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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In 2021, the average cost of building an inground pool is between $30,000 and $67,000. The 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.

Key Takeaways

  • Estimating the cost of building an in-ground pool includes many factors beyond the cost of construction of the pool itself.
  • In-ground pools can be built from different materials that require various forms of maintenance, all of which contribute to the cost.
  • You can save money on pool construction through landscaping, energy-efficient resources, and pool specifications, such as type of water and depth.
  • Before building a pool, you should consider its effect on your home's property value, as well as the potential increase in liability.

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

Several factors impact how much a pool will cost. The cost of installation depends not only on the size of the pool and features you want, but also on your land and what various professionals will recommend for the installation. 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 and interest cost if you choose to finance your oasis with a pool loan.
  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, a diving board or a waterfall).
  5. Landscaping or additional costs that will result from installing the pool and the initial condition of the land where it 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 costs of meeting the requirements for installing a pool with associated permits (for example, meeting bylaws 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 details in the initial cost estimate, ask about any added costs for the services of professionals who will be required and whether those costs are included or not. Some contractors will take care of everything, but it is always good to ask before you sign a contract.

Average Cost of Building an Inground Pool

There are three types of materials you may consider using when you get an inground pool. Compare estimates for the different types, because the material that you will use will impact the price.

For example, according to Houselogic, the cost of a 600-square foot concrete pool will start at $30,000 and can go up to $100,000, once you have considered landscaping and safety requirements and the costs of installation, equipment, and building are complete.

Information from HomeAdvisor states 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 liners range between $25,000 and $45,000.
  • Fiberglass ranges between $18,000 and $65,000.
  • Concrete or Gunite ranges between $29,000 and $60,000.

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 costs for an inground pool vary, depending on the type of pool you have. Here are some estimates:

The annual maintenance cost for an inground pool can range between $1,200 and $5,000 per year. It includes details 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 use solar power, smaller pools, or pools that require less upkeep and repair, which can vary based on numerous factors, such as the liner, where you live, and the type of water in the pool.

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. Skipping a deep end will also mean that you won't have a diving board, which could provide a lot less hassle for your homeowners insurance and could 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, so you can 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.

Consider using energy-efficient power sources to save money on the costs of running the pool. Pools that use 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 per 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 it makes your property more valuable. However, that 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 at 10% to 15% of the value of your home, you will always spend more on the pool than you will get back in increased property 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:

  • 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 might not be as valuable to a buyer.
  • 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.
  • Does the pool "fit" with the property? If your pool is taking up all of the garden area of your home, or if it does not have nice landscaping (which costs money), then it could hurt you. If every other house on the block has a nice pool, and yours is the only one without one, then not having a pool could hurt you, but again, the money you would spend to install one might not make sense.

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

The Bottom Line

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