Pool building cost guide

Swimming pools are present in almost 19 mln of American homes. If a house doesn’t have a pool, then a lot of homeowners would consider installing it because such a unit significantly increases life quality in a house. Statistically, these are families with children who opt for the pool building projects more. Besides that, the presence of a swimming pool on the premises increases the attractiveness of home and its market value for reselling purposes by about 10%-15%. Swimming pools are usually built with the professional help of pool builders due to the complexity and scope of the process.

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Swimming pool installation is a service provided by professional installation companies. They prepare the area for the building, excavate the pool if needed, and then directly install the pool into the prepared space. Pool installation cost varies from $200 for above ground units and up to $100,000 for complex customized projects of inground units. The average pool building cost is $11,500-$37,000. However, additional charges may apply due to the customized features, deck and patio building as well as a need for fencing (which is an obligatory requirement for many states and counties in the US).

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Cost-related questions

What are the main types of pools?

There are two types of pools available for homeowners: above ground and inground pools.

  • Above ground pools

    Inflatable pools for kids are one of the examples of above ground pools. More rarely these are some fixed construction pools with ladders and ceramic interior. Above ground pools may require site preparation in the form of area leveling up and electricity and water connection of the unit to the utilities. Besides that, every pool needs a pump for proper water circulation and cleaning. The average cost of above ground pools is $600-$3,000.

  • Inground pools

    Inground pools automatically cost more than the previous type due to the increased cost of the site preparation and larger amounts of materials required. The material of the actual pool influences the cost of the whole project.

What is the cost of inground pools of different materials?

As already mentioned above, the inground pool cost mostly depends on the material of the unit. Vinyl pools tend to cost the least, while concrete pools are the most expensive.

Concrete pools have both walls and bottoms made of concrete. These pools are first shaped with a rebar shell and then covered with concrete. This is called gunite – the process when a technician can create literally any rebar shape to match your individual preferences. Because of such customization, concrete pools cost the most ($30,000-$100,000), yet their life expectancy is about 10-15 years. Concrete pools require regular maintenance that costs about $27,000/10 years and includes regular surface repainting to avoid algae buildup and higher chemicals use to balance the water pH.

Fiberglass pools are made with fiberglass shells that are topped with a gel coat. This coat guarantees the easiest maintenance of all materials. Due to the pre-manufactured shells, installation of these pools requires significantly less time and effort. The material itself doesn’t allow algae buildup and has easy-to-clean smooth surfaces. Fiberglass pools cost about $32,000-$74,000 and are expected to last about 25 years with the maintenance cost for 10 years of only $3,700.

Vinyl pools are built over a wooden, concrete, or metal frame and then covered with vinyl liners. Due to the construction simplicity, these pools are the most affordable. The design can vary and the maintenance needs are very little in this case. The estimated life expectancy for vinyl pools is 5-10 years and the 10-years maintenance cost is about $11,000.

What can add up to the pool price?

  • Essential elements for pools include pumps ($150-$800), ladders ($80-$1,500), and filters ($200-$1,600) as well as chemicals kit for the pool maintenance. Read about the typical costs of pool maintenance in our pool maintenance cost guide.
  • Accessories may include everything from a water slide to cleaning tools (such as brushes and vacuum assemblies). Here are the typical costs of the most common pool accessories:
    • Waterslide $300-$3,000
    • Cover $30-$500
    • Handrails $150-$300
    • Cleaning supplies $400
    • Solar heater from $5,000
  • Features that are specifically customized to match your preferences will also add up to the total price. You can add lighting, rocks, and even plants to a pool. Waterfalls will also cost additionally. For instance, light costs about $75/light, and a basic waterfall will add up around $1,000 to the total cost. Spa features are typically worth $5,000-$8,000 for a basic model.
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How to choose pool building contractors

When choosing pool building contractors, one should pay attention to a number of characteristics and professional credentials to ensure that the service is of high quality. Here are the things to consider:

  • Place of business with a showroom. Showroom allows you to see and touch different options contractors offers, and it’s also an indicator of stability for a company.
  • Client references. Remember one simple truth - rarely do people prohibit their pool building contractors to provide them as a reference for the company’s upcoming projects. So if your contractor refuses to show you references or tells that this is a hidden information, just walk away. There will always be a company willing to share their experience with a potential customer.
  • Partner references. It’s less common for potential customers to ask for partner references. However, professional partners, such as suppliers or vendors, can give you a better picture of what kind of company you’re planning to cooperate with.
  • Master Pools Guild. This is a network uniting several hundred of elite custom pool designers and builders. If your contractor is a member of this network, then you can be sure of the professionalism and quality of their work.
  • License. Pool building is still building, so contractors of all states are obliged to have a building license at the very least. Verify not only the license number but also its validity through local directories.
  • Contract structure. Before you sign a contract, ensure that you understand every word and minor detail of it. Clarify that everything you wanted is included into the estimate and you won’t have to spend extra money on additional services later on.
  • Maintenance/warranty. It’s always better to hire the same crew to take care of your pool because they literally know how it works and what might go wrong. Remember also to inquire whether a contractor provides the warranty on services.

Other frequently asked questions

How do I know what local laws and regulations are?

To learn about particular regulations and laws applicable to your home, you need to contact a city or municipality institution that governs above ground pools. Here are the most common documents and regulations you may face:

  • A building permit (not always a must-have, but it’s better to verify)
  • Safety standards (applicable only in some regions)
  • Utility regulations (electricity and water governing laws that influence when you can fill and drain the pool, for instance)
  • Fencing and boundaries laws (frequently an obligatory element of pool construction)

How do I know if my pool fence satisfies local legislation requirements?

As legal requirements for pool and yard fences differ in every state, it’s better to purchase the fence in a local store (as opposed to online shopping) and consult with the seller. Shop assistants will be able to clarify the point fast and efficiently.

How long does it take to build a pool?

On average, the building process including excavation takes six to eight weeks.

Bottom line

Pool building services help homes gain attractive curb appeal and provide additional comfort to the home inhabitants. The average pool building cost is $11,500-$37,000 with the top end offers reaching $100,000 in total.

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