What’s the Best Pool Type for Me?

People often ask what type of pool we build.  The more important question is what is the best type of pool for you?

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the different pool types.

Concrete Pools


  • These can be built in any shape and the support systems can be customized to best fit the installation location.
  • Best pool type for a “beach entry”, perimeter overflow or for custom, matching hot tubs
  • Can withstand bot high and low water temperatures
  • Numerous tile options
  • Best suited for highly custom installations – especially those with raised walls and other structural elements


  • Longer build time due to labor intensive construction process
  • Porous surface, unless painted – can be harder to maintain
  • Prone to more maintenance in freezing climates
  • Expensive to renovate/face lift
  • Limited plaster colors/options available
  • Prone to lifting out of the ground if exposed to high water table

Fiberglass Pools


  • Typically less expensive to install than concrete or vinyl pools
  • Easy to maintain – non-porous surface helps prevent bacteria and algae growth
  • Faster builder time depending on the contractor
  • No liner that would need replaced
  • Can withstand all temperature ranges


  • Limited to size, shapes, and configuration that manufacturers produce and contractors have in stock
  • Limited on depth and overall size by transportation laws
  • Support systems are set by manufacturer, giving limited ability to adjust them based on the install area
  • Require pavement or structural backfill to support pool shell which can cause structural issues in freezing climates
  • High water table areas can cause the pool to lift or fail structurally
  • No way to update color/appearance after use (can’t give it a facelift)

Vinyl Liner Pools


  • Less expensive than concrete pools
  • Can customize shape, size and depth
  • Pool walls and pavement are “tied” together to move as one system in freezing climates
  • Large variety of colors/styles to choose from for the interior look of the pool
  • Accommodate high water table areas by allowing the liner to lift without compromising the pool structure
  • Easy and cost effective to renovate and update style/look


  • Maximum water temperature cannot exceed 88 degrees
  • Liners can be punctured or torn by sharp objects – but can easily be patched
  • Liners have shorter life span (usually last 10-15 years)

To help determine the right pool for you, a few things should be discussed.  What climate will the pool be installed in?  Will the pool be subjected to freeze and thaw cycles similar to the ones we see here in the Midwest?  If so, and the pool will be installed outdoors, we recommend avoiding a fiberglass pool.

What temperature will the pool be kept at?  If you plan on using it for swimming and family recreation, any of the three types will work.  If the water will be kept warmer than 88 degrees, a vinyl liner pool should be avoided.

What is the budget for the project?  If you are working with a smaller budget, a concrete pool is not recommended since they are on the higher end of the pricing scale.

Is there a specific look you are trying to achieve with the pool?  If you’d like more control over the size and shape, fiberglass pools can be limiting and might not provide the desired aesthetic.