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Build Swimming Pool Cost

Build Swimming Pool Cost

National average
$50,000 - $85,000
(building a 12’x24’ inground fiberglass pool with concrete deckl)
Low: $6,000 - $12,000

(above ground pool with attached deck)

High: $90,000 - $100,000

(infinity concrete pool with concrete deck)

Cost to build a swimming pool varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from swimming pool builders in your city.

The average cost of building a swimming pool is $50,000 - $85,000​.

In this guide

Cost factors
Design
Above-ground vs inground pool
Types
Saltwater vs chlorine
Deck
Pump and filter
Labor
Maintenance
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to build a swimming pool?

If you live in a warm climate, want to enhance your outdoor living space, or add value to your home, adding a swimming pool to your property can be a great project. Swimming pools give you a place to entertain, cool off on hot days, or to entertain friends and family. They come in many shapes, sizes, and materials, and can be filtered or cleaned using a variety of techniques as well. All of these variables impact the overall cost of building a swimming pool.

Building a pool costs on average $50,000 to $85,000, with the average homeowner spending around $67,500 on installing a fiberglass inground pool of 12’x24’ with a concrete deck.

Building a pool costs
National average cost$67,500
Average range$50,000 - $85,000
Minimum cost$6,000
Maximum cost$100,000


Cost factors

There are a lot of variables when it comes to building a pool. Size is one consideration, as the amount of materials and excavation will be dictated by the size of the pool you build. Whether the pool is inground or above ground is another consideration, as above ground pools tend to cost less and be a less invasive to install than an inground pool. The material your pool is built from will also play a role, with vinyl pools costing the least ($37,000) and concrete pools costing the most ($60,000).

The depth of the pool and how difficult it is to excavate your yard may also play a role; very rocky terrain may end up costing more to excavate, while hilly terrain may require leveling 1, which can also add to the cost.

How you filter your pool will also play a role. Saltwater will be more expensive to install than chlorine 2, while a natural pool has higher overall costs as well ($70,000). How you outfit the pool and what accessories you may choose to use with it, as well as the type of decking and fencing you choose, will all have an impact on the total cost.

Some basic cost comparisons may include:

FactorAverage cost
Excavation for 10’x10’ pool$450
Excavation for 12’x24’ pool$1,296
Excavation for 20’x36’ pool$3,240
Blasting of rocky terrain for 10’x10’ pool$600-$1,000
Blasting of rocky terrain for 12’x24’ pool$1,700-$2,880
Blasting of rock terrain for 20’x36’ pool4,320-$7,200
10’x10’ vinyl pool$19,000
12’x24’ vinyl pool$37,000

20’x36’ vinyl pool

$63,000
10’x10’ fiberglass pool$38,000
12’x24’ fiberglass pool$50,000
20’x36’ fiberglass pool$80,000
10’x’10’ concrete pool$33,000
12’x24’ concrete pool$60,000
20’x36’ concrete pool$110,000
10’x10’ gunite pool$50,000
12’x24’ gunite pool$80,000
20’x36’ gunite pool$150,000


Design

In many instances, the design of your pool will be dictated at least in part by the material, with concrete pools giving you the most options and fiberglass 3 giving you the fewest. Nearly all fiberglass pools will be rectangular in shape, with a few being square. This is one of the limits of the material. Vinyl 4 pools can have more shapes including circular and kidney-shaped, as well as rectangular and square.

If you opt for a concrete or gunite 5 pool, your pool can be made in any shape you desire. While rectangular is still the most common, it’s possible to have free-form pools that can have a shape that mimics your garden or landscaping, as well as pools that make specific shapes, such as a question mark with a hot tub as the dot.

When you decide on the type of pool in terms of use and material, you’ll want to choose a pool builder who is experienced in that type of pool. Your pool builder can then help you work on the design of the pool, including the best shape and size for your purposes, the best type of deck, filtration system, and accessories, as well as what type of maintenance you want to do, and how much you want to spend in yearly costs. Usually, the fees for this service are included within the labor portion of the pool build, as helping design and put together the pool is part of the process of contracting with a builder. Always make sure that you do your homework ahead of time as to the basics, however, as not every pool builder can accommodate every material or specification.

Above-ground vs inground pool

One of the considerations you’ll make when choosing to build a pool is whether to build an above-ground pool or an inground pool. Both have positive and negative attributes that you will need to consider.

Above-groundInground
$12,000 for a 12’x24’ pool with deck$20,000-$60,000 for a 12’x24’ pool
Limited sizesMany sizes available
Limited materialsSeveral materials to choose from
Installation can be done in daysInstallation takes weeks to months
Requires less maintenance and fewer repairsRequires yearly, ongoing maintenance
May hurt resale value of homeMay improve home value


Types

Pools come in a wide variety of options and types depending on location, size, and what you plan to do with them. Most pools will be used outdoors, but there are a few types that are designed for indoor use as well.

Outdoor pools

Outdoor pools are the most common type. They also have the most variables depending on what your goal is for installation; different pools can have different primary uses.

Above-ground

Above-ground pools are one of the easiest and least expensive options. They tend to be smaller and more limited in shape and size. They don’t have as many associated maintenance costs, but they also don’t last as long, with the least expensive lasting about 3-5 years and the most expensive lasting about 7-10 years. If you’re unsure how much use the pool will get, starting with an above ground pool can be a good way to gauge.

Above ground pool with steps


Inground

Inground pools are considered more permanent additions to the yard. They can be made of a few different materials and can be filtered or used in a few different ways. Depending on the material you use, they can vary in depth, size, shape, and longevity as well as costs. The three most common materials are concrete, vinyl 4, and fiberglass 3.

ConcreteFiberglass 7Vinyl 5
$60,000 for 12’x24’ pool$50,000 for 12’x24’ pool$37,000 for 12’x24’ pool
Takes 2-4 months to buildTakes 2-3 weeks to buildTakes 4-6 weeks to build
High maintenanceLow maintenanceModerate maintenance
Lasts 50 years or moreLasts 25 years or moreNeeds new liner 3 every 7 years
Can be any size, shape, or depthLimited size, shape, and depthHas some limitations for shape
High ongoing costsLow ongoing costsModerate ongoing costs
Adds value to propertyAdds value to propertyMay lower property value


Concrete inground pool


Infinity pools

Infinity pools do not have a defined visible edge, but allow the water to spill over the edge into a catch pool before being filtered and brought back in. They can help reduce algae build-up by constantly moving, which can lower maintenance costs, but they also have higher electricity costs, ongoing costs, and build costs.

Woman bathing in an infinity pool located on a rooftop


Lap pool

If you want the pool solely for exercise purposes, lap pools are a good choice. This is an inground pool that doesn’t take up as much space, so it can be placed in more areas. Lap pools are just long and wide enough to allow for a single swimmer or two swimmers to be able to perform laps. They tend to be shallow and are usually the length of a standard pool (45’), while only 8’ wide.

Lap pool surrounded by a wood deck


Natural pool

Natural pools are a popular way to create a pool that enhances your landscaping and that uses plants to naturally filter the pool instead of chemicals. They’re made up of the swimming area and a second, regeneration area where the plants are located. They’re usually made of concrete, and can be any shape or size.

Natural pool in a house yard


Endless pools

If you don’t have a lot of space, you can create or purchase an endless pool 6. This is a small pool that uses a current that the user must swim against, essentially causing you to swim in place. With the current off, the pool can be used for cooling off or recreation as well. They’re usually heated and designed for use year-round, and many may be placed indoors as well as outside. They can be inground or above-ground, depending on the model.

Professional swimmer swimming in an endelss pool


Plunge pool

If you have a small area and want your pool for soaking or cooling off, rather than exercise, a plunge pool is an option. This is a small pool, usual about 13-15’ long and 6-8’ wide, as well as 3-5’ deep. They may have a waterfall feature as well, and usually have a concrete deck. They are usually made of concrete.

Private plunge pool in a terrace


Spool

Want to have both a spa and a pool, but only have room for one? The “spool” is a combination hot tub and pool that is larger than the average spa, but smaller than the average pool. The spool often contains jets like an endless pool, and can also be used for sitting and relaxing as well as swimming. They measure roughly 10-16’ long by 6-8’ wide.

Cocktail pool with waterfall


Type of poolAverage cost
Above-ground$12,000 for 12’x24’
Spool$12,000 for 6’x10’
Plunge$20,000 for 6’x13’
Endless$29,000 for 9’x14’
Inground vinyl$37,000 for 12’x24’
Inground fiberglass$50,000 for 12’x24’
Lap$50,000 for 45’x8’
Inground gunite$60,000 for 12’x24’
Natural$70,000 for 30’x20’
Infinity$100,000 for 12’x24’


Indoor pools

You have fewer options for indoor pools than those used outdoors. Typically, indoor pools are either concrete with a concrete deck, or, if you’re short on space, they may use an endless pool. The key to an indoor pool is twofold: having a large enough enclosure and being able to deal with the humidity levels. Indoor pools can be used year-round in all climates, which makes them a good investment. They can be built by excavating into the area below the room, then creating a new concrete floor, or by pouring an above-ground concrete pool for an endless-style pool. You can also have a readymade endless pool installed on an existing concrete floor.

Indoor in-ground swimming pool inside a dedicated room of the house


If you have an existing room you are converting, costs are around $35,000 for a small indoor pool (10’x 15’) with a current, heater, and surrounding concrete deck. If you do not have space, then you will also need to build an enclosure, which can drive costs as high as $100,000 including the installation of the pool itself.

Saltwater vs chlorine

While there are several ways of keeping a pool clean and hygienic, the two most common methods are to use either chlorine or to create a saltwater pool. Both can give you a hygienic pool, and both require some degree of ongoing chemical usage, but they work in different ways.

Chlorine pools cost less to install, but cost more over time, about $300-$800 in yearly costs. You need to add chlorine 2 to the pool, which can be irritating to the eyes and skin, especially after prolonged use.

Saltwater pools cost more to install, but cost less over time, about $70-$100 in yearly costs. You add salt to the pool, which is converted to chlorine. This means lower levels of chlorine, which gives the water a silky feel on the skin, and which is less irritating. It can, however, harm the pool decking 7 and landscaping that it may come in contact with.

Salt water pool built in a backyard with a concrete deck


Deck

Your pool will likely need a deck or a surround that separates it from the landscaping, protecting the landscaping and creating a non-slip surface for your feet. Many in-ground pools will have a basic concrete deck added with the basic cost of the pool, but it is possible to create a deck using a variety of other materials:

DeckingAverage cost
Wood$3,000 for surrounding a 12’x24’ pool
Stone$4,000 for surrounding a 12’x24’ pool
Stamped pavers$4,500 for surrounding a 12’x24’ pool
Concrete$4,500 for surrounding a 12’x24’ pool
Composite$5,000 for surrounding a 12’x24’ pool
Modified wood$7,000 for surrounding a 12’x24’ pool
Brick$7,000 for surrounding a 12’x24’ pool


Pump and filter

Pool water needs to circulate to help minimize algae and bacteria growth. A pump 8 is, therefore, an integral part of the pool installation, and usually contains a filter to help remove debris from the water as it is pumped. Filters cost around $1,005 to install, while the water pump costs around $2,100-$3,000 depending on the size needed for the pool and the type of pump chosen. Keep in mind that larger pools will require both larger filters and pumps to keep the water clean.

Labor

Labor can vary a lot depending on the type of pool that you are building. For an inground fiberglass 3 pool measuring 12’x24’, the process is usually conducted by the pool company you contract with. They will excavate the area and haul away the dirt. If necessary, they will also level the yard and surrounding area. The fiberglass shell is trucked in, lowered, and installed. A plumber will be needed to hook up the pump 8, filter, and any other water-based accessories such as a waterfall unit or jets. If you are adding lights, an electrician will need to wire these. The company will usually pour a concrete deck as part of the process, but you can choose to have another type or style of deck put in. You may also choose to have other accessories installed such as a heater, diving board, saltwater converter, stairs, ladder, or slide. These are generally installed last, just before the pool is filled with water and the surrounding area is checked for leaks.

The process is similar for other types of installation, but rather than having the pool lowered into the hole, a frame is erected for the walls of the pool. This frame is filled with concrete to build the walls and the floor. If you are having a vinyl liner added, this is only a thin frame and the vinyl 4 liner is stretched over it and adhered, finishing the pool. If the pool is made of concrete, the walls will be thicker and will require finishing of some kind, usually a combination of a finish coat and decorative tiles. Stairs are generally cast in the same method, and the rest of the pool installation proceeds like fiberglass, with the addition of the deck, plumbing, equipment, and accessories. Generally, the labor portion of the project costs around $10,000 of the $50,000 total for a fiberglass pool but can be higher for other types.

Maintenance

No matter what type of pool you install, it will need some degree of maintenance. All pools need some ongoing maintenance, which involves checking chemical levels, adjusting chemicals as needed, and regular cleaning. If your pool is not used year-round, it will have additional maintenance needs including opening and closing, which involves removing the pump 8, heater, and filters, lubricating and stopping ends, storing items and adding the correct amount of chemicals for winter before covering. This is reversed in the spring, with the chemicals refreshed for warmer weather, and the various parts put back in.

Maintenance costs per year are around $700 for summer maintenance, while opening costs around $225 and closing costs $250.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Enclosure

Enclosing your pool can help keep out debris and make it safer to use. Enclosures can be made of panels or screens and may be permanent or portable. A permanent enclosure with a metal frame and paneling costs around $22,000 for a pool measuring 12’x24’.

Fence

An alternative to a full enclosure is a fence. Fences are required in many communities to ensure the safety of the pool. Pool fences start around $2,000 for a basic chain-link fence and can increase in costs for other materials.

Heater

Swimming pool heaters can make your pool more comfortable for use in cooler weather. They cost around $1,800-$2,400 to install, depending on size and model.

Waterfall

Waterfalls are popular additions to pools. They help circulate water and enhance the appearance. They have a wide range of costs depending on size and start around $1,500.

Spa or hot tub

Many people installing a pool will also choose to add a spa or hot tub separately. These can be used for soaking and relaxing year-round. They cost between $5,000 and $8,000 on average.

Landscape around the pool

To enhance your use of the space, you may want to landscape around the pool area as well. Landscaping can take on many forms from simple greenery to paths and benches. Landscaping costs start around $13,000 for a 1,200 sq.ft. yard.

Lighting

Pool lighting can be very elaborate or very simple depending on your needs. Lights for pools start at $450 for simple lights and begin at around $1,200 for more elaborate fiber optics.

Diving board

If your pool is at least 12’ deep, you may want to add a diving board to the deck. Diving boards come in many sizes and configurations and start around $500.

Pool steps

Pool steps can help you enter and exit the pool easily. They can be prefabricated or made right on site. They cost around $1,400 to $1,900 on average.

Additional considerations and costs

  • All inground and many permanent above ground pools will require you to have a permit to build. Count on an additional $80 to $100 in permit costs.
  • While an inground pool is generally not considered a DIY project, there are some above-ground kits that you can put together yourself. They start around $450 to $1,500 and range in complexity and size.
  • Beyond maintenance costs, you also have several other associated costs to run a pool. This includes chemicals that cost between $70 and $700 per season, as well as electricity costs, which run around $300 per year as well.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to build a swimming pool?

The average cost of an inground, 12’x24' fiberglass pool is around $50,000.

  • Do you need planning permission to build a swimming pool?

Yes, and you will also need a permit for an inground pool.

  • How much does it cost to build a pool in your backyard?

Costs range depending on the type and size of the pool, but the average cost for a 12’x24’ fiberglass pool is around $50,000.

  • Do swimming pools add value to your home?

This depends on the type of pool. Inground concrete and fiberglass pools add value, but above-ground and vinyl pools do not.

  • How much does it cost to build an inground pool?

Costs can vary depending on the material. A 12’x24’ fiberglass pool costs around $50,000.

  • How much does a 12x24 inground pool cost?

Costs will vary depending on the material. A 12’x24’ fiberglass pool will cost around $50,000.

  • Can you build your own inground pool?

Inground pools are not considered DIY-type projects and require permits and inspections.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Leveling: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
2 Chlorine: A chemical added to the water in a swimming pool to kill bacteria and microorganisms that can make people sick
glossary term picture Fiberglass 3 Fiberglass: Plastic that is reinforced with glass fibers. The fibers may be mixed randomly throughout the plastic, or come in the form of a flat sheet, or be woven into a fabric
glossary term picture Vinyl 4 Vinyl: A synthetic plastic made from ethylene and chlorine. Vinyl has many applications in the construction industry and it is widely used in sidings, window frames, roofing and gutters, among others
glossary term picture Gunite 5 Gunite: A type of concrete used for building concrete pools, lining tunnels, and structural repair. It is applied by being sprayed through a pressure hose, and produces a dense, hard layer of concrete
6 Endless pool: A swimming pool that generates a current, enabling the user to continue swimming "endlessly" without making forward progress. This allows the size of the pool to be much smaller than a traditional pool
glossary term picture Pool Surround 7 Pool decking: Decorative border or edging around a swimming pool, often including a fence
glossary term picture Pump 8 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means

Cost to build a swimming pool varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Contractors building a swimming pool

credits

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Alvin, TX
+2%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Chalmette, LA
+62%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Chula Vista, CA
+8%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cumming, GA
+2%
Cypress, TX
+8%
Delavan, WI
-8%
Denver, CO
+1%
Diberville, MS
-28%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Grand Prairie, TX
+6%
High Point, NC
-9%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
La France, SC
-23%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Little Rock, AR
0%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lynnwood, WA
-14%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Naperville, IL
+47%
North Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Ontario, CA
+19%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Palm Coast, FL
-32%
Peoria, AZ
-2%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Poway, CA
+8%
Rio Rico, AZ
-47%
Rocklin, CA
+6%
Round Rock, TX
-5%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources