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Wondering how much does it cost to build a pool? While the total cost of installing a pool can vary significantly, a typical inground pool will cost $25,000 to $50,000, with an average price of $35,000 across the U.S. Larger-sized pools or pools with complex custom shapes will be more expensive, with the average cost per square foot ranging from $50 to $125.
- The average cost of an inground pool is $35,000, ranging from $28,000 to $55,000. Above-ground pools are much cheaper and cost between $1,850 and $20,000.
- The pool's material, type, size, and shape play an important role in determining the total pool installation cost. In general, smaller swimming pools with simple shapes will cost less.
- Materials and labor make up the largest portion of the total swimming pool installation cost. Your geographic location will affect both of these costs.
- You can keep the costs down by compromising on nice-to-have features and focusing on keeping the pool simple and functional.
Swimming Pool Costs by Type
The answer to “How much does it cost to build a pool?” can differ drastically depending on the type of swimming pool you are talking about. While simple above-ground pools start at a few hundred dollars, more complex indoor options can quickly exceed the $200,000 mark.
Above-Ground Pool Cost
An above-ground pool is among the most affordable pool types out there. With the average national cost of only $2,700, above-ground options make the dream of owning a pool attainable to the general population. It is worth noting, however, that even an above-ground pool can add up to around $20,000 if you choose to install an elevated deck and other additional features.
Inground Pool Cost
With an average price of $35,000 and a typical price range of $28,000 to $55,000, inground pools are not as affordable. Here, the total pool costs will depend largely on the pool’s materials, as well as its size and shape. For example, concrete inground pools are more expensive than fiberglass ones, while fiberglass pools are pricier than vinyl liner ones.
The good news is that there are numerous pool loans available to help you fund the construction of your inground pool.
Plunge Pool Cost
While plunge pools are small in size, they aren’t cheap. As such, you can expect to pay anywhere between $14,000 and $25,000, with a national average of around $20,000. The small area of a plunge pool also means a relatively high average cost per square foot, ranging from $125 to $200.
Natural Swimming Pool Cost
While every natural swimming pool is unique, the typical cost of building this type of pool averages approximately $70,000. Depending on the size, shape, and material you choose, you can pay anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 or more.
Saltwater Pool Cost
Installing a new saltwater pool can cost you anywhere from $12,000 to $67,000, depending on the materials used and whether you choose an above-ground or an inground option. Often, you can also convert an existing chlorine pool into a saltwater one, - in that case, the cost can range from $600 to $2,200.
Indoor Pool Cost
The cost of an indoor pool depends on its size, whether it is above- or inground, and whether you already have a suitable structure in place. Starting at around $40,000, the total cost can quickly escalate to $200,000 in case you need to build the pool structure from scratch, along with a room to store all pool equipment.
Infinity Pool Cost
Infinity pools fall under the luxury category, with the total price reflecting the complex structure associated with the pool’s “vanishing edge.” Installing a basic infinity pool can set you back anywhere from $55,000 to $130,000, averaging around $80,000.
|Pool Type||Avg. Cost||Price Range||Avg. Cost per Square Foot|
|Above-ground pool||$2,700||$1,850 - $20,000||$15 - $30|
|Inground pool||$35,000||$28,000 - $55,000||$50 - $125|
|Plunge pool||$20,000||$14,000 - $25,000||$125 - $200|
|Natural swimming pool||$70,000||$50,000 - $100,000||$80 - $166|
|Saltwater pool||$25,000||$12,000 - $67,000||$75 - $125|
|Indoor pool||$95,000||$40,000 - $200,000+||$125 - $200|
|Infinity pool||$80,000||$55,000 - $130,000||$80 - $130|
Swimming Pool Costs by Size
Aside from the pool type and construction materials, the swimming pool size is among the most important factors that determine the final cost of the project.
Above-Ground Pool: 12’ to 33’ Diameter
Typical above-ground pools take a circular shape, with a diameter ranging from 12’ to 33’, and a depth varying from 4’ to 4.5’. The price for a smaller above-ground pool can range from as low as $350 for an inflatable above-ground pool to $1,400 for a higher-end steel pool.
Inground Pool: 12’ x 24’
A standard inground pool measures 12’ by 24’, with depth starting at 3.5’ at the shallow end and eventually dropping to 5’ to 6’. Such a pool will set you back anywhere from $25,000 for a basic vinyl liner option to $50,000 or higher for a more elaborate concrete pool.
Plunge Pool: 8’ x 8’ or 8’ x 16’
While typical plunge pools are rectangular measuring either 8’ by 8’ or 8’ by 16’, round or even kidney-shaped plunge pools are not uncommon. A bigger pool usually means more materials and construction time, but a plunge pool might be one exception to the rule. Since these pools are quite standard in size, the typical price is not greatly affected by the pool’s dimensions: either way, expect to pay around $20,000. Round or curved plunge pools will cost more.
Natural Swimming Pool: 30’ x 20’
When it comes to natural swimming pools, there is no standard shape or size to keep in mind. Each natural pool is unique, but one thing is true for all of them: the larger the pool size - the smaller the risk of algae growth. It is recommended that your natural pool covers at least 500 sq. ft. in surface area, with the depth dependent on pool features like water slides or a diving board.
On average, you can expect to pay $60,000 to $70,000 for a natural pool with a swimming area of 30’ by 20’.
Saltwater Pool: 12’ x 24’
Larger saltwater pools require expensive saltwater chlorinators and higher amounts of salt on an ongoing basis. A typical saltwater pool is an inground pool measuring 12’ by 24’. Depending on the materials and additional features, such a pool can set you back anywhere from $27,000 to $50,000 in most cases.
Indoor Pool: 15’ x 30’
Most indoor pools measure 15’ by 30’, with the total price largely dependent on the pool materials. For example, the cost of the most basic vinyl liner indoor pool starts at $30,000, while a concrete pool of the same size can easily add up to $55,000 or more.
Infinity Pool: 12’ x 24’
While the size of an infinity pool can vary greatly, a standard-sized pool of 12’ by 24’ will typically cost you between $80,000 and $100,000. This is considerably higher than the price for a similarly-sized inground pool without the vanishing edge.
|Pool Type||Typical Size||Typical Depth||Typical Cost||Cost per Square Foot|
|Above-ground pool||Round, 12’ - 33’ diameter||4’ - 4.5’||$350 - $1,400||$15 - $30|
|Inground pool||12’ x 24’||3.5’ at shallow end |
5’ - 6’ at deep end
|$25,000 - $50,000||$50 - $125|
|Plunge pool||8’ x 8’ or |
8’ x 16’
|4’ - 8’||$20,000||$125 - $200|
|Natural swimming pool||30’ x 20’ swimming area||Varies||$60,000 - $70,000||$80 - $166|
|Saltwater pool||12’ x 24’||3.5’ at shallow end |
5’ - 6’ at deep end
|$27,000 - $50,000||$75 - $125|
|Indoor pool||15’ x 30’||3.5’ at shallow end |
5’ - 6’ at deep end
|$30,000 - $55,000||$125 - $200|
|Infinity pool||12’ x 24’||4’ - 5.5’||$80,000 - $100,000||$80 - $130|
Swimming Pool Costs by Material
Along with the type and size of the pool, the material of your choice will play a big role in determining the final cost of the project.
Inground Pool Material Costs
Below are the typical prices for an inground pool measuring 12’ by 24’.
- Vinyl liner: $25,000 to $35,000. A standard-sized vinyl inground pool can cost between $25,000 for just the basics and $35,000 for a pool with additional features.
- Fiberglass: $40,000 to $45,000. Typical fiberglass pools can cost $40,000 to $45,000, depending on the features you choose and the specifics of your backyard.
- Concrete: $50,000+. Concrete pools are the most expensive of all. For a 12’ by 24’ swimming pool, you can expect to pay $50,000 or higher.
Above-Ground Pool Material Costs
Options for an above-ground pool frame include steel, resin, and aluminum. While the cost of materials does differ to an extent, the overall cost difference is not very significant.
- Steel: $500 to $3,000. Steel above-ground pools are often the cheapest option, costing anywhere from $500 to $3,000.
- Aluminum: $1,000 to $4,000. Aluminum is the most expensive material of the three. As such, an aluminum above-ground pool will set you back $1,000 to $4,000.
- Resin: cost varies. The cost of a resin pool is usually in the middle between the price points for steel and aluminum pools.
Swimming Pool Installation Costs
No two pools are the same, and each project will have different variables affecting the final cost of the pool.
Pool Installation Cost Breakdown
When budgeting for your pool installation, there are multiple factors to keep in mind. Aside from the pool type, shape, and size, installation costs will depend on the following variables:
1. Labor: $5,000 to $30,000
Labor typically makes up 25% to 50% of the total cost of installing a pool. The exact labor costs can vary depending on the type of pool you choose. For example, inground pools have higher labor costs as compared to above-ground ones. Among inground options, installing a concrete or fiberglass pool will cost more than installing a vinyl liner one.
Depending on the pool shape, size, and design, expect to pay $5,000 to $30,000 in labor costs.
2. Permits: $200 to $300
Before pool construction begins, you and your pool contractor must submit the documents and request a pool permit. The cost of obtaining all the necessary permits can range from $200 to $300, depending on your geographic location.
3. Excavation: $500 to $3,500 and Blasting: $600 to $7,200
Depending on the type of terrain in your backyard, the costs associated with inground pool excavation can range from $500 to $3,500. If your backyard contains large rocks or the ground is hard and difficult to dig, the terrain will need to be blasted. This leads to higher excavation costs.
A large portion of the total excavation cost comes from hauling away the dirt. This means that you could save significant amounts of money by keeping the dirt and using it for landscaping or gardening.
4. Materials: $20,000 to $60,000
Materials make up a significant portion of the total pool installation cost. Concrete inground pools will always cost more than vinyl pools but will last longer. Make sure to discuss your materials options with the pool contractor before making the final decision.
5. Filtration System: $500 to $3,000
While a good water filtration system might be pricey, it is a worthwhile investment. Your water filter will be running continuously, and more expensive systems require less maintenance and repairs in the long run. In general, you can purchase a filtration system for $500 to $3,000.
6. Landscaping: $3,000 to $5,000
Once the pool is installed, you will need to get some landscaping done to complete the project. Landscaping can be as minimal as planting grass around the pool or as elaborate as multiple water fountains, custom shrubbery, and masonry paths. Depending on your choice, you can expect to pay $3,000 to $5,000 on average.
7. Pool Water Delivery: $225 to $750
Before you can dive into your new pool, it will need to be filled up with water. Delivering water to your property will set you back anywhere from $225 to $750, depending on the volume of your pool and your geographic location.
8. Pool Equipment: $2,000 to $3,000
In addition to the water filter, your pool will need a pump, a cleaner, a chemical feeder, and, possibly, a salt chlorine generator. Expect to pay an additional $2,000 to $3,000 for the must-have pool equipment.
9: Finishing: $5,000 to $30,000
Finishing costs include edging, ladder or step installation, and other small details that make your pool usable and give it the final appearance. Concrete pools must have their surface finished, which leads to higher finishing costs.
Inground Pool Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
If you are looking to reduce the costs of installing a pool, you might consider doing it by yourself. While installing an above-ground pool is relatively easy, an inground pool is a different story.
In theory, you could dig a hole in your backyard and convert it into a swimming pool. However, building a pool, which meets all the local regulations and is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional, will require more than that.
By working with a professional pool contractor, you will spend more money upfront but will receive a number of benefits, including:
- The contractor will handle all the inspections and permits for you.
- They will complete the project much faster than you could by yourself.
- They will deliver high-quality work to minimize maintenance and repair costs in the long run.
- They will take care of all the extra touches like a pool deck and landscaping.
All in all, hiring a professional pool contractor is an expense you wouldn’t want to skip.
Swimming Pool Costs by Shape and Design
When choosing the shape of your pool, remember that it will not only affect the pool’s aesthetic and functionality but will largely determine the overall project cost as well.
Rectangular Pool: $20,000+
Rectangle is the most standard shape among inground swimming pools. Rectangular pools are usually more expensive than curved ones, - they have a longer perimeter for the same surface area and may require more space in the backyard. Plunge pools, saltwater pools, inground indoor pools, and infinity pools often take a rectangular shape and start at $20,000 in price.
Free-Form Pool: $70,000+
When it comes to swimming pool designs, anything outside of “standard” will cost you more. Any free-form pool will require additional work and customization, resulting in a higher price tag of $70,000 or more. Common types of pools that can be free-form include natural swimming pools, saltwater pools, indoor pools, and infinity pools.
Circular Pool: $1,850+
Most above-ground pools are round, which means that you can get a circular-shaped pool for under $2,000. In addition, small plunge pools frequently take a circular shape but cost noticeably higher, as they are built in-ground. Standard inground pools, saltwater pools, and indoor pools can also be round.
Kidney-Shaped Pool: $10,000+
Kidney-shaped pools are an excellent choice for budget-conscious individuals. The curved design allows for greater square footage with a lower perimeter length, which makes the entire project cheaper. As such, you can get an inground kidney-shaped pool for as low as $10,000. Be ready to spend more if you wish to install a saltwater filtration system, add an infinity edge, or build an indoor pool.
L-Shaped Pool: Cost Varies
L-shaped pools are great for irregular landscaping and look beautiful against modern architecture. While you might need to contact a pool contractor to find out the exact cost of an L-shaped pool, it is safe to assume that it would be slightly higher than for a similarly-sized rectangular pool.
Geometric Pool: $70,000+
A geometric pool costs similarly to a free-form pool, starting at around $70,000. Geometric pools look great next to modern or contemporary architecture, - not surprisingly, many infinity pools are geometric in shape. In general, most geometric pools are built in-ground and located outdoors, with either a chlorine or a saltwater filtration system.
|Pool Shape||Most Common Size||Starting Price|
|Rectangular pool||12’ x 24’||$20,000|
|Free-form pool||No standard size||$70,000|
|Circular pool||24’ diameter||$1,850 for above-ground pool|
|Kidney-shaped pool||18’ x 31’||$10,000|
|L-shaped pool||18’ x 26’ x 41’||Cost varies|
|Geometric pool||No standard size||$70,000|
Swimming Pool Add-On Costs
In addition to must-have features, you might want to install some nice-to-have add-ons to your pool. Every add-on will raise the project cost, so pick and choose carefully what to invest in.
1. Heating: $1,800 to $4,000
If you live in a colder climate, consider investing in a pool heater. The right heater should be able to adequately heat the amount of water circulating through your pool. Gas-powered heaters are usually cheaper than electric ones, with solar-powered heaters being the most expensive of all.
2. Pool Cover: $600 to $2,200
Ideally, a pool should be covered whenever it is not in use. Installing a cover will cost you $600 to $2,200, but it will keep debris out of the pool and ensure animals can’t get in.
3. Enclosure: $4,800 to $14,300 or Fence: $600 to $4,400
Many local regulations require that a pool is enclosed or fenced for safety reasons. An enclosure completely encases the pool and can cost anywhere from $4,800 to $14,300, depending on the material of your choice.
Installing a fence around the pool is a less expensive option. Here, you can expect to pay $600 to $4,400.
4. Decking: $5,000 to $20,000
If you wish to surround your pool with a deck, expect to pay an additional $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the deck size and materials used. Decks come in many materials, including wood, stone, concrete, and pavers. Most inground pools include the price of a concrete deck as part of the package, but you might need to pay extra if you wish to upgrade to a different material.
5. Saltwater Filtration System: $600 to $2,200
If you wish to install a saltwater filtration system instead of a typical chlorine filter, the associated cost can range from $600 to $2,200 or around $870 per 10,000 gallons of water.
6. Additional Upgrades: Cost Varies
Installing additional upgrades for your pool can further increase the total cost of the project:
- Lighting: $700 to $1,800
- Diving board: $300 to $5,000
- Fountain: $600 to $20,000+
- Waterfall: $1,500 to $5,000
- Water slide: $1,000 to $20,000
Inground Pool Costs by Geographic Location
In general, building a pool in an urban area will be more expensive as compared to rural areas due to a higher cost of living and, therefore, higher labor prices.
When discussing how much does it cost to build a pool, the geographic location of your home also plays a role. As such, if you live in one of the Northern states, expect to pay 15% to 25% more for your pool installation as compared to pool costs in Florida, Texas, or Arizona.
If you live in a colder climate, water heaters, pool covers, and enclosures can drive your total pool installation cost up. You will also incur higher maintenance costs associated with keeping the water temperature at the right level.
Costs of Maintaining and Running a Pool
Unfortunately, your pool-associated expenses won’t end once the construction is over. Running and maintaining a swimming pool requires a lot of work and finances on an ongoing basis, ranging from a few hundred dollars per month to thousands of dollars in a single payment.
1. Maintenance: $180/month
Minimal pool maintenance includes adding chemicals and skimming the water, while more advanced tasks include checking filters and pumps, emptying traps and baskets, and cleaning pool walls.
Typical swimming pool maintenance will cost you $180 per month on average during the season when the pool is in use. It is worth noting that saltwater and indoor pools typically cost significantly less to maintain. For example, indoor pool maintenance will cost you $25 to $50 per hour, while an hour of saltwater pool maintenance will set you back $25 to $45.
When it comes to in- and above-ground pools, there is no significant difference between the maintenance costs. On average, you can expect to pay $60 to $95 per hour to maintain either an in- or an above-ground outdoor pool.
2. Cleaning: $50/month
Pool cleanings are necessary to keep your pool looking like a pool, - and not a wild pond. Minimal pool cleaning like skimming the water and testing the chemical balance is often included in regular pool maintenance. If no additional maintenance or repairs is required, the cost of basic pool cleaning may be as little as $50 per month.
3. Repairs: $10 to $20,000
If you own a pool, occasional repairs are unavoidable. Depending on the specific issue at hand, a pool repair may cost anywhere from $10 to $20,000, with an average repair cost of $900.
4. Water: $80 to $200
On average, pool owners spend $4 to $10 per 1000 gallons of water. Given that the average pool capacity is around 20,000 gallons, this works out to $80 to $200 required to fill the pool completely.
5. Electricity: $30 to $700/month
Your monthly electrical costs can vary significantly, depending on the type of equipment your pool operates. For example, operating a 2-speed or variable-speed pump/filter system will cost you as little as $30 to $50 per month. On the other hand, using a 1-speed pump will add $75 to $150 to your monthly electricity bill.
If you wish to install a heat pump for your pool, be prepared to spend an additional $50 to $250 per month. Finally, an inground hot tub will add another $100 to $300 each month.
6. Insurance: $25 to $75/month
Having a pool in your backyard will automatically raise your homeowner insurance premium. The exact costs can vary based on the type, size, and value of your pool. However, most pool owners pay somewhere between $25 to $75 in additional insurance costs.
Swimming Pool Filters and Pumps Costs
Every pool needs a pump: if a pump fails, the chemicals in the water won’t function properly, algae will grow, and the water will get filled with leaves, dirt, insects, and other debris.
A typical swimming pool pump can cost anywhere between $700 and $1,500, with the national average of $1,100. The exact cost will depend on the specific type of pump in question:
- Above-ground pool pump: $150 to $1,200. Most pool pumps are suitable for both inground and above-ground pools. Pumps most commonly used for above-ground pools include medium-head pumps with single, dual, or variable speeds that cost between $150 and $1,200.
- Inground pool pump: $150 to $1,200. Aside from smaller pumps made specifically for above-ground pools, any type of pump can be used in an inground pool. Most of the time, a medium-head pump with a dual or variable speed is enough, setting you back anywhere from $150 to $1,200.
- Spa pump: $800 to $1,300. Spas require high-efficiency pumps sized properly to handle the volume of water that flows through the spa. Such pumps can cost between $800 and $1,300 on average.
- Water feature pump: $800 to $1,300. If your pool has a custom water feature like a fountain or a waterfall, it will require a separate pump. This can cost you an additional $800 to $1,300.
Saltwater vs. Chlorine Pool Costs
Installing a saltwater pool is typically more expensive than installing a standard chlorine-based pool since the saltwater option requires a more complex filtration system.
Saltwater pools are also slightly more expensive to operate. As such, they use more electricity as compared to chlorine pools, resulting in $36 to $48 of added electricity cost per month. In addition, operating a saltwater pool will set you back $70 to $100 in yearly salt and chemical expenses.
While chlorine pools may be using less electricity on a monthly basis, they come with much higher yearly chemical costs, ranging from $300 to $800. All-in-all, the total operating costs are still slightly lower for chlorine-based swimming pools.
Additional Cost Considerations
If you are looking to convert your swimming pool to a real outdoor paradise, consider installing the following optional but attractive features:
- Spa: $10,000 to $13,000. Adding a spa to an inground pool can cost you between $10,000 and $13,000, depending on its size and customization features.
- Outdoor kitchen: $7,000 to $20,000. If you love to spend time outdoors, having an outdoor kitchen by the pool may be a great idea. Be prepared to pay between $7,000 to $20,000 for the installation.
- Pool house: $150 to $600/sq. ft. A pool house is a convenient way to store pool equipment; it can also be used to change in and out of a swimsuit. Depending on its size and features, building a pool house can cost between $150 and $600 per square foot.
- Customization: cost varies. Customizing your pool to be the exact shape and size you want will inevitably add to the final bill. Typical custom pools are made of concrete or vinyl and cost $100,000 or more. Custom fiberglass pools are not popular, as they are difficult to customize. Here, a prefabricated pool shell is used instead.
How to Save Money on Swimming Pool Costs
By making smart choices and compromising on certain nice-to-haves, you will be able to save money on your swimming pool costs and make the project a little kinder on your wallet.
1. Choose a Vinyl Pool
If you decide that you must have an inground pool while keeping the costs low, a vinyl liner pool is your best bet. You will need to replace the liner every 10 years, but both concrete and fiberglass alternatives require major updates around the decade mark as well.
Potential savings of vinyl vs. concrete: $100,000
Potential savings of vinyl vs. fiberglass: $20,000
2. Keep It Simple
Keep your pool design simple and avoid splurging on unnecessary additions like lights, fountains, sound systems, and water slides. If you think you might want to install a fountain later, you can get the necessary plumbing installed right away and complete the work whenever you are in a better financial position.
Potential savings of a simple pool vs. a fancy pool: $15,000
3. Opt for a Smaller Pool
A smaller pool requires less labor and materials for both the pool and associated landscaping. This means that a typical small backyard pool costs less than a larger one of the same type: for example, a 12’ x 24’ kidney pool will be smaller, and, therefore, cheaper, than a rectangular one with similar dimensions.
It is worth noting that there is a point at which going smaller won’t save you money, - typically, at 10’ x 20’. A pool smaller than that will still require the same investment associated with excavation, electrical, plumbing, and landscaping work.
Potential savings of a 10’ x 20’ vs. a 20’ x 40’: $30,000 to $50,000
4. Buy a Swim Spa or Spool
A swim spa is a more budget-friendly alternative to a traditional inground pool, especially if your backyard is on the smaller side. Installing a spool or swim spa will cost you less than building an inground pool, and you will be able to use it all year round!
Potential savings of a swim spa vs. a small inground pool: $10,000 to $25,000
5. Order Ahead
Ordering your pool in the fall or winter one year ahead will provide you with significant savings, as most pool suppliers increase their prices on a yearly basis.
Potential savings of ordering the year before: $10,000
Swimming Pool Financing Options
While installing a pool isn’t cheap, many homeowners find that it is a worthwhile investment. If you don’t have the necessary funds for the pool of your dreams, don’t fret! You have other options:
- Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a credit line that is secured by the equity in your home. It works similarly to a credit card or a regular line of credit, allowing you to use the funds as needed and repay them later.
- Home equity loan. Similarly to HELOC, a home equity loan allows you to use your home equity to borrow cash. With this option, however, you can receive a lump sum of cash upfront, to be repaid later.
- Cash-out refinance. Alternatively, you could refinance your property to take some equity out and increase the mortgage value. The cash can then be used for home improvements, such as installing a swimming pool.
- Personal loan or “pool loan.” Finally, you can apply for an unsecured personal loan or a dedicated pool loan. Some great lenders worth considering include Upgrade, Discover, and LightStream.
Whatever lending product you settle on, make sure to carefully check the interest rates, terms, and fees of financing options before making the final decision.
So how much does it cost to build a pool? While a typical inground pool price is $35,000 on average, the price spread across the United States is enormous. Starting at $1,850 for a small above-ground pool, to $100,000 and more for elaborate custom projects, installing a pool can quickly overtax your wallet.
Luckily, many of the costs associated with building a pool are optional and can be minimized, - so plan ahead, do your research, and make your choice wisely.