Fiberglass Pool | Photo courtesy of CA Pools

Fiberglass Pool | Photo courtesy of CA Pools

Vinyl Liner & Fibreglass Pools for British Columbia

May 9th, 2024 by

British Columbia is renowned for its natural beauty. As the only province that borders the Pacific Ocean and graced with some of the mildest year-round temperatures in Canada, British Columbia offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy breathtaking scenery. But after a long work day, you might not feel like exploring epic mountain ranges, provincial parks and sandy beaches. One of the best ways to soak in nature is from the comforts of home in a beautiful new pool. At Latham, we’re firm believers that there is a pool for every backyard, capable of fitting perfectly with your lifestyle. 

If you’re planning to purchase a new pool or thinking about renovating an older pool, we’ll walk you through common questions and considerations. From laws around pool ownership in BC to seeking out inspiration for customizing your pool and making it your own, we’ll walk you through the process. Ready? Let’s dive in!

large freeform fibreglass pool in British Columbia backyard
Fiberglass Pool | Photo courtesy of CA Pools

Inground Pool Design Considerations for British Columbia

A pool is a big investment, but careful planning can make it worthwhile, paying off in the form of countless fun and memories over the years. Planning your new pool involves more than just aesthetics. Think about how you plan to use your pool and who will use it. 

  • Do you have young children or teens? 
  • Will they bring friends over to use the pool? 
  • Will seniors or individuals with compromised mobility use your pool?
  • What safety features will you need so everyone can safely enjoy your pool? 
  • Do you want your pool to be the focal point of your backyard? Or would you prefer it be part of a larger multi-use space? Maybe you dream about planting a vibrant veggie garden or colourful flower beds? Or perhaps you want a swing set and sliding board for the kids alongside an outdoor grilling station? 
  • Do you plan to use your pool for entertaining? If so, how many people typically attend your backyard get-togethers? This can help you determine how big a pool you’ll need to comfortably accommodate your guests. 
  • Do you plan to use your pool for exercise, relaxation or both? If you love sneaking in a few laps before or after work, a pool can be a great way to incorporate gentle exercise into your daily routine. Adding an inground or spillover spa can up the relaxation ante, giving you a place to soothe sore muscles after a long day, too!

Once you know how you plan to use your pool, the visual aspects become clearer! 

Pool materials do more than create the look and feel of your pool. They also play a role in its upkeep. Fibreglass pools come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and finishes. For instance, Latham’s dazzling Crystite Color Technology transforms your pool into shimmering waters, reflecting light off its surface. However, fibreglass pools are more than just a pretty face. Their low-maintenance vibe makes them easy to care for and even easier to enjoy.

When planning your pool,  an autocover can be an excellent add-on that enhances pool safety, preventing kids and pets from accidentally falling in when your pool is not in-use. Autocovers can also help you save on energy costs and overall pool maintenance, keeping pollen and falling leaves out of your pool that could otherwise compromise the balance of your water chemistry and encourage algae growth. 

Working with a licensed independent pool builder can help you bring your pool to life with an experienced hand that can guide you to options that work best for your needs. In this guide, you’ll take a glimpse into some of the many gorgeous pools Latham has helped create throughout British Columbia. Want to see more? Your local builder likely has even more images and videos of pools not available in their online portfolio just yet.

rectangular fibreglass pool with safety cover in British Columbia backyard
Fibreglass Pool | Photo courtesy of CA Pools

Smaller Pools for Vancouver and Beyond

Nearly half of all British Columbians live in the Vancouver metropolitan area. This densely-populated urban area is teeming with culture, giving residents the best of all worlds. In Vancouver, homes are often closer together, with smaller yards. Compact pools can be a great fit, allowing you to pack a lot of fun into a smaller area. Even if you have a larger yard, smaller pools give you more options, with your pool sharing space alongside a vegetable garden, swings for the kids and more.

Smaller pools can also be a great addition to your exercise routine. Who needs a home gym when you can squeeze swimming laps before enjoying your morning coffee poolside with a beautiful backyard view of the Vancouver skyline?

If exercise is one the main functions you want out of your pool, rectangular pools have a lot to offer. In addition to their clean, classic lines, many compact rectangular pools incorporate a wealth of features that make them equally suited to entertaining guests. but also the perfect place to entertain guests. Take a look at the Tuscan 11.20, with non-slip steps and a tanning ledge for relaxing in the sun after a swim. The 11’ x 20’ pool is also autocover-ready, making it easier to outfit with a cover that helps conserve energy and enhance safety. 

For something slightly different, the 12’ x 27’ Java is a traditional freeform pool that has a slightly rectangular shape – with a twist. Slip-resistant steps and swim-up seating make it accessible for everyone and the perfect place to gather friends and family together for a backyard celebration.

smaller pool in a compact Canadian backyard
Fibreglass Pool | Photo courtesy of Keystone Outdoor Living

Spacious Pools

If you’re lucky enough to have a larger backyard that gives you a more expansive view of BC’s natural beauty, a bigger pool can be the perfect addition. Do you dream of unwinding poolside after a long day at work or trekking through one of British Columbia’s national and provincial parks? Or do you get giddy at the prospect of hosting splashy pool parties for family and friends, gathering the gang around a grand pool? A large pool can make it happen. 

If you’re looking for a pool packed with features that allows you to make the most of your space, the 16’ x 35’’ Cancun Deluxe is a freeform offering that has it all. It features a wading area perfect for the kids or even adults who don’t want to get too wet. Slip-resistant steps make it easily accessible for friends and family of all ages, while a spillover spa can be a welcome treat when temperatures dip or for soothing sore muscles. Plenty of swim-up seating gives guests a place to sip cool beverages and chat it up while enjoying the sunshine. 

For a breathtaking rectangular model that has a lot to offer, the Providence is a 14’ x 30’ pool that’s packed with features. Multiple entry and exit points make a great choice for those who tire quickly while swimming and also offers more flexibility of design taking the rest of your yard into consideration. A wading area, swim-up seating and a dedicated swim lane make the Providence perfect for exercise or entertainment. 

spacious pool in a large Canadian backyard
Fibreglass Pool | Photo courtesy of Keystone Outdoor Living

Landscaping Considerations for Quebec Pools

From the bustling urban epicentre of Vancouver to Prince George, BC peppered with parks and culture, there’s a lot to love about British Columbia. With so much gorgeous scenery at every turn in the province, it offers plenty of inspiration for making your pool work with your environment and dreaming up landscaping ideas to work with your pool.  

  • Cascading waterfalls: British Columbia is brimming with beautiful waterfalls, from Sutherland Falls to Nairn Falls near Whistler. Whether your backyard offers a stunning view of the falls or you just want to create a striking replica of BC’s natural wonders, pool add-ons, like water features, can bring your vision to life. When surrounded by real or faux rocks, you can enhance the back-to-nature experience for a more realistic effect. 
  • Colourful lighting: Another perk of living in British Columbia is that, depending on where you live, you can see the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis.. Prince George, Smithers, Cariboo and Chilcotin have a bird’s eye view of the Northern Lights. Even if you’re not within viewing range, LED pool lights can create a shifting display of colour to illuminate your pool, inspired by nature’s own light show. Adding step lighting can be another way to enhance nighttime visibility around your pool, especially on evenings when you want to gaze at the stars while relaxing in tranquil waters. 
  • Cosy elements: Consider adding a fire pit or outdoor fireplace to your pool area. When autumn temperatures set in, added warmth can extend pool season and bring a campfire vibe to your backyard. 
  • Native plants for a burst of colour: British Columbia has a variety of colourful blooms that do well in its moderate climate, giving you plenty of options if you want to surround your pool with greenery. From the dramatic Pacific Bleeding Heart to Goatsbeard perennials, there tons of low-maintenance options that can add a vibrant jolt of colour to your pool area. 

Inground Fibreglass vs. Vinyl Liner Pools: Finding the Best Pool Material for Your Home

The right pool material doesn’t just make your pool beautiful to look at, but plays a role in upkeep. In addition to durability and beauty, fibreglass pools are ideal for pool owners who want a low-maintenance option alongside longevity. Sturdy fibreglass pools can hold up exceptionally well under frigid winter temperatures, especially for those who live in areas outside of BC’s coastal regions. 

As another consideration, vinyl liner pools are ripe with customization potential and can be a great choice for renovating an older concrete or gunite pool. Concrete pools require resurfacing every ten years. Over time, a concrete pool can become rough and chalky, with their porous nature making them more prone to algae growth. This can pose a challenge when balancing water chemistry, making it more difficult to properly care for your pool. 

Both fibreglass and vinyl liner pools offer a less-intensive maintenance schedule and more cost-effective solution, saving you money over the lifetime of your pool. Compare fibreglass, vinyl liner and concrete pools to choose the best material for your pool lifestyle needs. 

Fibreglass Pool Benefits

Fibreglass pools look and feel good. Their smooth surface won’t snag your swimsuit and beautifully reflects sunlight and scenery off the surface of your pool. Speaking of more time, another benefit of fibreglass pools is their ease of installation.  Carefully engineered, high-quality fibreglass pool shells are manufactured off-site, then transported to your yard once a space has been excavated, allowing you to start enjoying it sooner.

Learn more about the benefits of fibreglass pools.

Vinyl Liner Pool Benefits

Vinyl liner pools shine with such benefits as ease of maintenance, cost-effectiveness, and boundless potential for customization. Create your own backyard oasis with a spectrum of shapes, sizes, and vibrant liner colours and patterns

As your vision for your backyard evolves, so can your pool. Transition from kid-friendly features like water features and slides to add-ons made for grown-ups with elegant lighting, tanning ledges and lounging areas. 

Although vinyl liner pools require a tad more TLC compared to their fibreglass counterparts, the cost savings make it worthwhile. You can also forgo the expensive and intensive resurfacing associated with concrete or gunite pools. Rather, replacing your vinyl liner offers a simple, budget-friendly way to keep your pool looking fresh. Planning a pool makeover? Time a more labour-intensive project like adding or removing an existing feature alongside a routine liner replacement for a seamless upgrade. 

birds eye view of vinyl liner pool in a Canadian backyard
Vinyl Liner Pool | Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Pools and Spas Ltd

Installing an Inground Pool in British Columbia

Where you live in British Columbia can dictate the best time to install your pool. If you live in one of the coastal communities in BC – such as Vancouver, Whistler, Sechelt, Surrey and Prince Rupert to name a few – mild winters may give you an opportunity to kickstart the pool installation process, as the ground may not be too hard to excavate. However, those who live in the centre of the province experience frigid winters that could pose a barrier to installing a pool in winter. 

For the most part, fall or spring can be ideal, giving you plenty of time for your pool to be ready for its peak summer season. Your local builder can help you determine the best time-frame for your project based on current demand. 

No matter when you start your pool project, it can be helpful to know what lies ahead. The process differs slightly, depending on the type of pool materials you choose. 

Installing a Fibreglass Pool

Your building team starts by excavating a spot in your backyard for your new fibreglass pool. Once it’s set in place, your team will Install the pumps and filtration systems that will keep your pool running smoothly throughout its lifetime.

Learn more about the fibreglass pool installation process.  

Installing a Vinyl Liner Pool

Installing a vinyl liner pool starts with your building team taking a series of precise measurements before digging the space where your new pool will live. The process also involves placing and cutting a liner, as well as filling your pool to hold your liner in place. 

Take a more in-depth look at the vinyl liner pool installation process. 

British Columbia Inground Pool Maintenance

Both fibreglass and vinyl liner pools are easy to maintain. However, depending on the type of pool material you choose, there are a few slight differences in what you’ll need to tend to regularly. 

Fiberglass Pool Maintenance

When it comes to easy maintenance, fibreglass pools are unsurpassed! As part of your weekly upkeep regimen, test your water chemistry, skim your pool, and empty filter baskets to keep your pool looking and performing its best. Once per month, make time to flush your filtration system. 

Get tips for maintaining your fibreglass pool.

Vinyl Liner Pool Maintenance

Vinyl liner pools need just a bit more care, but their long-term cost savings more than makes up for it. Each week, test your water chemistry and give your liner a gentle scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Making this part of your routine minimises accumulation of dirt and stains, but also helps keep algae at bay, making it easier to keep your water chemistry balanced. 

Another way to show your liner some love and prolong its lifetime is to make it a rule that only soft pool toys are used in and around your vinyl liner pool. This can reduce the risk of accidentally puncturing or tearing your liner. Foam pool noodles, inflatable floats and beach balls all make great choices for keeping the fun going without posing a threat to your liner!  

Get your vinyl liner pool maintenance checklist.

Pool Covers

Another smart, practical way to reduce maintenance is with an automatic pool cover. British Columbia’s breathtaking natural beauty is accompanied by trees, flowers, and greenery galore. However, the scenic foliage also means pollen grains and falling leaves can land in your pool, potentially clogging your filtration system if not skimmed or contributing to algae bloom. An autocover can prevent nature from making its way into your pool. 

Autocovers are also a sensible solution in reducing the amount of resources your pool uses. Pool owners with an autocover can expect to save up to 50% each year on heating and filtration costs, and reduce water evaporation, making it easier to stay on top of balancing your water chemistry. 

Most importantly, autocovers can save lives, preventing kids and pets from accidentally falling in when your pool is unattended. An automatic pool cover can also be an added deterrent from unwanted guests attempting to use your pool unsupervised when you’re not around.

fibreglass pool with automatic safety cover closing in Canadian backyard
Fibreglass Pool | Photo courtesy of Scenic View Landscaping

Reasons to Install an Inground Pool in British Columbia

Adding or remodelling a pool can give your backyard a new lease on life. Beyond being a great excuse to get outside more often and soak up some sun, there are even more reasons to consider a new inground swimming pool. 

  • Relaxation in the great outdoors: After a day of exploring the peaks of Whistler or hiking the scenic trails of Mount Seymour Provincial Park, your pool is ready for you to cool off and take it easy. Beat the British Columbia summer heat and give yourself a treat, observing the province’s beauty poolside. 
  • Increase property values: Homes with a well-maintained pool can garner roughly a 7% increase in resale value. But even if you’re not planning on selling any time soon, a pool can be a welcoming spot for friends and family for years to come.  
  • Starlit soirees: While sun and fun go hand-in-hand with a pool, night time is also the right time for enjoying your pool, putting it front and centre for outdoor fun and relaxation. LED pool lights and ambient lighting surrounding your pool and landscaping can create a festive atmosphere when the sun goes down. 

British Columbia Pool FAQs

The process of planning a new pool comes with asking a lot of questions to determine the right pool for your needs and lifestyle. Here are some common questions we hear from our friends throughout British Columbia. 

Do you need a permit to build a pool in BC?

The British Columbia Guidelines for Pool Design requires proper permitting for all pools constructed throughout the province. This applies to both new pools, as well as any repairs or renovations to an existing pool. In British Columbia, the permitting process involves an application for a construction permit that must be signed by the local health officer. Additionally, the application must be accompanied by any required pool information sheets, filled out by registered architects, engineers and design professional, as well as related construction plans. 

Depending on where you live in British Columbia, your city, village, or borough may have additional requirements for obtaining a permit. Be sure to check with your local building office to confirm your responsibilities so that your new pool is compliant. Working with a registered professional pool builder can help you more easily navigate the process.

Do you have to have a fence around your pool in BC?

Yes. The British Columbia Public Health Act’s pool regulations require that all pools must be enclosed by fencing that meets specified regulatory requirements. 

How high does a pool fence need to be in BC?

In British Columbia, the required height of pool fencing varies based on where you live within the province. The province strongly recommends, however, that pool enclosures should be a minimum height of 1.5 metres (5 feet)

While pool fencing is required throughout British Columbia,  different boroughs, villages and cities may have more stringent – or more flexible – requirements. For instance, Abbotsford, BC (home of the Canucks!) requires fencing at least 1.2 metres (4 feet high) surrounding a pool area. 

To be sure your pool fencing is compliant with local laws, confirm any height regulations and fencing specifications with your local building office. 

What is the best time of year to install an inground pool in British Columbia?

Depending on where you live, the ideal time of year for scheduling your pool project can vary. For those who live in coastal areas like Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Whistler, British Columbia’s mild winters can be a good time to install a pool with plenty of time to spare before summer. For those who live in the central and northern part of the province, spring and fall are better suited to installing a pool due to brutally cold winters and steep snowfall. 

Is there additional insurance required for pool ownership in British Columbia?

Although British Columbia does not require specific insurance to own a pool, the province’s Occupiers Liability Act requires pool owners to make sure that the property is reasonably safe for all occupants.  

What types of inground pool materials are suitable for British Columbia’s  climate?

You can’t go wrong with either a fibreglass or vinyl liner pool as your material-of-choice for an inground pool. If you live in one of the colder areas of British Columbia, you may lean towards a new fibreglass pool for several reasons. Because winters in north and central BC are long and cold – and fibreglass pools can be installed relatively quickly, beginning a fibreglass pool installation project in spring can give you more time to soak up every minute of summer fun poolside. 

As another consideration for British Columbians in colder areas, durable fibreglass pools react well to colder temperatures. This can play an important role in the longevity of your pool. Vinyl pools can also be a great choice, given their customization potential and budget-friendly nature. Get in touch with a local builder to discuss what matters most to you in a pool and find out what pool may be the best fit for your needs. 

British Columbia Inground Pool Installation Areas

There’s a pool for every backyard, whether you live in vibrant Vancouver or between the lakes and orchards of Penticton, BC. At Latham, we’re proud to have helped transform countless British Columbians into happy pool owners, including those in:  

  • Abbotsford, BC
  • Coldstream, BC
  • Kelowna, BC
  • Langley, BC
  • North Saanich, BC
  • Penticton, BC
  • Surrey, BC
  • Trail, BC
  • Vancouver, BC

Start Building a Pool for Your British Columbia Backyard Today

A new pool can be a welcome addition to your home that brings fun, relaxation, and so much more.  Speak with a professional builder to start making memories in your brand new Latham pool today. 

Contact us to learn more.

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A unique group of talented individuals with years of industry experience, the Latham Editorial Team brings together the best and the brightest in order to deliver diverse perspectives on how to make your backyard the center of your Latham lifestyle.

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