Vinyl Pool Pros and Cons

In-ground vinyl liner pools

Galvenized Steel Vinyl Liner Pool Information

Vinyl Liner Composite Panel Inground Swimming Pool

Vinyl Liner Construction

Vinyl liner swimming pools have been constructed in America for well over 60 years and just like any other industry the technology and materials used to construct the pool are always advancing. Sonco Pools built our first vinyl pool 30 years ago and we still service that swimming pool today.

In the early days of vinyl construction the swimming pools looked very basic with simple shapes, white plastic coping edges, standard grey concrete decks and white plastic entry steps. This look really defined the vinyl liner swimming pool for years and contributed to the theory that the vinyl liner pool was not as prestigious or elegant when compared to gunite / concrete. The industry named this type of construction a package pool, most families found the vinyl liner package pool to be the best value over the more expensive custom concrete / gunite swimming pools that were also available and fiberglass swimming pools were not accepted or readily available in most of the country.

We built our business on the package pool for many years offering a few different shapes, sizes, and liner choices. Today we construct beautiful backyard resorts and simple cost effective pools with the vinyl liner construction method. Our customer’s wants and needs have developed over the years and todays pool owners are asking us for total outdoor living environments with free form design shapes, brick coping, brick patio’s, stamped concrete, paverscapes, fire features, sun decks, large entry steps, lounge benches, automatic cover systems, pool houses, pergolas, and sophisticated liner designs. We can build almost any swimming pool shape size or environment with vinyl construction today and it is still a great value when compared to gunite/concrete.

Advantages Vinyl:

  • Vinyl liner swimming pool structures are assembled in modular panels and can be purchased in various radius and straight segments, the structure has unlimited shape and size potential. This is an advantage for the customer who has specific size requirements or wants a free form design shape. You dream it; we can build it out of vinyl construction.
  • Because of technology advancements like Structural Armor the vinyl liner pool structure will last a lifetime, most vinyl liner pools of the past were constructed with galvanized steel panels, wood panels, or plastic panels. These structures have a shorter expected life span.
  • The vinyl liner is vacuumed into the pool structure for the best fit and finish, today’s vinyl liners look “painted on” much like a coating. Dozens of beautiful liner patterns are available and they have become much more tasteful than the original designs that looked very cheap. These durable liners are easily expected to last 8-12 years with a replacement cost of $3,000-$5,000.00 including labor. A new liner makes the pool look new again and it is replaced in one day!
  • Today’s vinyl liners are available in much thicker vinyl and UV protection is better than ever. We find the vinyl liner to be very durable. Should the liner become damaged it can be easily patched with original material for an invisible repair without draining the pool water.
  • Because vinyl liner pools are assembled in panels, we can build the pool with very tight access into the yard. In some cases we can’t get a fiberglass pool over a home or between houses, vinyl has an advantage in difficult access installations.
  • Vinyl pool structures are readily available from distributors and manufacturers’, shipping is on demand and easy with pool kits delivered on pallets. The shipping advantage of a vinyl swimming pool is substantial and will contribute to lower initial cost.
  • Because the bottom of the vinyl swimming pool is constructed on site, the builder has the ability to customize the depth and configuration of the pools bottom to meet the customer’s needs. If your new pool has a diving board, the diving end of any swimming pool construction method is regulated for safe diving. We believe a vinyl pool is a better choice for diving due to the ability to build at or above 18’ in width.
  • Vinyl liner construction offers larger swimming pools over fiberglass designs; it is common for a vinyl liner pool to be 16’- 18’- 20’ or 22’ wide while most fiberglass pools have a maximum width of 16’ for effective shipping with wide load permits.
  • Vinyl liner construction is less expensive; the fiberglass pool will require less labor to build, however, the structure and shipping is much more costly. We can usually build the vinyl liner swimming pool for about 15%-20% less than fiberglass when comparing the core structure and liner.

Disadvantages Vinyl:

  • Liner replacements will be required several times over the life of the swimming pool. Home owners that maintain good chemistry and consistently clean the water line of the pool will enjoy longer periods of time between liner changes. Poor chemistry over time or chemical products poured directly onto the liner can damage the liner in a matter of minutes; most owners will find a liner change is desirable in about 8 years due to fading. We rarely see liner changes required any sooner than this unless the liner is cut or physically damaged.
  • The vinyl liner can stain if debris is left in the swimming pool over time. Metal items that stay in contact with the liner will leave rust stains in as little as 24 hours. Leaves and organic debris can also stain the liner if they are not removed in a timely fashion.
  • The vinyl liner in the swimming pool can become very slippery if the chemistry is not kept correct. We find vinyl liners on the entry steps of the pool to be one of the most common complaints with liner wrinkling and/or slippery surfaces. Your Sonco pool designer can show you many beautiful and functional alternatives for your entry steps.
  • Despite the durable nature of today’s vinyl liners, home owners still need to be conscious of sharp objects in or around the pool. We have seen children damage liners with toys and games not intended for pool use. We have also witnessed pool furniture or yard décor damage the liner during high winds or storms. Common sense and care needs to be applied to the vinyl liner pool environment.
  • High water table installations need special planning for all construction methods. The vinyl liner in your swimming pool can be lifted or moved if the water table in the ground is not managed. We have witnessed problems with consistent high water tables and diving designs due to the depth of the pool over 8’. Consulting with a true swimming pool professional is the key to insuring your installation will have no future issues causing the pool liner to float and wrinkle.
  • The vinyl liner is more porous and harbors algae easier than fiberglass; it is a proven fact that the fiberglass design will use fewer chemicals over time.
  • Though the vinyl liner is tight and wrinkle free the fiberglass design has a smooth feel while in the pool, customer’s comment that the fiberglass design feels more solid and the fit and finish of the fiberglass shell is very pleasing.