Vinyl pool liners, whether for an in-ground or above-ground pool, are not designed to last forever. They need to be replaced about every 8 to 12 years, on average, although some go in as little as five and others last beyond 15.
The cost of a new liner depends on the size and shape of the pool, the quality and thickness of the material, the pattern, local labor rates and more.
- The cost for the simplest in-ground pools is about $3,000 to $5,000 installed. We’re talking about small pools or ones that are simple in shape. This also assumes that the pool company won’t run in to unexpected issues or problems.
- The price can climb to $10,000 or more for large in-ground pools, oddly shaped pools and/or complex installation jobs.
- For above-ground pools, budget about $1,000 to $1,500 for labor and materials.
- Extras like having the stairs covered might cost $300-$500.
Although vinyl pools do require more maintenance than concrete or fiberglass pools, keep in mind that they usually cost about $10,000 less for a comparable size. So if you replace the liner only once, you’re probably still saving money in the long run.
Manufacturers of vinyl pool liners often advertise 25- to 30-year warranties, but don’t be fooled. Read the fine print to find out exactly what you’re getting.
Pool liner warranties are usually prorated, meaning they lose value after every year after the first couple years. If you liner needs replacement 10 years down the road, the warranty might only cover a very small percentage of the cost. Keep in mind, too, that most warranties don’t cover labor costs to have the new liner installed, or refilling the pool.
The good news is, as the technology continues to improve, vinyl liners have a much longer lifespan than they once did. Invest in a high-quality liner and you won’t have to deal with the hassle or expense of replacement for a long while.
If the lining has a relatively small tear or leak, a contractor might be able to repair it. This saves a considerable amount of money, and it doesn’t require draining the pool. The price depends on the severity of the problem, but minor repairs might cost $500 to $1,000. A large portion of the cost goes to assessing the extent of the problem, which can be complex.
Keep in mind that proper maintenance of your pool can help extend the liner’s lifespan. Never allow leaks or repairs to go unchecked because they can quickly become bigger problems. The sun and improper use of chemicals can also cause the liner to wear out faster. Keep the pool covered, when possible, and use only manufacturer-approved chemicals.
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