In-Ground Concrete Swimming Pool Cost

The average cost of building an in-ground concrete swimming pool is between $50,000 - $60,000.

In this guide

Pros and cons of an in-ground concrete swimming pool
Prep-work
Parts of a concrete swimming pool
Types of concrete
Finishes
Labor
Maintenance
Accessories
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

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

A swimming pool is a luxury to have for the relaxation and the fun activities that come with it in the summertime. While there are many types of pools available to homeowners, an in-ground concrete pool is the best choice for homeowners for different reasons. Aside from aesthetics, concrete swimming pools are a great choice for your property due to the many designs available, the ability for privacy and relaxation in the comfort of your own home, and the value it adds to your home.

Installing an in-ground concrete swimming pool is a large investment and homeowners can expect to pay anywhere between $29,000 and $60,000. The cost is affected by factors such as the type of concrete, the type of finish used, the accessories, and some enhancement costs. This guide gives you the cost of an average project in the USA for installing a 12’x 24’. in-ground concrete swimming pool.

Pros and cons of an in-ground concrete swimming pool

Concrete pools were once the most common type of swimming pool and still remain one of the most popular choices today. This chart below illustrates some of the pros and cons of concrete swimming pools.

ProsCons

Offers more design flexibility

Tend to look very appealing

Very strong from a structural point of view

Can take months to install

Very expensive

Some surface finishes can be rough under the feet

Can cost more to run daily

Prep-work

Prior to starting the process of building an in-ground swimming pool, there is some prep work that needs to be done. The first thing that will happen is an inspection. After selecting your contractor or a potential contractor, he/she will come out to do the initial inspection. This will include a walk around the backyard to inspect the location of where the pool will be built. Here they will be able to determine how difficult/easy the process will be and if it is feasible. Most contractors charge an inspection fee that can cost from $25-$115. If you and the contractors agree to move along with the process, an agreement will be signed and a building permit will have to be obtained to start the digging.

Prior to digging, there is a high possibility that the space for the swimming pool will have to go through blasting. Blasting is the process of getting rid of rocks and unwanted materials under the surface for the pool. This will ensure that the ground is smooth enough for the pool to be built. Blasting can cost anywhere between $6 and $10 per linear foot, all depending on the size of the pool.

Parts of a concrete swimming pool

There are many parts of a concrete swimming pool. Without them, a pool would not be able to function and operate efficiently. Below are some common parts of a concrete swimming pool:

Water pump

A water pump 1 is the first part of the filtration system of a pool. A water pump draws water from the pool, pushes it through the filter, and back out into the pool. The pump typically consists of two parts: a bucket with a lid and the basket that goes inside. Within the pump is a motor that spins to help suck the water in and shoot it back out. The average cost for a water pump is $100-$600 including installation.

Filter

The filter is the second part that makes up the filtration system of a pool. Once the water pump has sucked in water, the water pushes out to the filter. The filter acts to clean the water of any fine debris or unwanted materials and then moves it right back into the pool. There are three types of swimming pool filters: cartridge, diatomaceous earth (D.E.) and sand. The average cost for each is $200-$1,100 for a cartridge filter, $485-$1,500 for a diatomaceous earth filter, and $250-$1,130 for a sand filter.

Return jets

The purpose of the return jets is to push the water back into the swimming pool after it’s been filtered. Return jets also assist in circulating the water around the pool, which helps the skimmers pick up the extra debris. The average cost for a return jet is $9-$28 per jet.

Skimmers

Skimmers help to suck the water out of the pool and into the filtration system. Inside the skimmer is a plastic basket that helps to catch debris that is floating around in the pool. The basket ensures that debris does not enter the pump. Depending on the size of the pool, some pools have more than 1 skimmer. The average cost for a pool skimmer is $1,500.

Main drain

The main drain is exactly what the name implies, the main drain of the pool. Most commonly located in the deep end, main drains help to pull water off the bottom and other areas of the pool to push it through the filter. The cost for a main drain is $20-$65.

Types of concrete

Now that you have made the initial decision to go with a in-ground concrete type swimming pool, the next question is what type of concrete? Depending on the style and type of pool you are looking for, contractors can often recommend what would be the best. The chart below illustrates four of the main types of concrete for swimming pools with a description of each.

TypeDescription

Cast-in-place

$55-$60/sq.ft.

This concrete is installed by building a form using steel or wooden boards and then pouring the concrete mixture into the form before smoothing it.

One of the most popular methods and therefore most contractors have experience using this.

Shotcrete

$55-$60/sq.ft.

Referred to as a “free form” type of concrete.

Applied either horizontally or vertically. The concrete is poured into a shotcrete pump and sprayed into layers through a nozzle. This continues until the design is complete.

If properly constructed, shotcrete will give you the strongest and most watertight type of pools.

Structural concrete

$60-$70/sq.ft.

Structural concrete often comes in the form of slabs and is used mostly for swimming pools that are built on top of facilities or for pools built into hillsides.

This concrete is great for pools that are oddly shaped or being installed on a non-flat surface.

Gunite

$72/sq.ft.

Similar to shotcrete, gunite 2 is applied to the surface. The formula for gunite has a lot more cement and less water than to cast-in-place or shotcrete concrete.

Gunite concrete is placed using a pressurized hose which combines the dry concrete mixture with water before being sprayed onto the surface.


Finishes

There are three main types of concrete swimming pool finishes to choose from. These finishes are explained below with pros and cons and cost of each.

Plaster

Plaster 3 consists of a mix of white sand, white cement, marble, and water and is applied to concrete pools using a a flat-edged trowel. Although plaster is usually white in color, it can be dyed different colors. Plaster is the least durable and lasts for roughly 5-10 years. The cost to plaster a pool averages $1.50-$5 per sq.ft.

  • Pros: inexpensive, it looks classy and simple and is standard for most concrete pools.
  • Cons:rough finish to touch, requires a lot of surface maintenance, and if not well maintained can crack or stain quite easily.

Paint

Paint can give a pool a beautiful, long-lasting finish, making it look brand new and clean all over again. There are three pool paints to choose from: acrylic water-based paint, chlorinated 4 rubber pool paint, and epoxy 5 paint. The cost to paint a pool averages $1.50-$5 per sq.ft.

  • Pros: brand new and clean look and relatively affordable.
  • Cons: there is no warranty on painting the pool, the pool will have to be repainted roughly every 2-4 years, over time the pool may start to become cloudy due to the paint chalking up and old paint will need to be completely removed before being repainted.

Tile

Tile is typically made of porcelain, glass, or stone. Tile can be textured, hand-painted, or glazed and is very commonly used for a pool waterline. Tile for a pool averages $4-$30 per sq.ft.

  • Pros: easy to clean, it is a long-lasting interior for concrete pools, easily durable.
  • Cons: more expensive, it has as the ability to chip or crack and can have sharp edges.

Labor

There are a lot of steps involved in building an in-ground concrete swimming pool. The whole project begins with an inspection, which includes the project design and proposal as well as the permit and approval. Once all of that is sorted, the construction project can begin.

The first step in construction is establishing the pool layout. The contractor will carefully outline the exact location and shape of the pool on the ground and once the forms are set, the excavation can begin. This part is done using front end loaders to dig and push back the walls of the pool. Once the hole is dug, steel bars are used to reinforce the pool shell.

Following the steel installation, all of the plumbing is roughed-in for the return lines, main drains, and any spas. Then it’s time to pour the concrete application. The concrete is poured into the mold at least 6 inches deep and then left to dry for a few days.

After the completion of the concrete phase, any decorative tiles will be installed and the plumbing will be finalized. With the design and calculations being carefully executed to ensure adequate for pool circulation. Next the equipment is set up, including the pumps and filtration system and the electrical and gas hookups are completed.

Nearing the final stage of the project, the deck will be poured or laid and then the construction materials and waste from the site will be cleaned up. After that is done, the interior of the pool is coated with finish, either plaster or paint, and the pool will be filled with water. Once full, the contractors will come test the pool equipment to make sure everything starts up properly and will go over common maintenance procedures.

On average, concrete pools take between 3 and 12 weeks to install. This is a lot longer than most other types of pools. The reason for this is that concrete has to cure for a period of time after it is poured. Typically, labor costs average between $1,550 and $2,500.

Maintenance

In order to keep a pool safe for swimming, it requires a lot of regular maintenance. Below is a chart illustrating different types of pool maintenance and average costs.

MaintenanceDescriptionCost
BrushA brush helps to circulate the water and keep the pool clean$30-$60/brush
Water temperatureChecking the water temperature should be something done either daily or every other dayCost to heat the pool using a heater can run from $75-$250/month
Control pH and calcium levelsAll of these levels should be checked when opening the pool$80/month
Acid washings

If the chemicals are unbalanced and you can’t see the bottom of the pool, then it is time to acid wash

Acid washing is the process of washing a concrete swimming pool by stripping away the outside layer of plaster while cleaning it and disinfecting it

$178-$255
Clean out filter

The filter should be cleaned out at least weekly to get rid of debris

There are 3 types: cartridge filter, diatomaceous earth filter, and sand filter

Cartridge filter $200-$1,100

Diatomaceous earth filter

$485-$1,500

Sand filter $250-$1,130
Pool vacuumA pool should be vacuumed at least weekly to get rid of unwanted debris and algae$600


Accessories

There are many options for pool owners when it comes to accessorizing their pool. From a simple diving board to a fancy slide, there are a variety of options. The chart below illustrates some of the most common types of pool accessories:

Type of accessoryFunctionCost
Ladders & diving board

Ladders are an entry/exit way in a pool

Diving boards are used as a method to jump or dive into a pool

Ladders

$70-$200

Diving boards

$400

Covers

Covers are used to keep debris out when the pool isn’t being used

Some popular kinds include solar, thermal, security covers, and automatic covers

Thermal/traditional covers

$75-$225

Security covers

$1,200-$3,000

Semi-automatic covers

$5,000-$15,000

AlarmsDoor alarms help to alert adults of someone going in the pool gate$120-$287
Lighting

Lighting built into the sides of the pool

Floating lights in the pool

Sides

$150-$300/each

Floating lights

$20-$100/each

Pool deck storage boxHandy to store pool accessories$150-$300
Pool bench seatsProvides you with somewhere to sit and possibly storage space$250-$400
SlidesFun accessory used to slide into the pool$750-$14,000 or more


Enhancement and improvement costs

Retaining walls

If your backyard is sloped or you are looking to add a dramatic backdrop to your pool with a raised wall, then installing a retaining wall 6 is a good choice for you. A retaining wall is a structure that will support vertical slopes to help hold back water and soil. Retaining walls can be made of stone, wood, interlocking blocks, or concrete. The cost to install a retaining wall ranges depending on the material used. Generally, interlocking concrete blocks cost $15-$30 per sq. ft., wood walls cost $20-$25 per sq. ft., and stone retaining walls range from $25-$40 per sq.ft.

Utility shed

With a pool comes many accessories and gadgets that need a place to be stored. A utility shed can be very handy for this reason. A utility shed can be a great place to store all of those materials and keep them out of the weather and secure from theft or damage. A traditional size utility shed is 10 x 12 sq. ft. The cost for a custom-built utility shed averages $2,745, or $22.85 per sq. ft. Along with this cost, a carpenter charges $70 per hour and an electrician $65-$85 per hour.

Waterfall

If you are looking to enhance the overall appearance of your swimming pool, then installing a waterfall can help. A waterfall is a decorative structure that can act as the focal point of your pool, adding a beautiful visual appeal. Along with aesthetics, a waterfall can add many other benefits including preventing algae from growing, helping to filter the water, and providing a soothing noise. The average cost to install 12 sq.ft. rock waterfall on a pool averages $1,020.

Fence

Installing a pool fence can be very important for the purpose of creating a safety barrier around the pool and to protect one’s privacy. For most areas, having a fence around the pool area is required by law in the interest of safety. The average cost for a pool fence installation is around $1,120 which includes a single self-closing gate.

Heater

If you are looking to have a comfortable pool temperature all year round, then installing a pool heater is a good choice. There are multiple choices of pool heaters and many factors that you have to take into consideration such as the location, how much it will be used, and the type of pool. Installing a pool heater for a standard 32’ x 16’ inground pool averages $1,800-$2,400.

Enclosure

A swimming pool enclosure 7 is a structure comprised of clear panels surrounding and covering your pool. The purpose of a pool enclosure is to extend the swimming season by providing comfortable inside temperatures to swim, provide shade and sun protection, provide security and safety from people entering your pool, and also provide protection from bugs, leaves, and other outdoor debris. A pool enclosure looks similar to a traditional sunroom. There are many factors that affect the cost of a pool enclosure including pool size, shape, and whether the enclosure is attached or detached from your home. The average cost to install a standard medium-height pool enclosure is $2,125 including labor fees.

Additional considerations and costs

  • After time, a concrete pool will need to be resurfaced. If you start to see spots, chipping, or cracking along the pool surface, then it means it is time to have your pool resurfaced. When installing your pool, it is very important to pay attention to the warranty offered by your pool company. Although a “lifetime structural warranty” will cover many required maintenance or repairs, it does not apply to pool resurfacing. Prior to building your pool, it is vital to get the surface warranty of your concrete pool down in writing. That way, if something goes wrong a few years in, the warranty will help you cover those hefty costs.
  • Saltwater pools have become an increasingly popular choice for many due to their low maintenance costs. Although this may be a benefit, saltwater pools can be a disadvantage when it comes to pool resurfacing and corrosion of your accessories like ladders and diving boards. Saltwater can be extremely corrosive and you will need to be sure to get marine-grade accessories and seal your deck properly.
  • When approving the contractors to go ahead with the pool installation, it is advisable to request a written letter of how long the pool installation process “should” take. It will often take longer than they originally thought and they may try to charge you more for that extra time in the end.
  • Demolition or blasting is a process that contractors complete during the excavation phasel. The energy from blasting is used to break down rock to create a smooth surface for the pool to be built.
  • In most states you are required by law to install a pool fence for the purpose of safety and privacy. That way, children and animals can’t access the pool without permission. The average cost for pool fence installation is around $1,120, which includes a single self-closing gate.
  • Building a pool on your own would be a tricky task. If you do decide to do it on your own, you could probably save somewhere around $10,000 or more due to the elimination of labor and inspection fees.
  • Most towns, cities, and counties require you to have a residential building permit in order to build an inground pool. This follows the building and zoning regulations. Before you begin the process, make sure to visit your local Town or City Hall to purchase your permit.
  • The ISPSC (International Swimming Pool & Spa Code and Commentary) is a comprehensive swimming pool code that inspectors use for issuing pool and spa permits. The ISPSC contains information on all minimum regulations for public and residential pools. It also covers things such as fencing, decks, pumps, diving, design, and water quality safety.

FAQ

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

The cost to build a standard shape, in-ground concrete swimming pool, 12’x24’ in size averages from $29,000-$60,000. The cost is affected by factors such as the type of concrete, the type of finish used, the accessories, and some enhancement costs.

  • What is a concrete pool?

A concrete pool is an in-ground swimming pool that is constructed using concrete. Concrete is poured into a steel mold that shapes the outline of the pool.

  • How much does it cost to build a pool per square foot?

The average cost to build a pool per square foot is $72-$160. The cost is determined by factors relating to the type of pool built, the size of the pool, and the materials used.

  • How much does it cost to put in a underground pool?

The average cost to put in an underground pool is $29,000-$60,000. The amount you will pay all depends on the type of underground pool you are putting in.

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

The average cost to build an inground pool is between $29,000-$90,000.

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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 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
2 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
3 Plaster: A paste composed of sand, water, and either lime, gypsum, or cement, which forms a smooth hard surface on walls, ceilings, and other structures upon drying
4 Chlorinated: A chemical added to the water in a swimming pool to kill bacteria and microorganisms that can make people sick
5 Epoxy: An adhesive, plastic, paint, or other material made from polymers containing epoxide groups. Epoxy is best used for bonding or for creating a protective coating
6 Retaining wall: A structure used to support vertical slopes of earth or to hold back water
7 Pool enclosure: Artificial barrier that completely encircles a pool, protecting it from dirt, dust, insects, leaves, and other debris and also serving as a safety feature preventing those outside of it from falling in and possibly drowning

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

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Allen, TX
+23%
Altadena, CA
+14%
Antioch, CA
+30%
Apopka, FL
+1%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Blanchard, OK
-26%
Brentwood, CA
+45%
Brunswick, GA
-29%
Buckeye, AZ
-2%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Buford, GA
+9%
Byhalia, MS
-21%
Cape Coral, FL
-9%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clinton, MD
+16%
Corona, CA
+19%
Corpus Christi, TX
+4%
Dallas, TX
+10%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fayetteville, NC
-20%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fredericksburg, VA
-5%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Gainesville, FL
-12%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Hammond, LA
+3%
Henderson, NV
+10%
Highland, NY
+3%
Hollywood, FL
0%
Homestead, FL
-2%
Houston, TX
+24%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Killeen, TX
-27%
Kissimmee, FL
-20%
Lake Worth, FL
-2%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lawrenceville, GA
+16%
Longview, TX
0%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Mansfield, TX
+5%
Marietta, PA
+1%
Melbourne, FL
-16%
Miami, FL
+1%

Labor cost in your zip code

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