What shape should my new fiberglass pool be?

An inground pool should accentuate the visual appeal of the backyard.  A space also created for social gatherings, recreation, and relaxation.  Further, the size and shape of your new American Fiberglass Pool should also consider functionality that takes into consideration the size and shape of the yard.  Lastly, you should strongly consider the amount of usable space in the pool when making a pool shape or size selection.  To follow are a few considerations to keep in mind.

1. Classic shapes are more popular than any other pool shape.  This includes Roman designs, rectangles and such.  Classic shapes are timeless and offer the most swim room in a pool.  The classic design pool is more utilitarian than it is flashy.  The classic shapes utilize a design approach that has clean, straight lines.  The most common inground pool installed is a rectangle.  While these classic style pools may be considered rather traditional, the pool look can easily be enhanced by the way things are landscaped, the use of natural stone waterfalls, mosaic tiles and LED 4 color underwater lighting.

2. Lap pools are essentially rectangular, geometric pools that are narrow in width, yet have extended length.  They are designed specifically for swimming exercises.

3. Freeform pool designs are typically chosen to mimic naturally formed bodies of water.  The problem with freeform pools is that due to the erratic shapes of the pools, almost always the swim space in the pool is severely limited.  It is very common for a 16’ x 32’ (average size) freeform pool to be only an average of 13’ x 29’ of actual swimming area.  Yet, the prices on a freeform pool are the same as a classic pool design with lots more elbow room.

So what’s all the fuss about pool shapes?  Think about it this way, the most common game played in an inground pool is water volleyball.  Surely anyone can concede that a classic pool style such as a rectangle design will be best for that game and most other pool games. So give yourself more room for the buck.  Purchase a pool that is always going to be timeless; build a classic designed pool.

We encourage you to advise of your thoughts too. Just reply below.


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35 Responses to “What shape should my new fiberglass pool be?”

  1. J.E.B. says:

    I have never understood why anyone would want to buy a pool that is an odd, freeform design that severely limits the amount of swim room in the pool.

    Anyone that has owned a pool previously will tell you that the 2nd or 3rd pool they buy will be a much more user friendly design like a rectangle, an oval, or a true double roman end.
    This pool shapes will give you more of your moneys worth with all that extra room.


    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Sometimes folks get caught up with the looks of the pool instead of how functional it will be after it is installed. In my opinion both items are equally important.

  2. Ted Schueller. says:

    My family has enjoyed the heck out of our rectangular pool now for 11 yrs.
    We have played countless games of water volley ball & have never felt confined or cramped. Our next door neighbors have one of those scrunched up multi curved designs & where do they play water volley ball? In our pool of course since thecurves in their pool will not allow them to do so in their own pool!
    Take a tip pool buyers….don’t get scrunched by buying a pretty curvy pool.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      You’re so right ol’ buddy! I have a good idea, start charging those carpet bagging neighbors an entry fee to your play pool and make sure they bring their own food and drink!

  3. V.Kadler. says:

    All this makes good sense.
    Those pools that are all those weird shapes really are not practical as play pools.
    Why get a pool shape that you cannot enjoy it 110% of the time?

  4. E. Haspler says:

    Being in major construction now for over 30 yrs. I can tell you first hand the rectanguler structures are stronger than free form structures.
    Makes sense that this would as well be the case with swimming pool designs.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Thanks for lending a voice of experience sir! I believe most engineers I know will agree with you.

  5. Pops6 says:

    We have to tell you about our pool buying experience.
    We let a sales guy that sold ****** Pools con us into buying one of those, as you say,erratic shaped pools.While the pool looks good, we definitely should have chosen a design that was easier to get around in and to play in.
    You are correct that the designs like ours take away 35-40% of the surface area of the pool.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hello Pops. I hear your story line all the time. As you suggest, don’t allow a pool guy/gal to direct you toward an impractically designed pool. Hold your ground and purchase what you want, not a pool design that some one is trying to force upon you.

  6. Lions Gate says:

    It is not in my nature to respond to blogs but I am going to break my own rule to make a quick point here.
    I have owned 5 pools during my life. I can tell you all that without question the traditional, non- freeform design is much easier to maintain and to have recreation in.
    I can also tell you that I have owned 3 gun-nite pools and 2 fiberglass pools. The fiberglass pools were miles ahead of the gun-nite pools on the ease of maintenance.

    Well there you have it from a man of few words.


    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Thanks for joining us and for making an exception to responding to our blog. Your words carry a lot of wisdom and I think most pool buyers that have owned both gunite and fiberglass pools will tell you the fiberglass was hands down the easiest pool to own.

  7. The Stuarts says:

    Hi Wayne,
    You likely do not remember us as we purchased our pool from you in 1979 in Cypress, TX.
    The rectangular pool you built for us was the perfect shape and size for our family of 8!
    We are moving out to Waller within the next 30 days as our new home is almost finished.
    We will need a new pool from you right away so that our great grand kids will be able to swim this spring. Give me a call at 713******* so we can meet next week.
    Thanks and we look forward to seeing yuo again. Kate and Hal

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hi Kate and Hal, of course I remember you! IT is always a true privilege to assist again our pool owners from the past. I am looking forward to seeing your new Ponderosa this Saturday after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

  8. Simone says:

    A kidney shaped pool is as curvy apool as I would build.
    Having lots of room in a pool is the most important thing to own a pool for.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      American Fiberglass Pools has 3 kidney shaped models; The Brazos, Pecos, and the new Pecos II. Together they make up a huge chunk of our past and present manufactured pool shells.

  9. Wiggins, R.T. says:

    For the life in me, I can’t figure out why someone would want to own a weird shaped pool.
    I completely agree with you that a traditional shaped pool gives a pool buyer more room for their dollars.

  10. Timewise says:

    All these crazy designs out there available is just nuts,
    Everyone should know that having a hand full of kidneys, roman ends, and rectangles will do the job!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Correct my friend. American Fiberglass Pools has intentionally stayed away from manufacturing freakish pool shapes and pool designs.

  11. CHAMBERS BUNCH says:

    We have a very old fiberglass pool. We think the pool was installed in the mid 1970′s.
    The pool looks much like your Rio Grande style pool. We have had 19yrs. of fun in the pool especially since all of our kids and their friends play endless hours of volley ball in the pool. The size and the straight wall shape is perfect for the pools’ intended use, that being fun and games.
    We would recomend to everyone that when they purchase a pool, make it a fiberglass pool!!

  12. CHAMBERS BUNCH says:

    We have a very old fiberglass pool. We think the pool was installed in the mid 1970′s.
    The pool looks much like your Rio Grande style pool. We have had 19yrs. of fun in the pool especially since all of our kids and their friends play endless hours of volley ball in the pool. The size and the straight wall shape is perfect for the pools’ intended use, that being fun and games.
    We would recomend to everyone that when they purchase a pool, make it a fiberglass pool!!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      After checking in with you the pool was installed in 1972. Thanks so much for the glowing testimony about your fond experience with a 40 year old American Fiberglass Pool.

  13. Ted Johnson says:

    We have been very pleased with the model Rio Bravo that you built us in 2005.
    I have been pleased too when I called to tell you that my time clock stopped working last month and your electrician was here that very afternoon to replace it at no charge. I know it was out of warranty and I wanted to express my thanks again.
    The pool shape has been perfect for our family of 7 that plays a lot of water games. There is more than enough room in this pool.
    We highly recomend to everyone that they get a pool from you guys.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Thanks Ted, we were happy to assist you. I see your family has grown by a couple since we built your pool 7 years ago.
      Thanks for the recommendation and continued Happy Swimming!

  14. Russell says:

    I wanted our pool to be rectangular, my wife wanted a shaped pool.
    I won and now she understands why I wanted the rectangle pool.
    We have lots of friends and when they arrive there is always plenty of room for all to splash around. If we had purchased the shaped pool, we could not have had half as many of our pals enjoying a pool with NO room.


    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Glad she warmed up to your decision Russell. Glad you have all the room you require in your rectangular back yard swimming hole.

  15. Carol S. says:

    Having a fancy designed pool does not mean that it is practical or can be used for every type of pool activity you can expect.
    I have owned both kinds of pool designs and the practical design is a rectangle or similar shape.

  16. Karla Mc says:

    Fibre glass pools are the only way to go if you are looking for ease of maintenence & longitivity of the pool itself.Further, I would recomend to anyone considering a pool that they buy fibre glass with a rectangle type of design. I did, & I was rewarded with lot’s of room that would have been unavailable in a fancy smancy freeform design.

  17. E. Schertz says:

    I agree with the subject of this blog. I have been following you now for several months and truly feel that I have learn a lot of things from you.

    I do believe that you should disclose those pool manufacturers that are using foreign materials when makin teir pools.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hello and welcome aboard! Glad you like our blog and that it has been a learning experience for you. I am investigating how to best expose the manufacturers using the foreign materials. Keep posted!

  18. Ortega says:

    In Brazil we have a rapidly growing fibreglass pool market. Our clientele request that the pools have as many sq.mtr. as possible.
    The only pool shapes that allow this are rectangles or the like shapes.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Brazil is rapidly expanding into a great swimming pool market and especially for fiberglass pools. We appreciate your input here and don’t be a stranger. Join us again!