How much does it cost to build an in-ground vinyl-lined swimming pool?
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Inground Vinyl Pool Cost Guide
Updated: September 5, 2022
If you are looking for a way to add entertainment, fun, and exercise to your backyard, a vinyl in-ground pool is a great option. In-ground vinyl pools are more budget-friendly than fiberglass and concrete pools. Vinyl pools are quick and easy to install and have a smooth surface underfoot. They are endlessly customizable and have a variety of shapes, sizes, and depths. This allows you to create your ideal pool for much less than a concrete pool of the same size and shape.
Vinyl pools come in a range of different sizes and have many options, impacting the overall costs. The national average for an in-ground vinyl pool is between $35,000 and $65,000, with most people paying around $45,000 for a 12’x24’ rectangular pool, with steps, heater, filter, and concrete deck completely installed. The low cost for this project is around $20,000 for an installed 10’x20’ pool with no features or deck. The high cost for this project is around $85,000 for a 450 sq.ft. lagoon pool with a stamped paver deck, solar heater, waterfall, and diving board installed.
Vinyl Pool Cost
|Vinyl In-Ground Pool Cost|
|National average cost||$45,000|
Vinyl Pool Cost by Size
Vinyl pools come in just about any size you can imagine. Like all pools, size influences the overall project cost. The larger the pool, the higher your total costs. Because you can have a range of features and shapes regardless of the size, costs vary for each size.
|In-Ground Pool Size||Average Costs (Installed)|
|10’ x 20’||$24,400 - $45,000|
|10’ x 30’||$36,600 - $67,500|
|12’ x 20’||$29,040 - $54,000|
|12’ x 24’||$35,000 - $65,000|
|12’ x 30’||$43,920 - $81,000|
|14’ x 28’||$47,824 - $88,200|
|15’ x 30’||$54,900 - $101,250|
|16’ x 32’||$62,464 - $115,200|
|18’ x 36’||$79,056 - $145,800|
|20’ x 40’||$97,600 - $180,000|
|25’ x 45’||$137,250 - $253,125|
|30’ x 50’||$183,000 - $337,500|
A Small Vinyl In-Ground Pool
Small pools can be defined as anything measuring 10’x20’ or smaller. If you want to use the pool for swimming, 10’x20’ provides enough room and costs between $24,400 to $45,000. If you want the pool for cooling off, such as a plunge pool, costs can be as low as $10,000 to $15,000 for a fully installed in-ground pool.
Vinyl Pool Price by Shape
The pool shape also influences your overall costs. Rectangular pools are faster and easier to install, so your labor costs are lower overall than the costs to install a pool with bends or curves in the shape, such as a lagoon pool. However, there is still overlap in costs between the different shapes because each pool can also have a lot of other features, including the deck, heater, stairs, and other attributes. With all things equal, you save by keeping the shape of your pool as simple as possible, with the straightest sides.
Rectangular Vinyl Pool
Rectangular vinyl pools are the least expensive, with an average cost of $35,000 to $65,000 for a 12’x20’ pool. Rectangular pools are the easiest to install. This means that they go in more quickly, and your labor costs are less. When excavating for the pool, straight lines are easier to create. This is also the case for erecting the pool walls and for attaching the liner. Rectangular pools are the best for swimming laps, which makes them one of the more popular options.
Round Vinyl Pool
Round vinyl pools are one of the more expensive shapes when you look at costs per square foot. Oval pools cost less than fully round but slightly more than rectangular. A completely round pool is generally higher in price than rectangular and oval pools. Excavating for a round pool is more time-consuming and painstaking. This is also the case for erecting the walls and installing the liner. However, a round pool is usually smaller in size than rectangular and oval pools. While the cost per foot may be higher, your overall cost for the pool may be about the same, although the pool itself will be smaller.
L-Shaped Vinyl Pool
L-shaped vinyl pools have costs that are similar to those of rectangular pools. L-shaped pools have long straight sides, which are easier to excavate, wall, and line. An L-shaped pool is usually larger overall than a rectangular pool, so it will have higher-than-average costs but not because of its shape. In this case, the pool size is the biggest driving influence behind the cost. The average interior square footage of an L-shaped pool is closer to 450 sq.ft., while the average rectangular pool has an average square footage of 288 sq.ft. This means that the average L-shaped pool has costs of roughly $54,900 to $101,250.
Lagoon Vinyl Pool
Lagoon vinyl pools have an incredibly wide range of costs due to the various shape options. Most have curves along the edges. The more curves and the more complicated the design, the higher your overall costs. The fewer curves and the more gently they curve, the lower the costs. In addition, the pool size influences costs. This means that lagoon pools have one of the widest cost ranges of all pool types in use today.
Vinyl Pool Liner Cost
The liner is the part of your vinyl pool that you see and feel. It is stretched over the walls of your pool, giving it a watertight finished surface. Vinyls come in a range of thicknesses, as well as embossed and non-embossed. Vinyl liners are measured in “mils,” with 1 mil being 1/1,000th of an inch. The most common measurements are 20, 25, 27, 28, and 30 mils. The thicker the liner, the more expensive the cost and the more difficult the installation. The thickness does not necessarily translate into a longer time before you need to replace the liner. However, thicker liners resist tears and punctures better than thinner ones, which means it will require fewer repairs over its lifetime.
Embossed liners tend to be thinner overall than non-embossed liners. This is because embossed liners have thicknesses that vary over their surface, with the raised sections being thicker than the flat sections. The liner will be labeled as the thickest mils and not the thinnest. This means that an embossed liner that measures 27 mils and a non-embossed liner measuring 27 mils will not be the same thickness or offer the same protection against rips or punctures.
|Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Embossed||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Non-Embossed||$1,000 - $2,000|
Vinyl Pool Coping Options
The coping is the border or material around the top edge of your pool. It creates a transition between the pool and the patio, while holding your pool liner in place. For most vinyl pools, you will see white cluminum C-channel coping. However, other coping types can be used. Your coping plays a fairly big role in how your pool looks. It may also be partially dictated by the type of patio or pool deck you have surrounding your pool.
|Type of Coping||Average Costs|
|Cantilever||$8 - $12/linear foot|
|Flat-Mount||$10 - $12/linear foot|
|White Aluminum C-Channel Coping||$10 - $12/linear foot|
Cantilever Vinyl Pool Coping
Cantilever vinyl pool coping costs between $8 and $12 a linear foot. This coping is usually made of aluminum. The coping is installed around the pool’s edge and holds the liner in place. In this particular coping, the top is designed with a small lip at the pool’s edge. This is done so that a concrete pool deck can be poured right up to that lip where it meets the pool. This means that the concrete becomes the pool edge, and the coping is partially laid beneath it.
Flat Pool Coping
Flat-mount pool coping ranges from $10 to $12 a linear foot. Flat-panel coping is usually made of extruded aluminum. It comes in different colors, and aluminum can be painted. In this case, the flat coping is designed to be subtle. It holds the vinyl liner in place but forms a flat profile around the pool. It does not create any kind of bullnose or other decorative edge around the side of the pool.
White Aluminum C-Channel Coping
White aluminum C-channel coping averages $10 to $12 a linear foot. C-channel coping is curved. When you look at it in profile, it looks like the letter C. When it is installed, it holds your pool liner in place and gives it a finished edge. This edge has a rounded appearance similar to a bullnose. Some channel coping may have a squared-off appearance, which is known as a U-channel. Costs and the application are identical. Most channel coping is white, but it can be painted different colors.
Vinyl Pool Steps Cost
Your vinyl pool needs a method for entry and exit. Depending on its depth and size, you may need more than one type of entry point, with ladders being common in deep pool areas and steps being common in the shallow end. Each step type has a set of costs, with larger pools needing at least two, while smaller pools may get away with one.
You have several options for the stairs, such as material, placement, and appearance. Steps can be made of plastic, polymers, or fiberglass. They can also be made of the same material as your pool walls and be covered with your vinyl pool liner. The steps can be rectangular when installed along the walls. They can be triangular for corners, or they can have a “cake” shape, which is rounded and looks like a multi-tiered cake. Some steps can even include a bench for sitting.
Ladders can be cut into the pool wall and lined with your vinyl liner, or they can be extended down into the pool, installed afterward. Most stairs and ladders take up space in your pool, so you want to ensure you choose a size and shape that looks good, is functional for your needs, and takes up the minimal amount of space.
|Material||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|White Plastic Steps||$80 - $150|
|Metal Pool Ladder||$90 - $300|
|Vinyl Over Steps||$200 - $500|
|Polymer Resins||$200 - $1,000|
|Fiberglass||$1,000 - $3,000|
In-Ground Vinyl Pool Installation Cost
In-ground vinyl pools have a wide range of labor costs. The bulk of the pool’s installation is in labor, with materials only making up $5,000 to $10,000 of the cost and the remaining costs going to labor. Vinyl has lower labor costs than other pool types because it is faster and easier to construct. Your labor costs vary based on the pool shape, depth, and how rocky your yard is. If the area needs to be blasted, your costs will be higher than if it does not. A general cost breakdown includes:
|Steps||Average Labor Costs|
|Permits||$200 - $300|
|Excavating||$500 - $3,500|
|Blasting Rocky Terrain||$600 - $7,200|
|Equipment Installation||$5,000 - $7,000|
|Material Installation||$5,000 - $7,000|
|Finishing||$5,000 - $7,000|
|Decking||$5,000 - $15,000|
Vinyl Pool Seats Cost
Not every pool includes seats. Some people use their stairs when they want a place to temporarily rest in the pool. However, it is possible to add seating inside the pool. Like with stairs, there are different ways to do this.
You can add a simple white plastic bench seat to the interior walls, which is the least expensive option. The white stands out against the pool walls, however, so it is the most obvious.
You can choose to have your vinyl liner go over a bench or ledge in the pool wall. In this case, the bench or ledge is built into the wall. The liner is stretched and fitted over it. This creates a more seamless appearance for the pool, resulting in a more subtle look. Like the rest of your pool, this means that the liner is at risk of puncture or ripping in these areas, while a white plastic bench will be more durable long term.
|White Bench Seats||$80 - $150|
|Vinyl Over Benches||$100 - $300|
|Vinyl Over Ledges||$100 - $300|
Deck for Vinyl Pools Cost
A deck is typically installed around the perimeter of an in-ground pool. Decks offer many benefits, from protecting your landscaping from the pool chemicals to creating a non-slip area around the pool edge for walking or sitting. Decking can also provide a wide range of different looks and styles for your pool area.
Most in-ground pools have a basic concrete deck added to the cost of the pool build. You can choose to use another material instead if you do not like the look of concrete or want something that matches an existing patio or landscaping.
Decks can be made in many different materials, including the same materials used on a patio. Like patios, pool decking materials are usually priced by the square foot. They come in a wide range of materials with varying costs. Some, such as stone, should only be used in moderate climates, while others like pavers can be used anywhere.
|Material||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|Wood||$2 - $3/sq.ft.|
|Stamped Pavers||$2 - $3/sq.ft.|
|Concrete||$3 - $6/sq.ft.|
|Composite||$6 - $8/sq.ft.|
|Modified Wood||$7 - $9/sq.ft.|
|Brick||$8 - $12/sq.ft.|
|Stone||$10 - $25/sq.ft.|
Vinyl Pool Add-Ons
Most pools also need additional features to make them truly comfortable and functional. Some of these are mandatory, such as pumps and filters, and others like robotic cleaners and water features are optional. Adding any of these to your pool increases the total project costs.
|Filter||$30 - $1,600|
|Water Features||$250 - $15,000|
|Pump||$300 - $1,200|
|Lighting||$450 - $1,200|
|Diving Board||$500 - $1,000|
|Robotic Pool Cleaner||$600 - $1,000|
|Pool Cover||$2,700 - $3,700|
|Heater||$3,450 - $5,450|
|Retaining Wall||$3,500 - $10,000|
A pool filter costs between $30 and $1,600, depending on the type. Every pool needs to be filtered. Filtering removes sediment and debris from your pool. There are several different types, from very simple to more complex. Depending on your location, you may have more filtering needs than in other areas. Your filter must be sized to your pool. It should also be changed regularly to ensure that your pool stays clean.
Water Features for Vinyl Pools
Water features average $250 to $15,000, depending on the type and size. Water features, such as fountains and waterfalls, are common additions to pools. They can enhance your landscaping and make a statement with some pool designs. Water features can also be used to help circulate the water of your pool. They work like a pump and couple with your filter to help keep your water clean. This cuts down on stagnation and algae growth in the pool.
A pool pump ranges from $300 to $1,200. Pool pumps are used to keep your water circulating. The pump pulls the water through the filter and distributes your pool chemicals evenly. The pool water needs to fully circulate multiple times a week, and depending on how much you use the pool, it may need it several times a day. Pool pumps are sized to your pool. They come in many different types and sizes, depending on how often you need them to circulate. Some are designed to be energy-friendly, especially for larger pools that need a lot of circulating over the course of a day.
Vinyl Pool Lighting
The average cost of pool lighting is between $450 and $1,200. There are several different ways you can light your pool. The simplest is to use floating lights that sit on the surface. You can also install lights directly into the side walls of your pool. This is the most costly and must be done when your pool is built or relined. You can also choose to have lights installed around the outside of your pool’s perimeter to light the deck.
The cost of a pool diving board ranges from $500 to $1,000. If you have a vinyl pool with a deep end, you may want to add a diving board to the pool’s side. Diving boards come in several lengths and sizes. If you add one, ensure your pool is deep enough in that area - 12 feet being the minimum depth. You may also want a pool ladder installed nearby for divers to exit quickly. Diving boards can be added at any time after the pool is finished.
Robotic Pool Cleaners
The cost of a robotic pool cleaner is between $600 and $1,000. Robotic pool cleaners make pool cleaning easier. These are essentially vacuums that travel on the bottom of your pool. They work like any robotic vacuum and move in rows across the bottom of your pool, removing sunken debris. Some come with a hose extension, while others are more compact. They need to be removed and emptied manually to continue working.
The cost of a pool cover averages $2,700 to $3,700. If you do not use your pool every day, you may want to install a cover. Covers keep debris out of your pool when it is not in use. There are essentially two types of cover - mesh and solid. Mesh covers allow sunlight to enter, which can encourage algae growth. Solid covers help prevent algae growth but require a lower level of water. This means your pool must be pumped and refilled yearly if you cover it for winter.
Pool heaters cost between $3,450 and $5,450 on average. If you live in a climate that does not see many hot, sunny days, a pool heater makes your pool more comfortable. Heaters also extend the number of days you can comfortably use your pool each year. Heaters come in a wide range of different sizes. Make sure your heater is sized properly for your pool. They also come in a range of fuel types, from electric to solar. Each has ongoing costs to consider.
The average cost of a pool retaining wall is $3,500 to $10,000. There are many reasons for adding a retaining wall to your pool area. If your pool is built into a hillside, a retaining wall helps prevent erosion into your pool. If you choose an infinity pool, a retaining wall can give the pool a more pronounced look. Retaining walls can also add a lot to your overall landscaping, while helping prevent soil erosion. The cost of your wall is determined by its length and material.
Pool Vinyl Liner Replacement Cost
Vinyl pools are essentially made of two parts - the walls and the liner. The walls can last indefinitely, but the liner must be replaced every 5 to 9 years. Thinner liners may puncture and rip more quickly than thicker liners, and while some rips can be repaired, eventually the liner needs to be replaced. The cost of vinyl pool liner replacement is between $3,000 and $6,000 on average. The larger the pool and the more curves it has, the higher the costs. Also, the thicker your liner, the higher your costs because thicker liners are more difficult to work with. A thicker liner may last longer than a thinner liner because thicker liners can often be repaired, while thinner liners may not.
How Deep Can a Vinyl Pool Be?
Vinyl pools can be any depth. A common depth for pools in the deep end is about 12 feet, which is deep enough for diving. However, if your pool is large enough, you can go deeper. It is very common for pools to have a wide range of depths so that people of all ages and abilities can use the pool. Vinyl pools are completely customizable in size and shape. Therefore, you can create a pool that has a deep end and make that deep end your choice of depth. This is in contrast to fiberglass pools, which cannot exceed about 5 feet in depth.
Can a Vinyl Pool Be Saltwater?
Your vinyl pool is made up of two parts - the pool walls and the pool liner. The walls of your pool can be made out of metal or polymers. If the walls of your vinyl pool are made of metal, you cannot use salt water. If the vinyl punctures or rips, which is common, the metal walls of your pool would corrode. Therefore, the only way to safely use salt water in a vinyl pool is if the walls are made of plastic or polymer. This can be done, but it is not common. To use salt water in your pool, the walls should be plastic.
Vinyl Pool Maintenance
Vinyl pools are higher in maintenance than other types. In addition to your regular pool maintenance of cleaning, changing the filter, and checking your chemical balance, you also need to pay attention to the liner. Pool chemicals can weaken the liner, which in turn can cause tears. The liner may also be easily punctured by a dog’s nails or other sharp objects. Regular pool maintenance costs between $350 and $800 yearly. In addition, you need to inspect the liner at the start and end of every season. Repairing a small hole or tear in the liner costs between $350 and $550. If you have areas that are thinning or have large tears, replace the liner.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Pools
Like all pools, vinyl-lined pools have pros and cons. They are affordable and much faster to build than fiberglass or concrete. They can also be endlessly customized both in size and shape. They have a very smooth surface that is pleasant to walk on.
However, they are not as durable as concrete or fiberglass and require frequent liner replacements. Most vinyl pools have metal walls that are incompatible with saltwater systems. They also cannot be used in areas with high water tables and are generally less visually appealing than other pool types. While some in-ground pools may be attractive to buyers for resale, vinyl pools typically are not.
Fiberglass Pool vs Vinyl
Vinyl pools are just one option for in-ground pool installation. Fiberglass is another popular choice. Of the two, vinyl is more affordable at around $45,000 on average, while fiberglass costs closer to $50,000 for the same-size pool. Vinyl is also faster to install. Vinyl can be customized and comes in any depth. Fiberglass is more durable and does not require any surface replacement over time. However, the pool size, shape, and depth are limited. Fiberglass is usually easier to maintain and can last for years longer than vinyl pools without needing repair.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
The average cost to install a metal 4.5 to 5-foot pool fence with security gate averages $6,500. A fence keeps children from accidentally falling into the pool and also prevents pets and wildlife from stumbling into the pool.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- A contractor assists with gathering all the necessary permits for the project. Permit rules vary by state, city, and county. Most permits range from $200 to $300. An electrical permit often costs $25 to $50.
- The installation of a vinyl-lined pool can be a DIY project, but check with the pool’s manufacturer to make sure that installing it as a DIY does not void the warranty.
- You can purchase vinyl-lined pool kits for installation. The vinyl pool kit averages $25,000 to $40,000.
- Most manufacturers offer a 3-year guarantee on the vinyl.
- During the summer months, it tends to be more expensive to install a pool because more people use a pool during the late spring and summer seasons. Sometimes, you can save money by installing during the offseason, such as the fall, winter, and early spring months.
- A vinyl liner is made of durable material. The thickness of the vinyl is measured in mils. A mil is 1/1,000th of an inch thick. Vinyl pool liners come in variations of 20, 25, 27, 28, and 30 mils. The vinyl can be embossed with a pattern or simple non-embossed (standard) color. They are available in a wide array of colors. Prices range from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the thickness and if the surface is embossed with a pattern.
- How long do vinyl pools last?
The vinyl liner usually needs replacing every 5-9 years. The replacement cost averages $4,000 to $6,000, depending on the pool size.
- Can vinyl pools be heated?
Yes, vinyl pools can be heated using the same heater types you would use in another pool. Size the heater to your pool for best results.
- What is the better fiberglass or vinyl pool?
Fiberglass pools are more durable and longer-lasting than vinyl. They also tend to do better at resale than vinyl. However, vinyl pools are less expensive to install.
- What is the difference between a vinyl pool and a concrete pool?
Vinyl pools are made from metal walls that have a vinyl liner stretched over them. They are much faster and easier to install than concrete and less expensive. Concrete pools are made by pouring concrete into frames and letting it cure. This is more costly and takes longer to build, but concrete lasts much longer and does better at resale.
- What is underneath a vinyl pool liner?
Most vinyl pools have metal walls beneath them. A few may have plastic walls under them, but this is generally only done by request.