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How Much Does a Cocktail Pool Cost?

Cocktail pools are an excellent alternative to full-size pools or for those with a smaller backyard space. Cocktail pool cost ranges from $5,500 to $50,000, with homeowners spending an average of $22,650.
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Cocktail Pool Cost
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Highlights

  • The typical cost to install a cocktail pool ranges from $5,500 to $50,000, with a national average of $22,650.
  • Some of the main factors involved in calculating the cost of cocktail pool installation include the size and shape of the pool, the installation location, the pool material, and the costs for labor and permits.
  • The benefits of a cocktail pool include practicality, affordability, easy maintenance, and ample opportunities for backyard entertainment.
  • Although homeowners experienced with pool installation may be able to install a cocktail pool themselves, a professional pool installation company can ensure the pool is installed correctly and efficiently.
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For those with limited space, a cocktail pool is an excellent alternative to a full-size pool. Even the most petite spaces can be a place to relax and cool off on a hot summer day. Urban spaces with small backyards that cannot accommodate a larger pool can fit in a more compact pool with ease. Homeowners with a larger backyard space may also choose to install a smaller cocktail pool since it provides more room for additional backyard amenities. With various design options, such as spa features, built-in seating, custom lighting, and heating, cocktail pools are a popular option. How much does a cocktail pool cost? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, cocktail pools cost from $5,500 to $50,000, with the average price at $22,650. Labor cost for a 300-square-foot cocktail pool is about $1,650, or $5.50 per square foot. The cost for a cocktail pool kit or for materials alone can run as high as $20,000. Compared with the price to install more traditional pools, the price of a cocktail pool is less expensive. Before deciding on installing a cocktail pool, homeowners will want to learn all there is to know about swimming pools, the cost of a pool inspection, and how to maintain a pool. This guide will examine the important factors that influence cocktail pool cost, additional price factors and considerations that can change the price of installation, the different types of cocktail pools, the benefits of installing a cocktail pool, and how to save money on cocktail pool cost.

What is a cocktail pool?

Cocktail pools, also known as compact pools, plunge pools, splash pools, or spool pools (for the additional special features that include spa elements), are the pool of choice for those with a smaller outdoor living space. Unlike a regular pool, a cocktail pool is not intended to be used for swimming, but to be used as a small backyard oasis that provides a place to cool off and relax. Because of their small footprint, cocktail or plunge pool costs are lower than the cost of a traditional inground pool; they also cost less to maintain, and they require little extra space.

Factors in Calculating Cocktail Pool Cost

Cocktail Pool Cost
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Before deciding on pool installation, homeowners will want to consider several items that will determine the price of installation. The cost of a cocktail pool ranges widely from $5,500 to $50,000, depending on a few important factors. When homeowners are researching the best pool installation companies and the overall cost to build a pool, they will want to keep in mind the pool size and shape, installation location, pool material, local labor pricing, and permit fees to estimate an accurate price for a cocktail pool.

Pool Size and Shape

Cocktail pools typically measure between 168 square feet and 300 square feet. With a depth of no more than 4 feet, spool pools are not intended for diving or swimming; they’re meant for taking a quick dip and relaxing. The shape of the pool will influence the overall installation cost. The easiest and least expensive shapes to install are square and rectangular pools, although homeowners can also choose from round, L-shaped, or custom-shaped pools to meet their needs and the size of the surrounding area.

Installation Location

A difficult-to-access location can increase the price to install a cocktail pool. Depending on the type of pool and whether a homeowner decides to install an inground or above-ground pool will also affect the overall cost of the building project. Inground cocktail pools are more expensive to install, and installation kits for above-ground spool pools can cost as little as $400. Building an above-ground cocktail pool can help keep installation costs more budget-friendly, and these pools average between $4,000 and $5,000.

Cocktail pools can also be installed indoors. The average cost of an indoor spool pool is about $25,000, and adding one can transform any home into a more luxurious space. A single-person indoor plunge pool can cost about $5,500, while a larger option with additional features, such as a heater, an endless swim system, additional seating, water features, and remote control, can cost more than $50,000.

Pool Material

On average, the building materials for a cocktail pool cost approximately $20,000. Materials such as fiberglass, vinyl, repurposed metal, or wood offer more affordable prices compared to copper, steel, and concrete. Wood and vinyl range in price from $5,000 to $10,000 for a 300-square-foot pool, while the premium materials such as copper can cause the cost to skyrocket to $50,000. Depending on a homeowner’s design preference and budget, there are a variety of cocktail pool materials available to fit their needs. Each of these materials is discussed in a section below.

Labor and Permits

The cost of labor usually equals about 25 percent to 50 percent of the total installation price, or approximately $5.50 per square foot. Labor costs are typically more expensive in densely populated urban areas with a higher cost of living than they would be in more rural areas. Permit fees to install a cocktail pool can range from $200 to $1,000, but it is always recommended for homeowners to check permit prices in their area to budget appropriately.

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Additional Costs and Considerations

When planning for cocktail pool costs, it’s important for homeowners to know about any additional price factors and considerations that can increase the overall installation cost. These can include land preparation, additional pool features, and landscaping.

Land Preparation

Once the construction permits have been secured, the installation area needs to be prepped. Since cocktail pools are smaller than traditional inground pools, the excavation costs are typically much cheaper, ranging from $400 to $1,500. If a homeowner decides the cost of an above-ground pool is within their budget, a solid foundation needs to be established before the installation process can begin.

Additional Pool Features

There are a variety of extra features that can be included with a cocktail pool. Some unique water features include fountains, waterfalls, bubblers, and jets to create a unique pool experience. Some homeowners opt to turn their cocktail pool into a spa with additional bench seating, a whirlpool or air pump system, and a heater. A spool pool with these features can cost approximately $17,000 (not including labor). Adding more features, such as lighting, steps, a cover, a ladder, an underwater treadmill or bicycle, remote phone control, an infinity edge, a saltwater system, a variable speed pump/filter, or an endless swim system will increase the overall price to upwards of $50,000.

Landscaping

Landscaping around a cocktail pool can cost from $3,000 to $5,000 on average, or from $4 to $12 per square foot. Adding trees, shrubs, flowers, and plants makes the pool area look cohesive and well planned. Landscaping rocks cost approximately $700, and a retaining wall runs about $5,000.

Types of Cocktail Pools

Cocktail pools can be designed in different styles with various materials. Homeowners who are interested in installing a cocktail pool will find that each of these materials has its own benefits and cost factors to consider. Some of the most popular materials include cedar, concrete or gunite, copper, fiberglass, steel, and vinyl. Below are the average prices for each material for a 300-square-foot cocktail pool.

Cocktail Pool MaterialAverage Price (Labor and Materials)
Cedar (6-foot diameter)$5,000
Concrete or gunite$23,000
Copper$50,000
Fiberglass$15,000
Steel$25,000
Vinyl$10,000

Cedar

A cocktail pool made from cedar costs about $5,000. Cedar is one of the most budget-friendly cocktail pool materials and is typically used for DIY cocktail pool installation projects, but it’s limited to round pools. Cocktail pools made from cedar typically do not last as long as ones built from other materials.

Concrete or Gunite

At a cost of $23,000 for a 300-square-foot pool, a concrete or gunite cocktail pool can be designed in any shape. Concrete is a durable material, but it requires regular maintenance since it’s prone to algae growth; it’s also not compatible with saltwater systems.

Copper

At the top end of the price range for cocktail pools, copper can cost about $50,000 for a 300-square-foot pool. To keep the material looking like new, it requires regular maintenance.

Fiberglass

A fiberglass cocktail pool can cost $15,000. While this material is durable, low maintenance, and compatible with a saltwater system, it cannot be made into custom-designed shapes. Fiberglass is considered a relatively budget-friendly option with regard to cocktail pool materials.

Steel

Steel cocktail pools cost about $25,000. Although steel is a popular material for above-ground cocktail pools, homeowners will want to take into consideration that the material can corrode from pool chemicals and salt.

Vinyl

A 300-square-foot vinyl cocktail pool costs about $10,000. Vinyl liners are more customizable than fiberglass and are considered a more budget-friendly option. One downside of a vinyl cocktail pool is that the lifespan is typically only between 5 and 10 years.

Cocktail Pool Cost
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Benefits of Choosing a Cocktail Pool

Cocktail pools are beneficial for those lacking additional space in their backyard. They’re also beneficial for homeowners with larger backyards who want a pool for relaxing and cooling off but also need enough room to fit in other backyard amenities. The smaller size and shallow depth of a cocktail pool also means the pool requires less maintenance and cleaning than a larger pool. Below are some additional benefits of choosing a cocktail pool.

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Practicality

Cocktail pools are practical for homeowners who want an area where they can relax and cool off during the hot summer months but don’t have the extra space for a large pool. If a heater and jets are added to the spool, then it can be used year-round as a spot for a warm soak. Bench seating makes a cocktail pool an area where family and friends can gather round and spend time together.

Affordability

Compared with the cost of installing a traditional inground pool, cocktail pools are a much more affordable option since they’re smaller in size. They also require less energy to run and maintain, which equals more savings in the long term.

Easy Maintenance

Due to its smaller size, a cocktail pool requires fewer chemicals and less time to maintain. Many homeowners find that cocktail pool maintenance is easier to manage than for a larger pool.

Backyard Entertainment

The compact size of a cocktail pool means that a small yard area can be a place for backyard entertainment. The small footprint also allows larger backyard spaces to have more amenities, such as a fire pit, kitchen area, storage shed, or play space. For homeowners who want to have a customizable area where they can relax and entertain, a cocktail pool is an excellent choice.

Cocktail Pool Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Installing a cocktail pool as a DIY project can save homeowners about $5.50 per square foot on labor costs, or $1,650 for a 300-square-foot pool. It’s recommended that only experienced DIYers tackle the project of installing a cocktail pool since it involves excavating and leveling land as well as electrical and plumbing work. To help save money on materials, DIY cocktail pool kits are available for approximately $5,000. There is also the option to repurpose shipping containers or stock tanks for a cocktail pool. These can cost from $100 to $4,000, not including the cost of installation or sealing, and building permits can cost between $200 and $1,000.

DIY Cocktail Pool ExpensesAverage Cost
Excavation equipment$2,200 per week
Materials$400 to $20,000
Building permits$200 to $1,000

Hiring a pool installation company is the best way to ensure a cocktail pool is installed correctly and efficiently. Depending on the type, size, and location, it can take a professional anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to install a cocktail pool. It can take inexperienced DIYers much longer to install a cocktail pool, and if mistakes are made, homeowners may need to spend additional money for repairs or to repeat the installation process. Incorrect installation can cause damage or flooding, and it can be dangerous for an inexperienced DIYer to attempt electrical work. Whenever a project involves electrical or plumbing work, it’s always advised to hire professionals.

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How to Save Money on Cocktail Pool Cost

Installing a cocktail pool provides a small backyard oasis where family and friends can relax, but adding extra features can quickly add up. Since installing any type of pool can be expensive, below are some money-saving tips to help homeowners stick to their budget.

  • Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable pool installation companies in your area to find a price that works with your budget.
  • Use vinyl. Vinyl pools are less expensive than concrete or fiberglass options. Even though vinyl liners typically need to be replaced after 10 years, concrete and fiberglass pools also require significant maintenance after a decade.
  • Skip the additional features. The cost of jets, a waterfall, or an endless swim system can make the overall price of a cocktail pool skyrocket beyond your budget. Installing a basic cocktail pool without any additional bells and whistles can help save money.
  • Wait on the heater. Homeowners can save on up-front costs by waiting a swim season before installing a pool heater. Some may find that they might not need one, so they’ll be able to save on the cost of a pool heater.
  • Use the appropriate pool pump. Using a too-powerful pool pump can result in an expensive electricity bill, and the water may pass through the filter too fast to be properly cleaned. The overall cost of a pool filter depends on the size and type of pool.
  • Hold off on accessories. The cost of popular pool floats and other pool accessories can quickly add up. Waiting to see what is needed or what can safely fit in a cocktail pool can help homeowners save money.
  • Do maintenance yourself. Cleaning the filters, adding and adjusting chemicals, skimming, and vacuuming are all maintenance tasks that homeowners can do on their own to save on the cost of professional pool maintenance.
Cocktail Pool Cost
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Questions to Ask About Cocktail Pool Installation

Hiring a professional pool installation company gives homeowners the benefit of employees who have the experience, knowledge, and skill set to install a cocktail pool quickly and correctly. With that in mind, homeowners will also want to ask important questions to find the right fit for their project and to ensure that the cocktail pool will be installed properly. Below are a series of questions for homeowners to ask a professional about cocktail pools and the installation process.

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How much experience do you have with installing cocktail pools?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Will you provide references?
  • Do you provide a written estimate?
  • Will you hire subcontractors at any point during the installation process?
  • Who will install the cocktail pool?
  • Are you a current member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP)?
  • Do you have a portfolio of cocktail pools that you’ve previously installed?
  • How long will construction and installation take?
  • Do you offer a warranty or guarantee on the installation?
  • Do you provide ongoing maintenance or maintenance training?
  • How long will the cocktail pool installation take?
  • Do you offer service plans?
  • How can I leave a review of your work?

FAQs

Before putting in any pool, it’s important for homeowners to have as much information as possible about cocktail pools, the installation process, and the cost. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding cocktail pools to make the decision-making process a bit easier.

Q. What is a cocktail pool?

Cocktail pools are small and compact to fit into a smaller backyard space. Sometimes called spool pools for their combination of pool and spa features, cocktail pools are versatile, and additional features can be added to create a customized experience. Some add-ons include jets, heaters, bench seating, fountains, endless swim systems, lighting, or an underwater treadmill. These additional items will cause the overall installation cost to be much more expensive than simply installing the cocktail pool on its own.

Q. What size is a cocktail pool?

A cocktail pool is typically no larger than 12 feet by 14 feet and no deeper than 4 feet. Many cocktail pools are not designed to hold more than 10 people, but it will be crowded if that many people decide to use the pool at the same time.

Q. How many people can fit in a cocktail pool?

Depending on the construction material, some cocktail pools can be customized to fit from one to 10 people, although having that many people in the pool at once would be a crowded experience.

Q. Can you heat a cocktail pool?

The versatility of a cocktail pool means it can be used to cool off during the hot summer months, or to warm up with a heated soak in the wintertime. Heaters can be added to a cocktail pool for an additional price.

Q. How many gallons of water are in a cocktail pool?

The amount of water in a cocktail pool will depend on the size of the pool.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, River Pools and Spas