How Much Does a Lap Pool Cost?
A backyard pool offers many benefits but can take up a lot of space. A lap pool may be the ideal solution. Lap pool cost ranges from $4,000 to $100,000, with many homeowners spending $44,000 on average.
- Installing a lap pool typically costs between $4,000 and $100,000, with a national average cost of $44,000.
- Some of the factors that affect the total cost include the size, material, and style of the pool; the cost of labor; and the cost to fill the pool with water.
- Lap pools have numerous benefits over full-size pools, including a reduced backyard footprint, low running and maintenance costs, and health benefits such as increased exercise and decreased stress.
- Installing any pool is a major project, and lap pool installation is no exception. That’s why it’s generally recommended that homeowners hire a pro for this project.
A lap pool is an excellent option for those who want the benefits of swimming laps but don’t have the space for a full-size swimming pool. What is a lap pool? An inground lap pool takes up less space than a recreational pool, since it’s intended to replicate a standard swimming lane. The most common size is 40 feet long and between 6 and 10 feet wide. How much does a lap pool cost? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, lap pool cost ranges from $4,000 to $100,000, with the national average at $44,000. The overall exercise pool cost depends on the lap pool size, materials, style, and local labor pricing. Labor costs for a 40-foot by 8-foot by 4-foot lap pool are $3,800, or $5.50 per square foot, on average. The pricing for materials can vary, but they typically run about $56 per square foot. Other important price factors that can increase lap pool installation cost are the price of water to fill the pool, permit fees, excavation, landscaping, ongoing maintenance, and any additional features or customizations. This guide will explore the important factors that influence lap pool cost, additional costs and considerations that can change the final installation price, the different types of lap pools, the benefits of installing a backyard lap pool, and some frequently asked questions about lap pools and the installation process.
Factors in Calculating Lap Pool Cost
While many homeowners spend between $4,000 and $100,000 to install a lap pool, the overall price can vary from the national average of $44,000 due to a few important factors. These can include pool size, material, and style; local labor pricing; and water costs. Many homeowners will look into the best pool loans that are available to finance the total cost of installing a lap pool.
The size of the lap pool directly affects the total price of installation. There are three sizes of lap pools, and the bigger the pool, the more expensive the cost. The most common lap pool size is 40 feet, followed by an 82-foot (or 25-meter) half Olympic-size pool, and the largest is a full Olympic-size pool, which measures 164 feet, or 50 meters. Below are the average price ranges of lap pools based on size.
|Lap Pool Size (Feet)
|Lap Pool Size (Meters)
|Average Price Range
|$100,000 to $400,000
|$300,000 to $500,000
The pool material makes up most of the overall cost of a lap pool. Each material varies in price, benefits, and individual features. Below are the most common lap pool materials and the average price ranges for each.
|Lap Pool Material
|Average Price Range per Square Foot
|$55 to $72
|$35 to $66
|Stainless steel and copper
The type of lap pool can change the overall installation price significantly. Some of the most common styles of lap pools are above-ground, endless, indoor, infinity, inground, and saltwater. Each of these is discussed in a section below.
Labor costs to install a lap pool run about $5.50 per square foot. The larger the pool and the more complex the installation project, the more expensive the labor cost. Considerations that can increase the cost of labor include the addition of custom features and extras, excavation for inground lap pools, and any complications that may happen when removing large obstructions, such as trees or rocks. Installation times vary according to the pool material. It can take about a month to install a vinyl lap pool, between 6 and 8 weeks for a fiberglass option, and from 3 to 5 months for a concrete lap pool.
The water cost to fill and maintain a lap pool depends on the size and shape of the pool as well as the local water prices. To find how much water is needed to fill a pool, homeowners can use the calculation “length x width x depth x multiplier.” The multiplier refers to the shape of the pool. For oval and round pools, homeowners can use 5.9 for the multiplier, and for rectangle, square, and free-form pools, they can use 7.5. For a lap pool that measures 40 feet long by 8 feet wide by 4 feet deep, the total would be about 9,600 gallons of water.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for lap pool cost, many homeowners will find that there are additional price factors and considerations that can increase the overall installation cost. These can include permit fees as well as the cost of excavation, a pool heater, lighting, a pool cover or enclosure, landscaping, and maintenance.
For an indoor lap pool, a small lap pool, and even a lap pool installed above ground, chances are a permit will be needed for installation. Depending on your state, county, and city regulations, the price of the permit can vary, but the average price for a pool permit ranges from $500 to $1,000.
An inground lap pool requires site preparation and excavation. Pool excavation costs can range from $1,000 to $1,500, which includes digging the area and backfilling once the pool is installed. Excavation costs can increase if there are issues with large obstacles, such as rocks, tree roots, or dense soil. If dirt needs to be hauled away upon completion of the installation process, it can cost about $600.
Swimming in a heated lap pool is a much more pleasant experience than swimming laps in a cold, nonheated pool. Pool heater cost runs from $1,800 to $4,100, depending on the size of the pool, type of heater, and geographic location of the home. Homeowners can expect to pay approximately $100 per month to run an electric pump pool heater and about $200 per month for a natural gas pool heater.
Adding lighting to a lap pool provides increased visibility at night and adds visual appeal to the pool area. Pool lighting costs from $700 to $1,500, including materials and installation. Smaller LED lights can cost from $700 to $900, while larger options cost between $1,000 and $1,500. It’s always recommended that a homeowner hire a professional electrician to install lighting around a pool area.
Pool Cover or Enclosure
A pool cover helps keep out dirt and debris, and it also protects the chlorine in the water from degrading when it’s exposed to the sun’s UV rays. Safety covers for lap pools cost about $1,000, and solar covers that keep the water warm cost about $3,000.
To prevent children, animals, and intruders from accessing the pool, a pool enclosure is needed. A fence that surrounds the lap pool can cost from $2,000 to $10,000, or about $15 to $25 per linear foot, depending on the material and length of the fence. A glass enclosure allows the pool to be used year-round, at a cost of $30 to $65 per square foot, and a 700-square-foot glass enclosure would range from $21,000 to $45,500. A retractable pool enclosure costs between $100 and $200 per square foot, depending on whether it’s a manual or motorized enclosure. Pool screen enclosure cost ranges from $5,259 to $15,560, with the national average at $10,205.
After the lap pool installation, many homeowners decide on professional landscaping. Homeowners can expect to pay between $4 and $12 per square foot, or between $3,000 and $5,000 on average, for professional landscaping. There are many landscaping options to choose from, including masonry paths, water fountains, flowers, shrubbery, and grass.
The overall cost of ongoing maintenance depends on the size and type of lap pool. Larger, outdoor lap pools will cost more to maintain than smaller, indoor options. Lap pool maintenance can cost from $150 to $260 per month; this includes adding chemicals, skimming, and vacuuming. Homeowners can hire one of the best pool cleaning services to maintain their pool, although those who feel comfortable maintaining their lap pool on their own can save money and spend about $50 per month on supplies and chemicals. The best home warranties for pool coverage, such as one from Choice Home Warranty or American Home Shield, can help cover expenses related to repairs. Below are the most common maintenance factors for a lap pool.
- Chemical levels. Checking chlorine and salt levels regularly, depending on the pool system, is vital.
- Pool vacuum/chlorination system. These items can help reduce regular maintenance but will need repairs if they fail.
- Skimmer. A pool skimmer needs to be emptied of collected leaves and other debris.
- Surface cleaning. The pool material will need to be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Tile. Pool tile at the waterline needs to be cleaned to prevent staining and damage.
- Water levels. The proper water level needs to be maintained due to precipitation and evaporation.
Types of Lap Pools
With various types of lap pools available, homeowners can choose the design that works the best for their needs and budget. Below are the most common types of lap pools and the average price ranges for each.
|Lap Pool Type
|Average Price Range (Installed)
|$80,000 to $130,000
|$500 to $2,500 plus cost of lap pool
Above-ground pool cost is always less expensive than the cost for an inground model. At an average cost of $6,000 including labor, a vinyl above-ground lap pool is typically more budget-friendly than an inground option. Fiberglass and resin above-ground lap pools are also available for $3,000, not including labor. These two options max out at 45 feet in length and are usually oval, although some manufacturers offer rectangular above-ground lap pools. For those interested in a portable lap pool, there are some above-ground options that measure 42 feet in length with a price tag of $2,500, on average.
For homeowners who lack the space for a full-length lap pool, an endless pool is an excellent option. An endless lap pool has a water pump on one end that generates a current that creates resistance to swim against. The average size of an endless lap pool is 9 feet by 14 feet; the space-saving smaller size minimizes water and utility bills, requires less maintenance, and uses less water than a larger lap pool. The cost of an endless pool is about $24,000.
The cost of an indoor pool is the same as the cost of an outdoor option, but with the added price of a few additional necessities, such as a dehumidifier system and building permit fees, if structural changes are made to the interior of the building. Homeowners can expect to pay about $50,000 for an indoor lap pool, $200 to $5,000 or more for a dehumidifier system, and between $200 and $1,000 for building permit fees.
An infinity lap pool has an edge that looks as though it disappears and gives the effect that the water extends forever into the distance. The cost of an infinity pool ranges from $80,000 to $130,000, depending on the size of the pool and the materials. An above-ground option is considerably less expensive and can cost from $1,700 to $6,000. It takes about 12 weeks to install an inground infinity lap pool and one week for an above-ground model. There are three types of infinity pools to choose from: the original infinity, which has one edge that disappears into the distance; the mirror infinity pool, which has pool edges that all disappear into the ground; and the endless infinity, which has an infinity edge and a water pump that creates a current.
Inground lap pools cost approximately $50,000 to install, on average, depending on materials. Stainless steel and fiberglass inground lap pools cost more to install than vinyl, and site preparation and excavation will also raise the overall price.
Some homeowners prefer saltwater lap pools, since they’re lower maintenance, easier to clean, and kinder to the skin and eyes than chemical chlorine pools. It can cost from $500 to $2,500 to add a saltwater generator to a lap pool.
Benefits of Choosing a Lap Pool
Lap pools are an excellent option for those who want a pool for more than just relaxing and floating. Lap pools offer the opportunity for homeowners to swim laps at home for exercise or rehabilitation purposes without having to travel to a public pool, gym, or rehab facility. They also take up less space than more traditional pools and also offer lower running and maintenance costs.
Reduced Backyard Footprint
For homeowners who have a smaller backyard or a limited indoor area to install a pool, a lap pool can be the perfect option. This type of pool can still be a feature in a backyard while providing an area where homeowners can entertain and relax.
Low Running and Maintenance Costs
Since lap pools are usually 4 feet deep, it takes less energy to run and cycle the water through the system. The shallower depth also requires fewer chemicals, and it will take less time to heat than a standard-size pool. Knowing how to maintain a pool is vital for homeowners with any type of pool.
The purpose of a lap pool is to offer exercise and fitness. Swimming laps can improve heart health and circulation, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase overall well-being. Those with mobility issues who find swimming difficult or impossible can also benefit from a lap pool by walking the length of the pool and using the water’s resistance to increase the health benefits.
Lap Pool Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
While it may be tempting for a homeowner to install a lap pool on their own to save on labor costs, it’s recommended that they leave the installation to the pros. The best pool installation companies know how to install a lap pool correctly and safely. They can also secure the correct building permits, and they have the correct tools and equipment to excavate the area and install the pool efficiently. Going the DIY route can result in homeowners spending extra money to fix any issues with permit paperwork and pool installation. While the cost of paying a professional to install a lap pool is expensive, it can cost double to fix any construction and installation mistakes when a homeowner does the installation on their own.
How to Save Money on Lap Pool Cost
Installing a lap pool has many health benefits, but the overall installation costs can quickly add up. The cost to build a pool is pricey, so here are some money-saving tips for homeowners who want to save as much money as possible on lap pool cost.
- Get multiple estimates. Get at least three estimates from reputable pool installation companies in your area to find prices that work with your budget.
- Skip the extras. While an infinity pool with an endless stationary system might be your first choice for a lap pool, the cost of the extra options can skyrocket and bust a budget in a hurry.
- Go small. All of the benefits of a lap pool can still be had by opting for a smaller size.
- Wait to add the options. Waiting until the end of the season to buy a pool cover or postponing the purchase of a heater until you know exactly what you need can help prevent spending large amounts of money at once.
- Install during the offseason. By choosing to install a lap pool during the offseason, which is typically between September and April, you can save money on labor costs.
- Do your own maintenance. Pool maintenance costs can quickly add up. Cleaning the pool’s filters and drains and checking the water’s pH level on your own can save money on maintenance fees.
- Postpone the landscaping. A benefit of waiting to landscape the area surrounding the pool is knowing exactly how the pool is used and what features are needed.
Questions to Ask About Lap Pool Installation
Asking a pool installation professional the right questions can help homeowners avoid miscommunication and save money. Before deciding on a lap pool, homeowners will want to find out some key information about the installation process. Below are some questions to ask about lap pools.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have worker’s compensation and general liability insurance?
- Do you provide free estimates?
- Will you provide a paper copy of our agreement?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have a portfolio of previous lap pool installation projects?
- Will you provide references?
- Are you a current member of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP)?
- When can you start the installation project?
- Is a building permit required for a lap pool installation project? If so, will you get the permit?
- Who will install the lap pool?
- Do you hire subcontractors at any point during the installation?
- Do you provide maintenance training after the lap pool installation?
- Will the lap pool be energy efficient?
- What guarantees or warranties do you offer?
- What is your payment plan?
- How can I leave a review of your work?
A lap pool can offer many health benefits and provide a relaxing focal point in a backyard setting. Before deciding on purchasing and installing a lap pool, homeowners will want to have all the necessary information about lap pools. Below are some frequently asked questions about laps pools, the benefits of installing a lap pool, and the installation process itself.
Q. What are the benefits of installing a home lap pool?
Some of the major benefits of installing a home lap pool are convenience and privacy. Not having to travel to a gym or public pool to swim laps or share pool space with the public is enough for many homeowners. Lap pools also use less energy and water, require reduced maintenance, and take up less space than a traditional pool.
Q. Is it OK to lap swim everyday?
Yes, it is OK to lap swim every day. Swimming every day can improve sleep, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and offer a low-impact exercise routine and a total body workout.
Q. What is the minimum size for a lap pool?
The minimum size for a lap pool is 6 feet wide by 30 feet long. While many lap pools are about 40 feet long, there are some options for a shorter model to accommodate a smaller space.
Q. How much space in your backyard do you need for a lap pool?
The minimum amount of space needed for a backyard lap pool is 50 feet long by 10 feet wide. This includes room for decking. An endless lap pool requires as little as 15 feet by 8 feet.
Q. Are lap pools worth it?
Whether a lap pool is worth it depends on the needs of you and your family and the type of pool that will work the best. How much space is available is another consideration, since lap pools are typically longer than traditional-size pools. Adding a pool to your home can increase its value by up to 7 percent, although there may be potential home buyers who will stay away from homes with a lap pool if they have small children or prefer a more traditional pool.
Q. Is lap swimming healthy?
Lap swimming is a healthy activity that can improve endurance and cardiovascular health, reduce stress, increase flexibility, lower blood pressure, boost balance, and help control weight. For those with a seizure disorder or heart disease, lap swimming may not be a safe activity if a life-threatening event happens in the water.