How Much Does It Cost to Build a Swimming Pool?
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Build Swimming Pool Cost Guide
Updated: January 25, 2024
There’s nothing like plunging into a cold pool on a hot summer day – but if you have to gather up the kids, pack the car, and drive a few miles, it takes some of the pleasure and convenience out of the experience.
However, you can have your own backyard swimming pool for an average of $44,688. On the low end, an above-ground swimming pool costs as little as $200. On the high end, you can spend $162,531 for an enclosed, in-ground concrete pool. If you want to join the over 10 million U.S. homeowners who have a backyard swimming pool, this article will walk you through all the possibilities, including types of pools, different pool materials, additional features, and the best options for your budget.
Average costs to build a swimming pool
National average cost
$32,175 to $58,541
Factors that influence the cost to build a pool
Multiple factors influence the cost of building a swimming pool. Knowing the differences and how they affect your swimming experience, whether above- or in-ground, will help you choose the best option for your family and your budget.
Above-ground vs. in-ground
If you’re unsure if the upkeep of a swimming pool is suitable for your family, testing the waters with an above-ground model will give you an idea. You can purchase a round vinyl-sided pool for less than $200 at most major retailers for some splashing fun. Of course, you’ll have to buy the filter, ladder, and other necessary equipment separately. This plug-and-play version has an inflatable ring around the top edge that rises as you fill it with water. After creating a level place to put it, this vinyl pool style is the easiest to set up and take down for winter storage.
With more money and for more fun, you can install something much larger. For swimming laps, water games, and more, you can purchase a hard-sided pool kit that includes everything you need – a pump, filtration system, and ladder – for under $7,000. But if you’re sure a pool will be your family’s forever friend, inground pool costs typically are based on the following characteristics.
You may think that “go big or go home” applies to swimming pools until you see the costs involved. Because the larger the pool size, the more expensive it is, for multiple reasons. First, the excavation for a larger in-ground pool takes more man-hours. Second, the size of the pool requires more materials.
When you get to the finishing touches, there are greater costs for landscaping, hardscaping, and lighting because you have more ground to cover. Here is a breakdown of the most popular size ranges to help you decide between a small pool and a large one.
Cost to build a swimming pool based on size
Up to 300 square feet
$18,646 to $33,925
301 to 600 square feet
$23,059 to $41,955
601 to 900 square feet
$29,273 to $53,261
In-ground pools come in all shapes and sizes, typically constructed of concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl. Below is a brief description of each.
- Fiberglass – Fiberglass pools are pre-molded in a factory to create a shell that fits in the ground. They’re durable and long lasting, making them the easiest to maintain. Also, the pool construction process takes less time. However, you’ll find limited sizes and depths because they need to be transported.
- Concrete – Concrete is the most expensive option but also the most customizable. It can be formed to fit any shape and size. And include tile or other decorative finishes.
- Vinyl – A vinyl liner pool can be shaped into various forms and sizes. However, they don’t last as long as other options. And they may cost less initially, but they cost more over time because the liner only lasts seven to nine years.
Cost to build a swimming pool based on material type
$18,646 to $53,261
$23,417 to $127,817
$20,762 to $57,076
From plunge pools for cooling off to the endless pool or lap pool for exercise to the natural pool complete with aquatic plants and animals, swimming pools come in various sizes and styles to fit your family’s lifestyle. Here is a brief discussion of each one with an estimated cost range.
Family leisure in-ground pool
Most families spend from $45,000 to $85,000 for their backyard pool. The family leisure pool is made of any shape, material, or size, and is typically in-ground and deep enough for a diving board or slide. It will also include a shallow end for just bobbing around. A large patio provides space for entertaining, and with an outdoor kitchen nearby, you have the perfect place to spend the entire evening.
Spool is simply the combination of the words small and pool. Typically, a spool is no more than 12x14 feet. They often have built-in benches and jets to pull double duty as a hot tub. Without the benches and jets, this diminutive size becomes a plunge pool for cooling off. Some call them cocktail pools because they’re ideal for entertaining on a hot summer day. You can DIY a spool starting at around $5,000. But to have one professionally installed would start at $25,000, depending on the features.
An endless pool has powerful jets that push the water, keeping an infinite tide going so you can swim against it without going anywhere. This design allows the swimmer to get the exercise they want in a smaller space. Endless Pools® start at $34,859.
Walk-in, beach-entry, or zero-entry pools have a gradual entry from the patio area to the deep water. This style eliminates the need for steps or ladders, making them easier for people with mobility problems or in a wheelchair. Zero-entry pools can be of any material or style. Adding the entry area typically costs from $5,040 to $9,170, in addition to the pool cost.
Designed for exercise, a lap pool is typically narrow and long – about 50 feet long. They can be made of any material and include extra features like jets. At the low end, expect to pay from $23,059 to $41,955 for a lap pool.
Some people prefer saltwater pools because the water is better for your skin and hair than a chlorine pool. A saltwater pool is a standard swimming pool that includes a salt chlorinator. The device electronically converts salt into just enough chlorine to keep the pool clean. You can get a saltwater pool of any material. However, the salt can corrode some parts and kill the surrounding landscape over time. To add a saltwater system, add $1,008 to $2,620 to the cost of the pool.
Lagoon refers more to the shape of the pool rather than the type of pool, and it comes in any material. Instead of a rectangle or circle, it is shaped freeform with various curves. Typically, lagoon pools are landscaped to make them look like a natural part of the yard. Any additional cost for a lagoon pool will be from the finishing touches it includes.
A natural pool uses elements from nature to filter the water. Aquatic plants, rocks, and sand keep the water clean, just as in a natural body of water. The pool has two areas–one for swimming and the regeneration zone, where the water is filtered. Therefore, you’ll need something twice the size of a traditional pool. For a natural pool with a 300-square-foot swimming area, you’ll need 600 square feet total. Expect to pay $36,000 to $117,900 for a natural pool of this size.
An infinity pool creates the illusion of a waterfall that flows over an edge into a small basin where it’s recycled. Add at least $20,000 to $26,000 to the cost of your standard inground pool for an infinity pool. This cost covers the engineering and design work and the building of the retaining wall. More complicated installations could even double the original price.
An Olympic-size swimming pool measures 50 meters (164 feet) in length, 25 meters (82 feet) in width, and 2 meters (6.5 feet) deep. It has ten lanes for swimmers to race. Homeowners who don’t have yards large enough to accommodate a pool that size opt for a junior Olympic pool which is 25 meters long. Due to its massive size, an Olympic-size pool costs from $470,556 to $1.9M.
Swimming when there’s snow on the ground? Of course! With an indoor pool, you can swim all year long, but you not only have the pool cost, but you also have the construction costs of the home addition, increased maintenance due to humidity, and the installation costs of a dehumidifying system. All said and done, building an indoor pool with no bells and whistles would range from $187,500 to $245,625.
Custom means you design the pool rather than choose a stock one. A custom pool most often will be vinyl-lined or concrete and of any size–from a small plunge pool to an Olympic-sized pool. In addition, a custom pool design can include features like jets or waterfalls. The cost for a custom-made pool depends on the size, material, and project scope.
You may want additional features with your pool that will increase the overall cost. Items like a heater, lights, diving board, and more make your pool more versatile and attractive. Here are a few of the most popular pool add-ons to consider.
- Heater – Depending on the size of the pool, the cost to install an electric heater is from $2,231 to $5,338, and the cost to install a solar heater is from $2,599 to $11,929.
- Lights – Adding lights to your pool package will entice you into the water after the sun goes down. But it will cost you from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the type of lights and the size of your pool.
- Hardscape – To install a 500-square-foot patio around your pool will cost from $2,629 to $4,784, depending on your location and the materials used.
- Landscape – Many variables factor into the cost of landscaping around your pool and outdoor living space, such as the types and sizes of the plants, whether you include lighting or water features, and the size of the area to cover. Consult with a professional landscaping company for a specific price in your area. But for a ballpark, expect to pay $37 to $68 per hour for labor.
- Pool house – A pool house or pool building provides a place to change without dripping water through your home. A simple design with no bathroom or shower will add about $6,000 to the cost of the pool, depending on the size of the building, type of foundation, and construction method.
- Fencing – Many municipalities will require that your pool area be fenced in. The cost of a fence varies widely, depending on the type, the linear feet of coverage, and the materials.
- Steps–If you want steps built into the pool rather than a ladder that descends into the water, you’ll pay $1,796 to $3,268 extra.
- Diving board – If your pool is at least 9 feet deep, you may want to add a diving board. The board costs range from $570 to $6,022, depending on the type and material.
- Cover–The cost of an automatic pool cover depends on the pool size. They can range from $3,594 for a small, 300-square-foot pool to $10,782 for a sizeable 900-square-foot pool.
- Enclosure – Pool enclosures come in glass or screen. The cost depends on the square footage, the material, and whether you want it fully or only half open. The following chart gives the ranges for a 1,000-square-foot enclosure.
Cost to build a 1,000-square-foot enclosure
$19,079 to $34,714
$17,820 to $32,423
$4,313 to $7,847
$10,485 to $19,076
Swimming pool pricing tiers
We've broken the project into three pricing tiers to help you better plan your swimming pool installation. Each tier includes pool types and possible features with an increasing budget.
The budget-friendly option
Depending on the size and location, you can install an above-ground pool for $200 to $7,000.
The budget-friendly backyard pool is purchased in a kit, in a box, at the store. This above-ground variety is easy to install and easier on the pocketbook. However, even with the best care, they don’t last longer than a few years.
The mid-range option
With a middle-of-the-road budget, you can build a swimming pool for $19,000 to $52,000 or more, depending on the features.
The mid-range budget affords the homeowner a few more options. A top-of-line, hard-sided above-ground pool with a cover, wooden pool deck, and landscaping falls at the bottom of this pricing tier. But, you also can build an in-ground fiberglass pool with few bells and whistles and stay within this price range. Here are a few ideas that fall into this category.
Hard-sided, above-ground pool – $18,998
Pool (600sf) with filter kit – $5,450
Pool heater – $3,000
Pool cover – $1,905
Deck (100sf) – $8,643
In-ground fiberglass pool – $51,364
Pool (600 sf) installed – $40,657
Pool heater – $3,099
Pool cover – $1,905
Concrete patio (800sf) – $5,703
The luxury option
The total cost for a luxury swimming pool ranges from $128,000 to $1.9M, depending on the scope of work and your location.
Your luxury estate deserves the best swimming experience you can buy. From a concrete infinity pool that blends into the shore to an Olympic-sized pool to an indoor pool for family fun, you can afford it with this level of budget. Items that will add the most to the budget, besides size, include
A specialty type of pool, like an infinity or walk-in pool
Structure, like a screen or glass enclosure, to a full-indoor pool
Expansive landscaping or other natural elements
Extra lighting for swimming at night
Pros and cons of owning a swimming pool
Place to entertain
Way to cool off during a heat wave
Lose yard space
Cost to maintain
It makes the home harder to sell
Can you build my own swimming pool?
Installing your own backyard above-ground swimming pool is a DIY-friendly project. But when it comes to operating heavy equipment, moving earth, and installing electrical and plumbing for an in-ground pool installation, that level of project is best left to the professionals. If you have what it takes, swimming pool companies will deliver a fiberglass shell to your home for a self-installation that will save you labor costs. However, you will lose any warranty options included with the professional installation.
Should you finance your swimming pool installation?
Installing a swimming pool could be as costly as a kitchen remodel, the most expensive home improvement project. To pay for the job, consider the following financing options.
Personal loan – Not secured with the equity in your home, personal loans are reserved for homeowners with high credit scores. A personal loan pays you one large lump sum, and you repay it monthly over the term–usually two to seven years. However, the short term will mean larger payments and interest rates are typically higher than with a home equity loan.
Home equity loan – Borrowing against the equity in your home (up to 85 percent), the home equity loan gives you a longer repayment period and lower interest rates. However, you could lose your home if you cannot repay the debt.
Home equity line of credit –A HELOC allows you to borrow against your home on a rolling basis and repay your withdrawals during a set repayment period. If you don’t already have a HELOC set up, contact your lender today.
How to save money on a swimming pool installation
The best way to save money on your swimming pool is to go with less. A smaller size, fewer added features, or minimal landscaping will always cost less. Other than size, ask your pool installation company what upgrades you can include down the road, like additional lights or a heater. That way, you can save on the initial investment and add them as funds permit.
Or, you can pay a pool contractor for the installation and perform the other work yourself. Many homeowners can handle landscaping or building a deck on their own. Doing so will lower the total project cost.
Other things to think about
Geographic location – All home improvement projects' cost varies depending on your location. Always consult with a local professional for accurate cost information.
Local climate – If you live in an area of the country with cold winters, your pool will need winterizing, which may impact your budget.
Setback requirements – Anything you build in your backyard must adhere to the municipality’s setback requirements. Consult with your local building department to find out what those are and learn what permitting fees you’ll encounter.
Trees and accessibility – Fences, steep hills, retaining walls, and tree canopies are all common obstructions to pool delivery and installation. Discuss what your backyard looks like before committing to a pool purchase.
Terrain – If your property is rocky, it may require blasting. If it’s unlevel, you may need a retaining wall. These things will add to the expense.
Maintenance costs – Your pool will need routine maintenance that will add to your monthly budget. From cleaning and chemicals to periodically adding water and the increase to your electric bill, the cost of a swimming pool is ongoing.
Homeowners insurance – Your homeowner’s insurance rates will increase with the addition of a swimming pool. How much depends on the type of pool and where you live.
Re-sale value – Not everyone wants to be a pool owner. If you plan to sell your home in the foreseeable future, you will need to find a buyer who will love a pool as much as you do.
Just keep swimming
Don’t spend your summer shuffling kids and pool noodles in and out of the car. Instead, find a local pool installation company near you. Before you know it, you’ll be floating your cares away in your new pool just a few steps away.