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 averages from several resources cite the starting costs of building an inground pool to be between $35,000 and $60,000. If you want to know how much inground pools cost, and how to save money, here are the factors to consider and some tips.

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

  1. Cost of installation, including costs of labor and materials in your area
  2. Size of the pool and depth
  3. Type of inground pool: vinyl, fiberglass, concrete or gunite?
  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, or 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 the services of professionals who will be required, and if they 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 costs of installation, equipment and filling it are complete. Information from HomeAdvisor supports the same range stating that it will cost between $30,000 and $50,000 for the initial costs of installing a concrete pool, with the National Average at $49,938.

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

According to PkData, the liner of the pool is one major factor in determining the cost of your inground pool. These are base cost examples, factors like the preparation of the site, and various features you have selected to build your pool will add to the costs below.

  • A Vinyl Liner will cost on average $25,700
  • A Fiberglass Liner will cost on average $31,400
  • A Concrete or gunite liner will cost approximately $29,600 to $50,000

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

Size of pool is also important, Homeadvisor recommends a rough pricing estimate of $50-$90 per square foot of pool (not taking into consideration depth).

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:

Fixr suggests that the monthly maintenance cost for an inground pool may be approximately $95 per month, that's over $1000 a year for maintenance.

Improvenet.com gives the following examples of 10-year maintenance costs for the different kinds of pools: Concrete $ 27,400, Fiberglass $3,750 and Vinyl $11,500.

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, and this can be a big advantage. Pkdata estimates the initial cost of a solar heater to be around $5,000.
  • 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.

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 percent. If we anticipate the cost of the pool conservatively being at 10-15 percent 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, whereas 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 you decide 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 may even be an advantage to have the space for a pool, and advertise that you have room to build a pool when you sell, instead of trying to design something for an unknown buyer who may not even come along wanting that pool.

Having a pool can be a wonderful asset for you and your family. When evaluating the costs, it is best to consider if it 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 in the long run. You may be better off considering these other ways to increase the value of your home like: upgrading your electrical, plumbing, redoing your roof, turning your home into a smart home, or into a more energy efficient home to get your home ready for potential buyers instead of resorting to building a pool to increase real estate value.