Many of us dream of owning a pool, but few of us have an idea of how much it might actually cost.
Before you start turning that dream into a reality, you should learn the average cost of installing an in-ground pool, and where these expenses come from.
A pool can provide years of fun, improve your health, and increase the value of a property.
However, the cost of an indoor pool can vary hugely, depending on a number of factors.
In the early stages of planning, understanding the costs can help determine a budget.
Take a look at this guide to find out how type of pool, size, and features can all affect the price.
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What’s The Average Cost Of An In-Ground Pool?
The average cost of an in-ground pool is $37,000, but the final price of your pool will depend heavily on a number of factors.
If you want a pool that will last for years to come, it’s important to consider what you want to pay more for, and where you’re willing to cut back.
An in-ground pool might cost you anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000.
The minimum cost of an in-ground pool is around $20,000. You may be able to install one for less than this, but it will require some strict budgeting.
There’s no real limit to how much an in-ground pool can cost, especially if you have a lot of space.
However, an in-ground pool costing more than $200,000 would be something quite special.
Expect to pay this much for incredible tiling, a large size, and some added features.
With these figures in mind, the average cost is around $37,000. This will get you a decent pool and a quality build. However, the exact price is variable.
The size of the pool, the materials used for the build, the labor required, and the location are all factors that can make a huge difference to the final cost.
To help you decide on a budget for your pool, below we’ll go into the details of how these factors influence price.
The Pool Material
A big factor in determining the overall cost of an in-ground pool is the material used.
While concrete is often seen as the obvious choice, there are other options available.
Consider not just the cost upfront, but how much it will cost to maintain over the years. A pool should be a long-term investment.
Concrete: Expensive But Flexible
A concrete pool is usually the most expensive option. It requires a high level of technical skill to design and construct and also needs regular maintenance.
Concrete pools are very durable, so they tend to last longer than any other type of pool.
The average cost of a concrete pool is $60,000.
Keep in mind that a concrete pool is the most versatile design material, so it can be used for some complex builds.
A concrete pool might cost as much as $200,000. On the other hand, you’re unlikely to get a budget build from concrete.
Expect the lowest cost to be around $30,000 for a mid-sized concrete pool.
Concrete is also expensive to maintain. It’s not quite as simple as a patch fix when you have a problem with concrete.
Finding the right surface for concrete increases this cost. Plaster will need to be replaced roughly every 10 years and can cost over $10,000.
But a more durable surface such as tile might cost over $30,000 to install.
However, there’s one major advantage to concrete: the design possibilities.
Almost anything can be accomplished with concrete, giving you total control over the final look.
- Flexible designs.
- Looks good.
- Variety of finishes.
- Expensive to install.
- Difficult and costly to maintain.
Fiberglass: Durable But Standardized
A fiberglass pool is another popular option. Fiberglass is cheaper to install than concrete, and has a long lifespan. It’s also easier to repair and maintain.
However, fiberglass comes in pre-molded shapes, so there’s less possibility for design.
The average cost of a fiberglass pool is $33,000. For a smaller fiberglass pool, expect to pay upwards of $15,000.
For a large fiberglass pool, the cost rises to around $60,000.
One major advantage to fiberglass is that it’s cheap to maintain. You won’t need to replace plaster or tiles like you do with concrete.
Instead, when the surface starts to look worn, simply apply another layer of polymer or epoxy.
Most will find it easy to perform quick DIY fixes on a fiberglass pool, without the need of hiring a professional.
Installation costs can also be kept low with a fiberglass pool. Because they come molded in a single shape, a fiberglass pool only needs to be fitted into a hole.
A DIY installation might cost as low as $14,000, or $23,000 for an assisted installation.
However, there is one major drawback to the fiberglass pool. Fiberglass pools are pre-molded, and delivered in a single piece.
That means there are limited design options.
- Easy, low cost maintenance.
- Quick installation, with possible DIY options.
- Cheaper initial installation.
- Lack of customization.
- Limited aesthetic appeal.
Vinyl: Cheap & Easy To Install
Vinyl is probably the cheapest option for your backyard swimming pool. Vinyl is inexpensive to buy, and easy to install.
The main downside to vinyl is that it doesn’t last as long as other materials. It can start to crack after about 5 years.
A vinyl liner pool is, initially, a cost-effective choice.
The original installation can cost as low as $15,000 and even a large and complex vinyl pool is likely to cost no more than $50,000.
The average you can expect to pay is $33,000, for a mid-sized vinyl pool.
However, while the original installation might be well priced, the major issue with vinyl pools is the maintenance cost.
Vinyl liner pools only last for a couple of years, and then it will need to be replaced. This might cost upwards of $1,000.
A larger pool could set you back $3,500. Over only a short period, you could be paying more than $10,000 on repairs.
For this reason, many choose to upgrade their vinyl liner pools to fiberglass.
DIY can generally take care of tears and rips, costing around $100 to fix small issues.
The actual installation and replacement will need to be done by a professional, so factor this in every time the pool needs a resurfacing.
- Low initial installation cost.
- Easier to install than concrete pools.
- Can be installed quickly.
- Short lifespan (5-7 years).
- Requires frequent maintenance.
- Costs more to maintain.
How Does Size Affect The Price Of A Pool?
The size of your pool has a direct impact on its price tag. The average pool size is 14′ x 28′, which is likely to cost between $36,000 and $50,000.
This will be too large for some homes, so you may prefer something smaller.
However, smaller won’t necessarily mean cheaper. If you have a small backyard, you may need a complex concrete pool to fit the shape.
The total square foot of the interior, plus the extra design work, might lead to a larger cost.
A small, but complicated, pool might cost more than a pool with an overall larger total square footage.
|10×16||$15,000 – $21,000|
|10×20||$18,000 – $26,000|
|12×16||$18,000 – $25,000|
|12×24||$26,000 – $38,000|
|14×20||$26,000 – $37,000|
|14×28||$36,000 – $52,000|
|15×20||$28,000 – $40,000|
|16×32||$47,000 – $68,000|
|18×36||$60,000 – $85,000|
|20×40||$73,000 – $105,000|
These figures are rough estimates, with the lower end of the scale representing a vinyl option, and the upper end being a concrete pool with a plaster finish.
Fiberglass pools tend to be priced somewhere in the middle of the two estimates.
However, as fiberglass pools are pre-molded to set shapes, there is a reduced variety in sizes.
How Much Will It Cost To Build An In-Ground Pool Indoors?
Being able to soak up the sunshine and cool down in the water is just one advantage of an outdoor pool, but this setup does come with a major drawback.
When the weather is bad, your outdoor pool becomes unusable.
There are two ways to get around this. You can either build your in-ground pool indoors, or you can add an enclosure to an existing outdoor pool.
Building an indoor pool is likely to cost you between $100,000 and $200,000, but it could be significantly more depending on the structure you have to build.
When building an indoor pool, you have to consider more than just the pool itself.
Think about how to install ventilation and a dehumidifier, to ensure the stability of both the pool building and the rest of the house.
A dehumidification system is likely to cost between $20,000 and $30,000.
Plumbing and electrical work can also get costly. And don’t forget the pool cover, to stop the water evaporating.
The structure itself will form a major part of the cost. You may be able to save money by transforming an existing indoor space into a pool area.
However, if there isn’t room, you may need to pay for a structure to be built from scratch.
Prefab buildings can keep costs low, but aren’t right for every home.
How Much Will It Cost To Convert To A Saltwater Pool?
Many are now considering converting their pool to a saltwater pool.
Saltwater pools are gentle on the skin and hair, and cheaper and easier to maintain than the chlorine equivalent.
The cost of building a saltwater pool is essentially the same as building a chlorine pool. Expect to pay around $35,000 for an in-ground saltwater pool.
The bulk of the cost will come from the pool structure and the installation, so a saltwater generator is only a small factor in the overall price.
The average cost of converting to a saltwater pool is $2,000. Once the saltwater generator is installed, maintenance costs are low.
The generator will need to be replaced roughly every five years, at an average cost of $500.
Salt will also need to be added on occasion, in much the same way as chlorine is. Salt can be bulk purchased at a reduced cost.
Unfortunately, cracks and tears are harder to DIY in a saltwater pool. This is one area where you won’t save money by making the switch.
What Features Might You Add?
You might be spending thousands of dollars on a new pool, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for something basic.
There are numerous additions to transform in-ground pools from simple to luxury.
Although these features can often be added on later, it will typically work out best to include them in the initial cost.
However, while you picture your gently running waterfall, hot tub, and crazy water slide, be aware that these are pricey additions.
And the more features you add, the more the price will go up. Let’s take a look at some common additions and what they might cost:
Pool lights provide you with several extra hours of pool use each day, and can be a needed safety feature. A basic set of lights can cost you under $1,000.
A pool heater is another addition that you might consider a necessity. The average pool heater will cost above $1,000, but some are over $10,000.
Outdoors, a heater may not be necessary in parts of the year, as the sun does the work for you. However, an indoor pool will need a heater.
Pool covers might be an initial expense, but they can save maintenance money. Expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for a cover.
Steps are a safety feature, and a place to relax. A basic ladder might cost as low as $500, while a full set of steps could cost over $3,000.
A pool deck can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $25,000, depending on the materials used.
Diving boards are another potentially low-cost investment. A diving board is typically priced between $250 and $850.
Slides, on the other hand, have a bigger price variety. A basic slide might cost as little as $250. A larger slide that requires higher installation costs might set you back up to $20,000.
Waterfalls and water features look good, and improve the circulation of the pool water. Expect to pay between $500 and $16,000.
A hot tub is a luxury addition, and that’s reflected in the price tag. Be prepared to pay between $2,500 and $20,000.
Other Costs To Consider
With the pool installed, there are still a few costs to consider.
Landscaping The Yard
Before and after the pool is installed, you’re likely to have to pay some landscaping fees. First, you’ll have to pay to prepare the space for the pool.
Then, you may need to pay for clean up, and to create an attractive space around the pool.
The cost of running a pool can be a surprise for some.
Monthly electrical costs, an increased water bill, and higher property taxes all come standard with a pool.
And don’t forget, you may need to pay for permits before the pool is even in place.
We’ve provided a rough guide to in-ground pool costs, but each situation is different.
You may need to pay for a consultation to get a better idea of the final price.
We hope this guide has provided you with an idea of how much a pool can cost. While $37,000 is an average, the costs can quickly add up.
And once the pool is installed, there are further expenses to consider.
It’s often better to pay more upfront than to continuously pay for maintenance.
Installing an in-ground pool can be a fantastic idea, but it’s never going to be a cheap option.
However, with careful planning, you can be sure to get the most for your money.