Building a pool is a significant investment that will bring years of enjoyment to your family. But before you can enjoy your new pool, you need to answer the all-important question: how much does it cost to build a pool?
In this blog post, we’ll break down the factors that affect pool building costs so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not building a pool is right for your budget.
Keep reading to learn more!
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Pool?
The long answer is that it depends on several factors, including the size and type of pool you want, the materials you select, and the location of your property. To get the most accurate estimate, it’s always best to consult with a professional pool builder. They will take all of these factors into account and provide you with a detailed quote.
That being said, we have also broken down the answer to this complex question into “short answers” based on the average prices customers around the country pay.
Average Swimming Pool Costs
Here are some average pool costs according to data compiled by HomeGuide:
The national average cost to build a pool is $35,000.
Most people pay between $28,000 and $55,000 to build a pool.
The average cost of a low-end pool installation is $28,000.
The average cost of a high-end pool installation is $55,000.
Factors That Affect Pool Cost
So, what exactly contributes to this cost? Let’s take a look at some of the different factors.
The most important factor affecting pool cost is size. A small pool will obviously cost less than a large one. Pools with a higher square foot area will raise the cost of pool covers, fencing, and other add-ons.
The shape of your pool will also affect its price tag. The most common and least expensive shapes are rectangles and ovals. If you want something more unique or complex, be prepared to pay more. The material your pool is made of will also play a role in determining your choice of shape. Fiberglass pool shapes are limited to the forms offered by the manufacturer. Concrete and vinyl pools can be made in any shape you desire.
From saltwater plunge pools to Olympic-size lap pools, the type of swimming pool you select will also significantly impact the final cost. You can also choose an inground swimming pool or an above-ground one.
Your geographic location in the country, as well as the location of the swimming pool on your property, play roles in determining cost. Pools in urban locations will cost more to build than pools in rural locations based on increased living costs.
If your swimming pool is located in a difficult-to-access area on your property, a pool builder may charge more to excavate and transport materials due to the extra work needed to bring their equipment in.
The materials you use to build your swimming pool will also affect its overall cost. Concrete pools are the most popular (and most expensive), while fiberglass and vinyl pools offer more affordable options.
The amount of excavation an in ground pool installation requires, as well as the terrain, can affect cost. A large swimming pool that requires more excavation will cost more than a small pool. If your yard has a lot of rocks or requires blasting to excavate, that can also increase costs. The amount of soil that needs to be hauled away will also add to your inground pool cost.
Per Fixr, average excavation costs range between $500 and $3,500. However, the need for blasting can easily push that cost past $7,000.
Landscaping can include anything from a simple grass lawn to hardscapes and focal points like water fountains. HomeGuide estimates average landscaping costs for backyard pools to range between $3,000 to $5,000.
Pool Filtration System
The pool filtration system you select will also affect cost. There are three primary types of swimming pool filtration systems: cartridge, diatomaceous earth (DE), and sand. In general, cartridge filters are the most expensive option, followed by DE filters. Sand filters are the least expensive. Sand filters are also the most low-maintenance type of filter and the top filter used in the New Orleans area.
Add-On Costs To Build A Pool
Beyond the basic cost of building a pool, there are add-on costs, which can include everything from maintenance and customization to heating and luxury upgrades like a hot tub.
Per HomeGuide, you can expect to pay $2,500 to $5,000 in annual maintenance costs.
Any time you customize something on a swimming pool, you can expect to pay a premium. Of course, the degree of customization will determine how much this affects the cost of building a pool.
Adding a pool heater to your swimming pool can increase the cost by $5,000 for a standard gas-powered or electric-powered heater. A solar-powered heater can easily run you as much as $10,000, per Fixr.
Luxury upgrades will increase your final cost. This can include deck jets, fire bowls, a diving board, and even a pool house. The cost of a luxury upgrade will vary widely based on what features you choose.
Pool covers are crucial for keeping out debris and unwelcome visitors. According to Fixr, the cost of a pool cover installation ranges from $2,700 to $3,700.
Most cities and states have passed laws requiring some type of protective barrier around pools. For this reason, you should plan on having a fence installed as part of your swimming pool project. The pool enclosure cost will depend on the size and materials you choose, but you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars at least.
Pool Cost: Inground Pool vs Above-Ground Pool
Inground pools typically cost more than above-ground pools. Although above-ground pools are significantly cheaper, many homeowners do not find them aesthetically pleasing. Above-ground pools also do not add as much value to your home as an inground pool can.
Per HomeGuide, the average cost of an inground pool ranges between $18,000 and $65,000. Excavation represents a significant chunk of the cost for an inground pool.
According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of an above-ground pool ranges between $700 to $5,000.
Cost of Inground Pool By Material
The material you choose to build your pool with has a significant impact on the final cost. There are 3 main materials that inground pool builders utilize:
Concrete pools are durable, customizable, and built to last. They also tend to be the most expensive pool material. Here at Miller Outdoors, we use a strong type of concrete called gunite concrete to build our pools. Per HomeGuide, the average cost of an inground concrete pool ranges from $29,000 to $60,000.
Fiberglass pools are durable but not customizable since you are selecting from premade molds. The average cost of an inground fiberglass pool ranges from $18,000 on the low end to $65,000 on the high end.
Vinyl pools are by far the most economical inground pool option. According to HomeGuide, the average cost of an inground vinyl pool ranges from $25,000 to $45,000.
Cost of Pools by Type
Here’s a breakdown of average pool costs by type:
Endless pools use an artificially generated current to allow you to swim “endlessly.” They are usually long and narrow to maximize the current strength. Per HomeAdvisor, the average cost of an endless pool ranges between $23,000 and $40,000.
Saltwater pools use salt to generate chlorine, which helps to keep the water clean and sparkling. Saltwater pools are often less abrasive on skin and hair than traditional chlorine pools. According to Fixr, a saltwater pool installation costs between $30,000 and $70,000.
An infinity pool, also known as a negative edge pool or a zero edge pool, is a swimming pool where the water flows over one or more edges, giving the illusion that the pool has no boundaries. Per Fixr, an infinity pool installation will cost you in the range of $100,000 to $150,000.
Natural Swim Pool
Natural swimming pools typically feature a swimming area that is surrounded by rocks, gravel, and plants. The water is filtered and recirculated using bacteria and plants rather than chemicals. Per Fixr, the average cost of a natural swimming pool ranges between $70,000 and $100,000.
If you want a pool like the ones used by the best swimmers in the world, it will cost you a pretty penny. According to Fixr, the cost of an Olympic-size pool ranges from $300,000 to $500,000.
Indoor Pool Cost
The cost of an indoor pool ranges from around $40,000 to $60,000.
Pool Installation FAQs
How long does it take to build a pool?
While the answer to this question depends on many variables (size, materials, type, etc.), the average time to build a pool is approximately 3 months. That being said, the experience and skill of the contractor play a big role in turnaround time.
Here at Miller Outdoors, we typically complete a concrete pool installation in 10 weeks or less. Unfortunately, we have seen competitors take up to 6 months to complete the same amount of work, leading to customer frustration.
How long will a pool last?
Again, the answer to this question depends on many variables, including the materials used and whether the pool was installed correctly. That being said, HomeGuide provides average lifespans for different inground pools based on material:
- Vinyl pools last about 10 years, at which point they will need a liner replacement
- Fiberglass pools last for around 25 years
- Concrete pools are the longest-lasting, with a lifespan that can last 50+ years
What is a gunite pool?
Gunite is a type of concrete that is often used in the construction of swimming pools. It is mixed with water on site and then sprayed onto the pool walls and floor using a hose. Gunite is very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making it an ideal material for pools. Miller Outdoors uses gunite concrete exclusively for our pool installations.
Let Miller Outdoors Build Your Dream Pool
Now that you know all about pool costs, it’s time to take the plunge and start planning your own backyard oasis. We hope this guide has given you a good idea of what to expect when budgeting for a new pool.
If you have any more questions or would like some assistance getting started, our team would be happy to help. Just fill out our contact form today, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We’ll be happy to help you plan and build the pool of your dreams!