Fiberglass Pool Cost Breakdown

Fiberglass pools are easier and quicker to install than most other inground pool options. They are also incredibly durable and require very little maintenance. The cost of a fiberglass pool will vary based on where you live, but some general guidelines can 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 aesthetic preferences. So, how much does a fiberglass pool cost? Let’s break it down.


Main Takeaways

  • A full installation of a fiberglass pool costs around $45,000, but it can cost more or less depending on the size of the pool and other factors.
  • The cost of labor and excavation is another huge factor that dramatically affects the cost of a fiberglass pool.
  • DIY or assisted installation is the cheapest way to install a fiberglass pool.
  • You will also need to consider the cost of add-ons like a pool cover, stairs, filters, pool heater, etc.

Price Ranges and Average Cost for Fiberglass Pools

On average, a fiberglass pool costs about $45,000. Below, I use the national average and the minimum and maximum costs to calculate a price range that most homeowners can expect. That being said, the final cost will vary widely depending on many factors. Let’s dive into the details of what affects the price of fiberglass pools.

About Fiberglass Pool Quotes

Not all fiberglass pool quotes 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 often 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; 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

Since fiberglass pool shells range drastically in cost 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 complete 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, filter system, and plumbing work.

In an assisted install, the homeowner will perform most 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 plumbing-related systems. The cost of DIY or assisted installs can vary greatly depending on how much work you have a contractor do and what type of equipment you hire for the job. You can expect to pay anywhere between $25,000 to $45,000 for an assisted install of a fiberglass pool.

Standard

Standard installation generally includes a concrete deck that ranges from 400 to 800 square feet around the swimming pool’s perimeter. Many homeowners 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. Standard installation costs around $30,000 to $40,000, but the cost depends on where you live and how big the pool is.

Turn-Key

The turn-key installation includes 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 with the pool installation. This option generally ensures a quality pool installation, and the cost will range from $48,000 to $80,000.

Additional Costs for a DIY Install

Here are some other costs that you will likely have to deal with if you plan to DIY install.

Tools

For a DIY install, you will need several tools and lots of time to work through the various steps. Once the pool is in place, you’ll need to have some plumbing tools on hand. You may also need concrete tools for concrete decking and retaining walls.

Excavation And Landscaping

You will need to invest in renting heavy equipment for excavation if you plan to fully DIY install. You may need to clear some space in your yard so that the equipment has room to dig into your yard. Heavy equipment can also take a toll on other paving areas, such as your sidewalk or driveway, so landscaping work may be necessary after the project is completed.

You’ll also need to remove leftover dirt 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.

Topsoil

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. Remember that you don’t have to complete all 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.

Other Installation Costs To Consider

Here are some additional costs to consider when installing a fiberglass pool.

Permits

You should check if your district requires permits for building a pool. Permits may also cost extra in your area (anywhere from $20 to $200 or more).

Electrical Work

Electrical work should always be done by a licensed professional. Some electrical work will be required to connect the pump, pool timer, pool heater, and other components.

Insurance

Once the pool is built, you will also need to include the pool in your home insurance policy, which may increase your monthly rates.

Property Tax Implications

Inground pools increase the value of your home, which also generally increases your property tax rates, so this is another cost to consider when installing a new fiberglass pool.

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 of 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 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.

Accessories are another cost to keep in mind; as an automatic pool cover (check out my research on the best 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 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 of the rest of the swimming 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 as a standard swimming pool. They are actually 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 remember not to use harsh chemicals when scrubbing the pool liner, 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 significant 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.

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