A swimming pool can add a lot of aesthetic value to your property and countless years of enjoyment to your life. If you’re contemplating a swimming pool installation, you need to do a lot of research and estimate how much does it cost to build a pool.

That said, you need to keep in mind that the cost of installing a pool has many variables that even broad estimates vary. Apart from the type of pool (above and in-ground) and extra features you opt for, there are additional cost factors to consider too. These could be the expansive preparation, material cost, maintenance cost, ongoing cost of chemicals and filtration, repair, swimming pool equipment, and labor cost which is generally 25 to 50 percent of the total cost. All these may make a huge difference in your pool’s overall construction cost.

Can pool installation be a DIY project?

While a few basic above-ground pools can be DIY with manufacturers insisting that it is an easy task for an experienced homeowner, it is advisable to hire a professional to tackle the project. In-ground pools, on the other hand, should not even be attempted as a DIY!

How much does it cost to build a pool?

Swimming pool construction
Photo by mel0808johnson on Flickr is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

On average, a swimming pool installation costs around $24,800. The range is huge, you could be spending as low as $1,500 to as high as $65,000.

Typically, for an average homeowner, it oscillates between $12,800 and $37,400 for both above and in-ground types.

If you choose to include features such as a waterfall, spa, lagoon-style layouts, or patio — be prepared to spend around $100,000.

Compared to above-ground pools, inground swimming pools cost more in terms of installation.

While a basic in-ground one may be $35,000 to $65,000 (or $50 to $125 per square foot), above-ground types range from $1,500 to $15,000.

Do note that this figure is for a pool with no add-ons — but includes labor cost.

If you are on a budgeted home remodeling, you may skip these upgrades and save dollars on your up-front costs.

Types of pool: inground vs. above-ground pools

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of swimming pools — above and in-ground. Above ground pools are typically cheaper than the latter. The reason is that there are fewer choices when it comes to a pool’s depth, shape, and size in above-ground pools. Most homeowners opting for such a pool are generally looking at a 4-foot splash pool so that their kids can beat the heat. Having said that, you also have higher quality above-ground pools that are more expensive and last longer.

On average, above-ground pools may range from $100 (for a portable pool) to as much as $12,000 for a permanent installation. If you choose to add a deck to an above-ground pool, it will obviously increase the installation cost — but will add more value to your property.

Discover the best lending options that could allow you to prepare your next pool installation project here:

For a 19′ diameter above-ground swimming pool, you may have to shell out $6,300 as average cost. On the other hand, the average cost of a 32’x16′ inground swimming pool is $22,000.

Above-ground pool cost

Above ground swimming pool
Photo by Chris Grazioli on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As mentioned earlier, building an above-ground pool can be anything between $1,500 and $15,000. Since these are generally sold as kits by pool companies, they do not require major excavation or site preparation. Of course, you may have to level the area and provide access to electrical service.

You will need at least a pump — powered by electricity — to ensure that water is circulated and cleaned. Apart from this, you will have to have a filter system, ladder, and pool cover.

Remember that an above-ground pool does not add the same value to your home like an in-ground one since it does not resonate well with most home buyers.

Inground pool cost

Swimming pool construction
Photo by Bill Jacobus on Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0

An inground pool installation requires professional pool builders. It amounts to an average cost of $42,000, including materials and labor. Of course, there is no limit. Some homeowners pay as little as $20,000, while others are willing to spend more than $78,000.

In the case of inground pools, there is expansive site preparation and an extensive amount of materials involved.

Remember that an inground pool increases the property value by as much as 5%. If you decide to sell your house in the future, a front yard swimming pool will also boost your curb appeal.

There are three common in-ground pool lining material — vinyl, fiberglass, and concrete. The vinyl liner one is the least expensive with an average cost of $25,500. The fiberglass maybe $31,500 on an average, while the concrete one may range between $30,000 to $85,000. Such pools generally require patio installation as well as fencing (this might be mandatory in many parts of the world).

TypeInstallation CostFeaturesLife Span
Vinyl pool$20,000 to $55,000Affordable, flexible in terms of design, attracts algae growth, sustains damage from sharp objects5 – 10 years
Fiberglass pool$20,000-$80,000Easy maintenance, smooth surface, resistant to damage, less installation time25 years
Concrete pool$35,000-$85,000Customized shape and size, high maintenance, requires more chemicals to balance water pH$10 – 15 years

Inground pool cost factors

Size of the pool

The installation cost depends upon the size you have chosen. A small pool (200 sq ft) and a large pool (650 sq ft) may see a price difference of at least $25,000. It is because of the additional materials as well as labor costs.

Location of the pool

Cost also depends on the amount of work the crew has to do in order to prepare the soil and install the pool. While sandy soil is easier to dig, a sloped or rocky yard would require more effort and time. Additionally, if the crew doesn’t have easy access to the yard, they may need additional equipment.

Maintenance

This is an ongoing part of pool ownership. Most pool owners have to pay as high as $190 per month for pool maintenance. This includes chemicals such as chlorine and muriatic acid for the water. And, major items such as a skimmer, vacuum, pool cover, and filtration supplies. Apart from this, there is a lot of regular maintenance work. You need to check water quality, add the required chemicals, maintain water pH, clean the walls, sweep the bottom, and remove debris.

Add-on features

If you choose to customize your pool with lighting ($75 per light), slides, diving boards ($300 and $3,000), waterfall ($1,000 and more), or spa ($5,000 and $8,000) — pool prices will go up. You will also have to opt for safety features such as fencing, pool enclosure, and locking gate.

Other considerations

  • Pool heater to regulate water temperature and make it comfortable for both summer and winters.
  • Permits and property taxes for pool installation as required by your municipalities.
  • Regular repairs such as replacing a broken pump, leaking skimmer, torn liner, or damaged pool lights.
  • Liabilities such homeowner’s insurance rates, water bills, and electricity bills.

Conclusion

Despite all the cost and maintenance factors, there is a huge advantage in owning a swimming pool on your property. It is a great way to cool off on a summer day. It’s also the most fun way to host a get-together with friends and family. It adds value to your house and looks beautiful. If a pool installation is on your mind, we don’t blame you. Just keep in mind that you need to do your research and have a good idea about how much does it cost to build a pool. Once you do, your pool installation process will be smooth in terms of budget and effort.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool? was last modified: July 3rd, 2020 by Ramona Sinha
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Ron Booker
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Ron Booker

I like that you suggested applying a fence, pool enclosure, and a locking gate for your pool for safety purposes. My wife and I are thinking about installing a pool enclosure in our pool for our kid’s safety. We are going to check for prices to see whats more convenient out of the three options you mentioned.

Vivian Black
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Vivian Black

I love how you talked about the price of the average swimming pool and how it can impact what type of service you can budget for. My husband is building our new home in St. Peters, MO, and we want to have an inground pool built in the backyard. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional who fits the needs of our job.

Rita Sanders
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Rita Sanders

It’s amazing that you can increase the property value by 5% when you have a pool installed. My kids might be home a lot this summer because of the quarantine, so I thought it would be awesome for them to have a pool. Then they’ll at least have something to do. It’s too early to tell but I might just get one!