If you’re shopping for a swimming pool in Low Country South Carolina, you’ve probably already considered concrete, precast concrete, fiberglass, and possibly a few other options. You might even have considered some kinds of metal pools.
However, since it’s a little newer than the usual swimming pool options, you might not have considered a stainless-steel pool yet.
Let’s take a closer look at what stainless steel is, why stainless steel might be the right choice for your swimming pool, and everything else you need to know about stainless steel swimming pools.
What Is Stainless Steel?
The first thing you need to know about stainless steel pools is what stainless steel actually is.
Like ordinary steel, stainless steel is an alloy, iron, and other metals. Unlike ordinary steel, however, the iron is mixed with chrome and usually nickel in stainless steel. It may also contain elements like carbon, which you also find in ordinary mild steel, but the combination of chrome and nickel makes this kind of steel “stainless.”
Stainless steel is named that because of the shine that chrome gives to the metal and because it takes a lot more to corrode this type of steel than it does to rust ordinary steel. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t corrode at all. It will take significantly longer for stainless steel to corrode under the same conditions as mild steel, making it perfect for swimming pools.
Stainless steel comes in various grades, with the most common being 304 and 316, and in terms of corrosion resistance, 316 is your top option.
What Is Stainless Steel Used for?
Stainless steel is not only corrosion resistant but also very durable and easy to clean, which means that it is well suited to use in a wide variety of industries.
You will find stainless steel everywhere from commercial kitchens to hospitals and laboratories, and even on your dinner table, because most modern flatware is made of stainless steel too.
How Are Stainless Steel Pools Made?
Like most metal pools, stainless steel pools are manufactured in a factory, using a variety of presses, heat, and tools to mold and shape the metal into the shape of the pool.
The different sections of the pool are then joined and welded together, and then the whole metal pool shell is coated with one of many different types of material to create the smooth, colorful finish you expect to see on a swimming pool.
What Kind of Stainless-Steel Pools Are There?
Stainless steel is a very versatile material that can be (and is) used in industries ranging from medicine to space exploration, and construction – including swimming pools.
As such, it can be used to create a wide range of swimming pools, including:
Above Ground Stainless Steel Pools
Above ground pools are becoming one of the most popular pool options out there, because they generally require less on-site construction time, and they offer an affordable and faster alternative to traditional built on site in ground swimming pools.
Stainless steel’s anti-corrosive properties makes it a fantastic material for above ground pools, and because they are much lighter than precast concrete pools but almost as long wearing, they’re a great choice for this type of swimming pool.
Stainless Steel Plunge Pools
Stainless steel plunge pools are another popular option in the stainless steel pool world.
Like larger above ground stainless steel pools, they are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, and with different types of coating and liner, so there’s a stainless steel plunge pool for nearly every taste and design style.
Stainless steel plunge pools can also be installed fully above ground, partially in ground and fully in ground, so no matter what your swimming pool design wish list is, there’s a stainless steel plunge pool option for you.
Stainless Steel Inround Pools
If you’re looking for a traditional in ground pool, you might be surprised to discover that there are stainless steel swimming pools that can be installed this way too.
This type of stainless steel pool does require excavation and preparation for the installation of the stainless steel pool itself, so it tends to take longer and be more disruptive than above ground options, but it’s definitely possible to install a stainless steel pool in the ground at your Low Country South Carolina property.
Benefits of Stainless Steel Swimming Pools
Now that you know what stainless steel is, and what the basic types of stainless steel pools are, it’s a good idea to look at the benefits of stainless steel swimming pools. These include:
- Highly corrosion resistant – a stainless steel pool will outlast most ordinary steel pools, simply because the stainless steel itself takes many times longer to corrode than ordinary steel
- Lightweight, relatively speaking – when you’re comparing a stainless steel pool to precast concrete, the stainless steel pool will be many times lighter, which makes them easier to transport and install
- Available in a huge variety of designs and styles, including every color and with all kinds of décor options
- Can be designed to include features like lighting and water jets
- Manufactured off site, which means you have less pool construction time (and the associated construction chaos) to deal with
Generally speaking, stainless steel is an excellent material for swimming pools, and that’s why this is one of the most popular swimming pool options.
Drawbacks of Stainless Steel Swimming Pools
Of course, nothing in life is all good news, and stainless steel pools are no different. There are some drawbacks to this type of swimming pool, such as:
- Even though stainless steel pools are usually cheaper than built on site concrete pools, they’re usually more expensive than galvanized steel or fiberglass pools
- While stainless steel does take longer to rust than galvanized steel, it’s not completely immune to corrosion, and if you live in an area where there’s a lot of salt or chemicals in the air, water and groundwater, your stainless steel pool could still corrode over time
- Like other steel pools, stainless steel pools do conduct electricity – so you need to make extra sure that your pool installer grounds everything properly!
Stainless steel pools don’t have many drawbacks, but there are some things that might make another type of pool a more attractive option. Make sure that you investigate all the potential issues with stainless steel and other pools before you make a final decision.
How Much Do Stainless Steel Pools Cost?
When you’re shopping for any type of swimming pool, whether it’s a stainless steel pool or something else, cost is always going to be a factor in the decision.
So, it’s only natural that you might be wondering how much stainless steel pools cost.
The truth is, it’s impossible to give anyone an accurate price or even a price range for swimming pools without knowing more about your property, the site the pool will be installed, how big you want your pool to be and what kind of bells and whistles you want to add to the pool project.
However, we can confirm that stainless steel pools will cost more than galvanized steel pools, because the metal itself costs more.
Like most other types of pools and depending on the type of stainless steel pool you want, you can expect the price for a stainless steel pool including manufacturing and installation to start as low as about $15,000, and go up to $50,000 or even more, depending on how large and complex your swimming pool will be.
Stainless steel pools do require a little less maintenance than some other types of swimming pool, but there will still be ongoing maintenance, cleaning, utility and other costs to factor into your swimming pool budget too, so be sure to think about longer term costs will you are deciding what kind of pool you want to get.
How to Get the Best Stainless Steel Pool for Your Budget
Like with any pool project, the best way to find out what you can afford, and to get expert design advice for your swimming pool is to have a fence company visit your home, take measurements and view the installation area, and discuss what you want from your swimming pool project.
There are a few things you should think about when you are shopping for a stainless steel pool that suits your budget, and to get the biggest bang for your buck. Those include:
- Always look for high quality swimming pools from reputable manufacturers, that have a good warranty – it might be tempting to opt for a cheaper pool now, but you’ll pay more later
- Remember that the larger your pool is, the more it will cost to build and maintain – swimming pool costs don’t end the day you have your pool installed, and you’ll need to keep topping up the water, pay for chemicals and run filters and other equipment
- Consider add ons and features carefully – they might seem cool now, but many design features don’t serve much purpose, and it might be better to choose a simpler design, so you get more actual pool for your money
- Choose your swimming pool location carefully – a level, clear area of your back yard will be the best place to install a pool – when pool companies have to do more earthworks, landscaping and other site preparation, prices can go up significantly
- Factor safety equipment like pool fencing and covers into your budget – not only will they give you piece of mind, but many cities and areas require them
- Consider adding a pool cover to your swimming pool project – not only will they keep leaves and debris out of your pool, but they also slow down evaporation, which can save you money
A pool of any kind is a big investment, so be sure to spend enough time thinking about what you really want and need before you commit to anything.
Stainless Steel Pools Versus Precast Concrete Pools
When it comes to swimming pools, stainless steel pools and precast concrete pools are about as far apart on the spectrum as you can get.
Precast concrete pools are heavy, and they’re fabricated in huge molds in swimming pool factories. They’re often plastered and tiled like you would an on-site built-in ground concrete pool, and they tend to cost more to transport and install.
Stainless steel pools are also manufactured in a factory, but unlike precast concrete, they’re made from sheets of metal that are shaped and welded in the swimming pool factory. Even though they’re made of steel, the material itself is much thinner, which makes them much lighter. That also means they’re easier and cheaper to install.
If your pool eventually gets too old to be useful or safe to use, a precast concrete pool will also have to be demolished and taken to a dump site. A stainless-steel pool on the other hand can probably still be sold to a metal recycler – so you’d actually make money off your stainless steel pool when it reaches the end of its life.
While both precast concrete and stainless-steel pools are great choices, they are very different, so comparing them is a little like comparing apples and oranges.
Stainless Steel Pools Versus Fiberglass Pools
In the swimming pool world, stainless steel pools are probably closest to fiberglass pools in terms of benefits and features.
Like stainless steel pools, fiberglass pools are usually manufactured off site and transported to your home or property for installation, which cuts the actual on-site construction time down dramatically.
Stainless steel and fiberglass pools are also both coated and finished with a huge variety of coatings, colors and décor options, which means they’re equally versatile in terms of design.
Fiberglass pools and stainless-steel pools are also both much lighter than precast concrete options, which makes transporting them from the factory to your home a lot cheaper, and means you’ll need smaller equipment for less time, which will cut down the cost of installing your pool significantly.
Fiberglass pools and stainless-steel pools even have similar lifespans, and they’re both measured in decades, so if you invest in either of these kinds of pools, you will have many years of trouble free service.
Perhaps the biggest difference between a fiberglass pool and a stainless steel one is that fiberglass costs less than stainless steel. So even if everything else is equal, a fiberglass pool will cost a little less than stainless steel.
Your Low Country South Carolina Pool Specialists
Whether you already know you want a stainless-steel pool or you’re still just starting to figure out what your swimming pool needs are, talking to a swimming pool specialist can help you to make the best possible decision for your family and your budget.
Pool Works has been building pools throughout the Low Country South Carolina area for many years. Our team of friendly swimming pool experts is trained to provide the best possible swimming pool advice to every prospective customer, and we always put your best interests at heart.
We would love to show you have an above ground fiberglass pool from The Little Pool Co. can be a fantastic alternative to a stainless steel pool. If you want to know more about stainless steel pools, need a site visit to get the quote process started or just want to find out what your swimming pool options are, we’re here for you. Contact our team to get started and let’s work together to design the perfect pool for your home.