What is the cost of an inground pool?

On average inground pool cost varies, anywhere from $25,000-$55,000 for a basic inground pool installation and equipment package. Basic pool installations typically include a full installation, delivery, standard pool filtration, maintenance and cleaning equipment, water fill, and some band of concrete. Every pool builder packages their swimming pools differently. For example, some pool builders may include two loads of dirt haul, $1,200 electrical allowance, and the building permit whereas other pool builders may not include any of those items.

Inground Pool Cost Factors

Pool Size

Pool size is directly proportional to pool cost. The larger the pool size, the larger the cost of the project. Larger pools will also equate to more water to maintain, heat, and filtrate which will directly impact your long-term maintenance costs.  

Pool Type

There are basically three different types of inground swimming pools: vinyl liner pools, fiberglass pools, and concrete pools. As a rule of thumb, basic inground pool packages for vinyl pools will run $25,000-$45,000, fiberglass pool packages will run $28,000-$50,000 and concrete pools will run $40,000 and up. It is important to note that pool costs do vary by market and geographic region. For instance, concrete pools in some regions can be very comparable to fiberglass pools in price and sometimes even slightly less. In the sunshine states like Florida and Arizona pool builders construct the pools with a lot less material because they do not have to battle consistent freezing and thawing.

inground pool cost table

Overall, basic vinyl liner pools are your least expensive inground swimming pool option. Vinyl liner swimming pools will give you more swim area for the money and cost you less initially than a fiberglass pool or concrete pool. Choices that are now available for vinyl liners such as optional steps and sun ledges will close that cost gap pretty easily. Vinyl liner pools will require some long-term replacement costs. All vinyl liners will eventually need to be replaced. Often times, the cost of one liner replacement will make up the difference in price between a vinyl liner pool and a fiberglass pool. The average vinyl liner replacement including material, labor, and water runs $3,500-$5,500 dollars. A vinyl liner pool will have several vinyl liner replacements throughout its life. On average, liners are replaced every 8-12 years. Ensuring an optimal life span requires constant water chemistry maintenance.

The initial cost of a fiberglass pool tends to be more expensive than a vinyl liner pool of similar size. Fiberglass pools are manufactured in a controlled environment and delivered on site in one-piece. They provide homeowners with luxury features found in upscale concrete pool projects like glass tile, in pool benches, steps, and sun ledges without the custom pool price. While more expensive than vinyl pools, fiberglass pools will not incur long term replacement costs of a vinyl liner and will likely use less chemicals due to their smooth non-porous surface finish that inhibits the growth of algae and enhances circulation.

Concrete pools tend to be the most expensive option for pool buyers, both in initial costs and long term costs. Concrete pools are also the most versatile and allow homeowners endless options and 100% control over design. Made-to-order waterslides, waterfalls, alcoves, sun decks and more become possibilities with a concrete pool. Depending on the surface finish, they will require acid washing and/or re-plastering or painting on a fairly routine basis. Their rougher porous surface finishes often require more attention and chemicals to keep algae at bay. 

Site Conditions

Your unique site conditions will directly impact your inground pool costs. This is why many pool builders require an onsite evaluation prior to providing you with any pricing information. Here is a list of site items that can impact how much your inground pool costs:

  • Electrical: Is there room in your existing breaker box? Or Will you need to upgrade? How far from the box is the system?
  • Septic System: Do you have a septic system? Will fingers be re-routed?
  • Plumbing: Where do you want your pool equipment? How far will the plumbing lines have to run?
  • Elevation: What is the change in elevation? Is a retaining wall needed? Can all the dirt stay on site or do we have to haul it all away?
  • Water: Do we need to haul in all the water? Or Is there a hydrant we can use?
  • Access: Do I have enough room for equipment and concrete trucks to reach the backyard? Or Will they have to pump & shuttle everything from the street?
  • Landscape: Will existing trees, shrubbery, decks and/or concrete patios need to be removed or demolished?
  • Natural Gas/Propane: How far will the gas line have to be run to reach the heater?

Pool Patio

Cathedral with Wet DeckYour choice of pool patio material can make or break your swimming pool budget and can have a huge impact on your overall inground pool cost. For example, you can opt for a standard broom finished concrete pool deck that averages $6.50 square foot or you can opt to have a travertine paver patio that can cost an average $16.00 square foot. For a 1,000 square foot patio, that difference is considerable ($9,500).

Pool Options

Items such as an automatic pool cover, fiberglass pool anchoring system, safety cover, heater, heat pump, slide, water features and salt system are all optional. These discretionary options are not necessary for completing an inground pool and are not likely to be included in a basic inground pool estimate. These items can add thousands of dollars onto the cost of a basic inground pool. For example, automatic safety covers cost can range $8,000-$12,000 and heaters $1,800-$3,000. TIP: If you are over your swimming pool budget, ask your pool builder about prepping your pool for installation of optional items in the future. For example, if you know you want to have a slide or waterfall but cannot afford it right now, have your pool builder stub up a plumbing line for a future addition.

Summary

Regardless of your choices, your swimming pool purchase is a large investment. For many of you, it will be one of the largest purchases you make outside the cost of your home. Not all pools are created equal and neither are pool products. For every piece of equipment in your pool package, there are less expensive alternatives. You can have a pool pump included in your pool package that retails for $450 or $1,200.  Be thorough when you review and compare quotes.

The best place to start is within an onsite evaluation. Most pool builders provide a complimentary on-site evaluation and estimate. They should be able to educate you on pool options and help you with all your pool buying decisions.