Pros and Cons of Vinyl In-Ground Pools

Vinyl, fiberglass and concrete pools offer their own set of pros and cons.

A swimming pool in the backyard is an investment in your family's health, and it's a place to make summer memories that will last a lifetime. But deciding which kind of pool you should invest in requires careful thought. Vinyl, fiberglass and concrete in-ground styles all offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Being realistic about your budget, how often your pool will actually be used and by whom, and how much time you want to spend on pool maintenance may help you decide if a vinyl pool is the best choice for your backyard.

Pro: Versatility
Because vinyl pools are produced in modular panels, customizing the size, shape or depth of your pool is easy and affordable. If you're looking for an extra-large pool, vinyl may be the answer. The standard widths available in vinyl are 16, 18, 20 and 22 feet while the typical fiberglass pool comes in a maximum width of only 16 feet.

Con: Durability
The wood, galvanized steel or plastic frame used to support a vinyl pool may last a lifetime, but the liner itself lasts, on average, only 8 to twelve years. Vinyl is prone to tearing, staining and fading. Even a tiny pin-sized hole can become a giant problem, causing wrinkles, lifting, bubbling or leaking.

Pro: BudgetCost may be the best reason to choose vinyl for your in-ground pool. Fiberglass pools have a deserved reputation for being inexpensive to install, but they're costly to build and transport. When manufacturing, shipping and installation are considered together, vinyl is the least expensive option.

Vinyl pools offer versatility and are easy to transport.

Con: Budget
Original investment is low for a vinyl pool, but long-term costs can easily outpace concrete or fiberglass. Replacement liners are needed approximately once every decade and the cost of special cleaning and maintenance products made specifically for vinyl can add up over the years.

Pro: Easy Transport
Yes, they do require assembly once on site, but because they come in modular pieces vinyl in-ground pools are simple to transport and install. No special machinery is required to lift a heavy, prefabricated shell onto place, saving money and saving damage to existing landscape.

Con: Maintenance
All pools require regular cleaning and maintenance, but keeping the water chemistry balanced is especially important in a vinyl pool. Even a slight growth of algae on a pool liner can make it slick and unsafe. Occasionally, vinyl liners wrinkle or loosen which requires the pool to be drained before repairs can be made.

Choosing which type of in-ground pool is best for your family is a fun problem to have. Consider the pros and cons of vinyl carefully and soon your backyard will be the place where friends and family gather all summer long.

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