How Much Do In-ground Pools Cost? 7 Things to Consider With Tips

What You Need to Know About Inground Pool Costs Before You Dive In

family enjoying inground pool
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The average cost of building an inground pool in your home can run thousands of dollars. The average cost in 2021 of building an inground pool is between $30,000 and $67,000. This price varies depending on your location, and what kind of pool you are looking to build. Additional considerations such as safety requirements and landscaping will also add to the cost. Here's an overview to help you figure out how much an inground pool will cost with the factors to consider and some tips about what to expect in the process.

7 Things to Help Figure Out How Much an Inground Pool Will Cost

Several factors are going to impact how much a pool will cost. The cost of installation is not only dependent on the size of the pool and features you want, but it will also depend on your land and what various professionals will recommend for the install. Here is a list of seven things that come into play when figuring out the cost of an inground pool:

  1. Cost of installation, including costs of labor and materials in your area
  2. Size of the pool and depth
  3. The material used in the building of the inground pool. For example, vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete?
  4. Features of the pool. For example, will you have a diving board, a waterfall, etc.?
  5. Landscaping or additional costs that will result from installing the pool and the initial condition of the land where the pool must be built. For example, does the land have soil issues? Will a retaining wall need to be built? This can add thousands of dollars to the cost.
  6. Costs for architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians as required* and cost of meeting the requirements for installing a pool with associated permits (for example, meeting bylaw and city building code requirements)
  7. Accessories, pumps, heaters, ladders, filters, pool covers, vacuums, chemicals used for maintenance, thermometers, handrails, and fences.

Although many pool installation services may include these costs in the initial cost estimate, ask about any added costs for the services of professionals that will be required and whether these costs are included or not. Some contractors will take care of everything, but it is always good to ask before you accept to start work.

Average Cost of Building an Inground Pool

There are three types of inground pool materials you may consider using when you get an inground pool. Compare estimates for the different types because the material you will use impacts the price. For example, according to Houselogic, the cost of a 600 square foot concrete pool will start at $30,000 once the costs of installation, equipment, and building are complete, and can go up to $100,000 once you have considered landscaping and safety requirements. Information from HomeAdvisor supports the same range stating that it will cost between $36,785 and $66,598 for the initial costs of installing a concrete pool, with the National Average at $51,692.

3 Types of Inground Pools and How Much They Cost to Build

The liner of the pool is a major contributor to the cost of installation. For example, here are some sample cost ranges for various liners:

  • Vinyl liner ranges between $25,000 and $45,000
  • Fiberglass ranges between $18,000 and $65,000
  • Concrete or Gunite cost ranges between $29,000 and $65,000

This gives you an idea of how your choice of material can impact the cost of your pool.

The pool's size is also important, Homeadvisor recommends a rough starting price estimate of $50 to $125 per square foot of the pool.

Maintenance Costs of Inground Pools by Type of Pool

Maintenance for an inground pool varies depending on the type of pool you have, here are some estimates:

The annual maintenance cost for an inground pool can be estimated anywhere between $1,200 to $5,000 per year. This includes things such as regular maintenance, opening and closing the pool, running the pool (electricity), repairs, and chemicals. On the lower end of the cost scale are pools that are using solar power, smaller pools, or pools that require less upkeep and repair. This can vary based on numerous factors, such as the liner, where you live, and the type of water you'll have in the pool, among other factors.

Yearly Costs of an Inground Pool

In addition to maintenance costs of the pool itself, also consider:

  • Homeowners insurance costs, you will want to consider coverage for the pool itself and liability insurance cost (or exclusions)
  • Increased energy bills for the heater, filter, lighting, additional security, and water. For example, if you consider a solar heater, your initial cost may be higher, but your long term cost will be lower, which can be a big advantage
  • Increased property taxes

Tips to Reduce the Cost of an Inground Pool

When you are in the planning stages of building your pool, consider these cost-saving tips to help you save money.

Forget about the deep end. Having a pool with a standard depth will help keep the costs down. It will also help save costs on heating, maintenance, and energy since you will have a smaller volume of water to deal with. Also, skipping a deep end will also mean you won't have a diving board, which could provide a lot less hassle for your home insurance, and lower your costs there too. Many insurance companies may have a problem insuring a pool with a diving board due to the increased liability risks. You may also have to purchase some excess or umbrella liability to help protect yourself.

Consider your inground pool as a multi-stage project, save money by first building the pool, and consider the enhancements or additional landscaping and accessories as add-ons for later projects. Get estimates at the time of building to decide what is necessary now and what can be done later.

Be conservative with your landscaping and features like the deck. It's easy to get really excited about the redesign of your property to suit your new pool, but you may want to be conservative. You can always add more sophisticated features over time. To save money on your initial costs, consider doing the necessities, like adding fences where required by law, etc.

Consider using energy-efficient power sources to save money on the costs of running the pool. Pools using solar heaters or solar covers are good energy-efficient options to consider when evaluating the long term costs of your pool maintenance and operation.

Consider the cost of the water you choose for your pool. For example, the cost of maintaining a saltwater pool costs on average $70 to $100 per year, whereas the chlorine pools may cost $300 to $800 a year for chemical maintenance.

Does a Swimming Pool Increase the Property Value of Your Home?

After you've invested all that money into putting in your swimming pool, you might think that this makes your property more valuable. However, this is not necessarily so. The general consensus is that a pool may increase your real estate value by approximately 7%. If we anticipate the pool's cost conservatively being at 10% to 15% of the value of your home, you will always spend more on the pool than you will get back in real estate value. Having a discussion with a real estate professional will help you understand precisely how your value is impacted based on your location.

Real estate value fluctuates based on demand and homebuyer trends. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does the pool fit in well for the location? For example, a pool in an area where the temperatures are very high for many months may make the property very appealing. In contrast, a pool in an area where you can only get a few months use may not be as valuable to a buyer.
  2. Does the lifestyle need of the potential buyer place value on having a pool? Having a pool might hurt you if the potential buyer is worried about maintenance costs, or safety, or the increased costs of insurance on the pool. However, if the potential buyer is a health enthusiast, then you may be in luck. You should always consult with a real estate professional before deciding to change things to "increase the value of your home," they can provide you with proper evaluations to help you decide.
  3. Does the pool "fit" with the property? If your pool is taking up all the garden area of your home, or if it is not landscaped nicely (which costs money), then having a pool may hurt you. If every other house on the block has a nice pool, and yours is the only one without one, not having a pool could hurt you, but again, the money you will spend to install the pool may not make sense.

Sometimes people prefer to install or build their own pool so it can be an advantage to have space for a pool and advertise that you have room to build a pool, instead of trying to design something for an unknown buyer.

Having a pool can be a wonderful asset for you and your family. When evaluating the costs, it is best to consider if having a pool will add value to your life. If you are only installing a pool for the increased real estate value potential, the costs you pay for installation and maintenance, as well as the inconvenience and time frame it will take to build the pool over a few months of construction, may not be worth it. You may be better off considering other ways to increase the value of your home, like upgrading your electrical wiring, plumbing system, redoing your roof, or turning your home into a more energy-efficient home to get ready for potential buyers instead of resorting to building a pool to increase real estate value.