How Much Does an Inground Pool Cost?
An inground pool can provide homeowners with hours of outdoor summer. The average inground pool cost ranges from $39,000 to $80,351, with a national average of $57,938.
- The typical cost range for an inground pool is $39,000 to $80,351, with a national average of $57,938.
- Cost factors for installing an inground pool include the pool size, shape, material, and style, as well as labor costs, geographic location, permits, site preparation, and excavation.
- Some of the benefits of having an inground pool installed are relaxation and recreation, increased home value, tax deductions, and aesthetics.
- Installing an inground pool is a complex, labor-intensive project that is generally best left to a professional with the expertise and equipment to get the job done properly.
An inground pool is the ultimate backyard upgrade. So how much does an inground pool cost? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the average cost ranges from $39,000 to $80,351, with a national average of $57,938. Inground pool cost can vary depending on the type of material, and they are available in three varieties: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. There are significant differences in long-term costs among the options. Often, turnkey packages include electrical systems, plumbing, pumps, a deck, and a basic safety fence. Some packages include only the pool shell and delivery. Other factors that impact inground pool cost are shape, size, location, landscaping, custom work, lighting, water features, decks, heating, and fencing. Additional pool installation costs can add up due to required permits, property taxes, and pool maintenance costs.
Factors in Calculating Inground Pool Cost
The typical price to install an inground pool ranges from $39,000 to $80,351, with a national average of $57,938. The average size pool is around 14 by 28 feet with a depth of approximately 6.5 feet. Typically, homeowners spend anywhere from $50 to $125 per square foot. Adding a pool house can raise the cost to $300 or more per square foot. Depth also affects the price, and more materials will be needed depending on the depth of the hole. Deeper pool designs will cost closer to $125 per square foot. The Red Cross recommends a depth of at least 9 feet for diving.
Basic pool project quotes typically include delivery, installation, standard pool filtration, maintenance and cleaning equipment, the first water fill, and at least some pool decking. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that pool builders all package their swimming pools differently.
Pool Size and Shape
While the average cost of inground pools is $57,938, this price can be higher or lower depending on the size. Larger pools are about 18 by 36 feet, and many have deep ends of 9 to 12 feet. This size costs around $56,700. Plunge, spool, cocktail, and other small inground pools cost $17,500 to $25,200 and up. These pools usually measure about 10 feet wide by 10 feet long or 12 feet by 24 feet and are 5.5 to 7 feet deep. They are mainly used for cooling off and lounging, but they can also be fitted with jets for swimming laps. Regardless of shape, plan on spending about $90 to $160 per square foot for swimming pool design. The most popular inground pool shapes are:
- Freeform (radius)
- Classic (Roman or Greek)
|Pool Size||Average Cost|
|10 feet by 10 feet||$17,500|
|12 feet by 24 feet||$25,200|
|14 feet by 28 feet||$34,000|
|15 feet by 30 feet||$39,400|
|16 feet by 32 feet||$44,800|
|18 feet by 36 feet||$56,700|
|20 feet by 40 feet||$70,000|
There are three different types of materials when it comes to inground pools: vinyl, fiberglass, and concrete, and each type has its pros and cons.
- Fiberglass pools are low maintenance, durable, and compatible with salt systems. Fiberglass pools have the lowest total cost of ownership because they are built off-site and have low chemical usage. One downside of fiberglass is that the shapes cannot be customized. Fiberglass pools typically cost between $20,000 and $60,000.
- Concrete pools can be fully customized, and concrete is a durable material. However, these pools have the highest maintenance and chemical requirements. They are also incompatible with saltwater systems. Homeowners can expect to pay between $35,000 and $65,000 for a concrete pool.
- Vinyl liner pools are more customizable than fiberglass and cost the least to install, usually between $20,000 and $40,000. However, the vinyl must be replaced every 5 to 9 years. Also, vinyl can tear and becomes brittle with age.
When most people picture a pool, a standard rectangle shape with stair entry often comes to mind. However, there are quite a few styles and shape options to consider. For instance, a lagoon pool often has a more organic shape and may include features such as waterfalls. This style costs around $100,000. Homeowners who will use their pool for exercise and practicing their backstroke may opt for a lap pool, which is long and narrow and costs about $44,000 on average. Below are some popular pool styles and their typical prices.
|Pool Style||Average Cost|
|Inground pool with a hot tub||$44,000 to $90,000|
|Beach entry pool||$55,000|
|Infinity pool||$55,000 to $130,000|
So how much does it cost to build an inground pool? On average, homeowners can expect to pay about $19,000 for labor, or about 33 percent of the overall installation cost. Depending on the pool material type, labor costs will vary. Concrete, for example, will take longer to install than fiberglass. Labor costs can also differ considerably by geographic location. A higher cost of living will usually mean a higher cost of labor. Labor costs can skyrocket for excavating if large trees or root systems need to be cleared. Swimming pool contractors typically charge around $55 per hour. Homeowners can search “inground pool builder near me” to get a sense of the local cost to build a pool.
Location can affect the cost of inground pool installation depending on several factors. Homeowners can plan on paying about 20 percent more in northern states than in places like Texas, Arizona, or Florida. In these regions, concrete pools can be comparable to fiberglass pools in price. Building an inground pool in an expensive urban area will also typically cost more than in a rural area. However, costs may rise if the property where the pool is being built is more than 50 miles away from the pool company’s office. In this case, they may charge $50 each way in transportation fees with each visit.
Of course, there’s more than just digging and filling factored into inground pool cost. Most cities require a building permit to install an inground pool. This helps ensure the work is done according to safe and professional construction standards. A separate electrical permit may also be required. Building permits usually cost around $450 to $1,800 per permit. Pool contractors and electricians usually get the permits for their work sites, but that’s something a homeowner can do as well. After the project has been completed, an inspector will confirm that it meets local building codes.
Site Preparation and Excavation
Once the permits are secured, the land needs to be prepared for the pool installation. This includes excavating the property and performing rough grading for the pool, patio, and planting areas. Landscaping and excavating costs will vary depending on the property and type of pool. Some pools, like lap pools, will be more expensive since they are considerably longer than the average pool. Costs will also increase if any underground plumbing needs to be relocated or features like patios or trees must be cleared.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for inground pool cost, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. Some excavations cost $1,500 to $5,000, and hitting rock can add on another $1,200 or even more. Hard-to-reach areas can add $10,000 or more and affect the length of the project. For homeowners who live in a remote location, travel distance for the building crew can add $100 or more. For a fiberglass pool, a crane may be needed if access to the backyard isn’t open enough. Additional costs can include landscaping, accessibility and fencing, weather conditions, filters, pumps, heating systems, lighting, electrical work, deck installation, property taxes, and annual maintenance.
Landscaping plays a prominent role in pool project pricing, and it can cost $3,000 to $5,000 on average, or around $4 to $12 per square foot to add shrubs, plants, and trees. Landscaping rocks cost about $700. Three common styles of landscaping design for inground pools are modern, tropical, and desert.
A retaining wall costs around $5,000 and creates a level yard, but it might be necessary for a homeowner to search for “pool contractors near me” for accurate pricing when dealing with a sloping yard. Resloping the lawn costs between $1,850; this excavated dirt can be used to level the yard, and this can save $1,000 or more on removal fees. If any grass was removed or destroyed during the pool installation, resodding will cost about $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot.
How long it takes to install a pool varies based on pool size, how many people are doing the installation, and the weather. Fiberglass pools are easy to install and can be installed year-round, but vinyl and concrete pools need optimal weather conditions. Vinyl cannot be installed on a day that is too hot or too cold because the material can expand, contract, or crack. Concrete takes at least 28 days to cure, and concrete can’t be poured when it’s freezing out because it could crack.
Filters, Pumps, and Heating Systems
Electrical work usually costs around $2,250. Pool heater costs may also be figured into the overall budget in colder climates. A pool pump costs $700 to $1,500. Pool heater installation costs between $1,500 to $4,000, and depending on location, usage, and the season, the operating cost will typically range from $100 to $600 monthly.
Lighting and Electrical
Outdoor lighting adds ambience and keeps the pool area safe. Lights average $100 to $300 each for 50-watt lights. Traditional lights and energy-efficient LEDs vary in pricing depending on the features like colored lights, floating lights, and output. Some LED and fiber optic options can often be controlled by a phone. Lighting can be added after the pool has been installed, but it’s recommended for homeowners to have them installed during the pool installation.
Depending on the pool’s size and desired decking materials, expect to pay an additional $3,000 to $12,000. The cost depends on the number of sides the deck is installed on, the width, and the selected materials. Material options include natural, engineered, or composite wood; each has cost and durability considerations. The overall price can increase if you choose an elaborate design or expensive materials.
Saltwater System Installation
Saltwater pools are increasing in popularity because they don’t require the use of chlorine, which can be irritating to the eyes and skin. While they initially cost an additional $1,000 to $2,500 to install, saltwater pools are less costly to maintain than a chlorine pool. For reference, annual costs for chlorine can be as high as $300 to $800, whereas the chemicals and salt used for a saltwater pool are about $100 per year. However, those who opt for a saltwater pool will want to keep in mind that the salt cell must be replaced every 3 to 5 years, which costs between $200 and $700.
Waterfalls, fountains, and lighting can be added to make a relaxing pool, and cost anywhere from $200 to $20,000 or more. A hot tub is a popular feature, and a spa can add $5,000 to $8,000. If an additional area needs to be excavated, a built-in hot tub could cost between $15,000 to $20,000. Waterfall installation costs $1,500 to $5,000, and elaborate ones can reach $30,000. Slide installation costs between $1,500 and $20,000 depending on the design and any additional features, such as water jets. Diving board installation averages between $300 and $5,000, depending on the type. Diving boards may also need to meet local code requirements.
|Lights||$200 (per light)|
|Diving board||$300 to $5,000|
|Slide||$1,500 to $20,000|
|Heater||$500 to $7,500|
|Waterfall||$1,500 to $5,000|
|Hot tub||$5,000 to $8,000|
Fences and Pool Enclosures
Pool fence installation costs about $13 to $50 per linear foot, or between $1,500 and $10,000. Gates will cost an extra $200 to $350 each. Removable fences cost $100 to $500 per panel, including locks and latches. Pool covers cost between $600 and $2,200 with installation, and high-end automatic and security options range from $1,000 to $15,000. Childproof locks and latches are encouraged.
Pool enclosures cost between $5,000 and $15,000. These cages can be made from mesh, glass, plastic, and vinyl, and they can extend the swimming season by retaining heat and keeping the water cleaner for longer. They can also provide UV protection and lower pool maintenance costs by keeping debris and dirt out of the pool.
Upgrades like building an inground pool can increase property taxes. A tax increase depends on state tax laws. A swimming pool installed for medical reasons could increase a homeowner’s tax deductions by $12,000 or more. But of course, the actual savings will depend heavily on the homeowner’s tax bracket.
While it’s less exciting than luxury upgrades or landscaping, maintenance is a vital part of the cost to build an inground pool. Inground pool maintenance runs from $100 to $200 per month. Maintenance can be time-consuming and messy, and many pool owners prefer to hire one of the best pool cleaning services. Pool maintenance professionals also offer winterizing and reopening services for $300 to $500. Basic annual maintenance adds $3,000 to $5,000. In some cases, such as a home sale, a professional may need to check the pool for damage or safety issues. A pool inspection costs about $125 to $250.
Inground Pool Cost by Type of Pool
A significant influence on an inground pool’s total cost is the material. The majority of pools are built of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. It’s a good idea for a homeowner to consider both the installation cost for each material as well as the cost for maintenance down the road. The following are three of the most popular types of pools and the inground pool cost associated with them.
|Pool Type||Installation Cost||10-Year Maintenance Cost|
|Concrete||$35,000 to $65,000||$27,000 to $40,000|
|Fiberglass||$20,000 to $60,000||$5,000 to $15,000|
|Vinyl||$20,000 to $40,000||$11,000 to $17,000|
The initial price of installing a concrete inground pool runs between $35,000 and $65,000, but homeowners can expect to pay an additional $27,000 to $40,000 over 10 years. Typical upkeep includes acid washing and replastering. As concrete pools are often larger, they require more electricity and chemical treatments to keep them clean and swimmable. Pool professionals can use gunite or shotcrete for concrete pools. They’re both concrete; the only difference is the water ratio and how the material is applied. Concrete pools need an acid wash every 3 to 5 years. Concrete is durable, but mold and algae can grow if the pool is not maintained. Because an acid wash will strip away a thin layer of the finish, at some point the shell will need to be replastered.
A fiberglass pool costs $20,000 to $40,000. This cost includes delivery, installation, and a basic deck. Maintenance costs an average of $5,000 to $15,000 over 10 years. Preformed fiberglass pool shells are put into a leveled hole to match the shape. Fiberglass shells usually measure no more than 16 feet across, and with this type of pool, there are no special treatments or requirements needed to maintain the shell. Occasionally a fiberglass pool may need to be resurfaced; pool resurfacing costs about $6,500 on average.
Installing an inground vinyl pool runs from $20,000 to $40,000. Over 10 years, maintenance averages between $11,000 to $17,000. Vinyl pools are versatile and nonabrasive, and they come in a variety of shapes and custom designs. They’re easy to clean, and many owners handle the cleaning themselves. Vinyl liners can tear and become brittle, though, so they need to be replaced every 10 years. Algae doesn’t easily grow on the vinyl surface, but can grow underneath the liner, which can be addressed when the liner is replaced. Pool liner replacement costs between $1,000 and $5,000.
Benefits of Installing an Inground Pool
Few home features can create as much fun and excitement as an inground swimming pool. A pool can instantly transform a boring backyard into a sun-splashed oasis that the whole family can enjoy. Some benefits of pool installation are added relaxation and exercise, increased home value, tax deductions, and a boost to the home’s aesthetics. The following are some benefits for homeowners to consider before putting in a pool.
Recreation, Relaxation, and Exercise
Swimming pools are an excellent way for the whole family to get more exercise. No-impact exercise is beneficial for those who have joint issues. Adults and kids enjoy relaxing and playing around a pool, and home pools allow for flexibility and spontaneity.
Increased Home Value
Real estate prices usually drive the prices of swimming pools. A pool may cost more in certain areas because of high real estate values. Inground pools can sometimes enhance property value, especially in warmer regions or neighborhoods where everyone has one. According to the National Association of Realtors, swimming pools may increase a house’s value by 8 percent. Some potential buyers may be excited about a swimming pool, while others don’t want the hassle. One thing’s for sure: If it isn’t maintained, a pool in poor shape will hurt a home’s value.
If a swimming pool is installed for medical reasons, this could potentially increase tax deductions by $12,000 or more, which can translate into $3,000 or more in tax savings, depending on the tax bracket. In this case the cost of installation and operating expenses can be deducted, even though technically, the pool is improving the home.
Inlay tile in a fiberglass pool’s steps and seats is a great way to add character to the pool and give it a custom appearance. Beyond this aesthetic enhancement, inlay tiles in steps and seats also serve a functional purpose, highlighting the pool’s different entry and exit points. Although water features have very little to do with a pool’s surface, they still give off a custom, classy, and permanent feel to the swimming pool.
Inground Pool Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
An inground pool can be a great addition to a home. Careful budgeting will help keep costs on track and avoid additional costs. For installing an inground pool, it’s recommended for a homeowner to hire a professional. Most homeowners don’t know how to build an inground pool or have the necessary equipment at their disposal. Making mistakes during a DIY job can mean extra costs for professional repairs or replacement. Homeowners can bring in a pro for a consultation and search “pools for sale near me” to find accurate estimates and pricing.
One of the benefits of using a professional is that they usually provide a full warranty. That means if the builder makes a mistake during the construction process or if there are problems with the swimming pool from the start, the builder will be responsible for fixing it.
Not every pool installation is the same. Some yards may require a retaining wall before a pool can be put in, but a DIYer may not realize that until it’s too late. There is also the danger of hitting groundwater or rocks while digging. Letting one of the best pool installation companies tackle the project is often worth the additional cost because they know how to build a pool and have the experience to get the job done right the first time.
Installing a pool as a DIY project may affect the timeline of the installation. The longer the project sits unfinished, the higher the chances of encountering a problem and the more of the budget will go to equipment rental. The faster the project is done, the better.
How to Save Money on Inground Pool Cost
Overall inground pool costs can be expensive, and additional costs associated with pool installation can quickly add up. One way to save money is to learn how to level ground for a pool and install an above-ground pool instead. However, there are other ways to save money without compromising quality and the type of pool you want.
- Choose a simple deck. You might envision a gorgeous mosaic of tile that wraps around the pool and leads to your back door, but that will cost you. Save money by choosing a basic concrete deck now and adding the patio later. When adding the patio, pavers tend to be the best option as they integrate well with older patio structures.
- Avoid the deep end. Smaller pools are popular because they save space and are cheaper to install and maintain. Keeping the dimensions modest will save a lot of money.
- Skip the fancy add-ons. Water features, spas, slides, and color-changing lights will ratchet up the price.
- Size isn’t everything. It doesn’t matter how big a pool is; kids will play in a pool for hours. Don’t get so caught up in the size of the pool that you can’t afford it.
- Do the upkeep yourself. While you may not be able to build your own inground pool, maintenance is probably a doable DIY task. Drains and filters should be cleaned once a week. Checking the pool’s water pH and chlorine levels is also a weekly chore.
Questions to Ask About Inground Pool Installation
Asking a pool installation professional the right questions will minimize miscommunication and save money. The following are some questions for homeowners to ask about the cost to install an inground pool.
- Where is your place of business? Do you have a showroom?
- How many years have you and your company been in business under the present name and owners?
- Have you, your partners, or the owners ever declared bankruptcy or gone out of business?
- Can you give me the names and phone numbers of at least three suppliers that you’ve done business with over the last 2 or more years?
- How many references can you supply?
- Are you a current member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP)?
- Do you have worker’s compensation and general liability insurance?
- How many projects have you completed that qualify you to build my pool?
- Is all necessary work included in the contract?
- Will you furnish lien waivers from vendors and subcontractors to prove they’ve been paid?
Deciding on pool installation and keeping the overall inground pool cost budget-friendly can be a daunting process. What follows are some frequently asked questions about the cost of installing a backyard pool to help guide a homeowner’s decision.
Q. How much does a 12-foot-by-24-foot inground pool cost?
The average cost of a 12-foot-by-24-foot inground pool is between $14,400 and $36,000.
Q. Can I get an inground pool for $30,000?
A premade fiberglass shell, which typically runs from $20,000 to $40,000, is the cheapest inground pool. A small vinyl pool that measures 12 feet wide and 24 feet long can cost between $25,000 and $35,000 for additional features like heating and fencing.
Q. Why are inground pools so expensive?
It’s a large construction project with many different stages, expensive components, and utility work such as gas, electrical, and plumbing.
Sources: HomeAdvisor, Angi, HomeGuide