The cost of a fiberglass pool will vary based on where you live, but there are some general guidelines to help you estimate the cost range you can expect. Fiberglass pools have relatively short installation times and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can surely find one to suit your needs and your aesthetic preferences.
Cost Range for Fiberglass Pools
When we talk about the cost of a fiberglass pool, we’ll be looking at ranges based on the national average, and then minimum or maximum amounts. These bits of information can help you better assess quotes you receive and provide a helpful starting point for asking the right questions.
Not all fiberglass pool quotes get created with equal amounts of information, so be sure to ask for a quote that includes labor, installation, and other extras that are important to you. Many homeowners forget about the finishing touches for their pool areas such as decking or landscaping, and these details can all add substantial cost to the final project budget.
When you receive a quote from a reputable swimming pool installer, you’ll want to see a cost breakdown of the labor and materials. Ask about how long they expect installation to take, and how many person-hours get budgeted for in the quote, the pool warranty, and the quality of the materials. It’s also good to ask about how the area surrounding the pool ultimately gets finished, and if that work is also included in the quote as often, it’s not.
Approximate Cost Ranges to Expect
Any cost ranges for a fiberglass swimming pool will vary based on your location and the pool itself. However, there are some basic ranges we can look at to get a feel for the cost of a pool and what type of budget is required.
For example, in Alabama and Florida, the average cost is between $15,000 and $55,000. The range for a pool in California is between $20,000 and $60,000, and in Michigan, you can expect to pay between $25,000 and $65,000.
With that said, it’s impossible to pin down an exact amount as there are so many variables to consider, and customization options available. Pool costs average about $15,000 for the labor and roughly $30,000 for the pool and associated materials.
A Cost Analysis of Pools by Size
While the cost of your pool will vary based on your location, the size of your pool is a major determining factor as well. There are different types of fiberglass pools available, including:
- Above ground
- Infinity pools
- Plunge pool
- Below ground
- Lap pools
- Zero entry
The type and size of the pool impact the cost, but there are general price ranges you can use for budgeting purposes and as a reference when you receive quotes. Above ground style fiberglass pools typically range between $20,000 and $62,000, which is higher than many other styles of above ground pools but ultimately lasts longer and requires less maintenance.
Lap pools typically cost between $30,000 and $65,000 and saltwater pools hover between $20,000 and $65,000. Plunge pools are the most inexpensive option with a cost between $15,000 and $40,000, which is an excellent option for smaller properties and those on a more strict budget. A plunge pool is often around 6 feet by 12 feet and about 4 to 6 feet deep.
Labor Costs and Materials
With fiberglass pool shells ranging from $4,500 to $30,000, you’ll want to think carefully about the size of your pool and the additional costs that come along with each extra square foot. As a general guideline, labor is somewhere around $5.50 per square foot on average, but in places where the cost of living is higher, you can expect to pay up to twice that amount.
In addition to the cost of the fiberglass shell, there is a shipping cost to consider, excavation of your build site, and components such as the filter pump. Additional labor to backfill around the pool is less than the cost of the initial excavation. Still, then you’ll also need to factor in the price of decking material and other necessary landscaping work.
Many homeowners want to install a fiberglass pool as a DIY project, but this requires a lot of time, equipment, and specialized knowledge to execute well. Many homeowners find that they prefer to do the decking and other landscaping work themselves once the fiberglass pool is professionally installed.
As part of your quote from an installer, you’ll want a breakdown of the labor cost separate from the materials. Most installers will budget for a five-person team to install a fiberglass pool, and you’ll often see labor estimates based on the square foot measurements of your pool.
The Cost of Different Installation Types
For some homeowners, installing their pool is an ideal option, but for many of us, it’s best to hire a reputable pool builder. Below we’ll look at the different types of installations you have to choose from and what to look for with each one.
DIY and Assisted Installs
A full DIY install requires the homeowner to manage every part of the installation process from choosing the pool, arranging for shipping, and gathering all of the necessary materials and tools. DIY installs also require that you learn about local building and safety codes, take out permits as needed, and adhere to local ordinances during the installation.
Assisted installs are a popular option for homeowners that wish to save a little money by doing parts of the process themselves or working alongside a contractor who advises during the installation. Assisted installs typically include the pump, pool, and filter system along with all of the plumbing work.
In an assisted install, the homeowner will perform the majority of the excavation and the finishing work, including backfilling around the pool once it gets installed. This process leaves the least familiar and critical parts of the process to the professionals, including setting the shell in place, leveling the pool, and installing all of the plumbing related systems.
Standard installation generally includes a concrete deck that ranges from 400 to 800 square feet around the perimeter of the swimming pool. Many homeowners who are on a tighter budget opt for this installation as it leaves them free to add a fence and other finishing touches at a later date. Concrete patios are quick to install but do require some curing time and simple maintenance.
Some companies will include fencing as part of their standard installation package if local building codes require it. If you don’t see fencing listed on your quotes, it doesn’t hurt to ask how much it costs so you can use your pool sooner and comply fully with all local building ordinances.
The turn-key installation refers to everything needed for a basic fiberglass pool, which also covers electrical costs and fencing. This option is perfect for homeowners that want to hire out all aspects of their fiberglass pool installation, including the final touches like decking and landscaping.
What this installation covers may vary from one installer to another, so verify what services come packaged along with the pool installation. In general, this option ensures that you get a quality pool installation, and the cost of this ranges from $48,000 to $80,000.
Additional Costs for a DIY Install
For a DIY install, you’re going to need several different tools and lots of time to work your way through the various steps. You’ll need to have some plumbing tools on hand in addition to some heavy equipment for excavation and backfilling once the pool is in place.
Permits may also cost extra in your area, and you’ll need concrete tools if you plan to install a concrete deck or retaining wall. Other costs include the electrical work that often gets performed by a licensed electrician and a way to get rid of the dirt left over from the excavation. Having dirt hauled away isn’t typically a huge expense, but finding a place for it to go can be challenging in some areas.
Using heavy equipment can also take a toll on other paving in the area, such as your sidewalk or your driveway. You may need to repair cracked concrete or asphalt and make a broad path for moving and placing the pool.
Topsoil is another cost as you will likely find that “rough grade” soil isn’t suitable for planting grass or sod. You’ll want to look for finished-grade soil or something better for your topmost layer where you want to add landscaping plants. Keep in mind that you don’t have to complete all of the landscaping and other finishing touches at once when you do the project yourself. You can take on these smaller projects as time and funds permit.
Pricing for Fiberglass Pool Shells
There are times when a homeowner will purchase just a fiberglass pool shell and perform the installation themselves, which is a viable option for those who are motivated to work hard and pay attention to the small details of the process. Shell prices will have some variation, but in general, you can expect:
- A large shell over 35 feet to cost $15,000 to $27,000
- Medium shells between 27 feet and 34 feet average $13,000 to $20,000
- Small shells under 26 feet to cost between $10,000 and $19,000
Buying the shell doesn’t necessarily include any of the accessories or other components to the pool itself, and the installation process involves a number of additional costs you’ll want to consider.
Common Add-Ons and Cost
If you’re a homeowner looking to budget for a pool, it’s often the little extras that start to raise the price. Many of us forget about filling the pool once it’s installed, for example, and this process can take many gallons of water and hours to complete. Not all fiberglass pools are ready for immediate use, and this time that passes is another non-monetary cost homeowners overlook.
Decking material comes in many forms, but if you get a concrete deck, you’ll have to wait for it to cure before using your pool area. Landscaping and other finishing touches are another cost to consider, and in some cases adding a fence is a requirement in order to comply with local building codes.
Lighting is another factor to consider, and while lighting and perimeter tile often come included in a quote, lighting upgrades can cost extra. Accessories are another cost to keep in mind, as a secure pool cover, cleaning tools, pool chemicals, diving boards, and ladders can add up quickly.
Adding other water features to your pool will also raise the cost, and if you have a hot tub, you can expect extra heating costs for that as well. Water jets are definitely optional upgrades for your pool, but many homeowners find they provide excellent water circulation and a cleaner pool.
Depending on the landscaping that you need around your pool, a retaining wall might be necessary if your pool is slightly above the ground. Other patio furniture and water toys are another additional cost to consider and what and how much of these you need will depend mainly on your tastes and space.
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A Cost Comparison Between Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Pools
A vinyl liner pool typically costs about $10,000 less than you might expect to pay for a fiberglass pool; however, you’ll need to replace the liner every 5 to 9 years. The cost of a vinyl liner pool runs between $22,000 and $50,000 depending on the size and materials.
Concrete and fiberglass cost about the same upfront, but over time the fiberglass is cheaper thanks to the lower maintenance and non-porous qualities that keep water, pool chemicals, and heat from leaching out of the pool over time.
The average cost of a concrete pool will run somewhere around $30,000 and $200,000 on the high end, depending on size and many other variables. In comparison, a fiberglass pool averages around $33,000.
For a full cost analysis of all inground pools, read my complete inground pool cost breakdown.