Pro Tips with Jamie Snyder

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Why a vinyl liner pool costs less than fiberglass – you get less.

Posted by James Snyder on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 @ 59:01 PM

If you are reading this, chances are that you are thinking about investing in a swimming pool. First congratulations, there is no better way of adding excitement and quality family time to your backyard.  But, now it’s time to make some choices.

When deciding  on purchasing  a swimming pool in NY you have 3 basic choices vinyl, gunite(concrete) or fiberglass. New York has long been known as “vinyl country” and for good reason. There are tons of vinyl liner pools in NY. Their design dates back to 1948 when Cascade Industries introduced the Vinyl Liner swimming pool in NJ. Back then - before there was the internet or a compelling fiberglass pool choice there were vinyl liner pools and gunite pools. Now the game has changed with the introduction of the fiberglass swimming pool.

Fiberglass pool builder orange county ny

When fiberglass pools first arrived on the scene they were – well  - not ready for prime-time. The original fiberglass pools had some inherent problems. First was the look of them, they were no more attractive than a bath tub. Second they didn’t react well with pool water - they would blister, fade and yellow - that’s a big problem if you ask me. Today with the aquaguard finish from Leisure Pools USA those problems have been sorted out and fiberglass pools really have only one drawback. They are only available in the sizes and shapes that they offer – no custom jobs. Fortunately they know this and strive to design remarkable pools.  Click here to see the shapes available from Leisure Pools USA.

A few years ago I made a decision to become a “fiberglass pool guy”. With all of the bad press out there about fiberglass I was intrigued. As a Landscape and swimming pool contractor in Orange County NY I had been working with both vinyl and concrete and knew their problems. As I researched fiberglass more I came to realize what was going on. Vinyl and Gunite guys were scared of fiberglass. That is because fiberglass is the fastest growing segment in the pool industry. Fiberglass was already the most popular type of pool being installed in Australia and now it won’t be long until your circa 1948 vinyl liner pool technology is extinct here as well. (NEWSFLASH - Vinyl Liner pools are already is extinct in the southern and western states only the north east remains - for now.)

The problem as I see it with a vinyl swimming pool is that you are not getting much for your money. The fact is that most of what you are paying for in a vinyl pool is labor. And when the labor leaves you are left with a vinyl liner inside some type of wall. They will talk about different wall types and so on, but the fact is I have never seen a properly installed pool wall fail – unless it’s wood. It’s the liner that fails. And when this happens the base of the pool – usually sand or vermiculite – more often than not needs repair as well. A typical liner replacement will set you back 4-7k depending on size. This does not include water or anything else that “pops up”. With a fiberglass pool there are no such associated costs or headaches. Downtime and waiting for a replacement liner to get installed is a thing of the past.

The truth is, in the long run a vinyl liner pool will cost you a lot more to own. Because a vinyl liner doesn’t insulate the water from the ground it costs about 8 times as much to heat. Read fiberglass is an insulator here. Add in the cost of liner replacements and you can start to see the picture.

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Tags: Aquaguard, Vinyl Liner, swimming pool, pool builder, Leisure Pools USA, River Pools and Spas, gunite / concrete pool, fiberglass pool, swimming pool design, pool contractor

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