozzle (which is why these pools are also called gunite). The shell needs a 28-day period for curing to reach its full potential and strength.
A concrete pool can cost $50,000-$100,000, depending on the region, and additional landscaping and accessory costs can up this price significantly.
Concrete pools don’t have any restrictions when it comes to size, depth, or shape. So, you are free to pick any design you want; the same goes for the materials, too. Concrete works great with any plaster, paint, or tiles you might choose. Concrete pools also blend in nicely in natural settings, which is why concrete pools are the go-to pools for outdoor showcases. They tend to look like a natural part of the landscape. Concrete pools are also very durable, and you don’t have to worry about scratching it with sharp objects.
Concrete pools have a very long installation process; including the month-long curing period, building a concrete pool can take up to 2-4 months from start to finish. The material itself is very porous, which means it can easily absorb anything and is harder to clean. The cost of chemicals and filtration is going to be higher to prevent algae build-up in the pores. And regular exposure to chemicals and changes in the pH levels means your pool will need to be re-finished every 10-15 years, and resurfacing and re-tiling can cost thousands of dollars.
Vinyl pools are made of, well, vinyl. These pools have a sheet vinyl between the water and the pool structure. The bead (the top edge of a vinyl liner) locks itself onto a track located underneath the coping at deck level. Putting together a vinyl pool is much like putting together a model, as you have to fit the pieces together and secure them.
Depending on the region, size, shape, thickness of the vinyl, and many other factors, the initial cost of a vinyl pool will be around $25,000-$40,000.
First thing first, vinyl pools are much cheaper than fiberglass or concrete pools when you first install them. They can also be built within a month or two, which is a lot faster than a concrete pool. Just like with the concrete pools, you have design freedom and you can customize the shape, size, and depth of the pool easily (beware that this will change the price, especially custom shapes). With vinyl, you also get a very smooth finish, except for the ridge where one material meets another.
Vinyl pools usually have a white, plastic-y look to them, so unless yours is a fancy, customized one, there’s a big chance it won’t look very aesthetically pleasing. The biggest issue with vinyl pools, however, is how easily damaged they are. Vinyl liners are usually 20 to 30 mils thick, that’s less than a millimeter, which is very thin. Anything from a piece of glass, a tree branch, to a tiny bug can tear it with no issues; when that happens, you will have to get a liner replacement, which will cost around $4,000. Even if it’s not damaged, you still need to get a liner replacement for your vinyl pool every 5-9 years. Vinyl pools are also not compatible with salt water systems.
Fiberglass pools are one-piece structures made entirely of fiberglass materials. Because they are made in a mold in a factory, you have limited options when it comes to customizing your pool. The shell is lowered onto layers of fiberglass and resin, and then the outside is backfilled with sand or gravel. The pool is finished with a gelcoat that hardens on the surface and gives you a smooth end result.
The initial cost of a fiberglass pool will be around $45,000-$85,000, and extra features and upgrades will up this price.
One of the most attractive features of a fiberglass pool is that it is low maintenance. The gelcoat surface is smooth to the touch and nonporous, which makes it more algae-resistant. Algae resistance means less need for chemicals, and that lowers the cost significantly. With a fiberglass pool, you won’t have to worry about resurfacing or replacing the liners, as it requires little to no repair. During a hot Houston summer, you can start your fiberglass project and in May, and it’ll be ready to swim in by June. Your 10-year maintenance cost shouldn’t exceed $4,000.
The biggest handicap that comes with choosing a fiberglass pool is the limitations in variety; since the pools are created inside molds, you will have limited options for shapes and sizes. In case you need a repair done in your pool, color matching might also create a problem due to different colored finishes used by different manufacturers. Even if you choose to go with the same manufacturer, there might still be a hue/shade difference. And despite the low lifetime maintenance cost, the initial cost of the pool is on the higher side, closer to concrete pools.