Fiberglass Pool Shell vs. Concrete Pool: How Much Does Each Cost In Clayton, NC?

swimming pool and concrete patio background

Diving into Pool Choices

Ever found yourself daydreaming about those hot Clayton summer days spent by the poolside, taking a refreshing swim in your swimming pool?

Or perhaps you’ve been pondering the perfect backyard addition that would skyrocket your home’s value?

If you’ve been considering installing an inground pool, you’ve likely stumbled upon the great debate: fiberglass pools vs. concrete pools.

But beyond these two, there are other inground pools to consider, each with its unique benefits.

This blog post will guide you through the cost comparison for fiberglass swimming pools and concrete pools tailored for your Clayton, NC, home.

We’ll also briefly touch on our personal favorite: vinyl liner pools.

By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make the best decision for your backyard oasis, whether that’s a fiberglass pool shell, a concrete pool, or a vinyl liner pool installation in Clayton.

Cost Analysis

Initial and Lifetime Cost

When it comes to pool installation in North Carolina, the cost is a significant factor for homeowners.

Concrete Pool Initial Cost

Workers spraying gunite concrete on a new pool form

Concrete pools have a higher starting cost than fiberglass pools.

Most people spend between $60,000 to $100,000+ for a concrete pool installation.

This cost includes the pool shell, installation, and basic features.

Concrete Pool Lifetime Cost

Over time, concrete pools require more frequent resurfacing and use more chemicals, adding to the lifetime cost.

Most concrete pool owners spend an average of $1,500 per year on chemical and electricity usage.

Concrete pools also have to be acid-washed every 3-5 years, while replastering is usually done every 10-15 years.

Acid washing costs between $500-$1,000, while replastering costs between $10,000-$20,000.

Fiberglass Pool Initial Cost

Fiberglass swimming pool shell installation in progress

Fiberglass pools have a slightly lower initial cost, ranging from $65,000 to $90,000.

Fiberglass Pool Lifetime Cost

Over a 1-year period, you can expect to spend an additional $1,000 on chemicals and electricity for a fiberglass pool.

A fiberglass pool shell requires less chemical usage than a concrete pool because its non-porous, proprietary gel coat surface helps inhibit algae growth.

Factors Affecting Overall Cost

Location, pool size, design complexity, and additional features like waterfalls or tanning ledges can influence the final price tag.

While fiberglass pools are often favored for their durability and low maintenance, concrete pools also hold their own with their customizable features and cost-effectiveness.

In Clayton, NC, the demand for pools and the local economy can also play a role in determining costs.

And if you’re wondering about freight prices or how soil types and climate conditions might impact your pool installation, it’s essential to consult with experts.


Complexity and Duration

The installation process for a fiberglass pool shell can be quicker as they come in pre-manufactured shapes and sizes.

Fiberglass pools come pre-cast and can be installed in just 3-5 weeks.

In some cases, they can be installed even faster, especially if you’re working with a seasoned pool company.

In contrast, concrete pools take longer to install, typically 3-6 months, due to the time needed for the concrete to cure and the more complex installation process.

This is because concrete pools have a more intricate installation process involving reinforcing bars, mesh, and formwork.

Pre-Requisites and Preparations

Before installation, the swimming pool site needs to be prepared.

This might involve excavation, leveling, and ensuring proper drainage.

It’s essential to factor in these preparatory steps when considering the overall installation timeline.

Both pool types require a well-prepared site, but concrete pools may require more groundwork and planning due to their customizable nature.

Customization and Appearance

Design Flexibility

Concrete pools win hands down when it comes to customization.

Whether you’re dreaming of a unique shape, integrated water features, or specific tiles, concrete allows for endless possibilities.

Fiberglass pool shells, being pre-cast, offer limited designs based on available molds.

blue and white fiberglass pools on display for sale

That being said, most fiberglass pool manufacturers offer a variety of pre-manufactured shapes and sizes.

However, the size of a fiberglass pool shell is restricted by oversize load limits.

This means that the typical maximum size of a fiberglass pool shell is 40 feet long, 16 feet wide, and 8.5 feet deep.

Aesthetic Appeal

Both pool types can be visually appealing.

While concrete pools can be tailored to your exact design preferences, fiberglass pools offer a sleek and smooth finish that many homeowners love.

And if you’re someone who’s been eyeing entry steps or considering benches for added comfort, both pool types offer these features.

You can learn about other features to add to your custom inground pool here.

Surface Texture and Comfort

modern fiberglass plastic swimming pool entrance step

Unless you are a fan of the rough texture of concrete, fiberglass pools come out ahead when it comes to surface comfort.

Fiberglass pools boast a smooth surface, similar to bathtubs, making them comfortable underfoot.

Concrete pools, on the other hand, have a rougher texture, which can sometimes be abrasive to the skin.

Durability and Lifespan

Both fiberglass swimming pools and concrete pools are built to last.

With proper care, a fiberglass pool shell can serve you for 25-30 years.

Concrete pools, being robust and resilient, can last up to 50 years.

On the other hand, they require more expensive maintenance tasks to keep them in usable shape.

For example, concrete pools require resurfacing (also known as replastering) every 10-15 years.

Additionally, concrete pools have to be acid washed every 3-5 years.

Maintenance and Upkeep

A concrete pool in need of a cleaning

Fiberglass pools are the clear winners when it comes to ease of maintenance.

The non-porous surface of fiberglass means less algae growth and fewer chemicals.

Concrete pools, with their porous nature, require more regular cleaning and chemical balancing.

The rough texture of concrete also provides a better foothold for algae to grow, which means more time spent scrubbing the sides of the pool.

Installation Time Frame

If you’re looking to make a splash in a hurry, fiberglass is the way to go.

With their quicker installation time, you could be swimming in just a few weeks.

Concrete pools, with their detailed installation process, require more patience and typically take several months to construct.

Resale Value

A well-maintained pool, whether fiberglass or concrete, can boost your home’s resale value.

Both pool types offer unique features that potential homebuyers find attractive.

That being said, the modern appeal and lower maintenance of fiberglass pool shells might be slightly more attractive to potential buyers in Clayton, NC.

Want to learn more? You can explore more details about pool shell materials for inground pools here.

The Third Option: A Vinyl Liner Pool

A swimming pool in a backyard with a patio. A 24 x 40 Mountain Pond-style vinyl liner pool with a waterfall

When considering the installation of an inground pool, homeowners often find themselves torn between the popular choices of fiberglass and concrete pools.

However, there’s a third option that deserves equal attention: the vinyl liner pool.

In this section, we’ll delve into the various factors associated with vinyl liner pools, comparing them to their fiberglass and concrete counterparts.

Initial Cost and Installation

Vinyl liner pools are generally more affordable upfront, with costs typically ranging from $55,000 to $75,000.

This price encompasses the pool liner, installation, and basic amenities such as a pool pump, filter, and electrical controls.

Vinyl liner pool installation costs are usually cheaper than both fiberglass and concrete, which typically cost between $65,000 and $90,000, and $60,000 to $100,000+, respectively.

Lifetime Cost

Over the years, vinyl pool owners will need to replace the pool liner.

Modern vinyl liners are more durable than ever, with many offering a 20-year pro-rated warranty.

However, vinyl liner replacements are typically needed every 10-12 years due to factors like color fading from chlorine or physical damage.

A full vinyl liner replacement can cost around $7,500, depending on the pool’s size and design.

Additionally, vinyl pool owners can expect to spend approximately $1,000 annually on chemicals and electricity, similar to the chemical and electricity costs for fiberglass pools.

However, there are also ways to make your pool more energy efficient and eco-friendly that could help lower these costs even further.

Durability and Longevity

While fiberglass and concrete pools are celebrated for their durability and potential to last a lifetime with proper care, vinyl liner pools require more attention, especially concerning sharp objects.

The latest generation of liners is very durable but can still be prone to punctures and tears.

However, the need for periodic replacement also offers homeowners the chance to rejuvenate their pool’s appearance.


Vinyl pools generally demand less maintenance than other pool types.

Their smooth, non-porous surfaces resist algae growth, reducing the need for regular cleaning and chemical balancing.

While all pool types require occasional brushing and cleaning, vinyl pools, with their nonporous liners, don’t absorb chemicals, making them relatively low maintenance.

Customization and Aesthetics

Vinyl pools shine in the customization department.

They offer a wide variety of vinyl liner patterns and colors, allowing homeowners to tailor the pool’s appearance to their liking.

Additionally, there’s a plethora of vinyl liner pool shapes and sizes available to fit any backyard.

Resale Value

All types of pools can significantly enhance a home’s resale value.

Each swimming pool type boasts unique features that potential buyers might find appealing.

While fiberglass pools are often preferred for their durability and low maintenance, and concrete pools are favored for their longevity, vinyl pools are equally competitive with their customizable features and cost-effectiveness.

In short, vinyl liner pools present a viable alternative to the more commonly discussed fiberglass and concrete options.

Vinyl pools offer a blend of affordability, customization, and ease of maintenance that many homeowners will find appealing.

As with any significant home improvement decision, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons and determine which pool type aligns best with your budget, preferences, and long-term plans.

You can learn more about vinyl pools vs. fiberglass pools here and vinyl pools vs. concrete pools here.

For easy comparison between the different pool types, please see the table below:

Feature/AspectFiberglass PoolConcrete PoolVinyl Liner Pool
Initial Cost$65,000 to $90,000$60,000 to $100,000+$55,000 to $75,000
Lifetime Maintenance CostAbout $1,000 per year on chemicals and electricity.About $1,500 per year on chemicals and electricity. Acid-washing ($500-$1k) every 3-5 years, & replastering ($10k-$20k) every 10-15 years.About $1,000 per year on chemicals and electricity. Vinyl liner replacement ($7,500) every 10-12 years.
Installation Time3-5 weeks3-6 months4-5 weeks
CustomizationLimited (pre-manufactured shapes/sizes)High (unique shapes, features, tiles)High (variety of liner patterns/colors)
Aesthetic AppealSleek and smooth finishTailored to design preferencesCustomizable based on liner choice
Surface TextureSmoothRougher (can be abrasive)Smooth
Durability & Lifespan25-30 years with proper careUp to 50 years (requires more maintenance)Durable but new liner required every 10-12 years
MaintenanceLess maintenance (non-porous surface)More regular cleaning and chemical balancingLess maintenance (non-porous liner)
Resale ValueModern appeal, low maintenanceCustomizable featuresCustomizable features, cost-effective

Dive into the Future with Prestige Pools of NC

A 20 x 40 rectangle vinyl pool with corner steps and a water fall.

We’ve covered a lot of ground, from costs to customization to comfort.

Whether you’re leaning towards a fiberglass pool shell, a concrete pool, or a vinyl liner pool, one thing’s for sure: Prestige Pools of NC has got your back.

We aim to inform you about all of your pool options so you can make the best choice for your family.

But if you’re leaning towards a vinyl liner pool, our team of experts is ready to turn your backyard dream into a reality!

Ready to take the plunge?

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call.

Dive into a brighter, splashier future with us!