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How Much Does It Cost To Install An Inground Pool?

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$35,669 - $64,534
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On This Page:

  1. How Does the Type of Pool Affect Cost?
  2. Size & Location of Pool
  3. Custom Pools & Features
  4. Other Considerations
  5. Conclusion

As the warm months come upon us, you might be considering an in-ground pool. They are considered a great property asset by some and add to the value of your home. They also make for an attractive water feature - a focal point for your yard that you can relax by or entertain around. Unlike above-ground styles, there is a feeling of luxury and permanence with in-ground pools. They also blend into your landscaping easier.

The first thing people want to know is how much they cost. This can vary depending on size, features, and what type of in-ground pool you want.

How Does the Type of Pool Affect Cost?

In-ground pools are available in three types: concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. They have similar initial costs for a turn-key installation, but there are great differences in the lifetime cost.

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Concrete is sometimes called gunite. Gunite, however, is actually the method used to apply concrete to form a pool shell. Concrete is very durable, but it can also become a haven for mold and algae if not properly maintained. Every 3 to 5 years the pool needs an acid wash to keep algae from forming and sticking. Because this will strip a small layer away, the shell will have to be re-plastered at some point.

The initial cost of installing a concrete pool is between $50,000.00 and $100,000.00. Because they are usually larger than other types of pools, they require more electricity and more chemicals to keep them clean and swimmable. Including the acid wash and re-plastering, over a 10-year period, you can expect to pay an average of $27,400.00.

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Vinyl pools are popular because of their versatility and ease of maintenance. They come in a variety of shapes including custom designs, and the soft touch of vinyl means a non-abrasive surface. They’re very easy to clean and many owners handle the cleaning themselves. Because the vinyl surface tends not to allow algae to form easily, the cost of chemicals is usually lower than that of concrete.

Installing a vinyl pool has an initial cost of $35,000.00 to $50,000.00. With patience, talent, and the right tools, a dedicated DIYer could possibly handle the job themselves. Over a 10-year period, maintenance costs around $11,500.00.

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A fiberglass pool is a preformed shell that gets put into a levelled hole pre-dug to the shape of the pool. It lends itself well to the experienced DIYer, but most people prefer the peace of mind of letting a professional handle the work. The shells usually measure no more than 16 feet across in order to avoid breakage during shipping and installation. They are possibly the easiest of the pool types to clean and maintain, and there are no special requirements for the shell. No acid wash and no liner replacement makes the size limitations an acceptable trade-off for many people.

The initial cost of a fiberglass pool is from $45,000.00 to $85,000.00. This includes delivery and installation up to a basic deck. The maintenance cost of is the lowest of the three types with an average of $3,750.00.

As you can see, there isn’t much difference among the initial installation costs, all things considered. The real difference lies with the maintenance costs. A concrete or vinyl pool can be of many configurations, but the maintenance costs are considerably higher. You should weigh your desired purpose of the pool against what sort of maintenance you want to deal with.

Ready to install an inground pool? Hire a professional today.

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Size and Location

The size and location of your pool will also have a big impact on your cost. As a rule of thumb, figure $50.00 per square foot of pool. The depth will also affect the cost to varying degrees.

A small pool generally measures about 10x20 feet and isn’t too deep, about 5 ½ feet. They are used mostly just for cooling off on hot days, but many can be fitted with swim jets for exercise. Using the above rule of thumb, the base cost for a small pool is around $10,000.00.

An average size swimming pool is around 14x28 feet with a typical depth of around 6 ½ feet, but if you intend to do any head-first diving, the Red Cross recommends a depth of at least 9 feet. Pools of this size start around the $20,000.00 range.

Pools are considered large at around 18x36 feet. Many have deep ends of 9 to 12 feet. Often too large for most suburban homes, large pools can start at about $35,000.00.

The location can affect the cost depending on factors such as what’s beneath the ground (a layer of rock will have to be blasted through), how far the crew has to travel to get to your house, and the cost of living in your area.

If you decide on a fiberglass pool but don’t have easy access to your backyard, a crane might be necessary to lift it over your house.

Your landscaping may dictate where your pool can go. However, if you have a sloping yard, you might consider a semi-inground pool. They can be built directly into slopes and a 12x24 foot model costs from $8,000.00 to $10,000.00, less than an inground. Surrounded by a deck and decorative plants, they are an attractive compromise.

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Custom Pools and Features

When it comes to accessorizing your pool, the sky’s the limit. Many features are available to give even the most common pool a customized look and feel.

  • Shape – The most common pool shapes are rectangular or kidney bean. Custom shapes are limited only by your imagination, but the cost of having one is limited by your budget. In general, figure a base cost of $50.00 per square foot for your design.
  • Spas – A hot tub is a popular feature for pools. A spa can add $5,000.00 to $8,000.00 to your base price.
  • Slides – Pools built with kids in mind will often have slides. Slides cost from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand depending on design and manufacture as well as features, such as water jets.
  • Rocks – The natural look of stone around your pool makes for a relaxing escape. Available in natural stone and artificial stone, the cost depends heavily on the type of stone and the configuration you want.
  • Lighting – Lighting can set the mood and provide some safety for your pool if you use it after dark. Traditional incandescent light and energy-efficient LED lights are available for a wide variety of prices depending on features such as light color, floating or fixed, and output. They average $75.00 to $100.00 each for a 50-watt light, but higher wattage lights are available.
  • Waterfalls – Waterfalls are attractive features on any pool, but the cost can be hard to calculate until you talk to an installer. At the least, you can expect to add around $1,000.00 to your cost for a simple waterfall.
  • Diving Boards – If your pool is large enough and deep enough, a diving board will cost from $300.00 to $600.00 for a fiberglass model to around $1,000.00 for a high end aluminum one. The cost of installation depends on local codes and requirements, so discuss this with an installer before you buy a board.
  • Decks – The deck around your pool might be figured in as part of your quote. It will probably be a basic concrete deck with only a basic design. The more elaborate your design, and the materials used, will add to your pool cost to widely varying degrees.
  • Plants – Like decking, the cost of plants around your pool will be determined by your own tastes and choices. Keep in mind that leafy plants will drop their leaves, which could blow into your pool. If you have landscaping that needs to be changed, such as trees, boulders, or sloping, that will certainly add to the cost by varying amounts.

A Note On Fences

Fences are not an accessory; they are a necessity. They help keep children and animals from falling into the pool and possibly drowning. Some fences are permanent while others can be removed while the pool is closed, although in this case a sturdy cover will be required.

The average cost for a swimming pool fence is from $15.00 to $19.00 per linear foot. Some installers might offer a discount if the pool is an unusually large size. Gates are a must and cost about $325.00 each. This brings the typical cost of a swimming pool fence with one self-closing gate to around $1,125.00.

Removable fences are sold by the panel, which normally measure 4’ to 5’ in height and 10’ long. They cost from $100.00 to $150.00 per panel. They take a bit of work to install as locks (anchoring holes) need to be drilled. This requires a good, strong drill and specific masonry bits, and you will also have to buy caps to cover the holes when the fence is not in use.

Finally, any determined child will find a way past a locked gate, so the best you can do is to hedge your bets with a childproof lock or child-proof latches. Your options for these can be found with whomever you buy your gate from.

Ready for your dream pool? Contact a swimming pool expert now.

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Other Considerations

Of course, there’s more to a pool than putting it in and filling it. Before committing, consider the following:

  • Permits – An in-ground pool is considered permanent addition to your home and will require permits as well as making sure there are no power or sewage lines beneath the spot you want to dig. Find out from installers who is expected to do this.
  • Resale Value – In warmer climes, a pool is considered a plus to your property and can increase the resale value. In colder climes they might not be as attractive, but in general most people consider a pool a plus, especially if it has been well maintained.
  • Packages – When getting a quote, find out what the package includes. A typical turn-key package includes the electrical systems, pumps, plumbing, a basic deck area, and often a basic safety fence. Some packages include the shell and delivery only. Get the description of what’s included in writing and be sure you understand every aspect of the job.
  • Property Taxes – An in-ground pool can increase your property taxes. This increase depends on your state and municipal codes, but usually isn’t a large amount.
  • Maintenance Responsibility – Maintaining a pool can be a little time consuming, so many people hire a service to do the dirty work. However, a pool service can cost around $500.00 per season while doing it yourself usually costs around that much per year. Also, a service usually includes the work necessary to close your pool for the winter and to open it for the swimming season.

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In Conclusion

An in-ground pool is a great addition to your home. It can also cause additions elsewhere, such as in taxes and maintenance costs. If you decide to get one, careful planning can help you avoid unforeseen costs.

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Lisa Fuetsch More than 1 year ago
Good information. I made me glad to see my choice, fiberglass shell, was the wisest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
carl borges More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the basic info.
Thomas & Linda Gaboian More than 1 year ago
Thank You for the info! :) ..I will return to HomeAdvisor in the future! 
carroll Richardson More than 1 year ago
This was extremely helpful, now i feel more confident that i can get the best deal when building my pool.

Lilibeth Jumawan More than 1 year ago
A lot of great information!  I have been wondering how much an inground pool would cost, so this page was very helpful!
Audrey Hudnall More than 1 year ago

Thank you for the information.  It was helpful.

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