Vinyl vs. Concrete

Which is better?

Both have their pros and cons. Neither is the wrong choice. See why vinyl is clearly the choice for us.

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Vinyl vs. Concrete

Inground pools are more expensive than above ground, and they are also a permanent home improvement. They add aesthetic value to your home. When it comes time to sell your house, an inground pool is generally more appealing to potential buyers than an above ground pool.

These pools can range from small rectangle designs with depths of 3-to-5 feet to diving pools and lap pools. When thinking about your future pool, consider what you want to get out of your pool and how you want to enjoy it. If you have a more competitive spirit, a small pool with sports equipment would work for you. If you enjoy swimming laps, a rectangular design would be perfect. An "L" shape design allows you to swim laps and accommodate water sports. If the traditional rectangular shape isn't your scene, perhaps a custom freeform pool is more appropriate for you.

Thinking about usage and then designing with those needs in mind is the key to building a pool that your entire family will be happy with for years to come.

Vinyl Liner Inground Pool
Concrete Inground Pool

What sets Clearwater apart from our competitors:

Vinyl Liner Inground Pools
In the Maryland area specifically Baltimore, Cecil, and Harford Counties, a vinyl liner inground pool is the most common and popular form of pool. For the simple reason of price, and that our climate allows for it. A vinyl liner pool comes to us designed to our specifications from the manufacturer. After excavation, the steel panel walls are bolted or fastened together and supported at the bottom by a concrete footing. The vinyl liner is spread over the interior of the pool and covers the excavated floor and paneled walls. It is connected to the top of the panel walls by a vinyl rib at the outside edge of the liner. Construction time for vinyl liner pools is typically 2 to 4 weeks.

Points to Consider:

  • Price - The initial installation of a vinyl pool is generally 25% less than a concrete inground pool. So, if you want an inground, but the total up-front outlay is of concern to you, a vinyl pool would best fit your needs.
  • Variety of Shapes and Designs - A variety of shapes and designs are available. Custom shaped freeform pools can be constructed with vinyl liner pools.. This is not true. If you can draw it, we can construct it.
  • Heaters - Pool heaters come in a few different types. We offer natural gas, propane and electric heaters. In milder climates, you can enjoy year-round swimming by adding a heater to your pool set-up.
  • Filters - Cartridge, sand, and D.E. filters are available for installation depending on what suits your needs best. We have found that cartridge filter systems are easier to use and clean while improving the clarity of your water.
  • Cleaners and Water Levelers - There are automatic inground cleaning systems that you just "set and forget" to high-tech pool vacs that climb and scrub your pool walls. We offer a variety of systems to help you keep your pool sparkling clean. This is a great alternative if you would rather spend more time enjoying your pool than cleaning it.
  • Covers - A pool cover can be a wonderful addition to your pool and/or spa area, and provides increased safety. There are a variety of covers and your swimming season can be extended by retaining the solar heat that is generated each day. Also, if you live in a highly wooded area, they can be used to keep leaves and other debris out of your pool. Covers can be automatic or manual.

Myths Regarding Vinyl Liners:

  • Liners have a short life span - A vinyl liner will last 8 to 12 years, depending upon how well you maintain your water quality and level. A concrete surface will need to be refinished every 10-15 years. Up front, you would pay more for a concrete surface as well as for the resurfacing it would require down the line.
  • My dog or kids will rip the liner - It is very difficult to rip or tear a liner. While a liner can puncture or tear, it is not as simple as a dog's or kid's toenail putting a hole in the liner. A sharp metal object, jagged stone, or piece of ice will tear a liner, but they are much more durable than many people believe. Liners are made of 20, 27, or 28 mil vinyl which contains ultraviolet-light inhibitors and a bacteriostat that cuts mildew problems and reduces algae growth, while letting you use less chlorine.
  • I can't design my own shape - There are thousands of shapes for vinyl pools. Of course, you have your "standard" designs, but a custom free form pool can be designed for you as well.
  • They don't look as good as a concrete pool - They have the same general appearance as the more costly plastered pools. Surrounded by decks or terraces made of concrete, brick, or wood, they settle seamlessly into gardens and give little hint of their make up. In addition, with the hundreds of liner patterns available, you can give your pool water your very own unique look.

Concrete Inground Pools
A concrete pool is more expensive than a vinyl pool for the same shape and size with the same features. Concrete pools are constructed in stages, including pool layout and excavation, steel installation, plumbing installation, equipment set, gunite or shotcrete application, tile and coping installation, and interior finish installation. Concrete pools take significantly more time to build; generally, 6 to 16 weeks.

Points to Consider:

  • Price - The initial installation of a concrete pool is significantly more expensive than a vinyl inground pool. When the finish wears thin, or off, and the tile and coping start to come loose, we call this the renovation period. This is typically at the 10-15-year mark. These costs are significantly higher than replacing the liner on a vinyl pool.
  • Variety of Finishes - A variety of interior finishes is available, such as plaster, paint and pebbles. These pebble finishes add texture to your pool surface and require more effort performing routine maintenance.

Building an Inground Pool

A Slideshow of the Entire Process

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