How Much Does a Swimming Pool Cover Cost?

Typical Range:

$788 - $2,636

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 214 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated August 12, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The typical cost to cover a pool is $1,712, with a typical range of $788 and $2,636. The minimum cost for a pool cover is $100, and the maximum cost is $20,000. A pool cover keeps debris out, reducing the cost of pool maintenance and servicing, and limits the time you have to spend skimming leaves off the surface. If you choose a safety model, the cover will also help keep pets, kids, and wildlife safe from falling in the pool.

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National Average $1,712
Typical Range $788 - $2,636
Low End - High End $145 - $4,322

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 214 HomeAdvisor members.

Pool Cover Costs by Type

There are plenty of choices when it comes to pool covers, ranging from simple net and winter covers designed to keep leaf litter and general debris out, to safety covers and walk-on covers made to prevent accidental drownings. Which one you choose depends on the type of pool you have and your lifestyle.

Type of Pool Cover Price Range (All-In) Average Price (All-In)
Solar Pool Cover $30 – $150 $90
Winter Pool Cover $75 – $250 $160
Walkable Pool Cover $600 – $2,280 $1,440
Pool Net Cover $1,200 – $3,000 $2,100
Mesh Safety Pool Cover $1,200 – $3,000 $2,100
Solid Pool Safety Cover $1,800 – $3,600 $2,700
Manual Pool Cover $500 – $5,000 $2,750
Retractable Pool Cover $1,500 – $6,000 $3,750
Automatic Pool Cover $10,000 – $20,000 $15,000

Solar Pool Cover Cost

A solar pool cover costs between $30 and $150, depending on the material's thickness and quality. This type of pool cover's primary purpose is to slow your pool's loss of water through evaporation while it isn't in use. Solar pool covers fit loosely, offering few pool safety benefits for homeowners.

Winter

Winter pool covers cost between $75 and $250 to install. They're essentially tarps that lay across the surface of the pool with weights to keep them in place running around the edge. Winter pool covers are relatively inexpensive and designed only to keep debris like leaves and storm-blown refuse out of the pool. But they provide no safety features and pose a drowning risk to young kids and pets.

Walkable Pool Cover Cost

A walkable pool cover costs an average of $3 per square foot. This style is so-named because you can walk on top of it. A walkable cover is made from a mesh material and designed for in-ground pools.

Pool Net Cover Cost

A net pool cover costs between $1,200 and $3,000 and is highly effective at keeping out leaves and other debris types. This type can support a considerable weight on top of it, which is especially important in areas that get snow during the winter. A net cover doesn't need a pump on top since it doesn't keep water out.

Pool Safety Cover Cost

A mesh pool safety cover costs between $1,200 and $3,000, depending on your pool's size and shape. This is significantly less expensive than solid covers for both material and cost. Solid covers cost between $1,800 and $3,600, so around $600 more than a mesh safety cover. Each comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

Mesh Safety Pool Cover
ProsCons
Doesn't require a pumpAllows some sediment to enter the pool
Doesn't pose a drowning risk from puddled waterPool may require more cleaning
Lightweight and easier to installAllows some UV light to enter the pool
More durableMay lower chlorine levels
Less expensive to install and purchaseMay promote algae growth
Allows some sediment to enter the pool
Solid Pool Safety Cover
ProsCons
Completely blocks UV light from the poolExpensive to purchase and install
Completely blocks sediment and debrisRequires a pump to drain
Pool stays cleanerMay pose drowning risk if not pumped
No algae growthHeavy and more difficult to install
No effect on chlorine levelsAllows some sediment to enter the pool
Smooth to the touch

Manual Pool Cover Costs

The price range for manual pool covers is between $500 and $5,000. These pool covers are an economical alternative to automatic models, which cost about twice as much. Manual pool covers often use a track system that eliminates the need for anchors, sandbags, and straps.

Retractable Pool Cover Cost

A retractable pool cover costs about $2,000, including the reel's cost. A manual reel price starts at $10, but can be as high as $250 for a crank-style reel. Mechanical reels range from$300 to $1,000 and may embed in the ground or install above ground like crank-style reels.

Automatic Pool Cover Cost

The cost of automatic pool covers starts at $10,000 for most installations, but they provide unmatched convenience. The total cost of an automatic pool cover usually ranges from $10,000 to $20,000, which is part of the cost of building a pool

The most expensive parts for this type of pool cover include the motor and reel and the cover itself. Automatic pool covers also require regular maintenance due to the large number of moving parts they contain. They provide many benefits, including convenience, safety, protection from the weather, and heat conservation.

Pool Cover Cost Factors

Many factors impact how much you'll pay for a pool cover, ranging from the type and shape of your pool to the brand of cover and the track options. 

Above-Ground vs. In-Ground Pool

The pool covers themselves cost between $35 and $10,000, without installation or extras. For an above-ground pool, you can expect to pay between $35 and $750 for the cover itself. With an in-ground pool, you'll pay more, starting at $75 for a simple winter cover, or as much as $10,000 for a high-end automatic cover. 

Adding a cover to your order won't change the cost to install an above-ground pool much, and you may even get a basic safety cover thrown in for free as an incentive if you shop around. You'll pay less for an automatic pool cover if it's bundled as part of the in-ground swimming pool installation costs, as these covers are easier to fit in a new installation than to retrofit to an existing pool.

Above-ground vs. In-Ground Pool Cover Prices

Pool Cover Above-Ground (Cover Cost Only) In-Ground (Cover Cost Only)
Safety Cover N/A $600 – $2,100
Winter Cover $50 – $200 $75 – $250
Solar Cover $35 – $400 $70 – $400
Solar Cover With Reel $200 – $750 $250 – $700
Automatic N/A $6,000 – $10,000

Labor for manual pool covers runs from $400 to $1,500, typically, with above-ground pool covers priced at the lower end, and in-ground ones at the higher. Automatic pool covers cost much more in terms of labor, running anywhere from $2,000 for installation of a small automatic cover at the same time as the pool, up to $10,000 for a large, retro-fitted automatic cover.

Brand

The cost of your pool cover will vary by brand and type. Choosing a reputable, trustworthy brand is important regarding safety pool covers and high-end automatic ones.

Brand Price Range (Installed) Average Price (Installed)
Aquamatic (Automatic) $10,000 – $20,000 $15,000
Coverstar (Automatic) $10,000 – $20,000 $15,000
GLI (Safety) $1,500 – $2,800 $2,150
Latham (Safety) $1,800 – $3,600 $2,700
LOOP-LOC (Safety) $1,600 – $3,600 $2,600
Tara (Safety) $1,500 – $3,400 $2,450
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Pool Shape and Features

Unusual shapes, water features, boulder edges, waterfalls, and other non-standard pool features may mean that you end up paying more for your pool cover, as it'll require more labor to install correctly and, in some cases, will require a custom-designed cover. 

Labor can cost up to 50% more with a challenging pool shape, particularly if you want to install a heavy-duty or walk-on safety cover. There are lots of difficulties to overcome to ensure the cover is truly safe, and kids and pets aren't at risk of falling in.

Repairs and Replacement Parts

Expect to pay $75 to $100 per hour for the cost of pool maintenance and repairs. While you may be able to apply a patch to a basic pool cover, like a winter cover or a basic safety cover, more complex repairs need the intervention of a pool cover pro. 

Walk-on and automatic covers cost more to repair, in general, because they're higher-risk and therefore need more thorough and secure repairs. If a track or an anchor breaks, a pro will need to replace it, not repair it, for safety’s sake.  

Track Options

There are three track systems to choose from. A top-track system is deck-mounted and the least expensive option, but also the most obvious and least aesthetically pleasing. Top tracks are popular with those on a budget and those with free-form or non-standard pool shapes, as they sit above the pool and can cover any shape.

Recessed track systems are the mid-price option. Pros install them into the pool deck, meaning it’s best to have them installed at the same time as the pool or deck. These are less obvious than top-track models but cost more to install. They can be compatible with free-form pools, but the cost increases to accommodate the increased challenge. 

Undertrack systems are the gold standard, as they're invisible when not in use. But they also cost the most and aren’t compatible with all pool shapes. Installing an undertrack system on a rectangular pool is the most affordable undertrack option, but, if you have a suitable free-form pool, you can install an undertrack system using a pool-in-pool installation, but this is much more costly than other options.

DIY Swimming Pool Cover Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

You can put on a basic solar cover yourself since it doesn't require any special skills. Other types of covers require the permanent installation of equipment that a professional will need to perform. This is particularly true in the case of automatic pool covers that use tracks and have multiple moving parts. Local swimming pool contractors typically include installation in the sales of their pool covers.

FAQs

What is the best way to protect pool covers?

Pool covers are vulnerable to several sources of damage when they're not in use, including rodents, insects, and algae. Protect pool covers during this period by storing them in a sealed container with water and algaecide. Replace this mixture at least once during the summer.

How do pool covers help you save money on maintenance?

Pool covers help you save money in three distinct ways. These include reducing the loss of water through evaporation, reducing the loss of energy through evaporation, and reducing the consumption of chemicals. Covering a pool while it isn't in use reduces these losses by about 60%.

What are cover reels?

Cover reels are mechanical devices that allow you to install and remove a pool cover more easily. The simplest ones may just be PVC pipes that serve as a spool for the cover. Automated cover systems use powered reels to move the cover with the touch of a button.

When should you install a pool cover?

You should install a pool cover as soon as you close your pool for the season. This is a great project to complete before the leaves start falling, saving you from removing leaves from the pool. In some cases, you may need to remove the cover during the winter for maintenance temporarily.

What's the difference between a mesh pool cover and a solid pool cover?

The main difference between these two types is that a mesh cover allows precipitation and some fine debris to enter the pool. Some UV light can also penetrate a mesh pool cover. A solid cover blocks all precipitation and debris, which can save you money over time by preventing avoidable issues debris may cause your liner, filter, or other pool components. 

How long does a pool cover last?

How long a pool cover lasts varies a lot, based on the quality and material of the pool cover and how it's treated. A low-end vinyl pool cover that gets a huge amount of direct UV exposure may only last for a year or two, while a high-end automatic model with minimal sun exposure can last 10 years or more.

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