In-ground Swimming Pool Cost

In this guide

Labor
Shapes
Materials
Water heater
Filter system
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to build an in-ground swimming pool?

In-ground pools are built sunken into the ground, usually so that the top is flush with the surrounding ground level. Building an in-ground pool has many benefits, such as improving your property value and providing a place for outdoor recreation. In-ground pools are almost always more expensive to build than above-ground pools.

Technically, building an in-ground pool is possible to DIY, and there are even DIY kits that cost $10,000-$15,000. However, building an in-ground swimming pool is a tough, complex project that we recommend leaving to professionals. Hiring professional contractors saves you the effort and trouble of the actual building work, and provides protection: all licensed contractors offer warranties, with the average warranty covering 7 years.   

In this cost guide, we will examine the average cost of building a 12’x24’ in-ground swimming pool, which ranges from $16,700 to $31,400, depending on materials and features chosen.

Labor

The cost of hiring professionals to build an in-ground swimming pool is usually determined by the size you want your pool to be and what material you choose. Labor costs are usually included in the packages provided by contractors, but the average rate paid to a professional pool installer is $14 per hour, or an average of $5.37 per square foot.

Shapes

Unless they require unusual constructions or other accommodations, shapes won’t influence the cost of building a pool too much. If your shape requires the addition of more space than an average pool, that is where you will see the most cost added. The most common pool shapes are: square/rectangular, oval/circle, kidney, Roman, Grecian, lazy L, figure 8, and custom.

Materials

Here you have a summary table with the pros, cons, longevity and costs regarding in-ground swimming pools. However, if you want more information about each material, go to our cost guides: concrete & gunite 1 pool, fiberglass 2 pool and vinyl 3 pool.

MaterialProsConsLongevityAverage Cost
Concrete & gunite 1

High durability

All sizes, shapes & depths

Beach entries possible

High lifetime cost

Porous surface prone to algae development

More chemicals needed

Rough surface texture

No saltwater

Slow installation process

Decades

Resurfacing necessary every 9-12 years

$29,600
Fiberglass 2

Low lifetime cost

Low maintenance

Smooth, non-porous surface

Inhibits algae & need for chemicals

Most designs have built-in 4 seating & steps

Quick installation (3-5 weeks on average)

High upfront cost

Limited shapes and designs

Road shipment limits width to 16’

Color repair may not always match original

20 years$31,400
Vinyl 3

Low upfront cost

Any type and size

Smooth, non-abrasive surface

Liner 5 inhibits algae development

High lifetime cost

Prorated liner 5 warranties

Liner 5 bleaching required

Steps & seating often don’t match liner 5
Lower resale value

6-11 years$25,700

Water pumps 6

Water pumps 6 circulate the water through a filter to prevent the buildup of algae and debris. Pumps 6 usually need to be run for 8 hours a day in the summer and 4 hours a day in the winter. Pump 6 choices vary mainly by the number of speed choices they provide, and their rate of electricity usage. Some types require less maintenance and have higher longevity. Below are the most common types of pumps 6 and their average prices:

  • Single-speed: $120-$550
  • Two-speed: $290-$800
  • Variable speed: $800-$1,500
  • Solar: $800-$5,500

Water heater

Water heaters are used to keep your pool water at a comfortable temperature for swimming, usually 78-82 degrees. The average cost for professionals to install a pool heater is $400-$500. Pool heaters average $1,800-$2,400, depending on type. To learn more about swimming pool heaters and their costs, read our detailed guide.

Filter system

Filter systems are used in conjunction with water pumps 6 to keep your pool water clean and safe for swimming. There are different types of filter systems, each with their own filtration methods and designs.

  • Sand filters: $300-$600
  • Cartridge filters: $150-$700
  • Diatomaceous earth filters: $250-$700

Enhancement and improvement costs

Some of the additions listed below may be required by law. Check your local laws regarding pool construction to see what codes and standards you’ll need to comply with.

Fences

Local laws may require a minimum height between 4.5’ and 5’, in addition to self-closing gates and/or gates with childproof latches. The most common length ranges between 30-60 linear feet, with an average cost of $1120. This includes one self-closing gate. Our Swimming Pool Fence Cost Guide contains more information about the installation and cost.

Perimeter sidewalk

Installing a sidewalk can help keep your pool cleaner and safer. For a concrete sidewalk of 2” thick and 3’ wide, around a 12’x24’ pool, the average cost is $150. That breaks down to $1.74 per foot.

Covers

Covers keep debris out of your pool, prevent water-loss through evaporation, and reduce heating costs. There are many cover types: solar covers, thermal covers, hidden covers, security covers, semi-automatic covers, and automatic covers. Prices vary widely depending on type. Thermal covers and other traditional types cost $75-225, while semi-automatic and automatic covers can cost anywhere from $5000-$15,000. Security covers cost between $1,200-$3,000.

Ladders & diving boards

Ladders make it easier to enter and exit the deep-end of a pool, and are an important safety feature. They usually cost $70-$200 each. Diving boards cost an average of $400.

Slides

These fun additions can cost anywhere from $750 to $14,000 or more, depending on size and design. Financing options may be available from certain dealers.

Lighting

You can have lighting built into the sides of your pool ($150-$300 each), or buy floating lights ($20-$100 each). Colored LED built-in 4 lights can run as high as $750 each.

Water features

Many decorative features can be incorporated into your pool’s construction, such as waterfalls ($450-$15,000), fire features ($100-$1,000), fountain bubblers ($50-$300), hot tubs ($10,000-$25,000), and grottos ($5,000-$10,000).

Additional considerations and costs

Permits

Your hired contractor should be able to assist you in gathering the permits you may need for your project. Permit rules vary by state, and even city or county. In order to obtain a permit, you’ll need to abide by certain codes relating to pool placement, construction, and maintenance. In addition to a residential building permit ($75-$150), you will likely also need an electrical permit ($25-$50).

Maintenance

Maintenance will require sanitizing your pool with chemicals, removing debris, and taking care of the pumps 6, heaters and other equipment. Maintenance ranges from daily to annual routines. It costs an average of $95 per month for basic pool chemicals, and $400 or more for a collection of brushes, vacuums, and other cleaning tools.

Future repairs

Even if you take great care of your pool, sooner or later you may need to perform some repairs. The most common problem requiring repairs is a leak, which can be the result of a torn vinyl 3 liner 5, or a cracked shell. Minor leaks that are easy to repair usually cost $300, while major leaks, re-plastering, and vinyl 3 liner 5 replacements can cost as much as $5,000.

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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 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
2 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
3 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
4 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable
5 Liner: A covering, usually made of vinyl, for the walls and floor of a swimming pool, used to keep the water in and protect the pool's surface.
6 Pumps: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means

Cost to build an in-ground swimming pool varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Austin, TX
+13%
Baytown, TX
-12%
Canton, GA
-5%
Cape Coral, FL
-9%
Cedar Rapids, IA
+6%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Conroe, TX
+21%
Corona, CA
+19%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Dallas, TX
+10%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Gilbert, AZ
-2%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Hialeah, FL
-2%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Houston, TX
+24%
Howell, MI
-5%
Humble, TX
+16%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Katy, TX
+63%
Kissimmee, FL
-20%
Lakeland, FL
-13%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Miami, FL
+1%
Naperville, IL
+47%
Naples, FL
-3%
North Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Ocala, FL
-25%
Opa Locka, FL
-1%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Port Saint Lucie, FL
-18%
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
+23%
Riverside, CA
+13%
Riverview, FL
-5%
Round Rock, TX
-5%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
San Antonio, TX
-4%
San Diego, CA
+11%
San Jose, CA
+33%

Labor cost in your zipcode

Last modified:   
Methodology and sources