What Are the Disadvantages of a Vinyl Liner Swimming Pool?

by Pool Builders on 01-28-2010 in Articles

Thinking about purchasing a vinyl liner swimming pool? Well here are the disadvantages of such a purchase.

Vinyl Liner Pool Disadvantages:

Liner Replacements: Although liner warranties are usually between 20-30 years, these warranties have very little value after the first couple of years because they are very pro-rated. This means the liner loses its value each year. Also, these warranties do not cover labor and water costs during a liner replacement. Although the structure of a vinyl liner pool will typically last over 35 years(assuming it's not a wood-wall structure), the liner itself will have to be replaced on average every 8-12 years. In other words, I've seen vinyl pool owners that have replaced their liner 4 times in 20 years and others that have only replaced it once in 20 years. Currently, the cost of an inground pool's liner replacement, when you figure in labor, liner and water, is about $4,000.

Bleaching of Liner: For chlorine users, vinyl pools can fade significantly in only a few years time. What this means is that even though the liner itself may hold up, its appearance can be pretty awful once faded out.

Steps and Benches Don't Match Liner: In most cases, the steps and benches of a liner pool to not match the actual liner. In other words, let's say you have a dark blue vinyl liner pool. In order to have steps and benches, usually white fiberglass structures are inserted and the liner butts-up to these units. This lack of color uniformity can make the aesthetics of the pool suffer quite a bit. In recent years, some builders have started overlaying the steps and seats with the actual liner to eliminate this problem. This technology is currently used by few builders due to its difficulty to properly install.

Resell Value: Unlike a fiberglass pool, which is viewed as long term structure without major repairs, vinyl liners pools are viewed poorly by certain potential home buyers. In other words, some home buyers are hesitant to purchase a home with a vinyl liner pool because in its inevitable costs down the road. In fact, I've seen many cases where a potential home buyer requests the home seller to install a new vinyl liner in the pool as part of the closing stipulations for the real estate transaction.

Coping: A large majority of vinyl pool builders use an aluminum C-track coping edge for the interior coping of the pool's patio. Although using a C-track makes the process of pour concrete around a vinyl pool much easier, it also negatively impacts the pool's appearance. This is why I always recommend cantilever coping when purchasing a vinyl liner pool.

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