Vinyl Liner Pool Cost Breakdown

Written by Michael Dean
January 10, 2024

vinyl liner swimming pool next to cost analysis

Vinyl liner pools are popular among homeowners because they are more affordable than concrete or fiberglass pools. While vinyl liner pools generally cost less, many factors can significantly increase or decrease their overall pricing.

I’ll examine everything related to vinyl liner pool costs in this article, from installation to maintenance and repairs. I’ll also discuss some pros and cons and compare them to other pool types. Let’s dive in!

Main Takeaways

  • The initial cost of installing a vinyl liner pool will vary according to various factors, including size, shape, 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 for a vinyl pool includes the pool liner itself, pool features, equipment, and the landscaping or excavation of 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, on average, you can expect to pay from $22,000 to $50,000 for a vinyl liner pool. But this number can soar to over $100,000 if you install an exceptionally large pool with many added features.

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


Pool size is one of the most significant determiners of the initial cost of your pool. It may seem obvious, 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 the approximate installation costs. Remember that vinyl pools are highly customizable and can come in whatever size or shape your heart desires. Generally, you can expect to pay around $100-$220 per square foot for your vinyl pool.

Vinyl Pool SizeApproximate Cost
10’ x 20’$20,000 – $48,000
10’ x 30’$30,000 – $66,000
12’ x 20’$24,000 – $52,800
12’ x 24’$28,800 – $63,300
12’ x 30’$36,000 – $79,000
14’ x 28’$39,000 – $86,200
15’ x 30’$45,000 – $99,000
16’ x 32’$51,000 – $112,600
18’ x 36’$65,000 – $142,500
20’ x 40’$80,000 – $176,000
25’ x 45’$112,500 – $247,500


One advantage of vinyl liner pools is that buyers can essentially fully customize the pool’s shape, unlike fiberglass pools. However, remember 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

If you are on a budget, your best bet is to stick to a standard rectangular or oval-shaped pool, as L-shaped or kidney vinyl pools tend to cost much more. Here are the approximate costs for inground vinyl pools by shape.

Vinyl Pool ShapeApproximate Cost
Rectangular$20,000 – $60,000
Oval$20,000 – $60,000
L-Shaped$45,000 – $100,000
Kidney$30,000 – $70,000

Your Location

Where you live will also determine the initial cost of your pool. For example, states with colder climates (and therefore fewer pools) have less demand for pool builders, so building a vinyl pool will cost more. So, generally, the more north you go, the more expensive your vinyl pool will be.

Hotter places like Arizona, Texas, and Florida tend to be cheaper because there is more competition, so the cost of building a pool is typically less.

And if you want to install a pool in a densely populated metropolitan area, you’ll probably pay more than living 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 you must also pay for.

Equipment and Add-Ons

Homeowners must consider what features they want their pool to have or the accessories and landscaping that can significantly affect how much they enjoy their pool. These added features can increase the cost of your pool, so it is important to keep them in mind for the sake of your budget.

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

Water Features Like Waterfalls$5,000-15,000
Pool Vacuum$100-1,600
Diving Bard$250-850
Pool Cover$100-$3,000 (more for motorized or sliding deck covers)
Pool Enclosure$4,000-$50,000
Pool Filter$150 – $2,500
Heater$1,600 – $5,450

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 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 pool 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 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 $700 to $5,000. The cost difference between the two liners depends 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.


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 by Type of Coping

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

CopingApproximate 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/BenchApproximate Cost
White plastic steps$80 – $250
Vinyl over steps$200 – $500
Ladder$60 – $220
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 durable materials but tend to corrode in 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.

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 considerable 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, some people with experience can successfully undertake the whole endeavor 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.

Remember 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. Ultimately, I recommend leaving most of the vinyl liner pool installation process to a professional unless you are confident you can properly install the pool. It may cost you more initially, but it could save you thousands of dollars down the line.

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—perhaps the biggest downside to this kind of pool. The liner should last anywhere from five to nine years; when it comes time to replace it, the average cost is between $200 to $1,000 for an above ground vinyl liner and up to $3,000 for inground pools.. 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 mainly 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, depending on what services you get done. If you plan to do all the maintenance yourself, you’ll still need to consider the cost of chemicals and other cleaning supplies. My article on pool maintenance costs covers these expenses in detail.

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

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

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