New Pool Builds-Concrete Pool Verses Fiberglass Pool

Podcast Transcript

This podcast is about the differences between building a Concrete and a Fiberglass pool.

Welcome to the Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches podcast with your hosts Holly Colasurdo and Elizabeth Varian.

Elizabeth Varian: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches Podcast. I have Holly on the other line. Say hey, Holly.

Holly Colasurdo: Good morning. Hello, everybody. Nice to be back.

Elizabeth Varian: Now, Holly is actually calling us while she is on vacation fixing up here house in, where is it, Rhode Island?

Holly Colasurdo: Rhode Island. Beautiful Rhode Island.

Elizabeth Varian: We can get this podcast done. No matter where she is, we will hunt her down. It’s the perfect time for this podcast too that we’re covering the topic today. We want to talk about new pool builds, which we’ve seen a rise on, especially here in south Florida. A lot more people are checking us out and buying and building new pools in their backyards in the residential area. Our last time we talked about concrete and we mentioned fiberglass and that got me to thinking I really don’t know the differences between the two and thought well maybe the visitors in our audience would like to know. Why don’t we just dive right in and discuss the differences between concrete pools and fiberglass pools? The number one question that comes to my mind is what is the cost difference?

Holly Colasurdo:  Okay. Yeah. Just start out, each has devoted fans, fiberglass or concrete. No one can really claim that one is better than the other, but there are some things that come down, some variables that come down to the bottom line and cost is the big one. They’re like what is the cost? Should it be cheaper? Should it be more expensive? You know what, believe it or not, it’s about the same.

Elizabeth Varian: Really?

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah. It’s whatever difference there is usually isn’t very significant in the scheme of things. Fiberglass is a nonporous surface, which is more algae resistant and it’ll save you money on chemicals over the life of the pool.

Elizabeth Varian: Good.

Holly Colasurdo:  That makes sense. It’s prebuilt fiberglass shell, but things can get more expensive. You want to add a waterfall. You want to this and that. Of course, there’s more money involved, especially with a concrete pool. In the long run, I think that’s a biggie too because especially in Florida with all the rain and humidity we get, we do tend to get algae and it’s hard to keep up with when you have a concrete pool.

Elizabeth Varian:  The maintenance is where you’re going to see the cost difference in whether there’s algae or not. That’s interesting. Actually, I never knew that. I had always assumed that fiberglass because it was one shell was the more inexpensive of the two to install. Then of course, the water features, the sky’s the limit on what you can add to any pool. That’s interesting. They’re about the same for the install, but over time it sounds like it balances out. Let’s talk about time because of the install. What is the difference there between a concrete and fiberglass to actually build it out or install the pool?

Holly Colasurdo: Right. This is what I like, especially if you don’t have a pool and you want one quickly. That’s the largest difference between a concrete pool and a fiberglass pool. Fiberglass pools are very quick and easy to install. You basically drop the pool in a hole and you connect the plumbing. That’s it.

Elizabeth Varian:  Probably, a little bit more to it in the hole digging and the equipment to drop it.

Holly Colasurdo:  Yeah. Definitely got to dig your hole. Sure. Right. Yes.

Elizabeth Varian:  I’m visualizing a kid dropping a pool in a hole.

Holly Colasurdo:  Right. I know. That’s the timeframe. Gunite work is done on site. Fiberglass is a matter of days because you order it from the factory and they deliver it right to your home and you have your pool company, the hole’s already done and your piping is positioned, and you just drop the fiberglass pool in. Fiberglass can take typically a matter of days, where a concrete pool typically takes weeks or even months.

Elizabeth Varian:   Okay. Because they’re building out one layer at a time with the concrete.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah and you got to put the screen in the pool and the metal, the framing, you have to dry, you want to a certain shape. You order your shape, the fiberglass shape, and they come in so many different shapes and sizes, the fiberglass. They’ve really come a long way, which is neat.

Elizabeth Varian:  We’re talking about because if it’s just dig a hole, drop in for the fiberglass, the concrete, which is what I think we’re used to seeing, they build it out and they build the shape right there. We’re used to seeing the metal frameworks and we’ve done the video timeframe over time of watching a build. How does the looks, how are they different in appearance? Is my guest going to come and go that’s fiberglass and see that it doesn’t look the same sharpness as the concrete?

Holly Colasurdo: You won’t know until you step inside. Typically, when you step into a fiberglass pool, it’s going to be a little more slippery …

Elizabeth Varian: Okay. That’s good to know …

Holly Colasurdo: … In the concrete pool, it’s a little more rough or if you get the pebble check, it’s a little smoother, you know the crushed down.

Elizabeth Varian:  Yeah.

Holly Colasurdo:   Yeah. As far as appearance, concrete, well you can be a little more creative. You can make any shape you like with the concrete. You’d have to have drawings. You have to have the engineer, but you can do anything. You can do … I’ve seen concrete pools in the shape of guitars …

Elizabeth Varian: Nice …

Holly Colasurdo:  … I’m sure they don’t make fiberglass pools in the shape of guitars, but fiberglass, again, is built in a factory shipped intact to your home. They do, they come in many different forms, but you won’t be able to tell when you pull up unless you see rock formations, figure eights …

Elizabeth Varian:  A unique shape …

Holly Colasurdo:  … Typically, you’re not really not going to know until you step in it.

Elizabeth Varian: Now, are we putting decking and tiling around the fiberglass like we would a concrete?

Holly Colasurdo: Yes and that’s what’s neat …

Elizabeth Varian:  Then, they will have a nice elegant appearance and I can still have a very nice, it doesn’t look cookie cutter necessarily.

Holly Colasurdo:  No, not at all. It comes with a little lip, which sits on top of the ground and then you can take your tile and put it right on the edge and you …

Elizabeth Varian:  Wonderful …

Holly Colasurdo: … It’s like you’re swimming in a gunite pool. You just won’t know, like I said, until you step in and touch it.

Elizabeth Varian:  What is the durability difference between the two? I’m going to think concrete is definitely more, is harder. You’re saying one is smoother than the other.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. Yeah. The gunite, the concrete’s definitely more porous. Over time, I think both can last for decades, but gunite at some point might need a major renovation, a major resurfacing. It’s aged, it’s chipping away, it’s stained, but again that’s over the long haul. Fiberglass is …

Elizabeth Varian:  Probably a decade. Yeah.

Holly Colasurdo:  Yeah. Right. Fiberglass is practically impervious to normal wear and tear. If the Earth shifts, fiberglass can crack, especially if you drain the pool. Most fiberglass shells include a long term or perhaps even a lifetime warranty. The Earth shifts, yeah a little bit, we’re not in California where there’s major …

Elizabeth Varian:   I was going to say I’m glad we don’t live in California.

Holly Colasurdo:    Yeah. No. Florida is perfect a fiberglass pool. I think they’re fun. They’re just fun because they can come in a lot of different colors. It’s just an easier purchase.

Elizabeth Varian: Well, and that warranty helps you feel comfortable and if it’s got that durability just like a concrete, then to me I’m saying well they both sound great, both options. If I’m a customer looking to build, how to choose which one I want versus what’s best for me?

Holly Colasurdo: Again, I think it comes down to if you really want to be creative with waterfalls and when you step, you’ve got the little swim outs. You definitely can’t do that with a fiberglass. You can do that just with concrete, but more people, I think, just you dig the hole, you put the fiberglass in. That’s about it. You just want some water to float in. You just want to get in that pool …

Elizabeth Varian: You’re just looking for a regular pool …

Holly Colasurdo:  … If you want to get in quickly, fiberglass is the way to go.

Elizabeth Varian: If I have a party, a pool party, I want to throw in a month, I can go fiberglass sooner versus concrete. Pool builders, you were telling me before we started this podcast something that I wasn’t aware of, even though I worked with you guys. I didn’t know that not every pool builder does both.

Holly Colasurdo: Correct. They’re either one of the other. The verdict is there’s no really no consensus winner. Concrete’s been around for eons. Fiberglass seems to be gaining every year. They’re really coming out and making an appearance and they’re a lot better built than they used to be. Regardless of which you choose, you definitely want to find a pool builder with experience installing that type of pool. You said most specialize in one or the other. I know Pool Doctor, we do both. We talked about budget. You have a budget. You have to figure out what your budget is and your timeframe. Those are two biggies.

Elizabeth Varian: Yeah and how creative you want to be. I guess anybody listening, if you’re looking to get a pool built. Now, I know you guys have brought on fiberglass because of a partnership that you have with someone who has been doing fiberglass for years.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. Yes.

Elizabeth Varian: It’s not like you guys said let’s start doing fiberglass and now you’re experts.

Holly Colasurdo:  No.

Elizabeth Varian:  You actually brought in people who have been doing fiberglass for years, so you’re bringing decades of experience for both concrete and fiberglass, which definitely gives you a step above your competition for anyone coming in and you can help them weigh out. You have so many opportunities now in how fast do you want it where summertime now, it’s hot. We may want it faster now than maybe in the wintertime when our winters are just mildly warm.

Holly Colasurdo: Right. Yes. Geez. Yeah.

Elizabeth Varian:  We have it so rough down here, so well I thank you so much for taking a moment out of your time out of the office to call in and get this podcast going so that people know if they start building that they have more options than they’ve ever had before between fiberglass and concrete. It’s wonderful to know that Pool Doctor is now offering both options so that you can cater to all residents …

Holly Colasurdo: Everybody.

Elizabeth Varian: Yeah.

Holly Colasurdo:  Nobody left behind. Nobody left behind.

Elizabeth Varian:  No pool want to be owner left behind. Forget those children. We’re talking about the pool building residents.

Holly Colasurdo: Yeah.

Elizabeth Varian:  Thank you so much and if you’re listening, give Pool Doctor a call, Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches. You can find them at Holly, we will be talking to you again. Enjoy Rhode Island and everybody else …

Holly Colasurdo: Yes. Happy summer. Happy summer, everybody.

Elizabeth Varian: Have a wonderful summer. Have a great one. Bye.

Holly Colasurdo: Thanks. Bye.

Thank you for listening to our monthly podcast. Be sure to contact Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches for your South Florida pool needs.

Call 561-203-0270 or visit us online at


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