We were recently requested to demolish a gunite rock pool in Durban North and replace it with a fibreglass swimming pool shell.

Although our company builds more gunite pools than fibreglass pools, the installation of a fibreglass pool is a lot quicker, less messy and easier to maintain. Fibreglass pools are cheaper to buy and cheaper to run.

In our experience, adamant customers that do not want a fibreglass shell pool usually do so for the following reasons:

  1. They want a specific design that isn't available in the fibreglass shell range.
  2. They've heard rumours that fibreglass swimming pool shells are flimsy, they tear and leak.
  3. They've had a bad experience with a fibreglass shell installation.
  4. They don't like the 'synthetic' feel of fibreglass.

Let's deal with each of these objections individually:

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Specific Swimming Pool Design

Fibreglass shells are limited to whatever moulds are available for the shape, size and depth you want your swimming pool to be.

If there is a shape and size shell that suits you, you're good to go. Now you have the advantage of a quicker installation, a slightly cheaper project than a gunite pool, and low maintenance, low-cost pool to run.

However, don't let convenience dictate what swimming pool you need for your home. If you're intent on making your entertainment area the 'wow' factor in your home, the pool can be your best weapon.

Pools, these days, are more than just bodies of water to cool down in. They are water features of spectacular proportions, which can turn your home into an architectural work of art.

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Flimsy Shells

We have to say, we've come across some shockers over the years! We've seen pools popping out of the ground, walls caving in, paving sinking around the shell, holes in the pool. We've seen pretty much all the bad things that can happen to a fibreglass shell pool.

Here's the thing, though, we've seen the same things happen to gunite (concrete) swimming pools. The swimming pool contractor is responsible for building the swimming pool in line with the industry standards, (in our case, the National Spa & Pool Institute of South Africa, or NSPI). So even if there is product failure, the expert pool builder is supposed to quality control and check the shell for defects before installing it.

The NSPI has recently made a ruling that no NSPI Builder Member may install a pool shell not manufactured in an NSPI approved factory. This is because manufacturers can hide weaknesses in the shell. When it fails, the installer and the customer get left stranded, while the manufacturer denies responsibility, not having to answer to any association like the NSPI, because the manufacturer is not a member.

How to avoid getting a cheap quality pool shell? Make sure the installer AND the shell manufacturer are members of the NSPI. (If the name of the manufacturer does not appear on the NSPI website, then they are not members.

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Bad Experience with a Fibreglass Pool Shell Installation

There are so many swimming pool companies in Durban. The industry is unregulated, with a low barrier to entry, rendering anybody with a bakkie and a spade a 'qualified' pool builder.

Do your homework on the pool contractor. Ask for references. (Although, it stands to reason that he'll only send you his happiest of customers.) Check how long the company has been around, how prevalent they are online? Do they have a landline number? Is there an actual physical address on their website? Are they members of the National Spa and Pool Institute, and how long have they been members for?

There is no such thing as a cheap swimming pool. If the swimming pool contractor is R30, 000 or R40, 000 less than other quotes you've received, then the builder will have to make his profits somehow. Either short-cuts or they'll do a disappearing act when the bulk of the money has been paid.

The synthetic feel of Fibreglass

There is a satisfying aspect of touching surfaces and appreciating the tactile properties they have. Whether it's tile, plaster, vinyl, glass, we all have our preferences.

Give cognisance to why you have the swimming pool in the first place, and what your expectations are for owning and maintaining this pool. For example, black algae need something to grip. A pitted marble plastered pool is a haven for black algae. (A badly fibreglassed pool can also get a case of black algae). Mostly, fibreglass pools have smooth surfaces, making it nearly impossible for black algae to become a problem.

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At BLUPOOL we pride ourselves on the quality of our workmanship. Our team of pool builders have over 21 years experience in the installation and building of swimming pools.

Gunite (Concrete)

Gunite pools are usually more expensive to build because they take slightly longer than Fibreglass Mould Pool Installations, and because more building materials are used in the structure and finish of the pool.
Some pool owners are willing to wait a little longer and pay a little more because they feel they will end up with a more solid structure.

Fibreglass Mould Pools

Our Fibreglass Moulded pools are made with the highest quality materials available to the industry. Our factory in PMB is a Multi-Chapter Member of the NSPI and adhere to the necessary manufacturing specifications.
Our Fibreglass Moulds carry a 10 year warrantee, and take approximately 2 weeks to install.