As every pool owner knows, it takes no small amount of effort to keep your pool looking its best year after year. With an inground pool, you have to resurface the area every 10 years or so. Doing this will ensure everything is in working order and extend the life of your pool.
Like most pool maintenance, resurfacing isn’t cheap. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from to suit any swimming pool and any budget.
Average Pool Resurfacing Costs
All in all, the average cost of resurfacing a pool in the U.S. is $7,000 per 1,000 square feet. Depending on where you live and what kind of pool you have, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $100,000 for a quality resurfacing job.
You have to consider both labor and material costs when you’re calculating your budget. In most instances, you’ll have to hire a professional to get the job done right. Labor generally costs between $45 and $65 an hour. On average, a contractor can resurface a pool in 1-2 weeks for around $3,000. Keep in mind that larger or more detailed pool jobs may take longer and cost more in parts and labor.
The cost of materials is often significantly higher than labor costs. You can end up paying anywhere from $1,000 for basic plaster to more than $50,000 for designer tiling.
Let’s get into some of the different types of restorations and resurfacing you can do and what they cost on average.
Inground vs. Above-Ground Restoration
Restoring an above-ground pool is cheaper and easier than resurfacing an inground setup. All components of the swimming pool are readily accessible, making repairs and replacements a breeze.
An above-ground pool costs about $10 to patch (DIY kit) and an average of $1,700 to fully replace. On the other hand, an inground pool costs an average of $20 to patch (DIY kit) and $5,000 to resurface if it’s not severely damaged. That cost varies significantly depending on the type of pool you have, which I get into below.
In some cases, you may have to replace both the surface and base of an inground pool. Doing this costs about the same as building a new setup from scratch. Depending on the size of your pool and the material used, you may have to pay between $35,000 and $65,000 for the job.
Resurfacing a Fiberglass Pool
With a high-quality fiberglass pool, you won’t have to resurface very often. In fact, with proper care and maintenance, a fiberglass pool can last a lifetime without the need for resurfacing. If you do have to resurface a fiberglass setup, it costs an average of $7,500 for parts and labor. There are several popular finishes that you commonly see in fiberglass pools, which will vary your cost dramatically.
A thermoplastic polymer powder coating such as ecoFINISH can help to protect and seal fiberglass. A small to a medium-size pool will generally cost between around $10,000 and $14,500 to cover. While this type of finish is somewhat pricey, it’s also resistant to weather, harsh chemicals, and drastic temperature changes.
Epoxy paint is another popular finish choice for fiberglass pools and other options such as concrete. It can take a few weeks to cure but produces a smooth, beautiful coating that looks good in any swimming pool. Epoxy is also cheaper than many other finishes, costing around $1,500 per application.
DIY vs. Professional
I personally wouldn’t apply a fiberglass coating, because I don’t want to breathe the stuff when applying. The catalyst for isophthalic resins is Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) – no bueno! You are probably okay rolling on an epoxy. Just beware of fumes, or gases when applying coatings in unventilated areas.
For more on fiberglass costs, read my fiberglass pool cost breakdown.
Resurfacing a Gunite or Concrete Pool
Concrete pools don’t hold up to wear and tear as well as other styles and need replastering fairly frequently. The average cost of resurfacing a concrete setup is typically at least $10,000. Many of the same finishes are also used to keep the pool safe, sealed, and looking its best.
Some pool owners choose to protect their pool by merely painting over the concrete. Painted concrete pool shells is an old technique that slowed way down by the 1970s, but some pools are still built like this today.
It comes in a variety of styles, color options, and price ranges to suit a wide range of budgets. On average, it costs around $1,500 to paint a medium-sized pool, though you can save money by going the DIY route. I do not recommend going this route if you have significant cracks or repairs that need to be made to the plaster.
Also, painted pools get dusty and many times don’t bond long term to the plaster underneath. If your pool is already painted and it needs to be repainted, you could do it yourself. If your pool surface is old plaster, I would highly recommend re-plastering by a professional company, rather than painting. You won’t be happy long term, if you switch your pool from plaster to paint.
While a plaster finish is more expensive than paint, it offers ample protection and a classic look for your pool. Most pool plaster is made of cement, sand, and water, while some higher-end mixtures include marble aggregate. It’s relatively easy to refinish a medium-size pool with plaster for around just $7,000-$10,000 and up, but keep in mind that the coating requires frequent maintenance.
The vast majority of concrete pools in the United States are plastered when they are built. In many areas of the United States different types of pool coatings are used when the pool’s original plaster ages and becomes stained and or rough due to years of repeated acid cleaning or poor water chemistry. So the pool coatings are applied over the old plaster. But the old plaster has to be in sound condition, meaning the old plaster may need to be patched, if it has spalled or delaminated from the concrete shell below.
If the repairs are small, you could choose to do it yourself. Read my guide on how to repair pool plaster for the step-by-step process, and my guide on the pool plastering process if you need a big replastering job in your swimming pool.
Aggregate finishes are a popular choice among pool owners who are concerned with aesthetics. Instead of a plain concrete pool surface, you’re treated to a bed of pebbles, glass beads, or quartz.
“Aggregate” is often a misnomer in pool building – it is still considered pool plaster. The proper term is exposed aggregate pool plaster. White, very fine, smooth marble plaster was the norm, up until the 1980s. Exposed aggregate pool finishes feature colorful sands and pebbles and were introduced to the pool industry in the 1980s. Both types of pool plaster are used today.
Name-brands such as Diamond Brite can cost around $5,000 per project, while brands such as Pebble Tec, PebbleSheen, and BeadCrete can cost about $9,000-$13,000 to install. However, these high-quality aggregates also last years with minimal maintenance, and many top brands offer generous warranties.
Tile is a durable and attractive choice of finish for any concrete pool. It’s also easy to maintain, as you can replace single tiles without having to call in the professionals. For a DIY patch-up job, it generally costs around $50 in time and materials.
Whether you’re tiling your pool for the first time or refinishing, the job is likely to cost you upwards of $30,000. The cost depends heavily on the area you plan to cover and what type of tile you plan to use. On average, porcelain tiling costs $4 per square foot while ceramic costs $6 per square foot. Glass tiles are the most expensive, costing around $25 per square foot.
If you want to save money on tiling, you may want to consider sticking to just accent tiling. You can finish the underwater portions of your pool with a cheaper material such as paint or plaster and lay tile down around edges for a striking statement.
When you’re setting new tile, thin-set is used to bond new tile to acceptable substrates. Keep in mind that thin-set won’t adhere well to paint or other non-porous surfaces that are sealed or coated.
Resurfacing a Vinyl Pool
Vinyl pools are a popular choice because they are affordable. They consist of a vinyl sheet liner that fits tight around the pool’s surface, typically sealing around the deck. Vinyl is more flexible than concrete and more cost-effective than fiberglass.
While liners can last for years at a time, eventually, they’ll begin to warp and wear after a few years of use. You can spot patch small tears and imperfections, but once you start to notice leaking, it’s time to resurface your pool.
Patching a vinyl pool costs about $100 to $500 for materials. If you decide to hire a professional instead of doing the job yourself, you can expect to pay another couple hundred for expert service.
When the vinyl liner needs replacing, it can cost between $1,000 and $3,500 in both material and labor. A is full replacement is really the only way to resurface a vinyl pool that’s become dry and brittle. If you take into additional costs, such as refilling the pool and restocking chemicals, it may run you closer to $4,500.
For more on vinyl, read my vinyl pool cost analysis.
Making the Switch to Fiberglass
Many people eventually end up replacing their vinyl pool with a more durable fiberglass model instead. While fiberglass pools are significantly more expensive and take longer to install, they’re also much easier to maintain than vinyl.
If you’re thinking about switching to a fiberglass pool, keep in mind that it can be a costly procedure. Not only do you have to place down a fiberglass shell, but also remove your old pool to make way.
Replacing a vinyl pool with a fiberglass one usually costs between $50,000 and $65,000. However, a fiberglass pool will cost you less over time in repair and maintenance fees as long as you take proper care of it.
Remodeling Your Swimming Pool
When you resurface your swimming pool, you can take it as an opportunity to fine-tune your setup. Many people choose to remodel their pool during a resurfacing, adding luxury features to improve their time in the pool.
If you don’t have a water heater in your pool, you may be losing out on months of swimming time. Installing a pool heater keeps the water a comfortable temperature even when the weather gets chilly out.
There are several options to choose from when it comes to pool heaters, including gas and propane models, heating pumps, electric resistance heaters, and solar options. Though they all cost a different amount to install and operate, on average, adding a heater to your pool setup will cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $8,500 depending on the size and type.
It can be difficult to use your pool after dusk if you don’t have lighting installed. As long as you have electrical lines to your pool, it’s relatively easy to add subsurface lighting for around $900. You can even include upgrades such as dimmable or color-changing lights.
Many pools have a concrete deck around them, and this can undergo just as much wear and tear as the swimming pool itself. It costs an average of $10 per square foot to resurface a concrete deck.
If you like, you can add extra options to your deck for safety, comfort, and style. A color stain costs about $4 per square foot, while decorative overlays cost around $10 per square foot. If you want the concrete stamped or stenciled, it will generally cost about $15 per square foot.
Jetted Hot Tub
Adding a spa to your pool isn’t cheap, but it’s a great way to relax on chilly evenings with friends and family. An inground jetted hot tub costs an average of $5,000 to add to an existing pool setup. You also have to ensure that you have all of the right hookups available for any heaters and water jets to work.
Steps and Ladders
Adding an easy way to get in and out of the pool can make it safer and more accessible to those who aren’t as strong swimmers. The cost of installing built-in steps can run you about $6,000, depending on the material that you use. If you plan to add an aggregate or tile finish, this can also add to the expense.
A water feature such as a fountain or waterfall can add a touch of class to any pool. What’s more, a water feature can help to improve circulation around your pool. It costs an average of $7,500 to add a water feature, though it can cost more or less depending on factors such as size, design, and complexity.
Infinity pools are a popular trend these days and can be found in homes of all shapes and sizes. By using an edge that’s flush with the water, infinity pools give the appearance of merging straight into the horizon, offering amazing views as you swim. Upgrading your pool to an infinity design will cost about $35,000 on average. It is a core part of the pool design, so you basically have to start from scratch in a lot of ways.
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No matter your budget, a resurfaced pool can make it last a lot longer and give you a brand new looking finish. For more of our cost breakdowns, check out my main inground pool cost guide.
Questions? Let me know and I’ll be happy to help as best I can.