With its scorching summers where temperatures can climb well above 100 degrees, Arizona is a state that pushes heat to extremes. But there’s a better solution than cranking your air conditioner to full blast. Imagine a way to beat the heat, entertain guests, delight the kids, add value to your property and beautify your home — all at the same time. That’s what a fiberglass swimming pool can offer, likely at a far lower cost than you’d expect. Vinyl swimming pools are another excellent option that we’ll also explore.
Whether you live in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson or anywhere else in The Copper State, work with trusted Arizona pool builders to transform your backyard — and your lifestyle! This guide will help you take the first steps, covering essential topics like pool designs you can choose from, how to maintain a fiberglass pool and some Arizona regulations that pool owners should be aware of.
If you’re wondering, “Are fiberglass pools good in Arizona?”, this guide will provide you with all the answers. One factor that’s definitely on your side is Arizona’s climate, which provides outstanding “pool weather” virtually all year long! In a hot, sunny state like Arizona, a swimming pool delivers an exceptional return on your investment because it can be used so frequently.
During your pool’s off-season — if it has one — it’s important to utilize pool covers to help keep the water clean and free of algae or other growth. Automatic pool covers can also help you to save on energy costs and provide an added element of safety when your pool is not in use. In cooler weather, heating systems can also provide a more comfortable swimming experience. Learn more about keeping your pool clean, maximizing its lifespan and more.
There are numerous reasons why you might want to think about adding a pool to your home. Whether you want a chic outdoor space to host your friends and neighbors, a fun activity for when your grandkids come to visit, an exercise space where you can get your laps in, or a soothing backyard oasis where you can escape and unwind, your swimming pool can be customized to meet your preferences and needs. The question is, how can you customize your pool to make it uniquely yours?
A great place to start is by deciding on the shape of your pool. Two of the most popular swimming pool designs in Arizona are:
- Rectangular Pools — With their clean, simple yet polished lines, rectangular pools are simultaneously classic and contemporary, providing a solid design option that many pool owners enjoy. Some gorgeous examples of rectangular-shaped pools include:
- Delray – Slim, streamlined and spacious with corner steps that don’t take up a lot of space, giving you the full run of the pool to swim laps or float your cares away.
- Olympia 12 – Slip-resistant steps and multiple entry points make this model ideal for all ages – from tiny tots to older adults with mobility issues. Swim-up seating gives you a place to soak up sun with a cold drink in-hand!
- Corinthian 14 – Perfect for making your pool the place-to-be, this model’s extra-wide top step can double as a tanning ledge.
- Plunge Pools — Compactly sized, plunge pools are ideal for smaller spaces. Thanks to this feature, plunge pools are also affordable and easy to maintain. Check out our Milan model, which features slip-resistant steps for easy entry and exit. Take the plunge and enjoy a quick dip, then take a load off and enjoy some poolside chatter with loved ones with swim-up seating!
After you decide on a basic shape and size for your swimming pool, you should also think about whether there are any add-on features you’d like to incorporate into your pool’s finished design. From aesthetic touches like colored lighting, to safety-enhancing and energy-saving features like automatic covers, there are several pool features you may want to include. Two popular examples include:
- Swim-Up Bars — Recreate the luxury resort experience in your own backyard with a fun and festive swim-up bar! From tiki and beach themes to something more subtle and understated, our builders can help you bring your dream to life.
- Water Features — Water features, such as fountains and waterfalls, add a soothing natural soundtrack to your pool while simultaneously increasing its beauty. Water features are completely optional, but their striking elegance is tough to resist after you browse our gallery!
Of course, these are just a few ideas to provide you with a starting point for brainstorming. As long as you work within your property’s size constraints and follow state and local pool regulations — a topic we’ll discuss later in this guide — you can customize your pool with virtually any shape or features you like.
Keep in mind that some designs are more popular or feasible in some areas than others, depending on factors like the size and layout of your property. To see more of the possibilities for Arizona small pool designs, check out these fiberglass pool shapes!
Reshaping or Replacing Your Pool
Fashions come and go, which is just as true of swimming pools as it is of clothing styles! Pool designs that were edgy and modern thirty years ago might look old-fashioned today — and while that’s perfect for fans of the retro or vintage look, others might prefer designs that look more contemporary and on-trend.
Whether you want to renovate purely for aesthetic reasons, or you’re concerned about damage and wear-and-tear to your aging pool, fiberglass is a fantastic option for your overhaul. Even if your pool was originally constructed from gunite or concrete — popular during the last century, but costly to replace today — fiberglass can be dropped into the same hole, minimizing the need for additional excavation.
Along with fiberglass replacements, vinyl liner pools are another excellent choice, especially since their liners are easy to change and update. That makes it a snap to stay current, no matter how pool styles and trends may change. Learn more about vinyl liner replacements, or talk to a builder about how you can upgrade your pool today!
Arizona Residential Pool Regulations
Interpreting and applying Arizona’s regulations can often be a challenge for regular, everyday homeowners who are trying to build a pool on their property. At Latham, our builders have decades of knowledge and experience helping Arizona homeowners build pools that not only look great, but comply with state and local requirements. Leave the zoning and permitting hassles to us, so that you can focus on enjoying the water.
So what are some of the specific topics or issues that will come into play? Here are four important regulatory considerations to be aware of when building a pool in Arizona:
- What is the maximum pool depth allowed? Regulations about maximum residential pool depth vary by location, though in most jurisdictions the maximum is eight feet. Our builders will determine depth limits for you based on your location — and make recommendations about how deep your pool should be. Depending on your needs, deeper isn’t always necessarily better.
- How far does a residential swimming pool have to be from a structure or building? Regulations about the minimum distance between a swimming pool and a physical structure or property line, called a “setback,” vary by location within Arizona. For instance, Maricopa County requires all swimming pools to be set back “at least three feet from all property lines.” If you reside elsewhere in the state, check with your county officials to determine local setback requirements — or, let our builders handle the work for you!
- Are fences required around a pool or backyard in Arizona? In short: yes. Under state laws, “A swimming pool, or other contained body of water that contains water 18 inches or more in depth at any point and that is wider than eight feet at any point and is intended for swimming, shall be protected by an enclosure surrounding the pool area,” with the added requirement that the enclosure meets specific criteria established by the state. For example, whether it is an inground or above-ground design, the pool must be “entirely enclosed by at least a five foot wall, fence or other barrier as measured on the exterior side of the wall, fence or barrier.” However, exceptions apply to these rules in some scenarios, which our builders will help walk you through.
- Are swimming pool covers required? If so, what kind? Potentially, but not in every case. State laws specify that, depending on the way the pool and its enclosure are designed, it may be required for you to use a “motorized safety pool cover which requires the operation of a key switch which meets the American society of testing and materials emergency standards 13-89 and which does not require manual operation other than the use of the key switch.” Of course, even if you don’t need a pool cover, there are multiple advantages to using one, including improved safety and a reduction in the amount of pool maintenance you need to perform.
While there are a number of pool regulations for Arizona homeowners to consider, please keep in mind that state and local regulations regarding pool safety can change over time. While these are offered as helpful guidelines, please do your homework to be sure your pool is compliant with the latest local laws and regulations.
Last but not least, it’s important to keep in mind that requirements can vary by city or even by neighborhood — particularly if you belong to, for instance, a homeowners association. For example, different rules tend to apply in a highly populated area like Phoenix or Tucson versus a smaller town or city.
When you work with Latham, you’ll have peace of mind that our builders have dealt with all of the regulatory details for you, so that you and your loved ones can enjoy your new pool worry-free.
Thanks to its year-round heat and sunshine, Arizona offers the ideal climate to maximize the use of your pool. (And during those sweltering Phoenix summers, you’ll definitely want to!) Having a relaxing way to beat the heat helps ensure you get a great return on your investment, in contrast to colder climates where a pool can only be used for two or three months out of the year.
While various types of pool construction materials are available to choose from, fiberglass is one of the most popular — and most durable — options in Arizona. But no matter what material you choose, proper maintenance is crucial if you want to get the most mileage and longest life out of your pool.
Learn more about maintaining and caring for your fiberglass swimming pool. Then, discover why a vinyl liner pool might provide you with another outstanding option to consider.
Fiberglass Pool Maintenance in Arizona
When it comes to maintenance, there are some traits that all pools share in common, like needing to have functional filtration systems or needing to have their water balanced properly. However, your pool maintenance routine will be impacted by the pool’s construction materials, which all have slightly different care needs.
Continue reading to learn about the proper care and seasonal maintenance of a fiberglass swimming pool in Arizona, or, check out our vinyl liner maintenance checklist instead.
- Pool Chemistry — Murky water. Skin irritation. Algae growth. Obviously, these are all issues you want to avoid in your pool — which is why it’s so important to learn how to test and balance your pool water correctly.
- Water Level — Keep an eye on water levels to ensure that your fiberglass pool isn’t losing water at an abnormal rate, which could indicate a leak and not just normal evaporation. If you’re concerned about a leak, browse through our guide to swimming pool evaporation — and speak with a builder about your next steps.
- Skimming — Regular skimming is essential to remove larger items of debris, like leaves or insects, making it easier for pool vacuums and filtration systems to do their jobs correctly. Of course, using a pool cover will help reduce the overall amount of skimming that is necessary.
- Scrubbing — Regular scrubbing and vacuuming will help you erase stains and loosen debris so that it can be removed, resulting in purer, cleaner water and a better swimming experience. However, it’s important to use non-abrasive products that are specifically designed for use in pools and will not leave scratches (or interfere chemically with your water balance). We suggest using a nylon bristle brush attachment to gently but thoroughly buff the pool’s walls and floor, paying special attention to corners, steps, and other potential trouble areas.
- Filtration — Scrubbing and vacuuming alone are not enough: your pool also needs to include a filtration system to help clean the water and remove impurities. Learn how to clean your pool filter to extend its life and improve the cleanliness of your pool, or browse our tips and suggestions on improving your fiberglass pool circulation.
Want more DIY pool care information? Explore our comprehensive pool maintenance hub, or talk to a Latham dealer for expert insights into all of your maintenance questions.
Fiberglass is a popular option — but certainly not the only option — if you want to build a beautiful, durable pool that can withstand Arizona’s climate. Vinyl liner pools are an attractive, affordable alternative to fiberglass pools, offering many of the same benefits at a lower up-front cost.
For example, the shaping and installation for a vinyl liner pool is similar to the process for a fiberglass pool, which means you’ll be ready to swim just as quickly (or even sooner) if you decide to go the vinyl route. Vinyl liners are also simple to replace, enabling you to easily update the look and feel of your pool over time.
Learn more about the benefits of vinyl liner pools and whether one could be right for your home in Arizona.
Below, we’ll answer a few frequently asked questions about owning and maintaining a swimming pool in Arizona, including:
- How long do fiberglass pools last in Arizona?
- How long does it take to install a fiberglass pool?
- How much does a fiberglass swimming pool cost in Arizona?
- What is the best time of year to construct a pool in Arizona?
How long do Arizona fiberglass pools last?
Direct exposure to Arizona’s glaring sun and scorching heat can be tough on anything, whether it’s your skin or your swimming pool! But don’t let that discourage you: with proper care and maintenance, a fiberglass swimming pool can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years, with some high-end models built to last even longer. Using a swimming pool cover can extend the life of your pool by protecting it from the sun when not in use, along with taking steps like regularly skimming and balancing the water.
How long is the fiberglass installation process?
The vinyl and fiberglass pool installation processes are similar. The amount of time required depends on the scope and complexity of your project, and is impacted by factors like the size of the pool; whether there is any inclement weather that delays construction; whether you’re adding pool features, such as fountains; and whether any special equipment is required for building — for instance, if your yard contains large amounts of shale or sits on an extreme slope. However, generally speaking, you can expect construction to last anywhere from two to eight weeks.
Though the installation process is similar, vinyl liner pools can often be built much faster than gunite/concrete pools, which can take between three to six months from start to finish. Learn more about the average fiberglass pool installation timeline and what to expect at each phase of building.
How much does it cost to install a fiberglass pool in Arizona?
There are numerous factors that affect the total cost of your swimming pool, which makes it difficult to provide an accurate estimate without knowing more details about your project. Features like the size and design of your pool, along with coping, decking, and optional add-ons like spillover spas, all play a role in determining the total budget, along with the construction materials you choose.
It’s also important to think about the lifetime costs of your pool versus the upfront construction costs. For instance, vinyl pools cost less to install upfront, but fiberglass can save you more on maintenance over the course of the pool’s lifetime. The best way to get a detailed and accurate estimate is to speak with a builder, who can help you plan your budget after learning about your preferences and requirements.
What is the best time of year to build a pool in Arizona?
Many pool companies in Arizona prefer to begin construction in fall or winter. This helps to ensure you get the maximum use out of your pool right away, since it will be ready for swimming by spring or summer when Arizona heat is at its peak.
A pool is the perfect way to beat the heat that Arizona dishes up. But it’s more than just a spot to cool off when the temperatures soar — it’s also an exercise station, a pool party zone, a soothing retreat, and an elegant focal point for all of your outdoor parties and gatherings. A pool also adds beauty and luxury to your home, not to mention potential dollar value.
Want to see how a new vinyl liner or fiberglass swimming pool would look in your backyard? Try out our free pool visualizer, or contact a Latham builder near you to learn more about getting started today!