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The Pros and Cons of Liner Pools Explored

A liner pool is essentially a swimming pool that uses a plastic or PVC liner to hold water, rather than being built using materials like concrete or ceramic composite. Liner pools can be built either inground or above ground, with the substructure involved made of lots of different materials.

How To Build A Liner Pool

The construction of a liner swimming pool can take one of many forms. The simplest form includes a concrete block shell constructed from hollow concrete blocks, which are later filled with concrete. Once this is in place, the lining material is added, utilising a felt backing between the pool and the material itself.

Other forms of liner pools include insulated hi-fibre plastic panels which interlock together, or a collection of steel panels which interlock in a similar way. In some case, wooden frames – similar to those used in log cabins – can be used, but their lifespan is limited to just ten years. Each of these methods have their various pros and cons when it comes to durability, installation and maintenance.

For example, poured concrete is very durable and long-lasting, and it allows for customisable shapes and sizes which can withstand ground movement. However, it is more expensive than other options and there is also curing time required before installing the liner. Concrete blocks are cheaper and easier to install, but they’re not as strong or durable as poured concrete.

In terms of plastic, resin or steel, panels made from these materials are quick to install and still resilient. But plastic can be prone to settling issues, and steel can garner higher costs with the risk of corrosion. Likewise, wood is low cost but has a much shorter lifespan and is susceptible to rotting.

How much do liner pools cost?

The cost of installing a liner pool can vary greatly, and prices are primarily influenced by three factors: the substructure construction, site accessibility, and excavation needs. Typical costs involved range from £20,000 for a self-build dig, to over £60,000 for a fully managed project.

The substructure that supports the pool liner is a major cost factor. Poured concrete is generally the most expensive option, often starting around £25,000 or more. Concrete block and panel systems made of plastic, resin or steel are more cost-effective.

Access and space in the garden also impact costs. Tight access through narrow gates or limited space for equipment manoeuvring will drive up labour and equipment costs. Optimal access allows larger equipment to be used more efficiently, which can make it more affordable.

Excavation costs depend on the size of the pool and soil conditions. Hand-digging is very labour-intensive compared to using machinery, and dealing with hard rock or high-water tables also adds complications and expense. Basic machine excavation for an average home pool may run anywhere from £5,000 to £10,000 or more.

Why choose a liner pool?

Put simply, liner pools are a great choice if you’re on a budget. They’re a lot cheaper to build than composite or tiled pools, and there are numerous options in terms of shape and size. However, the compromise is that they will last for much less time. When budgeting for a liner pool, it’s important to remember they typically only last between 5 to 10 years, which means they aren’t as cost-effective as other types of pools.

Listed below are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of owning a liner pool:

Liner Pool Advantages

  • A range of options for freeform shapes and sizes
  • Easy to install and affordable for smaller budgets


Liner Pool Disadvantages

  • Susceptible to punctures and damage
  • Expensive to repair
  • Heating and chemical requirements bump the operational and maintenance costs up
  • Surface finishes can look cheap and bring the look of your pool down


Liner pools offer a budget-friendlier way of installing a swimming pool, with quicker and simpler construction. However, liner pools have a much shorter lifespan and are less durable than concrete or ceramic pools, requiring replacement every decade or so. This means that while your initial investment may be lower, you’ll need to find that money again much sooner to replace your pool. For many homeowners, the affordability and simplicity of liner pools are outweighed by the maintenance and cost of replacing the liner every few years.

Compass Pool Outdoor Pool with Cover
Compass Pool Outdoor Pool with Cover

The Alternative: Compass Carbon Ceramic Pools

At Compass Pools, we bring many years of experience to our customers and have designed, built and installed countless pools around the country. If you’d like to learn more about the advantages of installing one of our patented carbon-ceramic pools or to receive a quote, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you’re looking for a swimming pool that is cost-effective to run, quick to install, long-lasting, and easy to maintain, here are some of the main advantages you can expect:

  • Green Swimming

    FreshWater™ Swimming

    A Compass Pool has water so clean its like swimming in tapwater.
  • Carbon Fibre

    Carbon Ceramic Technology

    Compass Pools are constructed using Carbon Fibre & Ceramic for Stength and Insulation
  • Global

    Global Support

    Compass Pool have been in business for over 30 years and are a global company.
  • Green Swimming

    Green Swimming

    Compass Pools are the most energy efficient pool construction type, with ceramic insulators and variable speed pumps.
  • 20 Years

    20 Year Warranty

    Compass Pool Carbon Ceramic Shell have a 20 Year Warranty
  • Road

    Super Fast Swimming

    A Compass Pool has the fastest installation time of any pool construction method, as they are made in a factory like a car and delivered as one piece.
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