Few things are more refreshing than a quick dip in a cool pool on a hot summer’s day. After all, there’s a reason why some 10.4 million residential pools (and another 309,000 public swimming pools) exist in the United States. A swimming pool serves a variety of purposes, from entertainment to exercise and is fit for people of all ages. And whether it’s related to the COVID-19 pandemic or simply a desire to enhance the ambiance of their backyards, more homeowners than ever find themselves interested in swimming pools.
For most of those homeowners, the first question asked is, “How much does an inground pool cost?” In the same way variables can influence the cost of other large-ticket items like houses and cars, pool costs will fluctuate wildly. To help homeowners better understand what their new pool might cost, read on as explore some factors to consider and the types of features that can determine the cost of an inground pool.
What are the different types of inground pools?
The three unique types of construction methods most frequently used with inground pools are fiberglass, vinyl liner, and concrete, which is also known as gunite. Each of these methods has its pros and cons, including durability and cost.
Generally speaking, vinyl-lined pools are the least expensive of the three, followed by fiberglass and concrete. As you might imagine, vinyl pools have the shortest life, which means you may end up spending more money in the long run since a replacement liner is needed every 10 years or so. Of the three types, fiberglass offers the least room for customization in terms of size and shape. On the other hand, concrete pools can be poured in just about any freeform shape that the homeowner can envision.
What factors influence the price of a basic inground pool?
If you came here to find out how much does an inground pool cost, these are the aspects of construction that determine how much you’ll be spending.
- The size and shape of the pool: This one is obvious, but the bigger your pool, the more you’ll be spending in most cases. That goes for material and labor, both of which will increase with a more substantially sized pool.
- The materials used: We already mentioned the different types of construction methods and the varying costs for each, but other material choices can also ramp up costs. For instance, the tile or stone around the pool’s perimeter can get pricey and add up quickly.
- Your location: This is another obvious one, but construction costs in areas that are hotbeds for pools like Florida, California, and Texas will likely be elevated. The same can be said for major metropolitan areas versus more rural locations.
- Your yard’s physical footprint: When it comes to pool building, access is everything. If your yard is hard to access, requires special equipment, or poses a particular threat to the pool company’s people or equipment, you can expect to spend more.
- Decking: You’ll need something to be built around the pool, and the direction you go in can alter your price considerably. The most cost-effective material is concrete, but plenty of people opt for brick pavers or something with a more luxurious look like travertine tile.
What other add-ons can increase the price?
There’s nothing wrong with a basic inground pool that satisfies your ability to leisurely swim, exercise, or spend quality time with the family. But many homeowners going through the pool construction process become tempted by bells and whistles that either add to the look or functionality—and those things come with a price.
Here are some of the top add-ons you may elect to buy during the design process that can increase the total cost of your pool.
- Screening: If your yard is lush with trees or you live in an area where insects are bothersome, you may want to invest in a screened cage enclosure around your pool. Not only can a cage keep a lot of debris and bugs out of your pool, but “no-peek panels” can be installed to make the space more private. Plus, some municipalities require homeowners to either have a screen enclosure or a fence.
- Landscaping and lighting: This is one area where it’s easy to get carried away when you’re designing your pool. Adding palm trees and a fun lighting package to give your pool and the surrounding space a tropical flavor is fun, but you should be prepared to expand the budget.
- Pool heater: Even in states like Florida, where it’s warm most of the year, a pool that doesn’t receive direct sunlight can be chilly for months at a time. There are several different types of pool heaters, from gas to solar, but they all add to the price.
- Water features: Fountains, jets, bubblers, and more; these water features are downright cool. But they can also be downright expensive.
How much does an inground pool cost?
Now that you have a clearer picture of what components make up the cost, let’s dig in a bit into what you might spend on an inground pool.
Because of the variables included above, the costs are wide-ranging, but most experts suggest earmarking at least $40,000 to $50,000 to build a basic, no-frills pool. When you start adding on features like hot tubs, landscaping, water features and lighting, that number can easily exceed $100,000. Additionally, there’s the added cost of regular pool maintenance and the increased cost of utilities (especially if you use a gas-powered heater) and homeowner’s insurance.
It’s also worth noting that the pandemic has caused a shortage of many building materials, which has impacted pricing and caused construction delays. Ultimately, determining how much does an inground pool cost for you will depend on your taste in finishes and what you want your pool to look like. Your best option is to price out exactly what you want and go with a construction company that is reputable, reasonably priced, and has an abundance of positive reviews.