There was a time when a homeowner who wanted a swimming pool had two options: buy an above-ground pool or dig up the backyard and have a concrete pool poured from scratch. The above-ground pool had limited options for a deck and was not very attractive, while the concrete pool was prohibitively expensive. With the development of preformed swimming pools, however, the homeowner had an option that looks exactly like a poured concrete pool, but involves half the construction costs. While a hole still needs to be dug, the preformed pool simply needs to be installed, saving time and money.
Preformed swimming pools are rather like large fiberglass bathtubs. They are formed at the factory, where the maker seals the surface against the elements and ravages of chlorinated water and ships it to the home. The contractor digs a hole, levels it with sand, and sinks the pool in. The pool is flush with the top of the ground, so it can be decked and landscaped just like a concrete pool.
One of the greatest advantages of this type of pool is that the contractors may take only seven to ten days to install one, as opposed to a few weeks spent installing a concrete pool. Fiberglass pools are also highly resistant to wind and weather, and unlike concrete, this material is not prone to splitting or cracking, so these pools are ideal for earthquake-prone areas.
A fiberglass pool never needs painting, unlike concrete pools. Maintenance costs are lower in general, and because most owners use sand filters, the cost of chemicals is lower as well. Preformed swimming pools are always kept filled, so that the pressure inside equals the pressure of the earth around it. Consequently, it is not necessary to drain the pool every winter, which again saves money.
One of the drawbacks of this type of swimming pool is the same as for concrete pools: terrain issues. A contractor will charge more to remove rocks from soil and will charge for a retaining wall to keep the ground stable if it is soft and prone to shift. Another drawback is that design choices are limited, since they are pre-made. A regular concrete pool can be designed to the homeowner's wishes. Comparison shopping is also a must, since installing any type of pool requires a big commitment of time and money.