If you’re looking for a cover for your swimming pool, you’ll need to understand the factors influencing pool cover costs.
A quality pool cover will reduce pool maintenance and reduce running costs. Moreover, it should increase pool safety and last a long time. Manufacturing a bespoke cover takes into consideration many factors that have an impact on price, and one size or price does not fit all.
So, let’s explore what determines the cost of pool covers and which elements may be the most important to you in making a buying decision.
In this guide, you’ll find the elements that make up the price of your new pool cover, including:
- Why are pool cover costs not standardised?
- Why is understanding cost factors important?
- What are the different factors, and how do they affect pool cover costs?
- Typical pool cover prices for an existing 8 x 4m pool
- Tips to help you get the best pool cover price quote
Why are pool cover costs not standardised?
No two pools are exactly the same. From the site specs and pool shape, to the materials used and the intended use of the pool, each one is unique.
Manufacturers will design and make your new pool cover specifically for your pool. It is not something you can buy off the shelf, and it’s an investment you want to maximise.
There are a lot of decisions to ensure you receive a cover that meets your unique needs. And all of these decisions will impact the final pool cover cost. For instance, an automatic pool cover costs more than a manual cover with roller, as you’d expect.
Why understanding costs is important
Unfortunately, there is conflicting information online about different types of pool covers and their associated benefits.
People who have not previously bought one can find it difficult to compare factors and make a confident decision.
Homeowners might jump for the most affordable option. However, it may not deliver the benefits they are looking for, resulting in a costly mistake.
The factors that affect pool cover costs
Understanding the factors that influence pool cover costs should be a part of your research before getting a quote.
The key factors to consider are:
- The type of pool cover
- The dimensions of your pool
- The method of cover operation
- Ideal cover aesthetics
- Method of installation
- Location considerations
Pool Cover types
When researching, you’ll encounter a range of cover types with different names and claims. This can be confusing, and there are significant variations in pricing between them, which we’ll try to explain.
Solar Pool Covers
Solar pool covers are also called pool blankets or bubble wrap covers. They are large sheets of transparent plastic, typically made from polyethylene or polypropylene.
Solar covers use air-filled bubbles to add heat to the pool via solar transference. Solar covers are the most budget-friendly option, although they do not last as long as other options. Furthermore, they are restricted to manual operation, and their low price reflects their limited functionality.
Thermal Pool Covers
Thermal or foam pool covers are crafted from multi-layered foam material. Also called thermal pool blankets, they can block UV rays and trap heat in the pool, although they do not add heat to the water. Further, the market prices them slightly above solar pool covers, which reflects the material quality.
Premium Vinyl Pool Covers
If quality is important, premium vinyl covers are a step up from their entry-level counterparts. Manufacturers construct Premium Vinyl pool covers from robust cross-woven polyester, coated with PVC, and UV stabilised for long-lasting durability.
These swimming pool covers are treated by manufacturers to resist mould and feature reinforced anodised aluminium tubes and tracks for added strength and safety. Further, premium vinyl covers typically sit above the water, creating an air pocket that traps heat and provides incredible insulation.
Remco’s PoolGuard, for example, sits on the outside of the pool edge, above the water, as pictured below.
The Coverstar, however, is fully automated, running inside custom tracks, and the cover’s skin touches the water when fully extended. Connecting the water slightly reduces Coverstar’s thermal properties, but its high safety rating is very appealing to families.
Another benefit of a premium vinyl cover is its ability to completely seal the pool with no gaps. Almost all other cover types have gaps at the sides and ends, where the cover can touch but cannot seal. Beyond the aesthetic impact, gaps mean debris can enter your pool even while the cover is extended. The premium vinyl covers, however, keep your pool debris-free and well-insulated, saving you significant money in the long run.
The pricing of premium vinyl pool covers reflects the quality of the materials used. It also accounts for their long life span and significant increases in safety and insulation. There is a significant jump in pool cover costs between the entry options and premium vinyl.
Slatted Pool Covers
Consumers widely regard slatted pool covers as the top-tier choice for stylish swimming pools. Designed in Europe, these covers are fully automated and provide comprehensive debris protection, ensuring your pool remains clean year-round.
Their polycarbonate composition retains and harnesses significant heat, enhancing temperature regulation capabilities and reducing water evaporation, extending pool use.
While these premium pool covers represent the most expensive options, the higher automatic pool cover cost is offset by sleek design, ease of use and top-of-the-line energy efficiency.
Swimming Pool Dimensions
The dimensions of your pool are the primary influence on pool cover costs. Your manufacturer will quote the custom size you need using the pool’s length and width.
Pool Cover Operation
Do you want an automated cover that opens with the turn of a key? Or are you content with manually extending and retracting it?
Manual pool covers are more budget-friendly but may become less convenient over time. In contrast, automated pool covers offer effortless operation and improved safety benefits. Of course, the added benefits of motorisation will increase the automatic pool cover cost.
Pool Cover Aesthetics
The choice of pool cover material has a crucial impact on pricing. Fortunately, there are different options available to suit various needs and budgets.
For those with limited budgets, materials such as solar/bubble and thermal/foam are the most affordable options. However, their limited lifespan can mean those pool covers degrade quickly, detracting from the pool’s overall appearance and making it look unappealing.
In contrast, Premium Vinyl Pool Covers or Slatted Pool Covers will add elegance to your pool for a long time. Further, the higher price point of these covers reflects a manufacturer’s ability to custom-build them. And the quality of the materials adds to these pool cover costs.
Pool Cover Installation for Existing Pools
Homeowners often opt for above-ground pool covers when adding one to their existing pool to minimise installation expenses. Pool cover manufacturers create above-ground covers in various styles. Some versions are designed to be rolled up on the deck, wound up on a reel, or retracted inside a long deck-mounted system.
A premium option is to conceal an automated pool cover in the ground behind an existing pool. If adequate space is available, pool builders can construct a pit behind the pool’s wall. Moreover, the pool builder can conceal and incorporate these covers into the existing pool surroundings.
Pool Cover installation for new pools
Homeowners can integrate a cover into their new pool design in many ways, elevating its functionality and aesthetics. For example, automated covers can be hidden behind a false wall in the pool, installed below the pool floor, or under a tiled seat.
When budgeting for installing a concealed pool cover, it’s crucial to factor in the cost of hiring any external contractors. Construction and electrical work are the pool builder’s responsibilities. Any quote from the cover supplier will only include their installation costs.
Swimming Pool Location
A final consideration is the pool’s physical location, which can also impact costs. Most manufacturers will include transport costs associated with arranging installers to come onsite.
Typical pool cover prices for an 8 x 4m pool
We’ve discussed the factors that influence the cost of a customised pool cover. However, it’s helpful to understand indicative costings between the different types of covers available. The prices below are based on Australian prices for an 8 x 4m pool as of the end of 2023.
- Solar or Bubble pool covers with a roller start at $1,160 inc. GST
- Thermal or Foam pool covers with a roller start at $1,680 inc. GST
- Manual Premium vinyl pool covers fully installed start at $5,139 inc. GST
- Automatic Premium Vinyl pool covers fully installed start at $20,048 inc. GST
- Automatic Slatted pool covers fully installed start at $20,488 inc. GST
How to get the best pool cover price quotes
Prioritise your preferences: Are you seeking longevity in your cover? Do you want to maximise the energy-efficient properties? Is poolside safety your major concern or are you mainly adding a cover to reduce maintenance? Regardless, knowing what you are trying to achieve by adding a cover will help direct your research and guide your decision-making.
Do your research: Once you’ve decided what’s important, narrow your focus to covers that offer those benefits as a minimum.
Make your wish list: Once you finalise your budget, measure your pool and confirm the level of automation you want. Then, it’s time to rank your top choices and start calling around for accurate pricing.
Get a Remco pool cover quote today
Navigating the world of pool cover costs can be overwhelming. However, we hope that after reading this guide, you can make a more informed decision.