Vinyl Liner Pool Cost Breakdown

Vinyl liner pools are a popular option among homeowners, but there are many factors to consider when deciding if this type is right for you—especially pricing. I’ll look at everything related to vinyl liner pool costs, from installation to maintenance and repairs. I’ll also look at some pros and cons and briefly compare them to other pool types.

Let’s get started.


Main Takeaways

  • The initial cost of installing a vinyl liner pool will vary according to various factors, including size, shape, the thickness of the vinyl liner, and more.
  • There are also lifetime costs of owning a vinyl liner pool to consider; on average, expect to pay upwards of $13,000 over ten years.

Initial Cost to Install a Vinyl Liner Pool

The first cost you need to be aware of when installing a pool is the initial cost. The initial price includes the pool itself, pool features, and the landscaping in the surrounding area.

So what’s the typical price of a vinyl liner pool? It’s challenging to tell you precisely how much it will cost because many things influence the initial price. That said, you can expect to pay from $22,000 to $50,000 for a vinyl liner pool on average.

Here are a few of the factors that affect the price the most.

Size

Pool size is one of the most significant determiners of the initial cost of your pool. It may seem like an obvious point, but the bigger you want your pool to be, the more you have to pay, as the price of a vinyl liner pool is charged per square foot.

Vinyl Pool Cost By Size

These are the most common vinyl pool sizes and approximate costs to install them.

Vinyl Pool Size Approximate Cost
10’ x 20’ $18,200 – $45,000
10’ x 30’ $27,300 – $67,500
12’ x 20’ $21,800 – $54,000
12’ x 24’ $26,200 – $65,000
12’ x 30’ $32,800 – $81,000
14’ x 28’ $35,700 – $88,200
15’ x 30’ $41,000 – $101,000
16’ x 32’ $46,600 – $115,200
18’ x 36’ $59,000 – $145,800
20’ x 40’ $72,800 – $180,000
25’ x 45’ $102,400 – $253,100
30’ x 50’ $136,500 – $337,500

Shape

One advantage of vinyl liner pools is that buyers have plenty of options when it comes to pool shapes, unlike with fiberglass pools. However, keep in mind that the pool’s cost can rise significantly when you deviate from a standard rectangle shape (which is the easiest to create). This point is especially true for vinyl liner pools, which are more expensive than concrete pools when you want to create custom shapes.

Vinyl Pool Cost By Shape

Here are the approximate costs for inground vinyl pools by shape.

Vinyl Pool Shape Approximate Cost
Rectangular $30,000 – $60,000
Oval $30,000 – $60,000
L-Shaped $54,000 – $100,000
Kidney $35,000 – $65,000

Your Location

Where you live will also determine the initial cost of your pool.

In general, if you live in a northern state with less demand, the price will increase. Hotter places like Arizona, Texas, and Florida tend to be cheaper because there are more professional options to choose from. And if you want to install a pool in a densely populated metropolitan area, you’ll probably pay more than if you live in the suburbs.

Site and Access

The most cost-effective area to place an inground pool is somewhere flat and open with easy access, which is not always possible. Some locations present challenges that drive up costs. Sloping sites are one example. Tight yards with difficult access are another, as they may require specialist equipment that you have to pay for as well.

Features

Homeowners must consider what features they want their pool to have, or the accessories and landscaping that can make a considerable difference in how much you enjoy your pool. These things form a significant part of your budget, and having certain features can drastically raise the overall price of the pool.

Some, like pool covers, are necessary. Others, such as heating or cooling, depend on the preferences of the homeowner. Here are some common features that you may consider adding to your vinyl liner pool:

Thickness of the Vinyl Liner

Vinyl liner pools come in various thicknesses, ranging from 20 to 30 mils. For obvious reasons, thinner liners are cheaper. Their installation is quick, and they’re easy to work with. On the other hand, thicker lines are more expensive, and they are much more finicky to install.

I recommend going with the thickest option you can afford despite the additional costs and extra time of installing thicker liners. Thicker liners provide more robust protection against tears or punctures. You never know when some debris might fall in your fall and create a hole. The more you safeguard your pool against mishaps, the less you’ll have to pay down the road.

You should also consider the differences between embossed and non-embossed liners when picking the thickness of the liner. Embossed liners have peaks and valleys and are measured at the highest peak of the liner. This means that not all parts of the embossed liner will measure at the same thickness. On the other hand, non-embossed liners are equally thick all the way through and thus more durable.

Average Costs For Embossed Vs. Non-Embossed Liners

Whether you get an embossed or non-embossed liner, it will cost on average somewhere between $1,000 to $2,000. The difference in costs between the two types of liners will depend on what thickness you buy.

For example, a 25-mil non-embossed liner will cost more than a 25/20-mil embossed liner as the non-embossed liner uses more material overall. Conversely, the 25/20-mil embossed liner will cost more than a 20-mil non-embossed liner.

Coping

The top perimeter of the pool is called coping, which acts as the transition from the pool to the patio. White aluminum C-channel coping is standard on vinyl liner pools, though you can paint it in different colors. The coping you choose affects the overall price of the swimming pool.

Average Costs For Type of Coping

Here are the average costs per linear foot for different coping options.

Coping Approximate Cost
Cantilever-edge $6 – $10
Flat-mount $10 – $12
Aluminum c-channel $10 – $12

Steps and Benches

Steps come standard in vinyl liner pools, and they typically jut out of the pool. Some pool owners prefer to have the steps built inside the pool instead, which is a common—yet pricey—upgrade. You can also opt to have fun features like a buddy seat built into the side of the pool.

Average Costs For Steps and Benches

Here are the approximate costs associated with certain types of steps and benches.

Steps/Bench Approximate Cost
White plastic steps $80 – $150
Vinyl over steps $200 – $500
Ladder $60 – $150
White bench $80 – $150
Vinyl over bench $100 – $300

Wall Panels

Another decision you must make is what material to use in the wall panels. The material you choose can change the overall initial cost of your pool. Each type has its pros and cons.

Steel and aluminum are quite durable materials, but they tend to corrode in the water. To eliminate the corrosion issue, some homeowners choose polymer panels instead. However, the tradeoff here is that polymer panels sometimes bow inward due to the soil’s pressure.

Equipment and Add-Ons

Homeowners must consider what features they want their pool to have or the accessories and landscaping that can greatly impact how much you enjoy your pool. These things form a significant part of your budget, and having certain features can drastically raise the overall price of the swimming pool.

Some of these add-ons are necessary, like pumps and filters. But other add-ons can further better your pool experience. Some pool owners like to buy heaters and diving boards. What you get is entirely up to your personal preference.

Average Costs For Equipment and Add-Ons

Here are the average costs for these add-ons for your vinyl liner pool.

Add-On Approximate Cost
Filter $30 – $1,600
Pump $300 – $1,500
Pool cover $1,000 – $3,700
Diving board $300 – $1,000
Lighting $450 – $1,800
Heater $1,600 – $5,450

DIY Installation

Unlike with other pool types, it’s entirely possible to install a vinyl liner pool yourself. DIYing the pool installation can save you a considerable amount of money—anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. But doing it on your own is a massive undertaking, and there are some things to keep in mind before starting the project.

Though it’s not typical, there are people with experience that can successfully undertake the whole endeavor by themselves. What’s more usual, however, is for DIYers to complete some parts of the project, like doing the initial excavation, and leave more complicated things like electrical work to the professionals.

Keep in mind that your timeline will be longer if you do it yourself, and there is a more considerable margin for error. Plus, you virtually eliminate your ability to have any kind of freeform curve, which is a hassle and almost impossible to do correctly without professional help and tools.

Ongoing Costs For Vinyl Liner Pools

Now that I’ve gone over the initial cost of installing a vinyl liner pool, it’s time to talk about the lifetime cost—or in other words, what you have to pay for once the pool is in place. As you can probably imagine, buying a pool isn’t a one-time purchase. There are things like maintenance, repairs, and replacements to consider.

These costs vary depending on the size and type of pool. For a vinyl liner pool, expect to pay anywhere from upwards of $13,000 over ten years.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these lifetime costs.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Vinyl Pool Liner?

Repairs make up a significant bulk of your pool’s lifetime costs. Wear and tear are normal, and you’ll likely have to pay to repair many of the following issues:

  • Sun damage
  • Holes, tears, and snags
  • Wrinkles
  • Leaks
  • Discoloration

But one repair you can’t escape with a vinyl liner pool is replacing the liner—which is perhaps the biggest downside to this kind of pool. The liner should last anywhere from five to nine years, and when it comes time to replace it, the average cost is about $5,500. For smaller repairs, you can patch your pool liner for a lot less.

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How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Vinyl Liner Pool?

Maintenance makes up another significant bulk of your pool’s lifetime costs, and how much you pay depends mostly on the size of your pool. Professional pool maintenance in the summer months will set you back around $750, with prices ranging anywhere from $50 to $300 per month.

Further, you must pay for utilities to keep your pool running. Be prepared to tack on an extra $30 to $50 per month—perhaps more if you add extras like heaters, spas, or waterfalls.

Have more questions? Read my full inground pool cost analysis to compare vinyl pools to fiberglass and concrete options.

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