Backyard in ground swimming pool connected to deck.

The Average Inground Pool Cost And How To Finance One

Anna Wolski10-Minute Read
August 06, 2022

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Backyard pools are an iconic feature of any house that has one. They’re the perfect way to beat the heat and bring people together, whether it be for a pool party, some exercise or even some family time. If you’re considering installing a pool and find yourself asking “how much do inground pools cost,” fear not! We’ve created a guide breaking down inground pool costs so you can know what to expect and learn how you may be able to afford one.

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

How Much Does An Inground Pool Cost?

While each project is different and will vary based on the location, size, shape and type of pool, the average cost to install an inground pool, according to Home Advisor, is $20,000 – $100,000 or more, as the cost of materials has increased.

As we will cover later, there are numerous factors that go into the cost of installing an inground pool, which can explain why that range is so wide. For a closer estimate, you should contact a local swimming pool contractor.

Factors That Go Into The Cost Of Inground Pools

The question of “how much does it cost to build an inground pool” is affected by numerous different factors. Let’s take a look at what those are and how choices you make can affect your final price.

Size And Shape

Two of the biggest factors affecting pool cost are size and shape.

Most people typically get a pool that measures 14 feet by 28 feet with a depth of 6½ feet. Depending on the material, you will usually spend $50 – $125 per square foot, meaning that a standard sized pool will typically cost somewhere between $19,600 – $49,000. The single largest installation cost factor is size, so naturally, small inground pools cost less than larger ones since larger pools require more equipment, materials and labor hours.

As for shape, geometric shapes are easier to work with because they are easier to put into designs. Non-geometric shapes tend to be more expensive because of the extra cost that comes from altering the materials so they can fit into the design. The most cost-effective designs are a standard shape like a rectangle or oval.

Type Of Pool

There are three main types of pools: concrete, fiberglass and vinyl-lined pools. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages associated with it.

  • Concrete: Concrete pools typically cost $35,000 – $65,000. They’re durable and reinforced with steel, meaning they’re strong and long-lasting. Concrete pools typically require $27,000 – $49,000 in upkeep over a 10-year period, which includes a required acid washing and replastering.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass pools typically cost $20,000 – $60,000. They have lower ongoing maintenance costs and are relatively easy to clean. They tend to last about 25 years, and over 10 years, you can expect to spend $5,000 – $15,000 on maintenance. Fiberglass pools are smaller than concrete pools, but since you don’t need an acid wash or a liner replacement, the smaller size can feel like an acceptable tradeoff for homeowners.
  • Vinyl-lined: Vinyl-lined pools typically cost $20,000 – $40,000. For maintenance over a 10-year period, you can expect to pay $11,000 – $17,000. These pools are versatile and nonabrasive, and they have easy upkeep that owners can do themselves. They come in a variety of different shapes and designs, plus they’re sustainable since you don’t need to use chemicals as often because algae can’t easily grow on the surface. It is important to note that the reason these pools are relatively inexpensive compared to the others is that you have to replace the liner every 10 years.

Design

The larger and more customized the design of the pool is, the more materials it will require. Hence, a more complicated design is going to be more expensive. While most pool owners opt for a simple rectangular or oval shape, there are a few other popular designs that pool owners choose to utilize.

  • Zero-entry pools are characterized by one or more sides that slope up to meet the land. Rather than using a ladder to enter the pool, you can simply walk from your yard into the pool as the ground rises to meet you.
  • Lagoon pools have a free-flowing, asymmetrical design that reminds users of a luxurious tropical retreat. Many who choose this design like to customize it with additional landscaping and water features like waterfalls and grottos.
  • Semi inground pools are still inground but are characterized by a design that has a small portion of the pool above the ground. These pools are less expensive than fully inground pools, but they tend to be less durable.

Materials

The three main types of pools are categorized by the material they’re primarily made of. Each material has its own pros and cons, and each has a unique set of costs associated with it.

  • Concrete: Concrete pools, as discussed above, typically cost $35,000 – $65,000. While concrete is durable and lasts for a very long time, this material is expensive and high maintenance. Concrete is a very porous material, which means it easily houses algae. That’s not to say concrete isn’t worth it. Aside from being nice to look at, this material can last you upward of 50 years, provided you take care of it and resurface the concrete every 10 years.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass pools typically cost $20,000 – $60,000. It doesn’t need as much labor as concrete to keep it in good shape, and while it is less expensive, it’s not nearly as customizable as other materials. That said, fiberglass is durable, low maintenance and resistant to surface algae growth, which makes it the perfect choice for some homeowners.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl is one of the least expensive materials, and as such, a vinyl-lined pool typically costs $20,000 – $40,000. These liners also don’t foster algae in the same way that concrete does. However, vinyl linings have to be replaced every 5 – 9 years. Additionally, the vinyl is not as durable as fiberglass or concrete, so you need to be more careful with it, as a stray scratch or hole in the liner could cause major problems. Don’t let this scare you off though. Vinyl is an affordable option that has customizability and a less harsh texture than concrete.

Labor

Your labor costs will depend heavily on the type of pool you choose. There are some pools, like concrete pools, that require a lot of labor, not just for installation, but for upkeep as well. The average cost for professional pool installation tends to be $5,000 – $30,000.

Additional Costs

  • Landscaping: On average, landscaping costs $1,500 – $5,200, but it can cost up to $20,000. Some people want to add festive features to their yards like palm trees or ornamental plants, which could increase your atmosphere but bring up the price.
  • Excavation: Excavation typically costs $1,500 – $5,000 but can run up to $20,000. Most of this cost comes from utilizing dump trucks to haul away dirt, so you could try to save some money by spreading the dirt around your property or using it to create unique landscaping designs.
  • Fencing: The cost of fencing depends on the material but can be $600 – $4,400 for a partial fence and $4,800 – $14,300 for a full enclosure. Many homeowners associations require fences around pools for the safety of young kids and pets, and it may be wise to utilize childproof locks and gates (which cost $200 $350 each) for added safety.
  • Filter and pumps: Filters and pumps can cost $500 – $3,000 depending on the type and size of your pool. These are necessary expenses to keep your pool clean and swimmable.
  • Lighting: The average for 50-watt built-in lights is $100 – $300. However, there are numerous other lighting options that you can choose from.
  • Electrical: Your pool can add about $65 – $100 per month to your electrical bill.
  • Heating system: A heating system can cost anywhere from $1,500 – $4,000. Buying a higher quality heater ensures that it requires fewer repairs and less maintenance over time. This is especially important if your pool runs year-round.
  • Annual maintenance: Annual maintenance can range from $500 – $4,000 per year depending on type of pool. This cost includes keeping your water clean with chemicals and filters, the higher utility bills that come with owning a pool, keeping your lights and heaters running as well as the costs of opening and closing for the off season.
  • Permits: The permits for your pool change based on the type of pool you have and where you live, but you can expect to pay $200 – $2,000.

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

Inground Pool Costs By Size And Materials

For a rough estimate, here is a chart breaking down the cost of your pool by size and material. These are averages, so keep in mind that every pool project is different and that things like the specifics of your pool design, landscaping, fencing and permits can alter your final price. Finally, remember that costs are subject to change with the rising price of materials, so be sure to check with a local pool contractor for a more exact estimate.

Pool Size (by square feet)

Average Price for Concrete

Average Price for Fiberglass

Average Price for Vinyl-lined

10x20

$26,400

$23,800

$18,400

12x24

$38,000

$34,200

$26,600

14x28

$51,800

$46,300

$36,100

16x32

$67,500

$60,600

$53,200

18x36

$85,600

$76,600

$59,600

20x40

$105,200

$95,400

$73,500

Data from Home Guide and Pool Research

Up to date as of 07/28/2022

Inground Pool Financing Options

While installing an inground pool is an expensive undertaking, there are ways for you to finance it. Whether you want to utilize the equity you’ve built in your home, which we’ll explain how to do later, or whether you simply want to take out a personal loan, you have options.

Read on to find out which option may be right for you.

Cash-Out Refinance

Before we get into what a cash-out refinance is, we need to understand home equity. Home equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and the value of your home. Your equity increases when you pay more toward your loan’s balance or when the value of your home goes up.

With a cash-out refinance on a conventional loan, you can use up to 80% of the equity you have to finance a pool. So, if you wanted to build a $50,000 pool, you would take be able to take up to 80% of the equity you’ve built into your home, subtract that from what you still owe on your mortgage and use the remaining sum to finance your pool.

Let’s pretend that your home is worth $200,000, you still owe $100,000 and you want to use some of the equity you’ve built up to install an inground pool. You could use up to 80% of the equity you’ve built into your home, which means that of the $200,000 your house is worth, you have $160,000 available. Now, you need to subtract that from what you still owe ($160,000 – $100,000) to find out what you would be able to spend. Of your $160,000, you would be able to use $60,000 to install your $50,000 pool.

200,000 (0.8) = 160,000

160,000-100,000= 60,000

Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC)

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a line of credit tied to your home’s equity. There are two periods. First, a draw period where you can use up to the amount of credit you’ve been approved for, based on the equity you’ve accumulated. You don’t have to spend all of it, and you only pay interest on what you spend. Then, you enter the repayment period, where the balance freezes and you repay what you owe over the rest of the term. It’s important to note that the interest rate is adjustable, meaning it changes with the market rate.

With a HELOC, you could use your home equity to obtain a line of credit, use that credit to install your pool and then pay back whatever you used during the repayment period.

At this moment, Rocket Mortgage® does not offer HELOCs.

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan uses the home equity you’ve built as collateral for financing. Instead of withdrawing your equity the way you can with a cash-out refinance, you get a new loan separate from your mortgage that allows you to borrow an amount equal to the equity you’ve accumulated. Again, you don’t get to keep that money. The equity you have is held as collateral, so if you don’t pay it back, your home could be foreclosed on.

Lenders will determine the size of your loan by using a loan-to-value ratio. To illustrate this concept, let’s use our previous example where your home is worth $200,000 and you still owe $100,000. Home equity loans will also allow you to take 80% – 90% of your equity as collateral. To make it easy, we’ll use the 80% figure from before, which means you have $160,000 available. To determine how much you will have as collateral, you have to subtract what you have available from what you still owe on your mortgage.

200,000 (0.8) = 160,000

160,000 – 100,000 = 60,000

This would leave you with a $60,000 loan you could use to build your pool.

Personal Loan

A personal loan is a line of credit you can use for making big purchases. It’s what you would think of as a normal, everyday loan. If you want to utilize a personal loan to build your pool, you would borrow a specified sum of money from a bank, cred union or online lender and pay it back within a specified time frame. Unlike the previous options we’ve discussed, personal loans aren’t going to be tied to your equity, as collateral or otherwise. Instead, personal loans are based on your financial history, things like your FICO® Score and income.

The Bottom Line: The Cost Of An Inground Pool Depends On Many Variables

An inground pool can be a fantastic addition to any home – it can be considered an investment in the value of your home while also being a source of fun for the whole family. Before building an inground pool, make sure to research materials, pool size and any other factors that might impact the costs you’ll have to pay to build your dream pool so you can budget accordingly in advance.

If it looks like you’ll need financing to pay for your pool, consider a cash-out refinance. Cash-out refinances can often help you secure a more affordable interest rate, and if you’re putting the money back into your house, the renovations will likely help build back the equity you’re drawing out to finance the project. If this type of financing seems like a good fit for you, why not start the process to get a cash-out refinance today?

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

NMLS #3030

Anna Wolski

Anna Wolski is a blog writing intern and a senior at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in Psychology and English. In her free time she enjoys reading and creative writing.