Fiberglass pools are easier and quicker to install than most other inground pool options. 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 come in various shapes and sizes, so you can surely find one to suit your needs and your aesthetic preferences. So, how much does a fiberglass pool cost? Let’s break it down.
Price Ranges and Average Cost for Fiberglass Pools
In this section, I will outline the broad cost range of fiberglass pools. I will use the national average and the minimum and maximum costs to calculate this price range. These bits of information can help you better assess quotes you receive and provide a useful starting point for asking the right questions.
About Fiberglass Pool Quotes
Not all fiberglass pool quotes you get from swimming pool companies are the same. I always recommend asking for a quote that includes labor hours, installation, and any other costs you may be expecting. Many homeowners don’t factor in finishing touches for their pool areas, such as decking or landscaping. Details like these can all add substantial costs to the final project budget.
When you receive a quote from a swimming pool installer, you’ll want to see a cost breakdown of the labor and materials. Ask how long they expect installation to take, how many 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, which oftentimes, it’s not.
Approximate Fiberglass Pool Cost Ranges to Expect
Price ranges for installing a fiberglass swimming pool will vary based on your location and the quality of the pool itself. However, there are some primary ranges we can look at to get a feel for the cost of a pool and how much you should expect to budget.
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, including customization. Pool costs average about $15,000 for the labor and roughly $30,000 for the pool and associated materials. So altogether, you are looking at a rough average of about $45,000.
Cost Analysis of Fiberglass Pools by Size
While the cost of your pool will vary based on your location, the pool size is a major determining factor. These are some of the different types of fiberglass pools and their average price range.
Above ground fiberglass pools: $20,000 and $62,000. A higher amount than most above ground pools because fiberglass frames are much more durable, so they will last longer and require less maintenance.
Fiberglass plunge pool: $15,000 to $40,000. These are the most affordable option because of their size. They are generally 6 feet by 12 feet and about 4 to 6 feet deep.
Inground fiberglass pool: $25,000 to $60,000
Saltwater fiberglass pool: $20,000 to $65,000
Fiberglass lap pools: $30,000 to $65,000
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 of each extra square foot. As a general guideline, average labor is around $5.50 per square foot. But in places where the cost of living is higher, expect to pay up to twice that amount.
In addition to the cost of the fiberglass shell, there is the shipping cost to consider, excavation of your build site, and equipment such as the pool pump, filter, and salt chlorine generator (if you’re thinking about getting a saltwater pool). Additional labor to backfill around the pool is less than the cost of the initial excavation. 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. I find that many homeowners 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 swimming pool.
Installation Cost by Method
For some homeowners, installing the pool themselves is an ideal option, but there is no shame in hiring a reputable pool builder. Below I look at the different types of installations you have to choose from and what to look for with each one from basic installations to complex jobs.
DIY and Assisted Installs
A full DIY install calls for the homeowner to manage every part of the installation process, from choosing the pool, arranging for shipping, and gathering all 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 can advise them 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 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 swimming pool’s perimeter. Many homeowners who are on a tighter budget opt for this installation as it allows them to add a fence and other finishing touches later. Concrete patios are quick to install but 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 will range 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 (anywhere from $20 to $200 or more), and you’ll need concrete tools if you plan to install a concrete deck or retaining wall. Other costs include the electrical work that should be performed by a licensed electrician and the removal of dirt leftover 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.
Fiberglass Pool Shell Prices
Sometimes, a homeowner will purchase just a fiberglass pool shell and perform the installation themselves, which is a viable option for those motivated to work hard and pay attention to the small details of the process. Shell prices will have some variation, but here is a basic breakdown.
- A large shell over 35 feet costs $15,000 to $27,000
- Medium shells between 27 feet and 34 feet average $13,000 to $20,000
- Small shells under 26 feet 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 many additional costs you’ll want to consider.
Common Add-Ons and Cost
If you’re a homeowner looking to budget for a pool, the little extras often start to raise the price. For example, many of us forget about filling the pool once installed. This process can take many gallons of water and hours to complete. Not all fiberglass pools are ready for immediate use, and the time spent 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. Pool deck installation can range from $3,000 to $10,000 or more.
Landscaping and other finishing touches are another cost to consider, and in some cases, adding a fence is required to comply with local building codes. Fences typically cost around $4-6 per linear foot.
Lighting is another factor to consider. While lighting and a perimeter tile often come included in a quote, lighting upgrades can cost extra.
Many pool owners want heat pumps to keep their pool warm in colder weather. To purchase and install a heat pump costs around $2,000-$6,500.
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 optional upgrades for your pool, but many homeowners find they provide excellent water circulation and a cleaner pool.
Many fiberglass pool owners are also asking about beach entries these days. A fiberglass pool with a beach entry will cost you about an additional $7,000 on top of the cost for the rest of the pool.
Depending on the landscaping 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.
Fiberglass Pool Maintenance Costs
Fiberglass inground pools require the same basic maintenance that a standard swimming pool needs. They actually are one of the lowest maintenance options you could buy. This also means they cost less to operate.
They require the same cleaning techniques as a standard pool. This includes consistent cleaning, brushing, and sanitizing. Just keep in mind not to use many harsh chemicals when scrubbing the liner of the pool, or you will risk damaging the gel coat.
Overall, expect to pay around $40-$80 a month if you plan to do all the pool maintenance yourself or $80-$200 if you plan to hire a professional for the job.
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Cost Comparison Between Fiberglass, Concrete, and Vinyl Pools
The type of pool has a big impact on cost. 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.
Fiberglass and concrete pools (also known as gunite pools) cost about the same upfront, but over time, 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.
I cover concrete pools more extensively in my inground pool cost breakdown, so head over there if you want more details to compare fiberglass and concrete pools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a fiberglass pool worth the money?
In my professional opinion, a fiberglass pool is one of the best choices for an inground or an above-ground pool. Are they more expensive? Yes, but you get what you pay for. They require a bit of work to install, but fiberglass pools require less maintenance overall and last a very long time.
How long will a fiberglass pool last?
Fiberglass pools from some quality companies can last over 40 years. Of course, the lifespan always depends on the quality of the product and how good the pool owner is at upkeep. But I would say they last anywhere from 20-40 years on average.