How Much Does It Cost to Build a Pool?

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There is little feeling comparable to jumping into a pool on a hot summer day. In fact, the only thing that could possibly top that is if you were jumping into your own pool, in your own backyard. This luxury comes with a price however, and it’s worth looking into the different options available and the costs attributed to lounging around in your own oasis. 

Cost to Build a Pool

Which pool is for you? 

There is a vast assortment of options to choose from when deciding on a pool, with the prices stretching considerably depending on which one you go for. Be it an indoor pool, outdoor pool, above ground, concrete, salt-water, honestly the list goes on and on. 

When deciding on the pool you want to choose there are a few important factors to take into consideration: 

  1. The amount of space you have to work with
  2. Your budget
  3. The function the pool will serve
  4. Upkeep costs

Above-ground pools

Cost to Build a Pool

Those looking for a soak on the cheaper side may wish to consider an outside pool, with this sort of pool ranging between $1,800 – $5,000 depending on the size and shape (typically round, oval, or rectangular). This can increase in price if the surface under the pool requires leveling.

If you are considering an above-ground pool, then it’s worth planning out exactly what extras you want. The most common necessity is a pool ladder, which can run up $20 – $600, depending on the material and quality. Heating, water, filters, and the installation will also be necessary and raise the costs. Don’t forget about furniture and other adornments, check out our guide here for some ideas. 

The benefit of buying an above-ground pool is the ease of installation in comparison to an in-ground pool. Not only can it be done within a week, but those with DIY knowledge can also install one themselves. Do be wary if you are doing the work yourself, as you will likely be hiring an electrician to ensure the pool pump, filter, and heater are installed properly. 

Some other extras you will need to consider include: 

  • Lighting 
  • Pool cover
  • Decking
  • Jump board
  • Fencing

Don’t forget that there are a few caveats to buying an above-ground pool. The main factor is that they will degrade over time, the second being that installing a pool will damage your garden or yard, potentially lowering house value. 

Cost breakdown for an above-ground pool:

Base pool costs (size dependent)$1,075 – $8,240
Water $80 – $1,200
Electrical installation$350 – $500
Decking (partial to full)$1,400 – $10,000
Fencing $900 – $1,500
Ladders/steps$15 – $620
Filter$40 – $770
Heater $40 – $2,190
Cover$20 – $450
Lighting $16 – $106
Maintenance $5 – $15pm

Don’t forget to consider the cost of electricity when budgeting for a pool, as maintenance, cleaning and electricity will all incur a monthly or periodical fee. 

Additionally, there are also DIY kits available for a quick pool without extra fuss. These can run anywhere from $50 to $800+ and are easy enough to install at home, but will not last more than a few seasons. 

Inground pools

Cost to Build a Pool

Inground pools are understandably complex and require a significant amount of work to install and maintain. Despite all this, inground pools can add to the value of a home and allow for more options and customization. 

The cost of an inground pool primarily depends on the size, shape, and material you decide upon, with extra features increasing the price significantly. Installing a pool indoors may also be an option, but these are towards the higher end prices.

What material should you choose for your indoor pool? 

The materials you use will impact your pool project in two ways: initial costs and maintenance costs. This is possibly the most important factor when budgeting and considering future usage of the pool. 

Fiberglass pools

Cost to Build a Pool

Fiberglass pools are a common option, with potential for low installation costs, 25 years of longevity and ease of maintenance. Prices range anywhere between $18,700 to $63,180, which primarily is attributed to the shape and size of the pool. 

Prices are attributed mainly to how much work you plan on doing yourself or how much you plan to contract. There are companies that offer all-in-one deals that can reduce the price drastically, as opposed to individually contracting out each part of the project.

A DIY installation of a vinyl pool can cost anywhere between $12,000 – $30,000. Additionally, the pool can be installed in a week, making it a solid choice for those who want everything to go smoothly. 

Vinyl pools

Cost to Build a Pool

Vinyl pools can be a viable option for those who are looking for low base costs. The price to install a vinyl pool can be between $25,000 and $45,000 but bear in mind that vinyl pools come with expensive maintenance costs, with the liner requiring a replacement every ten years, which can cost $3,000+ depending on the size of the pool. 

Vinyl is easy to clean however, with similar attributes to a fiberglass pool, meaning less algae and a smoother finish to keep clean. 

Concrete pools

Cost to Build a Pool

Those looking for luxury, bespoke options for their pool may wish to look at concrete. Although the most expensive of the bunch, concrete pools allow for a host of customization options and can last up to 50 years with the right amount of care.

Most concrete pools are made of gunite or shotcrete, with the former being used to create pools of different shapes. Gunite is the best option but will require replastering every 10 – 15 years, costing $10,000 or more. 

Concrete pools can range anywhere between $25,000 to $200,000 depending on size and the level of customization, but most will be somewhere in the range of $30,000 – $60,000. This is before the costs for cleaning, filtering, lighting, heating, and routine maintenance. Overall this can add up, so it’s best to budget for costs further down the line to make sure you are prepared for the commitment. 

Other Options to Consider

There is a lot you can do with your pool, such as installing it indoors, adding water features, ornaments, and physical structures. 

Indoor pools are definitely a high-end luxury, with costs starting at $110,000 and then moving upwards when considering maintenance and extensive construction work. Indoor pools can still use vinyl, concrete or fiberglass, but will also require significant building work and dehumidifiers to work. 

Other Options to Consider

Saltwater is another addition for those craving a natural pool sensation, swimming around in water that does not require traditional chemical cleaning. Saltwater pools can cost around $30,000 – $40,000, which includes the saltwater generator that converts the salt into chlorine.

Although, it is possible to convert a pre-existing pool into one that uses salt-water, typically costing around $500 – $3,000 depending on if the pool is above or below ground and the size. 


Pools are always going to be a costly addition to a property, but they can be a luxury that can be game-changing in hotter climates or dry seasons. Although the costs mentioned above are good indicators of what to expect, it is always a good idea to budget with an extra 10% – 20% in mind to accommodate for unforeseen issues.

With the maintenance, cleaning and other costs involved, a pool is not an impulse buy and a purchase that needs to be carefully planned out before you think about taking a dip. 

If you’ve already installed a pool and are looking for some ideas on how to make it more interesting, we have you covered right here.

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