Deciding to get a pool can be like when you stood on a diving board for the first time. You could see that beautiful and cool water, and while it might be distant—it was real. You knew that in order to get that thrilling feeling of diving into it, you’d have to jump. That’s part of the fun, right?
Fast forward to now. Making the first moves toward owning a pool requires you to make a few different choices, as well as meet an initial cost. But at the end of the day, it’s worth the dive. I’ll break down how the cost differs between an above-ground and inground pool, as well as the options specific to each pool type—and why the time is now to dive right in.
Getting a Pool is a Great Decision. Here’s Why
Since you’re about to find out exactly how much it’s going to cost you to get your dream pool, let’s remember why you’d want a pool in the first place. The truth is, there are many, many reasons to seriously consider this investment—from recreation, to relaxation, to improving cardiovascular health, to hosting social gatherings, and to increasing the value of your house. The bottom line goes even further: having a swimming pool adds value to your life. So let’s break down the benefits as it relates to your lifestyle, your health, and your home.
Ready to give your daily lifestyle an upgrade? By promoting family bonding time, creating an ideal location for social events, building an oasis of relaxation, and providing a healthy alterative to other non-active everyday activities, a pool will do just that.
You’ve probably heard that swimming is one of the best physical activities because it’s low-impact, meaning that while you’ll still get the workout you’re looking for, your body is going to experience far less of a strain than it would during other physical activities. It also helps you stay cool, will give you a full-body workout, boosts your heart health, and can help you both build stamina and become more flexible.
That pool is going to look great in your backyard—but it goes even beyond aesthetics. Sure, it creates a focal point for decoration and pools come in a few different materials so that you can choose one that’ll complement your backyard. But getting a swimming pool is also less expensive than lavish family vacations, creates a go-to destination at any time, and increases the value of your property. Sounding good, right?
The beginning construction is the perfect time to plan for a saltwater pool, so that your chlorine is operating at the lowest, safest, and most consistent levels possible. Design your pool for an ultra-comfortable swim with the Salt Ways Eco Friendly Salt Chlorine Generator. It’s super reliable and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Pool Costs: The Short Answer
What your pool is going to cost varies greatly, depending on the pool type—the range is anywhere between $2,500 and $100,000. The best part? That pool type is absolutely up to you. All pool owners have different preferences and needs, and there’s no better time than the beginning to make sure the pool you’re building is the exact one you want.
Not including installation, the cost for an above-ground pool usually ranges between $2,500-$7,500. If you’re opting for a rectangular inground pools with a deck, you’re looking at over $10,000. An inground pool with a vinyl liner can cost $20,000 to $55,000. An inground fiberglass pool will be around $45,000-$85,000. And an inground concrete pool will range from $50,000-$100,000.
Ready to dive deeper? Let’s get into what varies exactly within those ranges. And if you want yet another short answer, that exact variable is simple: it’s all depends on quality.
Choose Your Type: Inground or Above-ground Pools
The first choice you’re going to have to make is whether or not you’re looking for an above ground or inground pool—and the two have some pretty significant differences, in cost and in installation.
Above-ground pools are believed to be the most common pool type—and for good reason. They’re most cost-effective, non-permanent, swimming pool addition to your backyard. Sounds pretty great, right? The downsides to above-ground pools are that it’s usually recommended that you take them down for every winter, so owning one requires quite a bit of maintenance. But hey, worth it. Just make sure that if you get an above-ground pool, you’re choosing the right pump.
Inground pools are built-in, luxurious, swimming beacons for prospective pool owners who have a larger budget and are thinking long-term. There’s nothing quite like stepping down into a smooth, sturdy pool like the inground model. Ahhh... now let’s talk cost.
If you’re starting to think of getting a pool now, you’re going to need a variable-speed pump—as of 2021, the switch to variable-speed pumps will virtually be federal law. Thankfully, the Blue Torrent 2 HP Variable-Speed Pump is ultra-powerful, comes with a lifetime warranty, eligible for rebates, and pays itself off in under a year by energy saved. As customer Bill Britton says, “Runs great. Super quiet.”
The Cost for Above Ground Pools
If you’re on the market to buy an above-ground pool, you’re usually going to get just that—many swimming pool companies only sell the pool itself, which is often referred to as a kit. The package usually includes the pool walls, the pool liner, and the skimmer, so you’ll still need to pick out a pool pump, filter, chemicals, and any other accessories like the right above-ground ladders. And the pool installation? That’s usually not included.
The Pool Itself
The pool kit will usually cost somewhere between $1,500 and $4,500. It all depends on the quality of the pool. Materials for above-ground pool frames include steel and resin. Typically, the more resin and less steel the pool has, the longer it will last—and the more it’ll cost. Additionally, oval pools are typically more expensive than round pools for both the kit and the installation. Speaking of...
It’ll typically cost you around $1,000 to $3,000 to get your above-ground pool installed, depending on the size and type of pool. Hey, that’s better than for an inground pool. By a lot.
There are Exceptions!
Since above-ground pools are so popular, it makes sense that a few different companies would come out to give options otherwise not on the market. One company that has cropped up with significant success is Intex, which sells partially-inflated pools at a really inexpensive price—usually around $100-$800. These pools are also ridiculously easy to install. However, they’re not a long-term decision. Intex pools usually last just a few years before they need to be replaced.
Another type of pool that is an exception to the above-ground cost range is the rectangular above-ground pool, which is usually surrounded by a wrap-around desk for structural support. These models are going to cost over $10,000 with installation.
Looking to extend the swim season as much as you can, so that you can get the most fun for your buck? A heat pump is the answer for you—but you’ll want a powerful unit that will save you on your energy bill every month, like the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump 95,000 BTU to heat 18,000 Gallons. According to customer Steve, “Simple install and simple set up. Heated my pool from 66 to 82 degrees in about 2 complete days.”
The Cost for Inground Pools
Inground pools range from $20,000 to $100,000—and yes, that’s a pretty wide range. Just like above-ground pools, the cost is going to depend on the material of your pool, which includes vinyl liners, fiberglass, and concrete/gunite. So let’s break it down.
Vinyl Liner Inground Pools
We’re going from lowest to highest cost here, so let’s start with vinyl liner pools. Since the materials for a vinyl liner are inexpensive, these are the least expensive inground pool type. For a very basic, standard-sized liner pool without an added patio, you can expect to spend $20,000-$30,000. Keep in mind that this number just includes the basics—not heaters, covers, decking, etc.
Fiberglass Inground Pools
Next up in cost is fiberglass. Unfortunately, a fiberglass shell and shipping cost much more than a vinyl liner. If you’re interested in this pool type, you’re looking at around $12,000-$25,000, depending on the size of the pool. And that number is just for the pool shell and shipping. To have a pool contractor install the pool, including decking, you can expect to pay around $45,000-$85,000. Any accessories, including lights, are going to be on top of that price.
Concrete/Gunite Inground Pools
In most cases, concrete and gunite pools will have the highest initial cost—this is usually due to the labor involved with the installation. In most cases, a concrete pool will cost about $55,000-$100,000 with decking. The cost varies greatly depending on the size of the pool and the material used for the pool’s surface, such as white plaster or exposed aggregate. But once they’re in, these types look great.
Looking to Save a Buck? How to Minimize Costs
Hey, I’m all for saving as much cash as possible. After the initial cost of buying a pool, the focus of your spending is going to be on operational costs. The less you have to spend on your pool on a monthly basis—all while keeping it sparkling clean—the better. That’s why I recommend that every pool owner cut down their monthly energy bill by getting a variable-speed pump, as well as find energy-efficient pool accessories such as heaters and automatic cleaners. If you’re looking to save some cash, you’ve come to the right place.
Keep that brand new pool as clean as its first day of install with the the Blue Torrent MyBot Inground Robotic Cleaner. It’s ultra-powerful, easy to install, and works on its own to keep your walls and floor sparkling clean. As customer David Lain says, “Very pleased. My wife loves it.”
Ready to Make the Plunge?
There, that’s the scariest part. Now you’re well aware that getting a pool is going to cost you some cash. But the best part of all of this? The second you do get a pool, it’s going to pay off with healthy, valuable, and lifestyle-changing swims. When your pool is finally installed, it’s going to feel worth its weight in gold. When that moment comes, enjoy.