Synergy Shape | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Synergy Shape | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Fiberglass & Vinyl Liner Pools for Indiana

January 30th, 2024 by

If you live in Indiana, the state’s long, hot and humid summers make owning a pool even more appealing beyond all the fun that an inground swimming pool offers. When buying a pool, Hoosier State residents have a variety of options. But remember: a pool is only part of the package. You’ll want to think about how – and who – will use it, as well as how your beautiful new pool will work with decking, landscaping, and other features to bring your backyard vision to life.

Although Indiana experiences humid summers, the state is also known for brutally cold winters. All the more reason to investigate add-ons to your inground pool package that can help you maximize your enjoyment. For instance, an automatic pool cover can help you save on energy costs and time spent skimming your pool. Additionally, a separate winter cover can withstand the weight of heavy snow for folks in Northwestern Indiana who receive heavy lake effect snow due to their proximity to Lake Michigan.

If you live in Indiana and are thinking about buying an inground pool, we’ll walk you through some of the considerations to keep in mind, including deciding between a fiberglass or vinyl liner pool, proper maintenance, and some of the state and local laws pool ownership. Let’s dive in!

Indiana Fiberglass Pools

There’s nothing quite like the smooth, shimmering surface of an inground fiberglass pool. In addition to being easy on the eyes, fiberglass pools have a smooth finish that feels comfortable underfoot while wading.

Fiberglass pools are also durable and easy to maintain, giving you more time to enjoy your pool. Because fiberglass pool shells are prefabricated (vs. poured into place), they can be installed faster, allowing you to make the most of pool season. They’re also far easier to clean than concrete or gunite pools. They require less scrubbing and their smooth surface makes them more resistant to algae bloom and calcium deposits.

Learn more about the benefits of owning a fiberglass pool.

Fiberglass Pool Designs for Your Indiana Home

What does your ideal inground pool look like? Pools come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, so there are tons of options to choose from. The biggest determining factor of choosing the right pool for your Indiana backyard is how your pool fits into your lifestyle.

When planning your pool, think about how – and who – will use it: 

  • Do you have young children or teens?
  • Will they bring friends over to use the pool?
  • Do you have older or mobility compromised individuals who will use the pool? What accommodations might they need to enjoy it?
  • Do you enjoy entertaining and hosting backyard BBQs? How many people will gather to use your pool at the same time?
  • Do you plan to use your pool for exercise or relaxation?

Asking yourself these questions can help you design the perfect pool for your home and family.

You’ll also want to consider how your property layout supports the design of your pool. Your pool is just one part of the equation. How will it work with other elements of your backyard? Think about the size and any unusual features in your yard, such as sloped or uneven land. Also think about any fencing, decking, gardening and landscaping features you want to include.

Do you love the crisp and classic lines of rectangular fiberglass pool? Or are the winding curves of a freeform pool more your speed? You may initially be drawn to a specific shape. However, after speaking with an independent pool builder, you may find that another shape in a different size may be a better fit for how you plan to use your pool and any property constraints. For instance, if you have a smaller backyard or your backyard sits on a slope, your builder can recommend options to work with your yard’s size and shape. They can also help you make sure your new pool is compliant with all Indiana pool codes.

Whatever your preference or property constraints, Latham can make the pool of your dreams a reality – all while taking into account practical elements like state or local regulations. Here are just a few stunning examples of pools we’ve built throughout Indiana. And just because you don’t see a picture that looks like your dream pool, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible! Get in touch with your local independent builder to see additional photos, videos, or walkthroughs of pools they’ve built that aren’t in their online portfolio.

freeform fiberglass pool in backyard with tanning ledge
Synergy Shape | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Small Pools, Big Fun

Indiana is home to the largest median lot size in the US, with an average of 9,191 square feet per home. And while many Hoosier State residents enjoy spacious yards, not all of them choose to make a large inground pool the heart of the action. On the flipside, homeowners in densely-populated cities like Indianapolis and Fort Wayne often have smaller yards.

Whether you opt for a smaller pool by choice or by necessity, there are plenty of options to choose from that pack a lot of fun into a smaller package. Rectangular pools like the Enchantment 9.17 are compact and feature-rich at only 9’ x 17’.  The 10’ x 16’ Milan, is another rectangular option. As a plunge pool, it’s long enough to swim laps and squeeze in some exercise, but also has a shallow 4’ depth that’s more kid-friendly, too.

Freeform pools can also work in a smaller yard. The 11’ x 22’ Aruba is loaded with fun and functional features. It offers swim-up seating and beverage benches for entertaining,, as well as slip-resistant steps and multiple entry points – a thoughtful touch for kids and seniors who may get tired after swimming.

rectangular shaped fiberglass pool in small Indiana backyard with custom water features
Corinthian 16 Shape | Photo courtesy of Perma Pools

Pool Ideas for Larger Indiana Yards

If you’re one of the many Indiana residents who enjoy the perks of having a large backyard, your pool design options are virtually limitless. To make the best choice for your family, think about how much of your yard you want to devote to a beautiful new pool. You may prefer your pool to be a single facet of your backyard area as opposed to the crown jewel.

If you envision your pool being the center of the action and a gathering place for loved ones, a large fiberglass inground pool like the freeform Cancun Deluxe may fit the bill. Its wide top step can also serve as a tanning ledge or wading area for little swimmers, while swim-up seating can double as a beverage bench for entertaining friends. But perhaps the Cancun Deluxe’s best feature is its built-in spillover spa, which is great for easing sore muscles after a workout or for making the most of your pool when colder temperatures set in.

A small or medium-sized pool can also help you make the most of your large yard, devoting a portion to an inground pool and reserving other areas for an outdoor kitchen or quiet garden sanctuary. Consider the Laguna, a 14’ x 30’ freeform pool with slip-resistant steps and swim-up seating that’s fun for everyone without taking up too much space.

rectangular shaped fiberglass pool in large Indiana backyard
Corinthian 16 Shape | Photo courtesy of Perma Pools

Pools for Irregular, Uneven or Sloped Yards

Although Indiana is technically a Midwestern plains state, the Hoosier State is not universally flat. Central Indiana has low hills and valleys, while the southern part of the state is also quite hilly and densely forested. Indiana’s differing landscapes may mean that some homeowners in parts of the state may have uneven or sloped backyards or rocky areas beneath the soil that can make installing a pool a little more complex. Additionally, some homeowners may have irregularly shaped yards.

If you have an irregularly shaped yard, freeform and kidney-shaped pools can be an option. These pools differ slightly from model-to-model, allowing you to find one that fits the shape of your yard. For instance, the modern freeform Genesis is more narrow at 16’ wide, but has a longer 40’ width. For smaller irregularly shaped yards, a freeform model, like the 12’ x 25’ Freeport can be an option to consider.

Working with a licensed professional builder can help you find a pool that works for any constraints of your yard and that has the features that make it a place the whole family can enjoy. narrow down options to work with the unique features of your yard, as well as deliver the experience you want from your pool.

But what if your yard sits on a hilly slope? Don’t worry! There are still plenty of pool options. A professional builder can grade an uneven backyard to work with a fiberglass pool. Although you may have your heart set on a beautiful fiberglass model, there may be some instances where a vinyl liner pool may be a better fit than a prefabricated model. Be open to any advice your builder may have to offer, as vinyl liner pools come in many of the same beautiful shapes and models as their fiberglass counterparts, but can be customized and poured into place to fit any unusual constraints of your yard.

Ultimately, the right choice is a pool that works with your backyard’s natural features and offers years of enjoyment for your family and loved ones.

freeform fiberglass pool in a sloped backyard
Vista Isle Shape | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Fiberglass Options To Work With Your Lifestyle

Owning a pool can inject a big dose of fun into your backyard. That’s why it’s so important to think about features you may want included in your pool’s design so that everyone can enjoy it. If young children and mobility-compromised individuals will be using your pool, consider safety features like non-slip steps, multiple entry points, and shallow wading areas.

One of the most important safety features you consider can be an autocover. Not only can it help you save on energy costs and maintenance, but it can also be a safety barrier that prevents children from accidentally falling in or using the pool without adult supervision.

If you plan to use your pool for exercise, the Astoria can be a great option for laps, as well as for easing sore muscles in its spillover spa. It also has multiple access points and a wading area that’s great for children.

If you’re leaning into your golden years and want a pool that can entertain the grandkids or offer up a fun place to entertain friends, the Cancun Deluxe has it all. A wide top ledge can double as a wading area for little ones, while multiple entry points are great for swimmers who get tired. Other features like swim-up seating, a beverage bar, and spillover spa make it an inviting place for the whole gang to hang out!

rectangular fiberglass pool with closed autocover
Olympia 14 Shape | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Inground Vinyl Liner Pools in Indiana

Durable, easy to maintain and highly customizable, inground vinyl pools are another outstanding choice for Indiana homeowners. Vinyl liner pools are also a cost-effective option for refurbishing older concrete pools.

Vinyl Liner Pool Designs for Indiana Homes

While there are a wide variety of existing vinyl liner pool shapes and sizes, working with a licensed professional builder can help you further customize your pool with an array of features. Add-ons like tanning ledges, bubblers, and pool lights can be installed before vinyl is laid over the structure. Additionally, because vinyl liner pools are poured into place, they can be an excellent choice for homes that have small, irregularly-shaped or uneven backyards.

Need more evidence of how beautiful and customizable a vinyl liner pool can be? Check out some of these examples. Remember, even if you don’t see your dream pool here, your local builder may have even more photos and videos of custom creations that may not be available online.

rectangular vinyl liner pool in Indiana backyard
Vinyl Liner Pool | Photo courtesy of Lovins Select Pool and Spa

Benefits of Vinyl Liner Pools for Indiana Homes

Ah, vinyl liner pools! How do we love thee? Vinyl liner pools have numerous benefits. Here are some that may capture the interest of Indiana residents.

Highly Customizable

While you can choose a pre-designed vinyl liner pool package, a licensed professional builder can alter an existing design to incorporate features that make your pool the perfect fit for your lifestyle. Popular add-ons include tanning ledges, multiple access points, fountains and water features, as well as wading areas for young and old swimmers alike.

Vinyl liner pool shapes offer the same range of options as their fiberglass counterparts, including classic rectangular and Roman-inspired shapes, as well as curved kidney and freeform styles that can work well for irregularly-shaped yards.

If you live in one of the larger urban areas of Indiana, such as Indianapolis or Fort Wayne, your backyard may be on the smaller side. A small-to-medium kidney-shaped vinyl liner pool like the Crescent can be a fabulous blank canvas that works with your backyard, but lends itself to any customization you can dream up.

Many Indiana residents have spacious backyards, giving them even more options to choose from, depending on how much outdoor space you want to devote to your pool. If your aesthetic is classic and sophisticated, a Roman-style rectangular pool like the Patrician may fit the bill. Or if you’re looking for something fun and fanciful, a freeform pool like the Taormina is spacious, stylish and customizable.

Beyond your pool’s design itself, vinyl liner pools allow you to choose from a variety of liner colors and patterns, allowing you even more room for customization.

large vinyl liner pool in backyard with diving board
Vinyl Liner Pool | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Ideal for Uneven Backyards

Central and Southern Indiana’s terrain has its share of low hills and valleys, which can translate to uneven terrain in your backyard, depending on where you live. This can make it a little more challenging to install a pool. However, due to their ability to be highly customized, vinyl liner pools can be a great fit for homeowners with sloped backyards. An expert professional builder can walk you through your options, including grading your backyard or installing a retaining wall during the excavation process for your vinyl liner pool.

freeform vinyl liner pool in a sloped backyard
Vinyl Liner Pool | Photo courtesy of Quality Pool Construction

Vinyl Liner Pool Installation Process in Indiana

Installing a brand new pool can be exciting, but also comes with its fair share of anxiety. You may be curious about timelines, as well as what each step of the process entails. From assessing your backyard and excavating the space to sealing your vinyl liner, learn more about what you can expect throughout the vinyl liner pool installation process.

Transforming or Replacing Your Current Pool

Throughout Indiana, there are approximately 154,000 residential swimming pools. Many older pools throughout the state were made from concrete or gunite. Between December and February, Indiana temperatures are below freezing. Cold weather can take a toll on concrete, causing it to age and deteriorate faster. As a result, it can be costly to continually reinforce and repair an older concrete pool throughout its lifetime. Upgrading to a vinyl liner pool can be a less costly alternative.

Vinyl liner pools also shine when it comes to reducing the amount of maintenance required of an older concrete pool. Concrete can become rough or flaky with age. Because concrete is porous, these pools can more easily develop pool algae, leaving ugly stains and making it more difficult to balance your water’s pH.  Replacing an older concrete or gunite pool with a new fiberglass or vinyl liner pool can reduce the amount of upkeep required.

Learn more about when and how to renovate an older pool.

What type of inground pool is best for Indiana?

Both fiberglass and vinyl liner pools are popular choices that have comparable benefits, including that both are relatively low-maintenance options. Fiberglass pools are prized for their smooth, crystalline finish, while vinyl liner pools can be an affordable choice that can work well with uneven or sloped backyards. Not sure which pool is right for you? Speak with a builder who can help you explore your options and find the right fit.

Choosing an Pool Package in Indiana: Covers and Winterizing Options

If you live in Indiana, saving room in your pool budget to include an automatic cover and winter cover can help you make the most of your investment.

Should I get an automatic pool cover if I live in Indiana?

Automatic pool covers can help you save between 50% to 70% on energy costs, as well as reduce water evaporation and chemical usage.

In addition to helping you use fewer natural resources, an autocover can save you time on skimming seasonal debris out of your pool. Indiana is home to a lot of trees, which add quite a bit of natural beauty to the landscape. However, trees also mean falling leaves in autumn and heavy pollen in spring. An autocover can help reduce the amount of nature that winds up in your pool, giving you more time to enjoy it instead of cleaning it.

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 help prevent unwanted visitors from hopping your fence and using your pool when you’re not around.

If you’re working with a smaller budget, many rectangular pool models are autocover-ready. More elaborate shapes, such as freeform pools, may require a custom-cut autocover, which can cost more than a prefabricated autocover.

The Difference Between Winter Pool Covers and Autocovers

In Indiana, winter temperatures are typically below freezing and snow is almost a guarantee – although how much of it depends on where you live in the state. Given Indiana’s snowy winters, pool owners should consider budgeting for a winter cover in addition to an automatic pool cover. While automatic pool covers add an element of safety to your pool, they aren’t made to support the weight of a large snowfall. Without a specially-designed winter cover made to support the weight of heavy snowfall, you could potentially compromise the mechanical components of your pool cover.

While the Southern portion of Indiana (such as Bloomington and Evansville only receives an average of 10.8 to 17.5 inches of snow, Northern Indiana gets pummeled. South Bend and LaPorte receive roughly 65 inches of snow annually. In areas that receive heavy amounts of snow, a winter pool cover made to withstand the elements can help you safely close your pool before the onset of winter weather.

Learn more about how to winterize your pool.

Indiana Pool Maintenance Considerations

There’s a lot to love about both vinyl liner and fiberglass pools. One thing to love is that they require minimal maintenance. Depending on which type of material you choose for you may have a slightly different task list and maintenance schedule to keep your pool  looking and performing its best.

Maintaining Your Fiberglass Pool in Indiana

Although fiberglass pools are low-maintenance, it’s important to keep up with weekly and monthly maintenance tasks. Set aside time each week to check your pool’s chemistry and water levels, as well as empty filter baskets.

Learn more about weekly and monthly/periodic fiberglass pool maintenance tasks.

Vinyl Liner Pool Maintenance in Indiana

While vinyl liner pools are easy to maintain, they still require weekly and monthly TLC. Don’t worry! A little goes a long way and regular upkeep means you’ll have a lot more time to enjoy your pool overall.

In addition to weekly skimming and testing your water’s chemical and pH levels, devote time each week to give your vinyl liner a gentle scrub with a soft bristle brush. Be sure to check your liner for leaks at least once per month and patch them immediately.

You can also extend the life of your liner by making sure only soft toys are allowed in your pool. Think inflatable floats, beach balls and pool noodles.

For more tips, download our vinyl liner maintenance checklist to keep your pool sparkling!

 Seasonal Pool Maintenance in Indiana

Regardless of whether you choose a vinyl liner or fiberglass pool, in addition to regular upkeep, here are a few more seasonal tips to keep in mind if you own a pool in Indiana.

  • Spring: Although typically, Indiana residents open their pools in April, some elect to kick off their pool season in mid-March, particularly after a mild winter. Once your pool is open and spring is in bloom, keep in mind that Indiana has quite a bit of foliage and pollen counts can be high between April and June. During these months, skim pollen out of your pool regularly, as it can clog filter baskets. Pollen grains look like tiny green or yellow rice grains that float on the surface of your pool.
  • Fall: People with residential pools in Indiana often use them into early fall – especially if their pool is heated. Parts of Indiana are densely forested. And with beautiful trees, come autumn leaves. An autocover can help keep falling leaves (and other debris) out of your pool, reducing the need for skimming and balancing delicate water chemistry, allowing you to wring as many moments as possible out of your pool before it’s time to say goodbye to the season.
  • Winter: Close your pool down before winter, making sure all air is removed from water lines and pool equipment and that your skimmers are protected from cracking. Many pool owners close their pool themselves. However, you can also reach out to a professional service. Investing in a winter pool cover can also help to protect your pool during inclement weather. Winter covers are different from automatic pool covers and specifically designed to handle the weight of heavy snow.

How much does an inground pool cost in Indiana?

The total cost to install an inground pool in Indiana varies based on a number of factors. Size and materials are just one part of the equation. To arrive at the total cost of a pool package, you’ll also want to consider the cost to install fencing and decking around your pool, as well as practical items like an autocover and winter cover to protect your pool. You’ll also want to consider the cost of any add-ons, including water features, pool lights, heating elements, or a spillover spa.

Part of your pool budget should also be devoted to making sure it’s compliant for all Indiana residential pool laws. For instance, the Indiana State Pool Code requires that all residential pools less than 48” high must be surrounded by a fence or barrier. The fence or barrier must be at least 4 feet (48”) high with self-closing, self-latching gates. This barrier must surround the pool on all sides.

Inground pool owners in Indiana have the option to choose between a fence that meets state regulations, or a 400-lb autocover. While this is the minimum requirement for fencing around a pool across Indiana, some municipalities have more rigid rules in place. Be sure to do your homework to be sure your pool – and all its accessories – are compliant with all state and local laws. Working with a professional licensed builder can help you better understand these requirements and be sure your pool is up-to-code.

A pool can be the place where many happy memories can be made. While moments with loved ones can be priceless, a pool can be a big investment. However, it doesn’t mean that the dream of owning a family pool is out of reach. There are a variety of financing options available that can make pool ownership more achievable than you might think! Learn more about financing options here.

Indiana’s Private Swimming Pool Laws

Although owning a pool is fun, it also entails a good deal of responsibility. Indiana requires residential swimming pool owners to adhere to state and local laws. Gaining a better understanding of these pool laws can help ensure your pool is compliant and meets all state and regional codes.

Because state and local laws can change over time, it’s important to do your research beforehand to be sure your pool is up-to-code. Working with a professional builder can help you more easily navigate the most recent codes, as well as help you secure the proper permits to build your new pool.

Here are some of the most common questions about pool regulations in Indiana.

Do I need a permit to build a pool in Indiana?

If you plan to build a pool in Indiana, you will require a permit issued by the state. Indiana state permits require that a pool must be built at least 10 feet away from any structure on the property and be situated in either a backyard or side yard. Your local municipality may have additional permitting requirements. For instance, Indianapolis requires a Residential Development Permit application, which must be accompanied by site plan drawings, as well as a structural, improvement and drainage permit.

As another example, the town of Hebron, IN requires pool permit applications to be accompanied by a site plan, as well as a picture or brochure of the pool’s style. An additional permit is required for pool fencing. Hebron’s legal guidelines also require prospective pool owners to work with installers, contractors or subcontractors who have registered with the town for that year.

Because laws can change over time, it’s important to investigate what permits you are responsible for obtaining so that your pool is compliant. Working with a licensed professional builder can help you better understand the most current updates to any state and local pool laws in Indiana.

How much does a pool permit cost in Indiana?

The cost of a pool permit in Indiana varies depending upon where you live and specific permits required. The state of Indiana has a schedule of fees that apply to those who plan to install a swimming pool. Categorical processing fees for swimming pools are $0.02 times the gross cubic footage of the pool.

Other local governments throughout the state have their own permit fees. For instance, Hebron, IN charges $150 for an in-ground pool permit and $50 for a pool fence permit under the town’s Improvement Location Permit plan.
Because permitting fees and requirements may change over time, check with your local building office to understand which fees and applications you are responsible for, depending on where you live.

How tall does a pool fence have to be in Indiana?

Indiana requires that all residential pools must be surrounded by a fence or barrier at least 4 feet high. Your fence must also have self-closing, self-latching gates and surround the pool on all sides. Please keep in mind that this is the minimum requirement for fencing and that your city, town, or municipality may have additional height requirements to ensure your pool fencing is compliant.

Do you have to have a fence around a pool in Indiana?

The state of Indiana requires that all residential pools under 48” high must be surrounded by a self-latching, self-closing fence at least 4 feet high. This fence must encircle the pool on all sides. Residential pool owners who have an inground pool may be exempt from this fencing requirement if they have an approved 400-lb autocover on their pool in lieu of fencing.

Please note that this is the minimum requirement across the state and that your city or town may have additional rules in place. Be sure to check with your local building office to be sure you are operating from the most recent guidelines.

If my backyard is already fenced, do I need a fence around my pool in Indiana?

Even if you already have a fence prior to building a pool, it must be compliant with Indiana state and local requirements for pool fencing. This may require you to upgrade your existing fence. Overall, the state requires that all residential pools under 48” high must be surrounded by a fence at least 4 feet high on all sides. However, residential pool owners may be able to bypass this requirement if they have an approved 400-lb autocover.

Because laws can change over time and local laws in your municipality may be more prohibitive than those overarching the state, Indiana residents should check with their local building office to be sure their pool and fence meet all legal requirements. Working with a licensed professional builder can help you better understand these laws and your responsibilities as a pool owner.

Indiana Seasonality for Pools

Pool season in Indiana typically spans between April and September. The state has hot, humid summers, so if you own a pool in Indiana, you’ll definitely use it!  If it’s been a mild winter, some residential pool owners open their pools in mid-March. Indiana residents typically close their pools for the season once temperatures are consistently at 65F, however, a pool heater may be able to extend your pool season by making the water warmer even when the weather turns cold.

What type of inground pool is best for Indiana?

Both fiberglass and vinyl liner pools are popular choices that have comparable benefits, including that both are relatively low-maintenance options. Fiberglass pools are prized for their smooth, crystalline finish, while vinyl liner pools can be an affordable choice that can work well with uneven or sloped backyards. Not sure which pool is right for you? Speak with a builder who can help you explore your options and find the right fit.

Latham Pool, Servicing Indiana

If you’re thinking about buying a pool and live in Indiana, look to Latham to help you build the pool of your dreams. We’ve helped transform happy homeowners into happy pool owners in the following areas of the state:

  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Lafayette, IN
  • Terre Haute, IN
  • Bloomington, IN
  • Georgetown, IN
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Gary, IN
  • Hobart, IN
  • Crown Point, IN
  • Ross, IN
  • Hammond, IN
  • Cedar Lake, IN
  • Merrillville, IN
  • Elkhart, IN
  • Goshen, IN
  • South Bend, IN
  • Huntertown, IN
  • Lawrenceburg, IN

Start Building a Pool for Your Indiana Home Today

An inground pool can offer you countless years and even more memories with loved ones. To get started on your pool project, speak with an expert builder today to make the pool of your dreams a reality.

Contact us to learn more and become one of the many Indiana homeowners who love their Latham pool.

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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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