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How To Convert A Vinyl Pool To A Concrete Pool

converting a vinyl pool to a concrete pool
It is not uncommon to speak with customers who are looking to convert an old vinyl liner pool into a concrete swimming pool. Usually customers are surprised to hear just how little of the original pool can be used when converting to a concrete pool structure. I usually describe the process of converting a vinyl pool to a concrete pool as costing the same as building a new concrete pool, plus the cost of removing an old vinyl liner pool. As much as a home owner might hope to keep the costs of the conversion down, essentially the only potential for cost savings is on the dig itself. Depending on where you live this usually amounts to somewhere between $3000 to $5000.

So if you already have a vinyl liner pool and it would cost so much to upgrade to a concrete pool installation, why would anyone want to convert their pool? The main reason is property development. A vinyl liner pool is regarded as an entry level pool in the inground pool industry. When property developers buy aging homes to tear down and rebuild with modern houses they will often look to upgrade to a concrete pool. Perhaps 20 to 30 years ago the area that you live suited a budget pool installation. If the area has developed into a more affluent area, and you have plans to develop a property for resale, converting the pool to concrete might be a very important design aspect to your plan. If you want to develop your property to be high end real estate then you almost have to convert to concrete as concrete pools are the gold standard for luxury and high end swimming pool installations.

Setting Pool Elevations

empty vinyl liner pool When converting a vinyl pool into a concrete pool the importance of getting your elevations correct are equal to that of any new pool construction - the water level doesn't lie so if you get it wrong you are going to have a big problem on your hands. A high quality laser transit is the tool for the job for establishing batter boards on all sides of the pool. This allows you to run string lines that establish the exact finished height that you want your concrete shell to be. Just be sure you set the height for your forms at the height that you want the shell to be, which should be about four inches below the finished deck elevation to allow for the coping forms and deck pour.

In the concrete pool conversion pictured here, the existing walls of the vinyl pool were quite a bit lower than the planned finished deck elevation. This allowed us to simply add to the top of the walls with our forms. The only places that we needed to cut out the galvanized steel wall was where the skimmer box would be located, as well as the whole deep end wall of the pool as this project included an automatic pool cover.

concrete pool deep end profile vinyl pool deep end profile

The contractor developing the property elected to keep the deep end profile typical of a vinyl liner pool as opposed to trying to dig out the bottom to give the shape of a typical concrete pool. The area that this pool was located was all sand and trying to dig out under the walls was very likely to open a can of worms that could see the whole hole destabilize.