How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool?
Interested in installing a pool to cool off when it’s warm out? The cost to build a pool ranges from $16,441 to $44,198, with the national average at $29,638.
- Typical Range: $16,441 to $44,198
- National Average: $29,638
A backyard pool is a perfect way to cool off during those hot summer months—or year-round if you’re lucky enough to live in a climate that allows it. While some will search online for “swimming pool near me,” others prefer a pool right in their own backyard. You may be interested in getting a pool in your backyard, but how much does it cost to build a pool? According to HomeAdvisor, the cost ranges from $16,441 to $44,198, with the national average at $29,638. Inground pools can range from $36,750 to $66,500, and above-ground pools can run from $700 to $3,600. If you’re interested in a custom pool with luxury add-ons, the price can jump to $100,000 or more. Excavation and labor costs make up between 25 and 50 percent of the total cost to build a pool.
Pool installation will add to the value of your home in addition to providing years of fun and relaxation. When evaluating pool installation, consider all the factors and additional costs that will affect the project. Combining options and features during the installation will usually result in a discount but will increase the overall up-front costs. Some homeowners decide to postpone installing a hot tub, additional water features, and a patio until a later date. To find the best price on pools for backyard fun, an online search of “pool builders near me” will yield helpful results.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool? Factors in Determining Pool Cost
Calculating how much it costs to build a pool depends on several factors. Prices can differ from the national average due to pool size, shape, type, pool location, labor costs, permit fees, excavation costs, landscaping, materials, and filtration.
Pool Size, Shape, and Type
On average, it costs from $50 to $125 per square foot for in ground pools. The most significant cost factor is the pool’s size. The bigger it is, the higher the project cost. A large pool requires more materials, equipment, and labor. Pools come in many different shapes, and the material dictates what shape of pool you can have. Concrete and vinyl can be made into just about any shape, while fiberglass pools are limited to the shapes designed by the manufacturer. Some of the most popular pool shapes include rectangle, oval, kidney, round, lagoon, and full-L. Pool types can be inground pools made of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl; above-ground pools; and cocktail, lap, plunge, and infinity pools. Pools can also have a hot tub or spa added for additional relaxation.
Location will affect the cost of building a pool in your backyard. It costs approximately 15 to 25 percent more to install a pool in northern states than in Florida, Texas, or Arizona. The cost to build a pool in an urban area is typically more expensive than it would be in rural areas due to a higher cost of living driving up labor prices.
Labor and Permits
Labor usually makes up 25 to 50 percent of the total cost of building a pool. Labor costs can fluctuate depending on what type of pool is installed. Inground pools have more expensive labor costs than above-ground pools, and fiberglass and concrete pools cost more than vinyl. If extensive excavation is needed or if a deck is installed at the same time, labor costs will be higher. The average labor prices to build a pool range from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on pool size, shape, and design. Labor for a custom pool could go even higher.
Permits for building a pool can range from $200 to $300. Permit prices can vary because of pool type and your geographic location. Before any work begins to build a pool, you or your contractor will need to submit paperwork to request a permit. Keep in mind that your pool will need to be inspected before you use it.
Excavation costs range from $400 to $1,500. If the potential pool’s location is hard to access, the costs will be higher. If the yard contains large rocks or the ground is difficult to dig, contractors may need to use blasting, which will raise the price of excavation. Most of the price comes from hauling away the dirt. Consider saving some money by using the dirt on your property for gardening or landscaping.
After the area has been excavated and the pool installed, landscaping can begin. Expect to pay an average of $3,000 to $5,000 or $4 to $12 per square foot for professional landscaping around your pool. Some homeowners prefer to wait a few weeks after installation to landscape, so they have time to decide exactly how they want it to look. You can choose from simple grass around the pool to water fountains, masonry paths, and custom shrubbery. Another option is to have a lawn around the pool patio area. The choice is up to you.
An inground pool can run from $20,000 to $60,000, but the overall price is affected by the materials. Concrete will cost more, but it’s longer-lasting than a vinyl pool. Porcelain tiles will cost even more. Talking to your pool installation professional about material options will help you get the look you want while staying within budget.
Water filtration systems run from $500 to $3,000. Keep in mind that filters run continuously, and this isn’t a place to cut corners. To avoid costly repairs and maintenance, install a filtration system that works for the size and shape of your pool.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for how much it costs to build a pool, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. These can include heating, covers, water features, fencing, maintenance, enhancements, and upgrades.
Heating is another area that you don’t want to skimp on if you live in a cooler climate. Pool heaters cost approximately $1,800 to $4,000. Pool heaters can be gas- or electric-powered, and they should be able to heat the amount of water in your pool adequately. Gas-powered heaters are typically less expensive than electric. Solar-powered heaters can cost as much as $10,000, but the long-term cost of using them is low.
Covers and Water Features
The average cost of a pool cover ranges from $600 to $2,200. Pool covers should be used when the pool is not in use. Covers keep debris out of the pool and keep people safe and ensure unwanted visitors can’t get in. Covers are available in mesh and solid options. Each one has its advantages, and one may work better for your individual needs.
Fence Installation or Enclosure
Many areas require that a pool be fenced or enclosed for safety reasons. Fences and enclosures should have a lock to prevent young children from falling into the pool. Fences come in various materials, and each has its own price point. A pool fence can run from $600 to $4,400, and an enclosure that completely encases the pool can range from $4,800 to $14,300. Enclosures keep out leaves, bugs, and dirt, and they can be made in materials that range from screen to glass.
It costs between $500 to $4,000 a year to maintain a pool. This price includes the increased cost of utility bills and regular maintenance. The size of the pool, the pool material, if you have a water heater, and whether you decide to maintain the pool yourself or hire a professional to do it for you will affect the price of yearly maintenance.
Additions, Enhancements, and Upgrades
Luxury features will add to the final bill. A diving board can range from $300 to $5,000, a waterfall will cost $1,500 to $5,000, and a fountain can cost $600 to upward of $20,000. Custom upgrades like a deck, a hot tub, a cover, or lighting can add $2,000 to $10,000 onto the project price. Landscaping that includes benches and paths can start at $13,000 for a 1,200-square-foot yard. If you spend most of your time outdoors, an outdoor kitchen may be right for you. The average price for an outdoor kitchen ranges from $7,000 to $20,000. A pool house is a convenient way to store pool equipment and provide a space to change in and out of a swimsuit. A pool house can cost between $150 to $600 per square foot, depending on the size and features.
Custom pools can cost upward of $100,000. Inground pools have more options for customization than above-ground pools. Inground pools can be customized to be the exact shape and size you want instead of choosing a prefabricated pool shell. Custom-made pools are often constructed of concrete or vinyl since it’s difficult to custom design a fiberglass pool. Custom pools can have additional features such as jets, waterfalls, or beach entry. Homeowners who want to install a pool in an area with space restrictions or desire extra features will want to choose customization.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool? Types of Pools
Depending on the type of pool, it can cost anywhere from $800 to $65,000. Extra features can push the cost upward of $100,000. The depth and size of the pool, as well as whether it’s inground or above-ground, will determine the overall costs.
Inground concrete pools cost between $35,000 and $65,000. A concrete pool can be any shape and size and finished in a variety of ways. Finishing can include tile and other decorative additions which are not available for fiberglass or vinyl pools. Concrete pools require more maintenance than fiberglass but less maintenance than vinyl. Many homeowners opt for concrete inground pools as a long-term investment.
Inground fiberglass pools cost $20,000 to $60,000. These pools are durable and long lasting. The fabricated fiberglass pool shell is limited to specific sizes and shapes dictated by the manufacturer. Size variation is restricted since it’s difficult to transport large fiberglass pool shells. Many of these pools also have depth restrictions that result in inadequate depth for diving. This material is low maintenance and costs the least in the long run.
Expect to pay between $20,000 and $50,000 for an inground vinyl pool. These pools use a vinyl liner that can be of any size or shape. This offers more choices than fiberglass, but vinyl liners do not last as long as fiberglass or concrete, and they need to be replaced every 6 to 12 years.
Above-ground pools can cost $800 to $15,000. Since there is no large-scale excavation involved for an above-ground pool, the costs are lower. Above-ground pools come in a variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and materials. Some downsides of an above-ground pool are that they don’t last as long, and homeowners don’t get the same type of increase in home value as they would with an inground one. Additional costs can add up if plumbing and electrical ports need to be installed.
Cocktail pools, or spools, cost approximately $22,650, including labor. The name comes from combining the word “pool” with “small” or “spa.” They typically have powerful jets to create a relaxing spa experience. They usually measure 10 by 15 to 20 feet and are 5.5 to 7 feet deep. Cocktail pools are ideal for smaller areas with limited space or homeowners who want to spend less money.
Lap or Endless Pool
Lap pools can cost $44,000, including labor. Lap pools are typically long and narrow and usually measure 10 by 40 feet. Endless pools are not as long and have an artificially generated current for swimming. They typically range in price from $23,000 to $40,000. The yearly maintenance costs for endless pools are considerably lower since there’s less water to maintain.
Hot Tub or Spa
It costs $3,500 to $15,000 to install a hot tub or spa. Prices can vary due to size, materials, number of jets, and features. Standard-size hot tubs can fit up to four to six people. For a swim-style spa that’s similar to an endless pool with swimming jet currents, expect to pay around $36,000 or more. The labor cost is between $150 and $500, with an additional delivery cost of $100 to $500.
How Much Does It Cost To Build a Pool? Benefits of Building a Pool
Many homeowners decide to build a pool to enjoy time with their family, add value to their home, and appreciate swimming and cooling down in their own backyard. When there are added features such as diving boards, water fountains, and unique lighting, it adds to the aesthetic value of the outdoor space. Some other benefits are entertainment value and increased health and happiness.
If you entertain frequently, a pool is a great focal point for outdoor get-togethers. Pools that have a large deck or patio area can be utilized for large parties or small gatherings. The shallow end of the pool is suitable for lounging and relaxing, while the deeper end can be used for diving practice or a slide. Staying at home and enjoying the pool is an excellent alternative to traveling and spending extra money on vacation.
Swimming and relaxing by a pool is a significant way to lower high levels of stress. After a long day, a cooling soak or an energetic swim will help you relax and unwind. Swimming is a low-impact activity that helps you feel good about yourself, has a positive mental impact, and relieves pressure on sore joints for those with arthritis. A pool provides a place to get cardiovascular exercise, aqua therapy, and build stamina and strength—all from the privacy of your backyard.
Property Value Increase
A pool can significantly increase the value of your home. Information from the National Association of Realtors shows that owning an inground swimming pool can increase the value of a home by 15 percent. The area you live in and real estate values will determine the pool’s overall value. If you decide to sell your home, some potential homebuyers may be interested in a pool, but others won’t be interested in the extra maintenance and expense of having a pool.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool? DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
It may be tempting to install your own pool to save on costs, but it’s recommended to leave pool building to the professionals. If you make a mistake during the project, you could incur extra expenses for replacement or repairs. A professional can provide accurate excavation, grading, soil drainage, and backfilling. Only those with extensive construction experience and the right tools for the job should attempt a DIY above-ground pool kit. No one wants a collapsed pool wall and thousands of gallons of water spilling onto the landscaping or into your home. Keep in mind that a pool warranty might not be honored if the pool’s not installed by a professional.
How to Save Money on Building a Pool
Costs to build a pool can be high, and the additional costs associated with the project can quickly add up. One way to save on building a pool is to buy the cheapest materials for the project, but there are other ways to save without compromising quality.
- Install an above-ground pool. Above-ground pools are significantly cheaper than inground pools. One downside is that an above-ground pool does not add as much value to your home.
- Keep the dirt. If you decide on an inground pool, keep the excavated dirt on your property to save on the cost of hauling it away.
- Wait on the extras. Additional features like a diving board, unique lighting, water features, a deck, or a patio will add thousands of dollars to the project cost. Waiting on these will save on up-front costs.
- Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable pool installation experts so you can stay within your budget.
- Do the maintenance yourself. The costs of hiring a professional company to maintain your pool can quickly add up. Check the water’s pH level and clean the drains and filters yourself to keep your costs down.
- Opt for a smaller pool. Most people want a pool to cool down in and to have fun with their family. Don’t think a bigger pool results in more fun. Stick to the size that you can afford.
Questions to Ask About Building a Pool
Asking a professional the right questions about the cost of building a pool can minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Here are some questions to ask a pool building professional.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have references?
- Are you a member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP)?
- Do you have workers’ compensation insurance?
- Who will build and install the pool?
- Is all the work included in the contract?
- Do you provide a free estimate?
- What warranty do you offer?
Deciding on the right pool while staying within your budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about the costs to build a pool to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. How much does a 12-foot by 24-foot inground pool cost?
A 12-foot by 24-foot inground pool costs between $26,000 and $38,000, depending on the material used. A vinyl option would be the cheapest at $26,000, a fiberglass pool would be $34,000, and a concrete 12-foot by 24-foot pool is $38,000.
Q: How long does it take to build a pool?
On average, it takes approximately 8 to 12 weeks to build a pool. This includes time for design, securing permits, excavation, plumbing, electric, installation, building a deck, adding custom features, and landscaping.
Q. How long will my pool last?
An inground pool can last 20 years or more. With the proper maintenance and care, an inground pool with a vinyl liner can last more than 20 years as long as the liner is replaced every 6 to 12 years. Concrete pools need resurfacing every 10 years, and fiberglass pools can easily last over 30 years.
An above-ground pool will not last as long as an inground one. The liner will need to be replaced every 6 to 12 years, depending on wear, and the structure is expected to last 8 to 15 years, although that time can vary depending on the type of pool.
Q. What’s the best material for a pool?
There’s not a single material that works best for everyone. Choose the material that works for you and your needs. Concrete pools last the longest, but they need refinishing, and mold and algae can grow if the pool is not maintained correctly. Fiberglass pools are easy to maintain, but the prefabricated shells restrict the size and depth of the pool. Vinyl-lined pools are easy to clean, and they come in various shapes and sizes, but the lining will eventually need to be replaced. Each material has its advantages, and you should choose the material that works the best for the area in which you want to install the pool.