On this page:
- Estimating Remodeling Cost from Painting to Complete Overhaul
- Benefits of a Pool Remodel
- Cost Factors
- Elements of a Pool Remodel
- Preparing for a Pool Remodel
- Cost Comparisons
- Level of Difficulty
- Find a Pro
A swimming pool is a luxury that can provide hours of enjoyment, but it probably needs more maintenance than any other home fixture. Even if you provide the necessary maintenance, years of exposure take their toll on the pool decking and lining, and the pool components eventually begin underperforming. These are typical reasons for remodeling, but not the only ones. You may also want to remodel the pool to bring it in line with landscaping upgrades.
A pool remodel is usually a major project that requires planning and budgeting. This is especially true if the remodel requires removal of part of the existing pool. If this is the case, the project could take weeks or months, and cost as much as installation of a new pool. Because of this, it’s important to choose your contractor carefully -- you’ll be working together for a while.
Estimating Remodeling Cost from Painting to Complete Overhaul
While you need a contractor for most pool remodeling jobs, painting the pool lining is one job you can do yourself. Pool paint costs about $50 a gallon -- which covers about 250 square feet -- so materials costs rarely exceed $500. If you choose to hire a painter, you’ll pay a rate between $35 and $50 per hour for labor. An average-sized pool takes from 6 to 8 hours to paint, assuming it has been properly drained and no extra jobs, such as dismantling the filtration system, are involved.
Water chemistry takes its toll on tiles and other specialty finishes, and your remodel may involve chipping out damaged parts of the finish and resurfacing, or it may involve applying a whole new surface. There are many options, and each comes with its own price tag. Applying a new coat of plaster may cost from $2,500 to $5,000 whereas applying a new coat of tile or quartz or pebble aggregate could cost from $5,000 to $10,000.
Upgrading Decking and Coping
Many people choose to install fresh or pre-cast concrete decking, which carries a price tag $6 and $12 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the design. Bricks cost between $5 to $15 per square foot and flagstone pavers -- one of the most expensive options -- can cost as much as $30 per square foot. Coping options are as varied as decking options, and coping can cost from $18 to $55 per linear foot.
Repairing/Replacing Pool Components
A pool requires an entire plumbing and HVAC system of its own, which includes pumps, heaters, pipes and ducts. Most pools also have a filtration system and some have automatic water purification systems. The cost to repair or upgrade these systems depends on what components are used and the scope of the repair.
Benefits of a Pool Remodel
If your house has hard water, you’ve seen the stains it creates on shower glass and tiles. The water can leave the same unsightly stains around the water line in a pool. Algae and water acidity also do their part. Renovating the pool lining, as well as the coping and decking, bring back the shine to the pool and increases the enjoyment of getting in the water.
One objective of a pool remodel might be to take advantage of water purification and heating systems that weren’t available when the pool was installed. Modern disinfection systems take advantage of ultraviolet sunlight and salt-to-chlorine conversion, and modern heating systems employ solar energy. These systems are more efficient than older ones and can make the water better for swimming.
You may need a pool remodel to fix a cracked liner or repair existing pool components without replacing them. You may also have to replace broken coping pieces or missing tiles.
Converting your ordinary pool to an extraordinary one can make a huge difference to your overall landscape plan. With a stunning pool as a centerpiece, you can create a veritable Shangri-la in your own backyard.
Scope of Project
It makes sense that an ambitious or complex pool remodel will cost more than a bare-bones one. Painting and resurfacing remodels are the least expensive, while those that involve excavation to patch a leak or change the shape of the pool take more time and cost more money.
Choice of Materials
When it comes to pool linings, coping, decking and components, you can purchase budget materials or top-of-the-line ones. Concrete materials are generally easy on the budget while stone, quartz and travertine occupy the top end of the price scale. Expensive materials and components usually cost more to install as well as to purchase.
The rates charged by pool contractors vary with location -- rates tend to be higher in larger municipal areas with high housing costs. Labor costs also tend to be higher in areas where demand is the greatest, such as southern states with sunny warm climates that allow year-round pool use. In all areas, rates tend to be lowest in late fall and winter.
Elements of a Pool Remodel
Most pool remodels involve some modification to the pool lining. Whether the modification involves painting or resurfacing, existing cracks and other potential sources of leaks have to be repaired. If the pool is already leaking, some portion of the lining may have to be removed so that it can be resealed.
Decking and Coping Renovation
In some cases, the remodel may involve changing the style of the decking or coping, and that may involve removal of the old material. If drainage has been a problem, or the shape of the pool is being altered, the ground may have to be graded before the new material can be installed. This can happen concurrently with the lining remodeling or as a separate project.
Component Repairs or Upgrades
The main components of the heating and purification systems typically reside in pool house or some other area removed from the pool itself, and repairs or upgrades can be conducted independently of modifications to the pool itself. However, the hoses, pipes and ducts that transfer water are interconnected with the pool lining, and when repair or retrofit of these parts is required, it usually occurs concurrently with the lining modifications.
Some pool upgrades include the addition of a fence -- which is a safety requirement in most areas -- or some other accessory, such as a diving board or a slide. Construction of these items may be part of larger exterior design or landscape project.
Preparing for a Pool Remodel
Develop a Plan
Because it can get expensive, a pool remodel begins with a careful assessment of your budget. Once you’ve decided on the scope of the remodel, it helps to look over pictures in magazines and catalogues to get an idea of what you want, then to draw up a basic plan. Cost out the components that most appeal to you to ensure they fit your budget.
Most communities have several pool contractors, and it helps to call two or more of them to discuss plans and get quotes. Besides the quote, the selection of the contractor should depend on reputation -- based on online and neighborhood recommendations as well as references supplied by the contractor -- and on how well the contractor’s timeline matches your expectations.
Prepare the Pool
If the renovation involves any work on the pool lining or components, the pool usually has to be drained. You should do this several days before the contractor arrives so the pool has a chance to dry out.
|$700 - $5,850||$7,400 - $10,500||$12,500 - $25,400|
This chart lists ballpark costs for remodeling a 15- by 30-foot pool with a uniform water depth of 5 feet and a deck of 125 square feet.
Low: $700 - $5,850
- • Scope of Project: The pool lining is repainted, re-plastered or both. Some minor cracks may be repaired in the process.
- • Material Costs: Paint costs about $300 for a pool this size. Plaster, on the other hand, costs between $1,300 and $1,500.
- • Labor: It’s possible to paint a pool as a DIY project, but you should hire a pro to do plastering. The cost for replastering, when you include labor, is between $5 and $6.50 per square foot.
- • Additional Costs: The pool surface must be washed and prepped, and cracks must be repaired. The usual labor rate for this work is between $35 and $50 an hour.
Average: $7,400 - $10,500
- • Scope of Project: Pool lining and pool deck are resurfaced. Some or all of the coping may be replaced.
- • Material Costs: Pebble-based cement resurfacing material for pool liners costs about $5 per foot of internal pool area. Concrete pool decks start at $4.88 per square foot, and brick or paver coping starts at $20 per linear foot and can go as high as $55. Other materials cost a bit more.
- • Labor: About 40 hours of labor are required to resurface the pool liner, and another 10 to 20 hours are required to our the decking and install coping.
- • Additional Costs: If the deck has cracked or water has been draining from the pool, some leveling may be required. The remodel may include addition or modification of components of the purification or heating systems.
High: $12,500 - $25,400
- • Scope of Project: Extensive remodel, involving removal of some of the existing pool and pool deck to create a new shape. The pool liner is resurfaced, and new system components and pool features, such as a diving board, are added.
- • Material Costs: It stands to reason that the cost of the project is directly dependent on the quality of materials employed. It’s important to research prices carefully if you’re on a budget.
- • Labor: Besides that involved with resurfacing the liner and deck, labor is required to remove parts of the pool and haul debris, as well as move dirt. Some heavy machinery work may be required.
- • Additional Costs: The addition of a pool fence and luxury features, such as an automatic pool cover, can raise the cost of the project by several thousand dollars.
Level of Difficulty
Few of the jobs involved with a pool remodel are ones that the average homeowner can do. A number of things can go wrong that can ultimately result in the pool being unusable and may even create safety issues for people using the pool. Unless your plans are limited to painting the pool decking, you need a qualified contractor with experience and references who can guarantee the work.
Find a Pool Remodeling Contractor
If you’re ready to get started with your pool renovation, find a swimming pool remodeling contractor in your area who can go over options with you. Once you’ve done your research, settled on a quote and are ready for the project to start, your contractor will handle everything else. It may take a few weeks or months, but soon your pool will be ready to wash off the sweltering summer heat.