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 examine some pros and cons and compare them to other pool types.
Let’s get started.
- 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 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. On average, you can expect to pay from $22,000 to $50,000 for a vinyl liner pool.
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 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 the approximate installation costs.
|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|
One advantage of vinyl liner pools is that buyers have plenty of options regarding pool shapes, 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
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|
Where you live will also determine the initial cost of your pool.
In general, the price will increase if you live in a northern state with less demand. 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 also have to pay for.
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 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 homeowner’s preferences. 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 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 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 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 For Type of Coping
Here are the average costs per linear foot for different coping options.
|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.
|White plastic steps||$80 – $150|
|Vinyl over steps||$200 – $500|
|Ladder||$60 – $150|
|White bench||$80 – $150|
|Vinyl over bench||$100 – $300|
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.
Equipment and Add-Ons
Homeowners must consider what features they want their pool to have or the accessories and landscaping that can significantly 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.
|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|
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 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.
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.
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
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 about $5,500. For smaller repairs, you can patch your pool liner for a lot less.
Need a Pool Builder?
I partner with HomeAdvisor to help you find the best swimming pool contractors in your area. Compare quotes for free from fully vetted pool builders.
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.
Further, you must pay for utilities to keep your pool running. Be prepared to pay an extra $30 to $50 per month—perhaps more if you add 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.