I remember clearly learning to build our first Vinyl Liner pool twenty years ago. While we were discussing the procedure, the manufacturer’s rep told me we would drop the liner in the pool, and then turn on a vacuum behind the liner to suck it into the sides. I laughed. I mean, really – a vacuum? It worked perfectly.
Once the liner has been pulled against the wall of the structure, water is added and keeps the liner in place. The replacement cost for this liner, is about $3000.
Once the pool is full and the backfill is completed, the concrete is poured and the pool is ready for landscaping.
Vinyl liner pools were the rage in the 60’s and 70’s, because they were an alternative to concrete swimming pools. As more people began wanting swimming pools, the demand grew, the vinyl products got better and the style became very popular because they were affordable. As the concrete pools have become so much more expensive, and figerglass pools have become so much more popular, the demand for vinyl liner pools has declined.
The key thing to understand about a vinyl liner pool is if there is a problem with the liner, or if water gets under the pool and disturbs the bottom of the pool, the cost of replacement puts you very nearly even with the cost of a fiberglass pool. If you replace the liner twice, your initial savings on a vinyl liner pool are mostly gone. As you see in the top photograph, the bottom of the pool has been carefully sculpted to suit this exact liner. If the bottom is damaged because of a cut liner or water under the pool, the repair costs could easily top $5000.
Initially I believe many people feel they can get a fiberglass pool for $25k – $35 as large as a comparable vinyl liner pool, but the truth is fiberglass swimming pools are more expensive….. initially. But long after your vinyl liner pool has been repaired and liners changed, or damaged because a hurricane blew something into the pool, your fiberglass pool will be just as beautiful as the day it was completed.
So to summarize, vinyl liner swimming pools vs fiberglass pools, are not able to provide enough savings over even the short term to justify building the inferior pool. Vinyl liner pools vs concrete pools, is like comparing apples to bicycles – the differences are so immense, and the costs so far apart, there is no realistic comparison.
By taking the extra step and moving up to a fiberglass swimming pool, you wil be certain that the inherent value in your pool will still be there many years later, and you will never have to replace a liner in a fiberglass swimming pool – not ever.
Next, we look at fiberglass swimming pools as compared to concrete and vinyl liner pools. The new kid on the block is rapidly dominating the residential swimming pool market, and is the fastest growing segment of the swimming pool industry. Maybe there is something to all this talk about fiberglass pools.