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Thread: True Cost Differences between Vinyl and Concrete

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    True Cost Differences between Vinyl and Concrete

    Hi everyone - We are seriously looking into building a pool this Fall or next Spring. We are going back and forth on whether to do a vinyl pool or going with a more expensive (at least to build) concrete pool.

    It seems I cannot find a consistent answer on the lifetime costs / maintainable costs for each that aren't biased. Vinyl pool builders claim the liner need replacing after 10-15 years for a minimal cost (around 5k). Concrete builders will say that vinyl liners need to be replaced every 5 years at a cost upwards of 10k.

    Then the concrete builders will say the plaster need to be redone every 15-20 years at a cost of under 10k, while vinyl builders tell us concrete needs redone every 7-10 years at a cost of over 15k!

    Obviously each is biased toward their own type of pool.

    I've also read on this forum that concrete pools need more chemicals but I'm not sure what difference that equates to in dollars and cents.

    Can someone estimate the long term costs of each for us? Size would be approximately 17 x 34 and depth from 3ft to 6ft. We would want to consider all in costs over a long period, including initial cost to build, chemicals, and replacement of liner or plaster.

    Thanks!
    20k Gallon IG Vinyl Pool - 19 x 34 Rectangle - 3ft to 6ft depths

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    In the Industry

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    Re: True Cost Differences between Vinyl and Concrete

    I do liner replacements in Cincinnati and my charge for an 18x36 rectangle is around 2450.00. If the pool floor is bad a new floor charge is around 1300.00 so 3750.00 would get you a new liner and floor installed. If I could get 10,000 for a liner I would try to do about 15 liners a year and live a nice stress free life

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    AimeeH's Avatar
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    Re: True Cost Differences between Vinyl and Concrete

    I would think the long term costs of BOTH surfaces can depend heavily on properly balanced water. I have no experience with the concrete type surfaces but here in SC I've been told by my builder and other pool owners that the vinyl can lest up to 10 years if taken care of.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: True Cost Differences between Vinyl and Concrete

    Vinyl will cost less every time, both for the initial install, and for the ongoing maintenance. Plaster pools tend to give you a lot more flexibility in designing the shape of the pool. Plaster is also less likely to suffer major damage, though that is rare in any case. Plaster also has lots of options (pebble, quartz, glass bead) that look wonderful, but can drive the price way up.

    Plaster pools do need calcium while vinyl doesn't. CH should be less than $100 a year. In some areas there is enough (or too much) calcium in the tap water.

    Surface lifetimes vary quite a bit from pool to pool. Vinyl is roughly 7 to 12 years. Plaster is roughly 10-20 years. A new liner is roughly $2K to $4K depending on size. Re-plastering is roughly $8K to 12K depending on size.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: True Cost Differences between Vinyl and Concrete

    +1 what Jason said.

    The builders you are speaking with are most likely stretching the truth a bit, however each are stating their points on the side of "Poor Maintenance".

    Where I live, given equal sizes and options in equipment, On Average, a Plaster Pool will cost about 50% more over the cost of a vinyl pool.

    One other thing to consider, depending on where in the country you live... If you consider selling your home, some types of pools are "more desireable" in the real estate market.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: True Cost Differences between Vinyl and Concrete

    Thanks for the information everyone. It has confirmed my initial thought that a Vinyl pool, both in the short and long term, would be quite a bit cheaper than a concrete. Also, with the cold winters we have here in the midwest it seems that Vinyl might be the better choice.

    We've been told by the Vinyl builders that they can make very nice pools these days that look just as nice as a custom concrete pool. That may be salesman talk so I'll definitely want to see some of their recent builds in the area to get a feel for them.
    20k Gallon IG Vinyl Pool - 19 x 34 Rectangle - 3ft to 6ft depths

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