freeform fiberglass pool with waterslide, tanning ledge, and custom landscaping

freeform fiberglass pool with waterslide, tanning ledge, and custom landscaping

Vinyl Liner & Fiberglass Pools for Kentucky

June 4th, 2024 by

Graced with beautiful scenery like the breathtaking Appalachians and majestic Red River Gorge to name just a few lovely landmarks, Kentucky is easy on the eyes. One way lucky Kentucky residents can soak it all in is from the comforts of home, taking it easy poolside. 

Whether you dream of owning a beautiful new pool, or are planning to renovate an existing one, we’ll walk you through the different types of pool materials to consider, as well as some common questions Kentuckians have about owning and maintaining a pool. There’s a pool for every backyard and we’re here to help you discover the right pool that works for your lifestyle and unique vision. Let’s dive in!

Key Considerations for Inground Pool Designs in KY

Okay! So, you’ve decided you want a new pool. Where to begin? Start by envisioning what an afternoon or evening gathered by the pool looks like. Do you see yourself hosting friends and family to watch the Kentucky Derby poolside – toes in the water with a mint julep in-hand? Or do you see yourself soaking your cares away after a long workday, floating in serene blue waters? There’s no right or wrong answer! But here are a few questions to help you better visualize the pool of your dreams. 

When planning your pool, think about how you plan to use it – 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 might you need so that everyone can better enjoy your pool? Will you need a shallow end of the pool or a wading area for young children? Do you want multiple entry and exit points to accommodate swimmers who may tire easily? 
  • Do you see your pool as the focal point of your backyard? Or would you prefer it be a single component of a much larger, multi-purpose space?
  • Do you plan to use your pool for entertaining? If so, how many people typically attend your backyard get-togethers? This can help you better understand how big (or small) your pool needs to be for everyone to enjoy it.
  • Do you plan to use your pool for exercise, relaxation or both?

Pool materials will also play a role in your pool’s look, cost and maintenance considerations now and in the future. Fiberglass is one of the most popular modern pool materials thanks to its dazzling range of colors and finishes. Vinyl liner pools are another popular choice due to their highly customizable and cost-effective nature. 

The size of your backyard also impacts your design choices, as well as the size of your pool. Pools are available in a range of shapes and sizes, from spacious to compact. Maybe you love the clean lines of a rectangular to freeform options. Whether you have a large or small backyard, there’s a pool to work with any limitations of your yard. 

Pool safety should also be top-of-mind when choosing your pool. Budget for features to make sure your pool complies with state and local laws. Consider things like proper fencing, pool alarms, and more. An automatic pool cover can help you save on energy and maintenance costs, as well as potentially save lives, standing as a safety barrier to prevent kids and pets from accidentally falling in when unsupervised in your yard. as well as savings on energy costs and maintenance is an. 

At Latham, we believe there’s a pool for every home. Working with a licensed professional pool builder can help you explore your options and bring your vision of the perfect pool to life! 

In this guide, you’ll see just a few of the pools we’ve built in Kentucky. Don’t see your dream pool here? Even if you don’t see the pool of your dreams here, getting in touch with a local independent builder can surface even more images and videos of pools not available in their online portfolio just yet. 

automatic pool cover opening over rectangular fiberglass pool
Fiberglass Pool | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Designing Kentucky Pools: Inspired Landscapes for Every Setting

Your pool is just one part of your backyard. Getting creative with pool landscaping ideas can harmonize your pool with your surroundings for a more cohesive vision for your backyard. Depending on where you live in The Bluegrass State, there’s quite a bit of natural inspiration you can tap into. 

  • A reflection of perfection: An expansive rectangular pool can beautifully mirror the natural beauty of your surroundings. If you live in mountainous eastern Kentucky among the Appalachians and Pine Mountains, a rectangular pool can reflect the breathtaking scenery and its clean lines won’t detract from the natural view. 
  • From here to infinity: The Bluegrass Region of central Kentucky has lush pastures and gently rolling hills. The winding curves of a freeform pool can mimic a natural stream cutting through your backyard, giving it a more relaxing feel. If your property itself is situated on a hilly slope, infinity edge pools can blend seamlessly with your surroundings. 

Rock on: Kentucky is known for its velvety greenery. While a lawn blanketed with bluegrass is striking, “rockscaping” can be a low-maintenance alternative to shrubs and flowers to add visual interest. Rockscaping uses natural or man-made rocks to add visual interest around your pool area. They can even be incorporated into

freeform fiberglass pool with waterslide, tanning ledge, and custom landscaping
Fiberglass Pool | Photo courtesy of Brooks Malone

Deciding on Pool Material: Comparing Fiberglass and Vinyl Liner

The right pool material plays a big part in its longevity and level of maintenance required. Fiberglass and vinyl liner pools are two of the most popular choices of pool materials today, offering beauty, durability, and ease of maintenance on top of cost savings over time. 

Although concrete (or “gunite”) pools are another popular choice, they require a more rigorous maintenance schedule compared to their fiberglass and vinyl liner counterparts. Concrete pools can become rough and chalky over time, requiring resurfacing once every ten years. In addition to this making concrete pools less comfortable underfoot, the material’s more porous nature makes them more hospitable to algae growth – which makes it tough to maintain proper water chemistry. 

Compare fiberglass, vinyl liner and concrete pools to make an informed choice about the best pool material for your lifestyle needs. 

Advantages of Fiberglass Pools

Fiberglass pools are just as beloved for their smooth, shimmering surface as they are their ease of maintenance. Their slick surface doesn’t just make them comfortable underfoot. It also makes fiberglass pools easier to clean and less prone to algae clinging to pool walls. This makes it easier to keep your water chemistry balanced, giving you more time to enjoy your pool! 

Best of all, if you’re new to owning a pool, carefully engineered, high-quality fiberglass pool shells are delivered directly from the factory to your backyard for installation, allowing you to begin enjoying your new pool sooner. 

Learn more about the benefits of a fiberglass pool

Pros of Vinyl Liner Pools

Vinyl liner pools offer your old (or new) Kentucky home a one-two punch of adaptability and cost-effectiveness. This makes them an excellent choice for both new installations, as well as for upgrading from an older concrete pool. 

Vinyl liner pools come in various shapes and sizes, allowing for customization with a selection of liner colors and patterns that enhance the look of your pool and backyard. Add-ons like vibrant LED lights or playful fountains give you tons of options to customize the look of your pool, making it either a tranquil oasis or lively spot for family gatherings or weekend barbecues.

While they require slightly more upkeep than fiberglass pools, vinyl liners are an economical option, needing replacement only every decade—far cheaper than resurfacing a concrete pool. 

As your family’s needs evolve, so can your pool. Transform it from a kid-friendly fun zone with slides to a sophisticated entertainment space with a tanning ledge for adult gatherings. Picture yourself grilling steaks after a swim with a Wildcats game projected on the big screen poolside!  

Another way to save money with a vinyl liner pool is to plan your enhancements when replacing the liner to streamline costs and renovations. Adding or removing features can be a more invasive process, so a little foreplanning can go a long way!

Learn more about the benefits of vinyl liner pools.

pool party in suburban backyard with kids playing in vinyl liner pool
Vinyl Liner Pool | Photo courtesy of Heatwave Pools

Installing an Inground Pool in Kentucky

When is the best time to start breaking ground on a new pool in Kentucky? If you want your pool to be ready for summer, you may want to consider starting your project in fall or winter. Kentucky experiences its peak tornado season between April and May, although twisters can rip through The Bluegrass State in late fall or early winter. Areas such as Louisville, Bowling Green, Paducah, Lexington and Frankfort are among those that are most affected by tornadoes. Pay attention to seasonal weather patterns to find the best time to start your project. 

Working with an experienced professional pool builder can also help you get more insight into when to start your project, as well as what permits you may need to get started.

Apart from unexpected storms, Kentucky has hot summers and relatively mild winters with little snowfall. Most of the state sees less than 2 feet of snow annually, with some areas barely even getting a foot of snow! Consult with your builder to help plan the best time to begin your pool project, taking into account the potential for unexpected hiccups. Your brand new pool will be fully operational and summer-ready before you know it!

Installing a Fiberglass Pool

Your builder will kick things off by measuring and digging a space for your pool. Once the area has been excavated, your chosen high-quality, pre-engineered fiberglass pool shell will be delivered to your backyard. Your building team will set it in place and make sure all systems are properly configured before your summer officially starts!

Learn more about the fiberglass pool installation process.  

Installing a Vinyl Pool

Precision and perfection is the name of the game when installing a vinyl liner pool! Your builder will measure the area and dig a space for your pool. Depending on the type of non-corrosive material you and your builder decide on for pool walls, your pool will begin to take shape before your liner is finally dropped in place and your new pool is filled and ready to use! 

Learn more about the vinyl liner pool installation process. 

Maintaining Inground Pools in Kentucky

Both fiberglass and vinyl liner pools are known for their easy upkeep. However, your pool maintenance schedule and checklist may differ slightly, depending upon the material you choose. 

Fiberglass Pool Maintenance

Fiberglass pools are beloved for their low-maintenance vibe, making it easy for new pool owners to get into a groove with upkeep. Once each week, empty filter baskets, test your water chemistry and skim your pool. Then, schedule time each month to back flush your filtration system and that’s it!

Learn more about maintaining your fiberglass pool.

Vinyl Liner Pool Maintenance in Kentucky

Vinyl liner pools require a little extra TLC than fiberglass pools, but they’re worth it in terms of cost savings! During pool season, test your water chemistry and pH, empty filter baskets, and skim your pool.  You’ll also want to give your liner a gentle scrub each week, using a soft bristled brush. From an aesthetic standpoint, this helps keep stains at bay. But from an operational standpoint, it also prevents calcium deposits and algae from settling on your liner, helping prolong its lifespan. A well-maintained liner can last for up to 10 years!

You’ll also want to check your liner for any small tears once per month and patch them immediately. You can help lower the risk of accidental tears or punctures in your liner by making it a rule to use only soft pool toys in and around your pool. Stock up on foam pool noodles, inflatables, and beach balls to maximize fun and minimize liner damage.

Get more tips for taking care of your vinyl liner pool.

Securing Your Pool Against Tornado Risks

Kentucky is located right in the heart of Hoosier Alley – an offshoot of Tornado Alley. The Bluegrass State typically sees approximately 21 tornadoes per year. Although the lion’s share of tornadoes hit KY between April and May, pop-up twisters have been known to tear through between November and January.

If you own a pool, a little preparedness can help you minimize damage to your pool. Be sure to turn off all power to your pool equipment, including your pump, filtration systems and any heating elements. Features that use electricity (such as pool lights, or an autocover) should also be unplugged. Cutting the power supply can prevent dangerous electrical malfunctions during a tornado. 

To protect any pool equipment that’s moveable and unplugged, take it to a safe space in your basement or the lowest level of your home. If you can’t bring these items indoors, make sure they are secured with a waterproof covering. 

While it may be tempting to empty your pool before a tornado touches down, do not drain your pool water. Draining your pool can make it more susceptible to damage due to flying debris that may land in your pool. 

As another precaution, avoid storing patio furniture in your pool before a tornado. If possible, move pool furniture indoors or to a secure outdoor area.

After the storm, remove dirt and debris from in or around your pool. You will also need to rebalance your water chemistry or shock your pool before reopening. 

Pool Covers

No matter the size, shape, or material of your pool, an automatic pool cover can help you save on maintenance and energy costs – and more importantly, help prevent accidents. Adding an autocover to your pool package can help you save between 50% to 70% each year on energy costs. It can also help reduce water evaporation, making it easier to keep your water chemistry and pH levels balanced. 

Given that over 48% of Kentucky is densely forested, an autocover can come in handy during spring and fall, reducing the amount of pollen and leaves that fall into your pool. If not skimmed off, pollen grains can clog your pool filters, compromising your water quality. Similarly, wet autumn leaves can contribute to algae growth. An automatic cover can prevent Mother Nature from depositing any “gifts” in your pool when it’s not in use.

The most important benefit of an autocover is that it can save lives. Autocovers can help prevent children and pets from accidentally falling into your pool when it’s unattended.  An automatic pool cover can also serve as a deterrent against unwanted guests hopping your fence and enjoying your pool without your knowledge. 

Inground Pool Costs in Kentucky

Several factors play a role in the total cost to build an inground pool in Kentucky. The size and material you choose for your pool is one line item, while add-ons – such as an automatic pool cover, slides, and lights will also contribute to the overall cost. Beyond the cost of materials, you’ll also want to consider the cost of labor to install your pool. Certain backyard features like rocky or sloped terrain may require a little extra effort from your building team to accommodate your new pool, translating to a higher cost of installation. You’ll also want to consider the cost of fencing, decking, and landscaping around your pool within the total cost of installation. 

The initial out-of-pocket cost to install a pool is a big cost commitment. However, owning a pool is certainly an attainable goal. Kentucky’s lower cost of living and housing can open up more room in your budget for a pool. Chat with your local builder to get a pulse on the cost of a pool, and to discuss what features work best for your budget and lifestyle. You can also consider financing a new pool, giving you the option to pay it off over time while getting a jump on the fun today!

Reasons to Install an Inground Pool in Kentucky

There’s a lot to love about living in The Bluegrass State. And even more to love when complemented by a beautiful backyard pool. Here are just a few reasons to consider adding a new pool or upgrading an existing pool in Kentucky. 

Beat the heat: With an average of 220 sunny days annually, Kentuckians have a long stretch of days to enjoy their pool. During summer months, Kentucky temperatures range from 82 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit, making a pool a welcome addition for cooling off on hot days. 

More time to enjoy your pool:  Although Kentucky experiences all four seasons, its winters are on the mild side. This gives Kentuckians more time to enjoy their pool, compared to other parts of the country. If you want to squeak even more mileage out of your pool, adding a heating element or spa can help you extend swim season well into fall – or allow you to enjoy your pool after the sun has gone down.

Lower cost of living: Kentucky’s lower cost of living makes owning a pool an accessible prospect, allowing residents a bit more wiggle room in their budget to splurge on thrilling features or splashy upgrades to build the pool of their dreams. 

Soak in the scenery: From Lake Cumberland to the Appalachians, Kentucky brims with natural beauty. Whether your home overlooks The Red River or you’re gazing out at moonbows under the night sky in the “Niagara of the South,” the beauty of The Bluegrass State can be best enjoyed poolside. 

Your own private oasis: Skip the drive to the lake – and the crowds! Enjoy a refreshing dip in the comfort of your own backyard. Enjoy a tranquil weekend poolside or liven things up with your pool as the center of the action for family BBQs and get-togethers! 

Kentucky Pool FAQs

If you’re thinking about plunging into pool ownership in Kentucky, you probably have questions. Not to worry – we’ve got answers! Here are some of the most common questions we hear from prospective pool owners.

freeform fiberglass pool in mid-size suburban backyard
Fiberglass Pool | Photo courtesy of The Pool Guyz

Is installing an inground pool in Kentucky a good investment?

A well-cared for pool can increase your home’s resale value between 5% and 8%. Not only can a pool lend curb appeal, but it can be a great incentive for prospective buyers. While many people dream of owning a pool, some worry about the hassle of the installation process. Having an existing pool that’s already been installed and beautifully maintained can be an enticing feature that captures the attention of buyers if you ever decide to sell your home. 

Monetary value aside, the real value of owning a pool is in the years of enjoyment it offers to you and your family. Whether you decide to sell your home tomorrow or never plan to sell, a pool gives you a place to relax, exercise, and make memories with loved ones through the years. 

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

There is no statewide law in Kentucky that requires a permit to build a residential pool in Kentucky. However, many cities and counties spanning the state require a permit for constructing a residential pool. 

For instance, Louisville, KY requires a building permit for an in-ground swimming pool, issued by the Division of Building Inspection, along with approval from the Fayette County Health Department. The permitting process ensures the pool is properly zoned and does not encroach on any setbacks and conforms with Kentucky Building Codes, including utility easements and requirements for flood plain, sewer connections, and storm drains.

In Lexington, KY, residents must have a Swimming Pool Permit issued by the Division of Building Inspection, as well as approval from the Fayette County Health Department. Permit applications must be submitted along with a site plan, copy of your subdivision plat, acknowledgement that any electrical work must be done by a licenced contractor, and that your pool must be surrounded by fencing at least 4 feet high. 

Georgetown, KY also requires a permit to install an inground pool. The permit must include the cost of construction, contractor information (including insurance certification), as well as acknowledgement of fencing requirements and that any electrical work must be performed by a licensed electrical contractor. This permit must also be accompanied by a site plan with the pool’s dimensions and location with regard to surrounding property lines, as well as a Certificate of Occupancy. 

Because laws can change over time and differ across cities and counties, it’s important to check with your local building office to confirm what permits you are responsible for obtaining before breaking ground on a new pool in Kentucky. Teaming up with a licensed pool builder can help you more easily navigate the process and secure the proper permits. 

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

The Kentucky Building Code requires that all residential swimming pools with a depth of 24” or more must be surrounded by a fence at least 4 feet high, with self-closing and self-latching gates.  wall or barrier that is at least 5 feet (60 inches) high, placed no further than 20 inches from the edge of the pool. 

Although this requirement applies throughout the state, different cities and counties in Kentucky may have even more stringent requirements. For instance, Ashland, KY requires fencing around any pool with a depth of 18” or more to be surrounded by a fence that meets regulations.

In Florence, KY, although the city requires pool fencing comply with the state-required 4-foot minimum height, pool fencing cannot be higher than 6 feet high on any side. 

Because laws can vary, depending on where you live in Kentucky, consult with your local building office to confirm that your pool’s fencing complies with state and local building codes. 

How do I choose the right pool size and design for my backyard?

Choosing the right pool for your backyard involves asking yourself how you plan to use your pool, who will use it, and how much of your backyard you want to devote to a new pool. Your budget also plays a role in determining what features you want to include now, versus those you may want to add at a later date. Beyond aesthetics and the experience you want from your pool, you’ll also want to consider any state and local laws that may impact the size of your pool and whether it encroaches upon any easements. This can help you whittle down your options and focus on the design and fun features you want your pool to have. 

Kentucky Inground Pool Installation Areas

At Latham, we believe there’s a pool to fit every lifestyle and every backyard. Our team is here to help make your dream pool a reality. We’ve helped make countless happy pool owners throughout The Bluegrass State, including those in: 

  • Bowling Green, KY
  • Bronston, KY
  • Dana, KY
  • Evansville, KY
  • Ezel, KY
  • Frankfort, KY
  • Henderson, KY
  • Lexington, KY
  • Louisville, KY
  • Owensboro, KY
  • Paducah, KY
  • Prestonsburg, KY
  • Russellville, KY
  • West Liberty, KY

Start Building a Pool for Your Kentucky Backyard Today

A new pool can give you a place to relax, exercise or enjoy many happy hours with loved ones through the years. Get in touch with a licensed professional builder to start making memories in your brand new pool today. 

Contact us to learn more.

Meet Our Expert

Written by

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.

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Browse by Category