How to Install a Pool Liner-Outside Improvements pt4

Ever notice how when you buy something, everything looks and works perfect-but as soon as it's yours, the whole thing falls apart? That's how I feel with this house. Money sucking pit of despair is a little strong, but let's go with that. The pool is my husband's project. He spends hours tinkering with the cleaning, the chlorine levels, and the thing we call Rover...who roves the bottom, sucking up leaves.

We let it go dormant in the winter and we knew we were replacing it, so that's why it's green. We don't swim in that...

We also wanted to replace all of those cheap shrubs with pretty grasses and cactus, bulbs, etc.

It was a nice pool when we moved in, but in the last 2 years the liner reached it's 10 year max and started falling apart. This was the year it had to be replaced. We were going to do it ourselves, but our pool guy must be a good salesman. I just wanted him to measure for me, because the math on this thing gives me a headache. But the next thing I know, he's installing the liner...and we're forking over money.

These are the math sheets for ordering a pool liner. Ack!

We started pulling out all the shrubs. Mark hooked up a pulley system to the tree with some come-along thing. We were doing this at night cuz that's how we roll.

The next day, he attached it to the palm stump and did the other side.

We drained the pool with a little pump used for a water feature. It took about 2 days. Then Richie The Pool Guy came and started the process. He measured, ordered the liner we chose from his samples, then started cutting the old liner out.

We worked on planting new things. I chose the smaller plants and will wait for them to grow in. Cheaper than the instant gratification of half grown plants. Those were twice the price, and not in the budget.

Then Richie came with foam and rust inhibitor and repaired any damage. The parts where it was separating had rust that ate through the back. He waited 24 hours, cut the foam to make it even, then went around all the bad areas with Gorilla Tape.

Now comes the liner. Even though we didn't do this ourselves, I still had at least one hand in it. Haha! One hand..get it?

They cleaned the area of debris.

He started by putting foam roll (similar to what you would put under a hard wood floor) all around it and taping it to the side, just under the plastic locking system. This will protect the liner from any roughness on the wall. He also removed the light and pulled the cord out from the power supply. This will be re-strung later with the fish roll thing that electrician's use to run wire.

Go ahead and go over any filter or light holes. These will be cut out later. But don't tape them. Tape goes on either side.

If you have a stair rail that won't move, just remove the steps and pull on it a little and go behind.

Ha! They were battling wind like crazy. Until I came up with putting a bucket on one end. I have my moments...

Next, cut the foam roll all the way around, right where the wall meets the start of the bottom. You will be going higher at the deep end.

Now it's time to unpack the liner. You want the box with the liner in it to have been sitting out in the sun. It helps it stay pliable. There are markings on it. One side will say shallow end and one will say deep end. These are also your marks for finding center.

Richie is a professional pool guy and we got some of the thickest mm you can get on a liner, so he is wearing his shoes. If you are doing this, you might want to wear just your socks. It will also help you feel if you missed a pebble under it or something.

Then you just start locking it in. Our locking strip was in good shape, so that didn't have to be replaced, thank goodness.

He held it in place with a quarter when he needed to check center.

Daisy wants to help.

Carefully go behind steps.

Kick it in place, removing wrinkles.

Once it's locked in place. they took a shop vac to either side of it and sucked the air out. Tape around to keep a tight seal. This is where you need a couple of people, because they need to stand where the liner meets the big stairs with their leg against it to keep a seal on that end.

One person goes around kicking it in place. I've also seen where someone will use 2 toilet plungers and walk a wrinkle to the stairs, but Richie didn't have to do that. This is where we put water in the deep end to stretch it into place.

Then they put the trim back up on the stairs and the strainer. This is a good time to replace any rubber gaskets that are behind them.

Next, they cut the stairs out and used what's called Liner Lock to go all the way around where the liner was stuck in.

Then he cut out the holes.

And now she's all perty!

It took about 2 days to fill. I haven't seen the water bill yet, but Mark paid a little extra towards it last month so we would have a little cushion.

And here is how things are looking today.

Getting there with the stones. All of the plants are growing in nicely and my bulbs are coming up. Gladiolas popped up at 1 week.

Pencil Trees and Gladiolas ^^^

Texas Sage Brush and Pink Bulbs^^^

Agave and Pink Bulbs ^^^

Purple Grass ^^^

We are going to have everything done by April 20th, which is when we scheduled our crawfish boil. Thank you to whomever posted this online, because it went on the invitations, and every time I look at it I laugh so hard!

I have an extra table, so I'm going to try my hand at making our own crawfish table. Something like this:

Well, I hope this post eventually helps someone who wants to install their own pool liner. The only part that scared me was the exact measurements that need to be taken to order the liner. Otherwise, I feel pretty confident that if it ever needs to be done again we could do it. Sorry Richie.

Before and after:

Y'all take care and come back soon!



  1. You yard is looking great. I see what you meant about the palm stump being too close to the deck. Whoever planted it there was obviously not thinking about the palm's mature size.

  2. The pool guys really know their stuff! It looks great!

  3. Wow - looks like you put a lot of work into your pool! I imagine you are lookign forward to using it a lot this year! Thanks for sharing at Project Inspired! I pinned this to our group linky party pinboard! xo Heather


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