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The quick answer to how much does it cost to build a pool in California is: around $29,960 to $58,850 on average. A typical above-ground pool will cost you between $1,500 and $15,000, while an inground one comes with a higher price tag of $25,000 to $80,000.
- The average pool cost in California ranges between $25,000 and $80,000, depending on whether the pool is built in- or above-ground.
- Other factors affecting the cost of the project include the pool size and shape, materials used, additional features and accessories, and more.
- You will also be faced with monthly cleaning, maintenance, and utility costs to keep the pool up and running.
- You can obtain the necessary funds for your pool purchase by applying for a pool loan, home equity loan, or retail financing.
Inground Pool Cost in California
A typical cost for an inground pool in California runs from $25,000 to $80,000, averaging at around $35,000. The exact amount will depend on the size and shape of the pool, the materials used, and any additional features and accessories you choose to install.
California Inground Pool Cost by Material
The three most common materials used for the construction of inground pools in California are fiberglass, concrete, or vinyl liner.
- Concrete: $29,000 to $60,000. Concrete pools are relatively durable and allow endless customization options. However, they come with higher construction costs upfront and require more upkeep in the long run. Maintenance of a concrete pool will cost you $2,750 per year.
- Fiberglass: $18,000 to $65,000. Pre-molded fiberglass pools are a popular choice with relatively simple maintenance: a typical fiberglass pool costs only $375 in yearly maintenance costs. However, the fiberglass option comes with a limited selection of pool shapes and sizes.
- Vinyl liner: $25,000 to $45,000. While vinyl liner pools are typically the most affordable ones, they do not last as long. The vinyl liner itself will need to be replaced at least every 10 years and comes with a yearly maintenance cost of $1,375.
California Inground Pool Costs by Size
The average cost of a pool in California is $35,000, which is comparable to the average cost of building a pool across the U.S. While the exact prices for California pools of different sizes are not readily available, it is safe to assume that they will be similar to the following national averages:
- 10’ x 10’ pool: $17,500 on average
- 12’ x 24’ pool: $25,200 on average
- 14’ x 28’ pool: $34,000 on average
- 15’ x 30’ pool: $39,400 on average
- 16’ x 32’ pool: $44,800 on average
- 18’ x 36’ pool: $56,700 on average
- 20’ x 40’ pool: $70,000 on average
As a rule of thumb, a larger pool translates into higher project costs due to more extensive labor and the higher amount of materials required.
California Inground Pool Costs by Shape
Aside from the size of the pool and the material used, the pool shape will largely affect the total project cost. Generally, pools with standard curved shapes are the most affordable per square foot of swimming area. Oval, round, or kidney-shaped pools have lower perimeter footage and, therefore, installation costs, than comparable square or rectangular pools.
Rectangular pools are also popular in California, albeit they are slightly more expensive than curved ones. If you wish to install a pool with an unusual or custom shape, such as a geometric or a freeform pool, expect to spend much more.
Inground Pool Installation Costs in California
When considering how much does it cost to build a pool in California, keep in mind that labor and excavation expenses make up 25% to 50% of the total pool cost, depending on the specifics of the terrain and your pool of choice. In addition, you would need to set aside $100 to $300 to obtain a California pool permit.
Again, based on the national average, you can expect the following inground pool installation costs in California:
- Site preparation: up to $20,000. If your backyard is sloping or has trees that need to be removed, you might be faced with a hefty site preparation cost of up to $20,000.
- Labor and excavation: $8,000 to $30,000. The typical labor cost to install a pool in California starts at $8,000. Excavation work will cost you another $920 to $1,230, while plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work will bring the bill all the way up to $30,000.
- Pool equipment: $2,500 to $6,000. Your pool will also need a good filtration system ($500 to $3,000) and other equipment, such as a pump, a cleaner, and a chemical feeder ($2,000 to $3,000). Installing a salt chlorinator will cost you another $2,000 to $3,000.
- Water delivery: $80 to $1,200. Once your pool is ready, it will need to be filled with water. This will cost you between $80 and $1,200, depending on whether you fill the pool up with a garden hose or order a truck delivery.
California Inground Pools Accessories and Add-Ons Costs
Aside from the unavoidable pool installation costs, you might wish to install the following pool features and accessories:
- Landscaping: $3,000 to $5,000. Fake grass, palm trees, fountains, and huts are only some options for landscaping around your pool. Depending on how creative you get, expect to spend between $3,000 and $5,000.
- Fencing: $1,000 to $3,000. In California, it is mandatory to have a fence around a pool, regardless of its shape and size. Getting your pool fenced in costs around $18 to $25/ft, adding up to $1,000 to $3,000 in total.
- Pool heater: $1,000 to $4,000. To comfortably use your pool all year round, you will need to install a pool heater. This will cost you another $1,000 to $4,000.
- Lighting: up to $3,500. Pool lighting isn’t cheap and can easily add up to $3,500 or even more for custom lights.
- Pool deck: $2,800 to $10,000. Installing a pool deck will cost you between $2,800 to $10,000, depending on the deck size and the material of your choice.
- Add-ons (steps, covers, waterfalls, etc.): $500 to $10,000+. Finally, features like a pool cover, pool steps, waterfalls, fountains, and diving boards will cost you $500 to $10,000 and more.
In addition, owning a residential swimming pool in California will automatically increase your home insurance premiums by $25 to $75 per month.
Inground Pool Maintenance Costs in California
Keeping your pool up and running will require regular cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. Total pool maintenance costs in California range from $375 to $2,750 per year, depending on the material and size of your pool.
It is not uncommon to spend $50 or more on a weekly basis to maintain a pool in the state. In addition, you would have to continuously replenish the pool water, which costs between $4 and $20 per month, depending on the size of your pool.
If your inground pool uses a saltwater chlorinator, the maintenance costs can reach $800 every 3 to 6 months. The higher costs are due to the fact that you will also need to change the cell responsible for the saltwater filtration.
Above-Ground Pool Costs in California
A typical above-ground pool in California can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000. Just as with an inground pool, the total cost of the above-ground option will depend on its size, shape, material, and additional features.
California Above-Gound Pool Costs by Shape and Size
Most of the time, above-ground pools in California take either a circular or an oval shape. Rectangular above-ground pools are also an option, even though they will cost more.
- Round pools. The common diameters for circular above-ground pools include 12’, 15’, 18’, or 24’. This is the most affordable pool shape of all.
- Oval pools. Oval pool frames have more components and generally cost $1,000 to $2,000 more than circular pools with similar dimensions. Common sizes for oval pools are 12’ by 18’, 15’ by 24’, and 18’ by 33’.
- Rectangular pools. Rectangular above-ground pools require even more structural support, which makes them the most expensive option. Popular sizes for rectangular pools are 12’ by 24’, 15’ by 30’, or 18’ by 36’.
Regardless of the shape, smaller above-ground pools tend to cost less than larger ones.
California Above-Ground Pool Costs by Material
Aside from simple inflatable pools you can buy in a department store, common materials used for above-ground pools in California include a resin, aluminum, or steel frame covered with a vinyl liner.
How much it costs to build such a pool in California is likely similar to the average cost for above-ground pools in the U.S.:
- Aluminum: $1,000 to $4,000. Aluminum above-ground pools are often the most expensive, running from $1,000 to $4,000 in total costs.
- Steel: $500 to $3,000. If you are looking for the most affordable option possible, opt for a steel above-ground pool. The cost of building this pool in California starts at only $500.
- Resin: cost varies. Resin above-ground pools usually cost somewhere in between aluminum and steel pools.
Above-Ground Pool Installation Costs in California
Above-ground pools come with reasonable installation costs, which include:
- Pool permit: $100 to $300. An above-ground pool is still a pool, so you will need to obtain a pool permit, spending $100 to $300 in permit fees.
- Pool package: $2,000 to $4,000. You can usually buy an all-inclusive above-ground pool package for $2,000 to $4,000. This cost will cover the pool frame, the liner, and the must-have pool equipment like a water filter and a pump.
- Labor: $800 to $1,200. Getting your above-ground pool installed by a contractor will take around 3 days and will cost you $1,000 on average. You can cut this cost by completing the project in a DIY manner.
- Electrical and plumbing: $500 to $1,000. You would also need to run the pipes and electrical cables from your house to the pool. Digging the trench for this purpose will set you back $500 to $1,000.
Above-Ground Pool Liner Cost in California
While your above-ground pool kit will likely come with a vinyl liner included, the liner will eventually need to be replaced. A new pool liner will cost between $100 and $600, depending on the specific type of liner used. The most budget-friendly option is an overlap liner, as its installation is relatively easy. However, overlap liners are not as reliable as other alternatives like beaded or unibead liners.
You will also have the option to choose the thickness of your liner. While thicker liners can cost $300 to $400 more, they last much longer than thinner ones. Considering the need for future replacement, thicker liners are more cost-effective in the long run.
Above-Ground Pool Add-On Costs
The beauty of installing an above-ground pool is that your pool kit will contain all the necessary equipment. While your pump and filter will be taken care of, you might still consider splurging on the following pool add-ons:
- Fencing: $1,000 to $3,000. In the state of California, even an above-ground pool is required to be fenced in. This will cost you $1,000 to $3,000.
- Pool deck: $2,800 to $10,000. An elevated pool deck around an above-ground pool is a popular choice among many California homeowners. Hiring a contractor to build a deck will cost between $2,800 and $10,000. If you choose to complete the task yourself, you will still spend $800 to $3,000 in materials.
- Pool heater: $1,000 to $4,000. To maintain comfortable water temperature year-long, you will need to install a pool heater. This can cost between $1,000 and $4,000.
- Landscaping and lighting: $500. Most above-ground pools require only minimal lighting and landscaping work. You can likely get these tasks done with only $500 in spending.
Is also worth noting that having an above-ground pool on your property will automatically add at least $25 to your monthly home insurance payments.
Above-Ground Pool Maintenance Costs in California
To function properly, your new above-ground pool will require regular cleaning and basic maintenance. The all-in maintenance cost in California can vary from $375 to $2,750 per year, depending on the size of your pool.
The cost of replenishing pool water will typically range from $4 to $20 per month. In addition, if your above-ground pool has a saltwater chlorine system, you will need to change the filtration cell every 3 to 6 months, spending around $800 per month.
Plunge Pool Costs in California
Also known as cocktail pools, plunge pools in California typically cost between $15,000 and $25,000. Such pools are commonly used for recreational purposes alone and are not suitable for serious swimming.
California Plunge Pool Costs by Shape and Size
Plunge pools are much smaller than traditional pools, but they aren’t that much cheaper. The common sizes include 8’ by 4’, 9’ by 9’, and 10’ by 6’, with a depth of 5.5’ to 7’. A large plunge pool measuring 10’ by 15’ will cost you around $20,000, while the cost of even the smallest one won’t drop below $10,000.
The most common shapes of plunge pools in California include a square and a rectangle. Unlike traditional curved pools, curved plunge pools that take a circular or a kidney shape tend to cost more.
California Plunge Pool Costs by Material
In California, the vast majority of plunge pools are built in-ground. This means that your material choice will include fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl liner. Vinyl liner plunge pools are the most budget-friendly, followed by fiberglass pools. Concrete is the most expensive material - both in terms of installation and maintenance costs.
Plunge Pool Installation Costs in California
A typical plunge pool is just a smaller inground pool. This means that inground and plunge pools share similar installation costs like permit fees, pool equipment costs, and labor expenses.
- Pool permit: $100 to $300
- Site preparation: up to $20,000
- Labor: $8,000 to $30,000
- Pool equipment: $2,500 to $6,000
The good news is that the smaller size of a plunge pool means that you can spend less excavating the pool and filling it up with water.
Inground vs. Above-Ground Plunge Pool Cost
If an inground plunge pool seems like too big of an investment, you have the option of installing a cheaper above-ground plunge pool instead.
The cost of above-ground plunge pools starts at only $1,500, as compared to the $10,000 to $20,000 investment associated with more permanent inground pools. Plus, it is possible to install a plunge pool by yourself, which will provide you with additional cost savings.
Plunge Pool Add-On Costs
Your plunge pool may be small, but it will still increase your home insurance premium by $25 to $75 per month. Other add-on costs will also be similar between a plunge pool and a more traditional family pool:
- Home insurance: extra $25 to $75/month
- Pool deck: $2,800 to $10,000
- Landscaping: $3,000 to $5,000
- Lighting: up to $3,500
- Pool heater: $1,000 to $4,000
- Fencing: $1,000 to $3,000
- Add-ons (steps, covers, waterfalls, etc.): $500 to $10,000+
Plunge Pool Maintenance Costs in California
Despite its size, a small plunge pool will require about the same level of maintenance as a traditional pool. As such, you can expect to pay a similar all-inclusive maintenance cost of $375 to $2,750 per year. You would also need to regularly replenish the water, which will cost you $4 to $20, depending on the utility costs in your area.
Infinity Pool Costs in California
Infinity pools are known for their “vanishing” edge, which appears to be dropping off into a waterfall. While you could add this vanishing edge to a basic inground pool, the vast majority of infinity pools present elaborate designs with luxurious sitting ledges, custom lighting, and other complex features.
The average pool cost with an infinity edge across the U.S. is $80,000, with a typical range of $55,000 to $130,000. If you live in California, you will likely pay a similar amount for your infinity pool.
California Infinity Pool Costs by Size
The average per-square-foot cost of an infinity pool is around $80, but don’t be surprised to pay as much as $130 per square foot for an elaborate design with custom installations and features. If you wish to splurge on a large infinity pool with a mosaic tile finish and a complete pool enclosure, the cost can easily rise to $300 per square foot.
In general, the cost of an infinity pool will increase with its size:
- 12’ x 24’ pool: $18,700 to $46,800
- 16’ x 32’ pool: $33,300 to $83,200
- 20’ x 40’ pool: $52,000 to $130,000
- 24’ x 44’ pool: $68,600 to $171,600
- 28’ x 52’ pool: $94,600 to $236,600
California Infinity Pool Costs by Material.
Building an infinity edge will automatically add 20% to 50% to the total cost of your inground pool project. This means that the typical cost of infinity pools in California based on the material will be:
- Concrete: $37,700 to $78,000
- Fiberglass: $23,400 to $84,500
- Vinyl liner: $32,500 to $58,500
While this is just a rough estimate, the general rule persists: concrete infinity pools will cost more than fiberglass ones, while fiberglass pools will cost more than vinyl liner pools.
Infinity Pool Installation Costs in California
The typical installation costs of an infinity pool will be similar to the costs associated with building a traditional inground pool with the same size and features. However, you will also need to account for the vanishing edge, which costs an additional 20% to 50% of the total pool installation cost.
- Pool permit: $100 to $300
- Labor and excavation: $8,000 to $30,000
- Site preparation: up to $20,000
- Pool equipment: $2,500 to $6,000
- Water delivery: $80 to $1,200
- Vanishing edge: 20% to 50% on top of total project costs
Infinity Pool Landscaping Costs in California
When considering the construction of your infinity pool, keep in mind that it often requires extensive landscaping. Landscaping work typically costs between $110 and $245 per hour, adding up to $3,000 to $5,000 for standard-level landscaping. If you wish to plant trees and flowers, create beautiful paths, and build water fountains, this price can skyrocket to $20,000 or more.
If your terrain requires an installation of a retaining wall, be prepared to shell out another $1,200 to $13,000. In addition, landscaping rocks will cost you anywhere from $460 to $1,000.
Infinity Pool Add-On Costs
Most infinity pools have luxurious designs with custom lighting, beautiful fountains, and stunning glass viewing walls. While such a wall can cost you $100,000 on average, you can opt for a more budget-friendly glass window. As such, a small window with a surface area of 15 square feet will cost you around $16,000.
- Pool heater: $1,000 to $4,000
- Fencing: $1,000 to $3,000
- Pool cover: $800 to $12,500
- Pool deck: $2,800 to $10,000
- Lighting: up to $3,500
- Water slide: $1,500 to $20,000
- Diving board: $300 to $5,000
- Fountain: $600 to $20,000
- Waterfall: $1,500 to $5,000
- Glass window: $16,000
- Glass wall: $100,000
Infinity Pool Taxes and Maintenance Costs in California
A standard yearly maintenance cost of $375 to $2,750 will likely be enough to cover the basic care of your new infinity pool.
The typical cost of replenishing the water in an inground pool is $4 to $20 per month, but you might need to pay slightly more, given that infinity pools have a higher evaporation rate. This also means that your pool will require more frequent water testing and adjusting the chemical balance. The catch basin below the infinity edge will also need a little more regular cleaning.
Because installing an infinity pool is such a big investment, it will likely increase the value of your home. While this is generally a good thing, this might also lead to increased property taxes.
Other Types of Pool Costs in California
Saltwater swimming pools are also incredibly popular in California, with the average installation cost ranging from $29,000 to $57,000. If you wish to convert an existing pool into a saltwater one, you will need to install a saltwater chlorination system, which costs around $870 per 10,000 gallons of water.
Spools, or spa pools, are another popular option. These small, typically round, pools cost around $20,000 to $25,000 and come with powerful massage jets.
Finally, an endless or lap pool might be an excellent choice for more serious swimmers. The cost of these pools in California can range from $20,000 to $50,000, with an average starting price of $24,000.
Options for Financing a Pool in California
If you don’t have several thousand dollars lying around, it might be a good idea to find a good pool loan to finance the pool installation. With any type of loan outlined below, remember to perform due diligence and carefully review the offered interest rates and repayment terms.
- Credit card or line of credit. If you have a big enough credit limit, the simplest way would be to pay for your pool installation with your credit card or line of credit.
- Personal loan. Alternatively, you could apply for an unsecured personal loan. Some great lenders that offer such loans are Discover, OneMain Financial, and LightStream.
- Home equity loan or line of credit. You could also make use of the value accumulated in your home by taking out a home equity loan or line of credit.
- Retail financing. Finally, many pool companies allow customers to pay for their pool over time, in regular installments. Make sure to discuss this option with the company of your choice.
A rough estimate of how much does it cost to build a pool in California is $1,500 to $15,000 for an above-ground pool and $25,000 to $80,000 for an inground one. While installing a pool in your yard can be an expensive undertaking, it is worth the hassle, especially in a hot sunny state like California. Plus, you have many financing options available to help you cover the costs.