When you’re searching for the perfect upgrade that will transform your backyard into an oasis, consider having an inground pool installed. Regardless of the materials you use and the custom additions you make to the design, an inground pool is going to be expensive. However, there are many factors that determine what the final cost will be.
The typical cost range for an inground pool is around $38,000–70,000 with a national average of $52,000. The different types of materials that inground pools are available in extend to fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl, each of which has its own advantages for you to consider. Many inground pools that are purchased as turnkey packages will come with an electrical system, deck, safety fence, pumps, and plumbing. However, it’s possible to buy inground pool packages that only include the shell of the pool.
Some of the additional factors that will be part of the costs that you pay include the location that the pool is installed, the lighting, any water features, all custom work, and surrounding landscaping. Along with the installation costs, you can expect to pay for the necessary permits, maintenance costs, and property taxes. The following is a comprehensive guide on the costs associated with installing an inground pool.
Inground Pool Costs
If you live in a warmer climate where temperatures are particularly high in the summer months, having an inground pool installed in your yard might be a necessity. It could also be seen as an upgrade to your property that could add to its value. While there are many different water features that can be installed on a property, an inground pool is one of the few features that increases comfort levels as well your home’s value.
There are numerous costs that will accumulate when you attempt to have an inground pool installed. Understanding what these costs are before you get started on the project should help you avoid spending too much. While above-ground pools are relatively inexpensive when compared to inground pools, they can also detract from your property’s appearance while also making your backyard feel cramped.
In comparison, inground pools are kept level with the backyard. Before installation begins, the area where the pool is expected to be installed will be excavated and dug up, after which the pool is positioned in the hole. Any surrounding space will then be filled in.
Site Preparation and Excavation
After the necessary permits have been obtained, the land where the pool is set to be installed will be prepared by excavating the property and implementing grading for the patio, pool, and all planting areas. The costs associated with excavation and landscaping differ depending on the type of pool you install as well as the size of your property. You can expect to pay anywhere from $8-$25 per cubic foot for excavation.
Cost of Installation
Labor costs for installation can also vary depending on the pool material that you use. Concrete pools typically take longer to install when compared to fiberglass pools. It’s also possible for installation costs to differ depending on where you live.
If you currently live in an area with a high cost of living, you can expect installation costs to be higher as well. In the event that root systems or large trees need to be cleared away before the pool can be installed, the costs will increase substantially.
Before you can begin installing a pool in your backyard, you’ll be tasked with obtaining permits, which are designed to make sure that the project adheres to local building codes and professional construction standards. Depending on the amount of work that needs to be done, it’s possible that an electrical permit will be required as well.
Swimming pool permits can cost anywhere from $450-$1,800 to acquire. Keep in mind that many pool contractors will obtain these permits for you and include the costs in the final bill you receive. Once the project has been finished, an inspector will make sure that it meets building codes. If it doesn’t, changes will need to be made.
There are several different materials that inground pools can be constructed from, which include concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass. Fiberglass pools are durable, low maintenance, and fully compatible with different salt systems. These pools usually come with the lowest cost of ownership since they are constructed off-site and don’t require the use of much chemicals. The main downside to using fiberglass is that the shapes are unable to be customized.
When you use concrete for your inground pool, you can customize every facet of the pool. This material is highly durable and should last a long time without issue. The main downside to using concrete is that the maintenance costs are high. A considerable amount of chemicals will also be needed when maintaining the pool. You can’t use a saltwater system with concrete.
As for vinyl liner pools, they are known to be much more customizable than fiberglass pools. These pools come with low installation costs as well. You’ll discover, however, that the vinyl needs to be replaced every 5-10 years. If the pool isn’t properly maintained, the vinyl might eventually tear and will become more brittle with age.
Many homeowners believe that concrete pools provide the property with the best aesthetic upgrade, which is reflected in the price. Turnkey concrete pool projects can cost you anywhere from $50,000-$100,000. These pools are typically larger than pools made from other materials, which is why additional electricity and chemicals must be used to maintain the pool. An acid wash should also be performed every 3-5 years to get rid of any algae or mold that’s built up.
Once two or more acid washes have taken place, the concrete pool might need to be re-plastered. Upkeep costs for owners of concrete pools typically amount to $27,500 during a 10-year period.
When looking specifically at vinyl pools, you can expect a basic vinyl shell to cost around $28,000. The upfront costs for a vinyl pool tend to be lower than the other options. You can expect to pay a little over $13,000 for maintain your vinyl pool during a 10-year period. These pools don’t need to be cleaned that often.
Fiberglass pools have an average cost of $46,000 depending on the type of installation process you obtain. If you’re installing the pool yourself, costs can be as low as $26,000. In comparison, turnkey fiberglass pools cost over $50,000 to have installed.
It’s common for homeowners to prefer turnkey installations since the results of the install are typically longer lasting. Fiberglass pool maintenance costs around $5,000-$15,000 during a 10-year period. Since these pools come with a smooth surface, algae growth is effectively prevented.
Darker-colored pools are able to absorb heat that’s emitted from the sun, which lowers heating costs. As mentioned above, fiberglass pools have a smooth and non-porous finish that keeps algae growth at bay and improves circulation. In comparison, concrete comes with a more porous surface that requires you to add chemicals to the water to remove algae.
Average Cost to Install an Inground Pool
Swimming pools have an average depth of 6.5 feet and an average size of 14′ by 28′. However, the pool you select for your home can be completely different. If you want to be able to dive head-first into the pool, a depth of nine feet or more is highly recommended. The pool size that you install will determine what your final costs are. Larger pools usually cost more than smaller ones.
Small pools that are around 10′ by 20′ cost anywhere from $14,000-$24,000 to purchase and install. These costs will be higher if you purchase a concrete pool, install a cover, add a privacy fence, or input a deck.
Medium inground pools have a size of around 15′ by 30′ and are usually made from vinyl or fiberglass materials. These pools may cost you around $30,000-$55,000 depending on the material you use and the exact size you select. Keep in mind that vinyl is the least expensive material.
Larger indoor pools are ones that measure at around 20′ by 40′. If you would like to purchase a vinyl pool with these exact dimensions, your costs can be around $60,000-$70,000 based on the amount of customization you want to perform. Fiberglass pools of the same dimensions may cost you more than $50,000 for the basic packages.
If you’d prefer to have a concrete pool installed at this size, the costs can be more than $100,000. However, the variables mentioned previously will help you determine the final price.
Inground pools are great for improving your home’s appearance, adding value to your property, and making your home more comfortable for those who live there. You should expect to pay an average of $38,000-$70,000 to purchase one of these pools and have it installed by professionals. However, the many different factors that dictate costs allow you to have some control over what you spend on the project.
Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate
With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities.