Concrete Pool vs Vinyl Pools

Anyone who is considering to build a pool should understand their inground pools options they have before committing and making a purchase. It’s important since building a pool is not only expensive (costs of $30,000 USD are not uncommon), can take a few months, and is virtually impossible to change once built.

Therefore, taking the time to do some research is definitely worth it. Take a couple of hours to learn about the primary inground pools. Otherwise, a lack of research could cause you to make a decision that you regret for a while.

There are several types of pools, and the 3 most popular, inground pool types are:

  • Concrete
  • Fiberglass
  • Vinyl

Here’s a small chart for some means of comparison:

Pool Type Comparison Chart

Although this chart compares the 3 types of pools, in this article we’ll only be talking about and comparing concrete and vinyl pools.

Concrete Pools

Concrete pools are probably the most common type of inground pool. The reason is not because they are necessarily better than the other types, but because they are the first type of pool to really hit the mainstream market, so they quickly became very popular.

There are a couple of things that make them stand out – durability and customization. Despite these great pros, there are a few cons that may make them seem less attractive.

Here are some of the pros and cons so you can evaluate them yourself:

Concrete Pros

  • Customizable –One of the biggest reasons to get a concrete pool is that you can design them almost however you want. What makes cement so flexible is that it is easy for cement to be created in different shapes so that the swimming pool can look exactly how the owner wants it to look.For many pool owners this is a big deal. Many people want to own the perfect home for their perfect house so concrete is often the easiest choice for those picky with design.
  • Long Life Span -Another great reason to get concrete pools is that they last a long time. Not only are they not fragile (they don’t chip and it’s hard for them to break off), but concrete is very sturdy and will last a long time. If you’re a home owner this is a big plus since it’ll last for years and if you decide to sell it it will still be good for years.Since pools are a big investment, knowing how long they last is important since you don’t want to just waste such a large purchase.

Concrete Cons

  • High maintenance – If you’re looking for a low maintenance pool, then concrete pools probably aren’t for you. They require a good amount of attention and care. Keeping the pH balance is very important for concrete pools since algae can be such a pain to get rid of with concrete pools.
  • Expensive  – In addition to being expensive, we mentioned they are high maintenance – there are also some extra costs associated with concrete pools when compared to fiberglass pools. Every several years concrete pools need an acid wash to remove stains and calcium deposits that may build up.
  • Long installation time – According to Live Homestead Tx, Concrete pool projects can sometimes take up to 6 months. This can be rough to deal with as there are works around for the duration of the project and there can be a lot of inconveniences. Although they usually take 2-3 months there are many times when projects fall behind schedule, and pools are no exception!

Should you get a Concrete Pool?

Concrete pools are great pool options for most people, but because they are expensive you’ll want to make sure you are able to afford one. It is the most expensive option and getting a new concrete pool built can be mid 5 figures (about $50,000). Of course you can get one cheaper depending on where you live, but it may also be a bit more expensive.

Don’t forget about additional time and resources for upkeep. Since many pool owners don’t want to spend the time, hiring a  pool man is a good option, but requires more money.

Vinyl Pools

Vinyl pools are good, cheap alternatives to concrete pools since they can be partially customized. However, you won’t have as much control over what shape a vinyl pool can take.

Out of the 3 pools vinyl pools are actually the cheapest. However, they don’t have a long life span compared to the other pools so if you average it over many years then the true cost may not be the cheapest. Anyway, here’s more information in detail:

Pros

  • Affordable – A low initial cost makes getting a vinyl pool sound pretty great. After all, who doesn’t like small down payments? Vinyl pool pools are the cheapest option and can be low 5 figures – half to a third of the cost of concrete pools.
  • Customizable – Like concrete pools, vinyl pools have some ability to be customized, but not nearly as much as concrete pools. Concrete pools have structural integrity which gives them the ability to hold a number of shapes. However, vinyl doesn’t have the same structural integrity so you won’t have as many options.

Here are some vinyl pool options:

Vinyl Pool Shapes

Cons

  • Liner replacements – Every six to eight years vinyl pools need to have their lining replaced. Despite being initially cheaper than the other pools, they do require a little more money to upkeep. This is because replacing the lining can be several thousand dollars. Doing it every 6-8 years can really make the cost add up. If you’re purchasing a vinyl pool keep this in mind as the cost will at some point catch up to concrete.

Who are Vinyl Pools For?

Vinyl pools are great for hopeful pool owners looking for a cheap option with some customization. If the pool budget is low 5 figures then they are a great option since they are the cheapest of the 3 types. However, keep in mind that maintenance fees will quickly add up since they are several thousand.

They are perfect for home owners looking to sell before the first liner replacement to avoid that expensive upkeep cost. Choosing the best above ground swimming pool may actually be a great alternative.

 

Conclusion

Both pools are great choices, but it really comes down to budget. They have similar benefits, but a concrete pool is more expensive, higher quality, and will last for many years despite its high cost. Alternatively, vinyl pools are cheaper but require more money to maintain, but have a shorter life span.

 

You really can’t go wrong with either one, but if you really plan on living in the home for many years to come then saving up for the means for a concrete pool is often a wise choice. Until then, a very affordable above ground pool is a great choice.

Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I’ve tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me.

I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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