How Much Does a Vinyl Pool Cost?

Vinyl Liner Pool

When installing a pool we all need to get the best value for money. Whether it’s for home-based use or commercial purposes. Vinyl liners are cheap and comfortable for the feet as you wade. However, they are prone to tear and wear making you question the worth of the investment.

How much does an inground vinyl liner pool cost? A good vinyl lined pool will cost $50,000-$100,000 excluding maintenance costs and can last 8-12 years if well taken care of. With poor maintenance, they may require replacement within short durations which is a big price to pay.

Before spending money we need assurance of good service and reliability. A well-built swimming pool provides a great source of entertainment and adds beauty to your home’s structural design.


The good thing about vinyl pool liners is their low cost and durability. This makes them commonly used overages. However, less is said about their comfort during wading and customizability.

Structure and Design

When coming up with the structure of your pool, the first step is identifying the motive behind it. Yes, vinyl pool liners come in different colors, shapes, and fits, but your prime purpose for having it dictates the design. 

You can as well choose between thin and thicker liners, however, note thin liners are cheaper, more comfortable and prone to perforations, thick ones are hard to repair and less likely to develop holes.

Remember, other aspects such as steps, benches, coping and linear longevity in your design. Customize it to match your creativity or needs can include pool games, pool lighting, etc.

Gives you freedom of choice of installation material, wood, concrete or steel. Please note that the material chosen affects the lifetime of the liner.

Factors Affecting Pool Cost

It’s the dream of every pool owner to keep costs minimal. Regardless, a set of factors affect how much we pay. Some are within your sphere of influence while others not. The good news is that you can always keep expenses minimal by focusing on what you can control. Factor in the following before embarking on your project to make the best decision.

  • Pool Size and Shape

Most pools are rectangular. However, you can customize Vinyl pool liner to your desired design; square or kidney-shaped. This comes with an extra cost depending on design complexity. Similarly, larger pools cover more space hence end up costing more.

  • Pattern and Thickness of the Liner

Liners vary in size, thick liners (above 25 Mil) are not only costly but are hard to repair. Thin liners are easy to install and a cheaper alternative, however, they are prone to tear and wear and may prove costly in the long run. Patterns make the project more complex, increasing costs.

What are the Common Pool Repairs?

Just like any other physical property, pools undergo tear and wear. Some issues will only require a patch while others need a professional to have them fixed.

Small holes. Although liners are thick enough after several years of use holes form. They vary from small, requiring just a patch to fissure, cracks or even large holes prompting replacement or an expert to have them fixed.

  • Discoloration

After years of good service, your liner will finally fade. This is because of exposure to sunlight for a long duration with a combination of chemicals used treat pool water negatively impacts liners, leading to staining, bleaching, and discoloration which are immediate effects of chlorine and chlorine compounds. Wrinkling and stretching too can occur because of changes in Ph levels caused by high levels of chlorine.

  • Leaks

This is the commonest pool problem irrespective of the liner used. It’s caused by tear and wear because of prolonged use or even holes and cracks. Damage occurs during maintenance leading to a leaky filter or a drainage problem.

How Long Does a Vinyl Liner Last?

A good liner last for an average of 8-12 years. To keep this fit, take care of it.  Check for Calcium hardness, Ph. levels, and water alkalinity.

Regular maintenance helps prevent Chemical deterioration of a liner, the growth of algae, loss of pattern and dry rot.

What To Keep in Mind

You can have an in-ground or above-ground vinyl lined pool. The above-ground pool is relatively costly, but whichever you choose, safety for our families matters most. Therefore, consider a good and stable site of construction. 

Assess the site for soil type, ways of dirt removal, pool size, and equipment to be used.

Avoid use of salt water chlorination system, with aluminum or steel wall panels. Chlorine corrodes metals causing damage to your pool base. Consider using plastic or bronze, galvanized metals. 

Concrete binds wall panels from the outside preventing shifts. Flooding with water is the last thing to do after setting a pump, filter system and vinyl liner.


Your swimming pool is ready and getting you entertained. Soaking your feet on a sunny day, enjoying the sweet feeling of the breeze blowing over your head. It’s nice.

However, if you neglect your pool the “love affair” will be short lived.  Algae pops up, the plumping system becomes leaky, and cracks develop on the wall panels or even breakdown.

It turns a menace. Good news? You can avoid this. You can patch a leaky liner with a patching glue in the kit provided on purchase.  You may need to hire a professional if cracks or fissures develop.

Pool water keeps vinyl liner smooth and in place. Ensure water is freely circulating to prevent the development of algae. Don’t drain your pool. It keeps the liner in place and with the pressure released; it shifts and bubbles up. You require a professional is to get your pool back to normal.

Chemical imbalances and chlorine use lead to fading of the liner. Use the right chemical levels and pool equipment meant to avoid accidents, tears, and discoloration. Allow waterfalls to enhance water circulation.

When to Replace Your Liner

With proper care, the liner can last for several years. However, no matter how well you take care of it, replacement is inevitable. Over time, even the best vinyl get decolorized by the sun’s UV rays. Likewise, pool chemicals and covers impact the lifespan of liners.

Preserve the entire pool foundation for more years of use by replacing torn, perforated and faded liners. Be sure to check for these signs ahead of time to compact damage and water loss. Otherwise, you might need to do repairs to the swimming pool besides replacing the pool liner.

With time, pool liner loses elasticity. This is attributed to weather, sun, and chemicals used to keep water free from bacteria. So it gets decolorized and can’t support wall panels or withstand water pressure. Chunks flake off above the waterline. This compels for replacement.

 Vinyl pool liners are protective covers and need proper installation. If not, they won’t touch the ground and pool walls as required. This leads to loss of warrant and damages the liner bead or rips. Because of softness liners are easily cut by sharp objects. Depending on the length of the cut, replacing is better than patching. 

Wrongly balanced pool chemicals eat away the pool liner faster. Use right chemical proportions to preserve liner lifespan. Replace the vinyl liner when badly decolorized.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Lined Pools

Before we dive into price breakdown, you need to know the ins and outs of vinyl lined pools to decide whether it’s the real deal.


  • Budget-Friendly

The initial cost is low compared to fiberglass and concrete pools. This makes it suitable for financially constrained or wants to save a few bucks.

  • Fast Construction

It takes less time to construct and have it up and running compared to concrete pools.

  • Customizable Shape

Vinyl liner pools give you the opportunity to embrace your creativity rather than sticking out to the normal rectangular shape. Although this comes with a price to pay it is less costly compared to installing a fiberglass or concrete swimming pool.

  • Comfort

The liner is smooth and soft making it comfortable for feet during wading.

  • Do it Yourself Installation

You can install with the aid of an installation guide, saving hefty amounts of cash. However, be sure to read warrant terms and conditions so that this doesn’t breach them.


  • Not Compatible with a Saltwater System.

Salt water corrodes steel in the wall panels, this leads to damage in the pool foundation which is costly and may mean abandoning your pool. However, you can use a salt-water system with plastic wall panels.

  • Supports the Growth of Algae

When there is poor water circulation, algae grows in submerged parts such as steps attached to the wall.

  • Biased Liner Warrants

Liner Replacement warrants only covering seams or professional installers or not covering labor and water or not covering replacements. And in other instances warrants provided for only the first 3 0r 4 years after installation. On the same note, liner replacements are costly and overtime maintenance costs may prove huge.

Pricing and Costs

Imagine waking up someday to find there were undisclosed costs for you to cover. It sucks. Right? You may even want to get rid of the pool.

For vinyl liner pools, there are two types of costs incurred: Initial and maintenance costs. Initial cost is the price you pay to have the pool installed while maintenance cost keeps it running. For example; you pay $50,000 for pool installation that serves you for 5 years at a maintenance cost of about $4,500 or more.

For the best value of your money, you need to keep track of all the costs involved. The good news is vinyl liner pools are budget-friendly and are $10,000 cheaper compared to fiberglass pools. Besides, they are easier and quicker to install. 

 Cost Breakdown

As said earlier, several factors affect the cost of a vinyl liner pool. In what ways can you minimize costs? The average rectangular vinyl lined pool (12×24) costs $35,000 to install and have it running. You may desire a larger or smaller, hence affecting the entire price. You will need a professional to evaluate soil type and excavate pool area. With an average cost of $10-$15 per hour. However, costs can escalate depending on accessibility.

A vinyl liner will cost between $4,000-$7,000 depending on pattern and size. It’s important to note, a liner is customizable to any shape with little or no extra costs. 

  • A Walk Away Path

You will need a perimeter pathway for your pool. It may seem a cheap task, however materials patterns, size, and length may turn the seamless project expensive. This ranges from $3.23 to $10 per square foot.

  • Fencing

For safety, security, and compliance with local laws, you require a perimeter fence. The cost of installing a four feet tall fence and a security gate varies from $15 to $35 per linear foot.

  • Water

We cannot lack water and have a swimming pool. This highlights how it is a crucial component. With the average swimming pool holding 72,000 to 80,000 liters of water (may increase depending on pull size) causing a huge water utility bill. Depending on the state of residence, it will cost $80 to $100 to refill a swimming pool.

  • Shape

The shape of a vinyl-lined pool is customizable to various forms be it rectangular, square, or kidney-shaped. You can design it to suit your immediate needs such as a personality match. It’s important to know, shaping vinyl liner pools often cost little or no extra cost.

  • Accessories

You pool will need to have accessories such as a diving board, pool ladder, slide or lighting, which cost from $450-$14,000 depending on your taste and preference during a purchase. Features such as a waterfall or fountain average $50-$15,000.

Lighting your pool translates to more energy consumption just as a water bubbler and fountain increase water utility. Therefore, consider what best suits you not forgetting other factors such as swimming at night and maintaining water circulation to prevent the growth of algae.

Additional Parts

To make your pool whole, there are additional parts and cost to put into consideration. The items vary in cost and you need to determine which is suitable for your pool set-up.

  • Coping

This is a protective cap that gives a swimming pool its finished look. Makes it safer for swimmers as it covers any exposed pieces of steel after construction. It is normally included in pool design, hence cost is taken care of.

  • Water Fountain Bubblers

These are jets that gurgle on the surface of the swimming pool. They not only make pools appealing but also provide a relaxation feeling as the streams touch our bodies during a swim.

They vary from rain curtain to scuppers, bubblers, fountains, sconce, waterfalls and water walls. Their price varies depending on the shape, type, and scale or proportion of the pool. This ranges $50 to 15,000

  • Covers

A good pool cover has a variety of advantages ranging from maintaining water temperature, to safety, keeping debris out of the water and reducing the rate of evaporation hence conserving water. They range from thermal and security to automatic and cost between $15 and $350.

  • Chemicals

Pool water is treated with chemicals such as chlorine, calcium hypochlorite, and bromine. A balance needs to be maintained to prevent calcium hardness, as well as normal ph. levels. Their purpose is to prevent the growth of bacteria or mosquito breeding in your pool. They compound a monthly expenditure of $80 to $150.


A deck is installed around the pool to offer stability to the ground.  It’s not included in pool construction quotation and may prompt hiring a contractor to have it done. The designs are affordable and unique since you are the designer.

Concrete is the preferred material due to durability and provision of a firm place for stepping with a wet fit. Stone or wood are the other possible alternatives. This will cost between $4,000 and $4,500 without grading of either material.

Grading involves the use of pressure to treat the material. This makes them more costly with prices averaging $7,000. The overall price is determined by the color, shape, and size of decking material used.

Maintenance Costs

A well taken care of pool will serve for a decade. However, when neglected, it forces to dig deeper into your pockets to have it replaced. Maintenance involves protection from sunlight, keeping chemicals in balance, regular water flows to ensure algae doesn’t form. You may as well need a repair kit to patch tears. If liner develops wrinkles you may need to smoothen them out by use of a vacuum pump. However, a bulging liner needs replacement to avoid further damage. 

A hand skimmer will cost $50 and $96 per month to maintain the chemical balance. If the liner should suffer a tear or puncture then the cost of a vinyl repair kit averages $35-$45. If the liner suffers a wrinkle then the pool must be drained, and the wrinkle smoothed out. A bulging liner needs replacement before causing more damage.

In case of floods, you will need to suck dirt out and increase chlorine levels to 7ppm to kill larva and bacteria. Kindly, avoid swimming till chlorine level is 1-2ppmYou can save yourself from all this heartache by hiring a Pool maintenance profession for about $700 during pick season

  • Covers

Torn Pool covers will need replacement. They protect your pool from intense sunlight, dirt and prevent water evaporation. A pool cover keeps debris out of the water and prevents evaporation. You choose from three types; thermal, automatic and semi-automatic covers ranging $90-$15,000.

  • Lights

We all need to enjoy a night or an early morning swim to kick-start your day. Besides making your dream a reality, lighting sets the right mood every time you take a swim. Lights vary from colored led lights, floating lights to average lights. Their prices range between $20 and $700. Costs change depending on the number of pieces and style used.

  • Heat Pump

A warm swim is normally soothing and comforting. You can achieve this by installing a heat pump that keeps pool water warm (25-27 degrees Celsius). A well-installed heater can serve you all year long. Mind you, it comes with an extra cost to meet. Average cost being $2,500 inclusive of labor. This varies depending on the size and type of pump to use.

  • Pool vacuum cleaner

A pool vacuum effortlessly sucks up debris and dirt from the pool water or filter system. Their price averages $200-$700 and sophisticated ones cost way beyond $1,000.

  • Diving Board

Used for diving into the pool. Your pool must be at least eight feet deep for safety purposes. Drowning and injuries to swimmers are the biggest threats. Diving boards average $400 excluding installation costs, which require a professional and may stretch your budget to $1,000.

  • Pool Enclosure

The last thing we would like to hear is accidents in our pools. Create a pool enclosure to enhance safety and preventing debris from entering your pool. You can have mesh or glass-walled enclosure depending on your budget. The average cost being $20,000You may also consider having a fence around your pool for the sake of kids, pets or even wildlife. This may cost about $17 per foot.

  • A Retention Wall

For sloppy landscapes, you will need a structure to help keep soil in place. It’s made of timber, concrete or treated rocks. This may cost an additional $15,000.

  • Salt-chlorine System

You don’t want your pool to be a source of infection to your loved ones. Installing a salt-chlorine system will keep them safe. It uses salt to keep your pool clean. You will require a saltwater generator ($1,000), salt ($5 per bag) and installation of the system ($2,000). The estimates depend on pool size.

Additional Considerations and Costs

A contractor who assists with gathering all the permits for the project. Permit rules vary by state, city, and county and cost from $75-$150. An electrical permit often costs $25-$50. 

You can do Installation by yourself. However, check with your provider for warrant details as most offer a 3-year warranty. Alternatively, purchase a vinyl-lined pool kit to use in installation ($30,000)

Vinyl liners need replacement every 8 to 10 years because of natural aging. Replacement averages $4,500 depending on the size of the liner. Using too much chlorine can cause weak spots in the vinyl prompting replacement. For any punctures or tears, repair with a vinyl patch kit unless the damage is too extensive. 

Vinyl is a thick and durable polymer material that makes up the vinyl liner. it has a long lifespan and its dimensions are in Mils (a thousandth of an inch). Their thickness range from 20 to 30 mils. 

The vinyl is embossed with a pattern or a simple or non-embossed (standard) color. They are available in an array of colors. Desired watercolor, available custom options, and texture may influence the choice of your liner.

Prices range from $700-$1,500 and depend on thickness, nature of surface (embossed or non-embossed). Embossed liners are more expensive.


 Having discussed the costs of various parts of your pool, you have permits and worried about how to get your pool up and running. You need a professional to install your vinyl liner pool. This will cost you about $15 per hour for both digging out the site and installation. All the materials from the depression are moved before installation.

The liner is placed over the frame and formed to the desired shape and appearance. It takes about 80 hours of labor (two weeks), excluding fence and deck around the pool. Costing $1,200. For best value, try installing your pool off-season spring or winter because of low demand which leads to low pricing.

Conclusively, setting up a swimming pool can be costly. A source of danger if not properly installed, and lack of maintenance can further derail its lifespan. On the positive side, it’s a great source of entertainment, therapeutic and staying healthy, increases the value of your home. It’s important to evaluate the entire project for maximum beneficence.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a vinyl pool liner last? Do not be misled by the 20 to 30 years warrant for vinyl pool liners. They not only come with many conditions but also their lifespan is way less (6 to 10 years).

Can I use a vinyl liner in a saltwater pool? Yes, if polymer wall panels are used. Salty water leads to corrosion of aluminum or steel used in the construction of pool walls, leading to leakage. This could prove costly as fixing it will require fixing the entire foundation. Avoid salt water chlorination systems.

How much does it cost to replace above ground pool liner? The cost can be as low as $100 to $600, depending on factors such as design, pool size, and thickness of a material.

When should I replace my vinyl pool liner? Liners can last six to ten years, however, may require replacement earlier than that. This can be due to tear and wear, holes, staining or growth of algae due to poor maintenance.

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