It’s no secret that it takes a lot of work and effort to keep your pool looking its best year after year. With an inground pool, you have to resurface the area every ten 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 suit any swimming pool and budget.
In this article, I will discuss the average pool resurfacing costs before I dive deeper into the specifics of resurfacing different types of pools, including inground, above ground, fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl. I will also provide some ideas on additional features you can add to your pool while you’re resurfacing!
- Pool resurfacing can cost anywhere between $1,000 to $100,000. In general, you’ll pay around $6,500 per 1,000 square feet.
- It is cheaper to restore an above ground pool than an inground pool.
- Resurfacing your pool is going to look different according to what kind of pool you have: fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl.
- When resurfacing your swimming pool, consider some additional remodeling options, including water heaters, lighting, pool decks, steps, or water features.
Average Pool Resurfacing Costs
All in all, the average cost of resurfacing a pool in the U.S. is $6,500 per 1,000 square feet. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $100,000 for a quality resurfacing job, depending on the size, type of pool, materials used, and where you live.
You have to consider labor and material costs when calculating your budget. Nine times out of ten, it is necessary to hire a professional to get the job done right. And labor can be expensive! 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 (labor costs). Remember 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 Costs
Restoring an above ground pool is cheaper and easier than resurfacing an inground setup. All swimming pool components are readily accessible, making repairs and replacements a breeze.
An above ground pool vinyl liner costs about $10 to $20 to patch (DIY kit) and an average of $2,000 to fully replace. On the other hand, an inground pool costs an average of $20 to $60 to patch (DIY kit) and $5,000 to resurface if it’s not severely damaged. That cost varies significantly depending on your pool type and how bad the damage is, which I get into below.
In some cases, if the pool is in VERY bad condition, you may have to replace both the surface and base of an inground pool. Doing this costs much more and may even cost close to what you’ll pay for an entirely new pool! Depending on the size of your pool and the material used, you may have to pay between $10,000 and $45,000 for the job.
Cost of 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 have to resurface a fiberglass pool setup, you should expect to pay around $6,000 to $8,000 for parts and labor. There are several popular finishes that you commonly see in fiberglass pools, which will vary your cost dramatically. Generally, you’ll only need to resurface parts of a fiberglass pool, so you can easily add a coat of polymer or epoxy pool finish to the affected areas.
A thermoplastic polymer powder coating such as ecoFINISH is very effective at protecting and sealing fiberglass pools. Polymer powders generally cost more than other fiberglass pool resurfacing options. A small to medium-sized pool will cost between $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. If well maintained, a polymer powder resurface can last decades.
Epoxy paint is another popular finish choice for fiberglass pools and can even be used for concrete pools. 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 $100 to $200 per gallon or $1,500 per full application. So, if you need to resurface your fiberglass pool on a budget, this is a good option.
DIY vs. Professional
I personally wouldn’t recommend applying a fiberglass coating yourself because of the risk of breathing 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.
Cost of 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 $5,000 to $10,000, but this could be much less or more depending on how big your pool is and the type of finish you decide to use. Many of the same finishes are also used to keep the pool safe, sealed, and looking its best.
Some pool owners protect their pools by merely painting over the concrete. Painted concrete pool shells are an older technique that slowed way down by the 1970s, but some pools are still built like this today. The main reason pool owners still opt for painting their pools is the cost.
Painted concrete comes in various styles, color options, and price ranges to suit a wide range of budgets. On average, it costs around $1,000 to $2,000 to hire a professional to paint a medium-sized pool, though you can save money by going the DIY route.
That said, don’t let this lower cost fool you. A paint pool finish will need to be resurfaced more often, so you will end up paying more in the long run. Additionally, if you ever plan to make the switch from a paint finish to plaster, you will have to pay a professional to completely remove the paint with a sandblaster. This process can be long and may cost you a lot. This is why I don’t really recommend going for a paint pool finish.
While a plaster finish is more expensive than paint, it is more durable, adds more protection to the concrete, and has a more classic aesthetic. 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 $5,000-$10,000 and up (including labor). Good quality pool plaster can last up to 10 years if you take care of your pool, but if you don’t properly maintain your pool and keep your chemicals balanced, it may need to be replastered sooner.
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 or rough due to years of acid washing, algae infestations, or poor water chemistry.
Depending on the extent of the damage to your pool plaster, you may be able to patch certain sections or use epoxy putty to fix delaminated plaster. However, if the plaster is very damaged, you may need to fully replaster the pool.
Aggregate finishes are a popular choice among pool owners 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 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 decades with less upkeep and maintenance than other types of pool finishes. Additionally, many of the 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 calling in professionals. A DIY patch-up job for a tile pool generally costs around $20 to $50 in materials for a small fix and up to $1,000 for a bigger-scale repair.
Whether you’re tiling your pool for the first time or completely refinishing a tile pool, the job will likely cost you between $2,000 to $5,000. The cost depends heavily on the size of the area you plan to cover and the type of tile you use. On average, porcelain tiling costs $1 to $5 per square foot, while ceramic costs $3 to $10 per square foot. Glass or mosaic tiles are the most expensive, costing up to $25 per square foot.
If you want to save money on tiling, consider sticking to 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 the edges for a striking statement.
A thin-set is used to bond the new tile to acceptable substrates when setting the new tile. Remember that thin-set won’t adhere well to paint or other non-porous surfaces that are sealed or coated.
Cost of 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 pools are more customizable than concrete and more cost-effective than fiberglass.
While liners can last for years at a time, they are the most fragile and will eventually begin to warp, tear, and wear down after a few years of use. You can spot patch small tears and imperfections, but once you start to notice leaking or major damage to your vinyl liner pool, it’s time to resurface your pool.
Patching a vinyl pool costs about $100 to $500 for materials and can cost up to $800 for larger repairs. If you decide to hire a professional instead of doing the job yourself, expect to pay another couple hundred dollars. While hiring a professional may not seem worth it, you’ll ensure a quality fix.
When the vinyl liner needs replacing, it can cost between $1,000 and $4,000 in both material and labor. A complete replacement is really the only way to resurface a vinyl pool that’s become dry and brittle. If you consider additional costs, such as refilling the pool and restocking chemicals, it may cost you closer to $5,000.
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 considering switching to a fiberglass pool, keep in mind that it can be costly. Not only do you have to place down a fiberglass shell, but you 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 Costs For 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 at a comfortable temperature even when the weather gets chilly.
There are several options for 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 $9,500, depending on the size and type.
Using your pool after dusk can be difficult if you don’t have lighting installed. As long as you have electrical lines in your pool, adding subsurface lighting for around $500 to $1,200 is relatively easy. You can even include upgrades such as dimmable or color-changing lights.
Resurfaced Pool Decking
Many pools have a concrete deck around them, which can undergo just as much wear and tear as the swimming pool itself. Surfacing a concrete deck costs an average of $10 per square foot. Depending on the size of your deck and the specifications, you’ll be shelling out between $1,000 to $5,000 to resurface your concrete pool deck.
You can add extra options to your deck for safety, comfort, and style if you like. 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 the proper 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. Installing built-in steps can cost you about $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the material 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. Moreover, a water feature can help 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 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.
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