rectangular fiberglass pool surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas in southern backyard

rectangular fiberglass pool surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas in southern backyard

Vinyl Liner & Fiberglass Pools for Oklahoma

March 25th, 2024 by

To take a page from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s book, Oklahoma has “flowers on the prairie where the June bugs zoom, plenty of air and plenty of room.” The Sooner State’s wide open spaces, breathtaking natural scenery, hot humid summers and mild winters make it a great place to enjoy a pool to its fullest from the comforts of your backyard. 

From vibrant hubs of city life like Oklahoma City and Tulsa to charming small towns like Pauls Valley and Pawhuska, Oklahoma has a lot to offer. No matter where you live, there’s a pool that’s right for you. In the grand scheme of your home, backyard and lifestyle, your pool is just one part of a much bigger picture. Some careful research and planning can help you design a pool that helps you live your best backyard life. 

Whether you’re breaking ground on a new pool in Oklahoma or renovating an older pool, we’ll walk you through some key points to keep in mind to make the pool of your dreams a reality. From features that can help you create a lively or more tranquil atmosphere to pool maintenance tips, saddle up for helpful hints to help you make the right call. 

Inground  Pool Design Considerations for OK

Nestled in the Heartland, it could be easy to assume that Oklahoma is all flat land. To the contrary, Oklahoma has a mix of prairie stretches, mountains, hills, valleys – and even some swampland. The state is also home to lively urban areas and easy-going suburbs and rural areas. These factors play a role in choosing a pool that works with the type and size of land you have, and how you plan to use it. 

Fiberglass is one of the most popular modern materials for pools – and for good reason. Fiberglass pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also come in a variety of breathtaking colors and finishes that offer the illusion of shimmering waters found in nature. 

Maybe you love the clean lines of a rectangular fiberglass pool or the flowing shape of a freeform pool, there’s a pool out there that checks all the boxes for aesthetics and – more importantly – fits within the parameters of your backyard and lifestyle. 

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 safely enjoy your pool? 
  • Do you want your pool to be the main attraction? Or do you want to incorporate it as part of a larger outdoor oasis? For instance, maybe you want your pool to be tucked into a corner of your yard with plenty of space left to devote to a garden, swings for the kids, or 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 better understand how big (or small) your pool can be to comfortably accommodate everyone! 
  • Do you plan to use your pool for exercise, relaxation or both?

Pool safety should also be top-of-mind when choosing your pool. Be sure to save room for features to make your pool compliant with state and local laws, such as proper fencing. Another feature that can add an extra layer of safety, as well as savings on energy costs and maintenance is an autocover

Working with a licensed professional pool builder can help you better explore your options to make the most of your pool. Latham believes that there’s a pool for every home – no matter how big or small. It’s all about making your vision come to life. 

Need some inspiration? In this guide, you’ll see just a few of the many pools we’ve built throughout Oklahoma. Even if you don’t see the pool of your dreams here, getting in touch with a local independent builder can open the door to even more images and videos of pools that might not be available online just yet.

rectangular fiberglass pool surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas in southern backyard
Rectangular Fiberglass Pool | Photo courtesy of Columbia Pool & Spa

Smaller Pools: Budget-Friendly and Perfect for Urban Centers

Oklahoma has a diverse range of cities and landscapes. Larger cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City and “the Crown Jewel” of Edmond, OK are densely populated and teeming with commerce and activity. As a consequence, more urban areas of The Sooner State have smaller backyards. That said, there’s a pool for every backyard – including many compact pools that can pack a lot of fun into a small space, alongside a ton of fun features already built-in. 

For instance, the Enchantment comes in at a slim, trim 9’ x 17’, capable of providing any city home with a place to play, entertain, or unwind. This rectangular-shaped pool’s ultra-wide tanning ledge can pull double duty as a more shallow wading area for young children. 

If the striking good looks of a freeform pool have caught your eye, the 11’ x 22’ Aruba is a slightly larger model that offers multiple entry and exit points with slip-resistant steps. This makes it a great choice for kids or adults who may tire easily and want a convenient way to get in and out of the pool without having to swim to another end. Beyond practical features, the Aruba also crams a lot of fun into its modern freeform package. Ample swim-up seating makes it ideal for entertaining guests!

compact fiberglass pool in a small southern backyard
Bermuda Shape | Photo courtesy of Gary’s Pool & Patio

Spacious Pools

Oklahomans who live in the Sooner State’s more densely forested rural areas and small prairie towns – like Broken Bow in the southeast near the breathtaking Kiamichi Mountains or Medicine Park, OK – are fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty and large backyards. 

If a larger pool with ample room to entertain is on your list, the rectangular Astoria has a lot to offer. Its wading area makes it kid-friendly, while multiple entry/exit points with slip-resistant steps are ideal for swimmers of all ages who may tire easily. Swim-up seating creates plenty of space to chill out with a cool beverage on a hot day, chatting it up with friends at a backyard BBQ.  

The Cancun Deluxe is another large-sized option that brings the fun, thanks to a spillover spa, making it a great place to relax after the sun has gone down. A wide top step doubles as a tanning ledge, while swim-up seating makes this 16’ x 35’ freeform pool a fantastic choice for entertaining and transforming your backyard into the place to be. 

But not everyone wants a large pool. If you plan to use your backyard as a multi-purpose space and dream of colorful flower beds and garden hammocks taking up residence alongside a charming midsize pool, there are tons of options to explore. For instance, the 14’ x 30’ Olympia features tiered slip-resistant steps and swim-up seating. This medium-sized pool is equally suited to squeezing in a workout by swimming laps as it is entertaining guests on the weekend. 

Regardless of what size or style of pool you want, there are plenty of options to fit the bill and a bit more wiggle room in your budget due to Oklahoma’s lower cost of living. The Sooner State’s cost of living expenses clock in at 12% below the national average and OK’s cost of housing is a whopping 28% lower than most of the country. 

Whether you choose a larger or smaller pool, you might want to outfit your pool with spectacular add-ons to enhance your enjoyment. From warming fire features and bowls that give a rustic feel and added light after sundown, to water features like bubblers and spouts to create a waterpark-like environment for the kids, if your pool can be equipped in a variety of imaginative ways. 

Not sure what’s possible? Check with a local builder to see images and videos of pools they’ve built to spark some inspiration!

large fiberglass pool with built-in spa in spacious southern backyard
Cancun Deluxe Shape | Photo courtesy of Gary’s Pool & Patio

Landscaping Considerations for Oklahoma Pools

Your pool is just one part of your backyard. While it offers you a place to relax, entertain, or exercise, having the right landscaping to offset your pool and make it fit with the unique vision you have for your backyard goes a long way. 

Oklahoma is home to beautiful scenery – from lush forests and wide-open prairies, to majestic mountains and stunning lakes and rivers. You can take a cue from the Sooner State’s gorgeous natural features and use them as creative inspiration for your backyard to complement your pool. 

While plants and greenery are timeless, “rockscaping” has become popular in recent years. This no-fuss style uses natural or man-made rocks to provide a focal point around your pool. They can even be incorporated into the design of your pool, especially if you have a waterfall-style feature built-in. 

If you live in a flat, prairie area, you may want grass and mulch beds to fit with the natural landscape, or to add some attractive shrubbery around the perimeter for added privacy and visual interest. 

If you live in one of the tree-lined areas of Oklahoma, adding bushes and trees to fit with the natural landscape can give your pool the feel of a calming, natural spring surrounded by plant life. 

And for those in more mountainous areas – in the shadow of the Arbuckle or Ouachita Mountains — a rectangular pool can offer a smooth, mirror-like space to reflect the Sooner State’s grand peaks. Whether you’re having a morning coffee on your patio or taking it easy on the weekend, this can be a beautifully simple way to make use of natural scenery to enhance your pool. 

Pool Ideas for Hilly or Sloped Backyards

Although Oklahoma is generally flat – smack dab in the heart of the Great Plains – the northeastern and central areas of the state are home to gently rolling hills and mountainous areas, like the Ouachita and Wichita Mountains, or Turkey Mountain in Tulsa. These naturally occurring features can sometimes make it challenging to install a pool due to less-than-level land. 

For instance, if rocky soil lurks beneath the grass of your backyard sits on a slope, a professional builder can grade your land to make it more hospitable for a fiberglass pool. However, this is an area where vinyl liner pools shine, giving you even more options to explore to work with the natural features of your backyard. 

Due to their flexibility of installation and ability to be fully customized, a vinyl liner pool can be poured into place and work with a retainer wall to conform to the terrain of your backyard. Working with a local builder can help you better understand your options and help you create a design that brings your vision to life. 

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

Choosing the right material for your pool can help you get even more enjoyment out of it. Two of the most popular options on the market today are fiberglass pools and vinyl liner pools. Both offer durability and ease of maintenance alongside cost savings over time. 

Concrete (or “gunite”) pools still retain some degree of popularity, but have fallen out of favor in recent years due to fiberglass and vinyl liner pools offering greater flexibility of customization and longevity. Concrete pools are more high-maintenance than their fiberglass and vinyl liner counterparts, requiring resurfacing once every ten years. Over time, a concrete pool can become rough and chalky. This rough surface makes it tough on the tootsies when wading in and gunite’s more porous nature encourages the growth of algae, which can pose challenges to maintaining optimum water chemistry. 

Compare fiberglass, vinyl liner and concrete pools to choose the best material for your pool lifestyle needs. 

Fiberglass Pool Benefits

Fiberglass pools are more than just a pretty face. Sure, their smooth, glittering surface catches the light – and the eye – to make your pool sparkle in the sun. But carefully engineered, high-quality fiberglass pool shells are pre-manufactured and ready to install in your backyard, paving a smoother path to installation. That means you can start enjoying your new pool sooner. 

Their smooth surface isn’t just a treat for the feet when wading in. It makes them easier to clean and less prone to algae clinging to pool walls. This makes it much easier to maintain proper water chemistry to keep the fun flowing all summer long – and beyond!  

Learn more about the benefits of a fiberglass pool

Vinyl Liner Pool Benefits

Vinyl liner pools have comparable benefits to their fiberglass cousins, making them an outstanding choice for a pool that checks the boxes for easy maintenance, cost-savings, and customization. 

Vinyl liner pools come in a range of shapes and sizes. You also have added customization potential with liner colors and patterns to harmonize the hue of your pool with your surroundings. Beyond just the color, size and shape, vinyl liner pools can be tailored to your backyard lifestyle with a range of add-ons. Liven up your pool with colorful LED pool lights or fun fountain features that draw the eye and pump up the party. 

Although vinyl liner pools require a little extra maintenance compared to fiberglass, it’s worth it in terms of up-front and long-term cost savings. Vinyl liner pools are also an excellent choice for replacing or renovating an older concrete pool. Concrete pools require resurfacing once every ten years. Not only does this impact your pool’s cosmetic appearance, but a rough concrete pool can also be a breeding ground for algae, throwing off your water chemistry. By contrast, a well-maintained vinyl liner needs to be swapped out once every ten years – a far less expensive proposition than full-pool resurfacing. 

Due to their high degree of customization, a vinyl liner pool can also change with the times and your lifestyle. Today, you may want a kid-friendly pool with thrilling water features and slides. But when the kids fly the nest, you may want to remove the slides in favor of a tanning ledge or features designed for entertaining. Whether that means watching college football poolside on the weekends – Boomer Sooner! – or working up a sweat with some laps in the pool before throwing some steaks on the grill for dinner, a vinyl liner pool can make it all possible. 

Because adding and removing pool features is an invasive process, plan ahead and make those upgrades alongside swapping out an older vinyl liner. This can help you save time and money overall.

large vinyl liner pool with custom water feature in Oklahoma backyard
Vinyl Liner Pool | Photo courtesy of S&S pools

Installing an Inground Pool in Oklahoma

If you’re in the planning stages of a new pool, you’ll want to give some thought to when you want to break ground on a new pool. One thing that can complicate installation is tornado season. Oklahoma is situated in Tornado Alley, with twisters whipping through the Sooner State and reaching their peak in frequency and force between April and June. In 2023, 74 tornados tore through Oklahoma, with 18 tornados touching down in April and then again in June. When planning your pool, you may want to work around tornado season, scheduling installation for a time that may experience less volatile weather conditions. 

Oklahoma residents, particularly those in the central and western areas of the state, have iron-rich red soil. While most red soil is clay, which can be overly absorbent and require special handling when installing a pool, Oklahoma’s red soil is actually port silt loam. Your pool builder will test your soil to ensure proper drainage, but silt and loam are a good foundation for a pool, offering more structural stability. 

In addition to assessing your backyard and any considerations to install a pool, your pool builder will work with you to prepare you for the road ahead. 

Installing a Fiberglass Pool

The first step to installing your brand new fiberglass pool involves your builder excavating a space in your backyard. From there, a high-quality, pre-engineered fiberglass pool shell makes its way from the factory to your backyard where you’ll enjoy it for many years to come! 

Learn more about the fiberglass pool installation process.  

Installing a Vinyl Pool

Your building team will measure the precise area for your new vinyl liner pool and begin breaking ground. Step-by-step, your new pool will begin to take shape before your team seals your pool’s liner in place and your pool season is officially underway! 

Learn more about the vinyl liner pool installation process. 

Oklahoma Inground Pool Maintenance

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 a clear winner in terms of easy maintenance. Block off time each week to skim your pool, empty filter baskets and test your pool’s water chemistry. You’ll also want to set aside time each month to back flush your filtration system to keep your pool running smoothly.

Learn more about maintaining your fiberglass pool.

Vinyl Liner Pool Maintenance

Owning a vinyl liner pool takes a little more effort than a fiberglass pool – but not much more! Each week, skim your pool and test your water’s chemical and pH levels. To help keep stains, calcium deposits, and algae from accumulating on your liner, use a soft brush to give it a gentle, weekly scrub.

Speaking of your liner, give your liner a thorough once-over every month. Use this as an opportunity to patch any small tears. This can help give your liner a longer lease on life and avoid premature replacement. A well-maintained liner can last for up to 10 years! 

Another way you can show your liner some TLC is by using only soft, liner-safe pool toys. This can prevent any accidental dings or tears in your liner. Load up on foam pool noodles, inflatable toys and other soft toys for playtime in the pool. 

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

How to Prepare Your Pool for Tornados

If summer is prime pool time, unfortunately, spring is peak tornado season in Oklahoma. The Sooner State is among the top 5 US states in terms of tornados that touch down annually, with the most twisters ripping through OK between April and June. 

While a tornado can be a scary and destructive event, you can help minimize damage to your pool by preparing it in advance of a storm. Most importantly, turn off all power to your pool equipment, including your pump, filtration systems and any heating elements. Add-ons that require power – such as pool lights, an automatic pool cover or spillover spa – should also be unplugged. or If you have pool lights, be sure to turn off their power source, as well. While turning off your power may not prevent damage to the equipment itself during high winds, it can help prevent dangerous electrical issues. 

If you have space in your basement or lower level of your home, move pool equipment indoors. If these items need to stay outside, be sure they are secured and have a waterproof covering. 

Before a tornado strikes, do not drain your pool water. You may think that draining your pool may be better for your water chemistry, but draining your pool can leave it more vulnerable to scratches and scrapes due to any flying debris landing in your pool. Similarly,  do not store pool or patio furniture in your pool when preparing for a tornado. Rather, take any furniture that can be moved indoors or to a secured outdoor area.  

Once the tornado has passed, take time to remove debris from in or around your pool. You will also need to rebalance your water chemistry or shock your pool before it’s ready to reopen. 

Pool Covers

Regardless of what material you choose for your pool, an automatic pool cover can help you save maintenance and energy costs, as well as help prevent accidents. An autocover can help you save between 50% to 70% on energy costs each year, as well as help reduce water evaporation. This can help you reduce the need to rebalance your water chemistry. 

An autocover can also help reduce the amount of pollen and seasonal foliage from winding up in your pool. Tiny pollen grains can clog your pool filters if not skimmed off, while wet leaves can contribute to algae growth. An autocover can help minimize nature from “finding a way” into your pool when it’s not in use.

But perhaps the most important benefit of an autocover is that it can save lives, preventing kids and pets from accidentally falling in when your pool is unattended. An automatic pool cover can also act as a preventive barrier against people attempting to hop your fence and help themselves to your pool when you’re not watching. 

Winter Maintenance

Oklahoma has mild winters with highs in the mid 40s and 50s and night-time lows in the 20F to 30F range. While OK winters are relatively tame compared to far colder corners of the country, Sooner State residents will want to close their pools before winter sets in. Mid-to-late October can be an optimum time for Oklahomans to close their pools, allowing them to maximize their pool use throughout the summer and into early fall when temperatures are still warm enough to use a heated pool. 

Whether you choose to close your pool yourself or tap a professional to help you close for the season, properly winterizing your pool can make for a smooth reopening next year! 

Learn more about how to winterize your pool. 

Inground Pool Costs in Oklahoma

The cost to build an inground pool in Oklahoma varies depending on a number of factors, including the type of material and size of your pool, add-ons like an automatic safety cover, as well as labor involved to work with any unique backyard constraints. Uneven, rocky or sloped terrain may require your builder to grade or level the land to accommodate your new pool. 

When determining the final cost of your new pool, remember that your pool is just one part of your backyard. Be sure to factor in the cost of fencing, decking and landscaping surrounding your pool to bring your vision to life. 

Although it can be a big-ticket item, owning a brand new pool is certainly within reach. Sit down to evaluate how much you’re willing to spend. Your pool builder can help you find a pool that works for your needs and budget. You also have the option to finance your pool, paying it off over time while enjoying a new pool today! 

Oklahoma Pool FAQs

If you’re thinking about taking the plunge into pool ownership in Oklahoma, you likely have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common questions we hear from future pool owners! 

Is installing an inground pool in Oklahoma a good investment?

If properly cared-for, a pool can increase your home’s resale value between 5% and 8%. A beautiful pool and backyard adds aesthetic appeal to your home and, for prospective buyers who’ve always dreamed of a pool, having one already installed in the backyard eliminates the worry about having to deal with the installation process themselves. 

However, the true value of a pool is in the enjoyment it offers you and your family. Whether you decide to sell your home tomorrow or never plan to sell, a pool offers you a relaxing backyard oasis to spend time with friends and family through the years. 

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

Although there is no statewide law that requires you to have a permit to build a residential pool in Oklahoma, different cities and counties throughout the Sooner State mandate that you have a permit before breaking ground.

For instance, Midwest City, OK requires homeowners to apply for a permit before constructing any new inground or above-ground pool. This application should be accompanied by a full site plan that illustrates the placement of the pool and its distance from any adjoining property lines. 

Oklahoma City also requires a permit for any building project that involves new construction, removal, or renovation. This would apply to installing a new pool or renovating an older pool. In addition to applying for a building permit, Oklahoma City residents are also responsible for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permit fees. 

Because laws can change over time – and from town to town – check with your local building office to understand what permits you may need to start building a new pool in Oklahoma. Working with a knowledgeable pool builder can help you more easily navigate the process and obtain the proper permits.  

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

Oklahoma requires that all residential swimming pools with a depth of more than 18” and wider than eight feet must be entirely surrounded by a fence, wall or barrier that is at least 5 feet (60 inches) high, placed no further than 20 inches from the edge of the pool. 

While this law blankets the state, different cities and municipalities throughout Oklahoma may have even stricter requirements around fence heights and placement. Be sure to consult with your local building office to be sure your pool and all associated fencing is compliant with state, as well as local codes. 

Oklahoma Inground Pool Installation Areas

At Latham, we’re firm believers that there’s a pool for every backyard. No matter what the pool of your dreams looks like, our team is here to help you make it happen, no matter where you live in Oklahoma, including: 

  • Ardmore, OK
  • Chickasha, OK
  • Edmond, OK
  • Elk City, OK
  • Jenks, OK
  • Kiefer, OK
  • Lawton, OK
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Paul’s Valley, OK
  • Sapulpa, OK
  • Sperry, OK
  • Stillwater, OK
  • Tulsa, OK

Start Building a Pool for Your Oklahoma 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

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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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