Backyard In ground Swimming Pool Connected To Deck

How Much Does An Inground Pool Cost?

Sidney Richardson7 Minute Read
July 07, 2021

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An in-ground pool is an iconic backyard upgrade that many homeowners dream of – especially if you live in a warmer climate. A pool can be a great way to cool off on your summer staycation, connect with family and even get some exercise. If you’re looking into getting a pool, though, you may be concerned about the cost. How much more expensive is an in-ground pool than one built above ground?

Read on for our guide to all the in-ground pool costs you can expect when adding this feature to your backyard.

Average In-Ground Pool Cost

Installing an in-ground pool can vary greatly in cost depending on many factors that we’ll discuss in more detail later. In general, though, the average cost of installing an in-ground pool is between $38,773 and $70,054, according to HomeAdvisor.

Every pool project will be a bit different depending on size, shape, materials and where you live, so keep in mind that averages aren’t always the best guideline to follow when estimating the cost of your potential pool. The best way to determine what your dream swimming pool will cost you is to contact a local swimming pool contractor for an estimate.

Pool Characteristics That Affect Cost

As mentioned earlier, there are many factors that will affect the cost of your pool project. Let’s take a look at what those are and how much you can expect your choices to impact the final price you’ll pay. 

Materials

Depending on the materials you use to construct your pool, the cost could vary greatly. Different materials have differing installation challenges and lifespans before they’ll need to be updated, and the prices for each tend to reflect that. In-ground pools are typically built using either concrete, fiberglass or vinyl.

  • Concrete or gunite typically costs between $30,000 and $50,000 initially according to HomeAdvisor, but you can expect to pay between $2,700 and $4,000 for it annually in addition to those initial costs. Concrete is the longest lasting material with a lifespan of 50-100 years but requires a lot of (sometimes costly) upkeep.
  • Fiberglass pools will usually cost between $20,000 and $36,000 according to HomeAdvisor, but you can expect to pay an additional $5,000-$15,000 over 10 years for upkeep. These pools are cheaper but often smaller in shell size than concrete pools. This material is considered easiest to maintain and will likely last you 25 years or longer.
  • Vinyl-lined pools will cost between $20,000 to $40,000 according to HomeAdvisor, but you can expect to pay an additional $11,000-$17,000 in maintenance over 10 years. Vinyl is typically the easiest to clean of the three options, but you’ll likely need to replace the liner every 10 years or so. 

Chlorination

Chlorination is a process used to keep water clean and bacteria-free as well as to prevent the spread of diseases. Pools are usually either chlorinated or ‘saltwater pools,’ which generate chlorine on their own without the need for it to be added consistently.

Natural pools are also an option for those looking to swim in an eco-friendly pool. These pools don’t use chlorine at all and instead rely on constantly flowing water and plants to keep the pool free of bacteria. This option is very cost effective because it won’t require you to spend on chlorine and other pool-cleaning costs, but it’s not for everyone.

According to HomeAdvisor, setting up a chlorinated pool will only cost an initial $100 or so extra, while a saltwater pool might cost up to $2,500 more because it requires the installation of a more complicated system of equipment.

Accessories

When you install an in-ground swimming pool, it’s usually not just placed in the middle of the grass in your yard – there are typically some accessories involved to assure the pool fits your yard’s overall style and your personal vision for it.

Before buying accessories, you may want to browse pool design tips to get an idea of what overall theme you’re going for. Prices will vary wildly in terms of accessories, so we won’t try to give you any estimates, but here are a few things you could consider when forming your pool accessory budget:

  • Fencing
  • Water features
  • Poolside patio furniture
  • Pool heaters
  • Lighting
  • Diving boards, slides, floating inner tubes and other fun accessories

Size

The size of your pool will also have a great impact on the cost. According to HomeAdvisor, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $125 per square foot on an in-ground pool – and that can add up quickly if you’re planning a larger pool project.

Rectangular pools are most common, with 16’ x 32’ being one of the most popular pool sizes. Using the price range per square foot mentioned earlier, that means a 16’ x 32’ pool might cost anywhere from $25,600 to $76,800 or more.

In-Ground Pool Costs By Size And Materials

For a rough estimate of the cost to build some of the most popular pool sizes, here’s a chart to give you a quick overview. Keep in mind that these numbers are meant to be estimates and do not take into account other additional costs you may need to cover after initially installing the pool, such as accessories, chlorine costs and upkeep. Your pool costs may also be less than or exceed these ranges because every project is different.

These estimates were determined by looking at data from both HomeAdvisor and HomeGuide.

 

Pool Size (by square feet)

 

Price (Low End)

 

Price (High End)

 

With Saltwater System

12 x 24

$14,400

$36,000

$16,000-$45,700

12 x 30

$18,000

$54,000

$20,500-$56,500

16 x 32

$25,600

$64,000

$28,100-$79,300

18 x 36

$32,400

$81,000

$34,900-$99,700

20 x 40

$40,000

$100,000

$42,500-$122,500

25 x 45

$56,250

$168,750

$58,750-$171,250

Installation Methods And Cost

Self-Installation

In addition to the cost of materials, you’ll also have to pay for the actual installation of your pool. It can be easiest to pay swimming pool builders/contractors to take care of installation, but it’s possible to do it yourself as well, if you prefer.

While you might save $10,000 or more in installation costs, remember that installing a pool yourself is a lot of work. You’ll likely have to rent out heavy equipment to dig out an area for your pool, which can be extremely costly. Setting up the plumbing and other key fixtures can also be a monumental task for homeowners who don’t have experience with it prior to installing their pool.

Assisted Installation 

Assisted installation is a good option for homeowners who might be confident about digging a hole for their pool and installing a deck, patio or seating area surrounding it but may not be sure about handling the plumbing or making sure the pool shell is perfectly level.

It may cost anywhere from $30,000-$52,000 to do an assisted installation package, and while you’ll still have to take care of a good chunk of the work yourself, professionals will handle the ‘hard parts,’ like the plumbing and unfamiliar installation processes.

Basic Installation

A basic installation package is what most swimming pool design and installation groups will offer. They’ll install your pool and get it running for you but will leave any landscaping or design and décor choices for you to handle. Basic installation costs vary by pool contractor, but the cost of this installation package is generally pricier than an assisted installation.

According to River Pools’ guide to inground pool installations, you can usually add $10,000 to the length of your pool to estimate a price. As an example, they state if your pool is 30ft long, you can expect to pay $40,000 for a basic installation package.

Full-Service Installation

Also sometimes referred to as a turn-key installation, this installation method means that swimming pool contractors will install your entire pool themselves as well as any fencing or small patio areas that might be needed for the design. While this installation method is most expensive and may run you an extra $10,000-$20,000+, it also involves the least amount of work on the homeowner’s end. In total, most full-service installation packages will run you anywhere from $45,000-$85,000, according to River Pools.

Yard Characteristics That Affect Cost

Although size, style and installation method are some of the biggest factors impacting the price you’ll pay to install an in-ground swimming pool, there are still other potential costs you should take into account. Depending on the intended location of your pool, there may be costs to remove trees, rocks or other large objects that could pose an issue for your pool’s construction.

Trees

If there are trees that overlap with the area you’d like your pool to reside, they may have to be removed. Tree removal can get somewhat expensive, with homeowners paying $1,900+ to remove larger or older trees from their yard safely, though most tree removal projects cost between $385-$1,070, according to Lawnstarter.

Rocks 

If the excavation crew (or you) run into a massive rock in the ground when trying to dig out a space for your pool, it can cause issues. You will either have to elevate your pool to avoid the rock or remove the rock – which can be difficult if the rock is extremely large. Be prepared to pay $1,200+ to get rid of any extremely large boulders you might run into – but know that it isn’t always that expensive. According to HomeAdvisor, rock excavation usually costs around $40-$100 per cubic yard of excavation. 

Sewer And Electrical Lines 

If you have to move sewer or electrical lines to place your pool where you’d like it, this can become very costly as well. Since this process can become a somewhat complicated job, relocating sewer or electrical lines might cost you $3,000 to $25,000, or $50 to $250 per foot, according to HomeAdvisor.

Yearly Costs

Installing a pool can be extremely exciting, but before you take the dive, make sure you’re aware of all the yearly costs involved with a pool as well as the upfront ones. In addition to yearly upkeep and the initial costs of building the pool, you’ll also have to pay for repairs, pool chemicals, etc. According to HomeAdvisor, you can expect your yearly pool costs to be around $1,200-$1,800 a year.

Remember that if you live in a place that gets colder than 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll also likely have to close your pool for winter, and winterizing a pool comes with its own set of costs as well.

The Bottom Line: When It Comes To In-Ground Pool Costs, Test The Waters Before Diving In

An in-ground 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 in-ground 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.

For ideas to inspire the swimming pool of your dreams, check out our swimming pool design tips.

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Sidney Richardson

Sidney Richardson is an intern writer covering homeownership, mortgage and lifestyle topics. She is a senior at Oakland University pursuing a degree in journalism and advertising.