How much is an inground pool? Everything you need to know about inground pool costs.
As winter comes to an end and you reflect (fondly, maybe?) on the cold months that you’ve spent mostly indoors, you might get a bit wistful. It’s only natural. We yearn for the warm weather, the longer days, the gatherings with friends and family over food or drinks. Maybe it’s by the pool, relaxing and enjoying the company – but what if you don’t have a pool? Do you want one? What does an inground pool cost?
The thaw of spring also means it’s time to start planning – and better yet, to start dreaming. If you’ve taken a long look at your backyard and come to the conclusion that an inground pool might complete the picture, you’re not alone. It’s the crown jewel of a perfect backyard! Why spend money going to waterparks and community pools – which cost you both time and memberships, food, drink, etc. – when you could bring that fun to your own home?
That’s what we’re going to dig deep into with this blog. We’ve heard from customers that an inground pool is often viewed as a pipe dream, or somewhat aspirational. At Best in Backyards, we’ve spent decades working to make this an affordable reality for customers throughout the region. It’s not just lip service, either; from planning to design consultation to installation, we believe the process of buying an inground pool should be seamless, transparent, and enjoyable.
After all, we’re building something that’s meant to be fun, so let’s make it fun.
What factors affect the cost of an inground pool?
Now, we’ll keep it real with you: building an inground pool is an investment. But it’s an investment in your home, your family, and your overall enjoyment. Le joie de vivre, as the French say. When considering how much an inground pool costs (or is going to cost), it’s important to know the main factors.
Labor and materials
Well, we figured we’d start you out with some good news – especially applicable if you order your new inground pool from your friends at Best in Backyards. Materials, and a result, labor can really jack up the price of your pool. One of the more common or traditional foundations of inground pools has been concrete, which is expensive and time-consuming to install. Fiberglass is a more cost effective and easier-to-install alternative, and BiB offers some of the best fiberglass inground pools in the business. Concrete installation estimates range anywhere from $50,000-100,000, according to Forbes, where fiberglass in many cases can run half that cost.
Design of the pool
You can probably do the math here. The more elaborate and expansive the design of your inground pool, the more expensive it’s going to be. A standard model is going to be the more affordable option for an inground pool, whereas more creative and non-conventional designs are going to cost more – primarily because they require outside design help and consultation to make sure it fits your backyard’s footprint, budget, and more.
Size and shape
You’ve seen a few pools in your day, right? So you know what a traditional pool shape and size looks like, and what something a bit more adventurous might look like. The “usual suspects” will be lower in cost while unique shapes and sizes are going to drive the price of your inground pool up.
Sorry, blue bloods. If you’re in the northern or midwest regions of the United States, you’re likely to pay 20% more on average than someone in, say, a warmer state like Florida or Arizona. Why is that, you might ask? Well, to be honest, we have no idea (we wish there was a better answer).
Inground pool cost by pool type
Ok, so now we understand the basics of different factors that will impact the cost of your inground pool. But wait, there’s more! (No, this is not some cheesy infomercial that offers four easy payments of $49.99).
The type of pool – concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass – is one of the most significant elements of an inground pool. It will have a big impact on how much the inground pool costs, but also, how your pool stands up over time. Did we mention the ease of installation, too?
1. Vinyl liner
There’s good and bad with a vinyl pool liner. Vinyl is the least expensive material to use for your inground pool and it’s generally the most customizable, as well. A lot of people defer to vinyl for its affordability, but it does come at a cost down the road. Vinyl can’t withstand a great amount of wear and tear, and the materials need to be replaced (on average) every 5-7 years.
If you’re looking for quality and bang for your buck, look no further than fiberglass for your inground pool. Fiberglass pools are the lowest maintenance of the lot and they’re durable – they’ll last for a number of years as opposed to needing regular replacement like vinyl. Fiberglass inground pools also don’t use a ton of chemicals, which also adds to the durability factor. Unlike vinyl and concrete pools, fiberglass pools cannot be customized and generally come in a few different shapes and sizes.
This brings us to concrete pools. The benefits of concrete inground pools are somewhat obvious: they’re fully customizable and extremely durable. On the other hand, concrete pools come with sky-high maintenance costs and specific requirements for the type of chemicals that can be used. If you’re looking at installing a concrete inground pool in your backyard, be prepared to pay up.
Inground pool cost by pool size
Another point that may not come as a huge surprise: the size of your pool is going to determine how much it costs. Depending on your budget and the amount of space available in your backyard, you will have some options when it comes to your inground pool and how much your inground pool costs.
Small size pools
The average inground pool is 14 feet by 28 feet and approximately 6-7 feet in depth. You can find pools in the 10 feet by 16 feet range that cost less than the standard size, in the range of $30,000-40,000 depending on add-ons and customization.
Average size pools
As mentioned above, in most cases (which also applies to inground pools at Best in Backyards) you’ll find pools measuring 14 feet by 28. In looking at average costs of inground pools, a 14×28 vinyl pool starts at approximately $35,000 and depending on the materials, can exceed $50,000 in total cost.
If you’ve got the budget to go big, why not go big? Inground pools in the 20×40 or 25×44 size range can run $75,000 to $100,000 for vinyl, and (hold your breath) up to $150,000 for concrete.
How much does a custom inground pool cost?
Our good friend Bob Vila estimates that, in 2021, the average cost to install an inground pool in the United States was just over $51,000. This takes into account small pools, which start in the mid-$30,000 range, and larger pools, which carry costs that can swell to $100,000 or more.
It’s all about what you want – and what you don’t want. If you’re getting into the customization game for your inground pool, this will significantly change the cost from what you might see on display (or sometimes called the sticker price).
Features like a unique pool shape added depth.
Inground pool extras and how they impact your pool’s price
Indoor pools, for example, can start in the low $100,000s and other features like beach entry or zero-entry pools can add a cost of $100 per square foot or more.
Whether you want simple lights to keep the pool lit at night or something a bit more complex, this will impact your pool’s overall cost.
Safety first – especially for the little ones. Ladders will be an added cost but will help ensure the well-being of everyone using the pool.
CANNONBALL! But please, just not
when Mom’s reading poolside in her chair. Diving boards are an extra but add a bit of flair and fun to your pool.
Let’s get crazy, shall we? Who doesn’t love a water slide, especially in their own backyard?
This is quite a popular “pool extra” and is available with a few models from Best in Backyards, and for others, would be considered a custom addition.
The moral of the story? Do your homework, understand your yard and what will be the best fit, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! While it may be a simple question, “how much does an inground pool cost?” can get fairly complex.
Are there any hidden costs when building a pool?
Typically, your inground pool provider will provide you with literature that outlines the costs associated with building a pool. While some costs aren’t top-of-mind, it’s rare to find “hidden costs” because there are a lot of boxes to check throughout the build – and you’re going to be in communication with the building team every step of the way.
Now, what factors or costs could come up throughout the build that isn’t determined upfront?
That’s a big one; if the installation team needs to move trees or plants in order to get the foundation of the pool started, that’s going to come at a cost to you.
If you didn’t budget for a fence and it’s required in your area to have fencing (this is common!), that’s another cost.
Lighting and safety are closely linked, but if your pool area doesn’t get a lot of natural light or will be used at night, you’ll want to budget for light fixtures or a lighting system in your backyard. You may also want lighting in the pool, which will cost you some added cash.
Padded areas, fencing, warning signs…these can all be considered additional expenses if they aren’t considered at the start.
You want to make sure your guests (or anyone using the pool) has easy and safe access to your pool. In some cases, your deck may need to be refigured or remodeled to accommodate the pool.
When you work with our team at Best in Backyards, we’ll do our best to make sure all of your bases are covered before we put a shovel in the ground.
This might seem like a lot of information, and it is! But at the end of the day, building an inground pool is fun and is sure to guarantee years of enjoyment for your friends and family. As long as you’re on top of the requirements for maintenance and upkeep, you’ll be in good shape for a long time. Now, let’s get to building that new inground pool!
FAQs about inground pool costs
What is the cheapest inground pool?
The least expensive inground pool is a vinyl pool. As mentioned above, vinyl pools are generally not customizable and come in several “off the shelf” options for shape and size. While you’re paying the least amount of money to build a vinyl pool, you do need to be aware of the ongoing maintenance costs and the need for an eventual replacement of the vinyl (typically in 5-7 years). This pool will generally cost between $30,000-45,000.
What’s the maintenance cost of an inground pool?
This will depend on the type of pool you elect to build. Fiberglass pools are low maintenance and will help keep your costs low, while a vinyl pool requires more maintenance and as mentioned above, replacement of material that can tear under prolonged stress.
How long does it take to build a pool?
The pool installation process typically starts with a pool permit. Depending on where you live, this can take 3-7 days to get approval. If we have the pool in stock, then it will take approximately three months from the date of your order. If the pool is not currently in stock, it will take 4-5 months from the date of your order.